NOTE: These are not our guitars; just saving the images for history and showcasing what's out there.

Monday, September 24, 2007

1952-53 Gibson Les Paul Standard Goldtop

images via this auction

"Vintage Gibson Les Paul Model c. 1952 - 53. One of the earliest production models of the famed Gibson Les Paul. Considered by some to be early prototypes of the Les Paul Standard. The number of 52/53’s produced during the early years vary slightly (less than 4000). One things for sure, the quantity of these 50’s Les Pauls is ever decreasing. Most, are forever lost. How many remain?

Would not be selling, but the money raised by this sale will be used to help fund a quality studio album for a young, “up and coming” player that has “opened” for the likes of Eric Johnson and Johnny A, to name a few. He has graciously posted tone clips of this guitar at; link If you would like to here, or see more of him, visit or look him up on youtube or myspace.

This Les Paul was acquired from an elderly gent that purchased it in the 1950’s. Over the years he added a toggle switch “ring”. Placed his name in stickers on the guitar body (they have since been removed, his name can be seen “faintly” on the original body finish, see the pics). He also made an outstanding neck / headstock repair (pictured) in the area where the neck meets the headstock. He thought the repair was made in the 80’s. It was properly glued and clamped, lightly sanded etc.. and was lightly over sprayed with nitrocellulose lacquer. The repair was discreetly done, it looks good, “cannot be felt”, and is structurally sound. It has been used and played for so many years after the repair, that grime, dust, sweat and whatever else, have made the repair blend in so well that it is “visually”, hardly noticeable. Other than the area of repair, the rest of the neck is original finish, as is the body. Over the years the “Les Paul” script has vanished or been “scrubbed” away. The “Gibson” inlay is intact and I suspect the old guy may have “touched up” the headstock at one time or another with a dab of paint. The tuners appear to be “open back” Klusons , from around 1949. One of the tuner screws is not old. The elderly gentleman said that the “open back” Klusons had been on the guitar all of the time he owned it. The tuners work properly and are in good condition. The 1st thru 7th fret have varying degrees of “smashed fret”. They would benefit from a re-fret (it can still be played fairly decent now) a re-fret would definitely help with “chording”. The 8th thru 11th are in decent condition (fair to good) and would be “your call”. The 12th - 22nd frets are in very good condition and appear to be virtually untouched. There is some “mild” Fingerboard “digging” in the vicinity of the 1st and 2nd fret as well. Beyond that the Fingerboard is in good condition and the inlays are tight and smooth. The area beneath the Trapeze Bridge (were the posts make contact with the body) has some digging and finish loss (the felt pads have long since disappeared). There is “belt rash” on the back of the guitar. The Mahogany has some very shallow indentation in the wood on the worst spots. We have used orange oil in the past and the rash virtually disappears. We have not used the oil in some time. We thought it best you see the area at its worst. The Bridge Tone pot has been disabled. I have no doubt that the “bridge” pot would work fine if it were re-soldered to the capacitor wire. The “neck” tone pot works fine. The tone from the original, early 50’s P-90 pickups is “killer” so we never bothered with re-soldering the “bridge” tone pot. A new Bone Nut was added. The old one had cracked and chipped so badly that it was useless. There is “crazing” of the old original finish (like a New Jersey road map), and the usual minor “dents”, “character marks” and “finish loss” that one would expect from a true relic. The input jack “cover plate” is dented and a bit warped but does not affect the use of the input (the “cover plate” still fits snuggly in the body cavity). The original truss rod cover is included, the hole at one end of the cover broke. There is a new replacement cover also included. We just never felt the need to put the “new” cover on the old guitar. The holes didn’t match up to well, and the new cover is not an identical match, to the old cover. The guitar weighs a “hair” over 8 lbs. For those interested in 52 / 57 conversion. The neck “angle” may not be so “shallow” that it would require a neck re-set (if conversion is your aim). Thick Mahogany body. The wood is dry (55 yrs. dry) and the thing will “sustain” for days. The guitar “feels” good in your hands and the neck has that nice “worn in” feeling that only comes with age. The guitar stays in tune decent. It does require a bit of “tweaking” around with (to tune) if it hasn’t been played for a while. The trapeze tailpiece is “what it is” regarding playability. It sounds really good used as a slide guitar and has a good “Blues” tone."

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