* Both guitars are now SOLD *
Well, this is it…. the one we’ve been waiting for! To celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the 1960 Les Paul, Gibson has built a limited run of reissue guitars to capture this special moment in the evolution of the electric solid body. Gibson has painstakingly replicated the original 1960 Les Paul with amazing accuracy. No aging or wear treatment has been applied; these babies look as shiny and new as the originals would have looked when they were first put on display.
For the Les Paul guitar, 1960 was a year of transition. Gibson did not wake up on January 1st and begin production of a new design. Rather, the design shifted slowly over the course of many months. This must have made the decision to reissue the Les Paul with 1960 specifications a little more complicated than some other reproductions. Imagine….
Gibson employee # 1: “We’re going to build a replica of the original 1960 Les Paul!”
Gibson employee # 2: “Great! Which one?”
Gibson employee # 1: “Well……..obviously……..ummm……..”
Not as simple as it might seem, is it?
In response to this hurdle, Gibson has made a very interesting and ultimately exciting choice. Every reissue Gibson has done in the past has been a static production: a replica of one specific guitar from one exact time. For the Les Paul 1960 50th Anniversary Edition, Gibson has chosen three designs to duplicate, each one representing a different chapter in the guitar’s evolution over the course of the year.
Version 1: The Les Paul guitars built early in 1960 were not significantly different than the Les Paul guitars built in 1959. Therefore, the first version of the 1960 50th Anniversary Les Paul has been built with the same chunky neck profile and pale cherry sunburst finish as a 1959 reissue.
Version 2: This is where the fun begins. The second version of the 1960 50th Anniversary reissue is based on the mid year Les Paul guitars. The neck was starting to get slimmer, and the cherry toned sunburst was getting slightly brighter. While neither difference is particularly extreme, they are noticeable enough for the guitar to have an identity of its own, out from under the shadow of its 1959 predecessor. This is the version we have in stock.
Version 3: By late in the year of 1960, the Les Paul’s design shift was complete. The most notable changes came in the form of a far slimmer neck profile, and the intensely bright cherry sunburst finish we’ve all drooled over so many times. These changes polarized fans of the Les Paul for the first time. To this day, the ’59 vs ’60 distinction continues to be a determining factor in many purchasing decisions. The 1960 neck profile in particular is instantly recognizable, and often sought after.
It amazes me to think that by the end of 1960, Les Paul sales were so slow that Gibson retired the model from production. Some guitars just never take off. Others are simply ahead of their time. Demand for the Les Paul forced Gibson to bring the guitar back into production in 1968. For many, however, 1960 marked the end of an era.
In total, 500 Les Paul 1960 50th Anniversary guitars will be built. Given the very limited production, we were only able to get our hands on two guitars. Both are built to the specs described in “version 2″…. the transition model. One has a jaw dropping Sunset Tea Burst finish, while the other is dressed in an ultra slick Light Iced Tea Burst finish. Both guitars are fine examples of the top notch craftsmanship, attention to detail, and historical significance we’ve come to expect from Gibson.
Oh, I almost forgot to mention… they sound sweeeeeeeet!
- Nevin Douglas
Gibson Les Paul 1960 50th Anniversary Edition – Version 2
* Top: Carved Figured Maple
* Back: Solid Mahogany
* Binding: Single-ply, Cream
* Body Type: Non-Chambered 1-Piece Mahogany
* Neck Profile: Version 2: 1960′s Neck
* Truss Rod: Traditional
* Neck Joint: Mortise & Tenon
* Fingerboard: Rosewood
* Scale Length 24 3/4″
* Frets: 22
* Fingerboard Radius: 12″
* Inlays: Aged Acrylic Trapezoid
* Nut Width: 1-11/16″
* Fingerboard Inlay: Mother of Pearl
* Headstock Logo: Period-correct Gibson Logo with “Les Paul Model” Silkscreened in Gold
* Truss Rod Cover: Vintage Truss Rod Cover
* Tuners: Version 2: Vintage Tulips, Nickel Plated Body with Alphatic Resin
* Tuning Ratio 12:1
* Bridge Type: Tune-o-matic (ABR-1)
* Material: Zinc Surrounded by Nickel Alloy
* Plating: Polished Nickel
* Tailpiece Type: Aluminum Stop Bar w/ Lightweight Nickel Plating
* Knobs: Version 2: Gold Top Hats
* Pickguard: Reissue Cream
* Toggle Switch Washer: Cream with Gold Silkscreen
* Strap Buttons: Aluminum Gibson End Pins
* Pickups: Neck Position Burstbucker 1 – Mounted with Slotted Screws
Bridge Position Burstbucker 2 – Mounted with Slotted Screws
* Magnet Material Alnico II
* Pot Type 500k Audio Taper
* Toggle Switch Switchcraft Axial Toggle with Vintage Plastic Tip
* Output Jack: 1/4″ Switchcraft
* Finish: Nitrocellulose Lacquer
* Case Type: Custom Shop Molded Hardshell
* Accessories: Certificate of Authenticity Custom Shop 50th Anniversary
* Additional Materials: Owners Manual, Lifetime Warranty Information