Gibson Custom 1955 Les Paul Historic Prototype Electric Guitar
(Heritage Cherry Sunburst)
Solid Body Electric Guitars
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Retrofitted with humbuckers and sunburst finish, and introducing the new Soft Shoulder '55 neck profile.
Gibson's Custom Shop builds prototypes to ensure that the guitar's design is completely refined before the instrument goes into production. Prototypes 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, they have great collectibility potential.
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 Les Pauls and have them refinished to emulate the desirable Sunburst Les Pauls. The Gibson Refin Les
Paul guitar features a beautiful heritage cherry sunburst top and even has an offset center seam to emulate the originals. It 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 the 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 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 Custom 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.
ABR-1 Tune-O-Matic Bridge and Stopbar Tailpiece
The Gibson Refin Hot-Mod guitar's ABR-1 Tune-O-Matic bridge was the brainchild of renowned Gibson president Ted McCarty in 1954, setting a standard for simplicity and functionality that has never been bettered. 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 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
- Mahogany body
- Maple top
- Heritage cherry sunburst finish
- Set-in neck joint
- Mahogany neck
- Soft Shoulder '55 neck profile
- Rosewood fretboard
- 22 frets
- 1-11/16 nut width
- ABR-1 Tune-O-Matic bridge and lightweight stopbar tailpiece with TonePros long steel anchors and long locking studs
- Burstbucker 1 neck humbucker
- Burstbucker 2 bridge humbucker
- Volume/Volume/Tone/Tone controls
- 3-way pickup selector
- Kluson tuners
- Nickel hardware