Gibson 1958 Les Paul Plain Top Reissue VOS
Gibson 1958 Les Paul Plain Top Reissue VOS

1958 Les Paul Plain Top Reissue VOS, LP-Shaped Guitar from Gibson in the Custom Shop Les Paul series.

King Loudness 08/11/2011

Gibson 1958 Les Paul Plain Top Reissue VOS : King Loudness's user review

« Nice but not always worth it's while »

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The Gibson '58 VOS Les Paul is made by Gibson's Custom Shop in the US to near exacting specifications of the famed original '58 Bursts. These guitars are considered the "Holy Grail" of electric guitars and routinely sell for $200,000+ to only the richest folk. This guitar is a fraction of the cost of the original '58 and offers a glimpse at what the best Les Pauls in the world are like.

It features many of the core features of a Les Paul Standard. These include a mahogany body and neck, a maple cap, a rosewood fretboard with 22 frets, vintage style tuners and bridge, Gibson PAF reissue pickups and old style pots and caps to further improve the tone. Here's the full list of specs:


Body and Hardware:
Carved plain maple top
Solid mahogany back
Single-ply cream binding on top
Thin toggle switch washer and jack plate
Nickel hardware
ABR-1 bridge, lightweight aluminum stopbar

Neck and Headstock:
1-piece mahogany neck with long neck tenon
22-fret rosewood fingerboard
Acrylic trapezoid inlays (accurate shape and color)
Single-ply cream binding
Early ' 50s rounded neck profile
24-3/4" scale length
1-11/16" nut width
Holly headstock veneer
Vintage tulip tuners
Electronics and Strings:
BurstBucker 1 (R) and 2 (T) pickups
CTS pots and bumble bee capacitors
2 volume, 2 tone, 3-way selector switch
Vintage Reissue .010 strings


The design of the Les Paul is not the most ergonomic in the world by any means. They're a heavy guitar that really requires some endurance to move around with, especially if they're weight relieved or solid bodied like many of the reissues are. However, I've gotten over these factors and take the design for what it is, which is basically a killer feeling and sounding guitar that you really notice when it's strapped across your shoulders. The upper fret access is about the same as any other Les Paul... not too much to report there.

Getting a good sound out of this guitar is very simple because of its high quality wood, pickups and electronics. The tones produced are very pure and rich, without a whole lot of compression or other odd order frequencies to alter the pure tone of the mahogany and maple. The pickups are fantastic reissues of the Gibson PAF that are low output enough to really provide a pure tone, but that have enough juice to them that they sound great when hit with some overdrive.


I've tried this guitar with various different amplifiers from clean to high gain and I'm usually quite happy with the tones it offers. The cleans are very woody and warm, great for jazz or blues tones when using the neck or middle position on the selector switch. The bridge pickup has a great slinky clean tone that harkens back to that classic British Invasion vibe. It's not too bright but has enough jangle for some great sixties and seventies tones, especially for pop and funk rhythms.

The drive tones are really cool as well. I like them a lot when I'm using an amp like a Fender or Mesa Boogie that's set to a very mild breakup for a great blues or classic rock tone. One of the best tones I ever got out of this guitar was on a fairly low gain sound playing Zeppelin riffs... pure bliss. As you increase the gain it continues to sound good. The pickups have a very pure quality that allows you to continue to hear the wood regardless of the gain settings and that fat mahogany snarl comes through at all times, as it should with a good Les Paul.


All in all I think the Gibson Les Paul '58 VOS is a great guitar for someone who is seeking a great reproduction of the real deal Holy Grail. At $3,700 new they are quite expensive and not priced as well as a Traditional or something, but if you want that feel or tone, go for it. In my case, I haven't found a Custom Shop Les Paul that beats out my $2,200 Les Paul Traditional Plus for feel and tone, so I'm a little bit skeptical as to the whole allure of the Custom Shop deal... but all that aside the guitar itself is great.