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Les Paul Discussion Page General discussion about the all models of the Gibson Les Paul

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Old November 15th, 2017, 07:14 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Les Paul CM Update

In a few words... I am absolutely, stunningly, and I think for ever more hooked on this baby. Oh, yeah!

Okay, first the "whys."

There is a solidity about the CM that somehow strands out. It is like one solid piece. Rigid. And sized and shaped so right for me that when I hang it around my neck it just disappears leaving only the music.

I started out many years ago as a Gibson guy and own several very nice ones from several periods. But bit by bit they became 2nd fiddle to me. Isn't it odd that this inexpensive model is what has brought me back to the marque? It has!

I've more and more become a one PUP guy. That, for me, is where the sound I hear in my head is to be found. And I buy into the theory that if you don't need a second PUP doing away with its magnetic field and its effect on the vibrating strings is a plus.

The CM has a GREAT neck. Meaty, but not overly so. And the PLEK system seems to have made a difference. It is just so right!

Gibsons in my experience have typically had bound fingerboards. I do not care one way or another about the looks (and on the CM such would have been a visual distraction) but in part for lack of it the fret ends on my guitar took a bit of work to be made 'just so.'

The issue was not fret bloom -- not at all. Their installation was as flawless at the PLEX treatment had made the playing surface. What was less than perfection was that small area of transition where the PLEK treatment ended leaving a slightly sharp transition to the otherwise well rounded finished fret end.

I took this down with a point file. She is now good in the hand.

I love what Gibson did with the finish on this guitar. No, not as a substitute for Gibson's famed nitro transparent finishes -- not generally. But here, for a simple rocker, the sheen ebony is just wonderful. And the added touch of leaving the guitar's top merely stained was brilliant. Its quick wear showed me the way. I buffed it with a non-abrasive microfiber cloth and some Dunlop 65, got just the "worn" look I wanted, and then experiment with ways to warm the wood's tone. (The barer parts tended towards a silver -- not to my liking.)

In the end I actually applied an "Early American" wood stain and then rubbed it off and again finished the surface with the Dunlop polish.

Here are the results...




With the visuals now set I've been working for several days at tuning the guitar's PUP to what to me is perfection. Critical because I am playing it through (and "tuning its tone" to) an amp based on the classic Champ circuit which has no tone controls -- a Joyo Sweet Baby. I'm not quite done with the tweaking, but even now the sound is pure sonic magic.

Gibson's sell on this guitar is that it is a pure rocker -- and that is exactly right.

No, it'll never replace my Jazzmaster or Jaguar for "surf," nor likely my ES (or Tele) for Chicago-style blues, but for my own take on primitive rock it is a total winner. And it has become my daily player.

Just lovin' it!

BTW, Gibson sent me a replacement for the troublesome tuner gear. Installing it took just minutes.

To my own surprise I like the G-Force tuning system. Even visually it is now almost "normal." (I'd have loved to have it it back in my concert and studio days -- now long past.)

-don

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Old November 17th, 2017, 09:16 PM   #12 (permalink)
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That is one outstanding looking guitar, Don. And I'm very glad that you're bonding with it so well. That's really what it's all about, when the guitar "disappears leaving only the music."
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Old November 25th, 2017, 09:50 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Just want to add one point -- a very evident one when I play, but rather inexplicable. That is the feeling of solidity this guitar possesses. Truly as if carved out of a single piece of... what?

Maybe it is that maple was used for the neck which is, of course, dovetailed and glued to the thick, carved, maple top.

Whatever the reason is the guitar has no flex. And although it is not heavy -- it is 2 lbs, 3 oz, less than my late `80s Paul, and at 7lb 6 oz just 5 oz more than my bolt-on neck, flat bodied, Epi Special -- the difference in feel is noticeable. More solid feeling than either that Gibson Les Paul Standard or my (also maple over mahogany) SG Supreme.

And yes it seems to effect my playing, be it physically or psychologically.

The Les Paul CM is IMO one hellova guitar!

-don
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Old November 28th, 2017, 11:07 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Congrats!

Looks yummmmmie! Keep on Rockn'!
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