Les Paul Guitars

1952 Gibson Les Paul

Color: Mahogany with Gold Top, Rating: 9.00, Sold (ID# 00644)
Call to Inquire: (818) 222-4113

One of the Very First Les Pauls…

This totally original lightweight Les Paul Standard Gold Top weighs just 8.60 lbs. and has nice, fat nut width of just over 1 11/16 inches and a standard Gibson scale length of 24 3/4 inches. Solid mahogany body with a solid carved maple top. One-piece mahogany neck, and rosewood fretboard with 22 frets and inlaid pearl crown position markers. The top of the guitar has a single-ply cream binding, and the fretboard has single white binding. Headstock with inlaid pearl "Gibson" logo and "Les Paul Model" silk screened in gold. Two-layer (black on white) truss-rod cover. Individual Kluson Deluxe single-line "no-name" tuners (stamped inside "2356766 / PAT APPLD") with single-ring tulip-shaped Keystone plastic buttons. The ferrules are of the earliest type with 'hexagonal' rings. Two very hot P-90 pickups with outputs of 7.62k and 7.57k. Single-layer cream plastic pickguard. Four controls (two volume, two tone) on lower treble bout plus three-way selector switch on upper bass bout. Gold plastic 'tall' barrel-shape "Speed" knobs. The potentiometers are stamped "615 0689" (ROC early fifties) and there are the two original "Grey Tiger Type GT 452 .02 MFD 400 VDC" capacitors. Combination "wrap-under" trapeze tailpiece. This fifty-four-year-old "time-capsule" is in exceptionally fine (9.00) condition, with the bare minimum of belt buckle rash on the mahogany back and a few small surface marks on the top and on the edges. There is a small split on the white plastic jack plate. The frets are original and with very little wear. There is no fading to the back or the neck of the guitar, no greening to the gold top, and absolutely no finish checking whatsoever. This guitar is without a doubt one of the finest and most original example that we have ever seen. As usual for a '52 Les Paul there is no serial number, but what is unusual about this particular example is the neck angle, which is just like a late '53 "stop-tail" and therefore makes this a really playable guitar -- truly unusual for a '52. Housed in its original Gibson brown four-latch hardshell case with pink plush lining (9.25). Complete with the original hang-tag.

"The first Gibson Les Paul solidbody electric guitar, known simply as the Les Paul Model then but now better known by its descriptive nickname 'gold-top', first went on sale during 1952" (Tony Bacon, 50 Years of the Gibson Les Paul, p. 15).

"The new Les Paul guitar was launched by Gibson in 1952, in the summer, priced at $210, which was about $20 more than Fender' Telecaster sold for at the time…Today, a gold-finish Les Paul model is nearly always called a gold-top thanks to its gold body face…The new gold-top's solid body cleverly combined a carved maple top bonded to a mahogany base, a sandwich that united the darker tonality of mahogany with the brighter sonic 'edge' of maple. Paul said that the gold colour of the original Les Paul model was his idea. 'Gold means rich,' he said, 'expensive, the best, superb" (Tony Bacon, 50 Years of the Gibson Les Paul, pp. 20-21).

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