Epiphone and Gibson Custom Shop release an affordable '59 Les Paul

(Image credit: Epiphone)

It was announced at NAMM in January to much excitement and now we'll finally be able to get our eager paws on what could be the highlight of Epiphone's incredible 2020: the '59 Les Paul Standard.

It's the first collaboration between Epiphone and the Gibson Custom Shop and is being marketed by the company as 'vintage for all' - that's the kind of phrase we like to hear! And this model is backing it up with the kind of spec LP fans should love.

Aged Dark Burst 

Aged Dark Burst  (Image credit: Epiphone)
Les Paul vs SG

The Limited Edition 1959 Les Paul Standard is Epiphone's recreation of the most desired vintage guitar on the planet. 

The mahogany body, maple top with a AAA figured maple veneer are what we'd expect. Then is gets interesting; 1959 hand-rolled neck profile with long neck tenon, an aged finish, Gibson USA BurstBucker 2 and 3 humbucker pickups, Switchcraft CTS pots, 50s era wiring and Mallory capacitors.

(Image credit: Epiphone)
What is 50s wiring?

(Image credit: Future)

It's not just a Gibson thing but relevant to any electric guitar two pickups that each has its own volume and tone pot. It's specifically relevant to the latter.

How your guitar's tone capacitor connects between your pots affects how both your tone pots and volume pots interact with each other.  

With '50s wiring the tone capacitor connects lug 3 of the tone pot to the middle lug of the volume pot. What does this mean for tone? It stays consistent when you wind the volume down on the guitar and your pickups don't lose high end and stay clearer when winding down the volume either. 

Other features include Switchcraft selector switch and output jack, non-beveled pickguard, new Epiphone Deluxe vintage tuners, and it includes vintage-style brown hard case for the $799 / £749.  

The Epiphone Limited Edition 1959 Les Paul Standard also comes with an Epiphone Limited Edition metal medallion toggle switchplate. 


(Image credit: Epiphone)

We're just a bit disappointed that the 12" radius fretboard here is Indian Laurel and not the rosewood we'd expect from a '59 tribute. 

(Image credit: Epiphone)

Nevertheless, this is ticking a lot of Les Paul wishlist boxes for us. We can't wait to play one and find out how it stacks up. 

The Epiphone Limited Edition 1959 Les Paul Standard is available in Aged Dark Burst and Aged Dark Cherry Burst, and now American Musical Supply has announced an exclusive run with a Southern Fade finish (see video below). 

Sweetwater in the US also has an exclusive Aged Honey Burst Gloss. Good luck choosing between them before they sell out! 

Now available at Sweetwater in the US and various UK sites. Thomann are also stocking the guitar in Europe. 

More info at epiphone.com

Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar in the UK. When I'm not rejigging pedalboards I'm usually thinking about rejigging pedalboards.