Gibson Les Paul Studio
Gibson Les Paul Studio

Les Paul Studio, LP-Shaped Guitar from Gibson in the Les Paul series.

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King Loudness 08/13/2011

Gibson Les Paul Studio : King Loudness's user review

« Ebony fretboard LP Studio »

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The Gibson Les Paul Studio is widely known as a very stripped down but still great sounding version of the venerable Les Paul guitar. Many of the core features are still the same such as the mahogany body and neck, the maple top, the dual humbuckers and the Gibson craftsmanship in the good ol' US of A. It features a mahogany body, mahogany neck, an arched maple cap, an EBONY fretboard with trapezoid inlays, Kluson tuners, a tune-o-matic bridge with stopbar tailpiece, dual Gibson humbuckers (490R/498T or Burstbucker Pros depending on the model), and the typical Les Paul cosmetics and construction, minus binding. Though the lack of cosmetics may be a turn off for some, the stripped down ethos and lower price tag of the Studio make it a viable option for many younger players who want the real deal but can't swing $2,000+ for a new Standard. This guitar features an ebony fretboard which is a cool change, offering a slightly brighter and harder tone than the rosewood. Plus it looks just like Randy Rhoads!


All in all the design of the Les Paul Studio is really simplistic and to the point, which helps to create a pure and true sounding Les Paul for not a whole lotta dosh. Since 2006 they've been chambered and this causes them to be much lighter and easier to hold for longer periods of time. The resulting tonal change makes the guitar sound a bit more akin to a hollowbody like a Gibson ES335, which some players may or may not like. The neck is a beefy but manageable '50s fat profile, perfect for really digging in and grabbing notes by the skin of their teeth.

Getting a good sound out of this guitar is simple enough. Gibsons don't have or offer a whole lot of different switching or control options... it's two humbuckers. So as a result you're getting a only a select few tones. The pickups suit a wide variety of styles from jazz to metal and they work quite well in this guitar. Like I stated above, the ebony fretboard of this guitar helps to change the sound somewhat. It's a bit more like an LP Custom (a bit brighter and not quite as warm sounding) as opposed to the Standard, which is a cool change.


I've tried this guitar with a few different Fender and Mesa Boogie amplifiers. It is a fairly versatile guitar considering the limited switching options that you get. The neck pickup works really well for clean jazzier tones or some early Cream esque bluesy goodness. The combination of two pickups provides some hints of Fender tones overall... while it's not quite a Tele, it has that sort of idea behind it if you dial it in right. The bridge pickup is fairly bright and it works very well for many rock rhythm and lead, both clean and distorted. I've heard these guitars with both the 490/498s and the BB Pros and they both work very well in this guitar tonally. This guitar works for that slightly heavier tone that LP Customs are known for as well because it's very similar feature wise (minus the binding).


All in all I think the Gibson Les Paul Studio is a wise choice for anyone looking for a great Les Paul with the feel and tone of the higher end models on a budget. They're about $1,300 new which is a good price considering the value to quality ratio on a guitar like this. It comes with a nice Gibson USA hardcase as well. I personally prefer the unchambered Les Pauls myself, but it's all a matter of opinion. I prefer this model over other Studios and the combination of the white finish with gold and ebony makes it really classy.