22-Fret Granadillo Fingerboard
The fingerboard on Gibson’s Les Paul Studio Swamp Ash is constructed from granadillo. Granadillo is non-porous, straight grained, very dense, and has a ringing warm tap tone that is well balanced. 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.
Traditional Hand-Carved Top and Swamp Ash Body
One of the features that never changes on a Les Paul is the marriage of a hand-carved top and solid wood back, and the Les Paul Swamp Ash Studio is no different. Swamp ash has long been a favorite choice for solid body guitar construction, and the Les Paul Studio offers a unique template to exert the wood’s distinct characteristics. A harder, more uniformly dense wood, swamp ash has huge, open pores with both hard and soft layers within each ring of the tree. Considered very resonant across the entire frequency spectrum, this unique wood allows the Les Paul Swamp Ash Studio to produce clear bell-like highs, distinct mids and robust lows, resulting in one of the more resounding Les Pauls ever built. And like all the woods used by Gibson, each piece of swamp ash is personally inspected and qualified by Gibson’s team of skilled wood experts before it enters the Gibson factories. Inside the Gibson factories, humidity is maintained at 45 percent, and the temperature at 70 degrees, which insures all woods are dried to a level of “equilibrium,” where the moisture content does not change during the manufacturing process. Consistent moisture content means that every Gibson guitar will respond evenly to temperature and humidity changes long after it leaves the factory.
There’s something about playing a guitar with perfect tone, balance, and weight. One of the ways the expert craftsmen at Gibson USA achieve this equilibrium is by carving carefully mapped-out chambers in the Les Paul’s solid mahogany back using a Computer Numeric Controlled (CNC) router before the maple top is glued on. 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.