There is definitely a touch of the Midas about this beautiful, 1956 Gibson Les Paul Standard Goldtop.
Developed by Ted McCarthy in 1953, the Tune-o-matic bridge was first seen on the Super-400 before making its way onto the Les Paul Custom when it was introduced in 1954. Designed to improve tuning stability and aid the intonation, this innovation was added to the Les Paul Standard in the autumn of 1955, replacing the wraparound tailpiece that has been. feature of the guitar from two years previous.
On first opening the case, the first thing that strikes you about the guitar is the colour of the glorious gold top. As you can see from the pictures, the top has crazed but there is no chipping to speak of and the colour has retained it vibrancy and hasn’t greened.
The back too is in excellent condition exhibiting only very minor buckle rash near the control cavity. The lacquer still has that wonderful deep gloss sheen that shows off the grain beautifully.
The first indicator that this guitar has in fact been used is some player wear on the fretboard. This wear is not extensive and doesn’t affect playability. As you’d expect, the frets too show mild signs of wear though there is plenty of life left in them and at the moment the guitar is a joy and really easy to play.
Electrics are in perfect condition with totally undisturbed solder joints on all the pots, switch and pickups. Both pickups have strong outputs that are evenly balanced.
The plastics are so bright on this guitar its difficult to come to terms with the fact that they are nearly of pensionable age. The nickel part too is in fantastic condition with only some very minimal discolouration.
The guitar comes with its correct Lifton 4 latch case.
As you’d expect (or hope!) this guitar does sound as good as it looks. There is plenty of sustain evident even before you plug it in whereupon we are exposed to the sonic tour de force that is the vintage 50’s Gibson P90 pickup. The neck pickup gives us that classic bluesy, ballsy tone without loosing any definition where as the bridge is snarly and powerful without any shrillness.
Everyone has to play a Goldtop Les Paul at some point in their lives but ones like this don’t come along very often in this condition. Don’t let it get away.