Up for sale, a 1959 Gibson Les Paul Special in excellent condition and in perfect working order, sporting an expertly applied nitro lacquer refinish and tasteful relic treatment in Inverness Green courtesy of Riggio Custom Guitars. The little brother of the Les Paul Standard, this golden-era Gibson guitar features a quintessential 1959 neck profile carve, also notable for having *zero* cracks at either the headstock or heel.
Save for the finish and a Faber lightweight aluminum wraparound bridge, this Les Paul Special retains all original electronics, hardware, and plastics. 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 5oz, 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 has just enough fullness 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 .860" deep at the 1st fret and .970" 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, retaining the original medium jumbo frets which have much 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. A 9-prefix inked serial has been replicated, as this detail was removed during a prior finish attempt.
Both original P-90 pickups are present with original winds and clean bobbins, both metering at 8k ohms. The wiring harness boasts original bumblebee capacitors and CentraLab pots which date to the 7th week of '59. The hardware includes the Faber lightweight aluminum wraparound bridge anchored to vintage stoptail studs, and all of the original plastic parts are intact including the dished top black bonnet knobs, pickguard, switch surround, jack plate, back panel, and amber switch tip.
All body contours and full neck profile depth were retained prior to the new Inverness Green nitro lacquer finish, and it's worth reiterating that the guitar exhibits no headstock or heel repairs. The guitar was fitted with an ABR-1 and stopbar in the past, and those extra mounting holes were cleanly doweled and are nigh invisible given the new finish. The Inverness Green nitro lacquer was expertly applied and lightly relic'd by Riggio Custom Guitars with tight horizontal lacquer checking and a few simulated marks of wear.
A modern Gibson Custom Shop Lifton-style hardshell case is included.