1958 Gibson Les Paul Guitar!
Reviews, Photos, Features!
The cherry on top of the 1958 Gibson Les Paul is the distinctive cherry sunburst finish that debuted that year, allowing the wood’s grain to show through on Les Pauls for the first time.
A Gibson Custom Shop Reissue Model is Available New for around $3,500, it recreates this pivotal electric guitar in American music history.
With the change from the opaque gold that the company had been using since Les Pauls first appeared in 1952 to the translucent, starburst cherry -- previously used on Gibson arch top acoustic and hollow electrics like the J-45 -- the Les Paul Standard was born in 1958.
But does a reissue model priced at three or four thousand dollars sound a bit steep?
Think of it this way: It’s a deal when you consider that only about 1,700 Les Pauls were made between 1958 and 1960 -- and those sell at auction for prices in the hundreds of thousand of dollars.
For most players, buying the reissue model is the only way to get a 1958 Les Paul experience.
Officially called the 1958 Les Paul Reissue VOS Electric Guitar -- with VOS standing for Vintage Original Spec -- the currently available instrument does a good job approximating the tone, features and look of the original, according to reviewers who’ve played both.
Important features include a one-piece mahogany neck with the round 1950s neck profile, nickel-plated hardware and the ABR-1 Tune-O-Matic bridge.
The body is maple on the top and mahogany at the back.
Burstbucker pickups are stamped “Patent Applied For” just like on the original and reproduce the airy tone expected of this model.
An aged nitrocellulose finish is applied to closely match the original cherry sunburst, something that’s not as easy to match as you might imagine.
Every Les Paul that came from the Gibson factory in 1958 featured the cherry sunburst finish, but they don’t all look the same today.
The red pigment Gibson used until the early 1960s varied.
As these vintage guitars have faded, yellow, honey and amber hues have developed.
In fact, these beautiful but unintended variations have led to the development of several new modern color schemes for Les Pauls.
Who could have imagined it?
A simple change from gold to a translucent cherry could start the ball rolling on so many things at Gibson.
The 1958 Gibson Les Paul paved the way for modern Les Paul models to come.
And it did it with style -- a style that still holds up today.
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