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  1. #1

    Classic 1960 RI vs Historic R0

    Are both of these guitars reissues of the 1960 Les Paul? If yes, why a Historic and why a Classic RI. Are they both not reissues of the same guitar?
    I know there's like a $1.5k difference between the two but not aware of the other factors and why both are being offered at the same time. Anybody?

  2. #2
    Les Paul Forum Member PixelBurst's Avatar
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    Re: Classic 1960 RI vs Historic R0

    The Classic isn't a reissue. It has hot ceramic pickups, a short neck tenon, weight relief holes as well as cosmetic differences. The R0's neck isn't as slim as the Classic either. Plus the Classic has those nasty fake looking inlay.
    Guitars: Two '59 Gibson Les Paul Reissues, 1960's Gibson Acoustic
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  3. #3

    Re: Classic 1960 RI vs Historic R0

    These are really very different guitars. Which is better for you is dependent on who you are as a player and enthusiast.

    I looked back through what I had available to me I dont see where Gibson called the Classic a Classic 60 RI. But Gibson it is entirely possible. Do you have that? I find where they called the USA built Classic a 1960 Classic just a few years back, though it was not meant even then to be a Reissue but rather a hot rod Les Paul with a slim taper neck.

    Here are the links to both current models that you are referring to. The spec. is different between the two.
    http://www.gibsoncustom.com/flash/pr...0Standard.html

    http://www.gibson.com/Products/Gibso...sPaul/Classic/

    Three performance issues that are different and can be very important to some;
    Number one is that the Historic 1960 Reissue from the Gibson Custom division has a solid back with no weight relief as apposed to the possibility of a two piece back and weight relieving on the USA built Classic.
    Two a long neck tenon on the Historic R0 and short neck tenon on the Classic.
    Three is the Bridge, an ABR1 on the historic R0 and a Nashville on the USA built Classic.

    If these things are important to you they cannot be changed like pickups, inlays etc.

    I hope this helps.

  4. #4
    Les Paul Forum Member fjminor's Avatar
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    Re: Classic 1960 RI vs Historic R0

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Carpenter
    These are really very different guitars. Which is better for you is dependent on who you are as a player and enthusiast.

    I looked back through what I had available to me I dont see where Gibson called the Classic a Classic 60 RI. But Gibson it is entirely possible. Do you have that? I find where they called the USA built Classic a 1960 Classic just a few years back, though it was not meant even then to be a Reissue but rather a hot rod Les Paul with a slim taper neck.

    Here are the links to both current models that you are referring to. The spec. is different between the two.
    http://www.gibsoncustom.com/flash/pr...0Standard.html

    http://www.gibson.com/Products/Gibso...sPaul/Classic/

    Three performance issues that are different and can be very important to some;
    Number one is that the Historic 1960 Reissue from the Gibson Custom division has a solid back with no weight relief as apposed to the possibility of a two piece back and weight relieving on the USA built Classic.
    Two a long neck tenon on the Historic R0 and short neck tenon on the Classic.
    Three is the Bridge, an ABR1 on the historic R0 and a Nashville on the USA built Classic.

    If these things are important to you they cannot be changed like pickups, inlays etc.

    I hope this helps.
    Hi Dave

    On point 3 - the Bridge - I have a 97 Classic that came stock with an ABR-1 Bridge - is there any reason for this, or just another Gibson fluke?

    P.S. I dont think there are any weight relief holes on this guitar as it weighs 9.0 lbs.

    - Sorry for the big picture but it was the only way with this picture to illustrate the ABR1 bridge.


  5. #5
    Les Paul Forum Member PixelBurst's Avatar
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    Re: Classic 1960 RI vs Historic R0

    I've never seen a Classic with the Nashville either, only the ABR-1 like the pic above.
    Guitars: Two '59 Gibson Les Paul Reissues, 1960's Gibson Acoustic
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  6. #6
    Les Paul Forum Member Ian Anderson's Avatar
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    Re: Classic 1960 RI vs Historic R0

    (fwiw), my old Classic+ had an ABR-1 too.
    "said I'm a mean machine an' drinkin' gasoline, an' honey you can make my motor hum"

  7. #7

    Re: Classic 1960 RI vs Historic R0

    Well, that spells it out for me. I thought that the Classic was a 1960 Reissue because of the "1960" text on the pick up cover. Some of the earlier late '90's had stunning tops and I seem to remember sales people at the now defunct Mars store stating it was a 1960 RI.

