SN: 7 3940

1957 | Gibson Les Paul


Gibson's original solidbody electric has put an indelible stamp on popular music for decades. The guitar's debut in 1952 - dressed in a beautiful Gold topped finish - set the stage for what would become near-legend in the global musical landscape.

Just five years after its initial release, the Gibson Les Paul model welcomed an historic change in the adaptation of newly designed humbucking pickups. What followed undoubtedly changed the path of popular music, as the Les Paul began a truly stratospheric climb to icon status with future blues and rock legends finding their voice in this model.

This 1957 Gibson Les Paul has just come into the shop via the three daughters of its second owner, who'd purchased the guitar at a consignment shop in 1960. By the looks of it, this Goldtop could fool you into thinking it was a recent Murphy Lab reissue - we've yet to encounter a '57 in this kind of condition. The guitar had sat unplayed for the better part of 30 years, and it shows!

A lifelong resident of south coastal Georgia until finding its way to us in Massachusetts in 2024, this Les Paul must have spent its life cased up in a very temperate environment. The original Gold finish is so well preserved with hardly any "greening out" that is so common with these guitars. It becomes even more apparent in person just how clean it is. The only wear of note on the top is a thumbnail-sized ding just south of the toggle switch ring.

The body finish follows suit in almost the same condition as the top. Much of the original lacquer has remained without wear outside of some very light buckle rash. The back of the neck is even cleaner, with a near factory-fresh lacquer coat that indicates the guitar spent more time cased than it did in the hands of its former owner. In some ways, the guitar qualifies as a time capsule due to its decades-long dormancy, and in others it reveals an instrument that was revered and cherished while still being occasionally enjoyed as a hobbyist's strummer.

A unique marker of its cleanliness can be observed in the presence of the lacquer top coat and the typical yellowing that occurs with age. That yellowing is more apparent atop the body and fingerboard binding, where it's common to see varying degrees of lacquer fade and wear that show of the stark white coloring of the Royalite material. Not in this case, however! It's tough to find even a small section of binding that's lost its lacquer layer - an impressive indicator of the guitar's preservation-like condition.

Condition notwithstanding (and that's rather significant here), the guitar doesn't just possess the collectability status often reserved for the cleanest vintage guitars. It has a devastating combination of being very lightweight, offering a very comfortable neck profile, and having some absolutely ridiculous sounding pre-sticker PAF humbuckers.

The neck has a wonderful Soft V to C carve that maintains lean shoulder throughout the taper. It's full, but in no way fatiguing, and feels very much like a combination of a prototypical mid 50s neck and a late 59 neck. The original smaller fretwire remains with most of its original height intact, and that beautifull dark Brazilian Rosewood board shows very little in the way of wear. We find the playability to be unhindered, and while the feel of the small wire invites subjectivity to a degree, we'd argue it's feeling and playing exactly as it should. The original nylon nut lacks any additional heavy filing or manipulation as well - super clean string slots here.

The headstock veneer with inlaid Gibson logo and silkscreened 'Les Paul Model' is one half-inch long mar (located on the top treble side edge) away from looking NOS. Same with those original Kluson single line tuners! They're incredibly clean with their original and fully functioning tulip buttons.

The original plastics - truss rod cover, pickguard, M69 pickup rings, amber bonnet knobs, input jack plate, and control cavity plates - are just as clean as you'd expect given the rest of the guitar. In fact, we're confident we were the first to turn screws on this guitar during initial authentication...well, since it left the Gibson factory anyway. We documented our discovery of original buffing compound underneath the truss rod cover and pickup rings, along with a pickguard-shaped dust pocket underneath the guard.

The original humbuckers are in fabulous condition, with mild oxidation on the nickel-plated covers but very clean internally. These pickups pre-date the inclusion of the now-mystical "Patent Applied For" sticker, but are undoubtedly the real deal in every way. Sonically, they aboslutely nail the voicing of these earliest HBs - open and articulate with a warm low end and clear, defined top end that maintains amazing fundamental power all the way up the neck. The Rhythm and Treble pickups complement each other so well that it's no surprise they sound sublime together. Whether it's paired up with the sparkle of an old Deluxe Reverb or the heavyweight punch of cranked old Plexi, this Goldtop hangs with the very best of them.

If a Burst is out of reach, a Goldtop as incredible as this could easily satisfy your craving for a lifer LP.


Mahogany w/ Maple top


Original Pre-Sticker PAF Humbuckers (7.65k Neck / 7.35k Bridge)
Original Centralab pots with visible date code of 134701 (1st week of 1957)
Volume (x2) / Tone (x2) / 3-way Toggle switch
Original ABR-1 & Stopbar
Original Kluson
Original Amber Bonnet


1-Piece Mahogany
57 Soft V/C | .87" @ 1st / .97" @ 12th
Brazilian Rosewood
Original Nylon
Scale Length
24 3/4"


Serial #
7 3940
8lbs 5oz
Calton LP