Up for sale, a 1999 Gibson Les Paul SmartWood Exotic Series electric guitar in exceptional, 100% original condition and in perfect working order, complete with a hardshell case. Not to be confused with the later "Studio" model, this first-year SmartWood builds upon the platform of Gibson's The Paul model with sustainable exotic hardwoods. With a commitment towards sustainable forestry management, Gibson introduced the SmartWood series in 1999, featuring responsibly harvested tropical wood certified by the Rainforest Alliance. This Les Paul is crafted with a Curupay (also known as Patagonian Rosewood) top and thick slab fretboard, a mahogany body and neck, and stock pair of Gibson USA humbuckers. The exotic tonewood combo produces a resonant and harmonically rich profile that translates well through the stock humbucker pair.
The pickup pair is identical to a modern Les Paul Standard, with a 490R in the neck position and a 498T at the bridge. The humbuckers have a wide tonal palette, with the 490R utilizing Alnico II magnets akin to a PAF, offering ideal warmth and detail, while the Alnico V 498T bridge pickup is overwound, cutting through with classic Gibson sizzle and roar. This Les Paul is lightweight at 7lbs 10oz, professionally setup here at Mike & Mike’s Guitar Bar with 10-46 strings, comfortable action, and accurate intonation.
The mahogany neck has a slender C shaped profile carve with modest shoulder, measuring .810” deep at the 1st fret and .950” at the 12th. The slab Curupay fretboard is a tight-grained cut featuring pearl dot inlay and stock medium jumbo fretwire. The frets have good height and meat, with just a hint of wear beneath the plain strings on the crowns of frets 1-3, and virtually no wear further up the fretboard. The guitar plays well in all registers up the straight neck with a responsive, ideally adjusted truss rod. Per standard Gibson specs, the scale length is 24 3/4“, and the nut measures 1 11/16“ in width. The headstock features the Gibson logo inlaid in pearl, a “Smart Wood” truss rod cover and logo at the headstock joint, and gold Gibson Deluxe tuners with greened tulip buttons that turn smoothly and function as intended.
The electronics consist of the typical LP layout, with individual Volume and Tone knobs for each pickup, and clean "Gibson USA" stamps on the humbucker baseplates. The gold hardware has plenty of shine with just a hint of patina, and all of the original plastic parts are present, including the gold bonnet knobs, cream pickup rings, and switch surround. Cosmetic wear is limited to a couple faint stray scuffs on the back lower bout body edge and adjacent to the input jack. The neck profile is smooth and clean with just a few minuscule marks that are not distracting to the palm while fretting.
A black tolex hardshell case is included.