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The NEW $20,000 Murphy Lab 1959 Limited Edition Brazilian Les Paul... what are your thoughts?

F

ForeverFabFour

Guest
Forgive me, if there's already been a few threads on this, but can we just talk about the new 1959 Les Paul Standard Reissue Limited Edition Murphy Lab Aged With Brazilian Rosewood… what a mouth full.

Listen, I'm not one to poop on new guitars. And I'm definitely not one to hate on beautiful instruments that are well crafted, but you'll have to excuse me for going on a rant for a second and asking for other peoples opinions.

I guess these guitars have been out for about a month or two now, but I only became aware of them last week when I visited a local shop. I was given some hands on experience with them. In fact, I played two of them back-to-back for about 20 minutes each. The shop I visited had 8 available for sale, and the sales person even mentioned to me that they would be willing to discount them a little if I was interested (whatever that equates to I'm not certain). I wasn't able to get a specific number out of them and to make it very clear, I was not interested. I was only in the store to pick up a guitar for a friend when the sales person and I started chatting about what was new and offered to let me play the new 59s. I guess they've sold a handful of these so far, including two of them to a collector up here in Cincinnati.

My take away from spending about 20 minutes with each guitar was this:
They were both two of the best guitars I've ever played from the Gibson custom shop. The aging has really been dialed in since the Murphy lab started putting out instruments a few years ago. The Brazilian board was extremely nice, you can tell that they are using the some of the highest quality Brazilian available and they have apparently aged it for 10 years. Pick ups were very close to PAF sounds. I don't know what they have changed but probably the best Gibson made Humbuckers I have ever played. Neck profile felt like Carmalita but sales person couldn't confirm that. As usual, Tom Murphy did a fantastic job picking out tops that really look like they could be on a real 1959... and the man sure sprays a nice burst. Some of the photos online make the tops look quite flamed, but in person it's a lot more subtle and very three-dimensional. It looks like old growth maple just like what the original 59s were made from. Mahogany backs had a lot of mineral deposits in them that I thought were very nice looking and both guitars were around 8 1/2 pounds.

However, I still struggled to understand the pricing on this model. I just don't understand how adding a Brazilian board and calling it a "Limited Edition" makes it over $10,000 more than any other Murphy lab 1959 reissue. Maybe it was a touch nicer than your average light aged Murphy lab 59 reissue, but it was really splitting hairs. The only significant difference I noticed was possibly the pick ups.
And trust me, I don't wanna be a hypocrite, I have paid a lot of money for some expensive guitars over the years, but nothing like this.
We have all seen $20,000 Les Pauls before. I don't recall when the first $20,000 NEW Les Paul hit the market but there have been so many artist Limited edition models to come out of Nashville over the years. Fender, Gretsch, and other companies are also guilty of charging 20K+ for artist models. However, you'll have to excuse me for a second for not understanding the pricing on this particular guitar. It's just a Murphy lab guitar with a Brazilian board, at least, so it appears on paper. It's not meant to replicate an original guitar like the collectors choice was a decade ago (and those were $10,000 less), and it's not a painstakingly aged replica of a specific artist used instrument. It doesn't come with a celebrity hand signed certificate like the Lucy Les Paul did (signed by Eric Clapton) or a signed headstock like Slash or Peter Frampton models, among others. When the Gibson custom shop released the John Lennon Les Paul Jr. in 2007, it came with a hand numbered oil painting, one off T-shirt, strap, cable, and hand signed certificate of authenticity from Yoko Ono among other paper work.. and that guitar was only $7,500 new. I understand inflation but you can't tell me that inflation is the singular cause for these insane prices. I appreciate the fact that these new 59s are exquisite instruments, but it is just another reissue 1959 Les Paul with slightly better wood on the fretboard.

