When Gibson Custom introduced its very limited edition 20th Anniversary Series for 2013, the company kicked off the celebrations for the anniversary of its Historic Reissue guitars with the appropriately special 20th Anniversary 1957 Les Paul Black Beauty. Now the next beauty is here: a rendition of the rare, and highly prized, first Custom with PAF humbuckers—the 20th Anniversary 1957 Les Paul Black Beauty 3-Pickup.
In addition to being both a stunning recreation of the ’57 Les Paul Custom and a collectable Anniversary model, this 1957 Black Beauty marks two very significant milestones. First, it is a major addendum to the inaugural guitar in a series that will be offered only in 2013. Limited to 100 pieces of each model, each in the series is unique, exquisite, and scarce. Second, this guitar is the first run of instruments to be made with one-piece ebony fingerboards since November of 2011, and is likely to be one of the very last.
With its antique ebony finish, gold-plated hardware, and classic Black Beauty appointments—including multi-ply body and headstock binding, pearl block fingerboard inlays and split-diamond headstock inlay—the 20th Anniversary 1957 Les Paul Black Beauty 3-Pickup is a gorgeous musical instrument by any standards. Add to that its 20th Anniversary medallion, which covers the toggle switch access on the guitar’s back; a custom fitted dust cover with a retro 1993 Gibson Custom logo; and a one-of-a-kind, hand-made framed Certificate of Authenticity, and you have a unique and memorable instrument worthy of this milestone in Gibson history. Also, to help ensure that the exclusive 100 owners of this extraordinary guitar can keep it in “like new” condition for years to come, we even include a pair of white gloves.
But don’t be afraid to rock out, either. The 20th Anniversary 1957 Les Paul Black Beauty is primed for tone just as much as it is for looks, with a trio of Alnico III-loaded Custom Buckers, a solid, one-piece mahogany body, a quarter-sawn mahogany neck with rounded ’50s profile, and Gibson’s acclaimed hardware set, including period-correct “waffle back” tuners. Furthermore, this limited edition Black Beauty benefits from Gibson Custom’s 20th Anniversary Specifications, adopted for 2013, so the guitar’s deep-set neck tenon is attached with genuine hot-hide glue; it also carries a Historic Truss Rod assembly with no tubing, in addition to other meaningful details. Contact your authorized Gibson Custom dealer today to witness a true piece of Gibson history in person.
Body and Neck
In keeping with the original ’57 Les Paul Custom, the 20th Anniversary 1957 Les Paul Black Beauty 3-Pickup has a one-piece body of solid mahogany with a carved top, finished in Antique Ebony in nitrocellulose lacquer. Its quarter-sawn mahogany neck is carved to a full, rounded ’50s profile that measures 0.900” at the 1st fret and 1.000” at the 12th, and is topped with a genuine, one-piece ebony fingerboard with pearl block inlays and 22 medium-jumbo frets. Its Custom-profile headstock is trimmed in multi-ply binding and carries a mother-of-pearl split-diamond inlay.
Pickups and Electronics
The 20th Anniversary 1957 Les Paul Black Beauty 3-Pickup carries a trio of Custom Buckers with gold-plated covers. Designed specifically for this limited edition guitar, these pickups are made with genuine Alnico III magnets and coils wound with unequal turns of 42 AWG wire for that characteristic PAF depth and bite, with a slightly overwound bridge pickup for added punch in the lead position. Its traditional control complement includes two independent volume and tone controls, with “Bumble Bee” tone caps on the latter. The three-way Switchcraft™ toggle switch is wired in the traditional manner for three-pickup Les Paul Customs: it selects the neck pickup in the rhythm position, middle and bridge together in the middle position, and bridge pickup in the lead position.
The gold-plated ABR-1 Tune-o-matic bridge and lightweight stopbar tailpiece are partnered by a set of authentic gold “waffle back” tuners. A beveled multi-ply pickguard, black top-hat knobs, correct multi-ply binding, and an engraved “Les Paul Custom” truss-rod cover complete the authentic look.
Case and Extras
In addition to its Custom Shop case, and adjustment literature, each 20th Anniversary 1957 Les Paul Black Beauty 3-Pickup comes with a framed, handmade, one-of-a-kind Custom Shop 20th Anniversary Limited Edition Certificate of Authenticity, along with a custom-fitted dust cover with retro 1993 Custom Shop logo, a pair of white gloves, and a stamped brass “20th Anniversary” toggle switch cavity cover (with a spare standard plastic cover in the case).
Each guitar is covered by Gibson Custom’s Limited Lifetime Warranty and 24/7/365 Customer Service.