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Overview Video

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 to use on aged guitars that mimics the properties of 1950s and ‘60s finishes to a T. Thanks to this thinner finish, aged 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.

A Divine Fifty-Nine

This particular magical Murphy is a reissue of the 1959 Les Paul Standard, one of the most iconic guitars in musical history. In the hands of a plethora of players, the '59 Les Paul provided the sonic backbone for dozens and dozens of classic records. It's easy to see why it's so widely sought-after, too. In 1959, Gibson started using stunning flamed maple for the tops and set the gold standard for style in the world of guitars. They also slimmed the neck down some to create more of a medium C profile, and many players fell in love with its feel because it sat squarely in the Goldilocks Zone: not too fat and not too slim. All of these features are present on this gorgeous Murphy Lab '59 Les Paul, and we have no doubt it will inspire you to make a joyous racket for a long, long time.

Wildwood Spec-Tacular

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 lots of joyous racket for a long time.


Brand Gibson Murphy Lab
ModelWildwood Spec Murphy Lab 1959 Les Paul Standard
Finish ColorFactory Burst
Finish TypeLight Aged
Weight8.82 lbs.
Top Wood2-Piece Hand-Picked Figured Maple Attached with Hot Hide Glue
Body Wood1-Piece Lightweight Mahogany
Neck WoodSolid Mahogany
Neck ShapeAuthentic '59 Medium C Profile
Neck Dimensions.870 1st - .970 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 Authentic Medium Jumbo
Binding1-Ply Royalite
Pickups2 Wildwood Spec Custombuckers
Controls2 Volume, 2 Tone and 3-way Toggleswitch
HardwareMurphy Lab Light-Aged Nickel
BridgeABR-1 with Aluminum-Plated Brass Saddles
TailpieceLightweight Aluminum Stopbar
TunersKluson Single-Ring Single-Line
PickguardLaminated Cellulose Acetate Butyrate
CaseBrown/Pink Lifton Reissue 5-Latch Case

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Serial Number: 921382

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