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Ice T 2A 1959 Les Paul For Modern Times


Nearly 60 years on and the legendary status of the 1959 Les Paul is still growing. The '59 wasn't the first Les Paul, but the guitars from that year have ultimately become Gibson's most prized instruments. So few genuine '59s still exist that should you find one for sale expect the price to contain at least 5 zeros on the end.


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For a much more agreeable price tag (relatively speaking) this superbly recreated '59  from Gibson's Custom Shop is as close as many will get. Meticulously built to be as close to an original '59 as possible, this guitar shines in all aspects.


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Straight out of the Custom Shop case the Iced Tea Burst finish is absolutely gorgeous. The carved Flamed Maple top shimmers beautifully, with the Ice Tea burst falling somewhere just lighter than Cherry Sunburst but with a milder and more attractive aesthetic. The outer red dye is period correct, and the guitar has golden tone and volume control knobs, a white scratchplate and switch surround, and the unmistakable chrome saddle and Tune-O-Matic bridge of the '59 Les Paul. It looks sensational, as if a real '59 had been preserved for the modern day. The reddened mahogany back and neck lead to the blackened headstock complete with the bell-shaped truss rod cover, all exactly as it should be.


The Les Paul is wonderfully light (compared to some), which is characteristic of the '59 as it adopted a thinner neck and heel to improve playability and which consequently lowered the overall weight. And what a neck it is, one of the classic's of the guitar world. Smooth and speedy, and underneath a very responsive one-piece rosewood fingerboard it is the complete player's guitar. The way it feels though is something else. It's perfect - and is seriously hard to put down.


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To get that iconic '59 sound this reissue is fitted with Gibson's Custom Buckers. To try and recreate the exact sound of the originals PAFs would have been a tall order, and one could debate the differences for ever, but what is certain is that these Custom Buckers sound simply astounding! You expect the traditional rocky tones from a Les Paul but on this they sound so much greater, with such bite and depth all-round. On clean settings the pickups sound unlike any Les Paul I've played, and with the usual Gibson poise and balance it's simply an astonishing tone. Crank up the gain and you unleash a wall of sound that harks back to the the big rock songs of the late 60s and early 70s where the original '59 made its name. It's sensational, and so vast in its grunt yet still crisp in its bite. No other guitar encompasses the sound of rock like the Les Paul and this is Reissue is no exception.



As it should be, it's one of the finest Les Pauls we've played. It has everything; the emphatic tones, the perfect neck, the sheer playability. But - like the original '59s - its so much more than the sum of its parts and it always feels like it's willing you to play it, on and on. Compared to an original '59 this is available at a tiny fraction of the price. A near-perfect Les Paul, and therefore one of the best guitars money can buy today. Which begs the question; if the reissue can be this good, how good must the real thing be?


RRP - £4699.00


Build 5 Star
Look 5 Star
Feel 5 Star
Tone 5 Star
Value 4 Star
Our Score 5 Star


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Published On 11th March 2017