It's guitars like this, that make me more and more grateful for Historic Makeovers. You could buy any reissue with a nice top and send it to Kim in Florida and Historic Makeovers will provide you with a Les Paul that's just as nice (if not better in my opinion) for about 40% of the MSRP of this guitar. OR you could just buy any Murphy lab guitar and send it to Historic Makeovers and they could put a Brazilian board on it for you for pennies on the dollar of what Gibson is charging you.
I guess this is just another reminder of how wealthy some people are... and maybe gullible :oops:
It's amazing that there's this much demand where Gibson feels they can ask $20,000 for one guitar that isn't anything special. I don't want to sit here and claim that other models are worth that kind of money either, but if you're gonna charge $20,000 for a hand signed Peter Frampton reissue, that's painstakingly aged and only one of 100 in the entire world, how are you going to ask $20,000 for another 59 re-issue?

I'm really interested to know what your thoughts are. Please comment below and let me know if I'm just out of touch. In the off chance somebody reading this post happens to have bought one of these guitars, congratulations! I don't wanna detract from the amazing quality and aesthetics of the instrument, I just really struggle to see value for such an insane price and feel like Gibson is kind of taking the piss with this one.
I'm interested to know what these guitars will go for on the used market in the coming years.
 
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ADP

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 16, 2015
Messages
691
I wholeheartedly agree with everything you've stated. They might play great - perfect even - but $20grand is downright insulting and a slap in the face to anyone who wants the best new Gibson Les Paul. You're very right about the artist replica's, too. Gibson is just pricing ahead of the used market and those who paid retail, or less, fail to realize that their Frampton Phenix should really be listed for $50k+.

As long as guitars are selling, people are buying - but I think these regular ol' 1959 w/Brazilian board reissues are an absolute joke. I'd maybe come up to $8k if it was the very best guitar I've ever heard. Even still, like you said, there is no artist or collateral attached to it for any additional pride of ownership. Your friend who doesn't know about guitars sees the same Les Paul as everyone else.
 

MarcB

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 1, 2023
Messages
1,013
As I mentioned in another thread about Gibson pricing.. they’re actively switching the brand to be a “luxury item” and thus pricing the average user out of this end of the market by charging unbelievable amounts for what is supposed to be a working tool. Giving the rise in guitar sales during the plague, Gibson are jumping on this (and their history) to cover all price points in the market and knowing their most expensive guitars are selling have decided to roll out this “you can’t afford this guitar but I can” marketing strategy, which is aimed at those with larger budgets. Which unfortunately alienates the vast majority of broke musicians who have the most desire for these models. I also believe part of the top end marketing strategy is to create future collectibles on par with the originals and thus perpetuate the market and longevity of the brand.
That said I feel Gibson management are aware of this and their core customers, hence the new Standard range being the best it’s ever been and in my opinion are the best “bang for buck” you can get.
 

ADP

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 16, 2015
Messages
691
As I mentioned in another thread about Gibson pricing.. they’re actively switching the brand to be a “luxury item” and thus pricing the average user out of this end of the market by charging unbelievable amounts for what is supposed to be a working tool. Giving the rise in guitar sales during the plague, Gibson are jumping on this (and their history) to cover all price points in the market and knowing their most expensive guitars are selling have decided to roll out this “you can’t afford this guitar but I can” marketing strategy, which is aimed at those with larger budgets. Which unfortunately alienates the vast majority of broke musicians who have the most desire for these models. I also believe part of the top end marketing strategy is to create future collectibles on par with the originals and thus perpetuate the market and longevity of the brand.
That said I feel Gibson management are aware of this and their core customers, hence the new Standard range being the best it’s ever been and in my opinion are the best “bang for buck” you can get.
You don't understand business. And that's fine. I'm sure Gibson would love to hire you for international marketing.
 

DrewB

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 15, 2001
Messages
1,449
You don't understand business. And that's fine. I'm sure Gibson would love to hire you for international marketing.
Is it really necessary for you to be nasty every time somebody says something you don't agree with? It's becoming a daily thing here, and you're not the only one. Good Lord, it gets old.
 
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ADP

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Joined
Jul 16, 2015
Messages
691
Is it really necessary for you to be nasty every time somebody says something you don't agree with? It's becoming a daily thing here, and you're not the only one. Good Lord, it gets old.
I'm sorry. I guess it is necessary in most cases. In this case, probably not.
 

bursty

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Joined
Dec 25, 2012
Messages
564
I'll admit I didn't read the OP because it seems quite excessive & lengthy; after all I am 63 years old and I could prolly die before I read the entire post?

