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Meet Your May Limited Run Series Guitars

Gabriel J. Hernandez

The Les Paul Florentine with Bigsby Tailpiece

Using Gibson’s Les Paul Standard as its base design, the new 2009 Limited Run Series Les Paul Florentine with Bigsby Tailpiece combines the Les Paul’s iconic form with avant-garde features that keep it one step ahead of everything else. The standard Les Paul cutaway gives way to the wider and deeper Florentine Cutaway. First used in 1902 on Gibson’s O-style guitars, and traditionally found on legendary Gibson models such as the Byrdland, the ES-175 and the ES-295, the Florentine Cutaway comfortably enhances your reach to the higher register of notes. Like all the guitars from the Limited Run Series, only 350 of these unique Les Pauls will be produced and distributed. Each one comes with a black Gibson hardshell case and a special Limited Run Series certificate of authenticity.

The Bigsby Vibrato Tailpiece

The Les Paul Florentine’s most prominent feature is its chrome Bigsby vibrato tailpiece. Essentially the same design as when it was introduced in the mid 1940s, the Bigsby vibrato tailpiece model B7 allows you to bend the pitch of notes or entire chords for vintage-style vibrato. It has been a fixture on many Gibsons, and was named after its late inventor, Paul A. Bigsby, who sold his Bigsby Guitar company to former Gibson President Ted McCarty in 1966. This classic piece of guitar hardware performs flawlessly thanks to several added enhancements — including a white graphite nut for smooth string action, a set of locking Grover tuners to help keep the strings in tune, and a Schaller roller bridge to help the strings return to the original tuning after using the Bigsby vibrato.

BurstBucker Pro™ Pickups

The BurstBucker Pro™ features an Alnico V magnet (instead of the Alnico II), which offers slightly higher output and allows preamps to be driven a little harder to achieve a more natural break-up. Like all BurstBuckers™, the BurstBucker Pro™ has asymmetrical coils — true to the original PAFs — which supply a more open sound. The BurstBucker Pro™ Neck is wound slightly less than the original PAFs, while the BurstBucker Pro™ Bridge is slightly overwound for increased output. The BurstBucker Pro™ pickups are also wax potted to allow loud volume pressures with minimal feedback.

Traditional Les Paul Features

The rest of the Les Paul Florentine with Bigsby Tailpiece is a traditional Les Paul. The body consists of a solid mahogany back topped by a AA-grade maple top with single-ply antique crème binding. The Florentine also sports the traditional Vintage Sunburst finish, and the neck is a Les Paul mahogany neck with Gibson's new asymmetrical profile and rosewood fingerboard. 

Click here to find your nearest authorized Gibson dealer to experience the new Les Paul Florentine from Gibson USA.

Take a closer look at the Les Paul Florentine here.



The Tobias Growler Bass from Gibson USA

Started by famed luthier Michael Tobias in the mid ’70s, Tobias basses have always found their way into the hands of world-renowned bassists like Bootsy Collins, Jimmy Haslip, Dave Pomeroy, Dave Baumberger, David Bonk, Dean Back, Mario Guini, Vernon Heard, Duane Propes, Kern Brantley, Del Atkins and Volley Craig. Thirty-plus years later, the quality and precision of a Tobias bass has reached new heights in the new 2009 Limited Run Series Tobias Growler from Gibson USA.

One of the Most Resonant Basses in the World

Starting with its solid, multi-piece swamp ash body, the Tobias Growler is one of the most resonant basses ever made by Gibson USA. Swamp ash tonewood is characterized by huge, open pores and soft layers, which give each new Growler a deep reverberation and fullness of sound across the entire frequency spectrum. The Growler’s tone is hard to match. Like all the guitars from the Limited Run Series, only 350 will be produced and distributed. Each one comes with a black Gibson hardshell case and a special Limited Run Series certificate of authenticity.

Electronics and Controls Bring Out Diversity

The Tobias Growler gets its power from one of the best bass pickups in the business. A quad-coil, 5-string bass pickup from Bartolini delivers an extended and more resonant frequency range, along with more air and definition at the top end without sacrificing its lows and low mids. The pickup is cast in epoxy to remove any unwanted feedback and microphonics. A separate pickup-blend control lets you sweep between all four of its coils for unlimited tonal possibilities. Additional controls include the volume knob, and separate bass, mid and treble controls.

Subtle Changes, Big Rewards

The new Tobias Growler features two key differences. First, Gibson improved the Growler’s truss rod by making it bi-directional. The new, fully adjustable “Quad Bass” truss rod allows players to adjust the Growler’s neck in both directions, a feature that integrates well with what is arguably its best overall enhancement — the revolutionary Plek system setup. The Plek is a German-made, computer-controlled machine that carefully measures each fret, along with the fingerboard height under each string, and then automatically dresses each fret, eliminating string buzz and improving overall playability. Every fret is accurately aligned, and the bass is properly intonated, leaving the instrument “Plek’d” and amazingly playable.

Precision Glued Neck Joint

Still another key feature of the Tobias Growler is the change from using a bolt-on neck to gluing it in place. Gluing the 34”-scale length neck to the body of the bass ensures an exact “wood-to-wood” contact, leaving no air space in the neck cavity to ensure maximum contact between the neck and body. The neck and body function as a single unit, resulting in better tone and longer sustain. The neck is constructed from pure maple with purple heart laminate for a creamy feel and comfortable playability. It is matched with a 24-fret rosewood fingerboard without inlay markers or binding.

Click here to find your nearest authorized Gibson dealer to experience the new Tobias Growler from Gibson USA.

Take a closer look at the Tobias Growler here.

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