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The Gibson Custom Collectors Choice #7 1960 Les Paul Shanks Electric Guitar is a meticulous recreation of legendary producer John Shanks's prized Les Paul, serial number 0-0289. John has generously allowed the Gibson Custom team intimate access to his vintage Les Paul, so that every minute detail necessary to recreate the look, feel, and tone of the original has been captured. The Collector's Choice #7 is the closest you'll get to owning a vintage 1960 Les Paul. Limited run of no more than 300 being produced.
In addition to having produced more than 40 number one singles, won a Grammy for Producer of the Year in 2005, and sold more than 60 million records to date, John has long been an avid collector of rare and vintage guitars. He now joins an elite group of passionate vintage-Gibson owners who have opened their collections and collaborated with Gibson Custom in the replication of one of their personal favorites.
The foundation of the Collector's Choice #7 1960 Les Paul, as with all Collector's Choice guitars, is in the premium woods selected for the build. This guitar begins with a one-piece back of solid, lightweight mahogany, which is capped with a carved maple top to closely match the look of the exquisite top on John Shanks's original Les Paul. The result is an impressive reproduction of the incredible tonal balance and sensitivity of this unique 'burst, sonic characteristics that put the difference between punchy depth and aggressive growl at the fingertips of the player.
The original Shanks Les Paul has retained much of the original red of the sunburst finish applied in Kalamazoo in 1960, with a deep-cherry edge fading ever so slightly to washed-cherry toward the center of the body, and Gibson Custom has reproduced this in exacting detail, using a custom sunburst for this guitar's top, with genuine Aniline Dye for the back, sides, and the back of the neck. With hand aging done to match the slight playing wear, subtle checking, and minor finish dings of the original, every finished Collector's Choice #7 1960 Les Paul makes a breathtaking impression when you first lift the case lid.
The neck of the Gibson Custom Collector's Choice #7 1960 Les Paul has been crafted from one piece of genuine mahogany, and carved to a back shape taken from rigorous examination of the original guitar, and attached with a long-tenon joint using hot hide glue. The result is a rounded and somewhat chunky but extremely comfortable profile that feels like a sweet and well-played vintage Les Paul in the hand. It is topped with a genuine one-piece rosewood fingerboard, with 22 frets cut from reissue wire.
In addition to everything else that makes it so exclusive, Collector's Choice #7 also represents another milestone in the history of Gibson's solidbody guitars: it is the first of the series to feature all of the 20th Anniversary specifications being introduced by Gibson Custom in 2013. Period-correct details include original style cellulose trapezoid fingerboard inlays, accurate binding size and materials, a genuine nylon 6/6 nut, the accurate reissue headstock shape with holly veneer and period-correct Gibson logo, plus vintage-style lightweight aluminum stop bar tailpiece, ABR-1 Tune-o-matic bridge, and nickel-plated Grover tuners, and upgrade found on many 'bursts of the period.
To complete the sonic accuracy of Collector's Choice #7 1960 Les Paul, Gibson Custom carefully measured the pickups in John Shanks's original guitar, and recreated a set of Custom Buckers wound to precisely the same specs. Details include Alnico III magnets and 42 AWG enamel-coated wire, gently aged nickel-plated covers, with uneven turns of wire around each coil to help recreate that distinctive PAF tone.
For look, feel, sound, and overall vintage vibe, there's no better way to get your hands on an entirely authentic recreation of a rare Gibson original. The guitar will be produced in no fewer than 150 and no more than 300 examples, as qualifying materials allow, and each will include a silkscreened brown Custom Shop hardshell case and owner's manual, a leather-bound trifold Custom Shop Collector's Choice #7 Certificate of Authenticity, and Gibson Custom's Limited Lifetime Warranty and 24/7/365 Customer Service.
John Shanks's Original 1960 Les Paul
With fewer than 2,000 Les Pauls made between 1958 and 1960 - the years of the legendary 'bursts - any of these hallowed instruments is extremely rare and valuable, but a handful of transitional guitars that blend the ever-evolving specs are even more prized. As the chunky, rounded neck profile of the '59 segued into the slimmer, faster profile of the '60 Les Paul Standard, a mere handful of fatter '50s-necked examples slipped into the new model year, and of these, the Les Paul owned by legendary music producer and songwriter John Shanks is known to be as good as it gets.
- One-piece Mahogany back with lightly figured Maple top
- Historic "Vintage" aniline red dye on back, sides and back of neck
- Rounded neck profile
- Rosewood fingerboard with original style trapezoid inlays
- Powerful Custom Bucker Humbucking pickups in the neck and bridge positions
- ABR-1 bridge with lightweight aluminum stopbar tailpiece
- Nickel plated Grover kidney button tuners with 12:1 tuning ratio
- Limited run of no more than 300 being produced
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