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Tom Murphy Makes a Huge Impact With the New Murphy Lab Aged Les Pauls
If you have done any research on instrument finishes and aging, the name Tom Murphy without a doubt has come up in your research. Tom is known in the industry as nothing less than a guru of aging guitars.
About a year and a half ago, Tom approached the leadership at Gibson with a 59 reissue guitar he had aged. When they saw the guitar, they knew it was something special and a new department was born at Gibson... The Murphy Lab!
These guitars are meticulously aged to represent the look and feel of an authentic vintage guitar. So much so that you may have a hard time telling the difference between a vintage '59 and a Murphy Lab '59.
The Murphy lab is producing instruments with multiple levels of aging. From Ultra Light Aged to and Ultra Heavy Age. Tom describes this as similar to blue jeans. Some people like them just broken in, some ripped and torn and others like them damaged. Every player will find an Aging level they will immediately love.
Gibson Murphy Lab Les Pauls
One of the most exciting instruments getting the Murphy Lab treatment is the series of Reissues Les Pauls. From 1956 to 1960, each year is represented and every single one of them looks and feels like a vintage Les Paul out of the case. Let's take a look at each of these Les Pauls.
1956 Les Paul Goldtop
1956 was the only full year in which the Les Paul™ model featured the powerful P-90 pickups and the adjustable ABR-1 bridge setup, a combination that allowed the Les Paul model to intonate, sustain, and thrill like never before. This Gibson Custom Shop '56 Reissue captures the look, feel, and searing sound of an original 1956 Les Paul Goldtop in exhaustive detail. Featuring all solid woods, vintage-accurate gold paint, authentic replica parts, Historic narrow/tall frets, and hot hide glue construction.
1957 Les Paul Goldtop
The iconic '57 Goldtop has been the tool of choice for countless guitar heroes. Its elegant gold finish, classic solid mahogany/maple construction, and versatile humbucking pickups represent everything one could possibly need in a Les Paul™ model. This authentic recreation exemplifies Gibson Custom Shop's tireless quest for accuracy to the original year of production, from the woods to the construction to the parts and precise contours throughout. Each Custom Shop Reissue is every bit the instrument and statement piece as the priceless vintage examples, providing an ownership experience that is endlessly fun.
1958 Les Paul
The 1958 Les Paul™ Standard Reissue features all the painstaking historic construction methods of the famous '59 Reissues with a few historically-accurate spec differences that allow it to stand on its own. Like the 1958 originals, it has narrow frets which help more of the fingerboard wood to be heard in the tone profile. It also has a round, chunky neck profile for a full feel and maximum bending leverage. It has a beautiful plain maple top; each is unique and full of character.
1959 Les Paul
Gibson Custom Shop's 1959 Les Paul™ Standard Reissue is not just a tribute to the priceless original models -- it's a clone of them. From laser-scanned dimensions to chemically-recreated plastics to color-matched shades of sunburst, every element has been rendered in unbelievable detail. It represents the culmination of decades of work by Custom Shop's expert team -- a tireless quest to bring accuracy and authenticity to the hands of fans. It’s the definition of cool, and it's the best representation of the 1959 Les Paul Standard since the Gibson Custom Shop began making Historic Reissues over twenty-five years ago.
1960 Les Paul
1960 was the last year for the original Les Paul™ Standard, nearly identical to a 1959 model except for a few specs. Most notably, it features a fast-playing slim neck profile, beloved by the many famous musicians who played '60 Bursts including Eric Clapton, Joe Walsh, and Paul McCartney. It also has "reflector" Volume & Tone knobs and wider "double-ring" tuner tips. The Custom Shop 1960 Les Paul Standard Reissue is a clone of the originals from the hide-glue construction to the chemically re-engineered plastic parts. Each one is built with extreme care, reverence and attention to detail by expert Custom Shop craftspeople who are committed to providing an authentic vintage ownership experience.
Murphy Lab Les Paul Comparison Chart
Final Thoughts on the Gibson Murphy Lab Aged Les Paul
There is not much to say except WOW! These guitars are amazing recreations of the vintage guitars that collectors and musicians have desired for years. With the multiple levels of aging, all players can find a Murphy Lab guitar they will love.
Keep your eye out for even more Murphy Lab instruments coming through the door of Music Villa very soon!