For nearly six decades now, Gibson’s Les Paul Standard has stood the test time as the most playable guitar in the world. While others have attempted to imitate it, none have come close to duplicating the qualities of the finest six-stringed instrument on the planet. Yet each year, Gibson attempts to improve on the world’s best guitar. Now we introduce the new Les Paul Axcess Standard from Gibson Custom.
Player’s have long asked, “Dare to be different?” The Les Paul Axcess Standard is more than just “different.” It’s the result of Gibson’s drive to build the best Les Paul Standard possible, while staying true to the design and performance of the iconic Les Pauls of the past.
The new Les Paul Axcess Standard from Gibson Custom carries all the elegant styling, fluid body lines and rocking attitude of a classic Les Paul Standard from the golden era of the late 1950s. Upon closer examination, however, the Les Paul Axcess reveals a handful of upgrades — all modifications made in the name of maximum playability and versatility.
Body and Neck
Encounter the clever structural alteration that gives this new model its name by taking the instrument in your hands and running your fingers up the neck. The Axcess sports what looks from the front to be a traditional Les Paul neck joint, yet the neck heel and portions of the back and neck joint at the upper cutaway have been contoured to provide a “heelless” feel, and an unimpeded reach right up to the 22nd fret. No more stretching against the traditional neck heel to achieve the upper-fret access that your lead style demands — the Axcess gives you that legendary Les Paul playability all the way up the neck, welcoming you to take it right over the top. The one-piece, 24 3/4" scale length, mahogany neck features a 22-fret rosewood fingerboard with pearloid trapezoid fingerboard inlays.
To further enhance playing comfort, this smoothly carved neck joint is combined with a “belly scarf” (aka ribcage contour) that allows the body of the guitar to hug closely to your own body in the playing position without digging in. Add to these contours the Les Paul Axcess’s slightly thinner body, made from weight-relieved mahogany – with a carved maple top available in Iced Tea Burst or Gun Metal Gray finishes and single-ply cream binding on body top – and you’ve got an instrument that is refreshingly light, and a pure joy to play either strapped on, or in a seated position.
The most noticeable addition is the Floyd Rose tailpiece, a unit optimized for anything from subtle vibrato wobbles to dramatic, rumbling divebombs. On the Les Paul Axcess Standard the vibrato is installed right at Gibson Custom as part of the manufacturing process, which means this potent piece of high-performance hardware interacts seamlessly with the design of the guitar. Partnered with an R4 locking nut, it also guarantees outstanding tuning stability and return-to-pitch accuracy.
Beyond all these significant considerations for playing feel, the Axcess is also geared toward optimum tone, as you’d expect from any Gibson Custom creation. Exposed-coil super hot 496R and 498T pickups in the neck and bridge positions yield numerous tonal opportunities including ultra crunch and driving singing leads, warm and fluid vocal tones, and fat, sweet growls, while an added push/pull switch on both the treble and rhythm Tone knob provides series parallel coil splitting for accurate single-coil tones without the hum and provides numerous tonal combinations.
These unique tonal combinations excel at delivering everything from singing classic rock lead tones to contemporary crunch to extremes of twang and jangle. Even the pure-nickel wound .10-.46 Gibson Vintage Strings it ships with contribute toward its rich, textured voice. Each instrument also comes with a Gibson Custom hardshell case and certificate of authenticity.