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1991 Orville by Gibson Les Paul Standard '54 Vintage Reissue Goldtop w/ USA Clear Bobbin P-90s, Japan Terada


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Up for sale, a 1991 Orville by Gibson Les Paul Standard '54 vintage reissue Goldtop in near mint, 100% original condition and in perfect working order, complete with the original hangtag. Differentiated from the standard Orville-branded instruments, the "Orville by Gibson" guitars represented the top tier of Japanese construction, with USA Gibson pickups. Made exclusively for the Japanese market and seldom seen outside its country of origin, this Orville is an official Gibson-licensed guitar and a result of a partnership between Gibson USA and their Japanese distributor Yamano Gakki. Named after Gibson's founder, Orville Gibson, this exceedingly rare and discontinued Orville model was crafted at the Terada factory.

This guitar delivers everything you want in a good Les Paul, with a solid mahogany body and neck with long tenon, solid maple cap with a deep dish '50s-style carve, a nickel wraparound bridge, and a pair of factory-installed Gibson USA clear bobbin P-90 pickups. The pickups are a very unusual set to be included in an Orville, and these clear bobbin P-90s were first seen on Les Pauls in the late '70s (rarely seen persisting into examples from the '90s). The pickups in this Orville translate the instrument's clear acoustic voice into a powerful array of big, articulate voicings. The bridge pickup has a glassy articulation, aggressive midrange cut, and thick bark when overdriven, while the neck pickup is girthy and thick while still retaining enough clarity for complex voicings. Additionally, the pickups clean up decently when backing off the volume a touch, and the tone controls are equally as responsive. Weighing 9lbs 7oz, this Orville has been professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar with 10-46 strings, low action, and accurate intonation.

The mahogany neck has a slender C profile carve with modest shoulder and just a hair more roundness up the board, measuring .820" deep at the 1st fret and .960" at the 12th. The rosewood fretboard features flared trapezoid inlay, and the frets are just shy of medium jumbo in size with their full factory height and ample meat. The frets are pristine, and the neck is straight with a responsive, optimally adjusted truss rod. The original nut measures 1 11/16" in width. The nickel Kluson-style tuners are intact on the headstock, featuring vintage-spec push-in tuner bushings and lightly greened keystone buttons. The headstock has the correct "open book" shape and "Orville by Gibson" pearloid inlay. The serial number is also inked on the back of the headstock with a G-prefix noting the USA Gibson components used on this instrument.

All of the electronics work as they should, with individual Volume and Tone controls for each P-90 and a three-way pickup selector toggle. The nickel wraparound bridge delivers excellent treble cut and a lively resonance unique to this bridge design. Plastics include amber bonnet knobs, cream pickup covers, and the original pickguard. The maple top has a deep dish carve, with excellent bronzing and a very vintage-correct saturation and tint on the top.

Near mint in every respect, cosmetic wear is limited to just a couple absolutely tiny marks on the body as a whole and one spot at the treble-side waist on the back that looks like a finish scratch, but is actually just the gloss finish telegraphing unusual grain in the mahogany. The clear protective factory plastic is still intact on the rear control cavity covers and truss rod cover, a testament to the pristine, un-played condition of this example. The neck profile is flawless.

The original hangtag with matching serial number is included, along with a faux leather gigbag.