When Gibson debuted its Murphy Lab range last year, the family of faithfully relic’d six-strings was composed exclusively from electric guitars, and introduced a range of Les Pauls, ES-335s and SGs that boasted period-accurate aesthetics.
At the time, it seemed that it was just a matter of time before a range of acoustic guitars would also receive the same groundbreaking aging treatment from Tom Murphy's lab – especially considering how popular the Custom Shop line has become.
That forecast now looks as though it is about to become true, with Gibson brand president Cesar Gueikian offering us a sneak peek at what could potentially be the first acoustic models to emerge from the Murphy Lab.
Taking to Instagram, Gueikian posted pictures of a J-45 and a Hummingbird. Both look vintage, but are they really? That's the point of the Murphy Lab. And with no accompanying details, the high-end acoustic guitars bear all the hallmarks of the Murphy Lab.
Both guitars have noticeable checking on the finish, with the J-45 featuring pick scrapes around the soundhole and pickguard.
The incumbent Murphy Lab instruments are divided into categories according to how much aging they have been exposed to: Ultra Heavy Aged, Heavy Aged, Light Aged and UltraLight Aged.
If we were to hazard a guess, we’d wager the Hummingbird was Light Aged creation, while the J-45 looks to be Ultra Heavy Aged. Or, maybe, they have just lived long happy lives, played regularly but looked after all these years.
But then look closer at both pictures. Both models appear to be bearing an orange Custom Shop label in the soundhole, a tell-tale sign that these are 21st-century instruments, and that the Murphy Lab has made the next step forward, going unplugged.
Gueikian has form for teasing new releases on his Instagram page. In 2020, he confirmed the release of an Adam Jones Silverbust Les Paul Custom on the platform.
Keep your eyes peeled on Gueikian’s Instagram channel for further updates on a potential Murphy Lab line of acoustics.
In other Gibson acoustic news, the company recently celebrated the legendary singer-songwriter Yusuf/Cat Stevens with a signature J-180 Collector’s Edition model, which was inspired by the J-180 acoustic he bought back in 1969 and recorded his biggest tunes on.