Traditional Les Paul performance with a modern, no-frills attitude. Introduced nearly 25 years ago as a guitar for the studio musician, the Les Paul Studio has become one of the most desired Les Pauls for its tremendous harmonic and sonic capacities.
’50s Rounded Neck Profile
The traditional ’50s neck profile — found on the Les Paul Studio — is a thicker, rounder profile, emulating the neck shapes of the iconic 1958 and 1959 Les Paul Standards. The neck is machined in Gibson’s rough mill using wood shapers to make the initial cuts. But once the fingerboard gets glued on, the rest — including the final sanding — is done by hand. That means there are no two necks with the exact same dimensions.
Gibson’s 490R and 498T Pickups
The revolutionary 490T and 490R pickups (“T” for treble, and “R” for rhythm) have the traditional characteristics of Gibson’s original “Patent Applied For” pickups, but with two key modifications. First, a four-conductor wiring scheme allows the 490s to be connected to any push/pull knob, which lets players split the coils and increase versatility. These pickups also take advantage of wax potting, which does away with any air space inside the pickup, lessening the chances of microphonic feedback. The result is a humbucker with the tonal characteristics of an original PAF, with a slight increase in upper mid-range response. The Gibson 498T bridge pickup is the 490’s ideal complement. Taking the 490 one step further, the 498 swaps the Alnico II magnet to an Alnico V, thus making it slightly hotter with emphasis on mid-ranges and highs. The pole pieces on the 498T are also aligned a little further apart to accommodate the spacing of the strings at the bridge, which is different than the spacing of the strings at the neck.
22-Fret Rosewood Fingerboard
The fingerboards on Gibson’s Les Paul Studios are constructed from the highest grade rosewood and ebony on the planet. Both are personally inspected and qualified by Gibson’s team of skilled wood experts before they enter the factories to be fitted onto the neck of the Les Paul Studio. The resilience of these dense and durable woods makes these fingerboards extremely balanced and stable, and gives each chord and note unparalleled clarity and bite. The 12-inch radius of the fingerboard provides smooth note bending capabilities and eliminates “dead” or “choked out” notes. The ebony fingerboard is only available on the Les Paul Studios in Classic White or Alpine White. The Rosewood fingerboard is only available on the Studios in Ebony, Wine Red, and Fireburst.
The expert craftsmen at Gibson USA carve carefully mapped-out chambers in the Les Paul Studio’s solid mahogany back using a Computer Numeric Controlled (CNC) router before the maple top is glued on. The positioning of the routes was established after careful examination of the resonant characteristics of the Les Paul. Gibson approached this process with the awareness that every change to the formula would have repercussions on the instrument’s sound. So, in addition to relieving the stress on a player’s back and shoulder, these lighter Gibson guitars also enhance the tone palette in a manner unique only to these guitars. The results are comfortable, lightweight guitars that are acoustically louder, with increased sustain and resonance.
A closer look at the Les Paul Studio.