  8. #8

    Re: Classic 1960 RI vs Historic R0

    Quote Originally Posted by fjminor
    Hi Dave

    On point 3 - the Bridge - I have a 97 Classic that came stock with an ABR-1 Bridge - is there any reason for this, or just another Gibson fluke?

    P.S. I dont think there are any weight relief holes on this guitar as it weighs 9.0 lbs.

    - Sorry for the big picture but it was the only way with this picture to illustrate the ABR1 bridge.

    Your guitar is right for the year. In that year it would have the ABR1 but the body is weight relieved and can they can weigh more than yours. I like the photo and your inlays do not look green. Cheers!

  9. #9
    Les Paul Forum Member fjminor's Avatar
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    Re: Classic 1960 RI vs Historic R0

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Carpenter
    Your guitar is right for the year. In that year it would have the ABR1 but the body is weight relieved and can they can weigh more than yours. I like the photo and your inlays do not look green. Cheers!

    Thanks Dave...I figured if it is weight relieved, it would be under 8.5 lbs - learned something new...thanks.. and yes the inlays are not green...
    :dude

  10. #10
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    Re: Classic 1960 RI vs Historic R0

    The ABR-1 was recently dropped from Classics in 2003/4? (and SG Standards in 2000/1?).

    Gibson says if you want the classic ABR-1 bridge, pony up for a Historic SG or LP.

  11. #11
    Les Paul Forum Member Stumbler's Avatar
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    Re: Classic 1960 RI vs Historic R0

    You might want to read the article with the link on the LPF home page:

    "Gibson Les Paul Classic Premium Plus: Flametop Wonder" By Mike Slubowski

    Mike talks about the history of the Classic starting in 90, and trys to sort through the confusion when the Custom Shop Historic Reissue line started up in 93.

    I think your (or that music store's) basic confusion is in the use of RI or Reissue associated with the Classic. I think of the LP Classic 1960 as a production or Gibson USA guitar, while the Reissue, like R0, R9, R8 etc, is from the Custom Shop. Note though, that Mike says for a few years in the mid 90s the Custom Shop did make limited numbers LP Classic Premium Plus.

    My '90 Classic has an ABR-1 BTW, and I believe they have had them since that time until very recently.

  12. #12

    Re: Classic 1960 RI vs Historic R0

    I remember the first time I witnessed the change, not sure if it was 03 or 04, but anyway I called Gibson to see if there was a chance of getting more Classics with the ABR1 and no one was optimistic. As far as I know there was no press release to announce the change. I thought that the Classic with the ABR1 was a real good alternative or choice in relation to the LP Standard. Some people burn bright for one or the other bridge type, so to me it just made sense to have the ABR1 available on a USA division guitar for those players who want an ABR1. However the Classic continues to be a winner with consumers, so that shows you what I know. The new lower price on the 1958 Reissue helps for those who want an ABR1 on a guitar with a burst finish.

  13. #13
    Les Paul Forum Member dgood's Avatar
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    Re: Classic 1960 RI vs Historic R0

    I had an 03 Classic with a one-piece body. It was good guitar. I sold it. I now have a 99 R0. It is a GREAT guitar. There is no comparison.

  14. #14
    Les Paul Forum Member Stumbler's Avatar
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    Re: Classic 1960 RI vs Historic R0

    Quote Originally Posted by dgood
    I had an 03 Classic with a one-piece body. It was good guitar. I sold it. I now have a 99 R0. It is a GREAT guitar. There is no comparison.
    I bet the R0 feels and sounds much better to you. Please describe the differences that make the RO comparatively great.

  15. #15
    Les Paul Forum Member dgood's Avatar
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    Re: Classic 1960 RI vs Historic R0

    The Classic had an uncomfortable neck compared to this instance of an R0. The R0 is lighter, louder, and more articulate unplugged. I put Timbuckers in the R0, but even the stock 57s sounded a lot better than the ceramic PUs in the Classic. The fingerboard on the RO is smoother and with a finer grain than the Classic. The frets are better. In my experience RIs are better made than production LPs, in general. In this case it's definitely true. In addition to all that, the R0 has a beautiful flame top and a much better paint job.
    Of course, it's a lot more expensive than the Classic, but IMO you often get what you pay for.

  16. #16
    Les Paul Forum Member Stumbler's Avatar
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    Re: Classic 1960 RI vs Historic R0

    Thanks. I had a similar experience at a LPF jam this past Saturday. I was playing my 90 Classic which for a Classic is a really good one, but then Jimmy Murray let me play his 95 R9 with Holmes pups. A whole different animal - much the same as you describe. Although my old Classic has a great neck, fretjob and dark, hard fretboard.

