Beato first announced that he was working with Gibson on a signature electric guitar way back on his New Year’s YouTube livestream in January 2021, and had since teased some prototype and factory photos. Now it is here and we can go deep into the spec.
It is, on the face of it, a Les Paul Special Doublecut with a smart TV Mist Blue paint-job, and a satin nitro finish – a shade next door to Pelham Blue, it’s a fresh new look for the DC model. As Beato explains in the video above, he has enjoyed a long history of playing Gibson guitars. His new signature whip was inspired by two of his favourite guitars, an early 2000s TV Yellow Les Paul Special Doublecut and his Pelham Blue Les Paul Standard.
What really differentiates it from the mainline Les Paul Special DC rank-and-file is that its body is thinner than your regular DC, which as Beato notes, gives it an SG quality.
Beato says Gibson’s brand president Cesar Gueikian reached out to him after seeing him playing some Peter Frampton on his Pelham Blue Les Paul Standard, and asked if he would like to collaborate on a signature Les Paul
“My first reaction was, ‘No’,” says Beato. “And [Cesar] said, ‘Why?’ I was like, ‘Well, because I don’t do any endorsements at all.’ So he says, ‘If we were to make you a Gibson guitar, is there any Gibson guitar that you don’t have?’ And instantly I said, ‘I would love to have a Pelham Blue Les Paul Special Doublecut, where you can see the grain of the mahogany through the satin finish, that has P-90s, that has a thin neck, and is really light.’”
What happened next was a classic case of ask and thou shall receive. Beato’s finished Doublecut was indeed lightweight, well under 8lbs.
“This guitar here is about 7.2lbs,” says Beato. “It is a very light guitar.”
Altogether, it is a quarter of an inch thinner than a regular Special, and it certainly nails that rock ’n’ roll machine vibe, with dual P-90s at the neck and bridge position, the minimalist look of acrylic dot markers on a 12” radius Indian rosewood fingerboard, 22 medium-jumbo frets, and vintage deluxe tuners with the super-cool retro white buttons, and nickel hardware.
The pickups’ control set up is classic Gibson, two black top hat knobs for volume, two black top hat knobs for tone, and there’s a three-way pickup selector mounted at the intersection of a Tune-O-Matic bridge and stopbar tailpiece and the multi-ply black pickguard.
The body is of course mahogany, as is the neck, which is glued to the body and carved into a rounded profile that should offer a comfortable platform for fretting chords all night, with the cutaways and unobtrusive heel offering full access to the fingerboard.
The Rick Beato Signature Les Paul Special Doublecut is available now, priced £1,799 / $1,999 and ships in a hard-shell case. Beato will partner with Gibson’s Save The Music Foundation, donating his proceeds from the sale to help fund music scholarships. See Gibson for more details.