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Pocketmags Digital Magazines
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Pocketmags Digital Magazines

HISTORY CLASS

Gibson Custom’s 60th Anniversary 1959 Les Paul Standard is the rejuvenated company’s latest attempt to replicate the most sought-after vintage guitar of all time. With more accessible pricing than other recent reissue models and the emphasis on attention to detail, is this Gibson’s best Burst reissue to date?
PHOTOGRAPHY ELEANOR JANE
Gibson’s alnico III Custombuckers are unpotted for a more authentic PAF-style sound

Once the beating heart of youth rebellion, rock ’n’ roll is now of pensionable age and the tools that powered its evolution are knocking on a bit, too. The Les Paul is a case in point, but Gibson has chosen the 60th anniversary of its most lusted-after incarnation to release what may be the company’s best, most vintage-accurate Les Paul Standard since Eisenhower sat in the Oval Office. Billed not just as a tribute, but a ‘clone’, this 2019 model incorporates some of the R&D that went into Gibson Custom’s Collector’s Choice and True Historic lines, saluting the instrument used to such blistering effect by the likes of Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, Michael Bloomfield and Jimmy Page. From period-correct hangtags to 3D-scanned top and neck carves and chemically recreated old-school plastics, the idea is to give Les Paul aficionados a guitar that ticks all the right boxes without costing as much as a house. Time to dig a little deeper…

WHY ’59?

For most vintage-guitar collectors, sunburst Gibson Les Pauls from 1958-60 are the Holy Grails. Over the years, Gibson’s various reissue models have encouraged guitar players to think of particular features as specific to certain model years, but the reality is that 1 January 1958 didn’t see Gibson throw away its gold paint and immediately start applying cherry sunbursts. Of the 434 Les Paul Standards that left Parsons St, Kalamazoo in 1958, approximately half were Goldtops.

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