Gibson Custom's Collector's Choice™ series is devoted to painstaking replication of choice original vintage Les Pauls. As a result, these guitars bring players and collectors closer to owning a specific, existing vintage Les Paul than would likely happen in their lifetime. While many of these are guitars exist mainly in the confines of acclaimed collections, the latest in the series is a genuine part of rock history—its tone will already be known to most readers from several of the biggest hit songs of the late '70s.
Collector's Choice™ #10 Tom Scholz 1968 Les Paul recreates this stripped-down and hotrodded '68 Goldtop just as it was used by Scholz, guitarist of the legendary rock band Boston, to create the band's greatest moments, notably on their debut album, Boston. As the first replica of an original vintage guitar outside of the '59-'60 burst, Gibson Custom couldn't have asked for a more compelling model.
Gibson Custom studied every curve, output measurement, ding and scratch of the original guitar, with close cooperation from Tom Scholz himself. The final results are represented in a strictly limited run with a maximum production of 300 guitars. As an accomplished sound engineer, MIT graduate, inventor, and holder of dozens of electronic patents, Scholz—not surprisingly—modified the original guitar extensively. Prior to the recording of the first Boston album he stripped the gold finish down to the natural maple, and added a DiMarzio Super Distortion humbucking pickup in the bridge position, while retaining the guitar's original P-90 in the neck position. He also replaced the original Klusons™ with the Schaller™ M6 tuners that were popular at the time.
Period-correct details and Historic Specifications
Along with these accurately reproduced player modifications, the Collector's Choice™ #10 Tom Scholz 1968 Les Paul also features the 14-degree headstock pitch and cream binding that widens with the edge of the maple top in the cutaway, both period-correct details of the late-'60s Les Paul Standard. In addition, Collector's Choice™ #10 guitars also benefit from Gibson Custom's 20th Anniversary Historic Specifications, which bring the Custom Shop reproductions closer to the real thing than ever before. These specifications, introduced for 2013, include a single-layer rosewood fingerboard, hot hide glue neck joint, accurate fingerboard and body binding color, and historically accurate truss rod assembly.
Body and neck
In keeping with the original 1968 Les Paul, the Collector's Choice™ #10 Tom Scholz 1968 Les Paul has a body of solid, unchambered Grade-A mahogany with a two-piece top of selected plain maple, stripped of the Goldtop finish it would have originally worn. The top is now finished in Antique Natural while the back, neck and sides are walnut, all in hand-aged nitrocellulose lacquer. The one-piece mahogany neck is carved to the precise profile taken from Tom Scholz's original guitar, a full shape with plenty of "cheek."
Hardware and appointments
True to the original instrument, the Collector's Choice™ #10 Tom Scholz 1968 Les Paul carries an ABR-1 Tune-o-matic bridge and lightweight aluminum stopbar tailpiece, along with gold Top Hat knobs with silver inserts and a nylon 6/6 nut (cut on Gibson's PLEK for utmost accuracy). The guitar comes with no pickguard installed, but the mounting screw holes have been drilled, as on the original guitar.
For players and collectors seeking the look, feel, and tone of a legendary guitar played in the studio and on stage by a platinum-selling artist, the Collector's Choice™ #10 Tom Scholz 1968 Les Paul represents a rare opportunity. The guitar will be produced in no fewer than 25 and no more than 300 replicas, depending on the availability of suitable materials. Each will include a silkscreened brown Custom Shop hardshell case and owner's manual, a Custom Shop Collector's Choice #10 Certificate of Authenticity, and Gibson Custom's Limited Lifetime Warranty and 24/7/365 Customer Service.