NAMM 2024: NAMM 2024. Gibson has announced its latest collaboration, with Kirk Hammett with Nashville-based brand’s Custom Shop unveiling a stunning replica of the Metallica lead guitarist’s “blacked out” 1989 Les Paul Custom.
This heavily modded Les Paul Custom is fresh from the Murphy Lab, where Tom Murphy’s team has meticulously reproduced all the wear and battle scars on the original electric guitar.
This is a Les Paul Custom for sure – there’s the block inlays, the split-diamond headstock detail, seven-ply binding on the body’s top, five-ply on the bottom and headstock, and a bound fingerboard tying the whole thing together. But this is a Les Paul Custom that has been through the mill, and has been augmented by Hammett over the years.
You’ll notice that the hardware is not regulation LP Custom colour. It has been swapped out for black hardware, with Grover Rotomatic tuners with kidney bean buttons on the headstock.
The bridge, too, is worthy of closer inspection. Like the Jerry Cantrell Wino Les Paul Custom, this model has been fitted with a Fishman Powerbridge, giving players a piezo acoustic voicing to complement the two humbuckers.
Inside the guitar case you’ll find a COA and some more hardware options, with a set of black Schaller S-Lock locking strap buttons inside should you choose to fit them. And there’s the standard five-ply black Les Paul Custom pickguard in there, too. The body has already been drilled for it.
Hammett’s 1989 Custom is fitted with a pair of T-type humbuckers, both have been left uncovered. There is a 498T at the bridge position and a 490R at the neck, with the usual dual volume controls for both pickups, plus a master tone and a volume pot for the Fishman Powerbridge piezo system. Speaking of which, that is powered by a 9V battery that is secreted out of the way in the control cavity.
Elsewhere, you’ve got a SlimTaper neck, a solid mahogany body with a maple cap, and there’s a long neck tenon helping that neck join the body. There’s also no weight relief here so do avail yourself of a generously proportioned guitar strap.
The nut is Corian. The ebony fingerboard has a 12” radius, with Reissue fret-wire used for the reproduction job. Other details are as you’d expect, e.g. the 24.75” scale length, the 42.85mm nut, the Black Speed knobs for the controls.