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The End of an Era, the Beginning of a Legend

At the start of 1960, the Les Paul retained the same specs as its predecessor from 1959, although it did receive the official “Les Paul Standard” designation in place of the former “Les Paul Model” (a name that its headstock nonetheless still retained). Among these details were the full, rounded neck profile, top-hat control knobs, and Heritage Cherry Sunburst or Heritage Dark Sunburst finish, and these are the very characteristics with which the Custom Shop has imbued Version 1 of the 50th Anniversary 1960 Les Paul Standard, which might be confused for a 1959 Les Paul Model if not for the 1960 serial number stamped into the back of the guitar’s headstock at the dawn of this new decade, and the R0 serial number of this 50th Anniversary model.

Version 2 represents the neck’s transition from full to slim—a progression that was gradual, rather than sudden—in the form of a Custom Shop 50th Anniversary 1960 Les Paul Standard with thinner, yet still somewhat rounded and “elliptical” neck profile, based on painstaking research and detailed scans of several transitional ’60s Les Pauls that were studied by the Custom Historic and Engineering team. To represent this alteration visibly, Version 2 will be offered in two classic “faded” ’Burst colors: Light Iced Tea and Sunset Tea Burst. The final version of the Custom Shop 50th Anniversary 1960 Les Paul Standard is represented by a guitar with the slim-taper neck for which late-’60 Les Pauls have become famous, along with the double-band tuners and gold top-hat control knobs with the “new” silver inserts that were fitted to these guitars.

Furthermore, Version 3 accurately represents the changes in the finishing process at Gibson in the latter part of 1960, in its more vibrant, colorfast Cherry Sunburst, a finish that stood the test of time somewhat better than many of the sunbursts that preceded it.

In addition to these pertinent details, the Custom Shop 50th Anniversary 1960 Les Paul Standards pack all the tonal nuances and unparalleled playability that really helped to make these guitars legendary in the hands of artist like Eric Clapton, who wielded a slim-necked 1960 Les Paul Standard on the most influential blues-rock album of all time, John Mayall Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton, often referred to as the “Beano” album. The time-tested tonewood combination of mahogany and maple, the classic duo of Tune-O-Matic bridge and stopbar tailpiece, and a pair of Gibson’s lauded PAF-style BurstBucker humbucking pickups all work toward a tonal splendor that no other guitar can equal.

Add to these the Custom Shop 50th Anniversary 1960 Les Paul Standards’ long-tenon neck joint, traditionally back-angled headstock, and thin, breathable nitrocellulose finish, and you’ve got a guitar that sings and resonates like no other. A total of only 500 Custom Shop 50th Anniversary 1960 Les Paul Standards will be produced in a blend of all three versions. All will include a Custom Shop hardshell case and a 50th Anniversary Certificate of Authenticity.

Body and Finish
Crafted from a book-matched figured maple top and a lightweight one-piece mahogany back, these guitars are finished in low-build nitrocellulose lacquer, and are available in a range of colors to suit each Version, including Heritage Cherry Sunburst, Heritage Dark Sunburst, Light Iced Tea Burst, Sunset Tea Burst and Cherry Sunburst.

In every way, these details represent careful study of several actual 1960 Les Paul Standards that were examined in the course of reproducing the Custom Shop 50th Anniversary 1960 Les Paul Standard.
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Body
Neck and Headstock
The guitar’s neck and headstock are made in the classic tradition of the original 1960 Les Paul. Carved from a single piece of quarter-sawn mahogany, and topped with a rosewood fingerboard, the design incorporates Gibson’s lauded 17-degree back-angled headstock, which contributes greatly to the instrument’s resonance and sustain.
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Neck and Headstock
Pickups and Electronics
The Custom Shop 50th Anniversary 1960 Les Paul Standard carries a complement of pickups and hardware that accurately reflect the original equipment on the most desirable Les Pauls ever made.

A pair of BurstBucker pickups captures that highly sought-after “PAF” style tone, while quality CTS potentiometers with “bumblebee” tone caps translate the signal in pure vintage style.
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Pickups and Electronics
Hardware
As befits a Custom Shop Anniversary Les Paul of this caliber, the Custom Shop 50th Anniversary 1960 Les Paul Standard is equipped with Gibson’s most accurate, period-correct reproduction hardware, including Kluson-style tuners, a Tune-o-matic bridge and stop-bar tailpiece both made from the correct metals and plated in nickel, and Gibson’s original aluminum strap buttons, all of which contribute to the vintage look and tone of the instrument.
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Hardware