Less than a month has passed since Gibson gave the Les Paul a bold makeover with the Custom Color series, and now the good people of the paint room are at it again, refreshing the storied single-cut electric guitar in a very attractive Dark Purple finish.
These, however, are from Gibson’s limited edition Exclusives Collection, so you better get them while the going is good. Either way, the Gibson Les Paul Standard certainly suits purple, with these exclusives being offered in ‘50s or ‘60s models.
Aesthetically, this handsome pair are nigh-on identical, though there are some key differences. The ‘50s Les Paul Standard has gold ‘Top Hat’ control knobs while the ‘60s model has gold ‘Top Hat’ controls with silver inserts and dial pointers. The ‘60s version also has metal kidney bean-style tuning buttons with Keystone buttons on the ‘50s model.
Fundamentally, they are similar. Both have solid mahogany bodies topped with AA figured maple. The mahogany necks are glued-in and topped with a 12” radius Indian rosewood fingerboard that’s inlayed with acrylic trapezoids. The scale length is classic Gibson house style, measuring in at 24.75”, with the nuts measuring 43.05mm wide.
And you’ve got the classic dual-volume, dual-tone control set up, with the three-way pickup selector mounted on a washer on the guitar’s shoulder. The bridge is the familiar ABR-1 Tune-O-Matic with the aluminium stop-bar tailpiece.
The big questions you have to ask yourself is whether you prefer a fuller ‘50s neck profile or the SlimTaper neck shape that came to the fore in the ‘60s? And which era of Gibson humbucker pickups do you prefer?
The ‘50s model has BurstBucker 1 and 2 models, which have an Alnico II magnet, while the ‘60s Burstbucker is designed around an Alnico V magnet.
Or, if purple is your color but you want a plain top, the Gibson Exclusives Collection also offers the Les Paul Standard in Deep Purple. That Deep Purple colorway is also available for the ES-335 and Les Paul Special, with Olive Drab and Ebony options rounding out the Exclusives Collection.
The Dark Purple Les Pauls are priced $2,999, and ship in a hardshell guitar case. And if anyone is torn between one and, say, the Blueberry Burst of the Custom Color Series, perhaps the limited-edition exclusivity will influence your thinking. Gibson isn’t saying how limited these are, but once they’re gone, they’re gone.