1955 Gibson Les Paul Goldtop with a few changes but less than 1/3 the price of the last one we sold...!
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With all of us turning onto the magic of 50’s Goldtops, here’s one that won’t break the bank. 1956 Gibson Les Paul Goldtop.
So where do we begin. A cursory glance tells us this is a Goldtop Les Paul, mid to late 1955 from the arrangement of the tune-o-matic, stop tail and a pair of P90s. Look closer and the thing blows wide open. The body has been refinished. The top looks good and the back has been finished in a dark hue similar to an original dark back 55-57 Les Paul Standard. The evidence of refinish is clear in the control cavity as there hasn’t been any attempt to mask much off.
The carve of the body is good and typical of mid 50’s LP Standards and the routing for the pickups follows that of Gibson form the period which is all very nice and good. There is no evidence of any additional holes in the top for a wrap tail bridge so the guitar hasn’t been converted, it appears an original 1955 tunomatic Les Paul and this a very cool thing.
The neck is where it gets interesting. The neck profile is a ‘D’ shape as opposed to the fuller C profile of a guitar from this period. The headstock is the correct shape but the Gibson logo is off centre. Close inspection of the neck under light lets us see that there is no visible sign of any breaks and that the neck is one piece. Under the the neck pickup, the refinish makes it difficult to tell if and how much work has been done here. Our best guess is this guitar has either had a re-neck, a long time ago, maybe in the late 60’s or the headstock veneer has been replaced for some reason and the neck re-profiled to a ‘D’ shape.
The guitar has also had a slew of tuners fitted at various times. There is evidence of Kluson, Schaller and the current Grover tuners.
The hardware is a little mixed. The bridge is ABR-1 without a retaining wire so is correct but the tailpiece is later. The plastics look correct and are in good shape. The selector switch ring and tip look to be later but the knobs are all correct, as are the pointers, screws and truss rod cover. The jack socket plate has been replaced.
The pickups, although the bobbins are cracked a bit, are correct and work wonderfully well as are the pots with a date stamp of the 22nd week of 1955, capacitors and selector switch although evidently a few of the solder joints are more recent which is what you would expect for a refin.
The guitar comes with a correct brown and pink Lifton 4 latch case with a section missing on the back and a hole in the front where the switch tip has worn through.
Regardless of its chequered past, this guitar certainly delivers. If feels very comfortable to play and the tone is certainly correct. Neck pickup brings that dark hairy tone, contrasted by the biting bridge pickup and combining so beautifully.
The last Tunomatic equipped 1955 Les Paul Goldtop we sold around 6 months ago for the princely sum of £35,000. This one, at just £9,995 will probably not hang around long…
We are located in Cheltenham, the capital of the Cotswolds, UK. All items are in stock and can be viewed and tried out through a variety of vintage amplifiers, by appointment only, at our brand new lounge/showroom. We despatch virtually anywhere in the world and we have enormous experience in hassle-free, safe shipping.
ATB Guitars (By appointment Only) 15 Regent St, Cheltenham, GL50 1HE United Kingdom
Landline: 01242 697607
Mobile: 07842 001007
Overseas: +44 (0)1242 697607