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Rating and Reviews: Gibson 2014 LP Futura Min

This hot-rodded Les Paul comes loaded with an aggressive P-90H Sidewinder pickup in the neck, a BurstBucker 3 in the bridge, and Gibson's Min-ETune system.

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"Min-ETune and the Guitar" submitted July 22, 2014

By Doug Emery
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Musical Background: Home Studio Musician
Music Style: Many forms of rock, heavy, progressive, electronic.
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SPOTLIGHT REVIEW
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Overall: I researched the Futura for 2 weeks by watching all the Youtube videos I could find. I actually played the 2014 LPM & SGM models. Originally, I thought I wanted the SG but ended up liking the feel of the Les Paul over the SG. I knew I wanted a model with the Min-ETune. I wasn't fully impressed with the pickups in the LPM model. So, because I wanted a bigger sound, I took a leap and bought the Futura without ever playing one. It was a good gamble. I am impressed with the Futura. The pickup selections are fun and they all sound good. I really like having the options with the coil tap offerings. I bought the Brilliant Red and it looks better than I imagined it would. I just really like this guitar. Just so you know; there are some YouTube videos that say you can wind the tuning keys manually. Nope. You don't want to do that. These people are wrong. You will take the chance of damaging the servos on the Min-ETune system. There is a short instruction manual you can get online that tells you how to use the Min-ETune. I highly recommend you read this quick manual before messing with the system. The unit has a bit of a learning curve, but once you understand it, it all makes sense and is easy to remember. If you don't read this short manual you could end up damaging your Min-ETune system. My review of the Min-ETune is 10/10. I love it. To be able to quickly jump to different tunings is awesome, and it tunes perfectly. I read and play guitar tab, and as you know, not every song is in standard tuning. This device has spoiled me. A tip when using the Min-ETune: Strum the strings one time directly over the rhythm pickup. Then do nothing more while the letters flash different colors. Eventually, the colors will stop flashing and you will be left with letters that are solid green and solid red. The solid green strings are finished. Strum the red strings one at a time until all are green. The system will then turn itself off. I have watched people on YouTube and in real life strum the strings more than once before the colors turn solid and the system fails. Or, they will strum more than one solid red string, instead of one at a time, and the system fails. Now that I know how to use the system, when I read complaints about it online, I can tell by their description that they are doing it wrong. Another tip when using the Min-ETune: while you are holding the guitar and you look at the interface of the system (located on the back of the headstock), you might not notice the direction used to display the strings is backwards. For example, if I were to tell you my guitar tab is in standard tuning I would write it like so EADGBe. And you would know that the thickest string is E, the next thickest string is A… and the smallest string is e (or E). Well, while you are looking at the interface (on the back of the headstock), you might not notice that it is backwards! It is written eBGDAE. Because of this, you might get confused as to which string the system is referring you to, to strum! I was confused and thought the system was broken! I then remembered a guy in the music store said, ‘he loved the Min-ETune but had to work his way around remembering the strings were written backwards!’ Seriously, the manual is real short. Just read it and test it out as you read the manual and I am sure you will like the Min-ETune. Again, I really like this guitar. So many sounds, and the guitar feels good to play. I like it.
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"My first Gibson" submitted March 14, 2014

By Philip Cauley in Douglas, GA
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Musical Background: I guess I would be a hobbyist. I play the saxophone since 5th grade, and guitars since 13, I turn 40 this year.
Music Style: I play a little of everything from classic rock and country to modern pop.
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VERIFIED BUYER
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Overall: I just got my Iverness Green Futura today. I unpacked it and checked the fit and finish, everything was perfect. The guitar plays great out of the box, but I will still take it to my local shop to fine tune the setup. This guitar sounds and plays great. After a few negative reviews I read I was worried but as soon as I strummed the first chord I was pleased. The E tune feature is very cool and worked perfectly!
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"Les Paul Futura pacific blue" submitted March 11, 2014

By Matt Hersh in Studio City, CA
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Musical Background: guitarist who has been playing for about 10 years
Music Style: Mostly heavy stuff, metal, some acoustic folk rock
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Overall: Just got my LP Futura in today! It's absolutely stunning, in perfect condition, and plays like a dream. And I didn't even have to pay for it all at once because of Pay as you Play! I could not be happier! Oh, and the ETune is so brilliant! I haven't fully figured out how to save my own tunings yet (I usually play in drop C#), but other than that it is extremely convenient.
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"Good guitar, good value! " submitted December 7, 2014

