Other than being known as a virtuoso guitarist and constant tinkerer, Les Paul also had a consuming passion for sonic excellence. Of course, his name graces the headstock of a certain iconic guitar that's carved its way into the rock history books, too. Gibson brought pre-production versions of some new high-end speakers to IFA 2014 that sport the great man's signature, and Gizmag stopped by for a look and listen.
The Les Paul Reference Series will come in three flavors when released later this year. They all feature a great-looking wood veneer front that's modeled off the various burst flavors of vintage Les Paul guitars. There's a 1-inch diamond composite dome tweeter front and top, and a woofer below. Each driver is powered by its own Class-D amplifier and guitar-inspired bass porting is also to the front.
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The naming convention used for each model reveals the size of each unit's low end thumper. The baby of the bunch is the LP4, which sports a 4-inch woofer. The volume dial to the rear of this speaker is joined by low, mid and high EQ knobs. There's an unbalanced RCA input and a balanced XLR/TRS input, and a power switch and a standby button. This model will carry a suggested retail price of US$599 per speaker.
The mid-sized LP6, as you might now be able to determine, packs a 6-inch woofer. The front is a honey burst rather than cherry and there are only low and high EQ knobs to the rear, otherwise this unit is pretty much just a bigger brother to the LP4. As such, the price rises to $799 each.
The Reference Series has been designed to bring out subtle performance nuances of source music with studio clarity, but perhaps adding a little more zing to the audio than a studio monitor could muster.
The acoustic guitar of the chosen track for the short demo managed to cut through the background rumblings of a busy IFA with ease, with the help of the TEAC power amp they were attached to. Though the song was unfamiliar and I'd need to get these into a much quieter environment, the experience was a rather pleasant one and I admit to being eager for release.
The daddy of the new Les Paul Series wasn't on show at IFA, but it will include an 8-inch woofer and therefore be known as the LP8. This model will cost $999 per speaker.
As the speakers on display were pre-production, some specs may be subject to change before they hit the market so Gibson is remaining tight-lipped on detailed audio specs.
Source: GibsonView gallery - 7 images