Les Paul Suggestions

Discussion in 'Guitars' started by Marshall Stack, Feb 22, 2021.

  1. Marshall Stack

    Marshall Stack Well-Known Member

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    It is time for me to get another Les Paul. I used to have a 78 Standard, an early 90s standard. It has been 15 years since having one.

    I hear of R8 and R9 but not sure what that means and hear of 50s and 60s necks. I don't know what kind of necks or what "R" serious they were. I also see traditional and classic series. I'm willing to go up to $3500 if it will retain value. Is there a certain style, a certain time period?
     
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  2. jcm800gridlock

    jcm800gridlock Well-Known Member

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    The “R” is for Reissue, Gibson Custom Shop Historic Reissue R7 (1957), R8 (1958), R9 (1959), R0 (1960).

    The R9’s sell for quite a bit more than than the 7’s and 8’s, mainly because of the AAA tops.

    The ‘50s necks are big and chunky. The ‘60s necks are slimmer.

    The Les Paul (Standard) Traditional’s usually have the 50’s style necks and the Les Paul Classic’s usually have the slim ‘60’s neck.

    I prefer the big ‘50 necks on the R7’s and R8’s. The R9’s have the slimmer necks.

    I just bought a R8 and I love it. I also own a newer (Standard) Traditional with a modified 50’s neck.

    The older (Standard) Traditional’s had bigger almost true 50’s neck.

    E4570EA0-BF8C-434E-813D-B95F976207D4.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2021
  3. Geeze

    Geeze Well-Known Member

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    If you're looking at used the post 86 to late 90's were considered to have great a attention to detail and build quality. I think part of this is that it's the post much reviled Norlin era when Gibson was saved from the evil empire. I had a 96 Standard that was immaculate so much so that I was afraid to play it - traded it off. I picked up a beater [more my speed] 82 red wine standard it's my number one in spite of the maple neck, volute and it weighs 12lb. My first was a 2013 with the asymmetric neck which as a Jackson fan I liked a lot. No quality issues on it either.

    My usual recommendation on gear is play the options so you can - in this case - determine what neck you like.

    Russ
     
  4. AlvisX

    AlvisX Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    THAT ^, The Henry era came blastin' outa the gate with some good stuff ,right up til the turn of the century

    Man , there was a guy in Little Rock last month sold a beautiful '94 LP Special for 1200 w/ohsc. I was pretty tempted to impulse buy , but I got too many guitars not being played already .
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2021
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  5. giblesp

    giblesp Well-Known Member

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    Necks have been covered, there's also weight relief.

    http://legacy.gibson.com/News-Lifestyle/Gear-Tech/en-us/Wide-World-of-Weight-Relief.aspx

    My LP pictured, is modern weight relief. I actually thought I'd be buying a Traditional that day (solid, no weight relief) ended up with the Studio pictured. Have owned an '04 Studio previously, it was 'traditional weight relief,' which is probably what your early 90's one is.

    Workmanship on Gibson's can be hit and miss, my pictured LP was working out brilliantly until one of the trapezoid inlays started to come out slightly. And that's with careful home use.

    Amazing guitar though, I do like it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2021
  6. giblesp

    giblesp Well-Known Member

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    Oh yeah, there are 'High Performance,' LP's nowadays. Cutaway at the heel basically. Never tried one.
    Many LP's have an option to switch the pick ups to single coil. Mine has that option, I never use it though.

    Binding is something that doesn't get discussed too much apart from aesthetically or in protecting the instrument. I find a slightly different feel without binding which I prefer very slightly. But I'd get a second LP with binding, if I could afford it ;)
     
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  7. Marshall Stack

    Marshall Stack Well-Known Member

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    What about a Plecked neck? When did they start doing that and does it matter? Did they also do automatic tuners (don't think I would like that)?

    Thanks guys for the info. So if your budget was $3500 (could go more) should I look at new or the era right after Norlin?
     
  8. crossroadsnyc

    crossroadsnyc Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm guessing you want humbuckers rather than P90's? In addition to some of the earlier guitars during the Henry era mentioned above, while I've been saying this for years, if buying used, I'd be looking at the CS guitars from 2007-2011. Those were the 50th Anniversary years, and were some of the finest examples in history. I've also said this before ... mark my words, in a couple of decades from now, those will be the years everyone talks about and desires.
     
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  9. MarshallDog

    MarshallDog Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    I think they started Plecking the neck about 2008.

    I have several and the 2016 Les Paul Standard is another great year! Heavy, locking tuners, bridge and tail piece. 60s slim neck and great finishes. One of my favorites.
     
