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One of the biggest names in electric guitars, Gibson, have announced a limited edition Les Paul Black Beauty to commemorate two decades of their Historic Reissues series. Compare Gibson Les Paul 20th Anniversary Black Beauty 1957 guitar prices at


As one of the most lusted after Les Pauls, the Black Beauty is something of an institution in it's own right, and now you can own a '57 spec Custom with all the attendance golden trimmings. Aside from being highly desirable guitars, these 20th Anniversary Customs are of note as they'll be of a limited run of 100 being built only in 2013, and they're the first Gibson guitars to feature one-piece ebony fingerboards since 2011, and according to the company are "likely to be one of the very last" models to do so.


So dig deep, Les Paul lovers - a 20th Anniversary 1957 Les Paul Custom Black Beauty can be yours for somewhere in the region of £6,200 (I think I'll have two!) To kick off a very limited edition series of three guitars that celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Historic Reissues series, Gibson Custom presents the 20th Anniversary 1957 Les Paul Black Beauty—often considered the epitome of the "Black Beauty," and the first of the elegant Customs to carry the new PAF humbucking pickups.


In addition to being both a stunning, period-correct recreation of the '57 Les Paul Custom and a collectable Anniversary model, this 1957 Black Beauty marks two very significant milestones. First, it is the inaugural guitar in a series that will be offered only in 2013. Limited to 100 pieces of each model, each in the series is unique and extremely rare. Second, this guitar is the first run of instruments to be made with one-piece ebony fingerboards since November of 2011, and is likely to be one of the very last.






With its antique ebony finish, gold-plated hardware, and classic Black Beauty appointments—including multi-ply body and headstock binding, pearl block fingerboard inlays and split-diamond headstock inlay—the 20th Anniversary 1957 Les Paul Black Beauty is a gorgeous instrument by any standards. Add to that its 20th Anniversary medallion, which covers the toggle switch access on the guitar's back; a custom fitted dust cover with a retro 1993 Gibson Custom logo; and a one-of-a-kind, hand-made framed Certificate of Authenticity, and you have a unique and memorable instrument worthy of this milestone in Gibson history. Also, to help ensure that the exclusive 100 owners of this special guitar can keep it in "like new" condition for years to come, we even include a pair of white gloves.


But don't be afraid to rock out, either. The 20th Anniversary 1957 Les Paul Black Beauty is primed for tone just as much as it is for looks, with a pair of Alnico III-loaded Custom Buckers, a solid, one-piece mahogany body, a quarter-sawn mahogany neck with rounded '50s profile, and Gibson's acclaimed hardware set, including period-correct "waffle back" tuners. Furthermore, this limited edition Black Beauty benefits from Gibson Custom's 20th Anniversary Specifications, adopted for 2013, so the guitar's deep-set neck tenon is attached with genuine hot-hide glue, and it carries a Historic Truss Rod assembly with no tubing. Contact your authorized Gibson Custom dealer today to get your hands on a true piece of Gibson history.


In keeping with the original '57 Les Paul Custom, the 20th Anniversary 1957 Les Paul Black Beauty has a one-piece body of solid mahogany with a carved top, finished in Antique Ebony in nitrocellulose lacquer. It's quarter-sawn mahogany neck is carved to a full, rounded '50s profile and is topped with a genuine, one-piece ebony fingerboard with pearl block inlays and 22 medium-jumbo frets. Its Custom-profile headstock is trimmed in multi-ply binding and carries a mother-of-pearl split-diamond inlay.






The 20th Anniversary 1957 Les Paul Black Beauty carries Custom Buckers with gold-plated covers. Designed specifically for this limited edition guitar, these pickups are made with genuine Alnico III magnets and coils wound with unequal turns of 42 AWG wire for that characteristic PAF depth and bite, with a slightly overwound bridge pickup for added punch in the lead position. Its traditional control complement includes two independent volume and tone controls, with "Bumble Bee" tone caps on the latter, and a three-way toggle switch.


The gold-plated ABR-1 Tune-o-matic bridge and lightweight stopbar tailpiece partner with a set of authentic gold "waffle back" tuners. A black multi-ply pickguard, black top-hat knobs, and engraved "Les Paul Custom"truss-rod cover complete the authentic look.


In addition to its Custom Shop case, owner's manual, and adjustment literature, each 20th Anniversary 1957 Les Paul Black Beauty comes with a framed, handmade, one-of-a-kind Custom Shop 20th Anniversary Limited Edition Certificate of Authenticity, along with a custom-fitted dust cover with retro 1993 Custom Shop logo, a pair of white gloves, and a stamped brass "20th Anniversary" toggle switch cavity cover (with a spare standard plastic cover in the case).

