It's a good day to work at The Music Zoo when word spreads that an original Goldtop its on its way to the store. Here we have a 1953 Gibson Les Paul Standard with a Goldtop finish. The '53 Goldtop saw the Les Paul go from the original trapeze tailpiece to the simple-yet-effective wraparound tailpiece paired with two soapbar P-90 pickups. This guitar has its share of cosmetic wear that add to the allure of a vintage Les Paul.
The plastic parts look original to the guitar, or old enough to be – the backplate is a bit loose, it could have been sanded down a bit to make opening the cavity easier. In the cavity both capacitors look to be original – with one of them having a newer looking solder connection. The bridge is leaning a bit, typical of ‘50s guitars with wraparound tailpieces, and a washer was added to the output jack. The fifth fret inlay was cracked and reglued. Under close examination, the guitar has a possible refret, as the frets are very clean in comparison to the guitars finish – however, the work would have been very professionally done, and the appropriate vintage size frets were used.
All in all, this is an amazing playing and sounding Les Paul that had all of us grinning like kids in a toy store. The neck feels slim at the nut and just fits right in your hand as it gets a bit chunkier when you play up the board. The intonation of the guitar is spot on with all chords and notes ringing out in tune, and the P-90s on this guitar still have a crystal clear growl that give back just as much as you put into them. This '53 includes a period-correct Lifton Les Paul case (not a California Girl style case) with pink interior that is in very good condition and all latches functioning.11