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  10. PaulHikeS2

    PaulHikeS2 Well-Known Member

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    To me it's about the weight - I have an 10 lb Les Paul and my next one the weight is a going to be a major consideration. I'd love to try out a Modern to see how it feels, but I'm leaning towards an ebony Studio.
     
  11. Ken Ops

    Ken Ops Member

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    So many great LPs to choose from, including copies (IMO). Liking the look and sound of some P90 takes right now.

    Personally don’t mind the heavier models, but I do lift weights. Could be a factor.
     
  12. Sapient

    Sapient Silver Supporting Member Platinum Supporting Member

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    I'll approach a little different. Here are the ones to avoid in general. Some obviously like them, but unanimously I'd say most don't:

    2015 Deluxe - They were a limited run for the year with the asymmetrical neck that is also as wide as a 2x4. Build quality was exceptional though.

    Customs - Later 2011-ish (some) (more 2012) on up to just a few years ago. Gibson had their ebony confiscated and were not allowed to put it on their customs anymore. They then used some crap called Richlite instead, that I won't even go into other than to say it yields some nasty arguments if discussed. I believe they are all ebony now again leaving a lot of people with some real losses for giving into Gibson's poor contingency plan on wood use, or in this case, paper. Avoid ...I'm sure someone holding a "Richlite" model would love to pass it onto you for a "good deal". That is, if they even tell you that the board is not ebony to begin with. Selling one is a real "sneaker" market too as I unknowingly got duped into buying one once. That began my story of knowing all about it. More ...a horror story, I'd say.

    Signature T Series - I'm not sure where they are at now, but they are sort of a budget model with again ...a Richlite board.

    Classic - Not a bad guitar but the necks are usually ultra-skinny. They are more along the high grade "affordable" line. Maybe "avoid" is too strong, and it's just me thinking you are looking for the upgrade.

    Standard 2005(?) - Current - They have since had the "weird" asymmetrical neck. Once again, some like it, but I'd say the majority do not. I believe chambering began here too.

    Teen Years+ in General - Be careful when getting any "newer" Les Paul. I haven't really been in the game for about 3 years, but they like to drop unconventional/weird stuff on you a lot. Seems they are always trying to find their way again to reinvent themselves. There is the performance neck joint that is much like a ...Jackson, they throw in weird nuts - especially the '15 Deluxe - it's metal :( , weird locks, weird strap buttons, quick-connect (non solder) electronics, etc. You really never know what surprise you might get from them, but you can bet it's very often ...undesired.


    Reccommendations:

    I would not go back before 1990, myself. Why? 1990 to ~2003 were bulletproof years for the Standard. Anything "older" to me just gets "old" to no real benefit unless you're a collector and go "real old". I think the '80's models are kinda fugly and feel a little weird too. My goal was to always get the newest model that met my specs. NOT necessarily the newest model, though. :2c:

    Standards - Any 1990 - ~2003 - These were some pretty bulletproof years. The neck profile was more of a medium girth - in the lines of what I believe most would say ...just perfect. I don't believe these years were chambered? I think that came in 2005?

    Traditional Pro 2012 - 2013 - Nice guitar if you want a "newer" version of that 1990 - 2003 Standard look and feel. '50s neck is not too chubby though.

    Customs - 2010 - 2011 - Fantastic "Custom" years. All mine are these two years. They made some real beautiful ones these during this time, but they are kinda hard to get. The necks are just ..perfect, again. Make sure the '11 model has an ebony board though because I believe this is when they began to shift to Richlite. New Customs may be great too since they did return to ebony. I could be wrong, but I don't know if there is "the pickin'" these days with all the wonderful Custom finish varieties like the '10's and '11's.


    Historics

    There are exceptions, but in general make sure you like a big mf'n FAT neck.


    :yesway:
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2021
  13. giblesp

    giblesp Well-Known Member

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    Have to disagree with a couple of points above; the 60's neck isn't skinny as such. Thinnest neck to be found on an LP, but thicker than many strat necks, and definitely not in Ibanez Jem territory.

    The Classic Les Paul isn't a budget LP! It's a plain top, that's what makes it slightly cheaper. Studio is a plain top with no binding, which makes it slightly cheaper again.
     
  14. Kutt

    Kutt Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    I'm no expert on the custom shop stuff (I have Gibson USA guitars) so I'll just state what may already be obvious-

    I'd start by identifying what neck profile you'd prefer, then consider if you want weight relief vs. no weight relief. Keep in mind there are some with full blown chambering too. Be sure to read the weight relief article posted further up.

