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The Marvels of the Murphy Lab

There are 7.764 billion people on this beautiful ball of water and dirt that we call home, and hardly any of them know Gibson guitars better than Tom Murphy. Tom is a legend in the world of guitars, and instruments bearing his name have acquired a deservedly sterling reputation due to their outstanding tone, jaw-dropping looks, and stunning vintage accuracy. But, he wasn't always a rockstar of lutherie. In fact, he worked as a professional touring musician for many years, and during that time he became intimately acquainted with vintage guitars: how they sound, how they feel, and how they look. After deciding to stop touring, Tom got a job as a finish specialist at Gibson and eventually became a project manager in charge of the first reissues of the 1959 Les Paul standard.

For a while, Tom also gained valuable experience working as a luthier to the stars, and his client list included luminaries like Jimmy Page, Dickey Betts, Joe Perry, Billy Gibbons, Eric Clapton, Peter Frampton, and Gary Rossington (fun fact: he brought Peter Frampton's iconic Les Paul Custom back from the dead after it had been resting in pieces in the debris of a crashed cargo plane for three decades!).

Now, things have come full circle, and our friends at Gibson have handed Tom the keys to a brand-new institution of sonic savagery within the Gibson Custom Shop: the Murphy Lab. Tom and his team of skilled craftspeople have one mission, and one mission only: to create the most ridiculously awesome recreations of vintage Gibson guitars that the world has ever seen.

Step Into the Lab

Murphy Lab is aptly named because it is basically the musical equivalent of what happens when you give a mad scientist a laboratory fully stocked with warp drives and flux capacitors. With a plethora of resources behind them, Tom and his team have been able to create guitars that are essentially carbon copies of vintage Gibsons. They look, feel, and sound so close to the originals that it's downright scary.

How do Tom and his team achieve such unparalleled vintage accuracy? Well, first off, Tom has discovered a brand-new formula for nitrocellulose lacquer that mimics the properties of 1950s and ‘60s finishes to a T. Thanks to this thinner finish, Murphy Lab guitars look like authentic vintage pieces. They don’t just look the part--they are the real McCoy!

Of course, the heart of the Murphy Lab is the aging process. Part of what made Tom a legend was his ability to replicate the natural wear and tear found on distressed vintage instruments by hand-aging brand-new instruments. With his practiced eye and skilled hands, Tom artfully mimicked the finish and feel of old guitars, and he has imparted his skills to the talented team at the Murphy Lab.

Though Tom may not age each and every guitar himself, he has done a bang-up job of teaching his team the Way of Murphy, and they do a marvelous job of replicating his masterful work. As a result, each guitar looks like it came out of a time machine and feels like your favorite worn-in pair of blue jeans.

The Gold Standard

Wildwoodians, we are proud to present you with a true exemplar of the Gold Standard set by the Murphy Lab: a Wildwood Spec Murphy Lab reissue of the legendary 1956 Les Paul Standard. These Midas-kissed beauties feature a host of true-to-vintage appointments that give them the sort of tone that haunts the dreams of Les Paul enthusiasts and P-90 aficionados.

Everything starts with quality tonewoods--warm, round-sounding mahogany and crisp, clear maple, and a sweet-sounding rosewood fretboard. Once they pick out some good-sounding wood, the master luthiers at the Gibson Custom Shop attach everything together using hot hide glue. Using hide glue is a time-consuming old-world manufacturing technique that pays incredible sonic dividends because it creates the strongest possible connection between each piece of wood to build as much resonance as possible. That means that these pretty golden girls sing loud and proud even when unplugged!

When you do plug in, you will be amazed at how well the natural acoustic voice of these instruments translates to huge electrified tone. Each one comes equipped with Custom Shop P-90s that seem to capture all our favorite parts of old pickups. Warm, woody low end, touch-sensitive midrange that can sing, punch or bite depending on your mood, and lush, chiming high-end. If vintage-style sparkle and crunch are your thing, you'll find yourself utterly enamored with the sound of the Wildwood Spec '56 Standard.


Brand Gibson Custom Shop
ModelWildwood Spec Murphy Lab 1956 Les Paul Standard
Finish ColorDouble Gold
Finish TypeLight Aged
Weight8.56 lbs.
Top WoodMaple Attached with Hot Hide Glue
Body WoodMahogany
Neck WoodSolid Mahogany
Neck ShapeChunky C Profile
Neck Dimensions.890 1st - 1.010 12th
Neck JointLong Tenon with Hide Glue Fit
FingerboardIndian Rosewood Attached with Hot Hide Glue
Fingerboard Radius12"
InlaysAged Cellulose Nitrate Trapezoid
Scale Length24.75"
Width at Nut1.687"
Frets22 Historic Narrow-Tall
Binding1-Ply Royalite
Pickups2 Custom Shop P-90s
Controls2 Volume, 2 Tone and 3-way Toggleswitch
HardwareMurphy Lab Light-Aged Nickel
BridgeABR-1 with Nickel-Plated Brass Saddles
TailpieceLightweight Aluminum Stopbar
TunersKluson Single-Ring Single-Line
CaseBrown/Pink Lifton Reissue 5-Latch Case

Why Order from Wildwood Guitars?

An instrument from Wildwood isn't just an ordinary guitar. It's your guitar. Each and every instrument we sell includes a full, point by point setup, an exhaustive evaluation, and expert shipping procedures, with first class, industry leading standards from start to finish. Why? Because you deserve it.

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Serial Number: 62078

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