An icon of the 20th Century and a design classic, the Les Paul and in particular the standard produced between 1958 and 1960 has come to define the electric guitar in the eyes and ears of the general populace. Placed on a pedestal, these are the benchmark by which all are judged and found lacking. Here we have an example of the 1700…
Here is what its current owner has to say about serial number 0 0308
According to a post on the Les Paul Forum the guitar was purchased from the original owner by ‘1955Junior’ in January 1990 who sold it within a month to “a noted Burst collector”. According to other posts the guitar was also owned by Mike Bowen.
I bought the guitar at the Dallas Guitar Show in April 1990 from Buck Sulcer of Guitar Network in Frederick, Maryland. He said at the time that he had just bought the guitar from a collector. I have owned the guitar ever since.
This is quite the guitar. The almost un-faded top is a sight to behold. As a guitar produced in early 1960, the dye used was still very photoreactive, a problem rectified later in the year. This guitar has simply been hidden away from the light and as such has been saved from fading.You can see a slight difference under the pickguard but this guitar is just a vampire it seems. There are a few marks here and there but nothing that detracts from the look of the instrument.
Flip the guitar over and the back has retained the rich cherry, complementing the top. Again there are marks and scratches and patches of wear but nothing too substantial.
The chunkier 59 profile neck too has faded and there are patches of wear, dinks and scratches. As with the whole guitar, there is a deep gloss to the finish. This is one of the sought after '00' Bursts which are made in the early 60's but feature all 59 specs.
The dark rosewood fretboard shows some signs of use and there is plenty of life left in the original frets.
The headstock has a few marks and the decal is still visible. The guitar is currently fitted with a set of reproduction tuners as the originals had suffered the fate so common to Kluson tuners of the period, the buttons having rotted. These are included in the case.
The plastics are in excellent shape, everything is as you’d expect with no real signs of wear or damage.
Electrically everything is correct. There is the odd sign of a solder joint being reheated, but crucially not on the pickups.
The guitar comes with a 50’s Stone 5 latch hardshell case
So how does it sound? For those of you who reached for the smelling salts having seen the price tag, I’m afraid it is bad news. It sounds transcendental. For anyone who’s paid even a passing interest in rock and blues music post 1965, this guitar ticks all the right boxes. Flat out its raunchy and responsive with an almost infinite sustain that makes it feel like it's playing you. Dialed back,it cleans up beautifully whilst retaining a clarity that is such a hallmark of these instruments. Marry this with a slim neck that is joy to play and it's an unbeatable package.
A bucket list guitar if ever there was, this is a rare thing indeed. Classic from head to toe, this would crown any collection.