While the Les Paul Standard gets the lion’s share of attention, the 1957 Les Paul Custom was an important guitar in Gibson’s history because it combined several features not seen until that time: Three humbucking pickups, multi-ply binding on the top, a tune-o-matic bridge with stop tailpiece, gold hardware, and an ebony fingerboard with low, flat frets. The solid black finish over the mahogany body and maple top, which Gibson is calling Antique Ebony, was suggested by Les Paul himself, who felt the color was elegant – like a black tuxedo. It also made a nice contrast to the Les Paul Standard, which at the time was painted a solid gold color (the sunburst Standards didn’t appear until 1958). If you look at today’s Guitar of the Day quickly, it would not be surprising if you thought you were seeing a reissue Les Paul Custom. Closer inspection reveals that this guitar does not have binding on the back of the body, nor the pearl block inlays. It’s also missing the pearl split diamond headstock inlay. So what we have here is a guitar that combines a lot of vintage features, but was never actually built. So Gibson dubbed it the Les Paul Classic Custom 3-Pickup model and decided that only 400 of these instruments will be built. Naturally, we ordered as many as we could, knowing these would soon be highly collectible!
Today’s Guitar of the Day is equipped with three ’57 Classic Humbuckers, which are essentially flawless recreations of the original PAF humbuckers! With a tight low-end, complex midrange, and sweet treble, the sound is everything you’d ever want from a Les Paul with the extra tonal versatility of the three pickup configuration. So whether you’re after a clean, clear sound or a buttery-smooth overdrive, these are the perfect pickups for blues, classic rock or country. Played through the right amp or with an appropriate stompbox, it’s easy to get into heavy metal territory with this baby! However, unlike the actual 1957 Les Pauls, this one has the 1960s rounded profile, which most players find comfortable to play, along with the historically-accurate 17-degree headstock pitch. The tuners have been upgraded here to gold Grover Keystones. Gibson also made the decision to not mount a pickguard on this limited edition guitar, which is probably a smart move. Naturally, a special instrument such as this one deserves a special case. Gibson delivers with a totally cool, black pseudo-reptile pattern case with a stunning white plush interior. And of course, this beauty ships direct to your door absolutely free via FedEx!