There's just something cool about chopper motorcycles and vintage hot rods—sometimes, the right parts come together to create something special, something with its own unique character. The same can be true of guitars, and these old "choppers" are great players that stand out on stage. In the right hands, these guitars inspire magic unlike standard factory specs.
This is a Limited Edition Les Paul Standard 1957 Spec Gold Top made in 1996. We got this Les Paul from Drew Emmitt, who used it extensively on tour with Leftover Salmon. Drew needed a guitar that could cover a wider set list than most Les Pauls, so this gold-top features unique customizations that set it apart from the rest.
In particular, Drew is most familiar with the smooth, unfinished feel of the neck on his Nugget mandolin. This Les Paul originally had a '57-appropriate chunky neck profile, so Drew had Jon Eaton and Woodsongs Lutherie (Boulder, Colo.) carve a custom neck profile. It's now slimmer—more like a later LP carve—and it's speed-necked with no sticky finish on the back of the neck.
This Limited Edition '57 gold top currently has Gibson USA Burstbucker pickups with aged covers. These pickups are a great fit for any LP, and in this case they provide a wider range of sound than the 490 R and 495 T humbuckers that would've come standard with this model. Beyond the pickups, it has '50s-style wiring with 2019 custom-taper CTS pots, modern Bumblebee reissue capacitors, and speed knobs (which are quicker on stage than top hats). Other customizations include locking Grover tuning machines, a Gotoh tune-o-matic bridge, and an aged nickel stop-bar tailpiece. It is stage-ready with buttons for Schaller strap locks.
With just a unique combo of customizations, this Les Paul is ready to deliver night after night. It is a hard-working rock n' roll machine, and t plays with low action, perfect frets, and a comfortable neck profile. This '96 Limited Edition '57 is a ripping Les Paul, and if you don't believe us, just look for it in Leftover Salmon videos on YouTube. "Gibson USA" hardshell case included, but one of the latches is broken.