Gibson Les Paul Special Solid Body Electric Guitar (1957)

Gibson  Les Paul Special Solid Body Electric Guitar  (1957)
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Item # 8998
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Gibson Les Paul Special Model Solid Body Electric Guitar (1957), made in Kalamazoo, Michigan, limed mahogany finish, mahogany body and neck, rosewood fingerboard, original brown alligator chipboard case.

This is a truly stunning example of an early 1957 single-cutaway Les Paul Special, showing only minor signs of play and in amazingly clean shape for more than 60 years on. The features are typical of this first variant of the model with a light "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 a pearl Gibson logo and silkscreen "Les Paul Special" designation on the face and mounts Kluson Deluxe strip tuners.

The original wiring is complete and intact including the much-loved "bumblebee" capacitors. Although 1957 was a the peak production year for this model, only a total of 1452 actually shipped out; the LP Special is not nearly as common as the single pickup LP Junior which sold well over 3,500 units in several variations that year alone. These single cutaway Specials are much more solid in construction than the double-cutaway version introduced the next year; 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. This one is as nice as we have had and comes in a very well preserved original alligator grain chipboard case…the better version with an arched lid.
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 is a 100% original guitar with only some very light wear, showing signs of use but far better preserved than most such instruments over 60 years old. There is some minor fret and fingerboard wear and tiny dings and chips to the headstock and body edges. There are a couple of small dings to the back of the neck behind the 11th fret, and a slightly stained spot above that from long contact with the neck rest in the case. The D string tuner shaft is a bit bent but fully functional and the tuner buttons have shrunken slightly but not are not cracked or chipped.

The hardware shows some light plating wear on the tailpiece and minimal scuffing to the pickguard. The screened "Treble" lettering is mostly worn off the pickup selector ring, with "Rhythm" largely intact. All wiring and solder joints are undisturbed. Even the very fragile plastic jackplate is completely intact. Any guitar this venerable that has been played much will show flaws, but there simply are not many on this Special, which really lives up to that designation...this is a special one indeed! The original chipboard case has some wear, but is still intact and functional although we wouldn't recommend trusting this beauty to the 60+ year old paperboard for any extended travel anymore. Excellent + Condition.