More than a signature guitar with real innovations that improve performance.
An unusually diverse talent on the Nashville scene, Lee Roy Parnell has firmly established himself as a hit-making singer and songwriter, but he has arguably made an even greater impression on the guitar world courtesy of his blistering slide playing, soaring lead work, and rich, earthy tone. To celebrate Lee Roy’s achievements, Gibson’s Custom Shop introduces the Lee Roy Parnell Signature ’57 Les Paul Goldtop, a guitar that boasts the classic look of a vintage ’57 Goldtop, but benefits from ingenious updates to make it a true player’s guitar. Put simply, the Lee Roy Parnell Signature ’57 Les Paul Goldtop is one of the most innovative guitars to come from the Custom Shop design team. Built from the ground up in collaboration with Lee Roy Parnell, with a firm focus on performance, it is the result of a dedicated emphasis on creating exceptional tone in a guitar that also will prove the most comfortable, playable instrument you own. All materials are hand-selected by Lee Roy in a small batch process that requires every guitar to pass through his hands, and the feature set—from hardware to custom-wound PAF-style humbuckers—exhibits a carefully thought-out process that results in a great-sounding, great-feeling guitar.
The Lee Roy Parnell Signature ’57 Les Paul Goldtop starts with the classic Les Paul body woods of a two-piece carved maple top and one-piece, unchambered lightweight mahogany body back. While it follows the traditional lines of the ’57 Goldtop, however, it incorporates several design innovations to make it a more toneful and comfortably playable guitar. A Big Block™ cavity design achieves more mass in the pickup cavities for greater resonance and tonal depth, while extended pickup pole clearances also are accommodated for enhanced tonal adjustments. The body includes new Player’s Cut™ elements designed for enhanced access to upper fret positions: a 7-degree back-angled cutaway contour for exceptional reach, and a smoothed neck heel joint for improved playing comfort, making the Lee Roy Parnell Signature ’57 Les Paul Goldtop a breeze for both slide and lead work.
The neck is carved to a superbly comfortable rounded and subtly asymmetrical profile of Lee Roy’s own specification. The neck is finished in satin for a fast feel in the hand, and painted with a distinctive black “stinger” at the back of the headstock, with custom motif. The rosewood fingerboard retains tradition with 22 Vintage Reissue frets and classic acrylic trapezoid inlays, while the Gibson Custom's acclaimed VOS process gives the nickel hardware a gently aged patina. The Goldtop retains a luxurious gloss finish which is subtly darkened with the addition of Custom's Faded Tobacco per Lee Roy's specification. The guitar carries no pickguard, and the artist’s signature is engraved in the truss-rod cover.
The Ron Ellis custom-wound Humbuckers loaded into the guitar are Lee Roy’s own personal choice of PAF-style pickup, and are the result of an extensive metallurgical study of vintage Gibson PAFs from the ’50s. Their meticulous design and construction results in a throaty tone with plenty of vintage-PAF bite and clarity with added depth and punch. The guitar’s electronics benefit further from high-quality CTS pots and NOS 1960s ceramic capacitors. The entire package is locked down with the classic pairing of ABR-1 bridge and lightweight stopbar tailpiece, and a PLEK-cut nylon nut that retains vintage-voiced resonance and sustain. A set of vintage-style Gotoh™ tuners with green tulip keys completes the package.