Since the arrival of a sunburst finish on its carved maple top in 1958, the Gibson Les Paul Standard has been considered the most elegant solidbody electric guitar on the planet. Occasional examples of these rare guitars from 1958-60 showed off gorgeously figured wood beneath their translucent ‘burst finishes, setting a standard for the marriage of art and luthiery. Taking this look to its extreme, the Gibson USA Les Paul Supreme marries a carved Grade-AAAA figured top and back to the classic Les Paul design, for a guitar of unprecedented beauty.
This model bears all the hallmarks of an ornate custom-made instrument, with seven-ply top binding, three-ply back binding, a bound ebony fingerboard with mother-of-pearl (MoP) split-block inlays, a showpiece headstock trimmed in five-ply binding with deluxe MoP globe inlay and “Supreme” banner, MoP Gibson logo, an engraved brass truss-rod cover, gold hardware, and even gold-tinted frets. With gorgeous flamed maple on both sides of a chambered mahogany body core, the Les Paul Supreme is nothing short of stunning, and your choice of translucent high-gloss Heritage Cherry Burst or Desert Burst finish shows off this exalted wood with real class.
More than just an incredible looker, however, the Les Paul Supreme is also a powerful tone machine. A pair of Gibson’s most popular humbucking pickups with genuine Alnico magnets yield a wide array of voices, from sultry to scorching, while traditional Gibson constructional details such as a 17-degree back-angled headstock, a PLEK-cut Corian nut, and rock-solid Tune-o-matic bridge and stopbar tailpiece pairing team up to provide unparalleled sustain and resonance.
The blending of mahogany’s rich warmth and depth and maple’s clarity and articulation has yielded a tonewood match made in heaven ever since it arrived on the first Les Pauls nearly six decades ago. This same combination is a part of what makes the Les Paul Supreme a superlative sounding guitar as well as a stunning looker, but in a gorgeous twist this model has a Grade-AAAA figured maple back in addition to its top, while its mahogany core is carefully chambered to reduce weight as well as enhance resonance.
Each piece of wood is personally inspected and qualified by Gibson’s team of skilled wood experts before it even enters the Gibson factory, and the final result of figured maple of this caliber is nothing short of stunning. The Supreme tonewoods don’t end there, either, and Gibson USA brings a Grade-A mahogany neck to the table too. A fast but comfortably rounded neck carve with a thickness of .818″ at the 1st fret and .963″ at the 12th fret and a width of 1.695″ at the nut makes this instrument sweetly playable. Other features include a 24-3/4″ scale length, 12″ fretboard radius, 22 gold coated frets, 490R and 498T humbuckers, a tune-o-matic bridge with stopbar tailpiece, Grover keystone tuners, and gold speed knobs.
The Les Paul Supreme sports two of Gibson USA’s most popular humbuckers, the 490R and 498T from the Modern Classics series. With the tonal characteristics of an original PAF, but with a slight increase in output and upper mid-range response, these are the perfect pickups for anything from classic rock to jazz fusion to more contemporary styles. The 490R is made with an Alnico II magnet for plenty of smooth vocal tones in the neck position. The Gibson 498T bridge pickup is the 490’s ideal complement, and takes the design one step further by swapping the Alnico II magnet to an Alnico V, thus making it slightly hotter with emphasis on mid-ranges and highs. The pole pieces on the 498T are also aligned a little further apart to accommodate the spacing of the strings at the bridge, which is different than the spacing of the strings at the neck.
AAAA Figured Maple Top and Back – 50’s Rounded Neck Profile – Ornate Earth Inlay made from Abalone and Brass on Headstock – Gibson’s 490R and 498T Pickups – Grover Keystone Tuners – Ebony Fingerboard with Mother of Pearl Inlays – Gold Plated Hardware
The Les Paul Supreme takes every “cherry on top” feature you could ask for on a Gibson guitar, and throws them all together in one instrument that’s just as much a piece of art as it is a functional piece of music equipment.How I chose the LP Supreme Click Here Ive reversed the magnet in the neck pick up of this one – the classic Pete Green mod – giving a distinctive ‘out of phase’ tone when both pups are selected. For more details Click Here Comlete re-wire, tone capacitor upgrade & bridge pup change Click Here