What can we write about the Gibson Les Paul that hasn't already been written? It all comes down to this: Ever since its introduction in 1952, the Les Paul has had an impact on both guitar players and on music itself. What started out as Gibson's answer to the introduction of solid body guitars in 1950, turned out to be perhaps the most influential of them all. What started out as a simple gold-top guitar has turned into a veritable rainbow of colors, in configurations to meet everyone's needs, wants and yes, even budget. It's a rock and roll icon. Think '60s Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, Mike Bloomfield all the way up to Slash with Guns N Roses or Velvet Revolver. Yeah, it's really that cool. Now, here's the Les Paul Swamp Ash Studio. What makes this instrument so special is the carved swamp ash top in a Natural Satin finish. For those who don't study trees, swamp ash is an attractive wood that grows fast, so it's environmentally friendly. It also has a distinctive look that sets it apart from all the other Les Paul models.
Gibson Les Paul Swamp Ash Studio at a Glance:
In 1958, the Les Paul went from a simple gold-finished, painted top to a cherry sunburst finish over a carved maple two-piece top. The majority of the tops were actually pretty plain, while others - the ones collectors now pay astronomically high prices for - could be found with beautifully figured, two-piece flamed maple tops. Actually, it was the carved top that set the Les Paul apart from the "competition." That continued through the instrument's long and storied history. The Les Paul Swamp Ash Studio is a limited edition instrument that's equally at home in the studio or up on stage. The swamp ash looks totally different than any other wood Gibson has ever put on a Les Paul. The Natural Satin finish with chrome hardware is the perfect complement.
That Chunky '59 Profile Neck
The first Les Pauls had huge necks, but by 1960 the neck underwent several modifications until it became what's known as the slim-taper design, which clearly is for wimps, right? Okay, maybe you don't particularly want a baseball bat-sized neck, In that case, the '59 neck profile is a nice compromise. It's solid mahogany with a rosewood fingerboard and classic dot markers, so it has that warm, classic Les Paul feel while still allowing easy access to the upper frets so you can really dig into your solos!
Two Hot Humbucking Pickups
Look, when you're talking about a Les Paul, you're talking about that big, fat, smoky humbucker sound. You've got that nice chunky neck in your left hand and you're grabbing big fat power chords and soloing all up and down the fingerboard. So Gibson put two huge-sounding humbucking pickups on this baby with hot Alnico magnets - a 490R in the neck position and a 498T in the bridge position.
Gibson: Don't Mess with a Good Thing
Gibson guitars have been around for well over a century. When guitarists are looking for an outstanding combination of superb tone and playability along with great looks and gorgeous finishes, the choice for most of those 100 plus years has been Gibson. From their amazing collection of fine acoustics to the electric guitars that literally rewrote music history, Gibson guitars have been on almost every chart-topping album from artists like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Cream and Led Zeppelin. These "first call" instruments also cross an enormous array of diverse styles, from folk and country to blues and hard rock. With that resume, it's not surprising that so many of Gibson's best-selling instruments have changed little over the decades. Because there's just no sense in messing with a good thing!