Area59' Vintage Makeovers

"...hasn't felt and looked this good since 59' "
Makeovers for Gibson Early Reissue - Historic - Customshop - and True Historic Series Les Pauls (and sure for other models)
Destruction for construction...we offer several packages of Makeovers to give your Les Paul, the feel and look of a real Vintage instrument. Using the same techniques, materials like real Nitrate Inlays, Royalit Bindings, Aniline dyes and real Nitrolaquer (without plastinizers) Gibson used in the 50's. Real craftsmanship by DS Guitars in colaboration with Crazyparts this will be the one of the finest places for the finest Makeovers....Please feel free to contact us if you have any question (you will not find in our informations)

Craftsman's destruction for construction

As if to strip off her underwear, the Bodywork…we set to remove the thick layer of water-based lacquer that is covering the body. A forcible process at first sight, but Davides touch is ever so gentle. "My touch is gentle, as always, like when I take off her undies", says Davide.

Vintage Topcarve

Doing so, he delicately carves the top arch so as to give the vintage look. When it comes to expressing subtle spherical nuances of less than 0.2mm difference, human hands have, by far, an edge over machines, as long as there are production error margins. The top arch of Historic Collection, which had been slightly different, is given a new life by Area59‘. His `sensory 3-dimensional correction' is the secret behind the exquisite look of „Vintage Makeovers“, that gets even better with all the lighting on-stage.

Neckreshape to correct Vintage specs

Neckreshape….dimensions for our 50’s neck profile are taken from a real vintage Burst; in addition to the softer vintage correct taper, we remove the shoulders to form a more comfortable C shape neck. We also offer the slimtaper 60’s shape as option.

Vintage correct Trussrod

Truss rod weight and sound magic: How many guitarists actually care about the weight of their guitar's truss rod? Earlier, it was understood that C45 be used on most vintage guitars, and you could count on it for the reliable sound. However, from productivity-, cost-, and corrosion resistance point of view, the truss rod of Historic Collection is wrapped with non-oxidizable rubber tube.
-Using a truss rod made of the same material, specs and weight as vintage, and filling tightly the gaps will make the neck heavier, just enough to bring back the vintage feel.

Brazilian Rosewood: legendary jacaranda

Brazilian Rosewood: legendary jacaranda, a Brazilian treasure: Since mid-'00s, the Brazilian government has been officially exporting jacaranda for instrument manufacturing. Salvaged from destroyed buildings such as churches, beautifully grained good-quality jacaranda is thus readily available, though pricey. This wood is perfectly suitable for use in instruments with regard to density and hardness, as it has been naturally dried for a long time. Out of our abundant stock, only specially selected prime parts of this wood are used on The Area59‘ Vintage Makeovers. The look of the fret board and the sound that comes from it cannot be more vintage correct. All Brazilian Boards come with CITES.

Cellulose Nitrate Inlays

Vintage correct Inlay Material. made from vintage correct cellulose nitrate material. Manufactured by Mazzucchelli, the original Italian factory that supplied Gibson in the 1950’s. Retrospec inlays are 0.070″ in thickness, with the pattern running all the way through to allow for sanding. We refined the color to achieve the correct hue, for authentic vintage vibe, right out of the package. Each inlay has a different pattern.


Royalite Binding for Neck and Body. The factory ABS cream binding will replaced. with authentic Royalite bindin, the same material that Gibson used on their guitars in the 1950’s and 1960’s. The color is a vintage correct bone white.

Celluloid position markers

Pursuit of flammable position marks: a dangerous adventure: Vintage Gibson guitars dated '50s through early '60s used to have celluloid position marks. However, due to the flammability of celluloid, a material change occurred in the mid '60s, bringing a significant change to the look. 50 years on, flammable celluloid is still avoided on mass manufactured guitars, and it is a drawback for Historic Collection. From productivity stand-point, resin and mother-of-pearl are considered more practical, as high-speed sanding generates high-temperature during finger board manufacturing. But no other material can match celluloid: static-charged celluloid sticks mildly to the fingers, an indescribable feeling so cherished by players and collectors alike that Pelikan (Germany) re-issued their masterpiece M series in celluloid. Though time-consuming ---it requires a laser cutter to avoid friction heat---and unsuitable for bulk processing, celluloid is the dream material. Replicated vintage position marks are a major breakthrough for vintage fans. Check out the outcome of Davides pursuit of position marks on Area59‘ Vintage Makeovers.

Neckreset for Post 2013 Models

As soon as the Historic Collection Les Paul is delivered to Area59’, its neck is carefully removed, in order to sand off any adhesive left on the joint surface. Using the same adhesive as the old times has the positive effects of making the surfaces stick more tightly, and improving sound and ease of maintenance, since the neck joint is the center of the guitar, supporting powerful string tension.
-In today's manufacturing, when you use adhesives to stick things together, you seldom think about overhaul. However, over a long period of time, all instruments inevitably will need care or repair. The first step is to get rid of chemical adhesives as much as possible, as they tend to be less suited for repair, and to replace them with adhesives that have the same hardness and characteristics as used in the 50's.
-Vintage adhesives tend to shrink when aged, thus bringing joint wooden surfaces to stick more tightly. The neck joint becomes more solid, and transmits no unnecessary vibrations.
-Removing the finger board is another moment when even onlookers get tense. Again, we carefully removes any adhesives left on the neck, and the truss rod. Dismantling a guitar with respect for the builder is much like dissecting a body with respect for life. Area59‘ Vintage Makeovers work is 21st century's Tafel Anatomia.
Note:Historic Les Pauls from model year 2012 and earlier use Franklin style white glue for the neck joint so we offer Neckreset as option. In 2013 Gibson started using hide glue for the neck joint so Neckrest for 2013 and younger guitars is not needed.

