The Gibson 1956 Les Paul Goldtop Standard Vintage Original Spec model is the next step in Gibson’s journey toward perfection.
Ted McCarty’s Tune-o-Matic bridge (also knows as the ABR-1) started to appear on higher end Gibson guitars as early as 1954. The ABR-1 was added to the Les Paul Model in 1956 and, with individual saddles to adjust each string’s length as well as thumbwheels to adjust the overall height of the bridge, represented a quantum leap forward in intonation and a marked improvement in tone and sustain.
All VOS model Gibsons are given an aged appearance by enduring unique staining, wet-sanding, and hand-rubbing processes. The result of these methods creates a visually stunning reflection of a well-cared for 40-year-old Gibson.
Gibson Custom 1956 Les Paul Goldtop VOS Features
Custom Shop VOS Guitars
- 1-piece, solid mahogany backs. Not book-matched or weight-relieved
- Historically accurate neck tenon for superior sustain - you can see it extending under the neck pick-up
- Bumblebee capacitors (where applicable), and correct routing
- Historically accurate reproductions of original PAF humbuckers
- Tortoise dot markers on the side of the neck
- ABR-1 bridge and lightweight aluminum stopbar tailpiece
- Holly headstock veneer
- Period-correct stain and filler
- 100% nitro-cellulose lacquer finishes - no added plasticizers
Gibson has been producing solid body electric guitars for 55 years. Of course, the most famous of these guitars is the legendary Les Paul. In 2006 the Gibson Custom Shop released its Vintage Original Spec (VOS) series in honor of the instruments that have literally shaped the face of music today. The series consists of a 1956 Les Paul Gold Top; a ’57 Les Paul Junior Singlecut; a ’57 Gold Top in plain and darkback; ’57 Customs in 2 and 3 pickup versions; ’58 Junior Double Cut; ’58 Plain Top; ’59 Les Paul Sunburst reissue; ’60 Les Paul Reissue; ’60 Les Paul Specials in Single and Double Cut; an SG Standard Reissue; and an SG Custom 3 pickup Reissue.
The production of these instruments is the culmination of 20 years of experience producing handmade Gibson Custom guitars. We primarily took on the challenge of re-creating the 3 most vital aspects of these legendary instruments: Look, Playability, and most of all Tone.
In order to accurately reproduce the appearance of vintage Gibsons, the Custom Shop uses a combination of faithful adherence to our history and proprietary new processes and inventions. The hardware is left to soak in a special solution that transforms a brand new pick-up cover into a gently used historic jewel. The plastic and binding are painstakingly hand aged to provide that warm yellowed look that takes decades to occur in nature. Vintage accurate wood fillers, anodized dies and a 100% nitro-cellulose lacquer finishes are all expertly applied to create exacting reproductions of Gibson’s Gold Tops, Cherry’s, TV’s and, of course, famous Sunbursts. However, at a special point during the final buffing process, VOS guitars are treated to an application of Gibson’s secret and proprietary Magic Tone Oil
. This oil is left to cure for a few days, and the result is that unmistakable lightly worn but still gorgeous appearance of a well cared for 50 year old guitar.
In my humble opinion, however, it is in the remarkable playability
of these instruments that we have really outdone ourselves. Each neck is literally hand rolled to replicate with amazing authenticity the 3 most notable neck profiles in Gibson history – the 50’s style, the ’59, and the 1960 neck shape. The binding is also hand addressed to provide maximum comfort and playing surface. Finally, using another piece of technology for which Gibson has exclusivity for production instruments, the nut and frets are meticulously crowned and leveled while the neck is at a tension that simulates the tension a set of strings would put on it. This amazing process produces the hardest aspect of a vintage Gibson to recreate – that soft, played in feel. Nearly impossible to describe with words, you will know exactly what I am talking about when you pick up a VOS guitar (like the ones in Jeff Radke’s office for instance!).
Finally, it all comes down to Tone
, that elusive, essential piece of the puzzle that all guitar players and guitar builders chase, but few ever realize. The tone of any instruments is a result of the sum of all of its parts. By utilizing historically accurate materials such as one piece mahogany backs (never bookmatched or weight relieved – they are lighter because we start with lighter wood), an accurate long neck tenon (part of the neck that connects with the body providing support and sustain) painstakingly handwound single coil and humbucking (a Gibson invention by the way) pickups, and that pure, breathable nitro-cellulose finish we can assemble the pieces of superior tone. But it takes the loving hands, the years of experience, and the undeniable mojo of the Gibson Custom Shop to pull off something like this. The VOS series are the finest vintage instruments being produced today. Bar none. Ask anybody who has played one.
American Musical Supply; an Authorized Gibson Internet Retailer
AmericanMusical.com has been selected as one of Gibson's very few Authorized Internet Retail Sites in the United States. As one of these select few Internet sites, AMS offers an unparalleled selection of all of Gibson’s premium brands, all covered by Gibson’s Limited Lifetime Warranty; only available from Authorized Gibson retailers.
Gibson is recognized as one of the most respected guitar builders in the world. AMS is proud to have a decades-long history with them and honored that Gibson has chosen us to bring their world-class instruments to you. Look for more new product announcements, special events and promotions in the coming months.
Gibson - Pure.