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Feb 16


If you ask us, the Gibson Custom Shop has really knocked it out of the park for the 2013 Historic Reissue instruments.  A slew of historically-accurate changes to the guitars have given them a rebirth of appearance and tone; hide-glue neck sets, aniline dyes to the pieces of mahogany used on the ’58 and ’59 Les Pauls as well as SG’s, new Custom Bucker pickups with lots of sustain and clarity which are Gibson’s most accurate recreation of ’50s PAF pickups yet, redesigned Kluson Green Key tuners, and historically-accurate “non-tube” truss rods that have been removed from the sheaths that surrounded them in previous years of Historic Reissues.

One of the most drastic changes has come to our favorite incarnations of the Les Paul: the Goldtop.  From the ’54 reissue up to the ’57, the Custom Shop has reformulated the finish to have the sparkle and “semi-green” shimmer of the original ’50s instruments.  We felt that shooting pictures of these guitars in natural light outdoors would really let us show you the nuances between the 2012 and 2013 finishes.  In the direct sunlight the difference is astounding.

2013 historic goldtop comparison

2013 historic goldtop comparison


The Gold finish on the 2013 Custom Shop guitars is much richer, with a deeper shade of gold than the older finishes and a more “twinkle” as you change the angle you view the guitar from.  With the new gold also comes a better visual of the top carve as well.


2013 historic goldtop comparison

The stain to the back of the guitar has also been darkened to show a ton of detail in the mahogany grain. We can see the grain intracately swirling in patterns around the back of the body, and especially on the back of the headstock.

Do you need to have one of these meaner, greener beauties in your arsenal?  We don’t blame you.  The color is just one of the ways Gibson has made these new 2013 Historics a must have guitar.  Check out what’s in stock right now!

6 Responses to “Photos: 2013 Gibson Historic Goldtop Color Comparison”

  1. Glenn says:

    Honestly, I prefer the 2012 finish. It looks more classic and more classy.

  2. Patrick says:

    I like the top of the 2012 better but the back of the 2013 models are much nicer IMHO.

  3. chester says:

    does that mean that Gibson will give a refund to anyone who bought the “really really, we got it right this time” 2012s? Next year or the year after, they’ll pull the same nonsense.

  4. Rick says:

    Agree with Patrick, like the 2012 Gold MUCH Better … but the back of the 2013

  5. Phil says:

    I’m with the Gibson design team: the new Goldtop is stunning. Almost three dimensional. That said, I understand the resistance. When it comes to classic guitars, it is dead difficult to get people to accept change.

  6. Guitarwulfe1 says:

    2012 Top shelf. 2013 puke green.

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