Gibson has announced the limited edition 20th Anniversary 1957 Les Paul Custom Black Beauty, in order to commemorate two decades of its Historic Reissues series.
As one of the most lusted after Les Pauls, the Black Beauty is something of an institution in it's own right, and now you (yes, you!) can own a '57 spec Custom with all the attendance golden trimmings.
Aside from being highly desirable guitars, these 20th Anniversary Customs are of note as they'll be of a limited run of 100 being built only in 2013, and they're the first Gibson guitars to feature one-piece ebony fingerboards since 2011, and according to the company are "likely to be one of the very last" models to do so.
For more information, visit the official Gibson website.
Gibson press release
To kick off a very limited edition series of three guitars that celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Historic Reissues series, Gibson Custom presents the 20th Anniversary 1957 Les Paul Black Beauty—often considered the epitome of the "Black Beauty," and the first of the elegant Customs to carry the new PAF humbucking pickups.
In addition to being both a stunning, period-correct recreation of the '57 Les Paul Custom and a collectable Anniversary model, this 1957 Black Beauty marks two very significant milestones. First, it is the inaugural guitar in a series that will be offered only in 2013. Limited to 100 pieces of each model, each in the series is unique and extremely rare. Second, this guitar is the first run of instruments to be made with one-piece ebony fingerboards since November of 2011, and is likely to be one of the very last.
With its antique ebony finish, gold-plated hardware, and classic Black Beauty appointments—including multi-ply body and headstock binding, pearl block fingerboard inlays and split-diamond headstock inlay—the 20th Anniversary 1957 Les Paul Black Beauty is a gorgeous instrument by any standards. Add to that its 20th Anniversary medallion, which covers the toggle switch access on the guitar's back; a custom fitted dust cover with a retro 1993 Gibson Custom logo; and a one-of-a-kind, hand-made framed Certificate of Authenticity, and you have a unique and memorable instrument worthy of this milestone in Gibson history. Also, to help ensure that the exclusive 100 owners of this special guitar can keep it in "like new" condition for years to come, we even include a pair of white gloves.
But don't be afraid to rock out, either. The 20th Anniversary 1957 Les Paul Black Beauty is primed for tone just as much as it is for looks, with a pair of Alnico III-loaded Custom Buckers, a solid, one-piece mahogany body, a quarter-sawn mahogany neck with rounded '50s profile, and Gibson's acclaimed hardware set, including period-correct "waffle back" tuners. Furthermore, this limited edition Black Beauty benefits from Gibson Custom's 20th Anniversary Specifications, adopted for 2013, so the guitar's deep-set neck tenon is attached with genuine hot-hide glue, and it carries a Historic Truss Rod assembly with no tubing. Contact your authorized Gibson Custom dealer today to get your hands on a true piece of Gibson history.
Body and Neck
In keeping with the original '57 Les Paul Custom, the 20th Anniversary 1957 Les Paul Black Beauty has a one-piece body of solid mahogany with a carved top, finished in Antique Ebony in nitrocellulose lacquer. It's quarter-sawn mahogany neck is carved to a full, rounded '50s profile and is topped with a genuine, one-piece ebony fingerboard with pearl block inlays and 22 medium-jumbo frets. Its Custom-profile headstock is trimmed in multi-ply binding and carries a mother-of-pearl split-diamond inlay.
Pickups and Electronics
The 20th Anniversary 1957 Les Paul Black Beauty carries Custom Buckers with gold-plated covers. Designed specifically for this limited edition guitar, these pickups are made with genuine Alnico III magnets and coils wound with unequal turns of 42 AWG wire for that characteristic PAF depth and bite, with a slightly overwound bridge pickup for added punch in the lead position. Its traditional control complement includes two independent volume and tone controls, with "Bumble Bee" tone caps on the latter, and a three-way toggle switch.
Hardware and Plastics
The gold-plated ABR-1 Tune-o-matic bridge and lightweight stopbar tailpiece partner with a set of authentic gold "waffle back" tuners. A black multi-ply pickguard, black top-hat knobs, and engraved "Les Paul Custom" truss-rod cover complete the authentic look.
Case and Extras
In addition to its Custom Shop case, owner's manual, and adjustment literature, each 20th Anniversary 1957 Les Paul Black Beauty comes with a framed, handmade, one-of-a-kind Custom Shop 20th Anniversary Limited Edition Certificate of Authenticity, along with a custom-fitted dust cover with retro 1993 Custom Shop logo, a pair of white gloves, and a stamped brass "20th Anniversary" toggle switch cavity cover (with a spare standard plastic cover in the case).