Gibson 1953 - Guitars Collector

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Gibson Les Paul Goldtop (2nd Series)

- year: 1953 - early 1955
- shape: single cutaway
- construction: Neck set increased to compensate for the new tailpiece in early 1953, but as 1954 approach the neck set increased slightly. This allowed for greatly downward adjustment of the stopbar bridge.
- body: mahogany with multiple piece carved maple top (not "center seamed", two or three pieces), single ply cream binding (binding is consistent in width and depth along the body's top, even in the cutaway area)
- neck: mahogany, single ply cream binding, single-ring keystone Kluson tuners with no "Kluson" name on the gear cover.
- fingerboard: trapezoid inlays,
- logos and serials:
-- front of headstock: Gibson pearl logo, "Les Paul Model" silkscreened on peghead in gold,
-- back of headstock: SERIAL NUMBER "3 XXXX".
- electronics: two soapbar P-90 pickups with cream covers. The rear control route was changed in 1953 around serial number "3 2000". This trapeze tailpiece ground channel route was discontinued. This route was used for the ground wire running to the claw of the trapeze tailpiece.
- hardware: stud wrap-around tailpiece/bridge with strings looping over bridge (the trapeze tailpiece/bridge is abandoned). The conversion from trapeze tailpiece to wrap-around on the 1953 Les Paul started at earliest around serial number "3 13xx" (so early 1953 models still use the older trapeze tailpiece). The gold barrel-shaped knobs on 1953 stopbar Les Pauls are shorter than the knobs used on the earlier trapeze models.
- colors and other features: Goldtop finish, brown back and neck finish (some with gold back/sides), cream color plastic parts, dark brown back plastic covers.
In 1954 the case for the Les Paul Standard now had a curved top, echoing the carved maple top of the guitar.
- notes:
By early 1953 the "wrap around bar" tailpiece/bridge combo was adopted by Gibson. This rectified the playability problem (the strings wrap on top of the tailpiece, allowing palm mutes), and these models are quite nice (though many players complain because they can not be intonated accurately).

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