Thursday, July 16, 2009

Billy Gibbons' Pearly Gates Les Paul - Gibson's Latest Re-Creation

Picture Source:GibsonGuitars

Gibson today announced their collaboration with Billy Gibbons in recreating 'Pearly Gates', his famed 1959 Les Paul Standard.

Each guitar features a figured maple-top, nitrocellulose finish, nickel-plated hardware, Kluson tuners, aluminum stop-bar tailpiece, Seymour Duncan Pearly Gates pickups, pigments which replicate the original's aged colors, '59 medium round profile neck and a long-tenon set-in neck.

Interestingly, Gibson first began mentioning the long-tenon joint only recently -- in their ad campaigns for Slash's signature model in 2008. It makes one wonder if this tone-enhancing feature -- there is better string-energy transference throughout the instrument with it -- was left out in Gibson's earlier attempts at the '59 reissue.

Gibson is producing 350 of these instruments of which 250 will receive Gibson's Vintage Original Spec (VOS) finish. Another 50 guitars will be aged with every ding and wear spot of the original Pearly Gates replicated exactly. To top off the collection, the remaining 50 will be similarly aged and signed and played by Billy himself.

As a side note, the price difference between the aged model, and the aged and signed model is around 10 grand -- making the value of Mr Gibbons signature the highest among the living rock legends. Hmmm..
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  1. If you have ever heard ZZ Top live, that 59 LP is a great sounding guitar. Some of the Gibson VOS reissues are nice, a few are great, some suck. The 1957 LP Junior comes to mind, although if you put a pre-1964 Gibson P90 pickup in it, it would probably sound as good as a vintage one. People pay crazy money for the Jimmy Page reissue (like $25K USD), the one Page played & signed, but it's still cheap compared to a real 1959, although I don't know if it sounds as good.

    Mark in Boston, MA

  2. Yeah Les Paul's can be spotty tone-wise. Although a friend of mine picked up a '59 reissue that was killer -- light and resonant. At a medium-gain setting I could actually hear the cloth of my trouser leg rub against the guitar and get amplified!

    For me Gary Moore's Peter Green-owned LP is the quintessential tone.



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