Mark (the manager) and Matt couldn’t have been more friendly and helpful, allowing us to grab whatever guitars we fancied and wailing away with Boogie and Engl amps in their nice Â (soundproof!) testing rooms.
Wembley Guitar Centre have recently become Gibson dealers and one model that caught our eye was the new custom shop Les Paul Axcess.
This new model has a re-sculpted “heel-less” neck joint, making the upper fret access much more comfortable compared to a regular Les Paul. The other main change is a Floyd Rose tremolo. Considered to be sacrilege in the Les Paul playing community adding a Floyd Rose does widen the appeal and options for new, more metal based players I guess but more traditional Les Paul fans will be knashing their teeth!
The body has also had a “belly cut” added on the rear, and is chambered inside, making it considerably lighter than the other Les Pauls on display.
It sounded great, with two “burstbucker” pickups and the playability was excellent, although I personally I find the painted neck not to my tastes.
These guitars are only (apparently) going to be custom shop models, so will be pretty rare and I am predicting, collectible in the future. I think the ideas for this model have come from the very exclusive Neil Schon custom shop model, which has many of the same features, albeit for an even higher price.
The Axcess isn’t cheap, at Â£2400 but it may well hold it’s value in the future as an unusual take on a Les Paul.
UPDATE: Now is appears that the Axcess is available without the Floyd Rose, which I assume, will have a lower price point than the tremelo version.
The Wembley Guitar Centre website has the full spec for the guitar here