Bit of a bargain this one due to a couple of issues which we'll get out of the way straight away. At some stage someone decided it was a good idea to mount a Bigsby then changed their mind probably 5 minutes later as there is now 'shadow' or Bigsby beard there.
There has been a small amount of finish removed from the shoulder of the headstock by the low E tuner. This may have been to facilitate some kind of small repair (see pics). Whatever has gone on in that area was done a very long time ago and blacklights perfectly.
Released in 1952, the design of the Les Paul undertook some dramatic changes in its first few years. By 1954, the tailpiece was changed from the controversial trapeze design to a wraparound and, possibly more importantly, the angle of the neck was increased in late 53 to improve the action and adjustability of the bridge.
This guitar oozes mojo. The top has crazed and greened so wonderfully and there are signs all over the body that this guitar has been well used. The gold on the back too has worn in the places you'd expect and taken on a richer hue. Someone decided that this guitar needed a Bigsby so there are screw holes from this on the top. It was evidently not here for long as there is no sign of any additional fading.
The fretboard and original frets are in good condition with plenty of life left in both. The serial number has been obscured by a shop label and then scratched away. There has been a break at the headstock which has been repaired and then oversprayed quite a while ago. There is also some interesting wear around the area as you can see from the pictures. This does not affect playability or tuning stability.
The bridge shows some signs of corrosion but nothing too serious. Plastics are in good condition.
The electronics are all correct. All the solder joints look unmolested and the pickups are both strong and evenly balanced.
The guitar comes with its correct Lifton 4 latch case that seems to have gone through more of a time than the guitar but has at least served its purpose in keeping the guitar in very good shape.
Sonically this guitar is a joy. Both pickups are well balanced and deliver those 50s tones with aplomb. There’s plenty of scope here, from Hairy Fuzzy neck tones through smoother combined sounds to the bitting snarl of the bridge pickup. It will make you question why you need any other guitar in your life.
The look and the tone of this guitar should surely make it a must have in any collection. It probably won’t be here for very long…!