A riff-machine custom built for the rigours of stadium rock.
Gibson have honoured ’70s rock icon Peter Frampton with a signature Les Paul Custom VOS guitar, cooking up a high-end replica of an instrument considered by many to be one of the most famous Les Paul ever.
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The Phenix Les Paul Custom VOS serves as a near-pinpoint recreation of Frampton’s 1954 Les Paul Custom, as famously depicted on the record cover of his hugely successful 1976 live album Frampton Comes Alive!.
The guitar, which was initially thought to have been destroyed in a 1980 cargo plane crash in Caracas that killed all crew onboard, was miraculously recovered by a first-responder and somehow ended up in Holland, where a luthier who recognised the guitar made the efforts to contact Frampton and reconnect him with the guitar in 2011.
Due to it having risen from the ashes and returned into his possession, Frampton dubbed the iconic Les Paul ‘Phenix’, and enlisted the services of the Gibson Custom Shop to restore the instrument ahead of his Frampton Comes Alive! 35th anniversary tour.
The new Custom Shop replica model seeks to recreate the specs and feel of this particular instrument – albeit without the numerous scuffs and scratches it’s endured over the years – with a mahogany body and set neck being paired with a 22-fret ebony fretboard with bespoke pearl inlays.
As per Frampton’s original model, the guitar also features three open-coil custom humbuckers, with the three-way toggle switch and volume and tone knobs corresponding to the neck and bridge position and another set of knobs being wired straight to the middle humbucker to create thick lead tones.
Elsewhere, the guitar features double gold binding and matching gold hardware with Grover tuners and Schaller strap-locks, with Frampton’s signature adorning the 12th fret inlay and headstock of the guitar.
Frampton himself gushed at the arrival of the guitar in a statement shared today, saying that
“My brand-new Gibson Les Paul Custom VOS has arrived, and boy is it good, I couldn’t be more pleased with the look and sound.
“Gibson has gone that extra mile in every area to make this feel and sound the closest to my original, storied Phenix Les Paul Custom guitar. The neck and weight of this mahogany guitar will amaze you at how great it feels and how light it is (and it’s even a hair lighter than the Phenix). This is the real deal.”
Check out the guitar in all its glory via Gibson today.