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Gibson 2019 Les Paul High Performance II

Discussion in 'Guitars' started by Heiko Jakob, Sep 10, 2021.

  1. Heiko Jakob

    Heiko Jakob Active Member

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    I was asked by @crossroadsnyc to do a review on my 2019 Gibson Les Paul HP-II, so here we go ...

    It was my first real Gibson Les Paul, and it's my most stunning looking guitar, but it's a Gibson, so it's not without flaws. The flame top and the chrome hardware are gorgeous, but because of the carved top and the lack of a po*er c**p, the nut on the pickups selector switch comes lose and you can't tighten it properly because it would damage the finish.
    Gibson2019LesPaulHPSFBody.jpg

    The headstock, with one of my favourite pieces of hardware on the Les Paul, that's unique to the high performance models: The titanium zero fret nut. You can switch thru string gauges by adjusting the nut (took me a while to find the right string gauges for me, currently using Gibson 11 to 50) while with a traditional bone nut, you can change string gauges only in one direction and only once.

    Gibson2019LesPaulHPFSHeadstock.jpg

    The zero fret nut together with the Grover locking tuners it gives you perfect tuning stability.

    Gibson2019LesPaulHPSFTuners.jpg

    The rear view exposes the 3 piece body and the access cuts on the heel, as well as the beer spoiler cut to make the belly fit.
    Gibson2019LesPaulHPFSBack.jpg

    It has the 'HP-4 high performance circuit' that i don't use, because it's a Les Paul and if i want to use single coil i'd rather grab me a Strat or a Tele then fizzling around with this stuff. The Gibson branded CTS pots are kind of crap too, because one has dead spots when turning and the other one crackles extremely loud when turning. Until i had my Plexi it didn't matter, because it was always on 10 ...

    Gibson2019LesPaulHPSFElectrocavity.jpg

    The binding on the body and the exposed maple are just amazing.

    Gibson2019LesPaulHPSFExposedMapleTop.jpg

    But the fretwork and the neck binding are 'sub optimal'. Scratch marks and polish residue that i can't get off the binding and even when Gibson said the guitar was plek'd i highly doubt it. It took me a long time to set up the neck and bridge properly to get rid of the fret buzz while maintaining a acceptable string action. Fret 21 and 22 and just a bit too high from the measurements i took. It's still okay, but it has a notable higher string action then my other guitars.
    Gibson2019LesPaulHPSFFretwork-I.jpg Gibson2019LesPaulHPSFFretwork-II.jpg Gibson2019LesPaulHPSFFretwork-III.jpg

    Overall it's a great guitar, but i have to admit, it's not my favourite amongst my herd of guitars, but it's the beauty queen.
    Gibson2019LesPaulHPSF.jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2021
  2. crossroadsnyc

    crossroadsnyc Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    Thanks for making this thread, man ... I think she's a beauty!

    Are the 5 switches underneath that diagram cover?
     
  3. Heiko Jakob

    Heiko Jakob Active Member

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    Yep. The 5 micro switches are beneath the cover, but the 4 pots are also push/pull type pots for coil split/tap.
     
  4. PaulHikeS2

    PaulHikeS2 Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the review and it's certainly a pretty guitar.

    I wonder if a very thin fiber or soft plastic washer would help keep the switch nut in place? That's something I would try if it were mine as that would be annoying.

    You mention adjusting the nut for different string gauges. How is that done? I have no experience with that type of nut.
     
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  5. Heiko Jakob

    Heiko Jakob Active Member

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    It's only my favourite guitar by looks, so I don't play it very often. Therefore it doesn't annoy me as much.
    The two small black dots are allen screws, that allow for adjusting the height of the zero fret, and the slots behind the zero fret are V-shaped to fit any string gauge, because it has only to provide lateral stability.
     
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  6. Vinsanitizer

    Vinsanitizer ✴✴✴✴✴✴✴✴✴✴✴ ✴- - - - - TEH - - - - -✴ ✴✴✴✴✴✴✴✴✴✴✴ Double Platinum Supporting Member VIP Member

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    It's nice. Unfortunately, if it isn't already scratched under the selector nut, it likely will be just from hand-tightening it over time. Deserves a chrome choker pip, but even if you can find one they're made of flat metal, so instead of following the contour of the body carve it would likely dent it on two sides when you tighten the nut. You might just use a clear plastic one if you can find that. Or, you could just slap a white one under there to keep it from scratching until you get the one you want. Just be aware(!) that you could be getting into a bit of a mess, because if I know Gibson, they got that nut adjusted to suit the thickness of the top just right; meaning, that if you try adding a choker pip you may have to get into the back and adjust that whole nightmare too to compensate for the added thickness, and next thing you know a 2 minute job is taking all day and you've got three screwdrivers and a pair of needle-nose pliers holding shet together and you're all pissed off.

    Been there. Done that. Signed the T-shirts.

    Pots: I find Gibsons CTS pots ok, they just need contact cleaner. Happens to 'em all sooner or later, even new guitars.

    Pleking: I always found pleking to be nothing more than marketing BS. Problem is, it seems to me, that Gibson doesn't hire luthiers, they hire worker-bees. Everyone's replaceable mentality. A real fret expert would never need a plek machine. Another problem is that Gibson ships, what, worldwide? There's no way of knowing exactly how a wooden fretboard/neck will change in a given climate once it leaves the factory-state. Wood is inconsistent. It might be strong in one spot and weaker in another. Pleking just says, "it was within a tolerance when it left the factory". That way, they lose the majority of the old liabilities they had to deal with. "Pleking" to me just means "reasonably adjusted". Also, "high performance" my @ss.

    .
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2021
  7. Kinkless Tetrode

    Kinkless Tetrode Well-Known Member

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    Just a touch of blue thread locker off the tip of a tooth pick might keep the switch nut from backing off.
     
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  8. ricksdisconnected

    ricksdisconnected Well-Known Member

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    on little things like this, add the locker. let it dry good. then thread on the nut.
    the locker just takes up space between the threads and this gives you opportunity to "adjust the grabbing power" if you need to before hand. if you need to remove a lil bit.
     
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  9. Marshall Stack

    Marshall Stack Well-Known Member

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    There is a 2018 model for sale here locally for $2200. Looks nice but I'm not sure if that is what I want yet..
     

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