However I did see something about a NEW guitar costing $20,000 so, that doesn't require me reading the entire post and offering my opinion to say NOPE on blowing that kinda ca$h on a new fiddle ...... you're welcome :D
 
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Tim Plains

Active member
Joined
Aug 1, 2013
Messages
799
I'll admit I didn't read the OP because it seems quite excessive & lengthy
Neither did I but we all get the gist of it.

Pricing for these doesn't bother me. Braz quantities are limited, many people buy these only to preserve/flip, Gibson should charge whatever they want. Also, nobody needs a new aged Les Paul with a Braz board. If you want it, pay for it, if you can't afford it or squawk at the sticker price, find something else. I would like to drive a Lamborghini or Ferrari, I would never pay that much for four wheels, but I still appreciate them from afar, don't complain how much they cost, and carry on with my Toyota, no different than Braz Murphys.
 

jb_abides

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Joined
Apr 6, 2005
Messages
5,520
They are overpriced, and your reasoning fair.

Not sure you detailed the things that are T-Shirts but exclusive: handpicked woods, exclusive TM finish with only 50 guitars per color, special leather-bound COA, aged Lifton...

OK but not $10k.

Another thing that might provide some lift is for those folks who desire a more personal association with something Tom had his hands in, for whatever that's worth to them... I am not sure they've said this or intimated but how many more runs will bear 'Tom Murphy' involvement versus Murphy Labs...? He may just do special Artist/Replica so be more limited from here on out. Gibson may have been betting on something like that to motivate...

But again, not for $10k upcharge.

I think these have already lingered on the market long enough to establish a trend of sales being slower/less than hoped for, and discounting will ensue per the dealer whispers. With more time, will come further or more readily discounting.

Gibson tried this before with the Slash Brazilian Dream, then quietly sold those with major cuts, too.

My guess is they went for the aggressive pricing to see how much they could sell at the premium but will be very willing to settle by eventually allowing dealers to discount quietly for some internal target, I am guessing ~$12k.

If you find something very special including top and weight, and like the exclusive finish and accouterments then I think the market will be made [excepting for swiftly changing economic conditions, of course].
 
Joined
Jan 2, 2023
Messages
99
I wholeheartedly agree with everything you've stated. They might play great - perfect even - but $20grand is downright insulting and a slap in the face to anyone who wants the best new Gibson Les Paul. You're very right about the artist replica's, too. Gibson is just pricing ahead of the used market and those who paid retail, or less, fail to realize that their Frampton Phenix should really be listed for $50k+.

As long as guitars are selling, people are buying - but I think these regular ol' 1959 w/Brazilian board reissues are an absolute joke. I'd maybe come up to $8k if it was the very best guitar I've ever heard. Even still, like you said, there is no artist or collateral attached to it for any additional pride of ownership. Your friend who doesn't know about guitars sees the same Les Paul as everyone else.
I agree these are over priced But will say that i would pick one of these over the $20K "Greenie" in a heartbeat! I know it's Blasphemy but "Greenie" does nothing for me looks wise.
 
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bursty

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Joined
Dec 25, 2012
Messages
564
Neither did I but we all get the gist of it.

Pricing for these doesn't bother me. Braz quantities are limited, many people buy these only to preserve/flip, Gibson should charge whatever they want. Also, nobody needs a new aged Les Paul with a Braz board. If you want it, pay for it, if you can't afford it or squawk at the sticker price, find something else. I would like to drive a Lamborghini or Ferrari, I would never pay that much for four wheels, but I still appreciate them from afar, don't complain how much they cost, and carry on with my Toyota, no different than Braz Murphys.

Agreed on most points and I like the automobile annology.

As far as LP types with Braz: I purchased a non-Gibson make from 2000 on the used market back in 2008 that has Honduran body & neck. At the price point I paid for it I could buy about 6 of those, if 5 more were available at that time, compared to 1 example in the OP at $20K. I'll just take the 1 example I have had since 2008 and that will do the job.

