When we looked at the left handed guitars available from Gibson last year we had four different models to choose from. This year Gibson has upped the ante and is bestowing us with six lefty models, most of which are brand new offerings!
Gibson has ditched some of their more pricey lefty guitars in favour of more affordable models which should appeal to a wider demographic. But don’t fret if you preferred the higher spec guitars offered last year, there will no doubt still be a few hanging in guitar stores the world over.
Update : This article has been updated August 2011 to reflect new models and finishes which were introduced during summer NAMM.
Gibson Les Paul Studio Lefty Guitar
Since 1983, Gibson USA has been proving not only that less is sometimes more, but also that less can sometimes knock your socks off – when it comes in the form of the popular no-nonsense Les Paul Studio model, at least. Originally designed as a model for studio artists but adopted wholeheartedly by countless players of all stripes, the Les Paul Studio combines stripped-down appointments with the full tonal splendour and unrivalled playability of a Les Paul Standard at a significant financial saving.
Finishes: Ebony, Wine Red
Gibson Les Paul Studio ‘60s Tribute Guitar
The Les Paul Studio ’60s Tribute’s Worn Gold Top, Worn Honey Burst and Worn Ebony finishes nail the appearance of three popular “Standard” and “Custom” finishes from 1952-60, while its unbound body and neck and chambered mahogany body with carved maple top keep it in line with the simplicity that thousands of Les Paul Studio players already cherish. A Nashville Tune-o-matic bridge, stopbar tailpiece and Kluson-style tuners keep it all rock-solid and resonant and its gnarly P-90 tone stays true to the Les Paul style.
Finishes: Worn Honey Burst, Worn Gold Top, Worn Ebony
Gibson Les Paul Traditional Southpaw Guitar
One of the key ingredients in both the sound and feel of the Les Paul Traditional is its rounded-’50s profile neck. Carved from solid quarter-sawn Grade-A mahogany, this neck transfers more string resonance to the body than thin necks, while offering the ergonomic, palm-filling grip that countless players have come to love. Taking all this sweet tone from wood to wire is a 57 Classic humbucker in the neck position and an overwound 57 Classic Plus in the bridge, two of Gibson’s most popular pickups. They are designed along the lines of great vintage PAF-style humbuckers, but rounded off with some added versatility for the contemporary player, thanks to coils that are evenly wound and wax potted, giving the 57s a smooth overdriven tone and outstanding resistance to microphone feedback squeal. Keeping it all tight and singing at the body end is the classic pairing of Tune-o-matic bridge and stopbar tailpiece; while a dense Corian nut and Kluson-style Tone Pros tuners do their thing at the headstock. Put it all together, and it just could be the Les Paul of your dreams.
Finishes: Heritage Cherry Sunburst, Ebony, Wine Red
Gibson Les Paul Standard Left Handed Guitar
Improving a legend isn’t easy, but it’s happened. Introducing Gibson USA’s 2008 Les Paul Standard—an elegant revision of a true classic, with upgrades and new features that make it the best Les Paul Standard ever produced. Based on consumer feedback and a drive to uphold and enhance the legacy of the Les Paul Standard, Gibson USA’s 2008 model sets a new guitar benchmark for excellence and achievement.
Finishes : Heritage Cherry Sunburst, Ebony, Wine Red
Gibson Les Paul Deluxe GoldTop
Throughout the classic-rock era of the 1970s, if you mentioned “Les Paul” to a guitarist they usually heard “Deluxe.” Made in the image of the original single-cutaway set-neck Les Paul Standard of 1958 to ’60 but with a pair of mini-humbucking pickups for the brighter, more cutting tone that many players were demanding, the Les Paul Deluxe ruled the roost for the better part of a decade, and found an enduring place in the hearts of guitarists and collectors alike that has held fast ever since.
Finishes : Goldtop
Gibson SG Special ‘60s Tribute
Since its arrival on the scene in 1961 (originally as the Les Paul/SG Special), Gibson’s dual-horned, double-cutaway SG has been an iconic rock axe, and has become known for solid performance and tonal versatility that is unparalleled in the guitar world. The SG Special ’60s Tribute is based around the same revered tonewoods, glued-in neck, and Alnico-magnet P-90 pickups that made its predecessor legendary, with the same SlimTaper™ ’60s neck profile that is behind some of the fastest-playing guitars in history. Stripped-down and ready for business in your choice of Worn Cherry, Worn Natural or Worn Ebony, the SG Special ’60s Tribute has the look and feel of a well-played friend right out of the gigbag, and comes in at a price that any hard-working player can afford.
Finishes: Worn Natural, Worn Ebony, Worn Cherry
Gibson Custom Shop Left Handed Guitars
Aside from these USA models the Gibson Custom shop also produces a small number of extra left handed guitars every year. I emailed Gibson to find out exactly what was available and even the customer service agent found it difficult to ascertain any concrete information. Here is a copy of what I was told…
I’ve spoken with the Custom Shop, and they indicated that very few of the models are produced regularly in left-handed- only the most popular historic Reissue Les Paul models, though many of the guitars are available by special order. Unfortunately, the Explorer, Firebird, and Flying V Custom Shop models are not available in left-handed, in addition to the Artist Signature models. As there is not an organized list of left-handed models, please feel free to let me know if there were specific models you were interested in, and I’ll be more than happy to check on them for you.
So what can you take from that? If there is a guitar on their site that you like, drop Gibson a line – you might just be able to get one after all…
The Gibson site hasn’t changed since we looked at it for last year’s Gibson Left Handed Guitars article. It still needs to make the left handed search a little more obvious, but hey, at least it’s there! They also need to give it a little update as it still doesn’t show certain lefty models, and still shows one model as being available left handed when it is not. It’s a shame to see that there are no left handed Gibson bass guitars either…
For more information:
Gibson Guitars Website