Here’s a brand new 1954 Historic Les Paul with a heart of gold, a top of gold, a sound of gold. If the price of actual gold continues to go up, here’s a long-term investment that will deliver continuous, unmitigated pleasure unlike volatile financial markets.
The 2014 Historic Custom Shop guitars have some been improved with some great, historically accurate changes that actually began in 2013. The guys in Nashville know full well how the guitars that were innovated back in the 1950s and ‘60s have a certain mojo and untangible greatness and they’re pulling out the stops in the effort to get as close as possible to the originals. Thus, Gibson has implemented aspects of original construction, such as the use of aniline dye to accurately stain the mahogany bodies and necks; darkening the fretboard binding to match the originals; and unsheathing truss rods from the tube encasings that were used in later models.
For 2014 and hereafter, the Gibson Custom Shop will continue a very significant change that was also begun in 2013: the use of hide glue for the neck/body joint and for gluing the fretboard to the neck. The crystallizing effect that hide glue creates as it dries helps maintain a rigid connection. The problem with most wood glue is the tendency to retain elasticity, which can dampen the resonance between woods. The switch back to hide glue is something you can truly hear. Furthermore, specific to Goldtop guitars, Gibson also conducted a long search of company records and held conversations with collectors and players in its effort to reformulate the Goldtop finish to match the original’s deep, dark, gold luster. The Goldtop’s back is also reformulated to match the original from the 1950s.
This specific 1954 Goldtop sounds and feels like guitar that has been played lovingly for 50-plus years. Sonically, its P-90 pickups sound period correct, offering signature mids and lows with plenty of top-end shimmer. The pickups used in the Custom Shop guitars are faithful to the originals and respond magnificently wherever your volume control is set. Ultimately, a fantastic guitar that rocks superbly right out of the shipping carton.
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