Up for sale, a 1959 Gibson Les Paul Special in excellent condition and in perfect working order, with its original Cherry nitro lacquer gloss finish which has aged to a rich shade of walnut. The little brother of the Les Paul Standard, this golden-era Gibson guitar features untouched solder and a quintessential late '50s neck profile carve.
As befits its reputation, this is an extremely lively instrument, with the smooth, muscly growl of Hondurdan mahogany and an acoustic voice that chimes and punches in equal measure. The Les Paul Special has a dynamic, touch-sensitive quality that responds instantly to your pick attack, with equal parts glassy clarity and wooly, P-90 warmth. Professionally setup here at Mike & Mike’s Guitar Bar and weighing 7lbs 7oz, this Les Paul Special plays exceedingly well with low action and fresh 10-46 strings.
The one-piece Honduran mahogany neck has the perfect ’59 shape that’s plenty fat at the nut yet not as baseball batty as its predecessors, filling out with more heft up the neck and effortlessly navigable in every register, measuring .899" deep at the 1st fret and .999" at the 12th. The profile has round, inviting shoulders and ideal heft, essential to the resonance of the instrument, with the long tenon that extends through the neck pickup route. The Brazilian rosewood fingerboard is an extremely dark, straight-grained cut with light wear into the rosewood beneath the plain strings in the 1st position, retaining the original frets which are the wider variety with more meat than the "banjo" frets seen on earlier Specials. The frets have been lightly dressed with well-rounded crowns and zero wear. The original nylon nut is intact, measuring 1 11/16" in width. The headstock retains its original "Les Paul Special" silkscreen text and Kluson Deluxe single line tuning machines with original white buttons. The 9-prefix serial is very bold on the back, and there is some minor finish chipping on the headstock edges.
Both original P-90 pickups are present with original winds, clean bobbins and original covers. The wiring harness boasts untouched solder joints, original bumblebee capacitors, and CentraLab pots which date to the 8th week of '59. The hardware includes the original lightweight aluminum wraparound bridge and stoptail posts, and all of the original plastic parts are intact too, including the dished top black bonnet knobs, pickguard, switch surround, jack plate, back panel, and amber switch tip. There is a prominent tan line beneath the pickguard, with the original bold Cherry color preserved beneath the guard.
The nitro lacquer Cherry gloss is 100% original with no touchup or overspray, and there is a very shallow repair across the bass side of the neck heel, with a small piece of mahogany added central to the neck pickup route to further stabilize the neck joint.
Cosmetic wear includes light buckle rash central to the back and at the bass-side waist, with some scattered finish chips and minor marks mostly relegated to the back and edges of the slab body. There is light lacquer checking extending both vertically and more broadly horizontally across the body, and some small, shallow marks mostly central to the neck profile carve, which aren't distracting to the palm while fretting.
A modern Lifton-style hardshell case is included.