GIBSON GUITARS

Whenever I see a Gibson Les Paul, it always reminds me of Neal Schon. Neal with a gold top, a burst, a 25/50 Anniversary model, a black beauty, a standard, a custom, and ... others. Also it is believed that Neal was the first to install a Floyd on a Les Paul.

Finally, Gibson announced the Neal Schon Signature Les Paul at the 2005 Winter NAMM show.

Here is the exact quote from the Gibson's release note...

When you've been a big-name player for as long as Neal Schon has, you're bound to have definite ideas about what you want from a guitar. Neal's Signature model includes a Floyd Rose tremolo unit, a dramatically sculpted neck/body joint for easier upper fret access, and a Fernandes Sustainer for those screaming leads Neal is famous for.

GIBSON NEAL SCHON SIGNATURE LES PAUL

    Body & Hardware:

  • Carved mahogany top
  • Mahogoany back
  • Multi ply black/white binding on top
  • Chrome hardware
  • Floyd Rose tremelo bridge

    Neck and Headstock:

  • 1-piece mahogany neck with scarfed heel joint
  • 22 fret ebony fingerboard
  • Pearl split diamond inlays
  • Single- ply white binding
  • Neal Schon slim taper neck profile
  • 24 3/4" scale length, 1 11/16" nut width
  • Kidney bean tuners

    Electronics & Strings:

  • Dimarzio Fast Track/Fernandes Sustainer (R)
  • BurstBucker Pro (T) pickup
  • 2 volume 2 tone
  • 3-way selector switch
  • 2 mini-toggle (one is on/off Sustainer, other chooses octave)
  • Push/pull pot for mid cut

Neck Heel Back2 Headstock Headstock back

Neal bought the '63 gold top (sorry, no picture...) when he was about 13. You may have noticed Neal playing it with Santana and sometimes with Journey. If you have a chance to see some old video clips or some old photos with Santana, you should be able to spot it easily. An interesting episode I heard was that Neal once sold this guitar but found it at a shop later, so he bought it back. But it had to be restored because the previous owner mounted a tremolo (he must be a Neal Schon fan).

Over the last few years, Neal has been selling his gear at Bananas At Large (a music store in San Rafael, CA) and eBay. It includes, few PRSs, the red Roland "Italia" GR505, Flying V, which he often used for blues sessions and the black Les Paul with a Floyd Rose tremolo, which is a 1968 model, and has been one of his main guitar since the beginning of his Journey days.

Neal mentioned that Gibson is back to support him again. What does it mean? Neal had them made his signature model, a Les Paul with a Floyd Rose mounted, and has been playing some prototypes since the summer of 2001. In fact, there are Dommenget Custom Guitars (on your right), built for Neal few years ago and I heard that Neal sent one of his Dommenget (the left one in lemon yellow color) over to the Gibson custom shop and that is how Gibson came up with his signature model.

For your info, these are some close-up images of the very first prototype guitars. See-through Red, Gold and White ones have different top and color but in a same specifications (scale length, pickup, Floyd Rose Tremolo, fret board, inlay, and etc).