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Hot-Mod Custom Hot-Mod Custom
A ’55 “Black Beauty” with Factory-Mod Humbuckers
In the midst of a decade of rapid-fire innovation, the 1955 Les Paul Custom “Black Beauty” represented the epitome of Gibson’s artistry in solidbody electric guitars. And what could make such a guitar even more advanced? A trip back to the factory for an upgrade to a pair of Gibson’s groundbreaking PAF humbucking pickups! Just such a scenario brings us the exclusive limited-run Hot-Mod 1955 Les Paul Custom with Tune-o-matic Bridge from Gibson’s Custom Shop. Physically, the original 1955 Les Paul Custom expressed Les Paul and Gibson president Ted McCarty’s joint vision of the ultimate solidbody guitar, with a solid mahogany body with carved top and glued-in mahogany neck, but it also embodied Paul’s notion of a “black-tie guitar for the black-tie musician.” Custom by name, custom by nature, it was made with a gloss ebony black finish, ebony fingerboard with pearloid block inlays, enlarged headstock with mother-of-pearl split-diamond inlay, and gold-plated hardware throughout.

In place of the pair of single-coil pickups on the original item, however—a P-90 in the bridge position and an Alnico V in the neck—the Custom Hot-Mod 1955 Les Paul Custom with Tune-o-matic Bridge carries a pair of Gibson’s acclaimed BurstBucker humbucking pickups, the “Hot-Mod” end of the deal. A BurstBucker 1 in the neck position offers vocal warmth with plenty of definition, while a slightly hotter BurstBucker 2 in the bridge provides more growl and midrange punch for solo work. Both are made with unpolished Alnico II magnets just like the originals, and slightly mismatched coils for that bite and edge that great original PAFs are known for. Loaded into the Custom Hot-Mod 1955 Les Paul Custom with Tune-o-matic Bridge, they complete a guitar that blends the meat, resonance and muscle of a pre-’57 Custom with the creamy, fat humbucking tone of a post-’57 model—a best-of-both-worlds combination that countless players will enjoy.

Ensuring that this killer pair of pickups is dealt all the resonance and sustain it can handle, the Custom Hot-Mod 1955 Les Paul Custom with Tune-o-matic Bridge carries a piece of hardware that represented another Gibson “first” of the mid ’50s. The Tune-o-matic (ABR-1) bridge, developed the year before by McCarty himself, offered exponential increases in both intonation adjustment facilities and resonant coupling between vibrating strings and solid tonewood. Embodied here by TonePros units with locking steel studs and long steel anchors, this hardware set gives this guitar degrees clarity, depth, and sustain never before heard in the electric guitar world. And to top all the other period-correct details on this special-issue instrument, the Custom Hot-Mod 1955 Les Paul Custom with Tune-o-matic Bridge is fitted with Gibson Custom’s new “Soft Shoulder” ’55 neck profile. Gibson’s luthiers selected an original ’55 Les Paul that had a neck with a “magical” feel, and modeled this for its new profile. With a similar front-to-back depth as standard rounded mid-’50s necks, it differs in its gently sloping sides, a feature that helps it sit incredibly comfortably in the hand, making this exclusive instrument a pure joy to play. The Custom Hot-Mod 1955 Les Paul Custom with Tune-o-matic Bridge comes with a Gibson Custom hardshell case and a “Year of 1955 Innovation” certificate. Check it out now at selected online dealers.
Technical Specifications
Body Mahogany
Top Mahogany
Neck Mahogany
Neck Joint Set in
Profile Soft Shoulder '55 neck profile
Scale Length 24-3/4"
Fretboard Species Ebony
Frets 22
Nut Width 1-11/16"
Tuners Kluson tuners
Bridge/Tailpiece ABR-1 Tune-O-Matic Bridge and Stopbar Tailpiece with TonePros long steel Anchors and long-locking studs
 
Tone Controls Two Volume, Two Tone
Toggle Switch 3-way Pickup Selector
Neck Pickup Burstbucker 1 Neck Humbucker
Bridge Pickup Burstbucker 2 Bridge Humbucker
Hardware Gold
Finish Ebony
Finish Nitrocellulose Finish
Other Includes Hardshell Case and Year of 1955 Innovation Certificate