Custom & Historic

Way back in 1993 Gibson had a dream; to create perfect replicas of their finest instruments from the 1950's. At a time when manufacturing focus was on quantity rather than quality Gibson's dream would fly in the face of everything happening around them.

As the saying goes..rome could never be re-built in a day and so, roll on 20 years and Gibson's Custom and Historic division is now producing some of the most accurate examples of period replicas ever, employing materials and techniques long since abandoned in the constant search for perfection. Some of these processes are:

ANALINE DYE - Gibson's traditional method of wood staining involved the use of Analine dyes; clear, poisonous, difficult to work with oils which would bring out the natural beauty of woods used. As well as being deadly and difficult to work with, Analine was also famous for "dropping out" and fading over time. This characteristic of the dye would be the cause of the late 50's Les Pauls many variations of burst.

When analine was abandoned in favour of pigmented dyes these colours remained stronger for longer, however, many believe that the natural wood grain appearance suffers as a result and the natural patina seen on late 50's instruments would be impossible to recreate.

As of 2013 Gibson has re-introduced the use of analine dyes in it's historic division, giving these guitars the most period correct look since the Custom Shop was created!

CUSTOMBUCKERS - Gibson's original PAF pickups, as fitted to the famous 58 and 59 Les Pauls are regarded the world over as possibly the finest sounding pickup ever made. Since the Historic division started producing guitars their aim was to re-create the original PAF in all its tonal glory.

This has been a long, long journey but painstaking tests of original examples and a tireless search for materials has resulted in the creation of the most accurate PAF replica Gibson has ever built....the Custombucker!!!

BINDING - One of the somewhat "over-looked" areas of Historic reproduction has been the recreation of original 1950s style binding. Binding of this era had a distinctive light cream colour and minimal thickness, however, over the years binding has grown thicker in feel and darker in appearance. All historic models will now feature Gibson's new-style vintage correct binding, giving a subtle but vintage correct look and feel to all bound instruments.

THE "GOLD TOP" - Since 1952 one finish above all others has seperated Gibson from herd....the classic and timeless Gold Top! Since it was introduced all those years ago players and collectors have been seduced by gorgeous looking goldies, a finsih which has never been out of production! Over time this famous finish has evolved into a more consistant and very bright...well...more "gold" looking colour. People have long been arguing about what made the original goldies so beautiful, Gibson have put the hours in to perfectly recreate the holy grail of 50s finishes. All Historic division instruments will now feature the new deeper, slightly "greenish" gold finish bringing to life what made those early guitars look so great!

HIDE GLUES - From the very start of fine instrument manufacturing luthiers have employed the use of hide adhesives in the joining of timber. Thought of as outdated many years ago this practice was abandoned and replaced by PVA adhesives. Although there is nothing "wrong" with the use of white glues to bond tone woods it's just not how it was done back in the golden years. Now Gibson's Custom Historic division has reinstated the use of hide glue in all its reproduction instruments...a significant step in the constant persuit of vintage perfection!

Custom & Historic

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