Anyone Familiar with the Les Paul CM?

Discussion in 'Les Paul Discussion Page' started by duceditor, Oct 23, 2017.

  1. duceditor

    duceditor New Member

    I did a search and found no references.

    After years of principally using Teles for my original, somewhat retro, rock I over the last year or so have been turning more towards P90 equipped Junior and Special models. And although I won several nice Gibsons with HBs, these guitars have been Epi models -- inexpensive ones with bolt-on necks.

    How amazingly good these 'cheapies' are has amazed me. But deep down I wished to find a low priced Junior that was a "real" Gibson with a set neck.

    Such alluded me until yesterday when I happened upon Sam Ash's super sale on left over Les Paul CMs -- a single PUP, thin-bodied, model that unlike the Junior has a two-piece (mahogany/maple) sculpted body.

    Alas it comes with a Classic `61 HB pickup, not a P90, but rather enthralled by its other design aspects, to say nothing of the price (Only $399!) I placed an order for one.

    I'll know on Thursday whether it is what I am hoping it to be, but any experience or knowledgeable comments here will sure be appreciated as I await its delivery! :)

  2. Infant

    Infant Active Member

    Congrats on the new guitar Don. I think you'll like it!

    It basically looks similar to my 2014 Melody Maker with a single HB rather than 2 -P90s. The 2014 MM had the satin lightning bridge, mahogany body/ carved maple cap, thinner body, belly cut (which I need!), rosewood board, plekked etc and weighs in at about 7lbs. Noticeably lighter than a regular LP. If this is anywhere near as good as my MM, and I don't know why it wouldn't be, you will be very happy.
  3. duceditor

    duceditor New Member

    Thanks Rob!

    I'm sure hoping you are right.

    My two concerns are the finish. -One I expect I will either love or totally hate. And the HB instead of a P90.

    My `89 Paul has what I expect are 490 type HBs. Too over driven for me. And my `04 SG Supreme has `57 Classics -- much more to my liking, but hey, I already have that sound.

    The `61 sounds in description like it may be a great addition. But P90s are really my go-to these days. Just so delightfully "in your face" and so responsive to the pick.

    Anyhow, I'll report back. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  4. SAguitar

    SAguitar Active Member

    Congratulations From the specs, it sounds like a great little rocker. Let us know what you think of it when you get it.
  5. duceditor

    duceditor New Member

    Okay, she arrived today.

    In short, I am in love. Yes, truly.

    The size, the weight, the finish, the feel, the sound. This is likely to be one of my "go to" guitars.

    I plugged her in to my Champ clone Sweet Baby amp, without even changing the settings from those I have been using with a P90-equipped Epi Special and she sounded great. Dropping the volume on the amp made it even better (I use a soak between the power output and the speaker, so the amp's volume control really has become a gain control.

    I'll try her with other amps and setting in the days ahead.

    What a winner. So glad I "chance it." :)


    Attached Files:

  6. SAguitar

    SAguitar Active Member

    Gorgeous, that plank really has some attitude.
  7. duceditor

    duceditor New Member

    This being my first new Gibson in overt ten years, and coupled with the fact that it was a 2015 that had sat in a ware house for some time, I was wondering how its quality would be. (Oh, the stories on the web about newer Gibsons!)

    In fact I was amazed with how she looked and felt right out of the box. Set up was good. Even the strings were good! The little things that I generally expect to have to do -- like set intonation -- were on the money.

    One flaw that I will need to have corrected is with the G-Force system. The "A" string tunes perfectly on auto-tune but rather oddly turning the peg for manual tuning on that string does nothing.

    Gibson, of course, will fix it -- there's a one year warranty on electronics -- but its kind of too bad.

    Would I send the guitar back for this? No way! :) The more I play her the more I love her. And the G-Force will quickly be addicting. Push a button, strum, she's in tune. As amazing as auto-focus cameras!

  8. Infant

    Infant Active Member

    Looks like a serious rocker! Don't always believe what you read on the web when it comes to reviews. People will write reviews when they aren't pleased whereas 99% of the time, the ones that are happy are usually too busy playing their guitars to sit down and write one.

  9. duceditor

    duceditor New Member

    A good and timely reminder! :)

  10. jtees4

    jtees4 Member

    Nice and simple....perfect for rock! What's great about the robots is 1. they work, but my issue was I didn't like the way you have to wind the string etc. I wish they could have just had a top thumb screw. 2. If you decide to change tuners, there are no screw holes, so whatever you want can be fitted and screwed in....and no extra holes will show like a normal replacement. Good luck!
  11. duceditor

    duceditor New Member

    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.)

  12. SAguitar

    SAguitar Active Member

    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."
  13. duceditor

    duceditor New Member

    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!

  14. kaicho8888

    kaicho8888 Member


    Looks yummmmmie! Keep on Rockn'!
  15. shupe13

    shupe13 Member


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  16. duceditor

    duceditor New Member

    Okay, several weeks have passed by and my "relationship" with this guitar continues to deepen. Wow. Wow Wow!

    Enough so that I am deeply committed to wedding it to a perfect amp, and here is what I came up with:


    Its a Joyo Sweet Baby, 5 watt "Champ"-type amp (with the all-important tube rectifier) driving a 12 inch Celestion speaker through a closed back cabinet.

    The Celestion is a Seventy-80 -- a fairly low-end driver that sonically is a pretty close match to the 8 inch Celestion in the Sweet Baby. But its size, and the closed back cabinet, allows it to have the one quality that Champ amps typically lack: A tight, deep, bottom.

    I am using an equalizer to balance the sound 'just so' and have gotten pretty close to my ideal -- lacking only that there is a bit too much top end brittleness that needs to be tamed if I wish to call it perfection.

    The speaker and cab, though, only have a few hours on them. A complete break-in may be all it takes to get there.

    In any case this is to me the machine -- the guitar and amp -- for 'classic' (i.e., "primitive") rock. Just gotta love it!~

    (and I do)



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