Skip to main content

Gibson officially releases the Peter Frampton ”Phenix” Inspired Les Paul Custom

Peter Frampton
(Image credit: Rob Arthur)

Gibson has officially launched its Custom Shop VOS replica of Peter Frampton's storied 1954 Les Paul Custom. 

One of the most famous electric guitars in rock history, the “Phenix” Black Beauty was always going to be immortal, having featured on the cover of Frampton Comes Alive!, survived a plane crash, and somehow finding its way back into Frampton's hands after some three decades apart.

This 2021 Custom Shop model recreates Frampton's instrument in great detail, from the aged VOS ebony finish right down to the ultra-light weight and the slim neck profile that was shaved down by the guitar's previous owner, Marc Mariana.

Those who enjoy a lighter Les Paul will love this – the nine-hole weight relief makes the Phenix a little easier on the lower back. 

Seated in that body are a trio of CustomBucker pickups, which are controlled via a three-way pickup selector and master volume and tone controls that affect the neck and bridge pickups, with the middle pickup controlled by a volume and tone knob that works independently of the selector switch.

This being a high-end Custom Shop instruments, the quality of components is tip-top, with CTS pots, Paper in Oil capacitors and Switchcraft jacks and switches, Schaller strap locks, Grover kidney bean-style tuners, and a lightweight aluminium stop bar with long stud anchor.

Elsewhere, the ebony fingerboard arrives in a typically Gibson 12" radius, with Custom Block inlay and Frampton's signature at the 12th fret. Finishing things off nicely you've got multiply binding around the body and headstock.

Frampton approves. Back in January when the model was announced, he said, ”Gibson has gone that extra mile in every area to make this feel and sound the closest to my original, storied Phenix Les Paul Custom guitar. The neck and weight of this mahogany guitar will amaze you at how great it feels and how light it is (and it’s even a hair lighter than the Phenix). This is the real deal.”

The Gibson Peter Frampton "Phenix" Inspired Les Paul Custom is available now, priced £6,099 / $6,999. See Gibson for more details.

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.