Sometimes a guitar comes to light that defies all expectations, a true closet classic with a wonderful back story. This 1956 Gibson Les Paul Custom is one such guitar.
Bought new by the original owner in Roxy’s Music Store in New York in 1957, this guitar was brought back to Swansea where it was lovingly cared for and cherished. In fact the guitar was only brought out on special occasions to play a few classical piece before being polished and returned to its case. Th family held onto the guitar following the owners death and now felt it was time for it to go to another good home.
As you’d expect from such a story, this guitar is in virtually immaculate condition. The finish is stunning with only the slightest hint of checking towards the bottom. It is very evident that great care was taken cleaning and caring for this guitar.
The neck, as with the body is well cared for with the only wear being a patch either side near the fretboard around the 5th -7th frets where the finish has worn through to the wood. The fretboard is in great shape, as is often the way with ebony. The frets show signs of wear consistent with a player that doesn’t bend the strings. The headstock has only a few very minor chips to the finish at the back. The vibrancy of the binding on the guitar is also impressive as the yellowing is minimal and really sets off the deep black. Plastics are in great shape as you’d expect. Neither of the pickup covers show any signs of cracking which is especially prevalent with the Alnico V pickup due to its filigree nature.
The hardware still holds its vibrant gleam with only a little wear to the plating on the stop tail and the bridge. Just take a look at the gold plating on the pickups, we never see them like this and is another sign the guitar has not been played with a pick.
Electronically everything is untouched and is working correctly.
The guitar comes with its correct hardshell case which itself is well cared for. It has the Roxy Music Store logo tacked on the inside which looks very cool indeed..!
Sonically this guitar is wonderful. Both pickups are clear. The Alnico V pickup is always a pleasure to play and the one here is no exception. There is definetly a more hi-fidelity feel to the sound. The bridge pickup keeps up it end of the bargain admirably and delivers a nice contrast with a little more a hairy tone, biting without being too harsh.
We really don’t see these guitars in this condition often and to have one with such clear providence is rarer still. A true collectors piece.