In May 2021, Gibson debuted its Exclusives Collection of electric guitars – a family of uniquely finished ES-335, Les Paul, Flying V and SG models that, as the name implies, were only available directly from the Gibson website.
Though the collection was expanded over a year later with the introduction of another Flying V, the overall finish options remained the same: Drab Olive or Ebony.
Now, for the first time since the line’s inception, Gibson has lifted the curtain on a brand new Exclusives colorway that looks to be unlike anything else Gibson has offered in recent memory.
Dubbed Deep Purple, the finish looks to rival Drab Olive for the mantle of “best Exclusives colorway”, and stakes a claim for being the most intriguing colorway in the current Gibson catalog.
Though old purple burst variants can be found across the Gibson range – the Custom Shop Les Paul Purple Widow, Custom Pro Purple Edge and Goddess Violet Burst Purple models are just some examples – it seems to be the first time a solid block purple option has been offered.
To usher in the fresh finish, Gibson has unveiled cosmetically updated ES-335, Les Paul Special and Les Paul Classic models, which each take inspiration from their Exclusives predecessors.
Having said that, it’s the first time Gibson has loaded an Exclusives ES-335 with covered humbuckers, having paired its Drab Olive and Ebony alternatives with open-coils and P-90s, respectively.
It’s business as usual for the rest of the lineup, though, with the 335 otherwise boasting a three-ply poplar/maple body, mahogany neck and Indian rosewood fingerboard, as well as a maple center block, spruce bracing and single-ply cream binding.
Other appointments include chrome-covered Calibrated T-Type humbuckers, dot inlays, 22 frets, a Graph Tech nut and Vintage Deluxe tuners with Keystone buttons.
The Les Pauls, meanwhile, are carbon copies of their Drab Olive and Ebony alternatives, save for the Deep Purple finish. That means both feature mahogany bodies, mahogany necks, Indian rosewood fretboards and cream fretboard binding.
Naturally, there are a host of model-specific differences. The Les Paul Classic comes equipped with Burstbucker 61R and 61T humbuckers, acrylic trapezoid inlays, body binding and a tune-o-matic/stopbar combo, while the Les Paul Special offers dot inlays, a wraparound bridge and a pair of P-90s.
In terms of outlay, the ES-335 is the priciest of the bunch, carrying a price tag of $3,299. The Les Paul Classic and Les Paul Special, meanwhile, are available for $2,499 and $1,799, respectively.
The Deep Purple offerings take the total Exclusives Collection tally to 14, and join a handful of eye-catching axes, such as the Ebony '70s Explorer, Ebony ES-345 and Drab Olive '70s Flying V.
As mentioned above, the Deep Purple guitars will only be available from the Gibson website.
Head over to Gibson to find out more and to explore the whole Exclusives Collection.