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Gibson Custom Expands Collectors Choice Series with "Goldie" 1959 'Burst

Each Collectors Choice guitar is a near-perfect recreation of a specific serial number from the guitars built in 1959.

Nashville, TN (November 16, 2011) -- Gibson Custom announced the expansion of its Collectors Choice series with its second release: the 1959 "burst" serial numbered 9-0629, aka "Goldie." Currently valued in the high six figures, the original "Goldie," as its affectionately named by its owner, was one of less than 700 models of the famed Les Paul originally made in 1959. For the new recreation of this one-of-a-kind instrument, Gibson Custom worked directly with the current owner to analyze the guitar and recreate it down to the tiniest detail.

Each Collectors Choice guitar is a near-perfect recreation of a specific serial number from the guitars built in 1959. With so few made, Gibson Custom recognized the need for a historically accurate recreation of a handful of these much-sought-after, nearly mythical, guitars. The recreation process involves passion, skill, science and community as Gibson Custom works directly with high-end collectors and engineers to methodically build guitars like "Goldie," capturing the tone and feel of the guitar and enabling enthusiasts to actually own what few have seen and fewer have held.

Gibson says that "Goldie" is an exciting opportunity not only because it is such a gorgeous Les Paul, but also because its ownership is extremely well documented, with only the first few years of its existence after heading from Gibson's Kalamazoo factory to its first owner near Deer Park, Texas, remaining slightly hazy. Having resurfaced in the early '80s at one of the first Dallas guitar shows, "Goldie" has graced the collections of several noted burst aficionados including Vic Da Pra and Tom Wittrock, the guitar is currently in the care of an anonymous collector and on loan to Gibson Custom. The guitar has also been extremely well cared for in its 52 years on this planet, suffering some of the minor nicks and dings that all well-played instruments experience in half a century of use—all precisely recreated by Tom Murphy's hand aging—but no breaks, repairs, or modifications. Also, this '59 Les Paul Standard's finish has naturally mellowed to a sweet, rich, golden "unburst," a luscious deep "green lemon" amber tone at the center with just a hint of darkening around the edges, giving it a look that many collectors adore. To precisely recreate the appearance of the original in the top of Collector's Choice™ #2 9-0629 aka "Goldie" Gibson Custom has hand selected figured maple with a broad, elegant flame and "slip matched" the two pieces to present the same degrees of depth and dimension. Hand-finished in nitrocellulose lacquer and hand aged, this top is partnered by a light one-piece mahogany back which has faded to match the original's soft, mellow reddish-brown.

The playing feel of Collector's Choice #2 9-0629 aka "Goldie" is ensured by a precise analysis of the neck profile of the original 1959 Les Paul Standard upon which it is based, and its perfect recreation in the one-piece quarter-sawn mahogany neck of this Custom Shop creation. The result is a gorgeously rounded late-'50s profile that measures approximately .900" at the 1st fret and .990" at the 12th. The rosewood fingerboard is bound in vintage-accurate and aged plastic, as is the body top, and a genuine nylon 6/6 nut and vintage-style tuners with single-band green keys grace the headstock. To recreate the tone of this rare Les Paul, Gibson Custom has selected a Burstbucker 1 for the bridge position and Burstbucker 3 for the neck, a pairing that accurately reflects the mismatch in output that was often found in original PAF sets. Together, they present a woody, throaty tone from the neck, and impressive chime and clarity from the bridge.

"Were extremely grateful that the current owner was so passionate about sharing his find that he was willing to work with us—lending us a highly valuable and incredibly rare guitar—and help us make this a reality," says Henry Juszkiewicz, Chairman and CEO of Gibson Guitar. "A unique feature of the Collectors Choice Series is that every one of the guitars made in 1959 has its own unique personality—its own fingerprint. Modern production techniques used today obviously didnt exist, so each of the less than 700 59 Les Paul Bursts created has its own tone, its own feel and its own overall "vibe." Working with dedicated collectors like the current owner of "Goldie," we are now able to truly capture and offer a limited number of what are literally one-of-a-kind guitars."

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