Excellent Darkback ’57 Les Paul Reissue from the talented folks at the Gibson Custom Shop. The Gibson Custom ’57 Goldtop Reissue is one of the earliest models produced by the Gibson Historic Division in 1993 and is still a very popular alternative to the Sunburst Les Paul Reissues today. This one has some interesting changes that take it away from factory spec and might just make it the perfect spec Custom Shop Goldtop for someone.

The guitar has previously had the neck professionally re-profiled and refinished by Tim Marten to a comfortable slim C shape from the original, large, not entirely accurate profile Gibson Custom chose to use on the ’57 Reissues from this period.  The work had been done to a high level, the neck blends with the Headstock and tapers into the existing heel effortlessly. The neck has been refinished to match the dark back finish of the guitar with the finish feathering out as it meets the headstock preserving the original ink serial number. The neck measures 21.2mm at the first fret filling up to 23 mm at the 12th fret. The neck has had the fingerboard refretted. The guitar has had the stock Gibson pickups replaced with a set of Bare Knuckle Pickups Mules for the vintage PAF + sound they provide. All other parts and hardware and plastics on the guitar remains stock.

The guitar plays very well, strung with 10 gauge strings the action is good and the replacement frets feel great. The neck profile feels very comfortable, the profile, although slimmer than the stock ’57 neck is no blade profile. The depth and shape are if anything more of a medium depth.

Perfect for the player always attracted to a Gibson Goldtop and just couldn’t get on with the neck. The work was carried out in 2010 and the guitar has settled down well. The pickups sound excellent, Bare Knuckle have become established for a good reason and the Mule is one of their best selling Humbuckers. They have an unmistakably vintage PAF voice but with an additional clarity in the low end that works very well with drive.

The guitar comes with it’s original Gibson Custom case and certificate and weighs in at 9lbs