This listing is a unique, once in a lifetime opportunity, to own a REAL early 1950’s gold top Gibson Les Paul, with all of the early Les Paul magic; a true PLAYER vintage instrument at roughly half the cost of pristine “case queen” examples! This guitar is a unicorn of sorts: an early 1953 Les Paul that’s wonderfully playable, with beautiful original gold-top P-90 tone oozing from the pickups, and a vintage vibe that cannot be mistaken for a reissue. This comes without the typical “collector grade” price tag!
An early 1953 Les Paul, in its original state, would have shared specifications with the 1952 Les Paul. This would have included a neck angle and trapeze tailpiece pairing that deemed the guitar unplayable my most standards. At some point, early in this particular guitar’s life, the guitar underwent significant modifications to make this guitar sound, play, and feel as good or better than its contemporaries.
The most significant modification included routing the body in a manner similar to the Merle Travis Bigsby guitar (the original modern solid body electric guitar), albeit more crudely executed. One could speculate that this guitar’s owner had first hand knowledge of the Merle Travis design when seeing the similarity in beveling. Covering the back is lacquer finished fiberboard fastened with flat head screws. The result is a PERFECTLY BALANCED instrument weighing only 6 pounds and 2 ounces, with a beautiful sound from it’s original soap bar P-90 pickups measuring ~7.86k at the neck and ~7.94k at the bridge. The light weight, balance, and gorgeous resonant tone of the instrument cannot be overstated!
The guitar was refinished in a color similar to a mid-point between “Aztec Gold” and “Shoreline Gold” in nitrocellulose lacquer at some point early in its lifespan. To the untrained eye, or under stage lights, it would take several glances to notice that the finish is unoriginal. The headstock decal and serial number were left intact, and even though this gold top is a different shade of gold, it is a quite becoming vintage guitar.
The tailpiece has been modified to include a bar bridge that is set up for perfect intonation and playability. The width at the nut is 1.687” and 2.062” at the 12th fret. The original trapeze tailpiece bridge is included in the sale. Strap buttons have been changed to receive strap locks.
The neck is a classic early 50s Gibson shape, measuring .906" at the 1st fret and 1.008" at the 12th. The tuners have been changed to vintage correct high-end set of locking tuners that enhance an instrument that already had excellent tuning stability. The buttons have the proper shade of pearl, and the original tuners are included in the sale.
The case included is a new brown Gator Les Paul case with pink lining.
Don’t miss this opportunity to own a truly unique piece of guitar history!
Demo video is of actual guitar for sale.
- Weight: ~6 pounds 2 ounces
- Bridge pickup ~7.94k
- Neck pickup ~7.86k
- .906" @ First Fret
- 1.008" @ 12th Fret
- Width at Nut: 1.687"
- Width at 12th Fret: 2.062"