2009 Gibson Custom Shop Jimmy Page #2 Les Paul Standard, Murphy Aged

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2009 Gibson Custom Shop Jimmy Page "Number Two" Les Paul Standard, Page Burst, Murphy Aged #78

Superb Limited Edition, Tom Murphy Aged Gibson Custom Shop Jimmy Page "Number Two" Les Paul Standard in Aged "Page Burst" finish. Released in 2009 the Gibson Custom Jimmy Page "Number Two" Les Paul Standard was painstakingly recreated by the team at Gibson Custom following the intimate cooperation of Jimmy Page and unrivalled access to the instrument itself. The process of getting it right involved the production of a number of hand-built prototypes, each of which was checked and critiqued in detail by Page. Approval of the final guitar was only offered after Page had examined and extensively played this last prototype in his London home after which it was given the thumbs-up, worthy of being the template for the Custom Shop Jimmy Page “Number Two” Les Paul.

Purchased by Page in 1973 the guitar that would become known as ‘Number Two’ was bought in the UK after several years of searching for another exceptional sounding Les Paul to compliment ‘Number One’, a ’59 Les Paul Standard Page famously acquired from Joe Walsh. Essentially stock when he received the instrument, Jimmy had some modifications done to the neck shape early on so that it would more nearly match the feel of his “Number One”. Used extensively throughout Led Zeppelin tours and the later 1970’s ‘Number Two’ would often be used in DADGAD for Kashmir as well as sometimes being used for “Dazed and Confused” – when Jimmy played with a violin bow, “Moby Dick”, and “Over the Hills and Far Away”. With a serial number dating it to 1959 the original sunburst finish has faded to wonderfully dusky amber brown. By the early ’80s Page decided to make it an even more versatile instrument and “explore the full range of what the two humbuckers could offer”. Designing a switching system for coil splitting, series/parallel, and phase-reverse options for both pickups, and employed a skilled electronics technician to devise a working schematic and make his sonic vision a reality. The result comprised a push/pull pot on each of the guitar’s four standard controls, plus two push-button switches hidden beneath the pickguard.

The guitar features a uniquely figured two-piece Eastern Maple top mated to a one-piece, solid, lightweight, genuine Mahogany body following the body lines and dimensions of the original ’59 Les Paul Standard. The neck is constructed from one piece, quarter-sawn, lightweight Mahogany with an accurate slim C replica profile taken from the original guitar. The Rosewood fingerboard is fitted with Aged Acrylic Trapezoid inlays and fretted with fret wire chosen specifically. Like the original, the tuners are Grover Rotomatics and just like the original there is evidence of the original Kluson tuner holes on the rear of the headstock. The pickups are unique to this model and comprise of a covered Jimmy Page BurstBucker with Alnico III magnet in the neck and an uncovered Jimmy Page “Number Two” Bucker with Alnico V magnet in the bridge. The pickups are wired to two push-pull volume and two push-pull tone controls with two further ‘hidden’ DPDT switches mounted underneath the pickguard mirroring the mods done by Steve Hoyland for Page.

The Nitrocellulose finish ‘Page Burst Version Two’ was offered in two different treatments; Gibson’s proprietary VOS finish and an aged option by vintage-reproduction master Tom Murphy. Only 325 examples were produced in total: 100 aged by Tom Murphy, 25 more aged by Tom Murphy and signed by Jimmy Page, and a further 200 finished to Gibson’s VOS specs.

We are happy to present #78 from this limited run of 100 aged models. The guitar is one of the nicest examples of this run we have seen. It features a particularly good top that approximates that of the original nicely with a sunburst that frames the figure perfectly.The Murphy Ageing is, as always, subtly refined. The fingerboard is a uniform dark piece of Rosewood. The slim C profile neck feels fast and comfortable, it’s measurements are not too dissimilar to the depth of some mid-sixties Gibsons. The nut width is 43.40mm with adept at the 1st fret of 21.41 and at the 12th fret 22.82. The proprietary pickups measure 8.13K and 7.7K in the bridge and the neck respectively. They balance well and the switching system as you would expect is very usable and musical in all its configurations. The guitar weighs in at 9.4 and comes with its original Gibson Case, Certificate, clear acrylic switching guide, hang tags, spec sheet and warranty card.