It is no exaggeration to say that modern music would not have been born without the existence of this instrument, the "Gibson Les Paul," which is synonymous with electric guitars.

Since its birth in 1952, it has been used by legendary musicians such as Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, Duane Allman, Mike Bloomfield, Gary Moore, Randy Rose, Slash, Takahiro Matsumoto, and many more. Even today, they continue to attract unwavering popularity and admiration.

Since its release, the Les Paul has undergone specification changes and was temporarily discontinued, and each year has its own unique characteristics, but this time we would like to focus on the rare gold top Les Paul from the initial release. Please take your time to look at these gems that overwhelm you with their presence even just by looking at them.

1956 Gibson Les Paul

This '56 Les Paul with P-90 can be said to be the perfection of Les Paul. The '54 Les Paul with a bar bridge is also a popular item among enthusiasts, but it had some problems with octave and tuning accuracy, and the '56 Les Paul with the tuned "O" matic saddle is a popular model with high playability. The '56 model with the tuned "O" matic saddle is popular as a model with rich playability. The P-90 pickups, although single coils, produce the sweet, warm sound that only a Gibson can produce. The nubby tone with a strong presence is also a big attraction.

The head veneer is made of hollywood and the logo is made of white butterfly shell.

 Body back is mahogany one piece body without exception. Both the back of the neck and the body back are finished in dark brown.

The top of the body is made of maple wood, usually 2-3 pieces, often 6 pieces, although it is hard to tell exactly because of the matte gold paint. The gold color looks slightly greenish because bronze powder was mixed with lacquer paint in those days, and the bronze in the paint oxidizes to produce the deep gold top coloring.

The head is angled at 17 degrees since its introduction in 1952. Gibson's neck is wooded in a way that dares to tilt the grain, a method that earns strength by straightening the grain from the head to the back of the nut, where it is prone to breakage. In addition, the grain of the neck is finely cut, which has the advantage of allowing moisture to dissipate more quickly and allowing the guitar to acclimate to its environment more quickly.
This method of cutting wood is very costly and extravagant because only a small number of necks can be made from a single piece of square wood, but it shows Gibson's attitude toward instrument making at that time.

The Gibson Les Paul uses a set neck construction and the truss rod is adjusted from the head side. The truss rod has been used by Gibson since the 1920s, and in addition to its original purpose of adjusting the neck, it also serves to maintain the strength of the neck, which has become soft due to wood removal.

Gold hat knob, also used on Les Paul models from 1955 to about 1960.

P-90 pickups in the Tune-O-Matic bridge/stud bridge/tailpiece combination, which was changed in 1955 and became the standard thereafter. The Tune-O-Matic bridge was designed by Ted McCarty, and the stud bridge/tailpiece, also designed by Ted, which had been used on Les Pauls until then, was adopted for the tailpiece to create strong tension. The patent application was filed on July 5, 1952, and approved on April 3, 1956, six months before the stud bridge/tailpiece (application filed on January 21, 1953, approved on August 2, 1955). Originally applied for hollowbody guitars, it allows for fine octave pitch adjustment by adjusting the saddles of each string. The material is die-cast base with brass saddles.

The condenser is a "Sprague" Bumble Bee. The pots are made by CTS.

Toggle switch is made by Switchcraft.

The fingerboard is made of Brazilian rosewood, a world-famous tree that is now listed as an endangered species under the Washington Convention, and its import and export is prohibited. Compared to ordinary rosewood, Brazilian rosewood is a heavier and harder wood, which reinforces the soft neck and produces a solid attack.

The pegs are Cruson 320VP, commonly known as "no line" pegs without the Cruson lettering. The peg buttons are also called "1 knob" because the shape of the peg button is close to the shaft with a single knob.

The set neck joint has a deep insert joint that is inserted more than halfway into the pickup. Of course, there was no name of deep insert joint at that time, and this was a natural specification. By making the joint's contact surface wider and deeper, the neck's vibration and the body's vibration can be directly reflected in the sound. This system is commonly used today, but the fact that this system was established at that time shows the high degree of perfection of Les Paul instruments themselves.

The pickup is a single P-90 pickup introduced in 1940, with two alnico magnets sandwiching the pole piece, and the coil is wound on a plastic bobbin. The wire is AWG #42, wound with about 10,000 turns, for a fat, sticky sound. The cover is not a conventional dock ear type with the screw fixing part next to the pickup, but a soap bar type with the screw fixing part between the 2nd and 3rd strings and between the 4th and 5th strings. Dock ears and soap bars have the same structure. The woodworking technique under the pickups is also carefully finished, again showing the high level of Gibson's woodworking technology.

The serial numbers of solid guitars from 1952 to 1960 have the first digit as the last digit of the Western calendar year, followed by four to five digits. This one is "612851," so it can be identified as the 12,851st Les Paul made in 1956. The shipment of Les Paul has exceeded 10,000 units, which shows the strong sales of Les Paul.