    The changes in specs over the last 15 years or so will make your head spin so you've got a bit of homework to do. Take good notes! They changed specs almost yearly for a while so if you end up zero'ing in on something from, say, 2005 onward comb over the specs carefully.

    Pickups are also another consideration. My personal favorite are the '57 Classic and '57 Classic Plus but it's a 100% subjective topic.

    Regarding fretboards- as noted they used Richlite for a period of time around 2011 onward but as of today I believe it's mostly phased out. Around the same time they also had problems obtaining rosewood and they used "bi-layered" rosewood fretboards for a while. It's two thinner pieces of rosewood glued together to obtain proper thickness. This factoid gets lesser attention because of the Richlite discussion and also because the layering is not visible unless you remove the nut to view it. After this fiasco you started seeing the terms "solid rosewood" and "solid ebony" in their marketing after they began phasing them back in.

    Bottom line... you've got homework to do but with the money you're looking to spend you'd have to do it anyway.
     
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  15. giblesp

    giblesp Well-Known Member

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    I found the plecked neck to be a remarkable improvement, over say the '04 series.

    Auto tune I wouldn't touch. Have a read up on the '15 series, it wasn't too popular.

    I'm now going to say something that has caused arguments and hissy fits, on the Les Paul forum.

    They used thicker nitro finishes on older Gibsons. So if you get an LP made in say the last decade, don't expect it to be as durable as your 90's LP. I may be wrong, but I'm convinced my '16 LP has a thinner finish than my previous '04 LP.

    And a white 60's SG I tried once, was tough as a tank. Plenty of wear but no wood showing.

    So if you're fussed about wear, get an older LP.
     
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  16. Sapient

    Sapient Silver Supporting Member Platinum Supporting Member

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    I don't believe that is the case. My bullian gold Classic was $1499.00 new in 1993 (including the $200.00 up-charge for the gold paint) while my honey-burst plain-top Standard was $1799.00 new. They are set in as I stated ...a "high-end" lower cost guitar compared to the Standard. I feel partially the same with a Traditional as well - My 2012 Traditional is a great guitar, but I don't feel it's the quality of my '96 Standard. I put the Traditional in between a Studio and Standard, but not at a modern Standard. The price itself of a Traditional alone would clearly indicate this anyway.

    This is just a sliver of my post, and most of all, like stated, I don't think it's what he's looking for at a $3500.00 budget.
     
  17. giblesp

    giblesp Well-Known Member

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    Well, that's more to do with the year I'd say. Some would argue that the 90's Gibsons were of a better standard, quality wise.

    I think we can conclude that different years produce different LP's, quality wise. The modern Standard has weight relief and a neck, that makes it a completely different guitar to the mid 90's Standard anyway.

    The price of new LP's isn't much to go on, as they've gone and made Gibsons more expensive, which in turn has driven up the price of the used market.

    Agree with what you are saying about his budget.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2021
  18. pedecamp

    pedecamp Well-Known Member

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    Theres literally millions of used LPs available if you decide to go that route and plenty of new. I suggest going all out and getting exactly what you want, you have Customs, Classics, Standards, Tributes, Traditionals, Studios, Juniors, 50's neck, 60's neck, humbuckers, P90s, weight relieved, non-weight relieved, any finish you could ever imagine. I have a goldtop 57 reissue (R7), 50's fat neck, burstbucker 1 and 2 pickups, non-weight relieved, pretty much an early classic configuration, I love it. A particular model that caught my eye in the past year is called the Classic Lite and Custom Lite, Gibson literally shaved the body in half to lighten the guitar, its almost like an LP shaped SG, and the videos I've seen it sounds every much as big as a heavy LP. Take your time and look around and even better if you can try before you buy or buy from someone with a return policy so youre not stuck with a dud. Most of all make sure there is plenty of fret left and no twist in the neck! Good luck! :yesway:
     
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  19. Sapient

    Sapient Silver Supporting Member Platinum Supporting Member

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    Yes, but he also needs to know to hurry and snag before $3500 is Gibson "budget" dollars. Not too far off in time the way they operate.

    :)
     
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  20. giblesp

    giblesp Well-Known Member

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    One more thing;

    Number of pieces of wood used to make an LP. The subject of much debate.

    I think mine is a multi piece body, the Standard of that year may also have been the same.

    I'm fine with it. Some swear by having a one piece mahogany body.

    I was in the market for a more expensive Trad, as I was saying. The Studio just found me.
     
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