by Jef | Approximate reading time: 2 Minutes
Gibson Murphy Lab

Gibson Murphy Lab  ·  Source: Gibson


This week, Gibson announced the first guitars from the new Murphy Lab division of the Gibson Custom Shop. To accompany the release of the new instruments, Gibson has released a video featuring guitar-ageing specialist Tom Murphy talking about the processes involved. Four levels of meticulously prepared ageing are available: Ultra-Light, Light, Heavy and Ultra-Heavy. But, of course, it comes at a price…


Gibson Murphy Labs

During the virtual NAMM Show in January, Gibson talked about a new service it was planning to roll out from its Custom Shop Murphy Labs division offering several ageing options. Now the company has put some flesh on those bones: guitars are to be offered with Ultra-Light, Light, Heavy and Ultra-Heavy ageing. If you like new guitars that look old, you now have the option to decide how old should they look.

Tom Murphy and his staff will age and relic your favourite guitars to order, using a variety of subtle techniques and ageing processes to make the ageing look as authentic as possible. They even have their own Murphy Lab lacquer formula and hand-applied techniques, all of which go into making your new Custom Shop guitar look like a vintage original.


Gibson Murphy Labs, how old will you go?

Gibson Murphy Labs, how old will you go?

Murphy Lab Ageing:

Gibson dealers have begin stocking Custom Shop guitars with the Murphy Lab ageing – and they aren’t cheap! So how much does the Murphy Lab option add to the price? Well, browsing through the prices posted online suggests that you’re going to be paying up to several thousand extra.

Comparing this model, a Les Paul Standard 1959 Slow Iced Tea Fade with Heavy ageing – listed at GBP 6,499 – with this model, a Les Paul 59 Iced Tea Burst VOS from the Custom Shop at GBP 4,333, suggests a difference of over two thousand pounds. The Les Paul Standard 1959 Kindred Burst Murphy Lab Ultra Heavy Aged is even more expensive, and will set you back GBP 7,599. Below we’ve added a couple of models stocked by our affiliate partner Thomann, with Murphy Lab ageing; prices go up to €10,499, or GBP 7,599.

Tell us what do you think of the new Gibson Murphy Labs in the comments section below. Are you a fan of the relic look? Or do you think it is all a bit dated? Check out the official Gibson Murphy Lab video below to see what all the fuss is about.


More Information



By loading the video, you agree to YouTube’s privacy policy.
Learn more

Load video

This post contains affiliate links and/or widgets. When you buy a product via our affiliate partner, we receive a small commission that helps support what we do. Don’t worry, you pay the same price. Thanks for your support!

Image Sources:
  • Gibson Murphy Labs, how old will you go?: Gibson
Gibson Murphy Lab

How do you like this post?

Rating: Yours: | ø:

6 responses to “Gibson Murphy Labs ageing service now available (and yes, it’s expensive)”

    Jerome Conreen says:

    I got very excited when I saw the Pelham Blue SG and Firebird on Andertons. That was until I saw the price

      Jef says:

      Exactly, these aren’t exactly affordable instruments for gigging. More ‘collectors’ pieces for players perhaps? I’d be interesting to A/B one with a regular non aged guitar to see how they play and sound.

    LR says:

    When you see some of the stuff coming out the Fender Custom Shop (like the double neck Marauder you also featured), this is as exciting as corn flakes. Heck, even what they’re doing with Squier is more interesting than this.

    pfrf says:

    Relic’d guitars look about as “authentic” as stone-washed jeans. Play your guitar, play some shows, tour the country, have some experiences. That’s what the dents and scratches are supposed to be about. Maybe if we stop calling them “relic’d” and start calling them “poser” guitars this sad era will pass.
    This is an ageing service for wearers of rub-on tattoos, stolen valor medals, toupees, and concert t-shirts from shows they’ve never seen.
    “play authentic”

    Ray says:

    I agree that buying a ‘relic’d is like wearing fake tattoos . If you found a real 1959 Gibson Les Paul and it was in mint condition would you have it ‘relic’d ? . That the logic some people have . If you wear making a movie about Aerosmith yes you would relic or copy Joe Perry’s tobacco Les Paul . The guitar is supposed to have all your years of playing hard written all over it .

    Earl says:

    the “faux” vintage effect may not be for all.

    BUT… don’t lose sight of the fact that these guitars feature a level of craftsmanship

    neck feel
    fretboard feel
    weight ..

    that are only going to be found in a high end custom shop instrument. That reality seems to be over looked when people discuss these guitars.

    The ones I have “laid hands” on are “players”…it was a world of difference between one of these and even my best custom shop Gibson ….the tone…the feel of the neck….its there..from the first time you grab it…and strum a note..or chord….and that’s what some players are willing to pay for ….great tone, great feel …thats hard to pass up.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *