The Gibson Collector’s Choice #3 1960 Les Paul ‘The Babe’ extends this collectable range
The new Gibson Collector’s Choice #3 1960 Les Paul ‘The Babe’ extends the number of models in this highly limited edition range to three. As you might expect, it’s really rather special… This Les Paul Standard is based on a 1960s model, nicknamed affectionately as ‘The Babe’. This particular guitar is something of a rarity, produced in a transitional period between 1959 and 1960, and has a number of unexpected features for a guitar of this period. It has had four different owners, and is currently in owned by none other than Joe Bonamassa. The Les Paul ‘The Babe’ will be produce in a quantity of no less than 25 instruments, and no more than 300.
Unusual, ‘transitional’ features
The original Les Paul ‘The Babe’ was ordered from Gibson in June 1959, and arrived in August of the same year. Technically, this, makes it a 1960 model, but the guitar exhibits features of both 1959 and 1960 models. At the original owner’s request, the guitar was finished with a Cherry Red Sunburst, with ‘more red’ rather than the more orange finishes associated with 1960s Les Pauls. Unlike many guitars of this age, ‘The Babe’ has retained much of its red colour. The body itself is a solid mahogany construction, with a carved, plain maple top.
The Gibson Collector’s Choice #3 also recreates the neck of the original guitar, and features the chunkier, rounded neck profile of a 1959 model, replicating the original exactly. The neck is a typical set mahogany type, but with a more unusual maple spline. A rosewood fingerboard is featured, with trapezoid inlays, and vintage reissue fretwire adds further to the authenticity.
One of the most unusual features of the original is the Bigsby vibrato. Very few Les Pauls of this era had this fitted, and it adds a unique twist to an already unusual guitar. The pickups featured on the original were, unsurprisingly, PAF humbuckers. To ensure that the Gibson Collector’s Choice #3 is as accurate as possible, the Gibson Custom Shop recorded the spec and output of these pickups, and recreated them in a special pair of custom humbuckers. These are based on Alnico III magnets, have the same number of turns of the era correct wire, and are identical in just about every way. These are wired with tone circuitary featuring the sought after ‘Bumble Bee’ tone caps. The result is tone identical to that of the original.
Each Gibson Collector’s Choice #3 1960 Les Paul ‘The Babe’ comes complete with a Custom Shop hardshell case, and a certificate of authenticity. Stock is incredibly limited, but (fingers crossed) Dawsons will be getting at least one of these beautiful guitars. Call our stores or customer service team for availability (see above).
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