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Gibson Custom 1955 Les Paul Custom Historic Prototype Electric Guitar
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Gibson's Custom Shop builds Prototypes to ensure that the guitar's design is completely refined before it goes into production. Gibson Prototype guit...Click To Read More About This Product
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A tone monster with vintage-sound Alnico V and P-90 single-coil pickups, and modded with a TonePros wraparound bridge and the comfortable Soft Shoulder '55 neck profile.
Gibson's Custom Shop builds Prototypes to ensure that the guitar's design is completely refined before it goes into production. Gibson Prototype guitars serve as the standard reference for production models, and instead of having a serial number stamped on the back of their headstock, they have a handwritten prototype notation there. Offered in extremely limited quantities, this Les Paul Custom guitar and other Gibson prototypes have great collectibility potential.
When it was introduced in 1954, the Les Paul Custom came with the brand new adjustable ABR-1 Tune-O-Matic bridge and stopbar tailpiece arrangement from the beginning of their production. Back then, Gibson had a reputation of taking special orders to satisfy customer requests. Gibson's Special Order model is a "What if" or rumored "might have been" Special Order Les Paul Custom placed with the wraptail, aka wraparound bridge. Some prefer the simpler bridge for the exceptional tonal transfer it has.
TonePros "Wraptail" Bridge/Tailpiece
The TonePros "Wraptail" vintage-style one-piece wraparound bridge/tailpiece on the Gibson Les Paul Custom prototype guitar has locking steel studs mounted into long steel anchors for superior tone transference. A classic piece of hardware, the wraparound bridge/tailpiece on the '55 Les Paul offers a simplicity and functionality that is hard to match. It provides a firm seating for the strings, allowing the player to adjust intonation and string height as needed. This yields an incredible union between the strings and body, resulting in excellent tone and sustain.
Soft Shoulder '55 Neck Profile
The Soft Shoulder '55 neck profile makes the Gibons Les Paul 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.
Alnico V single-coil
The Alnico V pickup in the neck position was designed in 1952 by Seth Lover and Walt Fuller for Gibson to succeed the P-90 pickup on several of Gibson's distinguished archtop jazz hollowbodies, most famously the L5 CES, ES-5, and Byrdland guitars. Similar to the P-90 single-coil in appearance, the Alnico V is easily recognized by its distinctive rectangular pole pieces. It gets its name from the stronger Alnico V magnets, while each coil has 10,000 turns of 42-gauge wire to achieve its clear, round, ringing sound. It made its debut on a solidbody Gibson in the Fretless Wonder of 1954; the Les Paul Custom guitar, or Black Beauty.
The bridge position is equipped with a screaming single-coil P-90 pickup. The P-90 was the standard pickup on all Gibson models in the late 1940s and into the 1950s and because of its crisp, bright tone it has experienced resurgence in popularity with many of today's modern rockers. This classic Gibson pickup deliver sizzling, slightly gritty midrange roar. You'll find that the P-90s' high output and biting treble has more nuanced harmonic coloring than the typical Fender single-coil pickup.
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 acclaimed 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.
- Extremely limited quantity prototype
- Carved mahogany top
- Solid mahogany back
- Multi-ply white/black binding on top and back
- Ebony finish
- Gold hardware
- TonePros "Wraptail" one-piece wrapover bridge/tailpiece with long steel anchors and long, locking studs
- 1-piece mahogany neck
- 22-fret ebony fingerboard
- Pearl block inlays
- Single-ply white fingerboard binding
- Soft Shoulder '55 neck profile
- 24-3/4" scale length
- 1-11/16" nut width
- Keystone tuners
- Vintage-style Alnico V single-coil (neck)
- P-90 single-coil (bridge)
- 2 volume, 2 tone, 3-way selector switch