A rare Les Paul prototype limited-edition.
The 50th Anniversary 1960 Les Paul R0 Pilot Run electric guitar is a rare prototype offered in different versions”each with different neck shape profiles and finish options.
The Gibson Les Paul guitars of the late '50s and early '60s have become among the most prized electric guitars on the planet. But to say "the" Les Paul is actually somewhat misleading because Les Paul guitars varied not only from year to year as the model's specs evolved, but even within the same year of manufacture.
To accurately represent the variations in specifications and finish within original examples manufactured in 1960, Gibson is offering three versions of this hallowed vintage electric guitar.
At the start of 1960, the Gibson Les Paul retained the same specs as its predecessor from 1959, although it did receive the official "Les Paul Standard" designation in place of the former "Les Paul Model" (a name that its headstock nonetheless still retained). Among these details were the full, rounded neck profile, top-hat control knobs, and Heritage Cherry Sunburst or Heritage Dark Sunburst finish, and these are the very characteristics with which the Gibson Custom Shop has imbued.
The first Version of the 50th Anniversary 1960 Les Paul Standard might be confused for a 1959 Les Paul Model if not for the 1960 serial number stamped into the back of the guitar's headstock at the dawn of this new decade, and the R0 serial number of this 50th Anniversary electric guitar. This version is available in heritage Cherry Sunburst and Heritage DarkBurst finishes.
Version 2 represents the neck's transition from full to slim”a progression that was gradual, rather than sudden”in the form of a Custom Shop 50th Anniversary 1960 Les Paul Standard with thinner, yet still somewhat rounded and "elliptical" neck profile, based on painstaking research and detailed scans of several transitional '60s Les Paul guitars that were studied by the Custom Historic and Engineering team. To represent this alteration visibly, Version 2 of the Gibson Custom Les Paul RO Pilot Run will be offered in two classic "faded" 'Burst colors: Light Iced Tea and Sunset TeaBurst.
In addition to these pertinent details, the Gibson Custom Shop 50th Anniversary 1960 Les Paul Standard Guitars pack all the tonal nuances and unparalleled playability that really helped to make these Gibson electric guitars distinguished in the hands of an artist like Eric Clapton, who wielded a slim-necked 1960 Les Paul Standard on the most influential blues-rock album of all time, John Mayall Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton, often referred to as the "Beano" album. The time-tested tonewood combination of mahogany and maple, the classic duo of Tune-O-Matic bridge and stopbar tailpiece, and a pair of Gibson's prized PAF-style BurstBucker humbucking pickups all work toward a tonal splendor that few guitars can equal.
Add to these the Custom Shop 50th Anniversary 1960 Les Paul Standards' long-tenon neck joint, traditionally back-angled headstock, and thin, breathable nitrocellulose finish, and you've got a guitar that sings and resonates like no other. A total of only 500 Gibson Custom Shop 50th Anniversary 1960 Les Paul Standards will be produced in a blend of all three versions. All will include a Custom Shop hardshell case and a 50th Anniversary Certificate of Authenticity.
- Top: carved figured maple
- Back: solid mahogany
- Binding: single-ply, cream
- Body type: non-chambered
- Average weight: 6.5 lb.
- Neck joint: mortise & tenon
- Neck joint angle tolerance: ±005"
- Neck profile:
- Version 1: 1959 ('50s full rounded)
- Version 2: 1959/1960 (transitional slim rounded)
- Version 3: 1960 ('60s Slim Taper)
- Wood: Rosewood
- Number of frets: 22
- Radius: 12"
- Material: nylon 6/6
- Width: 1-11/16
- Slots: cut by PLEK system
- Inlay: mother-of-pearl
- Logo: period-correct Gibson logo with "Les Paul model" silkscreened in gold
- Truss rod cover: vintage truss rod cover
- Model: vintage tulips
- Plating: nickel-plated body with Alphatic resin
- Tuning ratio: 12:1
- Type: Tune-o-matic (ABR-1)
- Material: zinc surrounded by nickel alloy
- Plating: polished nickel
- Type: stop bar
- Material: aluminum
- Plating: lightweight nickel
- Knobs: gold top hats with silver inserts/top
- Pickguard: reissue cream
- Toggle switch washer: cream with gold silkscreen
- Strings: .010 to .046, vintage style strings
- Strap buttons: aluminum Gibson end pins
- Neck position: burstbucker 1 “ mounted with slotted screws
- Bridge position: burstbucker 2 “ mounted with slotted screws
- Magnet material: alnico ii
- Type: 500k audio taper
- Coil wiring: parallel-machine wound
- Toggle switch: Switchcraft axial toggle with vintage plastic tip
- Output jack: 1/4" Switchcraft
- Version 1: Heritage Darkburst and Heritage Cherry
- Version 2: Light Iced Tea, Sunset Teaburst
- Version 3 '60s Cherryburst
- Sealer: nitrocellulose lacquer
- Type: Custom Shop
- Case exterior: black pleather
- Case interior: maroon crushed velvet
- Certificate of authenticity: Custom shop 50th anniversary