Gibson Custom announces the Gibson Custom Jimmy Page “Number Two” Les Paul Limited Edition guitar modified by the legendary Jimmy Page himself.
Every musician knows that a late ’50s Sunburst Les Paul Standard is hard enough to come by. Obtaining a pristine and exemplary ’59 ‘Burst and modifying it for heightened performance and vastly expanded tonal options? Unheard of…unless, of course, you’re Jimmy Page.
That’s exactly what the iconic Led Zeppelin guitarist, perhaps the world’s best-known Les Paul player, did with his own ’59 Les Paul Standard, and now – thanks to the extreme efforts of Gibson’s Custom Shop and the intimate cooperation of Jimmy Page himself – the artist’s hallowed “Number Two” Les Paul is available in the form of the Custom Shop Jimmy Page “Number Two” Les Paul.
Produced in strictly limited numbers, with two levels of aging, this guitar captures the look, feel, sound, and versatility of one of the greatest artist-owned Les Pauls of all time.
The 1959 Les Paul that has come to be known as “Number Two” was purchased by Page in 1973 after trying for some time to acquire an exceptional second Les Paul. This was several years after having acquired his other legendary Les Paul – “Number One,” a ’59 ‘Burst with a shaved-down neck profile and no serial number – from Joe Walsh. “Number Two” was essentially all original when he acquired it. Jimmy did have some modifications done to the neck shape so that it would more nearly match the feel of his “Number One.”
The “full range of two humbuckers”
The neck is certainly slim but not to such extremes as the now-ultra-slim neck on “Number One.” It had a strong, beautiful sunburst finish with a red element that had faded to a dusky amber-brown, along with a clear serial number dating it to 1959. Page played this Les Paul frequently through his days with Led Zeppelin, and in the early ’80s decided to make it an even more versatile instrument. Page also added that he wanted to “explore the full range of what the two humbuckers have to offer.”
He designed a switching system for coil splitting, series/parallel, and phase-reverse options for both pickups, and employed a skilled electronics technician to devise a working schematic and make his sonic vision a reality. The result was a push/pull pot on each of the guitar’s four standard controls, plus two push-button switches hidden beneath the pickguard.
This wiring scheme was recreated with detailed study of Jimmy Page’s original “Number Two,” and with hands-on consultation from Steve Hoyland, who originally rewired Page’s ’59 Les Paul to this configuration.
With both pickguard-mounted switches pushed in and all push-pull pots in the down (in) position, the Custom Shop Jimmy Page “Number Two” Les Paul functions as a normal Les Paul, with the bridge, both, or neck pickup in standard humbucking mode selected by the three-way Switchcraft toggle switch. From this starting point, the functions of the push-pull pots include:
Bridge Pickup Volume Control – Pulling this knob out switches the bridge pickup’s coils from series (standard) to parallel.
Neck Pickup Volume Control – Pulling this knob out switches the neck pickup’s coils from series (standard) to parallel.
Bridge Pickup Tone Control – Pulling this knob out switches the bridge pickup from humbucking to single coil.
Neck Pickup Tone Control – Pulling this knob out switches the neck pickup from humbucking to single coil.
The Custom Shop Jimmy Page “Number Two” Les Paul was recreated with intense, inch-by-inch examination of Page’s original guitar, inside and out. The process of getting it right involved the production of a number of hand-built prototypes, each of which was checked and critiqued in detail by Page himself.
Approval of the final iteration was only offered after the legendary artist had intricately examined and extensively played this last prototype in his London home – after which it was given the thumbs-up, worthy of being the template for the Custom Shop Jimmy Page “Number Two” Les Paul.
Only 325 examples will be produced in total: The first 25 instruments are to be aged by vintage-reproduction master Tom Murphy, then inspected, played and hand signed and numbered by Jimmy Page personally. An additional 100 guitars will be given the extensive aging treatment and 200 will be finished to Gibson’s VOS specs.
Each Custom Shop Jimmy Page “Number Two” Les Paul comes with a leather-bound Certificate of Authenticity, owner’s manual, and adjustment literature, and documentation for the guitar’s limited lifetime warranty.