Gibson Les Paul '70s Deluxe review

The '70s are back – at least that’s what Gibson would like us to think with its new era-inspired, mini-humbucker-loaded Les Paul. But does it do justice to the original?

Gibson Les Paul Deluxe
(Image: © Future / Phil Barker)

Guitar World Verdict

Although it might be perceived as somehow less ‘rock’ (although Who and Lizzy fans might disagree!), don’t dismiss these minis in any way, especially if you like the Les Paul platform but just want a cleaner voice. It’s a different flavour, pure and simple.


  • +

    Tidy build and finish.

  • +

    Big neck.

  • +

    Good playability.

  • +

    Evocative, valid sounds from the mini-humbuckers.


  • -

    It’s the heaviest of Gibson’s new Les Pauls that we’ve played.

  • -

    The reverse-tilt of the neck pickup looks wrong.

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By contrast to the mighty Standard and Custom, the Gibson Les Paul Deluxe, originally produced from 1969 until  1984, was never quite in the same classic league. It shone brightly and sold in significant numbers in its early years because the single-cut Standard had, of course, been replaced in 1961 by the very different Les Paul/SG. 

But more and more high-profile players were picking up and playing Standards during the '60s, which simply increased demand that Gibson ignored. Even when the classic shape made a comeback in 1968, it was in the form of the twin-pickup Custom and, briefly, the Goldtop P-90. 

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Dave Burrluck
Gear Reviews Editor, Guitarist

Dave Burrluck is one of the world’s most experienced guitar journalists, who started writing back in the '80s for International Musician and Recording World, co-founded The Guitar Magazine and has been the Gear Reviews Editor of Guitarist magazine for the past two decades. Along the way, Dave has been the sole author of The PRS Guitar Book and The Player's Guide to Guitar Maintenance as well as contributing to numerous other books on the electric guitar. Dave is an active gigging and recording musician and still finds time to make, repair and mod guitars, not least for Guitarist’s The Mod Squad.