1952 Gibson Les Paul Model


gold52.gif (18934 bytes) I purchased this very early Les Paul Model, probably one of the first ever made, from a dealer in Smyrna, Georgia. There are some features of this guitar that are really interesting: First of all, like all Les Paul models of 1952, it bears no serial number. What identifies this guitar as a very early model is the two screws at the corners of the treble pickup. So, the rhythm and the treble pickups, both of course cream colored P-90 pickups, are in fact different. Gibson subsequently used the same pickups without the diagonal mounting screws on later editions. Another weird thing is the white ring around the pickup selector switch. Normally, on such early models you would find no such ring, but this one was either factory installed or added very early on, because the finish underneath it shows different coloring and aging patterns from the finish on the rest of the guitar. Also, the headstock bears no Les Paul inscription. Maybe this rubbed off in time, but it looks like it was never applied.

While the Goldtop finish on this guitar has nicely aged, the overall guitar seems to have experienced some rough times. The original scratch plate is missing, as are the high hat-box type knobs. The trapeze tailpiece shows some discoloration due to rust. Once you get over the fact that the strings pass under the bridge (a problem that was identified by Les Paul and Gibson, and later corrected) this is a sweet sounding an incredibly bluesy guitar, especially the rhythm pickups gives a nice sustaining and mellow blues tone.