Gibson Murphy Lab Wildwood Spec by Tom Murphy 1958 Les Paul Standard – Murphy-Painted, Light Aged
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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.
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.
Painted by Tom
Wildwood has a long and storied history of collaboration with Tom Murphy, and the Wildwood Spec by Tom Murphy series is one of the most popular runs of guitars in Wildwood history. Because Tom is an awesome guy, he is still going to hand-paint some Murphy Lab guitars for us when he can. With his master's touch, Tom puts an absolutely exquisite finish on these guitars before handing them over to the Murphy Lab team for aging. These guitars are an opportunity to experience the handiwork of a true master craftsman, and we are privileged to showcase them.
A Fantabulous Fifty-Eight
This particular Murphy Lab marvel is a reissue of a 1958 Les Paul Standard, one of the coolest and most historically-significant guitars in Gibson’s history. In 1958, the Standard model received a makeover as Gibson swapped the finish from an opaque gold to a more transparent burst that highlighted the grain of the wood. The spirits of those “first bursts” are alive and well in this reissue! It has an uber-comfy chunky C-shaped neck profile and historically-correct narrow-tall frets, and that combination makes for a wonderful playing experience.
Because our friends at Gibson are the coolest people ever, they were kind enough to allow us to have exclusive Wildwood Spec Murphy Lab guitars. Basically, these guitars receive a little bit of extra fairy dust in the build process that makes them a bit more magical. All tops are hand-picked for exceptional beauty, and they are so beautiful that the cases should probably come with a built-in drool shield!
But, they're not just pretty faces: they're also absolute sonic titans thanks to their pickups. Each one of these guitars comes equipped with Wildwood Spec Custombuckers, and they (to use a very scientific term) totally rule. They are brimming with vintage flavor, and they capture the sound of an old PAF beautifully. The fine folks who make Gibson's pickups also added a little bit of extra secret sauce that improves their articulation, dynamism, and clarity, too. As a result, these pickups translate the subtleties and nuances of your playing so well that the guitar almost feels like an extension of your hands.
We have no doubt that these Wildwood Spec Murphy Lab guitars will bring you a lifetime of musical delight. They look gorgeous, they sound titanic, and they feel like an old friend you've never met. We hope you love them as much as we do, and we hope they inspire you to make a joyous racket for a long time.
|Brand||Gibson Murphy Lab|
|Model||Murphy Lab Wildwood Spec by Tom Murphy 1958 Les Paul Standard|
|Finish Color||Murphy Burst Hand-Painted By Tom Murphy Himself|
|Top Wood||2-Piece Hand-Picked Maple Attached with Hot Hide Glue|
|Body Wood||1-Piece Lightweight Mahogany|
|Neck Wood||Solid Mahogany|
|Neck Shape||Chunky C Profile|
|Neck Dimensions||.900 1st - 1.010 12th|
|Neck Joint||Long Tenon with Hide Glue Fit|
|Fingerboard||Indian Rosewood attached with Hot Hide Glue|
|Inlays||Aged Cellulose Nitrate Trapezoid|
|Width at Nut||1.687"|
|Frets||22 Historic Narrow-Tall|
|Pickups||2 Wildwood Spec Custombuckers|
|Controls||2 Volume, 2 Tone and 3-way Toggleswitch|
|Bridge||ABR-1 with Aluminum-Plated Brass Saddles|
|Tailpiece||Lightweight Aluminum Stopbar|
|Tuners||Kluson Single-Ring Single-Line|
|Pickguard||Laminated Cellulose Acetate Butyrate|
|Case||Brown/Pink Lifton Reissue 5-Latch Case|
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