By 1957, Gibson’s evolving Les Paul Model guitar had already undergone several key modifications that would remain as the foundation of the iconic version known around the world today as the Les Paul Standard. But while the addition of the new ABR-1 Tune-o-matic bridge and stopbar tailpiece one year earlier had greatly improved the overall functionality of the Les Paul, nothing would compare with the addition of Gibson’s pioneering new PAF humbucker in 1957, the pickup that truly made the Les Paul a legend. The 1957 Les Paul Goldtop Reissue from the Gibson Custom Shop is the closest thing to taking a time machine more than 55 years back in time to land your own original, and now it features a host of new details to make it the most accurate recreation of the ’57 Goldtop ever created.
Gibson Custom 2014 1957 Les Paul Goldtop VOS Guitar with Case Features
- One-piece rosewood fingerboards
- Hot Hide Glue Neck Fit
- Custom Buckers
- Kluson Deluxe machine heads
- Historic Truss Rod Assembly (no tubing)
- Accurate body and fingerboard binding color
- Goldtop Top and Back Color Change
In addition to its foundation of a solid, lightweight mahogany body with carved maple top and a glued-in, quarter-sawn mahogany neck with long-tenon neck joint, the 1957 Les Paul Goldtop Reissue benefits from Gibson Custom’s 20th Anniversary Specifications. These include a one-piece rosewood fingerboard, Kluson “Deluxe machine heads, hot-hide neck glue, a Historic Truss Rod assembly with no tubing, accurate body and fingerboard binding color, new Custom Buckers created in the image of the original PAFs, and period-correct Gold top and mahogany back/neck finish colors, the latter treated to Gibson Custom’s proprietary VOS process for a gently worn look and feel. In every other detail the 1957 Les Paul Goldtop Reissue remains true to its inspiration, too, including the chunky, rounded ’50s neck profile that not only feels great in the hand, but transmits added string vibration from neck to body for enhanced resonance and sustain.
At the direction of legendary Gibson President Ted McCarty, Gibson engineer Seth Lover began working on a pickup with hum-cancelling capabilities sometime in 1954, applying for a U.S. design patent—hence the name “Patent Applied For,” or “PAF”—on June 22, 1955. By early 1957, the standard double-coil version of the humbucker pickup had begun to appear on Gibson ES-175s and ES-350Ts, and eventually on the Les Paul Model Goldtops of the same year. Gibson Custom’s new Custom Bucker accurately recreates the original PAFs of the late ’50s, using Alnico III magnets and unequal turns of 42 AWG wire in each coil for that characteristic PAF “bite.” These pickups clean up beautifully at the guitar’s volume controls, while Bumble Bee tone caps assist in that warm, singing “woman tone” when you roll back the tone controls. To top it all off, the 1957 Les Paul Goldtop Reissue plays superbly right out of its Custom Shop hardshell case thanks to a trip through one of Gibson’s state-of-the-art Plek machines before it leaves the Custom Shop floor.