Gibson Les Paul Special Solid Body Electric Guitar (1958)

Gibson  Les Paul Special Solid Body Electric Guitar  (1958)
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Item # 9384
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Gibson Les Paul Special Model Solid Body Electric Guitar (1958), made in Kalamazoo, Michigan, serial # 8-2014, limed mahogany finish, mahogany body and neck, rosewood fingerboard.

This is a very clean and all-original example of an early 1958 single-cutaway Les Paul Special, showing only some fairly minor signs of play and in superbly fine condition 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 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.

1958 was the last production year for this original single-cutaway version of this model, with a total of 958 shipped out. These single cutaway Specials are much more solid in construction than the double-cutaway version introduced by the end of '58; many find the handling and sound more pleasing as well. The Les Paul Special in any form is not nearly as common as the single pickup LP Junior which sold well over 3,100 units in several variations in 1958 alone.

Besides its history this is simply a great all-around guitar, a superb player's instrument 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 twin pickup Special represents the greatest value remaining in a "Golden Era" Les Paul. This superb example is one of the nicer ones we have had.
 
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, unaltered guitar with some typical light wear, showing some signs of use but far better preserved than most such instruments over 60 years old. The lacquer maintains a lovely dusky yellow hue overall. It shows some light broad checking overall, most notably on the face. There are dings and chips mostly to the body edges, and belt buckle scuffing to the back that is into but for the most part not through the lacquer. The hardware shows some light plating wear on the tailpiece and some minimal scuffing to the pickguard and pickup covers. The screened "Rhythm" and "Treble" lettering is fairly well worn on the pickup selector ring.

The headstock edges also have some typical small chips on both back and front. There is a bit of finish puckering around the tuner grommets, although the original tuners appear undisturbed. The tuner buttons have shrunken slightly but not are not cracked or chipped. The G string tuner shaft is slightly bent, but perfectly functional. The plating has some typical wear. The "Les Paul Special" silkscreen logo on the face is crisp and bright.

There is some wear to the original thin fretwire and minor divoting to the fingerboard mostly in the lower positions, but nothing that impedes playability. There are two noticeable dings through the finish on the back of the neck, one near the top and one near the bottom -- except for these and a few worn spots by the binding the neck finish is not much worn down. All wiring and solder joints are undisturbed; even the very fragile plastic jack plate is completely intact. Any guitar this venerable that has been played will show some flaws, but this Special still looks more like 5 years old than 60+. It is simply a great playing and sounding guitar, a fabulous example of the 50's Gibson aesthetic in full flight. Excellent Condition.