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.

1958 Gibson Les Paul

This '58 Gibson Les Paul has been very popular due to the influence of Dickey Betts of the Allman Brothers Band. This is a perfect example of the so-called gold top. The body has a natural back, which is common, and a dark back like the one on this guitar, the dark back being rarer. The toggle switch plate, escutcheon, and jack plate are black parts, making it a rare item. The body color is a mixture of lacquer paint and bronze (precious metal) powder, and the vintage gold top has an outstanding appearance.

The head veneer is Hollywood (holly) and the logo is a white butterfly shell. The rod cover is very clean, but you can see the "roll mark" which is caused when processing the board at that time, and you can confirm that it is the original from that time. The logo of Les Paul model is almost gone on this model.

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

The top of the body is made from 2 or 3 pieces of maple, and some are made from 6 pieces of maple, although it is hard to tell the exact number of pieces 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.

One of the main features of Gibson's original Les Paul models was the strong set neck construction; when introduced in 1952, the neck joint angle was 1 degree, but this was changed to 3 degrees in 1953. The set-neck construction is usually achieved by "roughing" the end of the neck, which is embedded in the body, by cutting the core thinner than the body, but Gibson's core is jointed to the body while maintaining the same thickness as the heel of the neck. However, Gibson's cores are jointed to the body while maintaining the same thickness as the heel of the neck, and are not "roughened". This allows for a wider joint surface between the body and neck, and no unnecessary gaps are created. This is also the reason for the strength and excellent sustain that is the hallmark of Les Paul.

The head angle has been 17 degrees since its introduction in 1952. Gibson's neck is wooded in a way that the grain is tilted, which straightens the grain from the head to the back of the nut, where it tends to break easily, thereby gaining strength. The neck section also has the advantage of having a finer grain, which allows moisture to dissipate more quickly and allows the neck to acclimate to the 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. The gold inside is painted in the same way as the body, with the blonde powder oxidizing to a greenish color in places.

 The condenser is a bumblebee made by Sprague. The pot is made by CTS.The toggle switch is made by Switchcraft.

Tune-O-Matic bridge replaced by Ted McCarty. Patent filed July 5, 1952, approved April 3, 1956, six months before the stud bridge/tailpiece (filed January 21, 1953, approved August 2, 1955). Originally applied for hollow-body guitars, the saddles of each string can be adjusted, allowing for fine octave pitch adjustment. The material is die-cast base with brass saddles.

The stud bridge/tailpiece used on the tailpiece was originally designed by Ted McCarty and filed on January 21, 1953, and approved on August 2, 1955. Material is aluminum.

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

The pegs are Crewdson 320VP, commonly known as "single line" pegs with the Crewdson letters in a row. 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 plastic has become brownish with age, giving it an austere appearance (it is very brittle and fragile).

The set neck joint is a deep insert joint, which 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.

Humbucking pickups have been installed on Les Paul models since 1957. Developed by Seth Lover and Walter Fuller, the patent application was filed on June 22, 1955, and the approval was granted on July 28, 1959. Commonly referred to as a PAF, this pickup has a "PATENT APPLIED FOR" (patent pending) decal on it. According to Seth Lover, the wire is AWG 42 (he also used AWG #32 in some prototypes), the coil turns are about 4,100 to 4,200, and the magnet is Alnico V (Alnico II and III were sometimes used in the 50's due to difficulty in obtaining them). The bobbins were originally black, but when black material was not available in large quantities, white and black-and-white bobbins had to be used, resulting in the color difference. According to Seth Lover, the important thing is the pickup cover, and this pickup was designed to have a German silver cover. The pickup cover is made of German silver and 80% nickel silver. Many musicians remove the pickup cover to change the high frequency response, so the color of the bobbin is also important for enthusiasts.

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 "8 1116," so it can be identified as the 1,116th Les Paul made in 1958.