Improving a legend isn’t easy, but it’s happened. Introducing Gibson USA's 2008 Les Paul Standard—an elegant revision of a true classic, with upgrades and new features that make it the best Les Paul Standard ever produced.
Based on consumer feedback and a drive to uphold and enhance the legacy of the Les Paul Standard, Gibson USA’s 2008 model sets a new guitar benchmark for excellence and achievement. Play the new 2008 Les Paul Standard from Gibson USA and experience the evolution of the greatest electric guitar of all time.
Excellence as standard
Top and Bottom
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).
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.
Keeping your wood looking as good as it sounds
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.
Neck and Headstock
All the precision craftsmanship you'd expect from a Gibson
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.
Set Neck Construction
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.
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.
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.
A high end rosewood fingerboard, rich, warm and very hard wearing
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.
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.
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.
Corian, it doesn't come much harder.
The nut on the Les Paul Standard is made from Corian, which is mainly composed of acrylic polymer. It’s a very durable material, delivers enhanced sustain, and holds the tolerances of the precision cuts made in the slotting process. It is installed into the top surface of the neck, butting up to the end of the fingerboard to ensure proper tone and sustain transfer.
The width of the nut on the Les Paul Standard is approximately 1.695”.
More rock than you can shake a truss rod at!
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.
Smooth control, rock with finesse
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.
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.
Classic Gibson stylings with a modern edge
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.
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.
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