A once in a lifetime opportunity to own a piece of history
When it comes to guitar and amp relationships, the combination of Gibson Les Paul guitars and Marshall amplifiers is an unbeatable match made in tone heaven. When Jim Marshall placed his name on the very first JTM45 head back in 1962, it was almost as if the Gibson Les Paul had finally found its soul mate, and artists like Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Paul Kossoff, Slash and many more would agree, going on to make their mark in the music scene with this incomparable pairing of a Les Paul with a Marshall amp.
To celebrate this match made in heaven, the Gibson Custom shop and the good people at Marshall Amplification decided it was time to solidify this partnership in their own style. The result is the extremely Limited Edition Gibson 50th Anniversary of Marshall Les Paul Goldtop & 1962LE Bluesbreaker Amp package. The guitar, limited to 50 worldwide meets an amplifier, which is just as limited, has been crafted by hand with the same specifications as it was first introduced back in 1962. We take a closer look at this once in a lifetime opportunity.
The Gibson 50th Anniversary of Marshall Les Paul Goldtop may be what’s known as a “collectors piece” to some but it has been constructed with playing in mind. Gibson themselves have stated that this beautifully finished Les Paul is “first and foremost a player’s guitar” combining a premium select lightweight one piece mahogany body with a two-piece carved maple top to produce that distinctive depth and clarity Gibson guitars are so famous for. To capture that unmistakable look of an original ’50s Goldtop, the guitar has been meticulously hand sprayed with a nitrocellulose finish where it is then hand aged by the legendary Tom Murphy to replicate the appearance of a (gently) used original 1957 model. All the trimmings have been added too, as keen Gibson fans will notice that the vintage correct cream body binding makes an appearance. A Gibson Custom stamp of approval has quite literally been applied here as this highly limited guitar features a commemorative cream plastic scratchplate that has been lovingly hot-stamped with the “Marshall 50th” badge. In addition, the truss rod cover also features a “hot stamped” embellishment with Jim Marshall’s signature. Each of these models come with a leather-bound Certificate of Authenticity and are all serialized #1-50.
An array of period-correct details have been included in the construction of this guitar, especially when it comes to the ’50s profile neck which is a one-piece quarter-sawn mahogany creation that has been glued in with a longer tenon providing a greater resonance and that coveted Gibson Les Paul sustain. The ’50s profile actually measures .900 at the first fret and 1.000 at the 12th and includes a rosewood fingerboard with 22 vintage reissue frets as well as a commemorative “Marshall” script logo which adorns the 12th fret position in lieu of a nitrocellulose trapezoid, which run along the rest of the frets. Gibson have utilised their PLEK system with this neck to provide greater playing comfort.
But how does it sound? Well, i’m glad you asked. Never a brand to miss a detail, Gibson have made sure this guitar sounds amazing at all levels via a BurstBucker 1 in the neck position and BurstBucker 2 in the bridge. Both pickups are made with genuine Alnico magnets, but it’s the winding of the 42 AWG wire that makes all the difference. Each pickup has slightly mismatched coils to provide that coveted PAF humbucker sound of the late 50s. Put simply, this thing sounds like it’s been taken straight out of the 50s.
But when it’s plugged in to the Marshall 1962LE Bluesbreaker Amp, you best be ready for some serious tones!
Ozzy & Tony, Slash & Axl, Keith & Mick, all entities which work well on their own, but put them together and you have an unbeatable combination. You can now add this guitar and amp partnership to legendary match ups, especially as the guitar in question happens to be one of the most sought after amps ever created. The Marshall 1962LE Bluesbreaker is a combo version of that very first JTM45 head, and was built using the original designs Jim Marshall drew up. The aim was to make a more portable, easily transportable amplifier, and the result is this hand wired beauty. Each amp has been meticulously hand wired using the same components (compliant with today’s health and safety standards) that were used in the original amps, giving you the tonal qualities of an original 1962 Bluesbreaker.
Marshall have added four EL83 valves which will allow you to push the amp to a very nice “breaking point” so you can enjoy all the sultry tones coming out of the two 12″ Alnico T.652 speakers. As an extra addition, Marshall have installed a foot switchable tremolo circuit and thrown in a footswitch too! Again, there are only 50 of these worldwide, never to be seen again. It’s 30 watts of pure power just aching to be cranked up with it’s Gibson Les Paul.
It includes a History Of The Bluesbreaker book as well as a presentation wallet with signed certificate of authenticity.
What about the specs?
The Gibson 50th Anniversary of Marshall Les Paul Goldtop
- 1-piece mahogany back, plain maple top
- ’50s rounded neck profile
- Acrylic trapezoids with “Marshall” logo at the 12th fret
- Jim Marshall signature on truss rod cover
- Holly veneer headstock
- Gotoh Reissue Green Key Tuners
- ABR-1 bridge
- Aged lightweight aluminium tailpiece
- BurstBucker pickups w/ 42 AWG wire
- Gold top hat knobs
- Antique gold finish aged by Tom Murphy
- Includes Custom shop hard case, Certificate of Authenticity
The Marshall 1962LE Bluesbreaker Amp
- 30 Watts RMS – pure power!
- 2 x Alnico T.652 Speakers
- Aluminium Chassis
- Hand-wired Tag Board
- 4 x ECC83 Pre-amp Tubes
- 2 x KT66 Power Tube
- Footswitchable Tremolo
- Volume I & Volume II controls
- History Of The Bluesbreaker book included
- Presentation wallet including signed certificate of authenticity
So there you have it, a closer look at the Gibson 50th Anniversary of Marshall Les Paul Goldtop & 1962LE Bluesbreaker Amp. What will you do with yours? Keep it in a glass case, or take it on the road where it belongs? The choice is yours, but with only 50 available and the numbers dwindling, don’t miss out on the opportunity to own a piece of musical history.
Lee Glynn is a guitarist and multi-instrumentalist who lives in Liverpool, England. After moving to the UK from Perth, Australia, Lee enjoyed a successful career as guitarist in Liverpool based rock band Sound of Guns.
After releasing two albums, a myriad of EPs / singles and touring extensively around the world for 6 years including stops at Glastonbury, Latitude Festival, as well as the coveted Reading & Leeds Festivals, Lee decided it was a time for a change of scenery.
Utilising his experience in music journalism, Lee now works within the web team at Dawsons Music, where he can still relay his passion for music by producing great content for the Dawsons blog and social media. Lee is still an avid guitar player and writer.