Released midway through 2010, the Les Paul Studio ’50s Tribute packed the stripped-down appeal of the long-running Studio line in a great ’50s-themed model with P-90 pickups that was a major hit with players everywhere, and sold out quickly as a result. Now the Les Paul Studio ’50s Tribute with Humbuckers from Gibson USA captures the same popular look and feel, updated with the PAF-style humbucking pickups that hit the Les Paul model later that decade. This is sure to be one of the most desirable formats introduced to the Les Paul Studio series since its inception in 1983. Available in great played-in-looking, grain-textured satin nitrocellulose finishes—Satin Ebony, Satin Gold Top with dark back and Satin Vintage Sunburst and Satin Honeyburst with dark back—the Les Paul Studio ’50s Tribute with Humbuckers marries the features of the legendary original Les Paul Standard to the no-nonsense styling of the Studio range. It spares elements like body and fingerboard binding and inlaid logo to bring you significant savings, and has an extremely broad appeal as a result.
A solid, carved maple top and chambered mahogany body give the Les Paul Studio ’50s Tribute with Humbuckers the same tonewood combination that has been helping Les Pauls rock for nearly 60 years, giving you all the tonal depth and richness married to clarity and articulation that has aided in making Les Paul the world’s favorite single-cutaway electric guitar. The guitar’s glued-in neck is crafted from solid quarter-sawn mahogany and carved to a rounded ’50s profile that is superbly comfortable in the hand. It carries a baked maple fingerboard with 22 medium-jumbo frets and a 12-inch radius for easy, choke-free bending. Other period correct details include a 17-degree back-angled headstock for optimum string pressure in the PLEK-cut slots of its Corian nut, and a 1-11/16” width that gives you plenty of room to move around the ’board.
Of course a major part of the appeal of the Les Paul Studio ’50s Tribute with Humbuckers lies in the pickups that help to give it its name, a pair of popular units from Gibson USA’s Modern Classics series. The 490R in the neck position is made with an Alnico II magnet and wound to the specs of original PAF humbuckers, for smooth tones with outstanding note definition. The 498T in the bridge position carries an Alnico V magnet for added punch, and slightly overwound coils for more bite and bluster from the “lead” setting. It’s all anchored in traditional ’50s style, naturally, with a Tune-o-matic bridge and stopbar tailpiece at the body end, and a set of vintage keystone style tuners with green tulip keys up at the headstock.