Gibson Guitars 1550-07 GUS User Manual

Page 13

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The body of the Les Paul Jr. received a pair of rounded horns to become Gibson’s first double-
cutaway solidbody. And the finish color on the Les Paul Model was changed to Cherry
Sunburst, which let the grain of the maple top show through. The model name was changed
to Les Paul Standard, and the sunburst Standards from 1958-60 would become some of the
most valuable collectibles in the guitar world. All of this happened in 1958.

The new Les Paul Jr. set in motion a complete redesign of the Les Paul line. In 1959 the
Special went to the rounded-horn double-cutaway shape and was renamed the SG Special (SG
for Solid Guitar). In 1960, all four models were revamped and given a new “SG” body shape,
featuring a thinner, double-cutaway body with pointed horns. The Custom, Standard, and Jr.
retained the Les Paul designation through 1962, after which they became SG models.

Gibson’s design innovation continued into the 1960s when Ted McCarty hired legendary auto-
motive designer Ray Deitrich to design a Gibson. The result was the Firebird series, and the
companion Thunderbird bass series of 1963. The Firebirds “reversed” conventional designs,
with their elongated treble-side horn and treble-side tuners. They also introduced neck-
through-body construction and smaller “mini-humbucking” pickups to the Gibson line.