The arrival of the Gibson Les Paul Studio Electric Guitar in 1983 offered guitarists all the essential elements of a Les Paul Standard, including a carved top and humbucking pickups. Its simple yet elegant design quickly helped it become the most popular model in the Les Paul Series. Cutting-yet-rich tone—the hallmark of the Les Paul—pours out of the 490R and 498T Alnico II magnet humbucker pickups (BurstBucker Pro on faded models), which are mounted on a carved maple top with a mahogany back. The Les Paul Studio Electric Guitar includes a Gibson hardshell case (Faded and satin finish models come with a gig bag) and a limited lifetime warranty.
Body and Finish A solid, carved maple top and chambered mahogany body give the Les Paul Studio the same tonewood combination that has been helping Les Paul Standards rock for nearly 60 years. And each of its four available nitrocellulose finishes makes for a stunning looking guitar, even while its no-frills approach eliminates body binding and pickguard.
Mahogany is a medium-dense wood with excellent resonance and superior sustain, and it offers a rich, round, warm tone, but with plenty of high-end sheen and good mid-range presence. Add a solid maple top, and the guitar’s tone is enhanced with added clarity, sustain and definition. The body’s chambering also enhances its mellow acoustic resonance, and adds further air to the midrange content.
Pickups Gibson’s 498T and 490R pickups (“T” for treble, and “R” for rhythm) have the traditional characteristics of the original “Patent Applied For” pickups of the late 1950s, with a few upgrades. These pickups take advantage of wax potting, which does away with any air space inside the pickup, therefore 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 490R’s ideal complement.
Taking the 490R one step further, the 498T is wound a little hotter and also swaps the Alnico II magnet for an Alnico V, giving it more punch and greater emphasis on midrange and highs. The 490R/498T is one of the most versatile humbucking pickup sets available. In the neck position, the former yields juicy, warm vocal tones with outstanding clarity, while the latter in the bridge position excels at everything from bright jangle through a clean amp to wailing overdrive with near-infinite sustain through a high-gain amp. Selected together, the pair gives you everything from funky to greasy, depending upon amp and effects settings.