Gibson CEO Cesar Gueikian has spent much of his time on social media this year hinting at numerous upcoming product releases – such as Murphy Lab acoustics and an all-new body shape – but one particular tease from August was especially enticing for electric guitar fans.
That’s because Gueikian posted a picture of 15 unfinished, incomplete Gibson Les Pauls that clearly bore the distinct and recognizable fretboard of a Les Paul Supreme. The caption – “A Supreme Friday to be at our Craftory” – was also a bit of a giveaway.
Now, just over a month after that pic was published online, the company has officially launched its new-for-2023 Gibson Les Paul Supreme, reissuing the cult classic single-cut that first arrived 20 years ago.
It's certainly been a long time coming, with Gibson itself noting on its website, “Two decades after it first appeared, the Les Paul Supreme is back.”
The launch not only confirms one of the brand’s worst-kept secrets, but also clears up some questions that eagle-eyed guitar aficionados had in the wake of Gueikian’s post.
Namely, there is indeed an amped-up three humbucker-loaded model – dubbed the Les Paul Supreme Exclusive – which is joined by a standard dual-pickup option.
Moreover, the conventional Les Paul Supreme faithfully continues the legacy of the original by flashing an AAA-figured maple top (the Exclusive variant has a plain top, as our initial observations suggested) with both models carrying a new headstock inlay, said to be inspired by a design from the ‘40s that had lain dormant in the Gibson archive.
Oh, and both Supremes also offer a Modern Contoured heel for slightly better upper fret access.
Taking things one model at a time, the Gibson Les Paul Supreme further pays homage to its forebear with a mahogany body (tweaked to offer Ultra-Modern Weight Relief), mahogany neck and ebony fretboard, the latter of which has mother of pearl Super Split Block inlays.
As for playability and ergonomics, a SlimTaper profile and compound radius is recruited, as are 22 medium jumbo frets and a Graph Tech nut.
Tones come by way of a Burstbucker Pro neck humbucker and Burstbucker Pro+ bridge humbucker, both of which – just like the original Supreme – are wired to the two push/pull coil taps on the volume pots, and phase and bypass switches on the two tone controls. All hardware arrives finished in gold.
Fireburst, Dark Wine Red and Translucent Ebony Burst are the finishes that have been made available for the Les Paul Supreme.
The Black Beauty-esque Les Paul Supreme Exclusive, on the other hand, is decked out in a flat Ebony finish, which is complemented by a trio of gold-covered Burstbucker humbuckers. The electronics here are similarly versatile, with three pickup-specific volume knobs offering push/pull coil split options.
Despite its bolstered electronics, the Exclusive version is priced the same as the Standard models, with each new guitar weighing in at $3,999.
Head over to Gibson for more information.