Gibson 1957 Les Paul Goldtop VOS
Gibson 1957 Les Paul Goldtop VOS

1957 Les Paul Goldtop VOS, LP-Shaped Guitar from Gibson in the Custom Shop Les Paul series.

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All user reviews of 4/5 for the Gibson 1957 Les Paul Goldtop VOS

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Average Score:4.7( 4.7/5 based on 11 reviews )
 8 reviews73 %
 3 reviews27 %
King Loudness08/13/2011

King Loudness's review"Great reissue of a classic"

Gibson 1957 Les Paul Goldtop VOS
The Gibson Les Paul R7 is designed to be a very accurate and high quality reproduction of an original 1957 Les Paul Goldtop down to the last detail. It features high quality mahogany for the body and neck with a maple top, rosewood fretboard with 22 frets and the classic trapezoid inlays, vintage style Kluson tuners and a tune-o-matic bridge with stopbar tailpiece. The pickups are excellent reproductions of the classic Gibson PAF that came out right around this time, and they have a great vintage quality that is open and airy, great for many different styles of music ranging from blues to jazz to rock. It is capped off with the typical Les Paul control layout, and inside the guitar are some vintage type capacitors to really round out the tonal spectrum. It also features the gleaming gold finish that captivated many an eye in the '50s and still does today... the sign of something done right the first time.


The Gibson R7 Les Paul is a very weighty and solid guitar to hold and play. It is not chambered like many of the USA division Les Pauls are and it can be a bit cumbersome to play for long hours. However, being used to a non chambered Les Paul myself, I was prepared for the heavier weight of this guitar. Otherwise it is designed and feels like a regular Les Paul, just to a higher quality level. It has the same ergonomics and upper fret access of every other LP that Gibson makes (save for the Axcess models).

The tones in this guitar are of a much higher quality than many of the USA guitars. I'm not sure what specifically causes the better tonal spectrum that this guitar offers, but it certainly has a superior sound to many of the USA Les Pauls I have tried over the years.


I've tried this guitar through a multitude of rigs and have concluded that it sounds best through a proper Fender or Mesa Boogie amp. The clean tones are extremely rich and GREAT for jazz and R&B tones. The neck pickup has a wonderful low end character that is perfect for playing bebop lines, and the bridge pickup has a great spongy feel (not too bright and harsh) that works really well for classic rhythm and blues sounds. Putting it in the center position (both pickups on) provides a sort of quasi country sound that is great for chicken pickin' textures.

The drive tones are really quite good as well. They're far more refined sounding to my ears than most USA Les Pauls. It sounds smoother and clearer, without that abrupt and jarring quality that a lot of modern pickups have. The tone is natural and allows the guitar tone to really come through the pickups. This is an excellent quality to have in an overdriven Les Paul and as a result all the tones are thick, syrupy, viscous, and a whole bunch of other synonyms. It never sounds thin, weak or compressed, and works perfectly for classic rock and hard rock rhythm and lead, especially when put through a smooth high gain amp such as a Mesa Boogie.


All in all I think the Gibson R7 Les Paul is a great buy for someone who wants a great no compromises Les Paul that also happens to be a near dead on reissue of a real 1957 goldtop! It sells for about $3,400 new, so it isn't cheap. However you're paying for the quality and tone that you're not going to get anywhere else other than PRS or a custom build like David McNaught or Nik Huber. Well worth it!

Hatsubai's review"Old school LP"

Gibson 1957 Les Paul Goldtop VOS
The 1957 is probably one of the more sought after years of Les Pauls, so it's no wonder that they did a re-release of this guitar. It's got tone for days, and it sounds absolutely huge. The guitar features a mahogany body with a maple top, mahogany neck with a rosewood fretboard, 22 frets, trapezoid inlays, pickguard, binding, hard tail bridge, two humbuckers, two volumes, two tones and a three way switch.


These models are put together very well. The first thing you notice is that the finish itself was pretty much flawless. I couldn't find any drips or any issues where the binding meets the paint. The nut itself was cut perfectly, so there were no tuning problems to worry about. The frets on this were nicely leveled, and I was able to get some nice action going. The ends were also not sharp, so it didn't hurt your hand every time you went up and down the neck.


