This is a 1954 Reissue by model name, and serial number – but it came from the Custom Shop with a Tune O Matic Bridge and Tailpiece like a 1956 Reissue. Additionally, it came with 1954 style speed knobs and not 1956 style knobs. Read on for the backstory!
Neck measurement behind 1st fret ~ .92″
Neck measurement behind 12th fret ~ 1.02″
Condition: I received it brand new last week. I’ve played it less than 30 minutes. It has one tiny scratch (from the factory!) between the pickups, on the bass side. It’s very hard to photograph and very hard to see in person unless light reflects on it just right. See photo of the pen pointing at it. There is also a very small black spot under the finish on the back of the neck. This looks like some of the darker grain fill. It’s under the finish and you can’t feel it. Other than that, it is factory fresh!
Opinion: It plays and sounds fantastic! I’ve come across approximately 10-12 R4’s and R6’s over the past 3 years, and this is by far the best example I’ve seen yet! Very chunky 50’s C neck, perfect intonation and no buzzing anywhere. When you play it unplugged, you can hear the famous “ping” ringing in the body, and feel the entire thing vibrate throughout. Plugged in, it’s one of the thickest tones I’ve heard on a P-90 Les Paul. It has girth and growl, but no muddiness, and no shrill. One of the coolest thing about this guitar (besides the R4/R6 combo) is that it SINGS. You play a note and it just goes! This is the most sustain I’ve ever heard on a guitar. It rings and rings and rings out. Very sweet never ending molasses tone. The gold top finish on this is stunning. The wood grain on the back and sides is wonderful, with no ugly knots. The fretboard is nice and dark. I’ve not added any oil to the fretboard, but if you add some oil, it will likely get even darker. I don’t like heavy guitars and while this is not a super light weight example, this is right in the sweet spot below 9lbs! In my opinion, the 8lbs range for Les Paul is ideal because you get no neck dive, you get all that extra maple cap sustain, and it does not hurt your back like a 10lbs Les Paul. This is a very comfortable weight for a Les Paul with no sacrifice in tone or sustain!
Backstory: I’ve had a 1954 Reissue on backorder from a dealer for 6 months! This finally arrived last week and I was the first to open the factory box (included in the sale). When I opened it, I thought they made a mistake and shipped me an R6 (1956 Reissue), but upon checking the box (which has the model name on it, “1954”) and all the accompanying documentation – it all says “1954 LP”. My immediate reaction was “WTF!” because I really wanted the R4 with the wrap tail bridge, but as I started playing this one, I was immediately taken back by how phenomenal it played, how it didn’t buzz anywhere, and how comfortable the thick neck allows your hand to roll around. I’ve had it for less than a week, and I’ve decided I still want the 1954 reissue. I called the dealer and they’ve already ordered the R4 for me, which is going to take a while. The dealer got very excited about the bridge mixup and the sales rep said he wanted it for himself if I decide to return it. I’ve decided to put it up on Reverb to see if there is any interest and make an extra $100.
Some other interesting notes: The documentation includes a “Murphy Lab” info sheet, and a Tune O Matic instruction guide. Neither of these have come with other R4’s I’ve come across. The dealer I spoke to seems to think this may have been misrouted in the factory. It could have been destined for the Murphy Lab, or maybe it was another dealer’s requested configuration (R4 with R6 bridge and tailpiece).
Includes: Original Gibson box, all shown documentation, and brown Lifton style Gibson Custom Shop case (has Gibson badge).
Note: This will be double boxed and shipped with extreme care. The original Gibson box is very clean (it was double boxed to me) and is an important part of the story since it has the “1954” model number and serial number printed on the Gibson box.
Serial #: I always cover up a portion of the serial number because of insurance scammers! The serial number and documentation show that this is a 1954 Reissue made in March of 2022.
Let me know if you have any questions. This is one of the most special guitars I’ve come across! If I could afford to keep this AND the R4 with wrap tail, I would!