Adam Jones reveals the level of eye-watering detail that went into recreating his signature '79 Les Paul Custom

(Image credit: Gibson)

In a recent interview with Guitar World, Adam Jones has shared the story behind Gibson's stunning limited edition replica of his 1979 Les Paul Custom. 

One of the most highly-anticipated signature guitars of recent years, the Adam Jones Les Paul Custom is finished in Antique Silverburst, with 179 available in the VOS version, and just 79 of the Aged & Signed models. 

Unsurprisingly, they sold out in quick time and now fetch eye-watering prices online. As Jones tells it, what your money buys you is authenticity and a level of accuracy. 

In conversation with Guitar World, he and Gibson CMO Cesar Gueikian walked through the process of recreating Jones No.1 Les Paul in the 21st century. The first challenge was finding the wood to match Jones' '79 model. 

“I told Gibson, ‘You know, the wood was different back then…’ And they went, ‘We’re going to match it.’ And the guitar is heavy, man.” Indeed, the Adam Jones Les Paul Custom is a walking advertisement for high-quality guitar straps, with weights of some models posted online coming in just shy of the 10lb mark.

Next up, pickups. Jones' original model has a Seymour Duncan DDL humbucker at the bridge and a Gibson Custombucker at the neck. Here, Jones explained how it was Melvins guitarist and frontmen who advised him to reverse-mount the neck pickup. “It gives you a different polarity and it really helps with the sound,” said Jones.

The Seymour Duncan DDL that occupies the bridge position on Jones' Les Paul is a high-output ceramic humbucker from the 90s. Not only did Seymour Duncan bring the model back for this project, but Gibson and Jones requested the original technician who wound the original pickups, Maricela “MJ” Juarez.

With Jones also having modded the control circuit by adding a DiMarzio pot to control the DDL humbucker, Gibson then hit the DiMarzio parts market to source enough original pots to complete the limited run.

Elsewhere, the neck's profile has been matched to the original, the headstock is equipped with a set of Schaller M6 tuners, while you can also affix the mirror to the headstock a la Jones.

The Aged & Signed model is the first artist collaboration with Gibson's newly inaugurated Murphy Lab, and it is meticulously aged, right down to every dent and ding. “It’s an absolute clone,” promises Gueikian. 

Jones agrees. ”I have my vintage Silverbursts and I have my brand-new ones and they all sound the same.” 

You can read the full story over at Guitar World.

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.