Designed for professional musicians, the 2018 Gibson Les Paul Standard guitar offers the sound and feel you’ve come to love and expect from a Les Paul model, but with improved modern performance and sound. BurstBucker Pro humbuckers provide modern and classic tones, while additional variety from comes from 4 push-pull knobs. Tones that previously eluded the Les Paul are now possible with the new Gibson Les Paul Standard 2018, eliminating the need to switch guitars. Consider also Gibson’s Ultra-Modern weight relief and a gorgeous mahogany body and highly-figured maple top; you’ll just love the 2018 upgrades Gibson presents to you in the Les Paul Standard.
The now iconic Gibson Les Paul guitar first debuted in 1952. But it wasn’t until 1958 when a new model called the Standard was introduced that the Les Paul saw its first major design change. Unlike its Gold-Top predecessor and the “Black Beauty” Custom model (both featuring the P-90 pickup), Les Paul Standards featured a highly-figured maple top and introduced the iconic Heritage Cherry Sunburst finish. Even more significant was the addition of Seth Lover’s newly-designed and patent-applied-for Humbucker pickups, offering low-noise performance and a warmer midrange punch.
Incredibly, the Les Paul Standard was initially considered a failure due to poor sales and it was actually discontinued in 1961, when it was replaced by its flat, double-cutaway descendent and former namesake now known as the SG. However, the Les Paul Standard was subsequently embraced by such artists as Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, Freddie King, Mike Bloomfield and Jimmy Page, prompting Gibson to reintroduce the model in 1968. Les Paul Standards have remained in production ever since and are now celebrated by the world’s greatest musicians as “the” standard for perfection in the ever-expanding universe of electric guitars.
Improvements for 2018
The new Gibson Les Paul Standard 2018 features the popular asymmetrical Slim Taper neck profile with Ultra-Modern weight relief — including an aluminum bridge and tailpiece — for increased comfort and playability. Impeccable looks are highlighted by the powerful tonewood combination of mahogany back and a carved maple AAA highly-figured top.
Each of the 2018 Gibson Les Paul Standard’s two BurstBucker Pro pickups can be turned into a single-coil by simply pulling up their respective volume knobs. Not only are these pickups surprisingly quiet when in single-coil mode, but when both the bridge and neck positions are selected, they are wired in series, which turns them into one humbucker that spans several inches.
No longer an afterthought, the neck pickup also plays an active role in expanding this guitar’s reach. Its tone knob can be used to determine which coil is used when in single-coil mode — one pickup, three sounds. The bridge humbucker also has a unique feature; when its tone knob is pulled up, the volume and tone controls are completely removed from the signal path, leaving only two wires between the pickup and the output jack. Gibson appropriately calls this “Pure Bypass” mode. This kind of advanced wiring breaks with tradition, providing unprecedented tonal flexibility and further expanding the Les Paul’s capabilities in modern and classic music.
The 2018 Les Paul Standard features cream binding on the body and neck, acrylic trapezoidal inlays, locking “kidney” tuners, chrome-plated hardware, and amber top hat knobs.
The Gibson Les Paul Standard 2018 also comes with a Gibson hardshell case.