1953 Gibson Les Paul goldtop with gold Bigsby B7!

John Shults

Posted on July 01 2021

Gibson Les Paul guitar gold 1950s


This 1953 Gibson Les Paul Model goldtop guitar was modified early on in its life with a gold anodized Bigsby B7 tailpiece! I'm always a Gibson guitar buyer, but I'm especially looking for Les Paul guitars from the 1950s and 1960s like this one. You can contact me here to sell a Gibson guitar. 

If you're looking for help with Gibson guitar dating, check out How to date a Gibson Les Paul guitar. It's got serial numbers records and features changes through time to help determine how old is my Les Paul?

You can also check out some other 1950s Gibson Les Paul guitars here: 

1954 Gibson Les Paul goldtop

1953 Gibson Les Paul goldtop

1958 Gibson Les Paul Standard burst!

how to date Gibson Les Paul guitars 1950s 1960s

This late 1953 Gibson Les Paul has survived in really nice condition and is a fantastic playing example of the model. We can date the guitar to 1953 because of its serial number with "3" prefix, since Gibson was using a single digit prefix serial number during this time period. The features on the rest of this vintage guitar also supports a 1953 age with wrap tailpiece bridge, gold finish, low Gibson logo, and two P-90 style pickups. You can find out how old your Gibson Les Paul is here: How old is my Gibson Les Paul guitar

1953 Gibson Les Paul goldtops vary significantly depending on what part of the year they were made. Gibson's Les Paul Model debuted in 1953 with a trapeze style tail piece and a low neck pitch that required the strings to wrap under the tailpiece. Gibson soon received feedback from players that recommended a steeper neck pitch that would allow the strings to wrap over the tailpiece instead. Gibson updated the Les Paul in mid 1953 with a wrap tailpiece bridge that was mounted to studs drilled into the top on either side of the bridge instead of the wrap tailpiece. The neck pitch, or neck angle relative to the body, did not increase in sharpness until later that year, so many of the mid 1953 Les Paul goldtops have a wrap tail bridge that cannot be lowered far enough to achieve low action at the 12th fret. This 1953 Gibson Les Paul goldtop was made at the end of the year after the neck pitch increased, so we can set it up to play with low action with ease!

1950s Gibson Les Paul goldtop guitar with Bigsby

Some 1950s guitar players preferred a vibrato style tailpiece on their Gibson Les Paul goldtop guitars instead of the fixed wrap tail style bridge. The Bigsby tailpiece was a perfect fit for guitar players looking to add a little vibe to their sound. This 1953 Gibson Les Paul goldtop was fitted with a gold anodized Bigsby B5 tailpiece likely at the end of the 1950s. While I don't prefer the strings to wrap right over the original bridge, I was very pleasantly surprised at how nicely it played with the current set up. I guess I'll have to rethink my set up preferences!

where to sell Gibson Les Paul goldtop guitars

I was thrilled to be the buyer for this 1953 Gibson Les Paul goldtop from the son of its second owner. We met in Jamestown, Tennessee at his family's cabin to make the transaction. I'm always looking to buy nice 1950s Gibson Les Paul guitars. You can contact me here to sell a Gibson Les Paul guitar

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