Vintage correct Logo

Glue Inlay...
Glue Inlay...

Fuss about logo: early 59 or late 59? One of many details that make The Area59‘ Vintage Makeovers so special is the fully replicated vintage headstock. This would not have been possible if The Area59 Vintage Makeover was not a retuning of an authentic Gibson Historic Collection. Replica logo of stunning mother-of-pearl, and silk-screened letters 'Les Paul' written from specially made template are tributes to the man who invented this epoch making electric guitar, more than half a century ago. The most widely recognized late 59 logo is used on the first run of our Makeovers.

Nylon 6/6 Nut

Nylon 6/6 nut blanks are made of a 100% vintage accurate 6/6 nylon extrusion, making them the perfect vintage style upgrade for your guitar.

Aniline Dye Red filler

Definition of cherry red. Mahogany grain enhanced by filler color. Take a look at the back of Area59‘ Makeovers. You will discover the breathtaking grain of mahogany, and the ox blood cherry red filler. The subdued back side of a Les Paul is, in fact, such an interesting field of grain patterns that you will want to know more about. Davide's passion for retuning made him restore even the filler to its original specs.

Real Nitrolaquer

Lacquer and painting: as delicate as a silk robe...Real Nitro lacquer custom mixed specifically for us, containing zero retarders or plasticizing agents; as a result our lacquer cures extremely quickly which means you get an old looking finish without 50 to 60 years of waiting. Be it the vertical relief engraved on mahogany, or the deep undulating pattern set down on maple, the subtle nuance created by hardened lacquer on wood grain is a key factor of vintage. Only solvent-based lacquers, specially blended to meet '50s automobile specs, can reproduce the hardness, smell and touch of a true vintage. For Davide, similarity of finish is far less important than function and content in lacquer material. Solvent-based lacquers are, when dried, 50% lighter than water-based ones, which are less fluid and dry. More importantly, lacquer finish must let wood breathe. Wood, an organic material, continues to breathe and seasons with time, even after it has been cut and treated for use in instruments, even through the lacquer layer. Well aware of this fact, Davide has been fussy about selecting the right lacquers: high quality vintage mahogany should continue to breathe. All Refins incl. a Vintage correct size and font Serial No.

The Burst

Starting 1959€ for Level One Makeover
Starting 1959€ for Level One Makeover Checkout details under Area59 Vintage Makeovers...from Standard to Customtheme ageing, incl. Fully Aged Hardware, Plastics, Electronic and Pickups we have everything to give your Guitar the ultimate Vintage look

The Burst...What does it take for Area59‘ Makeovers faded burst to look so natural? UV light treatment is the answer, an extended exposure to UV light that causes natural weather and subtle fade. It is quite a sight to see several Les Pauls, with all parts on, lined up in a tanning machine (big enough to contain a person, as seen in tanning parlors, or if you prefer, like the one Jennifer Love Hewitt used in "I still know what you did last summer") where they will be left to tan for several days. No wonder the result is so natural looking. At the same time, surface paint will be hard enough for the next step, the "cold aging" process


Sudden, dynamic spider web of aged cracks...Cracks on Area59‘ Makeovers are an art created by nature, resulting from temperature change on lacquered surface. Artificial checking, using sharp tools like cutters, is a common technique on thick paint with much elasticity. Davide, on the other hand, prefers the more time-consuming "chilled crack" technique, only possible on specially blended solvent-based lacquer. By refrigerating to minus 40 (Celsius) the lacquered surface previously left to dry for 10 days at room temperature, a natural cracking appears, a spider web of fortuitous yet necessary lines and curves, as seen on this picture. Those are natural cracks, you can expect them to season with time.


We offer several optional ageing levels...From Standard with Vintage patina which is incl. all Makeovers to Customtheme ageings, like Pearly Gates, Koss and many many more...color fading, guitar parts shadows, weather-checking, noticeable edge-wear, pick scratches, whiskey bumps, Buckle rash, arm wear, scrapes, scratches, oxidation for Gold Top Finish etc.

Area59' Parts

Hasn't looked and sounded this good since 59'...Vintage correct Parts made of same materials (CAB), Nitrate, Layered ABS for the Plastics and Vitnage correct alloy for the Metalparts, incl. same technique Gibson used in the Golden age...Vintage Soft Brass saddles and Screw, Cold rolled steel Anchors and Studs, Copperless Plated Hardware (Vintageshaped) and Finally one of the finest PAF Covers ava. in look and sound...Checkout our selection of avialble Parts incl. our Handwound PAF Replicas and CTS "TVT" True Vintage Taper Pots...

Pro Fretdress/Setup

Finally after all the work is done... we will install all parts and the Gutiar will get a PRO-Setup! Depending on Makeoverlevel for sure a Pro-Fretdress!