When talk turns to real-deal contemporary blues-rockers, Joe Bonamassa's name rides at the top of the list every time. Through a string of hard-hitting solo recordings and guest appearances and a relentless touring schedule, Bonamassa has brought searing electric blues-rock back to its American roots, and helped to redefine the genre in the process. He has won top honors on countless "guitarist of the year" polls, and #1 status on the Billboard Blues chart—and his Gibson Les Paul has ridden shotgun for the entire journey. "For me to be myself," says Bonamassa, "I have to play a Les Paul. I plug it in and it sounds like me—exactly the way I'm supposed to sound. Anything else just doesn't make sense." Previously, the Gibson Custom Bonamassa Artist model Les Paul offered players fortunate enough to be able to acquire one, and afford it, a taste of Bonamassa's personal Les Paul. Now Gibson USA gives you an easier way to lay your hands on a top-flight Made-in-the-USA guitar that nails the look, feel and tone of this demanding artist's own personal instrument: the Joe Bonamassa Les Paul ($2,199 retail). Packing the classic construction and tonewoods that have set Les Pauls apart for nearly 60 years, a pair of Gibson's most acclaimed humbucking pickups and the stylish look of Joe's own guitar, this is a great Les Paul by any standards. The mahogany-and-maple combination has always been at the cornerstone of the classic Les Paul tone, and the Joe Bonamassa Les Paul from Gibson USA stays true to tradition in grand form. A carved maple top offers clarity and sustain to the overall brew, while a mahogany body—strategically chambered to reduce weight and enhance resonance—provides all the depth and sweetness for which this legendary tonewood is known. Traditional appointments continue with the glued-in solid mahogany neck with 17-degree back-angled headstock for optimum pressure in the PLEK-cut slots of the Corian nut. A full, rounded neck profile that measures .838" at the 1st fret and .983" at the 12th offers a meaty grab in the hand, while enhancing overall resonance. A 1 11/16" width at the nut and a rosewood fingerboard with 22 medium-jumbo frets with a 12" radius further assist in a playing feel that is classic Les Paul all the way. Wrap it all up in a supremely elegant look that reflects Joe Bonamassa's own esthetic choices—with a Goldtop nitrocellulose finish complemented by "black-back" sides, back and neck, black plastic trim, mismatched gold and amber "Top Hat" control knobs, with "Joe Bonamassa" engraved in the truss-rod cover—and this is a truly eye-catching instrument. To boot it all into the tonal stratosphere, Gibson USA packs in a pair of its highly acclaimed BurstBucker™ humbuckers, a BB2 in the neck and a hotter BB3 in the bridge. BurstBuckers are Gibson's most accurate recreation of the legendary PAF ("Patent Applied For") humbuckers of the late '50s and early '60s, and include magical details like unpolished Alnico II magnets and unequal turns of 42 AWG wire on each bobbin, which results in the added "edge" or "bite" for which genuine PAFs are famous. To combat microphonic squeal at high volumes, however, these BurstBuckers are double vacuum wax potted, a must for the high-gain guitarist. Chrome kidney-button Grovers ensure outstanding tuning stability, while a chromed Tune-o-matic bridge and Stopbar tailpiece provide the accurate intonation and solidity and sustain that has made this hardware set famous for six decades. Each Joe Bonamassa Les Paul includes a Gibson hardshell case and owner's manual, and is covered by Gibson's Limited Lifetime Warranty and 24/7/365 Customer Service.Visit Gibson.com for more information.
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