The guitar sounded pretty good. The pickups aren't really my thing, to be honest. The pickups are standard Gibson pickups, but they seem to work for most. The bridge pickup has some nice bite to it, and it has some decent output. I find they lack the character for heavy metal, but they can work for 80s metal. The neck is a bit too bright for me. I like a thick, fat sounding neck tone, and these generally have a bit too much bite for me. However, they're clean sounding, and that works awesome for clean tones.


These are some of the more consistent Les Pauls out there, but they're a bit expensive. If you can afford this, go for it. However, if you need something a little cheaper, check out the Les Paul Classic. There are a few killer Classics out there, and if you can get past the ugly green inlays, you can get a real solid guitar.
Audiofanzine FR03/09/2009

Audiofanzine FR's review

Gibson 1957 Les Paul Goldtop VOS
(Originally written by rhum66/translated from Audiofanzine FR)
Les Paul Gold top 1957, Historic Serie, VOS (Vintage Original Specifications), made in 2008.

22 frets, Burstbucker 1 and 2 (neck) pickups.

C-profile neck (called 50's Gibson neck).

Aged finish that gives character to the instrument.


In the beginning the neck seemed to be enormous, especially for someone used to Fender like me... It felt like a baseball bat in my hand.

Afterwards you'll like its comfort and the short scale... The neck is easy to play when you come from a Strat.

Every blues rock player will like it (even people with short hands) unless you are a crazy shredder. Notice: I don't own this guitar but I tested it twice under exceptional conditions (I spent a long time alone with it and a tube amp in an isolated booth).

Maybe the neck can become tiring if you play it for a very long time (rehearsals, studio, etc.). Based on my experience, I can say that the Fender V-profile neck is more tiring than the C-profile for my short hands.

SOUND: Once again, being a Strat player I can't compare different Les Pauls but I can recognize an exceptional guitar when I play it. It provides Michael Bloomfield's 60's sound (listen to Great Sessions with Al Kooper), John Lee Hooker's twangy sound (even if he never played a Les Paul), and the biting and wild sound

required for rock music.

The bridge pickup has some very sharp highs I had never heard before on a Gibson (which is why I play Fender guitars). The twang of this Gibson is powerful and it can cut through every mix.

It's wonderful with a Tube Screamer.

I find that the center position is less interesting than the two others. It has not enough "quack". If I owned this wonderful guitar I would wire it like Peter Green.

Neck pickup: the sound is like an uppercut with a velvet glove... It doesn't sound too dark and it provides biting low-mids for dirty boogie à la ZZ Top.

It's easy to play pinch harmonics (although harder than with 498T-type pickups, but they sound better) and the balance with the bridge pickup is perfect when you switch between both pickups.

From John Lee Hooker to Gibbons and Bloomfield, the sound is warm, biting, aggressive and always vintage.

It's not the soft vintage sound of the Classic '57, it sounds more aggressive but very sixties.

I give it a 10 for the sound but 8 for the baseball bat neck, which is surely tiring after a while.


This guitar is a MUST HAVE for blues rock, like a custom shop Strat or a Tele.

I messed around with the neck pickup's tone control a while and I got a very nice sound for jazz bossa rhythm parts. Its clean sound is exactly the sound of Chicago blues players of the 60's. It shows the sound quality of these pickups...

Regarding crunch sounds: Listen to Michael Bloomfield's "Stop" as well as other songs from the Great Sessions with Al Kooper and you'll hear the spirit of this guitar.

I started making numbers and I would have to sell six of my guitars to buy this one!


- I tested it a long time in an isolated booth with a Marshall Anniversary and a Brunetti amp.

- The neck could be more modern like some custom shop Fender models...

- The price for this legend is very high, but there's no need to change anything, this guitar is just perfect.

- I would like to buy it but I would have to sell six guitars so it's not something for the near future...

Hats off Gibson.

From a Fender fan.