2017 Gibson Collectors Choice #43A Mick Ralphs '58 Les Paul Standard, True Historic Spec

By Gibson
£8,495.00 £8,995.00

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Gibson Custom Mick Ralphs '58 Les Paul Standard. Part of the incredibly successful Collectors Choice Series that ran from 2010 to 2017 with 40 guitars replicated in exacting detail. Collectors Choice #43 was released in 2017 and is one of the few guitars from the series to feature the True Historic level Spec. #8 7049 was owned by British Rock legend and Mott The Hoople and Bad Company guitarist Mick Ralphs. The prototypes were approved by Ralphs and the current owner of #8 7049 and were released as a strictly limited package of 300 instruments each with their own Gibson Custom Shop Certificate of Authenticity.

The Gibson Custom Shop has recreated 8 7049 in exacting detail with every minor ding, scuff, and wear patch hand aged to resemble the original. The body features a 2 piece figured Maple top with figure chosen to closely resemble the original, double carved for vintage accuracy, a lightweight solid Mahogany back with no weight relief. The solid Mahogany neck has a ‘58 C-shape Profile replicated from the original with a long Tenon joint, glued with period correct hide glue. The fingerboard is solid Rosewood with Cellulose Nitrate Trapezoid inlays. Frets are larger than the thin variety used by Gibson in 1958, the frets are over binding simulating the refret that 8 7049 has had. The finish is aged cellulose lacquer sprayed in a Sunburst to resemble the original and labelled ‘Ralphs Burst’ by Gibson. Two Custombucker (Alnico III) pickups are wired to hardwired harness with 2 500K CTS Volume Pots, 2 500K CTS Tone Pots with Bumblebee Capacitors. The nickel hardware is lightly aged throughout with a lightweight Aluminum tailpiece, ABR-1 bridge with screws toward tailpiece. Tuners are Aged Kluson Deluxe with keystone buttons. The Plastics are the True Historic formulated reproduction parts with a replica laminated Acrylic pickguard, jack plate cover and 'poker chip.'

This guitar is number 110 of the run and has fast become a bit of a shop favourite, the ageing is up there with some of the finest we’ve seen by the Custom Shop with lots of delicate crazing to the front and more generous wear to the back and neck. The guitar feels lively and lightweight tipping the scales at 8.5lbs. The neck is a slim ’58 profile proving that not all ’58’s have baseball bat necks, measuring 22.87mm at the 1st and 25.4 at the 12th fret. The nut width is 43.02. The pickups were voiced to match those in the original and while we haven’t had the chance to compare them to the PAFs in 8 7049 the Alnico III magnet CustomBuckers are a fine sounding set of mid-output vintage voiced humbuckers measuring just under 8K at the output.

The guitars from the Collectors Choice range we have been lucky enough to have in the shop have never failed to impress and CC43A is a particularly great example. CC#43 bookends the Collectors Choice series nicely and is a great example of what the range was about, taking historically important instruments from the golden-era of Gibson electric guitar production and analysing, measuring and replicating them with unparalleled accuracy. The range is still popular today with many players and collectors specifically seeking these limited run guitars out. The guitar is in excellent condition with little additional wear to the factory ageing. The guitar comes with its original (aged) case and trifold Collectors Choice certificate.