Gibson revives its Faded finish for six fresh Original Collection electric and acoustic models

Gibson has introduced six fresh Original Collection models, which revisit and revive the company’s fan-favorite Faded finish.

The latest drop comprises three electric guitars and three acoustic guitars, each of which take inspiration from a classic Gibson era and flash a satin nitrocellulose lacquer finish for a more muted vintage vibe.

Specifically, the electric camp is completed by two Les Pauls – a ‘50s and ‘60s Standard – as well as a sole Vibrola-equipped ‘61 SG. The acoustic cohort, meanwhile, features a J-45 ‘50s model, J-35 ‘30s iteration and an uber-ornate Hummingbird.

They look to be the first Faded models since a handful of appropriately appointed USA Les Pauls dropped in 2018.

According to Gibson’s Dinesh Lekhraj, not only do the Faded finishes contribute to a specific aesthetic, they also supposedly “equal more tonal resonance and allow the instruments to really breathe and sound more alive."

To find out more about each Gibson Faded Series Original Collection model, cast your gaze below.

Gibson SG Standard '61 Faded Maestro Vibrola 

In no particular order, the Faded SG Standard ‘61 is everything you’d expect a ‘61 reissue model to be, complete with a Vintage Cherry-finished mahogany body, mahogany neck and rosewood fingerboard, as well as trapezoid inlays and 22 medium jumbo frets.

Subtle modern tweaks can be found throughout, such as the Graph Tech nut, SlimTaper neck profile and ‘60s Burstbuckers, the latter of which are dictated by the standard Gibson control layout.

Elsewhere, it’s got the neat Vibrola tailpiece, an ABR-1 tune-o-matic bridge and a Stop bar tailpiece.

The Faded SG Standard ‘61 is available for $2,199.

Gibson Les Paul Standard '50s Faded

Starting the Les Paul lineup with the earliest model, the Standard ‘50s Faded example features a Vintage Honey Burst, and seeks to “pay tribute to Gibson’s golden era of innovation” by including numerous period-appropriate specs.

Unsurprisingly, it’s a standard Les Paul model, complete with a solid mahogany body and AA figured maple top, which are paired with a ‘50s-style mahogany neck and rosewood fingerboard. The spec sheet also has room for Vintage Deluxe tuners with Keystone buttons, gold Top Hat knobs with dial pointers and an ABR-1 tune-o-matic bridge.

Burstbuckers once again make the cut, and are at the mercy of two volume controls, two tone controls and a three-way selector switch.

The Les Paul Standard ‘50s Faded is available for $2,499.

Gibson Les Paul Standard '60s Faded

Capping off the electric catalog is the Les Paul Standard ‘60s Faded. Available in a Vintage Cherry Sunburst, it’s an almost identical model to the above, save for a few key decade-specific deviations.

These include a ‘60s-style mahogany neck, Grover Rotomatic Kidney tuners and gold Top Hat knobs with Silver Reflectors and Dial Pointers. Otherwise, the guitar is business as usual, featuring two Burstbuckers, a rosewood ‘board, and ABR-1 tune-o-matic bridge and trapezoid inlays.

The Les Paul Standard ‘60s Faded is available for $2,499.

Gibson Hummingbird Faded

The classically ornate Hummingbird flashes a Faded Natural finish, and seeks to assimilate vintage specs with modern appointments. At its core, the Faded Hummingbird features a Sitka spruce top with mahogany back and sides, as well as a rosewood fingerboard. 

Elsewhere, the luxurious acoustic comes equipped with Tusq bridge pins, a bone saddle and a Belly Up rosewood bridge, and boasts an LR Baggs VTC under saddle pickup controlled via soundhole-mounted volume and tone parameters.

The Hummingbird is the most expensive Faded acoustic, and carries a $3,499 price tag.

Gibson J-45 '50s Faded

Up next is the J-45 ‘50s Faded, which flashes a Faded Sunburst finish. Based on the original “workhorse” Gibson, the Faded reinvention is composed from a Sitka spruce top, mahogany back and sides and rosewood fingerboard, and has also been super-charged with the LR Baggs VTC under saddle pickup system.

Available for $2,499, the J-45 has also been treated to a Belly Up rosewood bridge, a fat ‘50s pickguard, Tusq bridge pins and a bone nut, as well as Gotoh white button tuning machines.

Gibson J-35 '30s Faded

Completing the collection is the J-35 ‘30s Faded, which rolls the years back even further with its classic Gibson logo-adorned headstock, Grover Open Back tuners and classic rectangular closed slot bridge.

Again, the LR Baggs VTC system makes the cut, and is housed within the Sitka spruce/mahogany body, which has been treated to a Natural Faded colorway. Other notable appointments include the traditional hand-scalloped X-Bracing, 19 standard small crown frets and mother of pearl dot inlays.

It’s the cheapest of the bunch, and weighs in at $2,199.

For more information on the all-new Faded Series six-strings, head over to Gibson.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.