The Spirit of 1960
Gibson’s original “Burst” Les Pauls are perhaps the most sought-after vintage guitars of all time. They are renowned for their beauty and snowflake-like uniqueness. After all, each one had a different level of flame in the maple top, and each finish received a different amount of UV light, which drastically changes the finish. So, no two are alike, and that’s the beauty of the burst.
And there aren’t many originals to compare, because Gibson made less than 2,000 Les Pauls between 1958 and 1960. Near the tail end of that run, they started putting slimmer necks on them. These guitars had lightning-fast feel that appealed to lots of rock and blues guitar players in the ’60s. One of these players, a young British man named Eric Clapton, touched off the British blues revolution and the Les Paul renaissance by playing his ’60–nicknamed “Beano”–on John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers’ album of the same name.
Of course, an original ’60 Les Paul will run you somewhere in the neighborhood of three-hundred grand. Since not all of us have that kind of money lying around in our couch cushions, we decided to ask our friends at the Gibson Custom Shop to make Wildwood an affordable vintage recreation that captures the mojo of those original slim-necked ’60 LPs. We’re proud to present the fruits of their labors: the Wildwood Spec 1960 Les Paul Standard.
Capturing the Vibe
Whenever we do a run of Wildwood Spec Les Pauls, our primary goal is to capture vintage magic in a brand-new instrument. All great vintage guitars started with great woods, so our resident Gibson expert visited the Custom Shop to hand-pick each and every top and fretboard. As a result, these luscious Lesters are sure to induce uncontrollable drooling every time they come out of the case. Of course, such high-quality woods also produce exceptional resonance and sustain.
Speaking of sustain: our friends at the Custom Shop then used hide glue to attach each piece of wood together. Here at Wildwood, we love hide glue the way Pete Townshend loves windmilling. It’s a protein-based adhesive that promotes the greatest possible energy transfer between two pieces of wood. This results in maximum resonance and sustain, but it isn’t easy. Hide glue is incredibly difficult to work with, and it requires a master’s touch (as well as a tremendous amount of patience and elbow grease). The Custom Shop luthiers were up to the task, though, and their incredible skill made these guitars true sonic heavyweights.
We also requested that Gibson use Wildwood Spec pickups in these beasts, and we couldn’t be happier with the results. They have such incredible vintage vibe that you’d think you took a time machine back to London circa 1966 when you plug one in. They have all of the qualities we covet in old-school PAFs: warm, clear low-end, upper-midrange snarl, low-mid growl, and sweet, singing highs. The bridge pickup is as punchy, muscular, and articulate as an undefeated prizefighter with a master’s degree in communication. Flipping over to the neck pickup makes you feel like you dove into a vat of melted artisan milk chocolate. It’s warm, inviting, vocal, creamy, and righteously smooth.
The Neck of Your Dreams
While I could probably write an entire book about how glorious these ’60 Les Pauls sound, it’s also worth noting that they play like a beautiful buttery dream. Original 1960 Les Pauls had a slimmer neck that entranced players like Eric Clapton, and the Gibson Custom Shop wizard-luthiers have done an excellent job of faithfully capturing the vintage originals’ feel. While testing these guitars out, I definitely had a few “whoah, did I play that?” moments. Such lightning-fast feel is tremendously inspiring!
The Legend Lives
We believe that these Wildwood Spec Les Paul Standards capture the magic of 1960 with exceptional accuracy (not to mention, you won’t have to mortgage your mansion to get one!). We’re proud to showcase them for our exceptional customers, and we know they will inspire any Gibson aficionado to reach new heights on their fretboard adventures.
- Model: Wildwood Spec 1960 Les Paul Standard
- Finish Color: Golden Poppy Burst
- Finish Type: Gloss
- Weight: 8.74 lbs.
- Top Wood: Maple w/Hide Glue Fit
- Body Wood: Mahogany with No Weight Relief
- Neck Wood: Mahogany
- Neck Shape: 1960 Slim Taper
- Neck Dimensions: .820 1st – .940 12th
- Fingerboard: Indian Rosewood, Hide Glue Fit
- Fingerboard Radius: 12″
- Inlays: Aged Cellulose Nitrate Trapezoid
- Scale Length: 24.75″
- Width at Nut: 1.69″
- Frets: 22 Authentic Medium Jumbo
- Pickups: Wildwood Spec Custombuckers
- Controls: CTS 500K Audio Taper Potentiometers, Paper-in-Oil Capacitors
- Hardware: Nickel
- Bridge: No-Wire ABR-1
- Tailpiece: Lightweight Aluminum Stop Bar
- Tuners: Kluson Single Line, Double Ring
- Case: Brown/Pink Lifton Reissue 5-Latch
- COA: Yes