I have been buying and selling guitars for well over 40 years now and during this time so much has changed regarding the retail business – When I started, all the business came through the front door – Today around 75% of my business is now via UPS and as such we have to supply so much information, via the web site, to you, the customer – In some ways this is easy, yet in many other ways impossible – I can supply you with a host of details as I evaluate each guitar – You can use your eyes to hopefully entice you – Then maybe you rely on hope, gut feeling and trust – Yet three key factors I can’t adequately portray are feel, playability and tonal character – With regards to this used, 2008, Gibson Custom Shop 57 Les Paul Standard, then it is those three key factors that are its best attributes – Feel, playability and tonal character – Not sure why, but I’ve always had a soft spot for 57 Gold Top LP’s, more so than I have for 58/59 burst models – So time for me to supply you with a host of info regarding this used model from 2008
Maybe not one for the purest as it has had a professional refret – Yet in my opinion this has transformed the guitar – Appears to be larger than the traditional vintage gauge and something like a 6150 or 6110 medium jumbo gauge – No nibs, so frets over the binding – But string bending just feels so much more controlled and easy – It has certainly enhanced the guitars playability
Also it has had the original thin and flimsy jack socket replaced with a metal version – Was previously a players guitar and I can understand such changes – Yet the likes of Area 59 and Crazy Parts will supply you with a detailed replica if required, so no big deal – But those original sockets can and will split with regular use
New bone top nut – fitted at the same time as the re-fret – all work carried out professionally
Whole guitar weighs 9lbs and 14oz
Includes the black Custom deluxe case as well as the appropriate wallet/certificate
All appropriate vintage spec’d hardware including the light weight tailpiece, along with the ABR-1 bridge with appropriate wire
Dark + smooth rosewood fingerboard
Full ‘n’ chunky neck profile that measures .916″ at the top nut end and 1.01″ at the 12th fret
Burst Bucker pick-ups with a #1 in the neck position that measures 7.43K and a #2 in the bridge position that is slightly hotter at #7.93K
Originally a VOS finish ? – Maybe hard to tell as it has been played – Yet all wear ‘n’ tear to the gloss finish is part and parcel of the lightly aged character – So played in but certainly not abused – Most additional wear and tear is just skin deep grazes etc and nothing nasty – Some hints of lacquer checking which is par for the course on a gold top finish – Oxidized/tarnished nickel hardware
Re-strung + set-up with 10-46 gauge strings and a slick action
Feel, playability and tonal character :- As I mentioned earlier, these are the key factors that make this 57 Gold Top so desirable – I know that since 2008 Gibson have undertaken a host of ‘vintage correct’ changes to the replica models, but in my opinion all such guitars, regardless of the year, need to be appraised by how they feel, play and sound, and not just by some ‘vintage correct plastic’ – The re-fret has certainly enhanced the guitars playability – Granted I’m a big PRS fan, partly because of how easy they are to play, yet this LP now handles the same, albeit with a chunkier neck – Yet whilst it is substantial it doesn’t feel like a challenge to play – Sit in the slow lane, dig in and play a few of your favourite moody blues licks, or sit in the fast lane and show off a few cascading licks and tricks
Tone is big with shed loads of expression and sustain – The bridge pick-up has big tight lows, clear highs with enough bite for attack and clarity, but it is not brittle – Enough mids to add punch, body and that honky character – The neck pick-up is smooth and creamy – Play it through a clean amp setting and it possesses more than enough character not to sound bland, with a lush jazzy character from the neck pick-up and a Tele-esq country pickin character from the bridge pick-up – It only needs a subtle amount of gain to be happy and sing for those Pete Green and BB King licks – Add more gain to take you into the rock blues territory of JoBo and G Moore – On overdriven amp settings you can leave the amp alone and use the guitars pots to adjust the gain and volume pot, without losing the guitars character – This approach supplies you with so much soul and emotion
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Guitars4You is not another corporate high street guitar store - My selection of premium grade guitars is about quality not quantity. Every guitar has been selected, inspected and approved by me, with particular attention to the set-up and playing performance. Every sale, phone call, email and mail order transaction is handled by me. A journey that is now over 40 years old, has fuelled my knowledge, experience, love, devotion and passion for exceptionally fine guitars.