Stunning 1957 Goldtop Reissue with a Vintage Look!
The original Les Paul guitar was essentially a collaboration between Gibson president, Ted McCarty and Les Paul, who was arguably one of the most popular and widely respected guitar player and recording star of his time. According to Paul, the basic idea was his, but the concept of the carved top came from Maurice Berlin, who was then the head of Gibson’s parent company, CMI. In several published accounts, Paul tells of how Berlin took him into his personal violin vault to show him the carved tops. He explained that Gibson was the only company at the time with the capabilities to build a solidbody guitar with what we now know as the “arched” or “carved” top.
The year was 1951 and the first Les Pauls eventually rolled off the Gibson assembly line – complete with carved tops – in 1952 at a list price of just $210. Back then, the color gold was considered to mean “expensive, the best, superb,” so from 1952 to 1957, all Les Paul guitars had gold painted tops. The combination of two P-90 single-coil pickups and four controls (two volume and two tone) had been a feature of earlier guitars such as the L5CES and Super 400CES. This was cutting edge at the time and it wasn’t until 1957 that the Les Paul had a pair of humbucking pickups, which is the configuration we think of now as standard on all Les Pauls.
Designed by Gibson’s Seth Lover, early humbuckers came with a “Patent Applied For” sticker on the underside and even today those early PAFs are considered to be an essential part of the whole Les Paul “mojo.” Now Gibson has gone back to basics and reintroduced a stunningly realized, historically accurate reissue of the 1957 Les Paul, complete with Gold finish and two BurstBucker pickups, which combines all the best aspects of the early PAFs and the slightly better frequency response of modern humbucking pickups.
It also has the McCarty designed Tune-o-matic bridge, which Gibson started using on most of its guitars in 1955. Naturally, those early Les Pauls got gobbled up during the vintage guitar boom of the late 1980s and 1990s, so there’s no way you or I could possibly afford one (that’s assuming you could even locate one for sale). So for us, Gibson created the Vintage Original Spec Series, which just happens to include a beautiful reproduction of the 1957 Les Paul “Gold Top.” Folks, this is as close as Gibson has ever come to producing a guitar that might just have popped out of a time machine set to go back to 1957! Owning this guitar is truly like owning a piece of music history.