By Lawrence K in Frackville, PA
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Musical Background: 25 + years, have played professionally, now jamming just for fun
Music Style: Classic rock, metal, blues, classical
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VERIFIED BUYER
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Overall: I got this as a Christmas gift for my son. Tonight he was out so I had an opportunity to spend some quality time with this guitar and check it out. First the robot tuner the min-etune. I really wanted to hate this feature but I can't. It works. I works flawlessly and as advertised only time will tell how reliable it will be or how well it stays in tune with that system installed. As for the guitar itself, very nice overall. The finish was nice (we got the gold bullion) but don't expect a glossy finish. When they say "vintage gloss" they mean "not really any gloss". I would say it's closer to a satin finish, very low luster but nice. It's advertised as having "modern weight relief" again I would say it's still as heavy as any Les Paul I own or have played so don't expect a light weight guitar. The neck feels good and the fret board was well dressed and extremely playable right out of the box. The thing I really liked most was the burst bucker sound. This thing really growls! I compared this to my favorite Les Paul, which is a 1979 and I have to admit that the tones coming from the Futura are at least equally expressive if not better than the 79. This guitar really has character. Everything has the feel of quality, the push/push knobs work very well and the db booster was actually a nice upgrade. The Futura, might be the best Les Paul value out there right now. Great axe at a descent price.
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"So happy" submitted April 25, 2014

By Ernest Bertrand in Central, SC
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Musical Background: 20 years - then TBI/TIA/PTSD - then 5 years restudy
Music Style: old school - all styles - metal and blues are predominant
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VERIFIED BUYER
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Overall: This guitar was a great edition to the Les Paul Line. Mine. Champagne had an issue with one of the pots. zzounds sent me to Gibson and/or offered to take it back. I chose to get it fixed. Gibson sent me the the part and Mike @ Guitar Center (Greenville) fixed it (free - 1 day) - the guitar is amazing - much different from my other Les Paul's. Happy camper - USA Gibson - cant fail - go for it I'm not unfamiliar with Les Pauls (you should see my closet)
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"Sound upon sound" submitted December 3, 2014

By Earl Emery in Box Elder, SD
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Musical Background: A singer for 33 years, guitarist for 20 years, home recording and music production for 3 years.
Music Style: All rock (hard, pop, folk, electronic). All metal (all). Christian and secular. I just love music. I'll even listen to rap and r
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Overall: This guitar has more sound character than any guitar I've ever owned. It will play anything from blues, folk, rock, pop, metal.. on and on. I wouldn't say that the pick up arrangement is for the djent meshugga types, but without a doubt this guitar will rock and can roll back into a melodic bliss. Because of this purchase the P90H sidewinder has become one of my favorite pickups that is with the coil tap function.I actually sold this guitar because the les paul body shape has always felt awkward to me. I thought I could get over that fact when I bought this guitar but I couldn't. Obviously, I am not a Les Paul guy. Although because this guitar was so awesome I definitely tried. That being said, I miss the volumes of tone I could get out of this guitar, and I have since found a place for my love in a Jackson soloist. On the last note, if you are scared of this guitar because it is set up with a mini tune system… Don't be. The robotic tuners take a few minutes to learn but makes your playing adventures an ease. I had it set up where I could go from standard tuning to halfstep and then to whole step down with just a few clicks of a button. As well as, drop D and drop C. It was very nice.
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"Yes and no" submitted December 30, 2014

By Michael Leslie in Terrytown, LA
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Musical Background: Professional, 26 years playing guitar, over 20 years teaching guitar, I build and repair guitars
Music Style: rock, metal, blues, jazz, country, folk, celtic
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VERIFIED BUYER
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Overall: this is my first Gibson Les Paul...I had been avoiding them as most that I have played were uncomfortable to play and were heavy...so I see this and thought it was a bit different, I liked the features; the coil splitting and boost, P90 and Humbucker combo. The guitar arrives and I looked it over... I knew the finish was a satin finish but there are two issues with this guitar (and some others of the same model I have seen at another store). The finish is not flat, there is an orange peel effect and then the masking that was done on the fret board, the finish line, which is very pronounced, is not straight along the bottom edge of the fretboard; it should have been all the way to the top edge fo the fretboard and then the fretjob would take care of the edge when rolling the edge of the fretboard. Those two things aside, it is a well made guitar. The sounds one can achieve with it are many, rock country, blues, metal, jazz. It is a good addition to my collection as it has some sounds unavailable with my other instruments. The frets are tall and narrow, I am used to jumbo frets so that was a plus, though they still feel a bit different. The pickups split and the sounds are more akin to a telecaster than a strat, but run in series (not split), they have a nice tone to them, warm and buttery in the neck, and a bit brighter and more chunky in the bridge. Both pickups lend themselves well to lead and rhythm, cleaning up well with volume roll off. The min-Etune system is cool in its design but I have no need for something to tune my guitars for me...trying to do drop D on the fly takes some time to push the buttons and pluck the strings when with my other fixed bridge guitars, all I need to do is turn the tuner and I am there. The min-etune system doesn't seem to hold the tuning as well as I would like either (perhaps the strings from the factory were not stretched sufficiently...I have stretched them a bit here and there and they went out of tune). All that said, I am very likely to refinish the guitar myself to bring out the figure in the flame maple top(I got a nice top with this guitar) and make the finish flat. I am also very likely going to swap out the min-etune system for some standard tuners or locking tuners.
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"great modern guitar" submitted May 13, 2014

