1956 Gibson Les Paul Standard. 1959 Conversion. Continuing the discussion about modified Goldtops.

eric ernest

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Since there has been a fair amount of discussion about modified Goldtops, I thought I would post some photos of this unique guitar. While the center seam is not down-the-middle, it does run through the G string....pretty close.

The guitar has been modified and had conversion work done on it over an apparently long period of time. The guitar is stamped with a late 60's serial number, so the Burst finish was most likely done then. Sure looks like a late 60's color. The Humbucking routs were done at some later point. The back is refinished and it appears older than the late 60's finish.

Guitar has a headstock break that will require a new headstock veneer to make it look acceptable.

I've had a few different pickups in the guitar, but decided I did not like the look of two double cream pickups. The guitar is exceptionally lightweight and sounds terrific! Fun guitar.

Enjoy!


1956 Gibson Les Paul Standard. 1959 Conversion. Continuing the discussion about modified Goldtops.

1956 Gibson Les Paul Standard. 1959 Conversion. Continuing the discussion about modified Goldtops.

1956 Gibson Les Paul Standard. 1959 Conversion. Continuing the discussion about modified Goldtops.

1956 Gibson Les Paul Standard. 1959 Conversion. Continuing the discussion about modified Goldtops.

1956 Gibson Les Paul Standard. 1959 Conversion. Continuing the discussion about modified Goldtops.

1956 Gibson Les Paul Standard. 1959 Conversion. Continuing the discussion about modified Goldtops.

1956 Gibson Les Paul Standard. 1959 Conversion. Continuing the discussion about modified Goldtops.
 

Tone deaf

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Out of morbid curiosity, would you please post a few pics of the neck break? Thanks for sharing. love this stuff!
 

pinefd

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Very cool guitar, Eric! That guitar seems to have the same kind of shim under the fingerboard (on the body) that my circa late '55 had (pic shows before the refin):



Frank
 

WhiteEpiLP

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Shes a beauty, I agree the zebra with a double cream looks better then both double cream. That back looks almost black in those pics. Can we see a pic of the back? Or is that to be held secret untill a further date, like are you refining the back to a more appropriate color?
 

eric ernest

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I'm going to do the least amount possible. :rofl:

I just haven't shot the back. It is sunbursted...rather oddly....and you are correct, very dark.

I suspect it may have been painted a tobacco sunburst in the late 50's or early 60's.
 

sws1

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Very cool guitar, Eric! That guitar seems to have the same kind of shim under the fingerboard (on the body) that my circa late '55 had (pic shows before the refin):



Frank
I noticed the same thing. But was thinking that maybe the neck had been out and its angle adjusted.
 

pinefd

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I noticed the same thing. But was thinking that maybe the neck had been out and its angle adjusted.
The neck on mine definitely had never been out. Best I can tell is that there was a transition period in the early days of the ABR-1 when maybe they needed to gain an extra degree or so out of the neck angle, so they used a shim. Likely before they had adjusted the neck angle on the body to accommodate this change to the ABR.


Frank
 

eric ernest

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Thanks for chiming in, Frank. The Tune-o-matic still sits pretty close to the top....which I prefer. It
looks like we now we have another issue to figure out the "quantity" and "serial number range" for. :hmm::rofl::cheers:

Those shims are definitely mahogany.
 

Uncle Vinnie

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Being a rank purist, it breaks my heart to see any gold top altered ... especially a '56. But back then they were just old guitars, not "vintage" guitars.
 

DADGAD

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What percentage of conversions would you wager a guess on are legitimately converted from a wreck of a gold top to ones that are perfectly fine and converted just to cash in on the ‘59 legend?
 

eric ernest

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Since I haven't met anyone who paid punitive money for a conversion, I'm going to suggest that most people are doing it for themselves from guitars they bought at a reasonable price. They also purposefully LOOK for issues guitars.

I think the percentage heavily leans towards "issues" guitars.

If there was a REAL profit motive behind taking perfectly good Goldtops and hacking them up, we would know who was doing it...because they would be converting many guitars.

Can anyone even point to a Goldtop that was 100% legit that got hacked up? I'm not sure I can...

Seems like most of the "high dollar" conversions have been on the market for years.
 

sws1

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Since I haven't met anyone who paid punitive money for a conversion, I'm going to suggest that most people are doing it for themselves from guitars they bought at a reasonable price. They also purposefully LOOK for issues guitars.

I think the percentage heavily leans towards "issues" guitars.

If there was a REAL profit motive behind taking perfectly good Goldtops and hacking them up, we would know who was doing it...because they would be converting many guitars.

Can anyone even point to a Goldtop that was 100% legit that got hacked up? I'm not sure I can...

Seems like most of the "high dollar" conversions have been on the market for years.
Do you think all those Dick Knight conversions started as issues guitars?
 

eric ernest

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Do you think all those Dick Knight conversions started as issues guitars?
Dick was doing conversions around the early 70's....using guitars that were a couple of years old. I've never seen a Dick Knight conversion utilizing a 50's Les Paul.

Even if he used guitars from the early 50's, the guitars would probably not have even been 20 years old. (Would we even care today if a guitar from 1999 got hacked up? :dunno:)
 

Johnnyslim

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This is my 1952 Scott Lentz conversion. It was not my intention to get a '52 but it was cheap. All original with case. In the later 1990's there were very few '52's around that I saw. I did this guitar as a one time shot at a conversion. I can never do this again and this one came together in all the best ways possible. I paid $1265 for the guitar and sold the knobs, tuners, pickups, wiring harness, tailpiece and case for $1400. Over time with assistance from my good friend Randy Peterson all 50's parts completed the guitar. When I purchased them the double creme PAF's were $3000 for the pair. It was a non-issue guitar but it was done for myself and will never be for sale. If I ever do consider selling I have at least three buyers in line. I am confident one phone call and this would be gone. Been playing this for 20 years.
 


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