I purchased this 1958 Gibson Les Paul Custom in very rare two humbucking pickup variation from its sole owner since the early 1960s! It may look like a typical late 1950s Les Paul Custom, but remember that the vast majority of these with humbuckers came with three pickups. Gibson made very few (maybe only one batch? 20-40 examples) Customs with only two humbucking pickups. 1958 is my favorite year for the Les Paul, so this guitar represents a pinnacle achievement for this guitar collector. In my 15 years of buying vintage Gibson Les Pauls, this is the only two pickup Custom I've ever had the chance to buy. 

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I landed in Albuquerque, New Mexico and drove 2.5 hours into the desert to meet the seller of this 1958 Gibson Les Paul Custom two pickup. Freddy told me that he worked at his uncle's pawn shop in the early 1960s and always wanted a guitar. This Custom came in and was priced at only $100 (a steal even in the 1960s!), but was failing to attract a buyer even at that price. Freddy waited until the shop marked it down and finally purchased his dream guitar for only $50! But Freddy never became the guitarist he dreamed to be, so it sat in its case for many decades. 

Guitar collector buys 1958 Gibson Les Paul
One of my favorite books on 1950s Gibson Les Paul guitars is by Robb Lawrence titled The Early Years of the Les Paul Legacy 1915-1963. Robb's book discusses the Les Paul Custom model at length and only mentions the two humbucking pickup variety that only a few were orded but only by "astute" customers. There's a photo of a very young Johnny Winters playing a two pickup Custom with a Bigsby tailpiece. It seems that most of the two pickup Customs were ordered with a Bigsby tailpiece. 
Black Gibson Les Paul guitar with two pickups made in 1958
This 1958 Gibson Les Paul Custom weighed in at only 8.9 lbs (4.0 kg) which is fairly light compared to most Customs. I suppose that the lack of a middle pickup helps with the weight! The neck profile matches the typical mid 1950s neck profile measuring about 0.9" deep at the first fret and a full 1.00" deep at the 12th fret. Unlike the typical three humbucking pickup Les Paul Customs, the two pickup versions are in-phase in the middle position similar to the Les Paul Standard.
Check out the two Patent Applied For stickers on the back of the two humbuckers on this 1958 Gibson Les Paul Custom. This is exactly how they should look! 
Gibson PAF Humbucking pickups from 1958
About the author: John Shults has collected vintage Gibson and Fender guitars both personally and professionally since 2009. John's company, True Vintage Guitar, buys vintage collectible guitars from anywhere in the world. Do you have a 1950s Gibson Les Paul that you're considering selling? We would love to take a look. You can contact us here: Sell a Gibson.
John Shults

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