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Special Order Hot-Mod 1955 Les Paul Custom Wraptail Special Order Hot-Mod 1955 Les Paul Custom Wraptail
A Powerful “What If?” from an Era of Innovation
In addition to racking up countless innovations in the mid ’50s, Gibson was known for accepting special orders from players who wanted their guitars modified in one way or another right from the factory. The Custom Special Order Hot-Mod 1955 Les Paul Custom Wraptail represents just such an instrument—a cool and powerful “what if?” that might just exist out there somewhere. This exclusive limited-run model is crafted by Gibson’s Custom Shop as a 1955 Les Paul Custom “Black Beauty” with all of the upgrades that the model entailed, but ordered to a particular player’s preference for a solid, toneful wraptail (aka wraparound) bridge, then returned to the factory a few years later for an upgrade to Gibson’s new humbucking pickups (not released until 1957). Put ‘em all together, and this exclusive feature set presents a powerful alternative twist on the hallowed Les Paul format, and one that is further enhanced by Custom’s newly rediscovered “Soft Shouldered ’55 Neck Profile.”

The original Les Paul Custom expressed Les Paul and Gibson president Ted McCarty’s joint vision of the ultimate solidbody guitar, with a solid mahogany body with carved top and glued-in mahogany neck, but it also embodied Paul’s notion of a “black-tie guitar for the black-tie musician.” Custom by name, custom by nature, it was made with a gloss ebony black finish, ebony fingerboard with pearloid block inlays, enlarged headstock with mother-of-pearl split-diamond inlay, and gold-plated hardware throughout. In place of the innovative Tune-o-matic bridge and stopbar tailpiece an original ’55 Black Beauty would have carried, the Custom Special Order Hot-Mod 1955 Les Paul Custom Wraptail comes factory-stock with a customer’s preference for the simpler one-piece “wraptail” bridge, represented here by a TonePros wraparound unit with locking studs and long steel anchors for optimum vibrational transference between strings and body.

As for the “Hot-Mod” factor, a pair of BurstBucker pickups represent the PAFs that might have been put on just such a guitar returned to the Gibson factory in the late ’50s for a humbucker upgrade. 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. And to give this model an exclusive playing feel, Gibson has upped the ante with a quarter-sawn mahogany neck carved to the new “Soft Shoulder” ’55 neck profile, created by the Custom Shop’s luthiers after detailed study of a particularly “magic feeling” neck on an original ’55 Les Paul. 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. The detailed reproduction of this profile makes the Custom Special Order Hot-Mod 1955 Les Paul Custom Wraptail a pure joy to play. 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 1-piece Mahogany
Neck Joint Set in
Profile Soft Shoulder '55 neck profile
Scale Length 24-3/4"
Fretboard Species Ebony
Frets 22
Nut Width 1-11/16"
Tuners Keystone tuners
Bridge/Tailpiece TonePros "Wraptail" one-piece wrapover bridge/tailpiece with long steel anchors and long-locking studs
Tone Controls Two Volume, Two Tone
Toggle Switch 3-way Pickup Selector
Neck Pickup Vintage-style Alnico V Single-coil
Bridge Pickup P-90 Single-coil
Hardware Gold
Finish Ebony
Sealer Nitrocellulose
Other Includes Hardshell Case and Year of 1955 Innovation Certificate