Purchased from: Guitar Works
Features: Made in 2010 in the Gibson Custom Shop facility. It's a CS Re-Issue of the 1960's LP Standard:
22 frets, 24-3//4 inch scale
Rosewood Fingerboard with Tapezoid Inlays
One piece, -sawn Mahogany Neck
Solid two-piece AAAA Maple Top
Solid one-piece, non-weight relieved, premium Mahogany Body
Nickel, ABR1 Tune-O-Matic Bridge without wire retainer
All nickel hardware
Nylon 6/6 Nut
Burst-bucker(BB) 1 Neck & BB2 -Bridge Alnico II Pickups
Vintage Gibson Deluxe Tulip Style Tuners
Bumblebee Capacitors & CTS potentiometers
"Pleather" Velvet-lined case made in Canada
Includes the leather-bound, 50th Anniversary Certificate of Authenticity, (No. XXXX of 500 produced) // 9
Sound: This guitar is meant to represent the 1960 LP model in between the transition from the 59 neck profile (V1) which started in the early 1960 production year and eventually ended up as what we know today as 60's slim (V3). As I'm a devout LP man this guitar suits my tastes. The neck is a 59 but isn't too slim. Burst-bucker pickups have mis-matched coil windings and so are not perfectly hum-bucking. They are not noisy though but the tone is more "raw" or "edgy" than the '57 Classics on my Traditional. // 9
Action, Fit & Finish: Ever since I got my Traditional, I've wanted to get a Re-Issue. I guess when you like Gibson LP's you eventually want to experience their top of the line models. Because it's such an expensive model, it's not a guitar for the faint of heart or someone who isn't ready to spend the money to get a guitar purely for the pleasure of owning and playing the best of Gibson's Les Paul line (meaning a Custom Shop LP). This guitar is priced in-line with a new, 59 Re-Issue (not the 50th Anniversary R9 from last year though it'd be more).
I happened upon this guitar when visiting Guitar Works to see if a Gold Top Traditional I had tried out while searching for my current Traditional was still there. That particular GT was my second choice. I saw and was immediately taken by this R0's stunning looks. The top was drop dead gorgeous with very believable flame maple. The colour was light Iced Tea which looked like an original faded burst after years of fading. The finish and hardware are all Gloss by the way no non-shiny or patina done.
The sales guy handed it to me (mistake) and the first thing I noticed was how light the guitar was despite being non-weight relieved! This is premium Honduras Mahogany to be sure. The next thing I noticed was how great it felt and I started to appreciate the appointments. The binding is thinner than the modern version (true to vintage) and the Dot inlays on it are red wood of some type not the normal black dots. The Gibson Logo is a gold-hued, Mother Of Pearl inlay on Holly veneer, not the newer Fiber material used with Silver MOP. The Trapezoid Inlays are still acrylic, though they are aged in colour.
The grain pattern of the Mahogany wood is very nice with no weird deviations or knots. The initial feel of the guitar was also surprisingly better than my experience with my Traditional. Since this guitar was in stock, it had been played. I gave it a very good inspection and there were no workmanship flaws at all. It did however have a couple of marks on the nitro, this was cured later at home with some Virtuoso Polish and some buffing (nitro is good for this). Neck Relief was a tad too much for my liking and when I restrung it, and did my initial setup, I adjusted the relief very close to straight. The fret work is Stellar and very smooth feeling, the binding's scraping (to get the nibs) is also very neatly done. With this period correct, thinner binding there's more playing surface on the frets themselves. None of the binding had any finish bleeding either. The tail-piece is light-weight, nickel plated and the ABR1 has no wire retainer (vintage style). I prefer the ABR1 to the Nashville as the thinner body lets you keep the tail piece all the way down to the guitar top and still not have the strings hang up on the back of the bridge. One thing to note when adjusting intonation without the wire retainer- it's often necessary to slack off the string to move the saddle in order to not have it lift out of its slot. // 10
Reliability & Durability: I'm sure this guitar would withstand live playing but we'll never know! This guitar is for my pleasure & so I'm using it purely for home use and recording only. It will be my treasure and if I go out I'll be using the Traditional not this guitar. I never intended this to be a working guitar though many owners do. I'm not that well off that I can replace it should something happen.
The guitar is built to last just as any Gibson is (some still around after 50+ years) if looked after. I've already replaced the strap buttons though with Schaller Strap-locks. I like to play standing a lot of the time (just like the ole' days when I was playing with others) and no strap button will EVER be as good as strap-locks.
No gigging for this guitar as I've said before, it's for my use and I do want to maintain it in great condition. Nitro-cellulous lacquer is much more fragile than polyurethane to be sure, but minor scratches can be buffed out and I've seen repairs where new nitro has been blended into the original with no visible signs. Again this isn't true of poly. I use Gibson Polish and Virtuoso polish to maintain the finish. // 9
Overall Impression: I've been playing on & off for over 30 years now and currently own two Epiphone Elitist LPs, a Gold Top and an LP Plus top, both manufactured in '04 just after the name change from Elite. I also recently purchased a 2010 Traditional that is a great guitar as well and one of the reasons I wanted a Re-Issue.
I'd originally wanted an R9 (59 Re-Issue) to be my last major purchase but this R0 was so good it swayed me. With a limited production of only 500 (V1, V2 & V3 numbers combined) supplies were almost gone. In Canada the distributor (Yorkville Sound) was cleaned out so only any R0's found still in a store were up for grabs. This meant balancing out the possible purchase of a 59 RI in the future versus a known good, touchable, playable R0 that was a sure thing. I chose the known quantity.
I'm sure in the end I'll never be sorry I bought this guitar. I've already bonded with it. The only thing with this guitar (and all other new RIs these days) is the Burst-bucker Pus Gibson installs. At this time I still prefer the 57 Classics to the BBs but that may change in due course. They are not bad Pus by any means just not as smooth as the 57's.
Probably the thing I most love and bought this guitar for is the top notch Mahogany & Maple woods used for its construction. Then the premium nickel hardware, attention to detail in specs and obvious pride and workmanship in building it. Of course the fact that the production was limited to only 500 helped convince me as well as this is a special year for 1960 Re-issues.
In conclusion, this is a great guitar and a worthy investment for those who can afford one. // 9