Gibson now introduce the 2016 Les Paul Joe Bonamassa Signature Limited Run electric guitar. Joe Bonamassa recalls first beginning to play the guitar when he was just 4 years old, and his career was kickstarted in 1989 when he was just 12 years old when he opened for B.B. King at his live show at the Rochester Lilac Festival in New York. Now, Joe Bonamassa is one of the most highly acclaimed blues guitarists the world has ever seen and heard. For this signature limited run edition Les Paul, Joe Bonamassa has collaborated with Gibson USA to design this wonderful, personalised electric guitar which shows Joe’s admiration for the original models of the 60s which inspired so many guitarists.
MAPLE AND MAHOGANY
Joe Bonamassa worked closely with Gibson USA to create this signature model using his own specs to bring back some of the well-loved features found on the Les Paul guitars released in the 60s. Together they chose a two-piece AAA grade maple for the body top and used Hi Gloss 90 Sheen lacquer to give it this eye-catching Tomato Soup Burst finish with cream binding.
To generate a full-bodied, versatile range of tones, mahogany was employed to construct the back and sides of this signature Les Paul. A somewhat traditional feature of a Les Paul is its weight, and Gibson have many techniques to reduce this for a comfortable feel. Before attaching the maple body top to the back and sides, Gibson drilled nine holes into the lower bout of the mahogany body on its bass side to relieve the overall weight of the guitar. This method gives the guitar a lighter feel against the guitarist’s body while still ensuring the guitar feels solid and sturdy.
SLIMTAPER MAHOGANY NECK
Firmly fixed to the body by a Mortis and Tenon joint is a single piece mahogany neck with a SlimTaper profile. This slender neck profile promotes a faster playing technique while preventing the guitarist from becoming tired and achey, thus offering a comfortable playing experience.
Atop of the mahogany neck is a dark rosewood, 22-fret fingerboard which is decorated with acrylic trapezoid inlays and classic cream binding. Joe Bonamassa established that he wanted this model to have a nylon nut, just like the Les Paul models of the 60s, to provide that resonant, flavoursome tone but also to ensure that it is hard-wearing and dependable as the years go on.
JOE BONAMASSA SIGNATURE PICKUPS
With this being a signature model it was appropriate that it was fitted with Seymour Duncan 52-Nc and 53-Nc humbucking pickups, which Joe believes to be the flagship of a Les Paul. Joe picked these as a personal choice due to their ability to produce a wonderful partnership of overdrive and sound clarity. The pickups have nickel hardware which we have seen previously on Les Paul guitars during the 60s. To alter between the pickups there is a three-way toggle switch to enable you to find a sweet tone.
On the treble side of the body at the lower end are four control pots for lead volume, lead tone, rhythm volume and rhythm tone. The controls are designed to reflect Joe’s preferred appearance, so the bridge pickup controls have gold top hats with aluminium inserts while the neck pickup controls have amber top hats in contrast.
B7 BIGSBY TAILPIECE
The 2016 Les Paul Signature model is equipped with a non-wire ABR bridge and the B7 Bigsby tailpiece with a vibramate mounting kit. This is Joe Bonamassa’s favourite and it’s addition to the guitar does not impact on that glorious Tomato Soup Burst maple body top.
The B7 Bigsby tailpiece was the first ever design of a tremolo arm that became successful, and has been employed on this limited edition guitar. It gives you the option to create a true vibrato effect in your sound just by using the whammy bar for a fantastic tremolo tone.
HARDWARE AND FINISH
The headstock is fitted with vintage style keystone tuning keys with press in bushing, very similar to the models of the 60s. These provide accurate tuning with a 14:1 ratio.
Gibson supply a black hard shell case with this limited run model, but it is also hand-signed and numbered by Joe Bonamassa himself for a truly authentic feel. Joe also includes a cream-coloured pickguard which is also hand-signed, but it does not come already mounted to the guitar, thus giving you the choice depending on whether you wish to use it or not. The pickguard is placed inside the case.
The Gibson 2016 Les Paul Joe Bonamassa Signature Limited Run is a very exclusive electric guitar which has been given some beautiful and personal finishing touches by Joe Bonamassa himself so as to stand out from the rest of your guitars.
Manufacturer Gibson Model 2016 Les Paul Joe Bonamassa Signature Limited Run Top Material Maple Back & Side Material Mahogany Neck Material Mahogany Fingerboard Material Rosewood Pickups Seymour Duncan 52-Nc and 53-Nc Guitar Size Full Number of Strings 6 Included Accessories Signed hard shell case, Gibson USA owner’s manual, hand-signed cream pickguard Tuners Vintage Style Keystone Inlays Trapezoid Neck Profile Slimtaper No. of Frets 22 Bridge Non-wire ABR and B7 Bigsby Controls 2x Volume, 2x Tone, Pickup Switch Pickup Switching 3 way
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