1956 Gibson Les Paul Special + HSC

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At A Glance:
Model: Les Paul TV Special
Year: 1956
Finish: TV Yellow
Modifications: Humbucker fitted, Grovers fitted, new bridge
Repairs: Finish touch ups on neck, headstock repair
Weight (kg): 3.42

Case: Softshell
Fingerboard: Rosewood
Neck wood: Mahogany
Body wood: Mahogany
Tuners: Grover
Pickups: Correct P90 in neck, Humbucker in bridge
Hardware: Mojoaxe bridge
Neck Profile: Medium C
Pots: 4 x 500k CTS from 1965

    There are a few myths as to the origin of the moniker ‘TV Yellow’. Some say that it originates through the association with television cabinet finishes which were often done in limed mahogany (the finish listed in the Gibson Catalogue). Another idea most often quoted is that the finish looked better when broadcast (a suggestion put forward by Les Paul himself) as white caused issues with early television cameras.

    A more controversial one is that the TV stands for ‘Telecaster Version’, a name given to the finish by Gibson executives who thought the combination of a blonde finish and black pick guard would confuse new customers into buying the Les Paul Juniors over their rival Fender’s Telecaster. Whatever the answer, its certain that this is one of Gibson’s most distinctive finishes, one which went through many changes over the years.

    This guitar certainly looks the part. This is how we want our TV specials to look isnt it? Modified for a humbucker, the body is has the correct finish as you can see and thankfully hasn’t been modified further.

    The neck has been partially refinished as it had had too much finish removed and it had a headstock repair at one time. Thankfully the original serial number has been preserved. The bare wood feel of the neck is excellent. The refret has been done very sympathetically and the fretboard is in great shape.

    The plastics are in great shape and seem to be correct. Hardware has been changed. The bridge is a Mojoaxe compensated example and the tuners are chrome Grovers.

    Electronically, the pots are all from 1965 though the caps are correct. The humbucker is superb sounding and the P90 is correct.

    As a side note, this is the guitar that helped inspire Neil Ivison to create the Hurricane and Neil took all the measurements from this very guitar!

    The guitar comes with a softshell case

    Plugged in we’re greeted by a plethora of gnarly tones, as you expect from such an instrument. The joy is being able to tame these and take your sound from hairy to subtle with the simple manipulation of the controls. For such a straightforward guitar, there is whole world on sounds available.

    If you’ve been looking for a TV Special at a reasonable price then don’t let this one pass you by….

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