Stunning 1953 Gibson Les Paul Burst conversion by the ‘Stigg’. Superb figured flame top with a wonderfully aged, faded finish. Originally a 1952/53 Goldtop the guitar was previously refinished and routed before it was fully converted in 2017 by the current owner. The guitar is a great example of its type, the conversion has been accurate with attention paid to the important aspects yet with a sympathetic touch and an eye towards preserving the guitars age and all important feel
As part of the conversion the guitar was re-topped with a two-piece centre seam Maple cap over the original Honduran Mahogany body with the original Gibson neck being reset at the correct angle to accommodate setting the guitar up with an ABR-1 avoiding the inherent issues that original trapeze tailpiece Goldtop guitars have. The Gibson neck retains its original Rosewood fingerboard and original inlays. A ’59 range serial stamp has been applied alongside a new head face veneer and logo. The Sunburst finish was applied by Martyn Hewitt and has aged to an attractive Sunburst that accentuates the top carve and figuring nicely. The finish is in excellent condition with minor nicks, dings and play wear ageing naturally with no acceleration. There is a plugged ’Snakebite’ to the top from a previously fitted Bigsby. Besides a ding to the back of the neck behind the 11th fret and a few nicks to the back of the body, the guitar is free from breaks and repairs. Currently fitted with reproduction parts and a set of Alan Dingwall humbuckers with OTP M69 Creme surrounds it is a great opportunity to source and replace reproduction for original parts over time and ultimately add to this lightweight and resonant 1950’s chassis.
Weighing a scant 8.4lbs the guitar has a lively acoustic voice and a ringing sustain. Plugged in the Dingwall PAF replica pickups are very convincing; with plenty of airy harmonic overtones and a touch of edge they not only sound great they look the part too. Measuring 7.49K and 7.01K in the bridge and neck respectively the pickups balance well between the positions with the bridge pickup sounding particularly good. The neck is a real joy to play, with an early 50’s Gibson profile that feels like quite a handful yet profiled in the shoulders enough to feel comfortable at the same time. The nut measures 43.88mm with the neck measuring 22.5mm at the 1st fret filling up to 25.28mm at the 12th.
The guitar was purchased by the consignor from an Internationally recognised, successful record producer whom acquired the guitar from a musician colleague.
It’s easy to see why Les Paul Conversions were and are still so popular with the practice becoming popular initially in the 1970s and '80s as Gibson Les Pauls from the period had strayed so far from the original spec of the '50s originals. Finding and converting an early Les Paul Model was fair game with the process becoming more refined over the years. We’ve seen a few conversions in the shop over the years and this guitar easily ranks as one of the better examples.