NASHVILLE, TN (April 27, 2023) Gibson–the iconic American-made, and leading instrument brand–has a legacy of making world-class instruments since 1894 when Orville Gibson was crafting archtop mandolins. As a natural extension of Gibson’s passion for its unique instruments and the stories they tell, last month Gibson launched the history-making Gibson Certified Vintage program–which offers collectible vintage guitars authenticated, and certified directly by Gibson, with a new limited lifetime warranty and a certificate of vintage authenticity. All Gibson Certified Vintage guitars are sold via the Gibson Garage in Nashville, TN, call (615) 933-6000; select models will available for purchase via https://www.gibson.com/en-US/Certified-Vintage.
Today the Gibson Certified Vintage program premieres the next five models, a 1978 Custom L-5 CES, 1985 Designer Series Custom Graphics Flying V, 1980 Heritage Series Les Paul Standard 80 Prototype a 1961 Les Paul SG Custom, and a rare 1958 Les Paul Custom. Explore Gibson Certified Vintage guitars below and check back for refreshed vintage offerings as each guitar is sold; for all details, visit: https://www.gibson.com/en-US/Certified-Vintage.
A world-first, the Gibson Certified Vintage features one-of-a-kind Golden Era blue-chip guitars, to unique, one-of-a-kind prototypes, celebrity-owned guitars, as well as 70s and 80s models directly from the Gibson Vault. All Gibson Certified Vintage guitars sold will come with a detailed letter of appraisal confirming the provenance and history of the instrument, a certificate of authenticity, and exclusive case candy. In an industry first, all guitars will receive a new lifetime limited warranty.
Explore the next five guitars to debut in the Gibson Certified Vintage program, available now at: https://www.gibson.com/en-US/Certified-Vintage.
1958 Les Paul Custom
Known the world over by the nickname “Black Beauty,” the Les Paul™ Custom was introduced by Gibson in late 1953 as the company’s top-of-the-line solid body electric. The Custom came dressed in black because Les Paul himself had requested a guitar that “looks like a tuxedo.” Of all the classy Les Paul Customs released during the Golden Era, other than vanishingly rare original twin-humbucker models, the three-pickup incarnation is the pinnacle in terms both of collectability and sheer, unadulterated cool.
Offered for sale as part of Gibson’s world-first Certified Vintage program, this 1958 Black Beauty is in all-original condition, with the exception of a professional refret that saw the original “Fretless Wonder” fretwire replaced with medium jumbos for enhanced playability, and a replacement bone nut. The trio of PAF pickups and Bigbsy® B7 are factory-original, while the lacquer checking, and playwear are evidence that this instrument was played and loved for many years before finding its way into the Vault at the Gibson Garage in Nashville.
The guitar ships with its original black Lifton case plus a modern Lifton case. The buyer will also be invited to visit the Gibson Garage in Nashville for a private, guided tour of the Vault.
Upon purchase, this 1958 Les Paul Custom will be available for pickup at the Gibson Garage in Nashville, or shipment to an address in the U.S., starting on April 27,2023.
1961 Les Paul SG Custom
1961 saw the Gibson Les Paul™ Custom undergo a radical overhaul, with a sleek new double-cutaway body style that would go on to become known as the SG™ from 1963 onwards. Finished in White, the revamped design offered a stark visual and ergonomic contrast to its predecessor but was no less classy. It remains one of the most attractive guitars of the Golden Era.
Offered for sale as part of Gibson’s world-first Certified Vintage program, this 1961 Les Paul SG Custom is from the first year of production and is still sporting its original factory white finish, albeit with the light lacquer checking and occasional bump and bruise you’d expect for a guitar of its age. The original Fretless Wonder frets are still intact, and while their covers were taken off at some point in the past, all three PAF pickups are present, although the bridge pickup cover was replaced with a late 1960s or early 1970s cover.
Other than some missing finish under the binding at the first fret on the bass side of the fingerboard, one changed screw in the back plate, and another changed screw on the factory Sideways Vibrola, this guitar appears very much as it did when it left Kalamazoo in 1961. It eventually found its way to the Gibson Vault, where it has been used in recent years as a benchmark for Gibson Custom’s Historic reissue and Murphy Lab models. The guitar ships with its original black Lifton case.
Upon purchase, this 1961 Les Paul SG Custom will be available for pickup at the Gibson Garage in Nashville, or shipment to an address in the U.S., starting April 27, 2023.
1980 Heritage Series Les Paul Standard 80 Prototype
The Heritage Series Standard 80 was Gibson’s first true attempt at reproducing the legendary 1959 Les Paul™ Standard, and, as such, it largely remains faithful to vintage specifications, with some subtle variations.
Offered for sale as part of Gibson’s world-first Certified Vintage program, this guitar’s low serial number indicates that it was the earliest Standard 80 prototype, and therefore it can be considered the first genuine ’59 reissue ever produced. Having resided for more than 40 years in the Gibson Vault, this is a unique opportunity to purchase an instrument of historic importance in the evolution of Gibson’s vintage reissue models.
With its gorgeous flame maple top finished in Heritage Cherry Sunburst, it certainly looks the part, while patent-number-stamped humbuckers and a ’59-style neck profile tick all the right boxes in terms of sound and feel. The guitar’s original brown hardshell case lost its handle somewhere in storage, so it will also ship with a brand-new Lifton™ hard case. The guitar is missing its original pickguard.
Upon purchase, this 1980 Heritage Series Les Paul Standard 80 Prototype will be available for pickup at the Gibson Garage in Nashville, or shipment to an address in the U.S., starting April 27, 2023.
1978 Custom L-5 CES
The L-5™ is a monolithic presence in the history of Gibson. Designed by the legendary Lloyd Loar, it debuted in 1923 and was the world’s first guitar design to feature f-holes. Though it began life as an acoustic instrument, the L-5 was electrified in the 1940s. The L-5 CES came along in 1951 and quickly became iconic, with a who’s who of jazz musicians soon getting hip to its warm, articulate, and dynamic tones.
Having resided for many years alongside other coveted vintage instruments in the Gibson Vault, this beautiful 1978 L-5 CES is finished in Wine Red and features a Venetian cutaway and a custom-inlaid headstock with a floral design. In addition to a solid carved spruce top, other specifications include a two-piece maple back, a three-piece figured maple neck, and an ebony fingerboard with mother of pearl block inlays.
Upon purchase, 1978 Custom L-5 CES will be available for pickup at the Gibson Garage in Nashville, or shipment to an address in the U.S., starting April 27, 2023.
1985 Designer Series Custom Graphics Flying V
Ever wondered what a Flying V™ with Dirty Fingers™ humbuckers and a Kahler® vibrato would sound like? Now is the time to find out.
The Gibson Designer Series showcased a range of custom graphic finishes on Flying V and Explorer™ models that captured the loud, brash aesthetic of the MTV-dominated music world of the 1980s. Offered for sale as part of Gibson’s world-first Certified Vintage program, this example features an Alpine White finish with the Style 30 graphic and is in new old stock condition, having resided in the Gibson Vault since its manufacture in 1985.
As you’d expect for an instrument crafted nearly 40 years ago, it now has some natural lacquer checking throughout, but this merely adds to the character of this time-capsule piece. The guitar ships with its original black hardshell case, and the original vibrato arm, wrenches, and warranty card are also included.
Upon purchase, the 1985 Designer Series Custom Graphics Flying V will be available for pickup at the Gibson Garage in Nashville, or shipment to an address in the U.S., starting April 27, 2023.