Back in January, we reported Gibson’s announcement that a Jerry Cantrell signature Les Paul was on its way. Several months on and the Jerry Cantrell "Wino" Les Paul Custom has now been unveiled by the Custom Shop. A replica of the Alice in Chains guitarist’s Wine Red model, this finely crafted instrument has been given the full hand-aged treatment at Gibson’s Murphy Lab. Each guitar in the limited run of 100 has also been signed by Cantrell.
Priced at $8,999.00 the Jerry Cantrell "Wino" Les Paul Custom may not be the most utilitarian of instruments, but similar Custom Shop aged/signed Les Pauls such as the Adam Jones 1979 Les Paul Custom have already proven to be highly desirable collector’s items worthy of investment. As the closest thing to Cantrell’s own guitar these rarities are a little piece of rock ‘n’ roll history in their own right.
The Gibson Custom Shop began honoring notable Les Paul players in 1996, commencing with the Joe Perry Les Paul (what you might call a signature signature guitar!) 25 years on and the tradition has become ever more refined with collectible replica electric guitars inspired by the likes of Jimmy Page and Billy Gibbons similarly appearing as detailed works of art.
Unique to the Jerry Cantrell "Wino" Les Paul Custom is it’s aged Wine Red finish – a transparent color introduced to the Les Paul Custom in the mid ‘70s. And while even the earliest of these Wine Red Les Paul Customs are unlikely to cost anywhere near $8,999.00 at the moment, Cantrell’s signature model comes with a host of unique features that further set it apart.
Inspired by the artist’s original instrument and expanding the guitar’s palette of tone, an active Fishman Powerbridge piezo pickup-equipped bridge has been installed in addition to regular humbuckers (490R and 498T in this case). Naturally, the instrument’s controls have been customized to suit this unique pickup layout. In place of the bridge/rear pickup tone control, a third volume pot for the Powerbridge has been installed while a stereo jack allows its signal to be output separately. The remaining pot (normally the neck/front pickup tone) has been allocated as a master tone control.
Visit Gibson for more details.
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Rod Brakes is a music journalist with an expertise in guitars. Having spent many years at the coalface as a guitar dealer and tech, Rod's more recent work as a writer covering artists, industry pros and gear includes contributions for leading publications and websites such as Guitarist, Total Guitar, Guitar World, Guitar Player and MusicRadar in addition to specialist music books, blogs and social media. He is also a lifelong musician.