Tom Murphy is the bottom line when it comes to reliced guitars and Gibson. He can go from totally destroyed guitars to sweet guitars like these that look like they have been loved and played for 50 years. These are some of the best reliced guitars out there. This guitar has a non weight relived mahogany body with a maple top. The neck is a set in maple piece with a 50s profile. The fretboard is rosewood with 22 frets. Up top you get some aged tuning keys and the bridge is an aged tune-o-matic. The pickups in this guitar are a set of Gibson Burstbuckers. The controls are typical Les Paul with a pair of volume and tone controls for each pickup with a 3 way toggle.
A guitar with a nice relic like this guitar feels nicer than a brand new guitar. With the relic job on this guitar it means high wear areas are already worn down so you get a nice worn in feel here you come in contact with the guitar mostly. This guitar has the typical problems associated with Les Pauls. The upper frets are not that easy to reach and the neck is pretty big. These things would make it play like an average Les Paul but the slightly reliced finish gives it above average playability in terms of it being a Les Paul.
This guitar has a very old school sound. It is what a Les Paul should sound like. There is no silly chambering here to make it sound like a hollowbody. This is full on mahogany tone. You get a real PAF type sound going on with this guitar. The PAF is one of the most iconic pickups of all time. The neck position is super smooth and buttery. You get a lovely blues tone with a PAF in the neck. In the bridge it is a classic rock machine. They are not really loose enough for metal and heavy music but for loose rocking stuff they are great. I am not a big user of tone knobs but on an old Les Paul like this you cant help but roll off some tone for those classic super dark sounds.
These guitars are more for pros than collectors. A lot of big name musicians will buy guitars like these so they can keep their real vintage equipment at home and take something that looks vintage but still is replaceable out on the road. Like with all Gibson Custom Shop guitars you will have to pay for the luxury. These guitars are pretty expensive. If you have the means and want something that looks the part this Tom Murphy aged Les Paul is a pretty nice unit.
The aging is the reason why everyone buys these guitars, and it's thanks to Tom Murphy that they're able to sell these at extraordinary prices; his finishing skills really are some of the best out there. The guitar features a mahogany body with a maple top, mahogany neck with a rosewood fretboard, 22 frets, trapezoid inlays, pickguard, binding, hard tail bridge, two humbuckers, two volumes, two tones and a three way switch.
The aging on this guitar looked spot on, thanks to Tom Murphy's professional services over at Gibson. You could notice this on the headstock especially. That's probably the number one giveaway that the guitar was done by a professional of this caliber. The neck profile on this guitar is pretty chunky, so if you're one of those people who can't deal with really thick necks, you might want to look elsewhere. I seem to be able to adapt from super thin necks like the Wizards to extremely thick Nocaster necks without much of a problem. The flatter radius on this was wonderful, and it allowed me to lower the action lower than a normal Strat would allow.
I should preface this by saying that I'm not normally a huge fan of Gibson pickups. I tend to prefer something that's a bit higher output in the bridge and a bit fatter in the neck. The bridge pickup in this is pretty much the standard Gibson bridge pickup in that it has that fatness going on, and it's a very medium output pickup overall. It gets that classic PAF sound, but that's about it. The neck pickups I always found to be a touch bright, but I'm used to super fat neck pickups. I find that they help me solo easier, and it helps make the neck and bridge tones be a bit more distinguishing from each other.
Gold Tops have always been some of my favorite models, and the finishing that was done on this thanks to Tom Murphy was just spot on gorgeous. These things really do look just like a guitar that was normally aged throughout the years. Now if only they didn't cost so much...