As far as autos: In 2013 I spent about 1/3rd the original MSRP for a model year 2000 European auto with a top speed factory rating of 162 MPH. Compare that to my sister-in-law purchasing a new 2021 C8 with a price tag of fives times what I paid for my 2000 European example in 2013. The top speed MPH difference is only about 30 MPH and we can both get a speeding ticket going the same speed.

I'll take the le$$ expen$ive route either way with cars and/or guitars and I will get a better bang for the buck for virtually the same enjoyment :D and still have lots-O-ca$h to blow on ammo and cigars. It's a win/win .......
 

jb_abides

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Joined
Apr 6, 2005
Messages
5,520

El Gringo

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Joined
Apr 8, 2015
Messages
5,674
Gibson is in the business to make money , just like any other corp. A company that has been around for over a hundred years certainly know what they are doing . Darn best guitar that has ever been in my hands , along with the best sounds / tones .
 

El Gringo

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Joined
Apr 8, 2015
Messages
5,674
PS >

The exclusive A5 CustomBuckers may see the light of day one day in the pickup store, as did the Greeny set. Or they may keep them in reserve for other limited runs. Time will tell.

and...

Look what they just released, an A4 rough-magnet version, exclusive to the pickup store, at $999 for a set!... with 'Double Vintage White' butyrate bobbins underneath.
I just clinked the link for the pickups and am impressed that Gibson is upping there pickup game with the A4 and A5 mags and also the higher dc readings (8.6 for the bridge ,7.7 for the neck ) Wow some decent output finally for the Custombuckers ! I am still sticking with my ThroBak's !!!!!!!
 

TM1

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 27, 2003
Messages
8,375
Gibson just released a set of "Replica" PAF's today for $900. or so...
 

clapciadrix

Member
Joined
Nov 3, 2007
Messages
80
As I mentioned in another thread about Gibson pricing.. they’re actively switching the brand to be a “luxury item” and thus pricing the average user out of this end of the market by charging unbelievable amounts for what is supposed to be a working tool. Giving the rise in guitar sales during the plague, Gibson are jumping on this (and their history) to cover all price points in the market and knowing their most expensive guitars are selling have decided to roll out this “you can’t afford this guitar but I can” marketing strategy, which is aimed at those with larger budgets. Which unfortunately alienates the vast majority of broke musicians who have the most desire for these models. I also believe part of the top end marketing strategy is to create future collectibles on par with the originals and thus perpetuate the market and longevity of the brand.
That said I feel Gibson management are aware of this and their core customers, hence the new Standard range being the best it’s ever been and in my opinion are the best “bang for buck” you can get.
Forgive me, if there's already been a few threads on this, but can we just talk about the new 1959 Les Paul Standard Reissue Limited Edition Murphy Lab Aged With Brazilian Rosewood… what a mouth full.

Listen, I'm not one to poop on new guitars. And I'm definitely not one to hate on beautiful instruments that are well crafted, but you'll have to excuse me for going on a rant for a second and asking for other peoples opinions.

I guess these guitars have been out for about a month or two now, but I only became aware of them last week when I visited a local shop. I was given some hands on experience with them. In fact, I played two of them back-to-back for about 20 minutes each. The shop I visited had 8 available for sale, and the sales person even mentioned to me that they would be willing to discount them a little if I was interested (whatever that equates to I'm not certain). I wasn't able to get a specific number out of them and to make it very clear, I was not interested. I was only in the store to pick up a guitar for a friend when the sales person and I started chatting about what was new and offered to let me play the new 59s. I guess they've sold a handful of these so far, including two of them to a collector up here in Cincinnati.

My take away from spending about 20 minutes with each guitar was this:
They were both two of the best guitars I've ever played from the Gibson custom shop. The aging has really been dialed in since the Murphy lab started putting out instruments a few years ago. The Brazilian board was extremely nice, you can tell that they are using the some of the highest quality Brazilian available and they have apparently aged it for 10 years. Pick ups were very close to PAF sounds. I don't know what they have changed but probably the best Gibson made Humbuckers I have ever played. Neck profile felt like Carmalita but sales person couldn't confirm that. As usual, Tom Murphy did a fantastic job picking out tops that really look like they could be on a real 1959... and the man sure sprays a nice burst. Some of the photos online make the tops look quite flamed, but in person it's a lot more subtle and very three-dimensional. It looks like old growth maple just like what the original 59s were made from. Mahogany backs had a lot of mineral deposits in them that I thought were very nice looking and both guitars were around 8 1/2 pounds.

