Gibson Les Paul Standard
Electric Guitar Review!
It’s a middle-of-the-road, workhouse kind of electric guitar.
The Gibson Les Paul Standard is the model on which much of the company’s reputation now rests.
Some reviewers call the recent versions of the Standard, including the 2010 Limited, a new benchmark by which other electric guitars can be measured, but experienced guitarists know better than that.
The Standard is something old, not something new.
And that’s just the point.
Standards were first introduced in 1958 when Gibson decided to change the gold finish it has been using on Les Pauls since they were introduced in 1952 to the now-famous sunburst finish it was already using on other electrics and its line of archtops.
These Les Pauls would look different, so they needed a different name, and Standard is the relatively unimaginative moniker they created.
Only 1,700 Standards were produced between 1958 and 1961 when the Les Paul endorsement deal lapsed and this model morphed into the Gibson SG.
Essentially, the features of the original Standard were the same as the Goldtop model.
PAF humbucker pickups were used, and tune-o-matic bridges with Bigsby vibrato tailpieces were put on when the Kahler Tremolo System was not.
Vintage models made to the original specs have been offered by Gibson, but since 2008, the Standard is back in the current company lineup.
The most notable features of the new Les Paul Standard are the asymmetrical neck profile designed to make playing more comfortable and the weight-reducing chambers intended to ease the burden of holding the thing on stage all night.
Les Pauls are known for being heavy guitars, but the routed-out chambers inside the mahogany slab take away some of the burden.
Some reviewers say the chambers improve sound, too, while others don’t see any difference.
All of them point to the usual strengths of the Les Paul line; especially its unmistakable humbucking sound that no other maker perfectly matches.
While the 2008 Les Paul Standard lists at less than $4,000, a Standard 2010 Limited is priced at over $6,000 and includes Robot Guitar automatic tuning and other features.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, a low-end Epiphone model is available for less than a grand.
The Gibson Les Paul Standard is the backbone for the current Les Paul line -- the mid-priced instrument upon which the past and the future of the venerable line rests.
And it can hold the weight of the world just fine.
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