1955 Gibson Les Paul All-Gold

with Bigsby


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This is clearly my most valuable and collectible guitar. While some of my "vintage" guitars have some more or less relevant blemishes, this guitar is totally original down to the last screw, down to the last solder joint. It has retained its original tuners, and the nickel-plated Bigsby has never been replaced.

The finish of this Goldtop is All-Gold, meaning that the gold finish covers the entire body and back, as well as the back of the neck. Sometimes, but quite rarely, Gibson used to do that to cover minor cosmetic flaws in the wood grain. So, this guitar is covered all over with finish, and the serial number of 5 5259 is stamped onto the back of the headstock with black ink. The typical Goldtop weatherchecking is very slight on the body, and a little more pronounced on the back of the neck; but other than that this guitar looks like it just left the plant.

The only problem I personally have with playing this guitar is that the frets, which are still the ones originally installed in 1955, are very thin and low, probably from wear. This makes bluesy string-bending difficult, but allows for ultra-fast action, just the way Les Paul would have liked it, and resembling the "fretless wonder" feeling that made the Les Paul Custom of that era famous.

I have seen P-90 Goldtops being advertised for $9,000 and more, and if these prices are fetched, this one is definitely in that ballpark.

 

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Nickel-plated Bigsby and tailpiece Back of guitar showing all-gold finish