25 April 2010

Introducing the 1960 Les Paul Custom ‘Black Beauty’

Gibson Custom has announced the availability of the 50th Anniversary 1960 Les Paul Custom 'Black Beauty'. Way more than just a looker, though, the 50th Anniversary 1960 Les Paul Custom is also armed to the teeth for tonal splendor. When Les Paul and Gibson president Ted McCarty conceived of the Les Paul Custom model in the early ’50s, it was as a top-of-the-range partner to the Goldtop, and later sunburst, Les Paul Standard, with upgraded appointments and an Ebony finish to match the “black-tie” dress at the kinds of functions where it would be right at home.

The "Black Beauty" debuted late in 1953 to instant acclaim, but it would be a few years before the design would reach its zenith. The 1960 Les Paul Custom, upgraded with two gold-plated PAF humbucking pickups and a super-fast, slim neck, is often considered the epitome of the breed - and it's back and dressed for the ball, in the form of the Gibson Custom Shop's new 50th Anniversary 1960 Les Paul Custom.
Just like the original - intended to emulate the tux a jazz artist would wear to perform at a formal function - the 50th Anniversary 1960 Les Paul Custom has a high-gloss nitrocellulose ebony finish, multi-ply binding on body and headstock, an ebony fingerboard with mother-of-pearl block markers, a larger headstock with mother-of-pearl split-diamond inlay, and gold-plated hardware throughout.

Black Beauty is equipped with Gibson’s most accurate, period-correct reproduction hardware, including kidney button Grover Rotomatic tuners, a Tune-o-matic bridge and stop-bar tailpiece both made from the correct metals. All are gold plated to reflect the instrument’s “Custom” status. The neck and headstock are made in the classic tradition of the original 1960 Les Paul Custom, carved from a single piece of mahogany, and topped with an ebony fingerboard and a 17-degree back-angled headstock. To denote its “Custom” nature, the headstock of the 50th Anniversary 1960 Les Paul Custom is larger than that of comparable Les Paul Standards.

Produced in extremely limited numbers in 1960, original Black Beauties are nigh on impossible to come by today. With its historically accurate details and appointments, the Gibson Custom Shop 50th Anniversary 1960 Les Paul Custom is the finest replication of the model that has ever been produced. Each example comes with a plush-lined Gibson Custom hard shell case, a Certificate of Authenticity, and full owner's literature. MSRP $7,508

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