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The UK stores have just received the new Gibson Collectors Choice #7 this week, based on John Shanks 1960 LesPaul a transitional model from 59 to 60s. Apparently the neck profile is still based on the ’59 model and other appointments are based on the ’60s model. All the details were painstakingly recreated and from the 2 guitars you see, we compared it side by side and most of the ageing patterns are very similar. It is not as random as I thought it would be, even though it is all done by hand. The maple top figuring have been selectively chosen to match John’s guitar which has subtle flame. It is indeed a piece of art by itself.
More details & history could be found on Gibson’s website ( Collectors Choice #7 Shanks)
Artificially aged guitars does have its’ niche market…either you like it or you don’t. It has been debated to death and I shall not even go there.
Looks aside, the pickups are Custom Buckers with Alnico 3 magnets which are measured to the original PAFs. Guitars do vary from one another but tonally the 2 we tried were very similar sounding albeit one was slightly darker. It definitely has the bite but not harsh and the neck position is articulate and clear.
So where does it leave us after #7? Looks like we will be seeing Bernie Marsden’s ‘ The Beast’ for Collectors Choice #8 soon. That would be an interesting and popular one to look out for.
As much as I’d like to share the image of no.8 up close, it is still confidential at the moment.