By Ernest B in Central, SC
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Musical Background: been playing guitar since the 70's
Music Style: classic rock, metal
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Overall: I was a bit concerned about all the new electronics Gibson now employs but found everything was really easy to understand and use. It came with a malfunctioning control pot. Zzounds offered to take it back but Gibson fixed it for free (only took a day at a local shop). This guitar is so versatile it's amazing. I'm in love with it.
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"SWEET GUITAR!" submitted January 11, 2015

By Michael A in Hartsville, IN
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Musical Background: 30 Yrs
Music Style: Rock
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Overall: The sound possibilities are almost endless. Setup was great right out of the box. Wasnt sure about the min-e-tune until i used it, now i want one for my other guitars.The coil tapping and 15db boost are amazing. This is my second Les Paul, but by far my Favorite. This is one SWEET guitar.
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"Les paul Furura " submitted November 28, 2014

By Johnny Hensley in Wooton , KY
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Musical Background: 40 plus year professional singer songwriter
Music Style: Blues/ rock Christian
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VERIFIED BUYER
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Overall: Been looking at this guitar for a long time, finally took the plunge and glad I did. Thanks to the guys at zZounds I got this on a payment plan that no one else offered to my knowledge. This is a great guitar looks sounds and plays great, nice set up GIBSON like it was just for me. I have found a new home Zzounds number one!!!!!!
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"Fantastic" submitted October 19, 2014

By Neil P in GLENROTHES, YT
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Musical Background: on and off for 40 years. Just starting again
Music Style: Blues and Rock
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Overall: Bought this from zzounds and had great support from the team there. I was nervous as I live in the UK and would not be collecting it for a month. I needn't have worried as when I got it it was really well packed and when I opened the case was presented with a beautiful instrument. Powered the battery for the min-etune system and tuned the guitar. Started with Drop D tuning and WOW, WONDERFUL, action great, sound fantastic. I honedtly wish I had bought it years ago.I can't give the guitar enough praise and can't thank the guys at zzounds enough for all the assistance they gave and for fantastic delivery (1day from order).
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"2014 Les Paul Futura" submitted November 27, 2014

By Robert Taylor in Lantana, FL
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Music Style: country blues and rock
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Overall: Drop dead beautiful LOVE LOVE the auto tune. First one came damaged called zZounds and replaced immediately no questions asked. I have spent several thousand dollars in the last two months and will not spend another penny with any other supplier.
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"Sweet" submitted April 3, 2014

By Pacer Clement in Pasadena, MD
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Musical Background: Hobbyist
Music Style: Blues, rock , country ,jazz
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Overall: This one awesome version of the les paul live the sidewinder pickup
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"gibson 2014 les paul" submitted February 24, 2015

By anthony v in commack, NY
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Musical Background: playing for many years ,just play for fun
Music Style: mostly classic rock ,all heavy metal,and blues
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Overall: Always wanted a les paul ,just love the guitar the min-etune i really like ,making tuning quick and easy,i can tune by ear but really like the feature of this tuning,feels great and plays great wish it had a clear coat finish,that would have made the wow factor alot higher,but overall it looks great.
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"lp futura" submitted November 30, 2014

By robert Lindsay in Lake Worth, FL
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Musical Background: musician
Music Style: A bit of everything
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Overall: Love this guitar, the purple color is awesome. Great chunk to shimmery cleans. The electronics are flawless when you find your sounds.
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"Plum Insane ! Gibson Les Paul Futura Etune" submitted October 9, 2014

