The Gibson Logo
The most innovative and revolutionary stringed instruments of all time have carried the name Gibson—the Les Paul, the ES-335, the Explorer, the Flying V, the SG. The list goes on and on. There is no mistaking the classic, hand-crafted mother of pearl logo, inlayed into a pressed fiber-head veneer that is then glued to the face of the mahogany headstock. A thin coat of lacquer finishes the process. It is the most recognizable logo in all of music, representing more than a century of originality and excellence. There is simply no equal.
- The Gibson Logo
The angled headstock is another example of Gibson’s industry-changing way of thinking. Every Gibson headstock is carved out of the same piece of mahogany as the neck then fitted with Gibson’s traditional wing blocks. It is not a “glued-on” headstock, and the process takes craftsmanship, time, and effort. But the rewards are worth the effort. The headstock is carefully angled at 17 degrees, which increases pressure on the strings and helps them stay in the nut slots. An increase in string pressure also means there is no loss of string vibration between the nut and the tuners, which equals better sustain.
- Angled Headstock
Adjustable Truss Rod
The adjustable truss rod is a Gibson innovation that revolutionized the guitar. Before this ground-breaking discovery in the early 1920s, the truss rod was used only to strengthen and stabilize the neck. By making it adjustable, the truss rod now allows a guitar to be set up using a variety of string gauges, as well as string heights. This easily accommodates any style of playing, and allows a limitless range of set-up options. And by placing it at the base of the headstock, the adjustable nut is easily accessible, even while the strings are still on the guitar.
- Adjustable Truss Rod
New Asymmetrical Neck Profile
The 2008 Les Paul Standard debuts Gibson’s newest neck profile—an asymmetrical design that makes it one of the most comfortable and playable necks ever offered on any guitar. The new ergonomically-correct profile is tapered, and designed to be thicker on the bass side, and thinner on the treble side, closely outlining the natural form of the hand as it grips the neck. The 2008 Standard necks are machined in Gibson’s rough mill using wood shapers to make the initial cuts. Once the rosewood fingerboard gets glued on, the rest—including the final sanding—is done by hand. That means there are no two necks with the exact same dimensions. So while it still has the basic characteristics of its respective profile, each neck will be slightly different, with a distinct but traditional feel.
- New Asymmetrical Neck Profile
22-Fret Rosewood Fingerboard
Rosewood has always graced the fingerboards of the world’s finest stringed instruments, including many of today’s Gibsons. The fingerboards on Gibson’s Les Paul Standards are constructed from the highest grade rosewood on the planet. The rosewood is personally inspected and qualified by Gibson’s team of skilled wood experts before it enters the factories to be fitted onto the neck of the Les Paul Standard. The resilience of this dense and durable wood makes these fingerboards extremely balanced and stable, and gives each chord and note unparalleled clarity and bite. The 12-inch radius of the fingerboard provides smooth note bending capabilities and eliminates “dead” or “choked out” notes, common occurrences on fingerboards with lesser radiuses.
- 22-Fret Rosewood Fingerboard
Alloy Fret Wire
The fret wire on the 2008 Les Paul Standard is a combination nickel and silver alloy (approximately 80 percent nickel and 20 percent silver) specifically designed for long life and superior wear. The 2008 Standard’s fret wire is Gibson’s “medium/jumbo” fret wire, which is first shaped by hand then cut to an exact 12-inch radius. After hand pressing it into the fingerboard, a machine press finishes the job to eliminate the gap between the bottom of the fret wire and the fingerboard.
- Alloy Fret Wire
The classic trapezoid inlay is one of the most distinguishable features of many traditional Gibson models, including the Les Paul. A figured, swirl acrylic gives these inlays that classic “pearl” look. They are inserted into the fingerboard using a process that eliminates gaps and doesn’t require the use of fillers.
- Trapezoid Inlays
Like all classic Gibson guitars, the necks on Les Pauls are distinguished by one of the more traditional features that have always set them apart—a glued neck joint. Gluing the neck to the body of the guitar ensures a “wood-to-wood” contact, no air space in the neck cavity, and maximum contact between the neck and body, allowing the neck and body to function as a single unit. The result? Better tone, better sustain, and no loose or misaligned necks.
- Set-Neck Construction
Plus Maple Top
Ever since the introduction of the Les Paul—and especially the models from Gibson “Golden Era” of the late 1950s and early 1960s—one of its most distinguishing features has been the unique, highly distinct patterns of the flame maple top. The “Plus” maple caps on the 2008 Les Paul Standards emulate the tops of the Les Pauls from yesteryear (Ebony and Goldtop models are fitted with “Plain” maple tops).
- Plus Maple Top
Chambered Mahogany Body
Every new 2008 Les Paul Standard will benefit from Gibson’s proven chambering technique, which leaves each guitar with perfect tone, balance, and weight. Prior to gluing the maple cap on top of the mahogany body, the expert craftsmen at Gibson USA carve out carefully mapped-out chambers in the body using a Computer Numeric Controlled (CNC) router. The positioning of the routes was established after careful examination of the resonant characteristics of the Les Paul. Gibson approached this process with the awareness that every change to the formula would have repercussions on the instrument’s sound. So, in addition to relieving the stress on a player’s back and shoulder, these lighter Gibson guitars also enhance the tone palette in a manner unique only to these guitars. The results are comfortable, lightweight guitars that are acoustically louder, with increased sustain and resonance.
