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Gibson Les Paul Axcess Standard

March 11, 2013
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Meet the most versatile solid-body electric guitar in Gibson’s roster. 

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Few people realize it, but the Gibson Custom Shop in Nashville has quietly released the most substantial, practical, and useful modernization of the Les Paul guitar: the Les Paul Axcess. Even fewer people are aware that this model is available with a traditional stop-tail bridge and tailpiece (the Floyd Rose version seems to get featured in photos more often).

So what makes the Gibson Les Paul Axcess such an impressive instrument? The answer is two-fold: comfort, and versatility.

Seen from the front, the Les Paul Axcess looks like most other Les Paul guitars. To see what makes it truly special, you need to turn it over and look at the back.

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The back of the guitar features 2 contours not usually found on a Les Paul. The first is a belly-contour, similar to a traditional Stratocaster. This makes the Les Paul Axcess feel instantly comfortable against your midsection. Next, the Les Paul Axcess features a beautiful contour at the neck heel, allowing your hand to flow smoothly up the fingerboard without hitting any uncomfortable edges when playing the upper frets. The neck-to-body joint is seamless and smooth.

Rounding out the modifications to the traditional design is a chambered mahogany body, slightly thinner in depth than a typical Les Paul.  The Axcess is a strikingly comfortable guitar to hold, making it a joy to play.

In addition to the physical upgrades, the Les Paul Axcess features some impressive tweaks under the hood. Utilizing a combination of high output 496R and 498T pickups, the guitar also features a pair of push/pull volume pots allowing the neck and bridge pickups to be individually coil-tapped. The great thing about using high-output humbuckers with coil-taps is that they allow you to get single-coil tones without sounding too thin or wimpy. All this makes the Gibson Les Paul Axcess an incredibly versatile instrument. You can go from searing lead tones to fat rhythm crunches to bright, clear clean sounds full of chime and detail.


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