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Gibson have a great story about Guns N’ Roses’ debut album, Appetite for Destruction, where a young Slash was getting frustrated when trying to achieve the right “tone” with a range of contemporary electric guitars. “Then someone handed him a reissue-style Les Paul Standard, and that was all she wrote.”

With the Les Paul in hand, Slash laid down a host of riffs powered the biggest-selling debut album of all time and propelling songs like “Sweet Child O’ Mine”, “Welcome to the Jungle” and “Paradise City”, into the hearts and minds of musicians everywhere.

With the rock legend offering his valuable input, the Gibson Slash Appetite Les Paul model focuses on maintaining the impeccable styling of the original first sold in 1952 as well as tweaking the sound to fit Slash’s playing style.

Just like Slash’s original guitar he used for “Appetite for Destruction”, the Gibson Slash Appetite Les Paul mimics a lot of the most admired features of the original Les Paul Standards from the late 50’s and early 60’s, such as a slim neck profile and a body based on a 1959 Les Paul.

Gibson have done a brilliant job in the authentic finish that gives the Slash Appetite Les Paul the look of a gently aged vintage guitar and features like a traditional Les Paul carved maple top and mahogany back and a one-piece mahogany neck give this axe tremendous character.

The Gibson Slash Appetite Les Paul model features Slash inspired hardware in two Seymour Duncan Alnico II Pro Slash signature humbucker pickups at both the neck and bridge positions, which offer players an incredible selection of sounds with a mini-toggle switch inserted between the iconic volume control knobs to help regulate acoustic and hybrid acoustic/electric tones.

From the second I plugged this thing into my Marshall Amp, the classic-rock sound I had been hoping for just exploded out of the speakers. The sound is exactly what you’d expect from a Les Paul/Marshall combo with chords giving a nice thick, chunky, deep tone, and lengthy, howling notes when soloing.

With features and characteristics that inspire Slash, Gibson Custom has created one of its most distinct and best sounding Les Paul models ever, and quite possible the perfect axe for any Slash fans.

The Gibson Les Paul, hailed by many as the holy grail of rock guitars, and when you consider that the Les Paul was the “weapon of choice” for talented musicians such as Jimmy Page, Joe Perry, Slash, Ace Frehley, Stone Gossard to name but a few, it’s massive following is hardly surprising. However, if you’re looking to add yourself to the list of Les Paul devotees, it's important to understand that these gorgeous and toneful instuments don't exactly come cheap. In fact, the retail list price of a Gibson Les Paul can be anything up to $15,000 and beyond. Thankfully, for those who want a Les Paul, and currently don't want to spend more than you would for a small family car, there is an excellent solution in the Epiphone Les Paul Standard.

Made in Korea, this Gibson-designed Les Paul copy looks and feels like the real deal. If it wasn’t for distinctive Epiphone headstock you’d be fooled, although even this bears the familiar Les Paul signature. Coming in a variety of colour options, the Epiphone’s two-piece, maple top is beautifully figured, and the cream-colored binding, pickup surrounds and pickguard compliment its finish lending that authentic appeal you’d hope for.

The Epiphone Les Paul Standard’s neck is a similar “clunk-free” type found on the classic and universally acclaimed 1960 Gibson Les Paul Standard. As you would expect, the fingerboard is rosewood and the fretwire is sufficiently wide to make Slash inspired string bends a breeze.

Using it’s powerful bridge pickup, modelled after Gibson's 498T, the Epiphone gives a satisfyingly low-end, a midrange that cuts nicely and a high-end that’s pretty darned smooth.  Switching to the neck pickup, the guitar produces an expected deep, dark, fluid tone, easily nailing some very pleasing clean, crunch and lead tones.

For Epiphone to have made such a low cost, good-looking, good-sounding guitar, there obviously must have be a downside somewhere, and there is. The stylish maple top is actually a glued on veneer facade, whilst the new Gibson Les Paul Standard bodies are all crafted from a single slab of mahogany, the Epiphone body is actually made from several pieces of mahogany, laminated together, as is the same for the neck. However, laminating the body and neck allows the guitar to weigh in at just 8.7 pounds, almost 1.5 pounds lighter than it’s Gibson Les Paul Standard cousin.

What we have in the Epiphone Les Paul Standard is a well-made, eye-catching Les Paul copy  that plays well, sounds as good as it looks and won’t force you to re-morgage to afford it. If you're looking for a Les Paul but don't have the funds, or simply the best Les Paul copy, this affordable Epiphone is one of the best options around.

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