Extremely clean and just as mean, this 1956 Gibson Les Paul Goldtop might be the crown jewel of our entire East Coast collection buy, a massive haul from a noted New York collector and friend of the shop. We’ve covered a few Goldtops before, like when we profiled five consecutive production years in “The Evolution of the Gibson Les Paul,” but we’ve never had one that looks—and sounds—quite like this. Enjoy. Nathaniel did.
The Gibson Les Paul is a solid body electric guitar that was first sold by the Gibson Guitar Corporation in 1952. The Les Paul was designed by Gibson president Ted McCarty, factory manager John Huis and their team with input from and endorsement by guitarist Les Paul. Its typical design features a solid mahogany body with a carved maple top and a single cutaway, a mahogany set-in neck with a rosewood fretboard, two pickups with independent volume and tone controls, and a stoptail bridge, although variants exist.
The Les Paul was originally offered with a gold finish and two P-90 pickups. In 1957, humbucking pickups were added, along with sunburst finishes in 1958. The 1958–1960 sunburst Les Paul, today one of the best-known electric guitar types in the world, was considered a commercial failure, with low production and sales. For 1961, the Les Paul was redesigned into what is now known as the Gibson SG. The original single-cutaway, carved top bodystyle was re-introduced in 1968.