And what, pray tell, has the cat dragged in today?
The Gibson Les Paul Studio Swirl.
The Les Paul Studio Swirl is not unlike the builds of previous Gibson guitars, but rather offers more emphasis on the aesthetics which I want to liken a bit to the Flood Anniversaries Gibson doled out a few years back, and yes, even the Firebird X, though I postulate the Studio Swirl won’t garner as acerbic of a response as the latter. If it does, then let me know, because I’ll need to go get my eyes checked or something.
As I’d mentioned, the guitar itself doesn’t deviate too far from the Gibson formula that’s made them a household name. This seemingly mild-mannered rendition of the Les Paul is built of mahogany with those strategically placed chambers Gibson likes to remind us about, with a nice, carved piece of maple integrated with swirl design support technology slapped on top for good measure. To accompany this, Gibson has included a mahogany set neck with an obeche fretboard.
Now, now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re sitting there thinking to yourself, “but what about the electronics?” Well I’m here to reassure you that the Les Paul Studio Swirl has electronics, so don’t panic. The genetic engineers at Gibson have spliced guitar DNA from a mosquito frozen in amber with modern pickup DNA and developed two Alnico magnet humbuckers just for you. You get an Alnico II 490R in the neck and an Alnico V 498T at the bridge.
To add the proverbial cherry on top there are a number of smaller details worth bringing up that I’m just going to heinously cram into one ugly paragraph. Firstly the Studio Swirl is binding free. If you’re object to binding then this guitar could be for you. Regarding the 50s style neck Gibson commented, “A rounded ’50s neck profile is extremely comfortable in the hand while still fast and supple under the fingertips.” Who doesn’t appreciate a word like supple, especially when it’s used to describe a piece of wood? Anyway, back on topic. The Les Paul Studio Swirl can be yours for the asking price $1,600, which Gibson had described as “astounding.” After much deliberation I find myself in agreement.