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Gibson's Custom Shop craftsmen draw on decades of guitar building expertise and a legacy that spans over a century. As one of the pioneer brands of electric guitars, Gibson has created, innovated, and pushed to the forefront of the 6-string market, time and again. What you see from Gibson Custom is the pinnacle of performance that expert and veteran players desire.

History

The concept of the Gibson Custom Shop stems from original signature artist models, which were meticulously crafted to unique specs to satisfy the artist. While there were signature artist production models, like the Les Paul, one-off instruments actually meant for the artists commanded special care. Back in the early days, artists and insiders were the only ones who could get one of these custom Gibson guitars. This changed in the 1980s, when Gibson began to allow more access to the everyman who had the money to customize a Gibson model. When the company changed hands in the mid-80s, the Custom Shop became a full-blown division of the company.

The Gibson Custom Shop grew in the 1990s, adding vintage favorites and limited edition artist replicas to their repertoire, like those of Joe Perry, Ace Frehley, and Eric Clapton. To this day Gibson Custom faithfully recreates the most excellent models from the most important time periods, using their immense knowledge, talent, and dedication, to bring the best of their instruments back to the present day.

Build

While the building process in the Gibson Custom Shop is top-notch, there are many more meticulous details that go into the preparation and construction of the instrument. The humidity is maintained to exacting percentages, to assure all the wood is perfectly preserved. What wood is used and where it's sourced from is also well-thought out.

When it's time to put it all together, the Custom Shop uses hide glue, which creates a flawless bond and increases resonance. Amongst perhaps the most important aspects, the necks of these Custom Shop vintage beauties are hand-sanded and smoothed, for a truly authentic feel. In addition, all Gibson Custom Shop guitars are plek'd to ensure unparalleled perfection.

Popular Models

Of course, it's hard to pin down the most prominent Gibson Custom models since they are ever changing, evolving, and often times limited. There are always Les Paul models galore, including '59 and '60 Anniversary reissues, not to mention classically-styled SGs. You can also find some designer models, like the Explorer.

Gibson Custom Greatness

The greatest thing about the Custom Shop is that there are no limits on what they can do. Be it next year's anniversary reissue or an ES model paying tribute to a legendary artist whose passed on, there is always something to behold from the Gibson Custom Shop.

Interested in a custom Gibson guitar or bass for your collection? Sam Ash can help! Call us at 1-800-472-6274, or chat with us online, and one of our experts can work with you to piece together your dream guitar or bass and send the specs over to the Gibson Custom Shop so they can get building!

For more Gibson info, check out some of our Sam Ash Spotlight articles and videos:

Gibson USA Electric Guitar Buyer's Guide (2019)

The Gibson Family Tree: Decoding the Electric Spanish

Gibson SG Modern | Everything You Need to Know

Gibson Les Paul Shootout with Mike Rock