This model has the bigger (hand-filling) neck that was common in 1959, and is finished in a light red to orange sunburst that does not become brown on the edges as have most of my peers.
Per the Gibson website description of this, the “1959 Les Paul Reissue in Gloss” they say that it is “the most highly acclaimed, widely recognized solid body electric guitar in the world” -- and they’re not whistling, Dixon. They go on to say (paraphrased and edited) that their Les Paul Standard model from 1959 is coveted by both players and collectors as the ultimate example of tradition, playability, wooden pulchritudenousness and also tone among all six-stringed instruments. In a world populated by imitations and replicas, clones and bionic imposters, the iconic 1959 Les Paul Standard simply has no equal. Named after the late Lester William Polsfuss, a/k/a Rhubarb Red, a/k/a Les Paul –American jazz guitarist, and key developer of multi-tracked recorded music – the Les Paul Model became the “Standard” in July 1958 after company president Ted McCarty and a small circle of advisors decided to alter the designation. They also wisely chose to forego the guitar’s traditional metallic gold face (and sometimes back) finish for a new, more memorable color dubbed “Cherry Sunburst,” which allowed the natural beauty of the Les Paul Standard’s maple top to be showcased. The company was hoping the changes would improve its sales of solid body electric guitars, which had been declining since 1953.
Regrettably the hoped for recovery for the Les Paul Standard and/or Custom models did not occur. Based on historical records that had been sealed into a cornerstone, along with a now extremely dry (wafer thin) frog, a 1960 di-yum (ten cents in those days), and a copy of The Kalamazoo Kohlrabi, the daily newspaper of record at that time, we now know that Gibson shipped only 434 sunburst Standards in 1958, 643 in 1959 and 635 in 1960, most of which had rather plain tops, not explosively figured and deeply etched (I don’t know what that means either but people who know guitars say stuff like that and I just happened to overhear them at a guitar show) thus ending the heyday of what is now arguably the most desired six-string single-cutaway electric solid body guitar manufactured during the history of mankind. But bear not the rag to your face because, sensing that there might be good demand for the guitar that they had produced so few of, in 1983 Gibson came out with the Les Paul Reissue Flametop (this would be that type of instrument except newer).
This model had a black truss rod cover with a moderately wide white border, “Les Paul MODEL” in gold decal positioned horizontally at or near the center of its ebony overlain headstock, featured greenish pearloid tulip-shaped plastic buttons on square-back, sealed back tuners that greatly resemble Kluson Deluxe, and, on the back of its headstock, an inked serial number starting with “9” to designate it as a 1959 version, and then a space, and then four digits, just like the big boys do downtown. In doing this – bringing the Les Paul back in the form of a close-to-accurate yet simultaneously updated replication with just a few nods to modernity, Gibson reestablished itself as “The Man” (corporations are people) in the business of creating an instrument that everybody who plays electric guitar and is still breathing wishes to own. This guitar is completely mind-blowing, its wood-choices exquisite, its boisterous voice not a bit tamed, sonically untranslatable, its unique sound identified only as barbaric “yawp” over the roofs of the world - rich, sonorous, blatant, unmistakable.
This guitar shows light normal signs of playing time and use including some buckle marks on the back that do not penetrate the finish, indentations (i.e., dings) overall including a larger one at the bottom middle of the back (near bottom side), and other signs of casual use including several areas where contact with a guitar stand has disrupted the finish on and around the bottom side This guitar is accompanied by the Gibson replica fold-over booklet, the Gibson “Custom Art Historic” tag and the “Gibson Vintage Reissue Strings” orange tag. There is a slight displacement of the neck pickup from its crème plastic surround; there is light oxidation or wear on the metal parts, some chips and nicks on the headstock, including one on the front near the upper treble point. All of this is in keeping with the notion that it is twelve years old and it was earlier owned. But hey, you wouldn’t expect an actual 1959 to be pristine, right?
This is a guitar for the dreamer in us all, the player who sees himself or herself wearing a large black top hat ringed with silver conches, dark sunglasses, having black cranial hair down to the shoulders, six days of facial growth and, well, a nose ring on the right hand side.