• Guys, we've spent considerable money converting the Les Paul Forum to this new XenForo platform, and we have ongoing monthly operating expenses. THE "DONATIONS" TAB IS NOW WORKING, AND WE WOULD APPRECIATE ANY DONATIONS YOU CAN MAKE TO KEEP THE LES PAUL FORUM GOING! Thank you!

Difference between 57's and Goldtop 58's?

Joined
Mar 31, 2019
Messages
49
Were the early 58's the same as 57's just that they were made into the new year or, were the GT 58's like the latter burst 58's but with the previous finish? Were they different at all other than the finish?
 

DutchRay

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 15, 2015
Messages
740
Gibson biggest changes were always after summer NAMM. Not sure if this has anything to do with the planning of guitars but their business year runs from April 1st till March 31st.
The sales guys were always pushing for new specs, a lot of guitars were sold directly out of the sales guy's car. Somewhere along the line Gibson deceided to make small changes at winter NAMM and bigger changes at summer NAMM.
The '58 Les Paul was mostly identical to a late '57 until the summer of 1958 and then changed to the new spec, the sunburst finish.
I recently looked at the '57-'58 goldtop differences and there are three 'runs' or 'variations' of Les Pauls in 1957/58.
The first run had a low logo, black plastic parts and no P.A.F. stickers, the second run had a low logo, white plastic parts and P.A.F. stickers, the last run had the higher logo, white parts and stickers.
Black plastic parts are replaced for white between 7 2916 and 7 2918 and somewhere between 7 5714 and 7 6177, the position of the logo changed.
The last goldtop appears to be 8 396x.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Mar 31, 2019
Messages
49
Very interesting and astute, thanks. What about the neck thickness? What about the sound/pickup windings? This would be difficult to tell, I've only heard them in online examples/comparisons, they seem to sound the same.
 

Tim

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 15, 2001
Messages
1,855
I've read the first paf's in '57 had formvar wire. Have no idea when it changed to plain enamel.
 

sws1

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 4, 2001
Messages
2,799
Timeline
'57
No sticker PAF (w/ different wire); low logo; black parts
No sticker PAF; low logo; cream parts
PAFs; low logo; cream parts
PAFs; raised logo; cream parts

'58
PAFs; raised logo; cream parts (continuing from '57)
PAFs; raised logo; cream parts; wider switch cavity routing
Bursts

P90s were interspersed in '57 but mostly early
 
Joined
Mar 31, 2019
Messages
49
Wow, the above is really thorough and paints an interesting picture. It's strange that the 57's don't get lumped in with 58/59/60's, just because of the colour!
 

G650

Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2022
Messages
70
They probably won't catch the 59's, but the 57's are on their way as well to crazy valuations. There are just very few of them. 58 bursts as well are rarer than the others.
 

57gold

Active member
Joined
Jan 14, 2005
Messages
667
With sharper corners on SS covers and generally lower output pickups than late 1958 PAFs and beyond.

See my early 1957 below:

cP7Tghh.jpg
 
Joined
Mar 31, 2019
Messages
49
generally lower output pickups than late 1958 PAFs and beyond.
This is how Gibson seems to reissue the R7's, when I played one it was explained to me they have lower out put pickups compared to the bursts, that R7 sure sounded it did.
 

paulster

New member
Joined
Mar 4, 2023
Messages
7
Gibson biggest changes were always after summer NAMM. Not sure if this has anything to do with the planning of guitars but their business year runs from April 1st till March 31st.
The sales guys were always pushing for new specs, a lot of guitars were sold directly out of the sales guy's car. Somewhere along the line Gibson deceided to make small changes at winter NAMM and bigger changes at summer NAMM.
The '58 Les Paul was mostly identical to a late '57 until the summer of 1958 and then changed to the new spec, the sunburst finish.
I recently looked at the '57-'58 goldtop differences and there are three 'runs' or 'variations' of Les Pauls in 1957/58.
The first run had a low logo, black plastic parts and no P.A.F. stickers, the second run had a low logo, white plastic parts and P.A.F. stickers, the last run had the higher logo, white parts and stickers.
Black plastic parts are replaced for white between 7 2916 and 7 2918 and somewhere between 7 5714 and 7 6177, the position of the logo changed.
The last goldtop appears to be 8 396x.
also didnt the first version pickups have silver colored screws instead of brass?
i know outputs could vary a lot and my brushed ss pickups take a backseat to no others! just loud and awesome
 

paulster

New member
Joined
Mar 4, 2023
Messages
7
Timeline
'57
No sticker PAF (w/ different wire); low logo; black parts
No sticker PAF; low logo; cream parts
PAFs; low logo; cream parts
PAFs; raised logo; cream parts

'58
PAFs; raised logo; cream parts (continuing from '57)
PAFs; raised logo; cream parts; wider switch cavity routing
Bursts

P90s were interspersed in '57 but mostly early
wider switch cavity routing? would this be a good way to spot an old goldtop thats been retopped to a 58 or later style guitar? do you know what the measurement differences are?
really interesting!
 

sws1

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 4, 2001
Messages
2,799
wider switch cavity routing? would this be a good way to spot an old goldtop thats been retopped to a 58 or later style guitar? do you know what the measurement differences are?
really interesting!

Don't know the measurements, but it's pretty obvious to the eye.
 

G650

Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2022
Messages
70
wider switch cavity routing? would this be a good way to spot an old goldtop thats been retopped to a 58 or later style guitar? do you know what the measurement differences are?
really interesting!

I don't know what the small or step route size is but I can measure my full non step route on my 58. But as @sws1 says it's readily apparent just by looking
 

T.Allen

Moderator
Joined
Sep 11, 2014
Messages
2,654
also didnt the first version pickups have silver colored screws instead of brass?
i know outputs could vary a lot and my brushed ss pickups take a backseat to no others! just loud and awesome
My late '57 has stainless steel screws.
 
Top