By George W in Saraland, AL
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Musical Background: Jam @ home..playing for 3 years mow
Music Style: Rock, pop, country, gospel.
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Overall: This guitar is "insane"...the setup out of the box was perfect, the pickup combo is really cool also. The Plum Insane color is great, everyone who sees it loves it! The pickups proved to me that my amp just doesn't do them justice...time to spring for a Marshall
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"2014 Gibson Futura - Hope this isn't Gibson's Future..." submitted August 4, 2015

By John Gonsalves in Burlington Flats, NY
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Musical Background: Guitarist/Composer/Performer
Music Style: Rock, Hard-Rock, Metal, Blues
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Overall: Alright so, were at almost a year in and here's where I am with my Futura. OPINION: "Seems to me this crazy Gibson trend to bolster their lack-luster sales from 2010-2012 have been showing up in these "Studio" substitutes. The 50's, 50's, 70's & Future Tribute series, the Futura and the like all with price tags around a grand. Pricing started back in 2013 right below the Studio Standard pricing (creeping up in 2014), and landing in some pretty crazy pricing (especially used). IMHO these are Les Paul's in NAME ONLY. Every one that I've seen, directly out of the box, with Gibson Seal, has been in serious need of some basic work. Although the PLEX does ensure that these are (from an Engineering Standpoint) digitally perfect and identical to the model they are designed from (from my info, the Studio). They have NONE of the Historic Gibson Craftsmanship. Although (again IMHO) Gibson junk is still better than Chinese Handcrafted guitars. That being said, I hope you LOVE your's as much as I do mine "Bargain Basement Studio". Just clean it up and give it that TLC all guitarists love to give (with a few Joe Strummer exceptions)." MY EXPERIENCE: I won't bore anyone here seeking "Brag Points", so I'll make this brief. I have been playing guitar for almost 37 years (yeah old dude). My FIRST LOVE was the Les Paul. Bought 2 knock-offs back in the 70's, then decided, since I had "Paying Gigs" [think we made $150 to start], that I would go out and buy a REAL Les Paul (think it was around $500) at the time, a bit more than I could swing. So I purchased an oddity a GK-55 (one of 1,000 ever made, from what I've read. Hind-sight... lol). It was the best Guitar I had until I bought my first Custom-Built guitar in the 90's. I still think about how awesome that "Cheap Gibson" was. So when I bought the Futura, I "assumed" that the same would hold true. But, as you can read, it's no longer that simple with Gibson (sorry guys). Have to say, I actually think there are couple of things that kind of "tweak" me about it. So here goes. 1) The Finish, is just not great (going to refinish, that's pretty much a certainty)> 2) The Tronical GmbH​ tuning system has really proven to be a pretty neat toy. But, for long term play, I'm still not convinced that It's cost is justified. And have already replaced with Grovers. 3). The original Gibson Sealed & boxed unit was in sad need of TLC. Signs of Mass-Manufacturing run rampant throughout the entire build. But (As stated, it's still miles better than a Chinese built Epi - with a few notable exceptions.) 4) The Pickups are loose and flop around a lot when playing. They sound GREAT, but, again another sign of Mass-production model. 5) The electronics- this is a big one for me. I went back and forth, and back and forth many times. This specific guitar uses a PCB that all of the controls are attached to. Making it a ONE single point of failure. Not the type of thing you'd expect in a 20 year guitar. But, since I couldn't pull the back off, I had no way of knowing without buying it. Although, I'v found a bunch of articles in the past year that have helped me get a better idea about the changes in Gibson technologies. Here's what I've had issues with, so far, with Gibson's PCB unit. The "Push-Push" potentiometers (one of the primary decision makers for purchase of the Futura over others). Have all failed in one fashion or another. The Boost switch no longer functions properly, with or with out tapping it 22 times. Prior to this issue, was the issue of static. Some kind of grounding issue that causes a "Staticy" sound when you drag one hand across the finish with the other hand grounded to the strings. VERY ANNOYING especially at high volume - imagine a ground fault at 200 Watts every time you touch or remove your hands from the guitar... argghh. Not a Thousand Dollar Guitar "Feature". 6) Although overall it seems every single thing I touch on the guitar feels cheap, it DOES sound like a Thousand Bucks. And it Does play like it. But, I can buy an Epiphone for half the price, with a hundred times more quality components. What I get from the turse support rep. was to bring it into my local Gibson Dealer (35 Miles Away). Drop it off and you'll get it back, when you get it back. Although I think the Electronics are way out of warranty...? SUMMARY: Since this is ONE owners view, I ALWAYS recommend getting as much information as possible before the purchase of any guitar. But, I would HIGHLY recommend it for ANY Gibson from today's Gibson. I will admit that I have to say that just because it's inexpensive, shouldn't mean that it's cheap. A pervasive part of today's world that has seemingly infected Gibson as well. Once trust has been lost in a company, even ONCE, it may be lost forever. And since I'm an old bird, I seriously doubt that there will ever be anything that I would trust from today's Gibson, if this is what can be expected for this kind of money. Not the kind of money that interests executives, or salesmen just Joe Consumer. I guess the only thing you can get from Gibson for a thousand bucks is a student guitar, made for kids that won't know the difference. If playing is your Job, unless you make $10,000 a night and can throw around the price of a good used car for every axe you play. I have a funny feeling that a Gibson is NO LONGER the guitar you're going to want to spend you're blood, sweat & tears for. Although there are some very serious issues with this MODEL's Design, I do like the guitar and it does sound and play like a Gibson. Overall I would say that I would NOT purchase another like her. There are still some that I might give a chance to. But, I HAVE to tell you that I have found this guitar much more of a disappointment than ANY other Gibson I've owned. So Sorry I bought this, for the a couple of bucks more I could have bought an American HSS Strat., wouldn't play or sound like a Gibson, but, then again. I would've been so much happier. Again, this is NOT a brag. It's just a fact. I purchased a 2013 Fender Stratocaster Deluxe, a few months prior to the Futura. Paid about $400 more for it. And have to say that directly off the rack (out of the box) just the quality alone was literally Apples & Oranges. This was NOT due to the difference in brands, and if it's not related to the materials, is it related to the "Day" they came off the assembly line??? Or is it simply all about CARE for the products you sell & PRIDE in what you do? I don't have the answers, I do know that I've purchased my 2nd Deluxe a couple of months ago. Not because I prefer Fender over Gibson, it's because I felt ripped-off by Gibson, and like a KING by Fender.... Hope you all perform your own due diligence and ensure that you ARE getting the best guitar for you. My only real advice is to choose the Guitar, NOT the Brand. I've played 2 dozen Japanese & Korean guitars that blow my Futura clean out of the water in ALL area's, most dominate Gibson quality by miles and miles... Wish I could go back in time, but, it doesn't work that way and the consumer is helpless. So make your decision well the first time. These companies don't think like they used to, you are just a small blip and unless there are 10,000 of us complaining they won't even hear you. Seems like we're always dodging the "4 Dog Principal" and even though the Dog bit you, and you were hurt, it's NOT the company's fault. Remember you didn't have to choose their product in the first place. So get used to it, it's the new AMERICAN WAY!.... :(
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"Nice guitar but has problems with the finish." submitted September 22, 2014

