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The NEW $20,000 Murphy Lab 1959 Limited Edition Brazilian Les Paul... what are your thoughts?

Amp360

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 16, 2012
Messages
855
If people buy them, I can't fault Gibson for making them. I think it's great that Gibson is still making all of the Gibson products in the USA, and am happy it provides jobs to people and hasn't ruined the brand by going oversees.

I won't be buying one, but I'm happy for the people who are.
 

ADP

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 16, 2015
Messages
691
If people buy them, I can't fault Gibson for making them. I think it's great that Gibson is still making all of the Gibson products in the USA, and am happy it provides jobs to people and hasn't ruined the brand by going oversees.

I won't be buying one, but I'm happy for the people who are.
Everything about the brand is going overseas. From the Chinese chainsaw cases, *notably with the most recent flagship "Kirk Hammet Black Custom" to the LogozTM "medalian". The $1500 Epiphones. It's downright insulting.
It honestly makes me sick to see a brand that represents Americana as much as Gibson Guitars, produce ANY of their products in China.
 

clapciadrix

Member
Joined
Nov 3, 2007
Messages
71

TheArchitect

Member
Joined
Jul 6, 2003
Messages
497
Forgive me, if there's already been a few threads on this, but can we just talk about the new 1959 Les Paul Standard Reissue Limited Edition Murphy Lab Aged With Brazilian Rosewood… what a mouth full.

Listen, I'm not one to poop on new guitars. And I'm definitely not one to hate on beautiful instruments that are well crafted, but you'll have to excuse me for going on a rant for a second and asking for other peoples opinions.

I guess these guitars have been out for about a month or two now, but I only became aware of them last week when I visited a local shop. I was given some hands on experience with them. In fact, I played two of them back-to-back for about 20 minutes each. The shop I visited had 8 available for sale, and the sales person even mentioned to me that they would be willing to discount them a little if I was interested (whatever that equates to I'm not certain). I wasn't able to get a specific number out of them and to make it very clear, I was not interested. I was only in the store to pick up a guitar for a friend when the sales person and I started chatting about what was new and offered to let me play the new 59s. I guess they've sold a handful of these so far, including two of them to a collector up here in Cincinnati.

My take away from spending about 20 minutes with each guitar was this:
They were both two of the best guitars I've ever played from the Gibson custom shop. The aging has really been dialed in since the Murphy lab started putting out instruments a few years ago. The Brazilian board was extremely nice, you can tell that they are using the some of the highest quality Brazilian available and they have apparently aged it for 10 years. Pick ups were very close to PAF sounds. I don't know what they have changed but probably the best Gibson made Humbuckers I have ever played. Neck profile felt like Carmalita but sales person couldn't confirm that. As usual, Tom Murphy did a fantastic job picking out tops that really look like they could be on a real 1959... and the man sure sprays a nice burst. Some of the photos online make the tops look quite flamed, but in person it's a lot more subtle and very three-dimensional. It looks like old growth maple just like what the original 59s were made from. Mahogany backs had a lot of mineral deposits in them that I thought were very nice looking and both guitars were around 8 1/2 pounds.

However, I still struggled to understand the pricing on this model. I just don't understand how adding a Brazilian board and calling it a "Limited Edition" makes it over $10,000 more than any other Murphy lab 1959 reissue. Maybe it was a touch nicer than your average light aged Murphy lab 59 reissue, but it was really splitting hairs. The only significant difference I noticed was possibly the pick ups.
And trust me, I don't wanna be a hypocrite, I have paid a lot of money for some expensive guitars over the years, but nothing like this.
We have all seen $20,000 Les Pauls before. I don't recall when the first $20,000 NEW Les Paul hit the market but there have been so many artist Limited edition models to come out of Nashville over the years. Fender, Gretsch, and other companies are also guilty of charging 20K+ for artist models. However, you'll have to excuse me for a second for not understanding the pricing on this particular guitar. It's just a Murphy lab guitar with a Brazilian board, at least, so it appears on paper. It's not meant to replicate an original guitar like the collectors choice was a decade ago (and those were $10,000 less), and it's not a painstakingly aged replica of a specific artist used instrument. It doesn't come with a celebrity hand signed certificate like the Lucy Les Paul did (signed by Eric Clapton) or a signed headstock like Slash or Peter Frampton models, among others. When the Gibson custom shop released the John Lennon Les Paul Jr. in 2007, it came with a hand numbered oil painting, one off T-shirt, strap, cable, and hand signed certificate of authenticity from Yoko Ono among other paper work.. and that guitar was only $7,500 new. I understand inflation but you can't tell me that inflation is the singular cause for these insane prices. I appreciate the fact that these new 59s are exquisite instruments, but it is just another reissue 1959 Les Paul with slightly better wood on the fretboard.

It's guitars like this, that make me more and more grateful for Historic Makeovers. You could buy any reissue with a nice top and send it to Kim in Florida and Historic Makeovers will provide you with a Les Paul that's just as nice (if not better in my opinion) for about 40% of the MSRP of this guitar. OR you could just buy any Murphy lab guitar and send it to Historic Makeovers and they could put a Brazilian board on it for you for pennies on the dollar of what Gibson is charging you.
I guess this is just another reminder of how wealthy some people are... and maybe gullible :oops:
It's amazing that there's this much demand where Gibson feels they can ask $20,000 for one guitar that isn't anything special. I don't want to sit here and claim that other models are worth that kind of money either, but if you're gonna charge $20,000 for a hand signed Peter Frampton reissue, that's painstakingly aged and only one of 100 in the entire world, how are you going to ask $20,000 for another 59 re-issue?

I'm really interested to know what your thoughts are. Please comment below and let me know if I'm just out of touch. In the off chance somebody reading this post happens to have bought one of these guitars, congratulations! I don't wanna detract from the amazing quality and aesthetics of the instrument, I just really struggle to see value for such an insane price and feel like Gibson is kind of taking the piss with this one.
I'm interested to know what these guitars will go for on the used market in the coming years.
At that price they are unicorns. I have no opinion at all
 
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