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When Nitrous Oxide Meets The Guitar
No, Gibson didn’t actually include nitrous oxide in their newest addition to their Les Paul Studio guitars. Instead they simply expanded the line into a league of guitars that are as eye catchingly vibrant as they come. In fact after you’re done jamming with your band you can tether one of these to your back for a safer late night jog home as to ward off any cars that might otherwise muscle into you.
Speaking of automobiles according to the press release I’m transcribing into a presumably more enjoyable read muscle cars of generations were at the heart of the aesthetic inspiration for the resoundingly bright appearances of the Nitrous line. Surgeon General’s warning: wear sunglasses when looking directly at the guitars.
The Woods and Hardware
The Nitrous Les Paul features Gibson’s trademark mahogany body with a maple top with a mahogany set neck with a 22-fret rosewood fretboard. In the name of weight reduction the body has been routed out in a webbed pattern.
The trapezoid inlay decorated neck, using Gibson’s 60s SlimTaper profile, is thinner at the first fret measuring in at .800” at the first fret and gradually builds up a thickness of .875” at the twelfth fret. The headstock is loaded with a set of Grover kidney tuners with 14:1 ratio. The body uses a Tune-O-Matic bridge and a stopbar tailpiece.
There are four finishes available including orange glow (no, not the stuff Billy Mays sold. This one could also be used as a traffic cone), vibrant red (designed to confuse the color blind between this and the orange glow), electric lime (because who doesn’t like biting into a piece of fruit with a heafty electric current surging through it?), and cosmic cobalt (now with extra soothing cosmic radiation).
While the general build of Gibson’s Les Pauls is fairly consistent from one model to the next the pickups are what really set one guitar apart from another. In the Nitrous’ case it uses a 490R humbucker in the neck position and a 498T in the bridge position. The 490R is modeled after vintage PAF pickups and uses an Alnico II magnet. The 498T is designed to deliver a hotter signal using an Alnico V magnet. Single-coil tones are readily accessible with the push/pull coil-splitting control and thanks to the reverse-wound/reverse-polarity setup in the neck pickup the electronics retain their ground thus minimizing the hum otherwise heard in single-coil pickups.
The pickups are controlled with a three-way pickup selector switch and matching pairs of designated tone and volume knobs for each pickup.
All four variations hold an MSRP of $2,199 and include a black hardshell case. As of this writing Gibson has yet to divulge a release date nor has the actual retail price been unveiled.