However, I still struggled to understand the pricing on this model. I just don't understand how adding a Brazilian board and calling it a "Limited Edition" makes it over $10,000 more than any other Murphy lab 1959 reissue. Maybe it was a touch nicer than your average light aged Murphy lab 59 reissue, but it was really splitting hairs. The only significant difference I noticed was possibly the pick ups.
And trust me, I don't wanna be a hypocrite, I have paid a lot of money for some expensive guitars over the years, but nothing like this.
We have all seen $20,000 Les Pauls before. I don't recall when the first $20,000 NEW Les Paul hit the market but there have been so many artist Limited edition models to come out of Nashville over the years. Fender, Gretsch, and other companies are also guilty of charging 20K+ for artist models. However, you'll have to excuse me for a second for not understanding the pricing on this particular guitar. It's just a Murphy lab guitar with a Brazilian board, at least, so it appears on paper. It's not meant to replicate an original guitar like the collectors choice was a decade ago (and those were $10,000 less), and it's not a painstakingly aged replica of a specific artist used instrument. It doesn't come with a celebrity hand signed certificate like the Lucy Les Paul did (signed by Eric Clapton) or a signed headstock like Slash or Peter Frampton models, among others. When the Gibson custom shop released the John Lennon Les Paul Jr. in 2007, it came with a hand numbered oil painting, one off T-shirt, strap, cable, and hand signed certificate of authenticity from Yoko Ono among other paper work.. and that guitar was only $7,500 new. I understand inflation but you can't tell me that inflation is the singular cause for these insane prices. I appreciate the fact that these new 59s are exquisite instruments, but it is just another reissue 1959 Les Paul with slightly better wood on the fretboard.

It's guitars like this, that make me more and more grateful for Historic Makeovers. You could buy any reissue with a nice top and send it to Kim in Florida and Historic Makeovers will provide you with a Les Paul that's just as nice (if not better in my opinion) for about 40% of the MSRP of this guitar. OR you could just buy any Murphy lab guitar and send it to Historic Makeovers and they could put a Brazilian board on it for you for pennies on the dollar of what Gibson is charging you.
I guess this is just another reminder of how wealthy some people are... and maybe gullible :oops:
It's amazing that there's this much demand where Gibson feels they can ask $20,000 for one guitar that isn't anything special. I don't want to sit here and claim that other models are worth that kind of money either, but if you're gonna charge $20,000 for a hand signed Peter Frampton reissue, that's painstakingly aged and only one of 100 in the entire world, how are you going to ask $20,000 for another 59 re-issue?

I'm really interested to know what your thoughts are. Please comment below and let me know if I'm just out of touch. In the off chance somebody reading this post happens to have bought one of these guitars, congratulations! I don't wanna detract from the amazing quality and aesthetics of the instrument, I just really struggle to see value for such an insane price and feel like Gibson is kind of taking the piss with this one.
I'm interested to know what these guitars will go for on the used market in the coming years.
lm curious, you said that the two guitars you tried were among the best custom shop guitars you have ever played. Taking the price out of it, did you like them better than the standard Murphy Lab Les Paul? Did you think they “better “? Thanks
 
W

Wizard1183

Guest
I’m not reading all that.

My question is did you A/B any of those with regular custom shop reissues to see if it was that much different in tone? Feel is one thing. Tone is another. Are they worth the price of admission? Hell no. You can send a custom shop to HM for Braz board for much cheaper. BUT, it’s not Gibson who did the work. So that’s why you’re going to pay that much. Anything Gibson does will cost more than any other company because it’s considered original. Is original worth the cost. I’ll tell you now that those guitars while will appreciate in value? They won’t appreciate tons of money since they make quite a bit. Not so much on braz board MLs? But I’m pretty sure you’re not going to double your money ($40k) if Gibson shut down its doors, for your guitar. Youre paying for the brand period. You want the brand? Then pay the piper.
 
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