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Refin Hot-Mod 1955 Les Paul Refin Hot-Mod 1955 Les Paul
Where “Mod” and “Vintage” Meet, Hot Tone Begins
Underappreciated during its original run from 1958-’60, the Les Paul Standard with sunburst finish and PAF humbucking pickups caught fire from the mid ’60s to the early ’70s, when players like Eric Clapton, Michael Bloomfield, Jimmy Page and Paul Kossoff carried it to the heights of wailing virtuosity. As the original item became more and more expensive and harder to come by, players in search of the ’Burst look and that creamy, thick humbucking tone began modifying the more plentiful 1952-’56 Les Paul Goldtops that were originally made with P-90 pickups, creating guitars very much like this exclusive limited-run Refin Hot-Mod 1955 Les Paul Tune-O-Matic from the Gibson Custom Shop. In the course of these modifications, a rare breed was created: a “modded” vintage guitar that retained considerable value with players and collectors alike.

When done right—which meant sending the guitar back to Gibson for a full factory refin, new humbucking pickups, and the installation of a Tune-o-matic bridge and stopbar tailpiece—these guitars became the closest possible thing to a genuine 1958-’60 Les Paul Standard, and delivered in spades the look, tone and feel that so many players were seeking. The Custom Shop Refin Hot-Mod 1955 Les Paul Tune-O-Matic embodies just such a modification done perfectly, and it even exhibits the only obvious tell-tale sign of such alterations: the slightly off-center seam in the two-piece maple top, which would originally have been hidden beneath an opaque goldtop finish. This guitar begins with the template of a 1955 Les Paul with solid one-piece lightweight mahogany back and carved maple top, adds the “Refin” element of rich nitrocellulose cherry sunburst finish, gives it the “Hot-Mod” of two BurstBucker humbucking pickups, and tops it all off with a Tune-o-matic bridge and lightweight stopbar tailpiece with TonePros long steel anchors and long locking studs. Add it up, and it’s a bundle of PAF-fired ’Burst tone in your hands.

Gibson’s BurstBucker pickups are acclaimed as the most accurate PAF reproduction the company has ever made. 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. The Tune-o-matic (ABR-1) bridge, developed by Gibson president Ted McCarty himself, offered exponential increases in both intonation adjustment facilities and resonant coupling between vibrating strings and solid tonewood. Paired with a stopbar tailpiece, the Tune-o-matic bridge helped to maximize the tone of any instrument on which it appeared. To give all this tone the most playable spin possible, the Refin Hot-Mod 1955 Les Paul Tune-O-Matic is fitted with Gibson Custom’s new “Soft Shoulder” ’55 neck profile, created after intensive study of the neck of an original ’55 Les Paul with a “magical feeling” neck. With a similar front-to-back depth as standard rounded mid-’50s necks, it differs in its gently sloping sides, a feature that makes it sit incredibly comfortably in the hand. This exclusive guitar 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 Maple
Neck Mahogany
Neck Joint Set in
Profile Soft Shoulder '55 neck profile
Scale Length 24-3/4"
Fretboard Species Rosewood
Frets 22
Nut Width 1-11/16"
Tuners Kluson tuners
Bridge/Tailpiece ABR-1 Tune-O-Matic Bridge and Lightweight 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 Nickel
Finish Heritage Cherry Sunburst
Sealer Nitrocellulose Finish
Other Includes Hardshell Case and Year of 1955 Innovation Certificate