Gibson releases Les Paul Studios for a new era

The Les Paul Studio has historically been Gibson’s workhorse guitar. Ostensibly designed for studio musicians, it eschewed much of the decoration and binding that appears on Gibson’s fancier models but what it lacked in frou frou it made up in quality.

The company just announced a new version of the Studio. Called the Gibson Les Paul Modern Studio, the guitar comes in red, satin black, and white as well as a “Manhattan Midnight Satin” finish that is available at Gibson’s flagship store in Nashville.

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For years, the Les Paul Studio has been the choice of countless guitarists who appreciate the combination of an Ultra-Modern weight-relieved mahogany body and maple cap paired with simplified cosmetic appointments. This cherished model has now been refined as the Les Paul Modern Studio.

The guitar goes for $1,999 and is available now on

What is the history of the Les Paul Studio?

Interesting the Studio was a reaction to cheap guitar imports in the 1980s. The Gibson Les Paul Studio model, introduced in 1983, marked a significant moment in the history of electric guitars, offering a more affordable alternative to the traditional Les Paul Standard without sacrificing the quality and sound that had made the Les Paul iconic. This move was in response to a growing demand for a high-quality instrument that was accessible to a broader range of musicians. The Studio model stripped away some of the cosmetic features of the higher-end Les Pauls, such as body and fingerboard binding, which were primarily aesthetic and contributed significantly to the cost of the instrument. Instead, it focused on maintaining the high-quality construction and sound Gibson was known for, featuring the same carved maple top and mahogany body, and the humbucking pickups that defined the Les Paul sound.

The introduction of the Les Paul Studio was part of Gibson’s strategy to regain market share and relevance in the early 1980s. At the time, the company was facing stiff competition from more affordable Japanese imports, which offered similar quality and playability at a lower price point. The Studio model was a direct counter to these trends, providing players with an authentic American-made Gibson guitar that was both accessible and professional. Its simpler aesthetic appealed to a new generation of guitarists who valued substance over style and sought the Les Paul’s legendary tone without the need for elaborate visual appointments.

Over the years, the Les Paul Studio has undergone various modifications and updates to keep up with the changing tastes and technologies in the music industry. While the basic premise of the model has remained the same, focusing on core Les Paul features and tones, Gibson has introduced multiple variations, including different pickups, neck profiles, and finishes. These changes have allowed the Studio model to remain versatile and relevant, catering to a wide range of musical genres and styles. The model has been embraced by musicians across the spectrum, from rock and blues to jazz and beyond, showcasing its adaptability and enduring appeal.

Today, the Gibson Les Paul Studio continues to be a popular choice for both professional musicians and serious hobbyists. Its legacy as a workhorse guitar that combines quality, playability, and affordability has cemented its place in the Gibson lineup. The Studio model stands as a testament to Gibson’s commitment to providing musicians with high-quality instruments that inspire creativity and expression, regardless of genre. It exemplifies the Les Paul spirit, offering the guitar’s classic sound and feel to a wide audience, and ensuring the legacy of one of the most iconic electric guitars in music history endures.

John Biggs

John Biggs is an entrepreneur, consultant, writer, and maker. He spent fifteen years as an editor for Gizmodo, CrunchGear, and TechCrunch and has a deep background in hardware startups, 3D printing, and blockchain. His work has appeared in Men’s Health, Wired, and the New York Times.

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