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Mint condition 60th Anniversary ’59 Les Paul
Celebrating six decades of the most famous guitar in its back catalogue, the newly reinvigorated Gibson unveiled the 60th Anniversary Custom Shop Les Paul at Winter NAMM 2019. Despite the doom and gloom surrounding the company’s finances, the Custom division has been doing some stellar work in recent years and our review guitar benefits directly from the research and development that went into True Historic and Collector’s Choice. With True Historic now discontinued and the Collector’s Choice concept having run its course, there’s still scope to use the data, hardware and manufacturing techniques to inform new reissue models.The 60th Anniversary model’s five-latch reissue Lifton case has reproduction hang-tags in its internal pocket along with a more modern Custom Shop COA (and better foam protection for the headstock). It might not be an original ’59, but it’s still a thrill to see an instrument such as this framed by the brown case’s pink lining. Before we even pull the guitar out, simply walking around it reveals how much the mineral-streaked two-piece flametop ripples under lights. Just like many of the old ones, the maple cap looks almost plain from some angles and heavily figured from others.
The top looks the part and so does the headstock, with tinted clear coats over the mother of pearl Gibson logo lending it an authentic greenish-gold hue, while the position of the finer and lighter silkscreen signature and the stepped truss-rod cover with its slightly rough-textured white edging will go some way towards appeasing internet-forum extremists. Back down at the body end, in case you are wondering why the screw that holds the pickguard onto the bracket is a slot-head rather than a Phillips, the answer is that there was some randomness in this regard back in 1959, but plenty of Bursts left the factory with slot-heads. Panic over.