Demo & Review: Gibson Custom Murphy Lab Guitars

Gibson Custom Murphy Lab Guitars

Relic Perfected.

The Murphy Lab represents the pinnacle of Gibson Custom Shop craftsmanship when it comes to creating the feel of an aged Gibson guitar. This isn't a simple relic treatment. Master artisan Tom Murphy has perfected the art of truly recreating an original Gibson guitar that would have gone through decades of wear and tear. From how the finish would have cracked to how the hardware would have aged through the years, you would be hard pressed to distinguish these guitars from those Gibson guitars which have become collector pieces.

Different Levels of Aging.

Naturally, not every vintage guitar ages in the same way, which is why the Murphy Lab Collection has offered four distinct levels of age.

  • Ultra Light - Minimal lacquer checking, vintage original sheen patina hardware, and a hand-rolled fingerboard binding simulates a guitar that's been carefully stored in a case for many years.
  • Light - More intense lacquer checking patterns, unique to each instrument, are accompanied by light dings, pick trails, finish flaking, and softened edges throughout, simulating average play for 50 years.
  • Heavy - Significant wear and tear, lots of buckle rash, light arm wear, neck wear, peghead face wear, and prominent checking patterns throughout simulates a guitar that's been out on the road and performed with for decades.
  • Ultra Heavy - Major buckle rash, heavy arm wear, visible pick, neck, and peghead face wear, and areas of exposed wood simulate a guitar that's been heavily toured with by a musician with a long, storied career.

Video Transcript

Hey I'm Rob Vendrasco from Cosmo Music and I'm excited to announce that we now have the Gibson Custom Shop Murphy Lab Series guitars. These guitars are ultra accurate recreations of the iconic Gibson shapes. Period correct appointments, superior attention to detail headed by master artisan Tom Murphy.

My favourite feature is the checking that comes with aging. If you look really closely you see these little sort of micro cracks from the finish shrinking. Very cool feature.

So Tom Murphy has four levels of aging. There's ultra light, light, heavy, which I'm holding an example of here, and then an ultra heavy. These have been the Gibson Custom Shop Murphy Lab Series. Come check them out at

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