Gibson 1957 Les Paul Goldtop VOS
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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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Audiofanzine FR 03/09/2009

Gibson 1957 Les Paul Goldtop VOS : Audiofanzine FR's user review

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(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.

UTILIZATION

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.

SOUNDS

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!

OVERALL OPINION

- 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.