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Hot-Mod 1955 Les Paul Goldtop Hot-Mod 1955 Les Paul Goldtop
A Rockin’ ’55 Goldtop with a “Hot-Mod” Humbucker Upgrade
Underappreciated during its original run from 1958-’60, the Les Paul Standard with PAF humbucking pickups caught fire from the mid ’60s to the early ’70s, when players like Eric Clapton, Michael Bloomfield, Jimmy Page and Paul Kossoff carried it to the heights of wailing virtuosity. As the original item became more and more expensive and harder to come by, players in search of the that creamy, thick humbucking tone began modifying the more plentiful 1955-’56 Les Paul Goldtops that were originally made with P-90 pickups, creating guitars very much like this exclusive limited-run Hot-Mod 1955 Les Paul Goldtop Tune-O-Matic from the Gibson Custom Shop. In the course of these modifications, a rare breed was created: a “modded” vintage guitar that retained considerable value with players and collectors alike, while still embodying several aspects of Gibson’s leaps-and-bounds spirit of innovation in the mid ’50s. Add to this the Custom Shop’s newly rediscovered “Soft Shouldered ’55 Neck Profile” and you’ve got one rare and exclusive instrument.

When done right—which meant sending the guitar back to Gibson to have its humbuckers installed—these guitars became the closest possible thing to a genuine 1957 Les Paul Model, the first “Standard” to carry humbuckers, and delivered in spades the look, tone and feel that so many players were seeking. The Custom Hot-Mod 1955 Les Paul Goldtop Tune-O-Matic embodies just such a modification done perfectly. It begins with the template of a late-1955 Les Paul with solid one-piece lightweight mahogany back and carved maple top, Tune-o-matic bridge and stopbar tailpiece, and gives it the “Hot-Mod” of two BurstBucker humbucking pickups. Add it up, and it’s a bundle of PAF-fired ’Burst tone in your hands.

Gibson’s BurstBucker pickups are acclaimed as the most accurate PAF reproduction the company has ever made. A BurstBucker 1 in the neck position offers vocal warmth with plenty of definition, while a slightly hotter BurstBucker 2 in the bridge provides more growl and midrange punch for solo work. Both are made with unpolished Alnico II magnets just like the originals, and slightly mismatched coils for that bite and edge that great original PAFs are known for. The Tune-o-matic (ABR-1) bridge, developed by Gibson president Ted McCarty himself, offered exponential increases in both intonation adjustment facilities and resonant coupling between vibrating strings and solid tonewood. Paired with a stopbar tailpiece, the Tune-o-matic bridge—represented here by a pair of TonePros units with locking studs and long steel anchors—helped to maximize the tone of any instrument on which it appeared. To give all this tone the most playable spin possible, the Custom Hot-Mod 1955 Les Paul Goldtop Tune-O-Matic is fitted with Gibson Custom’s new “Soft Shoulder” ’55 neck profile, created after intensive study of the neck of an original ’55 Les Paul with a “magical feeling” neck. With a similar front-to-back depth as standard rounded mid-’50s necks, it differs in its gently sloping sides, a feature that makes it sit incredibly comfortably in the hand. This exclusive guitar comes with a Gibson Custom hardshell case and a “Year of 1955 Innovation” certificate. Check it out now at selected online dealers.

Technical Specifications
Body Mahogany
Top Maple
Neck Mahogany
Neck Joint Set in
Profile Soft Shoulder '55 neck profile
Scale Length 24-3/4"
Fretboard Species Rosewood
Frets 22
Nut Width 1-11/16"
Tuners Kluson tuners
Bridge/Tailpiece ABR-1 Tune-O-Matic Bridge and Stopbar Tailpiece with TonePros long steel Anchors and long-locking studs
Tone Controls Two Volume, Two Tone
Toggle Switch 3-way Pickup Selector
Neck Pickup Burstbucker 1 Neck Humbucker
Bridge Pickup Burstbucker 2 Bridge Humbucker
Hardware Nickel
Finish Antique Gold
Finish Nitrocellulose Finish
Other Includes Hardshell Case and Year of 1955 Innovation Certificate