- Chambered Mahogany Body
Pickups: Gibson Burstbucker Pros
Gibson’s drive to recapture the magic of the original “Patent Applied For” humbucker pickups of the 1950s culminated with the introduction of the Burstbucker line in the early 1990s. In 2002, Gibson followed up this innovative accomplishment with yet another breakthrough in pickup design—the Burstbucker Pro, designed specifically for the new Les Paul Standards. The Burstbucker Pro features an Alnico V magnet (instead of the Alnico II), which offers slightly higher output and allows preamps to be driven a little harder to achieve a more natural break-up. Like all Burstbuckers, the Burstbucker Pro has asymmetrical coils—true to the original PAFs—which supply a more open sound. The Burstbucker Pro Neck is wound slightly less than the original PAFs, while the Burstbucker Pro Bridge is slightly overwound for increased output. The Burstbucker Pro pickups are also wax potted to allow loud volume pressures with minimal feedback.
- Pickups: Gibson Burstbucker Pros
TonePros Locking Tune-o-matic Bridge and Locking Stopbar Tailpiece
The Tune-o-matic bridge was the brainchild of legendary Gibson president Ted McCarty in 1954, setting the standard for simplicity and functionality that has never been bettered. The 2008 Les Paul Standard features TonePros locking Nashville Tune-o-matic in a chrome finish, which has saddle adjustment screws on the pickup side, and pre-notched saddles for quick installation. The chrome locking stopbar tailpiece is also from TonePros. These parts come with locking studs designed to secure both components firmly to the body so that there is no lean, yielding a great union between the strings and body which results in excellent tone and sustain.
- TonePros Locking Tune-o-matic Bridge and Locking Stopbar Tailpiece
Applying a nitrocellulose finish to any Gibson guitar—including the Les Paul Standard—is one of the most labor-intensive elements of the guitar-making process. A properly applied nitro finish requires extensive man hours, several evenly applied coats, and an exorbitant amount of drying time. But this fact has never swayed Gibson into changing this time-tested method, employed ever since the first guitar was swathed with lacquer back in 1894. Why? For starters, a nitro finish dries to a much thinner coat than a polyurethane finish, which means there is less interference with the natural vibration of the instrument, allowing for a purer tone. A nitro finish is also a softer finish, which makes it easily repairable. You can touch up a scratch or ding on a nitro finish, but you can’t do the same on a poly finish. In addition, a nitro finish is very porous in nature, and actually gets thinner over time. It does not “seal” wood in an airtight shell—as a poly finish does—and allows the wood to breathe and age properly.
- Nitrocellulose Finish
To see the process of putting the binding on a Les Paul Standard is to really appreciate the effort and attention that Gibson puts into each instrument. A lone craftsman carefully glues and fits two pieces of binding around the entire body of a Les Paul. He then winds a single, very long piece of narrow cloth around the entire body until the entire surface is nearly covered. The body is then hung to dry for a full 24 hours before it is unwrapped and moved into the next phase of production. It has been done the same way for over 100 years. Some question the value of adding binding, but Gibson believes it is a fundamental part of our rich guitar-making history. The binding adds elegance to the Les Paul Standard, and helps protect the edges of the body. The neck binding is installed over the fret ends, which eliminates sharp fret edges and provides for a smooth neck and easier playability.
- Body Binding
The 2008 Les Paul Standard features all newly designed controls, including custom-made, solderless potentiometers. These new potentiometers deliver accuracy and high reliability, while giving the Standard ’08 a new level of sonic clarity and intensity never before seen in a Les Paul.
- Custom-Made Potentiometers
Locking Neutrik Jack
Neutrik has been making superior electronic interconnection products since 1975, making them the logical choice to supply the performance safeguarding jack in Gibson’s 2008 Les Paul Standard. Like many Neutrik products, the jack in the 2008 Les Paul Standard is manufactured from strong, high-grade thermoplastics and housed in a rugged diecast nickel shell. A retention spring inside the jack ensures optimum grip on any guitar cable, thus avoiding the chance of lost connection.
- Locking Neutrik Jack
Locking Grover Tuners
The 2008 Les Paul Standard is outfitted with locking tuners from Grover, which deliver ease of use through a standard tuner and positive locking mechanism that securely locks each string in place. Simply insert each string through the string hole, turn the dial on the bottom of the tuner to lock the string, and begin tuning. Each string can be tuned to pitch in less than one complete revolution of the post. These Grover machine heads feature completely sealed components with an improved 18:1 tuning ratio.
- Locking Grover Tuners
Revolutionary Plek Set Up
The 2008 Les Paul Standard is one of the first models from Gibson USA to utilize the revolutionary Plek machine in setting up the guitar. The Plek is a German-made, computer controlled machine that carefully measures each fret, along with the fingerboard height under each string, and then automatically dresses each fret, virtually eliminating string buzz and greatly improving the overall playability of the guitar. This pioneering process does in minutes what it takes a luthier several hours—sometimes even days—to accomplish. Every fret is accurately aligned, and the guitar is properly intonated, leaving the instrument “Plek’d” and amazingly playable.
- Revolutionary Plek Set Up
New Enlarged Neck Tenon
The 2008 Les Paul Standard sports a revolutionary enlarged neck tenon designed by Gibson’s team of pioneering engineers. The expanded neck tenon features an innovative interlocking joint that allows the neck to be dropped into the body from the guitar’s top side, as opposed to sliding the neck in from the rim. When the glue is added, a solid unyielding bond is created that maximizes the wood to wood contact between the neck and the body, offering increased stability and superb transfer of vibration for enhanced tone, improved sustain, and superior resonance. It is also the largest neck tenon in the history of the Les Paul.
- New Enlarged Neck Tenon