Despite Gibson CEO and Chairman Henry Juszkiewicz's recent assertion that "I don't think our consumer actually wants an inexpensive Gibson," the company's latest product launch for 2012 sees the popular, comparatively affordable Les Paul Studio revamped and updated.
As far as specifications are concerned, the new 2012 Studios feature granadillo fingerboards, modern weight-relieved bodies and push-pull coil splits on both humbucking pickups.
Here's the official word from Gibson:
"Ever since its arrival in 1983 the Les Paul Studio has been a firm favorite with hard-working guitarists the world over, establishing itself as an undeniable 'modern classic' through several variations of the breed. Stylishly revamped for 2012, the new Les Paul Studio from Gibson USA continues to offer the tonal power and unparalleled quality and playability that first made the Les Paul Standard legendary 60 years ago, dressed in a stunning new range of finish options that are sure to get you noticed.
"All that, and the Les Paul Studio's stripped-down ethos still brings it in at a remarkable price for a genuine American-made Gibson Les Paul. All of the classic tonewoods are here, along with the acclaimed Gibson set-neck construction for optimum resonance and sustain.
"To top it off, the guitar has a pair of genuine Alnico-magnet humbucking pickups for the perfect marriage of power and depth, with push/pull coil splitting for versatile single-coil tones. All this, and the Les Paul Studio comes in your choice of Ebony, Fireburst, Inverness Green, Pelham Blue, Radiant Red, Silver Pearl, Vintage Sunburst or Wine Red finish, all in high-gloss nitrocellulose lacquer. The Ebony and Silver Pearl guitars pop with black plastic trim, while other finish options wear classic vintage-style cream, and all are available as either right- or left-handed instruments.
"Just because the Les Paul Studio dispenses with frills like body and fingerboard binding doesn't mean it misses a single trick where tone and playability are concerned. Like the most revered Les Paul Standards of all time, the Les Paul Studio starts with the legendary tonewood combination of a mahogany body with solid carved maple top.
"Together, these woods offer outstanding tonal depth and richness from the mahogany, with superb clarity and 'snap' from the maple. The new, modern weight relief in this guitar's mahogany body enhances resonance while also reducing the guitar's overall weight considerably.
"And even in this more affordable instrument from Gibson USA, the glued-in solid-mahogany neck is cut to the superior 'quarter-sawn' grain orientation for excellent strength and optimum resonance transfer between neck and body. The neck is now carved to a slim, fast '60s-style profile that measures .800-inch deep at the 1st fret and .875-inch at the 12th, and is topped with a rich brown fingerboard made from granadillo.
"The guitar has a PLEK-cut Corian nut, and, to further maximize vibrational energy, Gibson includes its legendary tune-o-matic bridge and stud-mounted wraparound tailpiece, with high-quality vintage-style TonePros tuners up at the top.
"Plug in the Les Paul Studio through your amp of choice, and this superb blend of tonewoods and stellar hardware rams it all home through a pair of Gibson USA's acclaimed Modern Classics pickups. Made with an Alnico II magnet and coils wound to the specs of original PAF humbuckers, the 490R in the neck position provides creamy, warm tones with outstanding articulation.
"Made with an Alnico V magnet and extra turns of wire for added punch and grind, the 498T in the bridge position excels at wailing leads and thundering crunch tones. To increase the guitar's sonic versatility exponentially, Gibson USA now includes independent coil-split switching on the Les Paul Studio: pop up either pickup's volume control to access a new frequency tuned coil tap for a fatter single coil tone and better output balance, with hum canceling when both pickups are combined, and low-noise operation when used individually.
"Each guitar includes a Gibson hardshell case and owner's manual, and is covered by Gibson's Limited Lifetime Warranty and 24/7/365 Customer Service."
US RRP is $2199 but street prices should be considerably less. Visit Gibson for more.