Gibson Les Paul Special Solid Body Electric Guitar (1956)

Gibson  Les Paul Special Solid Body Electric Guitar  (1956)
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$16,500.00 + shipping
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Item # 10020
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Gibson Les Paul Special Model Solid Body Electric Guitar (1956), made in Kalamazoo, Michigan, serial # 6-4987, limed mahogany finish, mahogany body and neck, rosewood fingerboard, brown tolex hard shell case.

This is a nice example of a 1956 single-cutaway Les Paul Special, showing signs of use and one visible repair but in overall in very good shape for 60+ years on. The features are typical of the first variant of this model with a "limed mahogany" finish on the body and neck, two powerful P-90 pickups with black plastic covers, black bonnet knobs, a multi-ply beveled-edge black celluloid pickguard, and the nickel-plated bar bridge/tailpiece assembly. The headstock carries the pearl Gibson logo and silkscreen "Les Paul Special" designation. The original wiring is complete and intact including the much-loved "bumblebee" capacitors.

Although 1956 was a fairly high production year for this model, only 1345 were shipped out; the LP Special is not nearly as common as the single pickup LP Junior, which sold over 3,000 that year alone. These single cutaway Specials are much more solid in construction than the double-cutaway version introduced later in the decade; many find the handling and sound more pleasing as well. This is a great all-around guitar, suitable for everything from rampaging Rock'n'Roll to hard blues and even twangy country. As the iconic Gibson solid bodies from the ever-longer-ago 1950s become more venerable, the original single-cutaway Special represents perhaps the greatest value in a "Golden Era" Les Paul.
 
Overall length is 39 1/4 in. (99.7 cm.), 13 in. (33 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 1 3/4 in. (4.4 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 24 3/4 in. (629 mm.). Width of nut is 1 11/16 in. (43 mm.).

This guitar is very clean overall, showing just some typical light play wear. The repair noted above is not a structural issue but visible. At some point someone tried to pull out the stop tailpiece bushing on the bass side (likely to install some sort of modern replacement) and caused a chip of wood to pull upwards in the body wood between the stud and the pickup. This is cleanly repaired but visible, touched up lightly but not sprayed over.

Other than this the TV Yellow finish is very well-preserved with just very fine checking overall and very little actual play wear, excepting one larger chip on the upper back edge and some typical armwear on the upper front edge. It has retained the attractive "limed" very pale yellow patina and not darkened or faded appreciably. The electronics are all original with untouched solder joints and the capacitors in fine fettle. The thin black plastic jack plate is amazingly still original (nearly all of them are broken by now) as is the plastic rhythm/treble ring on the selector switch.

The hardware is original except the stop tailpiece is a correct repro, as are the Kluson Deluxe tuners. These are an exact fit; there is no drilling or scarring to the headstock and no other style of tuner was ever mounted. The guitar retains the original small frets which show only very light wear. Despite the one ill-considered moment that left a discreet scar on its face this is a superbly attractive, great sounding Les Paul ready to go for the next 60 years. It is housed in an older re-issue brown hard shell case. Overall Excellent - Condition.