Because Guitars Are Cool.
The 1952 Les Paul
Collectibility Rating: 1952-1953:The
1952 Les Paul Model (Goldtop) in "all gold" (usually the back and sides are finished natural brown, not gold). The "all gold" paint option was probably special order, and is seen on about 5% of all 1952 to 1957 gold tops. Note the ugly green wear that the all gold models get on the back of the neck. Because of this, many collectors avoid "all gold" Les Pauls. Also note the "trapeze" tailpiece used on 1952 and early 1953 Les Pauls.
1952 Gibson Les Paul gold top guitar model introduction guitar specs:
- Multiple piece carved maple top (not "center seamed" two or three pieces).
- Single cutaway.
- Mahogany back and neck.
- Single ply cream binding on the neck and top (binding is consistent in width and depth along the body's top, even in the cutaway area).
- Two soapbar P-90 pickups with cream covers.
- Trapeze tailpiece/bridge combo with the string looping under the bar bridge.
- The string contact point ("the bar" of the trapeze) is NOT screwed or stud mounted to the topof the guitar. In fact it "floats" on its round feet (adjustable forheight), with no holes in the top to keep it in place. This is one of the player problems with this tailpiece, as it can easily be hit from the side, causing the pressure mounted tailpiece bar to slide slightly on the top (putting the guitar out of tune). Not to mention the strings can only be wraped *under* the bar and not over the bar (the one degree neck angle does not allow top-wrapped strings).
- Very early models had no neck binding and the two pickup mounting screws were positioned diagonially on the pickup's corners (instead of being mounted in a line with the string pole screws).
- Single bound top and fingerboard.
- Cream color plastic parts.
- Dark brown back plastic covers.
- Tall 5/8" gold barrel-shaped knobs.
- Trapezoid fingerboard inlays.
- Pearl "Gibson" logo positioned 3/4" from the tip of the peghead.
- The logo on non-neck binding models (early 1952) often has the "G" touching the dot in the "i" (this is rarely seen on bound neck 1952 models.).
- "Les Paul Model" silkscreened on peghead in gold
- No serial number
- "Gibson" logo in pearl is noticably lower in position than 1958 and later Les Pauls.
- Nickel plated parts.
- Goldtop finish.
- Brown back and neck finish (some with gold back/sides).
- Single-ring keystone Kluson tunerswith no "Kluson" name on the gear cover (very early models with vertical "Kluson" and "pat.pend" on the gear cover and no second post hole).
- Tuner bushings are round (except on very early non-neck binding models where they are hex).
- No "rhythm/treble" toggle switch plate.
- The standard case for this modelwas a brown hardshell case with a pink lining.
- The top of the case was flat and had four latches.
- Early 1952 Les Paul models (no neck binding) also have different wood routings. For example, the control cavity is a squarish parallelogram shape, instead of the cloverleaf shape used on 1952 models with neck binding.
- The route under the bridge p-90 has the wire channel passing thru the pickup route in the center. Contrast this to 1952 models with neck binding which have the normal wire channel route through the treble side of the neck pick route.