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

Thursday, June 2, 2011

1950s Gibson Les Paul Standard

via this auction
See northshorevintage (RSS) for more.
"A 1954-57 conversion built to extreme scrutiny, down to every part and piece of hardware. No breaks, no funny business just a killer 50s hunk of wood mated with proper hardware. I purchased this guitar as a top only refin 54' les paul. It was a superb player but the bridge was replaced and the top was really ugly so I decided to convert it when I found the appropriate plastic. I was nervous about the project until it returned from Tom Bartlett, master luthier who did the work. I've never been a gold top guy until this guitar. Everything about it is perfect in every way. This guitar was old and charming to begin with but with Tom's touch it's everything you could ever want.

What makes this guitar so special? Simply put, old wood thats been assembled for over 56 years. This is the perfect conversion because it's never had or needed a neck reset. There are lots of guitars out there that have had neck resets and retops to be pretty flamed maple but for the purist this is as good as it gets. All original 1954 wood with the proper parts to make that holy grail tone.

This guitar is an original 1954 Les Paul that was routed for PAF pickups perfectly using a pin router like gibson would have done in the 50s, set up with a factory 1957 ABR-1 and stop tailpiece and complete set of 1957 Les Paul plastic. This 1954 Gibson retains it's original finish on the back of the guitar and headstock however the top has been refinished for obvious reasons and then naturally aged to match the back of the instruments patina. It looks, smells and blacklights perfectly and sounds and feels even better. The guitar has all of it's original parts minus whats stated above. The Harness is the original 1954 however I had a set of bumble bee caps installed to make it more period correct and reliable as the original caps were leaky. The tuners, truss rod cover, back plates, control knobs, pointers, pick guard bracket, strap buttons, wires, catalin switch tip and nearly all screws are original to the instrument except for the 1950s plastic that was added including an original set of 57 M-69s, switch plate and a very nice 1957 Les Paul pick guard. All the parts are gauranteed 100% original, the ABR-1 has gold saddles on it right now because the nickel ones need work but are included and original 50s. I made one swap out for a metal jack plate to make it more sturdy but other than that this guitar is exactly like a 1957 Gold Top in every way. The only way to differentiate this thing from a real one are the P-90 screw holes in the cavities and the serial number.

The conversion process was done by Tom Bartlett who is in my opinion just as good if not better sometimes than Dave Johnson and knows an awful lot about both gold tops and bursts. He used an original mint 58' Les Paul to design jigs just like Gibson used in the 50s to perfect the build process of conversions.

The pickups were made specifically for this guitar by a forger of PAF pickups a while ago when I decided to start the project, they are and sound just as good as any set of PAFs i've ever had. Wound to be about 1k hotter in the bridge like a set of PAFs I had in my 56' that had what I was looking for. They were also built with no stickers to be period appropriate.

The guitar had a bigsby on it at one time and the holes are on the base of the guitar.

Included is the original 1954 Lifton Guitar Case in excellent condition.


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