A scrappy little guitar served its purpose when you were first starting out, but now that you’ve established yourself as a musician it’s nothing but the best for your collection. Because it’s not just your skills behind the fret that have improved – so have your standings in life. Forget second-hand models and discounted brands; you have your sights on luxury guitars. Now that money’s no object, something as trifling as a budget won’t come between you and your next acquisition.
For those with discerning tastes, they know that some of the most high-end models come from the Gibson Guitar Corporation. With a history spanning over 100 years, Gibson has spent more than a century perfecting their processes, and these efforts are obvious in its tonally rich and versatile line of instruments. Each model is an ode to tradition while it simultaneously embraces the latest and greatest in manufacturing technology. There’s no greater proof of this than with the recent re-issues of some of the most popular Gibson guitars online.
The 50th Anniversary 1963 ES-335
The original release of the ES-335 was in 1958, but it wasn’t until 1963 that musicians took notice. The ’63 update refined the semi-acoustic model, making it into the highly touch sensitive and versatile instrument that quickly became a favourite amongst rock, jazz, and blues musicians. In 2013, Gibson reissued the ES-335 for its 50th anniversary. It still remains one of the most tonally rich and flexible semi-acoustic guitars in their line-up. With only minor changes to the block inlays and horns, the release retains the clean, bright, and surprisingly velvety smooth sound of the original. It has a full range of fleshed-out notes, so it works as well as playing B.B.’s blues as it does strumming along to garage rock.
Fans won’t be disappointed by the look of the ES-335 either, as the sleek, time-honoured profile is preserved in the reboot. The faithful reproduction of the arched, laminated maple top captures the original’s fundamental style, and the spruce braces, cedar rim liners, and maple centre block are opulent, period-appropriate additions. This keen attention to detail is what makes the style of the ES re-issue look as good as it sounds.
The 1959 Les Paul Standard Re-Issue
As the Holy Grail amongst players, every guitarist has heard of the legendary 1959 Les Paul. Everybody wants to play one; unfortunately, only a small minority of players have ever held one in their hands. Only 1,600 of them were made back in the 50s, and many of them are thought to have been destroyed or lost to the passage of time. Those that remain are considered the greatest model ever made, and they continue to be a favourite of legends like Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, and Billy Gibbons. The celebrated electric guitar is renowned for its closed focus on the mid-range, tonal richness, and incomparable balance. There’s no other model as deeply entrenched in rock and roll history as this one, and it’s perfect for classic anthems and heart-twinging solos.
Like the ’63 ES-335, the ’59 Les Paul reissue isn’t without its own tweaks; however, critics herald the instrument as being historically accurate to the original’s customary look and sound. The addition of a one-piece rosewood fingerboard is a traditional nod to the ’59 model as is its cherry-red sunburst top, and its improved truss rod and pickups are authentic, yet totally innovative, enhancements of the original design – which is why it’s one of the most sought-after models in the world.
Whether you go for the adaptable ES or the illustrious Les Paul, either model would make an excellent addition to your collection. Gibson is known for its superior craftsmanship, lavish sound quality, and sleek style, and each of these re-issues have built upon a long history of well-made instruments to deliver on just that. Costing several thousand dollars, they’re both considered a splurge. But when you consider the pride that comes with owning one of the greatest 6-stringed instruments on the market, the price tag is an insignificant obstacle between you and your next luxury guitar.