Three Classic Goldtops: What Makes Them Special
“1957 was also the last year Les Paul Standard Models would receive the Goldtop finish.” This 1954 Les PauI model, serial number 43427, weighs in at 8.6 pounds and has the stop tailpiece/bridge combination known as the wraparound bridge, which was Gibson’s solution to their problematic trapeze tailpiece. This guitar also features a rare, all-gold finish, covering the entire guitar rather than the top only.
The 1956 Les Paul Model, serial number 614014, weighs 8.8 pounds, and has the ABR-1 bridge which has adjustable saddles for more accurate intonation and easier height adjustment, and an aluminum stop bar tailpiece. This Les Paul’s volume and tone knobs also have the new shape that is referred to as “Top Hat” style.
1957 was the first year for humbuckers, and this Les Paul Goldtop, serial number 76172, features two “Patent Applied For” pickups, measuring 7.8 ohms at the neck position and 7.6 ohms at the bridge. Replacing the P-90s of previous years, the dual-coil, hum-canceling humbucker proved to be quieter and produced a tone that has become highly desirable, creating a high demand for original PAFs.
1957 was also the last year Les Paul Standard Models would receive the Goldtop finish. This particular Goldtop has a darker finish than usual on the back and sides, which is chocolate brown in color, yet still translucent enough to see the grain pattern. This “brown finish” was dark enough to sometimes be used to cover imperfections in the wood grain. The yellow ink stamped serial number was also common on dark-back models. This guitar is a very lightweight at 7.7 pounds and has a rare and unusual mahogany top under the gold finish, instead of the more typical maple top.
Dave''s Guitar Shop
Daves Roger’s Collection Is tended to by Laun Braithwaite & Tim Mullally
All photos credit Tim Mullally
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Dave''s Guitar Shop
1227 Third Street South
La Crosse, WI 54601