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.
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.
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- Gibson Murphy Labs, how old will you go?: Gibson