1958 Gibson Les Paul Model Serial #8 1131

The venerable Gold Top



By the early 1950s, popular recording artist Les Paul had been working on a solidbody guitar for a number of years. Only the impressive sales of Fender’s solidbody, the Telecaster, finally convinced Gibson to consider his idea and come up with one of its own. Gibson approached Les Paul, and with his input, the Les Paul Model solidbody guitar was introduced in 1952. The model evolved through the 1950s as practical improvements were made in its design.

The Les Paul featured this month is among the last with the original gold-colored finish (the finish changed
to cherry sunburst later that year). This guitar shows all the improvements that were made up until 1958. These include the stop tailpiece (1954), the Tune-o-matic bridge (1956), and Patent Applied For (PAF) humbucking pickups (1957).

The humbucking pickup was well received when it came out in the ’50s, but didn’t reach its full potential until the heavier rock and blues players of the late ’60s discovered its capabilities. The PAF pickups used on late ’50s and early ’60s Gibsons are still considered the best sounding humbuckers today.

More detailed information on Gibson Les Paul guitars can be found in The Early Years of the Les Paul Legacy 1915-1963 by Robb Lawrence.

Dave's Guitar Shop
Daves Rogers’ collection is tended to by Laun Braithwaite and Tim Mullally
Photos and words by Tim Mullally
Dave’s collection is on display at:
Dave's Guitar Shop
1227 Third Street South
La Crosse, WI 54601
davesguitar.com

Made in Canada, this two-voice guitar features a chambered Mahogany body, carved Swamp Ash top, 25.5” scale Mahogany neck and Rosewood Fingerboard.

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Gain is fun in all its forms, from overdrive to fuzz, but let’s talk about a great clean tone.


We’re all here for one thing. It’s the singular sound and magic of the stringed instrument called the guitar—and its various offshoots, including the bass. Okay, so maybe it’s more than one thing, but the sentiment remains. Even as I write this, my thoughts fan out and recognize how many incarnations of “guitar” there must be. It’s almost incomprehensible. Gut-string, nylon-string, steel-string, 12-string, 8-string, 10-string, flatwound, brown sound, fuzztone…. It’s almost impossible to catalog completely, so I’ll stop here and let you add your favorites. Still, there’s one thing that I keep coming back to: clean tone.

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A supreme shredder’s signature 6-string dazzles with versatility.

This immaculately built guitar sounds great and can do it all.

The more affordable price is still out of reach for many guitarists

$2,799

Charvel MJ San Dimas SD24 CM
charvel.com

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Charvel’s first Guthrie Govan signature model was released in 2014, after an arduous two-year effort to get the design just right. Since then, the guitar—now in its second edition—has become one of Charvel’s most coveted models. Unfortunately, its $3,699 price keeps the U.S.-made axe out of reach for many.

This year, though, the company released the Made-in-Japan signature MJ San Dimas SD24 CM, which sells for a slightly more manageable $2,799. Needless to say, that’s not cheap. But depending on your priorities, it’s a fair price for a very high quality, pro-level instrument.

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