Gibson Custom 1957 Les Paul Black Beauty 3 Pickup Review

While the Les Paul Standard gets the lion’s share of attention, the 1957 Les Paul Custom Black Beauty was an important guitar in Gibson’s history because it combined several features not seen until that time: Three humbucking pickups. Optional Bigsby vibrato or stop tailpiece. An ebony fingerboard with low flat frets and real pearl inlays. A solid black finish with gold plated hardware. The 1957 Les Paul Custom Black Beauty first appeared in 1954, but by 1957, this guitar was as good as it got for players who wanted a solid body electric with the fat humbucker sound and high end appointments. A very few were built with the “standard” two-pickup configuration.

The solid black finish, which Gibson called Ebony, was suggested by Les Paul himself, who felt the color was elegant – like a black tuxedo. It also made a nice contrast with the Les Paul Standard, which at the time was painted a solid gold color (the sunburst Standards didn’t appear until 1958). The guitar was quickly dubbed the “Fretless Wonder” because of those low frets, which made playing nearly effortless, particularly when you consider that back then, there was no such thing as light gauge strings. Today, an early Custom is a prized collector’s item with a price tag to match its desirability. So for most of us, the closest we’ll ever get to owning such an important guitar is to get Gibson’s Vintage Original Spec Series ’57 Reissue Les Paul Custom. Just holding one will give you chills! Playing one is a revelation!


* Historically accurate single cutaway mahogany body in Ebony
* Three BurstBucker pickups with three-way selector switch
* Mahogany neck with early 1950s profile and ebony fingerboard
* Authentic Tune-o-matic bridge with stop tailpiece
* Includes Custom Shop case and certificate of authenticity

Les Paul Black Beauty Guitar



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