1956 Gold Top Re-Finish

AussieDave

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Hi All,
This is my first post. I'm hoping for some advice / feedback.
In 2017 I bought a 1956 GT from a Jan Rossouw in Cape Town, South Africa. He got it in August 1956 for his 14h birthday and played it in bands, pubs, clubs etc. for 40+ years. In 2017 he was I the process of moving into an old age home and selling off his things. I was fortunate enough to buy the LP. He's pictured holding the guitar the day I bought it.

The guitar is very much a "Players" piece as opposed to one that's been under the bed for 50 years. The frets and fretboard were worn, electrics shot, and the top had been re-sprayed a couple of times over the years.

Since purchase I've had it professionally re-fretted and re-wired with period accurate components. NB the pickups, braided wires and selector switch are all original as far as I can tell. Just the pots and caps needed replacing.

The top however was never right. Clearly it had been re-finshed and not very well. So last weekend I decided to see what was underneath and discovered a very nice flamed maple cap, albeit not joined down the centre.

So the question is what next? My gut feel is to send it to Gibson for a late 50's "Burst" top respray, but leave all the rest as is.

Please look at the pics and let me know what you think.

It is a lovely guitar and a pleasure to play. I have other Les Pauls including an R7 and R9. However this original is in a different league. I guess the passage of time does things you simply can't copy in a workshop.

I really would like to do justice to this beautiful vintage instrument.

Looking forward to any comments.

Best

Christian Ansorge
Cape Town
South Africa.
Well you are a very lucky man indeed!
I’m leaning toward gold to keep it as close to original as possible to keep any value it has as a vintage guitar. But that top is great indeed and worthy of bursting. But I think those P90s would look wierd with a burst top. So back to gold for me. I would certainly not route out the top for PAFs.
Good luck either way and I hope you have many years of joy with it.
 

dwagar

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I think aged gold would probably be the best, but with that flame, I'd seriously think of transparent cherry.
 

kingmlg

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Gold, of course. My first goldtop refinish. Not buffed out yet.
IMG_20151216_221826.jpg
 

nuance97

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If it were me Yuuki would be spraying it gold…since you’re on that side of the pond. If you were in the US Kim and HM would be a great choice too
 

jdmp

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I'm going to take the controversial position. With that flame, you have to burst it and convert to humbuckers.
 

RobertD

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Gold would be proper but I would love to see it as lemon.
 

Archtopanimal

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Hi All,
This is my first post. I'm hoping for some advice / feedback.
In 2017 I bought a 1956 GT from a Jan Rossouw in Cape Town, South Africa. He got it in August 1956 for his 14h birthday and played it in bands, pubs, clubs etc. for 40+ years. In 2017 he was I the process of moving into an old age home and selling off his things. I was fortunate enough to buy the LP. He's pictured holding the guitar the day I bought it.

The guitar is very much a "Players" piece as opposed to one that's been under the bed for 50 years. The frets and fretboard were worn, electrics shot, and the top had been re-sprayed a couple of times over the years.

Since purchase I've had it professionally re-fretted and re-wired with period accurate components. NB the pickups, braided wires and selector switch are all original as far as I can tell. Just the pots and caps needed replacing.

The top however was never right. Clearly it had been re-finshed and not very well. So last weekend I decided to see what was underneath and discovered a very nice flamed maple cap, albeit not joined down the centre.

So the question is what next? My gut feel is to send it to Gibson for a late 50's "Burst" top respray, but leave all the rest as is.

Please look at the pics and let me know what you think.

It is a lovely guitar and a pleasure to play. I have other Les Pauls including an R7 and R9. However this original is in a different league. I guess the passage of time does things you simply can't copy in a workshop.

I really would like to do justice to this beautiful vintage instrument.

Looking forward to any comments.

Best

Christian Ansorge
Cape Town
South Africa.


Send it to London UK : https://www.facebook.com/PGVGuitars
 

AML

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^ London? I think Yuuki is in Norwich. (Maybe my info is old.)
 

buckwild

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the original finish is already removed, burst that thing! Would be a damn shame to hide that figured wood.
 

GoldenState

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Actually some "bursted" LPs are more expensive than a straight P90 GT. But I would always restore a vintage instrument to it's original condition. Not new, but moderately aged.
 

red_house356

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Do as you please with the guitar. Try and stay vintage where you can, but as others have stated, the top will never be original. If you burst it, I would send it somewhere else rather than Gibson. They are getting better with bursts, but the clear will not check appropriately. Yuuki is closer to you, but CITES may still be an issue. Be sure to check.


Personally, I would keep it gold with hopes that the top would eventually show the flame. Nothing screams more mojo than a goldtop teasing some flame. My ‘53 Les Paul unfortunately did not survive the ‘70s. Due to the neck reset, I’m having to use an abr and decided to change the pickup configuration. The guitar is remaining gold however.
 

DanD

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I second a lemon top. It's easy enough for a good painter to pull off. Nothing too difficult using yellow aniline dyes prior to clear or amber and clear for an aged look.
 

palmerfralick

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makes me wonder how much beautiful flame and figure was covered up those first 6 years?!
 

decoy205

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That flame is amazing. I’m with the others that said make it how you want since the original finish is already gone. Id burst or lemon it!
 

Gridlock

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Gold, gold, gold…
A beautiful guitar, restore it to its original color.
 

Big John

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Dave Johnson can shoot the old gold fairly well.
 

Knoby

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It would be a shame to cover up such an amazing flame. And leaving it visible adds to the story of the guitar. Like others have said, it can be returned to gold anytime. I find it hard to fathom such beautiful flame being hidden for 50+ years.

If you want pay homage to it's history, maybe a kind of see-through gold. I've seen gold light overspray on the mahogany of a LP that looks kinda like glitter (in a good way) but can still see the grain. I always thought this might make an interesting finish if someone could pull it off right.
 

Heppe

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That’s a nice looking LP! Gold would be my choice, but if you want some of the flame visible perhaps a slightly see through TV Yellow?
 

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