By Dan C in Rockwall, TX
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Musical Background: I have been playing guitar since 1982. I play everyday and play with a band in public once or twice a month.
Music Style: Rock, blues, Christian & Reggae
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Overall: The Gibson Les Paul Futura is nice but it has some problems with the finish. The fretboard itself doesn't fit on the neck correctly. After searching Google to see if anyone else has this problem it appears to be somewhat common with American made Gibsons. This is really disappointing. The instrument is quite versatile, with the coil splitting for the bridge humbucker and the neck stacked p90.
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"Nice guitar - other than the ETune" submitted April 23, 2015

By David Massey in Charlotte, NC
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Musical Background: Hobbyist
Music Style: Rock, blues, metal
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Overall: The pickup combinator is great - P90 neck for full bodied clean tone and dirty growl and humbucker in the bridge to go full out - as others have said - like having a special and standard in one. The 15db boost is a 'nice to have' but - nothing that you couldn't live without. The Min-Etune is the guitars flaw - unless you need to jump between vastly different tunings - it just gets in the way. I spend 99% of my time in either standard or Drop-D. Changing between those manually is a PITA - Yes, you CAN manualy tune the Min -ETune, but it does so with a stiff mechanicnal whirl and small fine tunings are very difficult to achieve - as if the manual tuning kicks of an electrical motor to change the winding, with a loss of sensativity. Using the auto tune system to change between standard and drop-d takes about 30 seconds - much longer than you can do it manually on a standard guitar. In addition - the top strings have to be manually turned in the reverse order of what is normal - which is... very odd. If the Futura was available without E-Tune - it would be a keeper.
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"Terrific guitar" submitted December 17, 2014

By Ricky Oliva
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The Wow Factor
Music Style: Pop country oldies. Blues I love to play guitar
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Overall: This is the best service I have ever received. Got my new Gibson today. Only 2 days and it's in my home. Thank you so much zZounds for a wonderful Payment plan and guitar I couldn't of bought without this! Terrific pay as you play. Thank you. Loyal customer here.
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