2019 Chicago Music Exchange limited edition spec Gibson Custom Shop ’57 Les Paul Standard goldtop. Purchased new by me from CME in 2019.
This guitar is absolutely fantastic and I’ve gone back and forth about selling it. I have an opportunity to purchase a vintage Gibson and I’ve tried but just cannot afford to do so and keep this. I’ve stalled because this is one of those magic Les Pauls that is just incredibly hard to find. Here are some of the qualities that stand out: It’s light at 8.35lbs on our home digital scale (with the plastic rear selector switch cover, not the metal plaque one, which is in the case). It’s a double carved ’59 spec body with a deep double gold, which gives it slight undertone of green in certain light – totally vintage feeling – it shows a bit in the photos. It’s got the “Carmelita” ’59 Les Paul neck carve – which CME ordered from Gibson for this limited edition run to match the neck on Gibson’s CC Carmelita ’59 Les Pauls. The carve is not the huge ’57 or ’58 style Custom Shop reissue; rather, it’s a ’59 overall dimension feel with a barely noticeable slight V, which essentially gives it smaller shoulders rather than overall thinness. This makes it incredibly easy and comfortable to play. It also allows you to easily wrap your thumb over the neck, which is often easier on a Strat or Tele, and less so on most Les Pauls. The fretboard is super dark and dense, definitely into Brazilian zone looking, and nice and smooth. The fretboard inlays are a great color, which is a warmer tone rather than the typical Gibson bright white (nothing gives away a typical reissue more than super clean bright white inlays), and they are very sharp and clean-edged (take a look at many Les Pauls and the inlays are often slightly rounded at the corners – again, not true historic). Seems like a small things, but these are some of the differences between looking like a guitar that’s seen some life in smokey bars (this certainly has not) versus something that just came off the factory line. Speaking of true historic, this is all True Historic plastics (pickguard, poker chip, knobs (cool green undertone on the knobs too – they are literally painted with that gold-turned slightly green paint which Gibson doesn’t do on all of the goldtops), M-69 pickup rings, etc). It’s a dark back (yes!) Looks soooo good. Love the dark back. Glossy dark goodness that contrasts so beautifully against the gold.
The pickups are a big draw here. They are CME spec’d custom S buckers, which are underwound (low 7k ohm) and unpotted. They are essentially identical to Wildwood’s Gibson custom orders (same spec; I have them in another guitar, so I have A/B’d them). The difference between these and the normal Gibson custom shop S buckers is that these are clearer, have less compression, more bell-like when rolled down, and more tonal range. The neck pick is warm and deep but also really clear and that is so hard to find on a Les Paul. The bridge has the bite but is not shrill, and it definitely can do the tele-on-steroids tone all day long. It sounds killer rolled down with just a bit of grit and can rip hard cranked Marshall-style too. The two pickups together sounds huge and warm and very acoustic. The output is also very balanced between the two pickups.
This Les Paul is crazy resonant. It rings loudly and clearly unplugged. It is even across all the strings. It sustains for days. I have owned many Custom Shop Les Pauls (including R7, R8, R9 and R0) and this is 100% the most resonant and most sustaining Les Paul I’ve owned, and I cannot recall any that I’ve ever played that have more resonance other than one actual ’59 burst which I most certainly do not own. I don’t know why this one, but it is. It has Gibson’s full hide glue construction on everything and maybe that helps, maybe it’s the wood, most likely just a fortunate combination of everything. It just sounds great and the guitar is unbelievably versatile for classic and hard rock, blues, jazz, strummy semi-acoustic sounding stuff, etc. Sounds amazing through my ’55 tweed 5W, through an ’66 blackface Deluxe Reverb, through small Vox AC10, and through my son’s Friedman with Marshall 4×12. It gets along with all of them.
This guitar has never been out of my home studio, smoke and pet free and climate controlled. It does not have many hours on it at all (I can’t say that about my Tele :). Please see the photos including the frets. It is almost mint, but for one very small mark in the surface of the top, which I have detailed in the photos (I still don’t know how I did that mark.) As mentioned, I am only selling because I have an opportunity to get my first vintage Gibson (not a Les Paul) and I am selling two of my three curated Les Pauls to partially fund it (see my ad for a historic reissue ’60 custom shop Les Paul which is also a really really fantastic guitar). I am only keeping one and that is a ’59 reissue, and it has sentimental value, so it has to stay. However, this goldtop is an objectively better guitar hands down. I even sourced the same set underwound S bucker pickups from Reverb to try to better emulate this goldtop. This goldtop is the guitar I have least wanted to sell ever – I know I will miss and regret it, but I’ve got to rip off the bandaid. Can’t have it all.
Please don’t hesitate to ask anything about it. I know I gave a ton of info here, but this is just such a fantastic Les Paul in both the details and as a whole. I’ve pasted the specs directly from a CME ad (and link) below. This is not the serial (I photographed that too btw) but it is the exact same run CME 2019 guitar so the specs are accurate. I hope this covers most of what you might want to know to bid in confidence. I’m not a shop – just a serious hobbyist who is always on the search for the “perfect” guitar for the category that I’m looking at. I have very strong ratings on Reverb that you can check, specifically for some nice guitars (bought as well as sold) and want to keep that reputation intact. I am 100% certain that someone will be really, truly thrilled with this.
Link to the specs and CME ad here:
Model Number: LPR57PSL14674
Serial Number: CME90267 [see photos for mine]
Finish Package: VOS
Construction: All Hide-Glue Construction
Neck Material: Mahogany
Peghead: 2019 Gibson Reissue Les Paul
Head Veneer: Holly 2019
Neck Dimensions: Carmelita Fine Carved
Fingerboard: Indian Rosewood
Fingerboard Binding: .04 Cream
Inlays: 2019 Reissue Mother of Pearl
Fretwire: 2019 Reissue 59/60
Side Dots: Tortoise
Top Material: 2-Piece Plain Maple
Top Finish: Double Gold
Top Carve: 59 Les Paul
Top Binding: .09 Cream
Back Material: 1-Piece Light Mahogany
Back, Neck, Rims Finish: True Historic GT Aniline Dye
Routing: 59 Les Paul Carmelita Tilted
Body Dimension: 59 Les Paul
Hardware Material: Nickel Aged
Machine Heads: Kluson Reissue
Bridge: ABR-1 Non-Wire
Tailpiece: Light Weight w/Long Stud, Anchor
Jackplate: True Historic Reissue
End Pin: Aluminum
Truss Cover: True Historic Reissue
Pickguard: True Historic Reissue
Knobs: True Historic Gold Top Hats
Switch Tip: True Historic Amber
Switch Washer: True Historic Cream
Backplates: 2019 Reissue Brown w/Custom Shop Medallion
Neck Pickup: Custom “S” Bucker
Bridge Pickup: Custom “S” Bucker
Pickup Covers: True Historic Nickel Plated
Mounting Rings: True Historic Cream
Electronics: 2019 CPA (Paper-in-Oil Caps, Vintage Taper Pots)