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Gibson Custom Shop


Gibson – Made to Measure (ENGLISH)

Made to Measure – what's behind these three mysterious words? Believe it or not – this so-called "M2M" program is the way to your individual Gibson dream guitar! Who has never thought about how their personal Les Paul, SG or ES-335 could look like. Sure, the guitars from the Gibson Custom Shop come pretty close to that, but often some details are just not the way you want it. You may think: "Once in a lifetime, it would be a dream to have a guitar built just the way you want it to be!" Good news – this dream doesn't have to remain a dream, but can become an exciting reality! The Gibson Custom Shop with its "Made to Measure" program, which started in 2015, makes it possible!

In 15 steps you can build your very own personal Gibson dream guitar:

Step 1: Select a model

The right model selection is the fundamental basis for your individual dream guitar. It's the first step in the selection process. Shall it be a 50's Les Paul model? Or a Les Paul Standard, Custom or Axcess? Or shall it be an ES-335, SG, Flying V or Explorer? Yes, even archtop models are possible, like the L4 and L5, the Byrdland or the Super 400.

Step 2: Select the correct specifications (model options)

Of course, the top of the guitar is one of the most important elements for a good appearance. If you want it to be more subtle and without a drawing, then you choose a plain top. Depending on the selected model, increases are possible – from a light figured top to a wonderful AAAAA quilt. Even a koa quilt is feasible. And if you want your Les Paul to be lightweight, you can order a so-called "chambered body", in which cavities are milled out inside the body. For some of the archtop models, it is possible to choose between different cutaway variants.

Step 3: Tailpiece or Bigsby?

Usually one decides for a stop bar as hardware, which is offered in nickel or gold. But if you want your dream guitar to be equipped with a vibrato system, you can choose a Bigsby Vibrato to be installed (depending on the selected model).

Step 4: Select the type of binding

From simple 1-ply binding to complex 7-ply binding, everything is possible. Whether in black, white or cream colors. And if that's not enough for you, no problem – create your own binding using a custom order.

Step 5: Select the nut material

A significant part of the sound character for a guitar lies in the correct selection of the nut material. Bone nuts offer a lot of sustain, while nylon nuts, as they were built in the 50s, ensure a full and resonant tone. Corian nuts, on the other hand, provide a balanced tone and also offer high stability.

Step 6: Select the fingerboard material

You can choose between the two classic fingerboard woods ebony and rosewood/dark rosewood. In addition, you can choose a "Richlite" fingerboard, which is "an amazing fretboard for your dream machine" (Gibson).

Step 7: Select the fingerboard inlay

The choice is yours: From simple Dot inlays to Block inlays in several variations (Small Block, Full Block, Split Block), everything is possible. And if you like it extraordinary, you can choose Split Parallelogram, Split Diamond or Trapezoid inlays.

Step 8: Select the Gibson logo (PHF inlay)

Even in this detail, your dream guitar can be designed according to your wishes. It can be a classic logo with the famous Gibson crown, or shall it be a custom design? Purists can also omit the logo entirely or design a very personal creation, which – if feasible – will then be implemented by the Gibson Custom Shop.

Step 9: Choose your (dream) color

Your dream guitar not only has to sound really good, it also has to look great! The right color will inevitable cause the right feeling when playing your dream guitar! You can therefore choose your personal color from about 50 different colors. Everything is included – from a considerable number of standard colors, to burst varnishes, up to faded and washed variants. But that's not all: The makers of the M2M program will give you the highest level of individuality. You want your Gibson to match the color of your stage outfit? Or to your stage amp (certainly looks cool!). Or to your classic car? Or do you simply have a favorite color that you really like? Then give the guys from Gibson Custom Shop a color sample and your Gibson will shine – if feasible – in this (your very own!) color!

Step 10: Select the type of aging

Gloss, VOS, Aged and Heavy Aged are available. These four aging levels range from looking as good as new (gloss), to a subtle aging with vintage charm (VOS) to an aging that shows slight signs of wear (so-called "dings & dongs"). If you prefer an even heavier aging that should give the impression of a guitar that has had tough years "on the road", choose the "Heavy Aged" option and be happy with it. "To each his own" is here the slogan.

Step 11: Select the hardware finish

In order to create a coherent overall picture, the color of the installed hardware must of course match the rest. Should it be nickel, satin nickel, chrome, black chrome or gold? The choice is yours!

Step 12: Select the neck pickup

Let's get to the heart of your dream guitar – the pickups. There is a wide range of Gibson humbucker pickups to choose from for your Neck PU: '57 Classic, 490R, 496R, Burstbucker 1&2, Dirty Fingers or the Custom Bucker equipped with Alnico III magnets. If you like a single coil version for you neck pickup, the well-known P-90 and P-94 are available. For those who like it more special, the stacked P-100 pickup is the perfect choice.

Step 13: Select the bridge pickup

The range of bridge pickups is similar to the selection of neck pickups, only that the bridge pickups generally have a little more output. Note: Especially in the correct selection of neck and bridge pickups you should always get professional advice! The decision for the right pickups can have a big impact on the sound character of your dream guitar!

Step 14: Select the tuning mechanics (tuners)

All Gibson machine heads used in the M2M program stand for the highest quality and tuning stability. Therefore, it is your individual decision how the look and feel of the tuning machine heads should be. Klusons in tulip shape (Tulip), Grovers Rotomatics or Schaller MG. The choice is yours!

Step 15: Select the control knobs

Last, but not least, the control knobs. Here too, you can choose between the well-known Gibson knobs: Top Hats, Speed Knobs and Witch Hats in various designs. Ultimately, this is a matter of taste, but also affects the use and feel of the knobs while playing your guitar. Take your time and choose the right knobs for your dream guitar!


Any questions?

Oh yes! M2M – that's pure emotion! Be sure … Your guitar can become an absolutely one-of-a-kind guitar like no other! This can become the unique guitar that you have always wanted to have all your life! This guitar can be a faithful companion for your future as a musician! Wow! Indeed, more individuality is not possible!

Do you still have any questions about one or the other point? No problem – turn to us for a confidential consultation. We will be happy to help you put together your Gibson dream guitar!

Get more information with the official Gibson M2M guide:


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