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While all 1958-'60 Les Pauls are among the most sought-after electric guitars ever made, the '59 Burst is often considered among aficionados to be the creme de la creme of the range. They are also exceedingly rare, with only 635 guitars shipped that year. With sales of the Les Paul declining every year since 1953, the year after its release, Gibson decided in 1958 to update the look of the model with an elegant Cherry Sunburst finish. Guitars from that first year of the Burst's production often had relatively plain maple tops, but through the course of 1959, Gibson's craftsmen built Les Pauls with tops that displayed more and more highly-figured grains, making these among the most collectible of the breed today. The 1959 Les Paul Standard Reissue from Gibson Custom accurately recreates the original hallowed '59 Burst in every detail.
While the 1959 Les Paul Standard retained the classic ingredients of the breed -- its solid mahogany body and carved maple top, both represented here in the 1959 Les Paul Standard Reissue -- the guitar also evolved slightly from its specs of the previous year. Les Pauls made in 1959 also acquired a slightly thinner, though still comfortably rounded, neck profile, which many players consider the sweetest feeling neck shape of all time, along with a smaller neck heel. These are all represented with utmost accuracy in the 1959 Les Paul Standard Reissue, while the guitar also benefits from Gibson Custom's 20th Anniversary Specifications. These include a one-piece rosewood fingerboard, Kluson Deluxe machine heads, hot-hide glue neck fit, a Historic Truss Rod assembly with no tubing, accurate body and fingerboard binding color, new Custom Buckers created in the image of the original PAFs, and period-correct Aniline dye offered in VOS and Gloss.
Gibson Custom's Custom Bucker accurately recreates the original PAFs of the late '50s, using Alnico III magnets and unequal turns of 42 AWG wire in each coil for that characteristic PAF "bite." These pickups clean up beautifully at the guitar's volume controls, while Bumble Bee tone caps assist in that warm, singing "woman tone" when you roll back the tone controls. To top it all off, the 1959 Les Paul Standard Reissue plays superbly right out of its Custom Shop hardshell case thanks to a trip through one of Gibson's state-of-the-art Plek machines before it leaves the Custom Shop floor.