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1959 Gibson Les Paul Custom Black Beauty, Collector-Grade w/ Case


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Up for sale, a 1959 Gibson Les Paul Custom in collector-grade condition and in perfect working order, complete with the original hardshell case. This golden age example of the triple pickup “Black Beauty” was one of 246 Les Paul Customs produced in ‘59, retaining the original trio of PAF humbuckers (wired in phase).

The tonewood complement comprises a solid Honduran mahogany body and a one-piece Honduran mahogany neck capped with a bound ebony fingerboard. The all-mahogany construction yields an acoustic response that's clear and detailed with ample fundamental warmth and a gutsy, woody cut. The original trio of PAF humbuckers are wired with the middle pickup in-phase, and each position on the three-way toggle (Bridge, Bridge+Middle, Neck) is vital and distinctive. The bridge pickup is harmonically complex and dynamically responsive with great bloom and bounce. The Bridge/Middle pairing is focused-yet-thick, while the neck pickup has treble snap, midrange growl and a broad bass register. This Black Beauty weighs only 8lbs 10oz, professionally setup here at Mike & Mike’s Guitar Bar with 10-46 strings, low action, and accurate intonation.

The one-piece Honduran mahogany neck has a quintessential 1959 rounded C-shaped neck carve with ample shoulders, measuring .870" deep at the 1st fret and .999" at the 12th. The bound ebony fingerboard has been professionally refretted with slender, vintage-spec "banjo" fretwire (original frets are included) and the current fretwire is flawless. The neck is straight and the truss rod is responsive, playing cleanly in all registers up the 24 3/4" scale. The nylon nut is also a modern substitution (original included), and the headstock features the stock Grover Rotomatic Pat. Pending tuning machines. Ambered multi-ply binding frames the split diamond inlay on the headstock face, and the "Les Paul Custom" truss rod cover is present. The 9-prefix inked serial is bold on the back of the peghead.

The wiring harness features three of the stock CentraLab pots and the pair of original Sprague tone caps, with the majority of solder joints undisturbed. The original CentraLab pots have visible date codes from the 38th week of 1958. One later potentiometer rounds out the harness. The PAF waterslide decals are in great shape on the baseplates of all three humbuckers, and the solder has been touched up on all three original pickup covers. The pickups meter at 8.6k ohms in the bridge position, 8k ohms in the middle, and 7.85k ohms at the neck.

Original hardware comprises the no-wire ABR-1 bridge with foundry stamp on the baseplate and lightweight stopbar with thin/thick/thin casting marks. Plastics comprise the original quartet of black bonnet knobs, the switch surround, amber switch tip and four-ply pickguard. The original plastic jack plate is also included in the case, and a gold-plated jack plate is currently installed.

The gloss Ebony nitro lacquer finish is 100% original, save for a line of targeted touch-up between the bridge Volume and Tone knobs on top (essentially only visible under black light). There is lacquer checking across the body, a small area of faint wear adjacent to the switch surround on top, and modest buckle wear on the back. Cosmetic wear is otherwise limited to the small dings and finish scratches consistent with careful use. The gloss on the neck profile is similarly well-preserved, free of palm wear with a few shallow marks that are nigh imperceptible to the hand while fretting.

The original hardshell case with black pebble exterior and gold interior is included. The case features all of its stock latches and the original leather handle. The original fretwire, nylon nut, and jack plate are included.