"I’m ecstatic" – Tool's Adam Jones talks to us about his new 1979 Gibson Les Paul Custom signature guitar

The Gibson Custom Shop Adam Jones 1979 Les Paul Custom confirmed back in January has finally been announced for the Tool guitarist – his first ever signature model electric guitar.  

And Jones has gone to town celebrating its arrival with The Witness; a stunning animated short and its soundtrack created by the musician, and tracked with Tool bandmates Danny Carey and Justin Chancellor, with mixing duties by longtime Tool collaborator Joe Barresi. 

He also spoke to MusicRadar about the guitar in an interview back in January that you can read further down. 


(Image credit: Gibson)


(Image credit: Gibson)

The Adam Jones 1979 Les Paul Custom is a limited-edition guitar offering from Gibson Custom Shop's renowned Murphy Lab that exactly recreates Adam’s #1 guitar, his number one original Silverburst 1979 Gibson Les Paul that was last seen during the world tour in support of Tool's Fear Inoculum album.

The finish of these recreations is being called Antique Silverburst. 


(Image credit: Gibson)


(Image credit: Gibson)

 A limited run of of 79 Adam Jones 1979 Les Paul Custom replicas have been accurately aged by the luthiers and craftspeople of the Gibson Custom Shop Murphy Lab – led by Tom Murphy – then signed and numbered by Jones. 


(Image credit: Gibson)


(Image credit: Gibson)

An additional 179 Adam Jones Les Paul Custom replica guitars feature exclusive silkscreen artwork on the back of the headstock, created by Joyce Su and Jones.

The two also collaborated on the design for the custom hardshell guitar cases each guitar comes in.

“I’m proud to finally show the world the first release in our multi-year partnership with Adam Jones,” says Cesar Gueikian of Gibson Brands. “Adam is one of the most talented and sonically innovative guitarists; I call him modern riff lord and sonic architect. His creativity and technical ability in music, visual effects, production, videography and beyond is second to none and our collaboration is a true reflection of Adam. 

"The Gibson Les Paul Custom Adam Jones 1979 Silverburst Aged replica version is the first-ever artist collaboration done at the newly created Gibson Custom Shop Murphy Lab. I hope that fans fall in love with the guitars, starting with this initial release.”


(Image credit: Gibson)

Gueikian use of the words "initial release" suggest more collaborations with Jones will follow – perhaps even an Epiphone model… who knows. But as this is the beginnings of a multi-year partnership, more is inevitable. 

Back to these models, both feature a Custom-Wound Seymour Duncan DDJ in the bridge and a reverse-mounted covered Custombucker in the neck.

A DiMarzio 500k potentiometer serves as the volume control for the Seymour Duncan but the other pots are CTS made. 

The guitars' mahogany bodies feature three-piece maple tops with chrome hardware and black speed knobs. The 22-fret bound ebony fretboard features block inlays with a radius of 12-inches.

A nitro finish is used for the Antique Silverburst and the models include an optional mirror that can be attached to the headstock like Jones's original.

Prices… well these initial signature models are Custom Shop models so you won't be surprised to find they are going to price many Tool fans out. It's $5,999 for the VOS model and $9,999 for the aged and signed guitar.

Adam Jones interview 


(Image credit: Gibson)

Back at NAMM in January we managed to catch up with Adam Jones for a few minutes to talk about the new signature model well ahead of its unveiling – here what he had to say…

How long has this signature guitar been in the works?

Adam Jones: “There’s been talk for a while. They took my guitar a couple of months ago and they scanned it, weighed it and did all these calibrations. Then they tried to recreate as close as they can get it and I just want to say, I’m ecstatic. Just think of you with someone saying, “Hey we’re going to do a signature guitar for you”. What?! Just being a kid and liking Gibson guitars. I can’t express how great it is.

“There’s a lot of guitars I like but theirs are always quality; there’s always standards. You don’t find that a lot. Especially when their clients are kids going into Guitar Center or some music shop and maybe they can’t afford a really well made piece of art.”

This guitar is based on your 1979 model, what is special about that particular model for you?

“I don’t know… the weight, the shape – the curvature of the neck. I love that colour, that kind of green. It’s always kind of spoken to me. It’s like the guitar finds you.

And the Silverburst finish it's based on is different on that one to your other Customs?

“They’re all different.”

Have they recreated the Seymour Duncan pickup from your original too?

“Yes, they were hand-wound and they only did them for about three or four years [Super Distortion model made in the 1990s]. I buy those on Ebay and they might recreate that for me [they now have since this interview]. I’m happy they’re willing and that’s what Gibson is; they’ll put someone else’s thing in there just to make it authentic. They’re a great company.”

That ‘79 is your main live guitar…

“And I’ve used it on every record.”

Do you worry about taking it on the road now?

“No I’m in good hands. My amps are something different – they rattle around and the saddles from the tubes break. That’s a whole different story but the guitars are in good hands.”

The Les Paul is a constant but for the most recent touring with Tool, did you change anything about your rig?

“I use an isolation cabinet. I use Rivera, I love Rivera. And recently I put my Mesa/Boogie back in my lineup because I have all tube amps; I have a non master, I have a master but I wanted a bit of solid state and I’ve always liked that amp, the double [Dual] Rectifier and you can switch the preamp to a solid state. And it just sounds amazing. You have the apples and the oranges now.”

More info at gibson.com


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