Gibson has officially launched its new Murphy Lab Collection, a line of artificially aged electric guitars.
The company’s website describes the instruments as follows: “Using the most sophisticated tools and technology, master artisan Tom Murphy and his team create each Murphy Lab guitar inside our Gibson Custom Shop in Nashville, Tennessee. Each instrument is a unique, handcrafted work of art, with the character, vibe, and feel of an original vintage guitar.”
The guitars range in price from $4,299 to $10,499.
Gibson Chief Merchant Officer Cesar Gueikian previously previewed the guitar-aging process in August 2020 on Instagram, drawing a polarized reception from followers. In a recent YouTube clip, available below, the CMO hypes the Murphy Lab as “the next evolution in Gibson craftsmanship, historical accuracy, authenticity and recreation of those golden-era instruments that have made Gibson so famous.”
Murphy also details his process and overall vision in the clip. “All luthiers and restoration people have fantasized about recreating an authentic, real finish instead of a new finish and then trying to make it look old,” he says. “I developed the aging from my years of experience with authentic, real, original, vintage instruments — always being intrigued by the finish, what happens to it over time and wondering if I could also add that as a feature to the historic Les Pauls and all the instruments, really.”
Later in the video, demonstrating the results of his process, he notes, “I want a guitar to look old as soon as I open the case.”