By leveraging its iconic past and leaning into an innovative future, Gibson has set the stage for the next era of shaping sound for present and future with instruments that nurture new players across generations and genres of music. Gibson and Lukas Nelson have announced they’ll release the first-ever Gibson USA Lukas Nelson ’56 Les Paul Junior.
Lukas Nelson knows all about legacies, indeed he’s been hard at work carving his own for most of his young, but extremely eventful life. This customized Gibson Les Paul Junior is inspired by Lukas Nelson’s own 1956 Junior.
“The beauty of this guitar is that it is very versatile with the sound. In fact, I can get a lot of different tones just from the P90 and the way that I attack the strings and through the intonation and the vibrato that I give,” says Lukas Nelson. “If I hit it lighter, it doesn’t break up as much. If I get into it, it gets a lot of grit and dirt and breaks up. It’s a versatile tone, which I’m pretty grateful for. Frankly, Gibson has been nothing but incredible to us – to me – since I’ve met them. And this guitar has taken me on a long journey. It’s taken me to some amazing places, and I hope that a lot of other people get the same opportunity with their version of my guitar.”
Lukas and Gibson’s Luthiers worked closely to develop his Lukas Nelson ’56 Les Paul Junior. Several prototypes were road tested by Lukas on tour over this past year and the end result is Lukas’s vision. Based off his beloved 1956 Les Paul Junior which has been his main guitar for several years, the Lukas Nelson ’56 Les Paul Junior is rooted in tradition with some modern enhancements.
Like his original, the single cutaway slab Mahogany body, and neck are crafted of genuine Mahogany for its resonant tonal characteristics and moderate weight. The fat 50’s-style neck profile feels smooth and comfortable while providing rigidity and sustain. It features a Rosewood fingerboard with dot inlays and medium jumbo frets for a vintage feel with modern playability. Finished in a deluxe satin Vintage Sunburst, this shade was developed to capture the same vintage patina of his original.
The single, dog-ear P-90 pickup features Alnico III magnets and is voiced to replicate the tonal response that Lukas requires. The single volume and tone controls have gold speed knobs (as used in 1956) and are hand-wired featuring an orange drop capacitor and original spec 500k vintage audio taper pots. The aged nickel-plated hardware includes Vintage Deluxe strip style tuners w/ white buttons like the originals but feature a higher gear ratio for improved performance. The 50’s style wraparound bridge provides the same look and solid resonance as the original, but it is made with a stealthy compensation contour to improve intonation accuracy.
The new Gibson USA Lukas Nelson ’56 Les Paul Junior will officially be available worldwide at all Authorized Gibson Dealers in August 2020.