  17. #17
    All Access/Backstage Pass NHMorgan's Avatar
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    Re: Classic 1960 RI vs Historic R0

    As per weight relief holes, I think they mostly bring the guitars to sub 10lbs, but not many USAs below 8.5, probably more above 10 that below 8.5.

  18. #18
    All Access/Backstage Pass SteveB334's Avatar
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    Re: Classic 1960 RI vs Historic R0

    I love my classic. It has the best neck I have ever felt.
    Formerly Bluesgtr20

  19. #19
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    Re: Classic 1960 RI vs Historic R0

    I'm sure there are some good classics out there. I bought a 1992 Classic plus model brand new that had a very nice top but it also had a very bright almost clownburst color that I hated. I did notice the nashville bridges and some of them if not all the new ones do have a two piece back. But like alot of people after buying my 1st Historic R9 in 1996 theres no comparison.

  20. #20
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    Re: Classic 1960 RI vs Historic R0

    Quote Originally Posted by dgood
    The Classic had an uncomfortable neck compared to this instance of an R0. The R0 is lighter, louder, and more articulate unplugged. I put Timbuckers in the R0, but even the stock 57s sounded a lot better than the ceramic PUs in the Classic.
    Now that doesn't sound fair - you never swapped out the Classic's pickups to give it a fair chance.

    Quote Originally Posted by dgood
    The fingerboard on the RO is smoother and with a finer grain than the Classic.
    I've seen and played historics where the fretboard was like a cheese grater (or ugly milk chocolate brown) - it can happen to any Les Paul. I'm very surprised Gibson doesn't cherry pick rosewood slabs for fretboards, or if they do, they suck in picking them IMO.

    Quote Originally Posted by dgood
    The frets are better. In my experience RIs are better made than production LPs, in general. In this case it's definitely true.
    For the price, they should be.

    Quote Originally Posted by dgood
    In addition to all that, the R0 has a beautiful flame top and a much better paint job.
    I'll argue my 1996 Classic Premium Plus top against any historic any day, and it's fretboard looks/texture will outdo 75% of the historics as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by dgood
    Of course, it's a lot more expensive than the Classic, but IMO you often get what you pay for.
    Agreed. My 1996 Classic Premium Plus cost $1250 in Dec '02. The only Historic R0 Flametops in this price range come in pieces.

  21. #21
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    Re: Classic 1960 RI vs Historic R0

    Many years ago before I got so invoved with the historics I had every Classic in every color I think. They are fine instruments. The obvious things that come to mind as differences between a reissue and a 1960 classics are pickups, weight relived body on the classic, tuners, bridge, aluminum tail on reissue, green inlays on classic, long neck tenon, no pup covers on reissue, body binding, ect ect. I have taken classics and changed the pickups to burst buckers and have found the tone be near a reissue. They are a great way to go for someone wanting a reissue 60 but only has the $$$ for a classic. I think by now everyone knows why the tops were so great on the classic premium plus guitars. The other thing I want to mention is that with the prices of the classic premium plus these days a guy can buy the GC R0 for less or about the same money and have a little better guitar.

  22. #22
    Les Paul Forum Member phil47uk's Avatar
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    Re: Classic 1960 RI vs Historic R0

    If it's any help, here is a 1995 Classic P.P neck on the left compared to a 2003 R0 on the right.
    Not the best of pics to show both necks, but you can clearly see there is a difference.



    Phil
    'Long tenons......Short tenons. When the drummer comes in, what the fuck does it matter'.

  23. #23

    Re: Classic 1960 RI vs Historic R0

    When I go into GC, I always look at what they have and compare to my 1993 Classic Plus. Sometimes I really inspect them. I have yet to notice a Standard that was the same build quality as mine. To be fair, the reissues are so high up on the wall that I usually don't bother to look at them, but do admire them from a distance. Gibson looks to have lowered the bar on the current Classics. I have also noticed some really good looking plain tops that were a spitting image of R8's.
    "If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything."

  24. #24
    Les Paul Forum Member Dr.Rock's Avatar
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    Re: Classic 1960 RI vs Historic R0

    What about a LP Standard with a 60s neck? Maybe this is closer to a R0.

