Message boards and Facebook groups have been ablaze about the new Murphy Lab aged Gibson models, but typically due to the high prices they command.
On the other hand, in the new episode of Gibson’s Murphy Lab Artist Series YouTube show, modern blues guitar figurehead JoeBonamassa gets down and dirty with the feel and sound of these artificially aged reproductions.
In the somewhat short video (it’s certainly no Andertons 30 minute shootout), Bonamassa gets his hands on the 1959 Les Paul Standard, 1963 SG Special, 1964 SG Standard – in both Cherry Red and Pelham Blue colorways – 1959 ES-335, and the P-90-equipped 1956 Les Paul Goldtop.
His thoughts on the guitars? Highly impressed.
As an owner of several antique instruments, Bonamassa was highly impressed by the quality of the 59 LP reproduction, saying “there’s been a number of 59 reissues, but this is by far the closest I’ve seen“.
As far as the relic job, Bonamassa makes the point that “a lot of times with (artificial) aging it goes to an extreme – this looks very authentic like they’ve been played and loved for 62 years.“
He also notes on the SGs that “the binding makes all the difference – it doesn’t feel new. This is my favourite SG“.
Of course if all you want is to hear Joe Bonamassa bust out some classic blues licks on a bunch of amazing guitars – the video has that too.
In the end, Bonamassa is (somewhat predictably) impressed by what Gibson and Murphy have done with these reissues. “It’s not about… Stuff. It’s about being custodians of something that’s been existing for longer than you have.“