Gibson / Les Paul Custom / 1956 / Black / Guitar

You will need a suit to play this one, 1956 Gibson Les Paul Custom Black Beauty…

Following the debut of the first Les Paul Standard in 1954, the Custom came about following a request by the man himself for a guitar to match his tuxedo. Originally loaded with a pair of P90 pickups, the infamous Alnico V stud pickups was born in answer to Les fitting his guitar with a Gretsch Duo Sonic pickup in his eternal search for clearer sound. This combined with the equally notorious ‘fretless wonder’ fretboard add to the magic of the instrument.

Truly a classic, these guitars never fail to draw comment whenever we have them in and this is no different. Even though this guitar maybe hasn’t had quite the charmed life of other we’ve seen it nevertheless has that deep black hue that you don’t see any more and the rich gloss finish is still breathtaking. The marks all over the top for the most part have only pierced the clear coat and as you’d expect, their visibility changes as you look over the guitar. 

The back has a bit of wear, the wood is showing around the control cavity and the there are marks in the paint that would indicate a belt buckle. On the other hand the neck is in good shape with no marks visible and only some wear tot the clear coat which is visible with a black light. The Ebony fret board is fanstsic as you’d expect with such a hardwearing wood. The inlays too look good. The frets are a little low as you’d expect with these guitars. 

The binding is in good condition as well. The headstock is in great shape. Often with the Custom headstock, the lacquer has a tendency of flaking off but here its well preserved. The same can be said for the ‘Waffle Back’ tuners where the buttons have only faded a little and there’s only been. little wear too the gold plating.

The plastics have been cared for. The pickguard is still straight and the pickup covers only show a little wear. The Alnico V pickup has a few minor cracks around the screws, which is to be expected, and the P90 has some wear along the bottom edge.

The hardware is shows some wear to the gold plating but hasn’t corroded. Electronically both pickups haven’t been rewound and none of the solder joint have been disturbed. The guitars comes with its correct Lifton black case which has been bolstered with gaffer taper extra rigidity and that certain roadworn look!

This guitar does not disappoint when strapped on. The neck pickup is loud and clear with quite a refined sound. The bridge is the perfect foil with a bit more of a raw tone. When combined the guitar is quite lively with such a great sound that begs to be played.

We’ve seen a few of these guitars of late and although this might not be the most MINT example it is nonetheless truly excellent and the tone on this one is truly to die for. Grab it while you can.

Instrument sold

ATB Guitars, UK  

Contact name:
Mike Long
Vintage Gibson, Fender and Martin from 1940's-1970's
Opening hours:
24 hours

Hello we’re ATB Guitars.

We are one of Europes leading sellers of vintage and rare guitars. We only sell vintage Gibson and Fender electric guitars from 1950 until 1975 and have an extensive inventory to browse in our bricks and mortar store in Cheltenham, UK or in our online web store.

Payment and p/x:

All prices are in UK GBP £ Sterling. Payment can be made by Paypal, bank transfer, cash, or money order cashiers cheque etc. 

Should you not be absolutely delighted with your purchase you may return it to Cheltenham, at your own expense, within 7 days from the date of delivery for a full refund. The item must not have been altered or tampered with in any way, and it must arrive in the same condition as it left us.

Postage and shipping:

We ship within the UK by Royal Mail Recorded (small items under 2Kg), TNT or UPS and Worldwide by Royal Mail Airmail Signed For (small under 2Kg) Parcelforce, UPS or FedEx. All shipping prices include expert packing, cartons and packing materials but not insurance which is typically around 2% of items value. Currently approx shipping rates for a single guitar are as follows:

UK excluding Northern Ireland and Highlands £29
Most of mainland Europe £49
U.S.A. £129
Asia £149 - £190
Rest of World including S. America £149 - £275


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