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Gibson Les Paul retrofitted with humbuckers and sunburst finish, and introducing the Soft Shoulder '55 neck profile.
In the mid-50s, a sunburst finish was not an available option on a Gibson Les Paul. In 1958, Goldtops were phased out and a cherry sunburst became the standard finish. Sunburst finishes became all the rage with some really popular artists such as Clapton and Bloomfield using late-50s 'Bursts. The single-cutaway Les Paul guitars were discontinued in '60-'61 and were not reintroduced for several years. Many players started stripping the gold off the top of their early-mid-'50s Gibson Les Paul guitars and having them refinished to emulate the desirable Sunburst Les Pauls. The Gibson Custom Refin features a beautiful heritage cherry sunburst top and even has an offset center seam to emulate the originals. The Gibson Refin Hot-Mod Les Paul also introduces a comfortable and resonant neck shape, the Soft Shoulder '55 Neck Profile.
The hot-mod slant on the Gibson Custom Hot-Mod 1955 Les Paul Goldtop Electric Guitar originates from a custom-ordered 1955 Les Paul that was later modified with humbucker pickups (introduced by Gibson in 1957). The classic combination of maple-topped mahogany body with ABR-1 Tune-O-Matic bridge and humbuckers delivers a glorious monster tone that introduces a comfortable and resonant neck profile.
The BurstBucker 1 neck humbucker on the 1955 Gibson Custom Les Paul replicates the sounds from Gibson's original "Patent Applied For" pickups, are slightly underwound, with medium "vintage" output. The BurstBucker 2 is a humbucking pickup wound in the range of Gibson's '57 Classic for replica sound. Unpolished magnets and non-potted coils, just like the original. Slightly hotter than the BurstBucker 1, the 2 works well in the bridge position with a BurstBucker 1 pickup in the neck position.
Soft Shoulder '55 Neck Profile
The Soft Shoulder '55 neck profile makes the Gibson Les Paul Refin Hot-Mod sit in your hand like no other guitar neck. Gibson's guitar team chose a '55 Les Paul that had a neck with a "magical feel" to serve as a model for the Soft Shoulder '55 neck. The depth is the same from the top of the fretboard to the back of the neck as the rounded '50s neck, yet has gently sloping sides that sit comfortably in your hand.
ABR-1 Tune-O-Matic Bridge and Stopbar Tailpiece
The ABR-1 Tune-O-Matic bridge was the brainchild of acclaimed Gibson president Ted McCarty in 1954, setting a standard for simplicity and functionality that has never been bettered. On the Gibson Refin Hot-Mod Les Paul, the ABR-1 Tune-O-Matic is slotted directly into the body of the guitar using a separate stud and thumbwheel, providing a firm seating for the strings and allowing players the ability to adjust and fine tune intonation and string height in a matter of minutes. And held in place with TonePros long steel anchors and long locking studs, the stopbar tailpiece yields a great union between the strings and body, which results in excellent vintage tone and sustain.
Year of 1955 Innovation
1955 was a year of great innovation in all areas of American life. 1955 saw the dawn of the United States space program. The first of the classic V8
Chevrolets hit dealerships all over the country, reflecting the spirit of change that was in the air. And don't forget there was Rock and Roll! Jukeboxes were blasting music by Bill Haley, Chuck Berry, a kid named Elvis, and his guitar player Scotty Moore.
Something was afoot. The archetypical tones of this music had already been forged in the Legendary Gibson Guitar Factory. There, in 1955, the future sonic masterpiece known as the humbucking pickup was being prototyped. All the ingredients necessary to create the soundtrack of the next quarter century and beyond existed within that building.
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Comments about Gibson Custom 1955 Les Paul Historic Electric Guitar:
I bought and sold 2 other Historic Les Pauls before I got to this one -- now I'm done. This guitar is amazing, mostly because of the neck. It's got the same front-to-back thickness of a 50's Custom Shop guitar, but the slope on the sides is a little more exaggerated than even a '59 neck -- It's almost like a V neck, hence even MORE comfortable than a '59 neck.
This appears to be the only LP that they've put this particular neck size on. If your fingers are long, but a '57, '58, or even a '59 custom shop neck is too much for you, then this is your guitar.
Nothing sounds quite like a solid+lightweight mahogany body from the custom shop. If you're thinking of getting a flamey expensive factory Les Paul, just spend the extra money on a historic LP...It's well worth it.
My only gripe with Gibson nowadays is the way they hammer the strings onto the saddle pieces on the ABR-1 bridge...this is a terrible idea, because EVERY custom shop guitar I've bought has come with bent saddle screws because of this. When the screws are bent, you can't adjust the intonation properly -- Why they do this, god only knows. But if you're spending thousands on a new guitar, you should get perfection, and unfortunately, this particular problem is consistent for Gibson, both factory and custom shop (when it comes to guitars equipped with an ABR-1 bridge).
Other than that, it's amazing, and I'll never sell it. Just make sure that if you buy one, you order a replacement bridge from FaberUSA or someone like that where you can get a quality replacement for the ABR-1 bridge.