  25. #25

    Re: Classic 1960 RI vs Historic R0

    Quote Originally Posted by Primative
    When I go into GC, I always look at what they have and compare to my 1993 Classic Plus. Sometimes I really inspect them. I have yet to notice a Standard that was the same build quality as mine. To be fair, the reissues are so high up on the wall that I usually don't bother to look at them, but do admire them from a distance. Gibson looks to have lowered the bar on the current Classics. I have also noticed some really good looking plain tops that were a spitting image of R8's.
    She is a beuaty! Okay you changed the knobs and the pick ups and ..???

  26. #26
    All Access/Backstage Pass Black58's Avatar
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    Re: Classic 1960 RI vs Historic R0

    Quote Originally Posted by Primative
    When I go into GC, I always look at what they have and compare to my 1993 Classic Plus. Sometimes I really inspect them. I have yet to notice a Standard that was the same build quality as mine. To be fair, the reissues are so high up on the wall that I usually don't bother to look at them, but do admire them from a distance. Gibson looks to have lowered the bar on the current Classics. I have also noticed some really good looking plain tops that were a spitting image of R8's.
    OH MY F-N GOD!! My first LP was a '93 Classic Plus! Ser.#3-2706. Bought it new. Installed Grovers, '57 Classics, those exact knobs you've got there and even bought a blank truss rod cover and painted the "WHOLE" bevel white! It looked almost identical to yours! Mine didn't come with a pickguard, though. The top was spectacular. Could very easily have been called a "Premium Plus" top. I think I was lucky when I bought it as they weren't using that designation yet! Sold it in '96. There, began my quest for something A LOT closer to the originals.

  27. #27

    Re: Classic 1960 RI vs Historic R0

    Well, I changed the truss rod cover, installed historic spec rings, the reflector knobs, and currently have a set of SD 59's in her. I hope to aquire some antiquities for Christmas!!!! I still have the "Classic" on the head stock however. BTW, it does have the thin binding in the cut-away.
    My serial is 3 3336. There is another member here who has serial 3 3275 or soemwhere thereabouts.

    The guitar really slays many others I have played!

    I wonder if the amber will get darker over time? So far under the pickguard the color looks slightly more orange in color, or a deeper amber.
    "If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything."

  28. #28

    Re: Classic 1960 RI vs Historic R0

    Primative it is very nice! I hope you get the pickups you want.

    Did you read the thread on bulb aging guitars?
    http://www.lespaulforum.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=102804
    One of the examples shows a deeper ambering.

    Have fun playing her!

  29. #29
    Les Paul Forum Member Dr.Rock's Avatar
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    Re: Classic 1960 RI vs Historic R0

    [QUOTE=phil47uk]If it's any help, here is a 1995 Classic P.P neck on the left compared to a 2003 R0 on the right.
    Not the best of pics to show both necks, but you can clearly see there is a difference.



    Phil


    R0 neck -> 50s Standard???? Maybe?? :wha

  30. #30
    Les Paul Forum Member 57Lefty's Avatar
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    Re: Classic 1960 RI vs Historic R0

    One is a production line guitar , the other a custom shop. The only time I see the classic referred to as an RI is when someone on ebay is trying to rip somebody off.

  31. #31

    Re: Classic 1960 RI vs Historic R0

    There are alot of posts here, so I tried to make sure, this was not mentioned already.
    (if it was, my apologies)

    Guitar Center has another 1960 version, which while not officially listed as a Historic,
    it has most features of one... the Long Neck Tenon, aged hardware, etc.
    I think its basically an RO with plaintop and a few minor changes.

    ================================================== ========

    here is more info on it:
    http://www.guitarcenter.com/gibson/d...d.cfm?itemid=1

    (disclaimer on the new LPF NO PRICE DISCLOSURE RULE)
    the above link is a public webpage for all to see, readily listed on the GC website.

  32. #32
    Les Paul Forum Member ScreaminG's Avatar
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    Re: Classic 1960 RI vs Historic R0

    Quote Originally Posted by 440gtx6pak

    Guitar Center has another 1960 version, which while not officially listed as a Historic,
    it has most features of one... the Long Neck Tenon, aged hardware, etc.
    I think its basically an RO with plaintop and a few minor changes.
    I have one of the GC R0 and love it. It is a custom shop Historic with a plain top and the caps are ceramic disk.
    DO PIGS FLY ?

  33. #33

    Re: Classic 1960 RI vs Historic R0

    Quote Originally Posted by ScreaminG
    I have one of the GC R0 and love it. It is a custom shop Historic with a plain top and the caps are ceramic disk.
    I'd love buying one myself... but I am trying to convince myself not to.
    (They offered me a killer deal, but I have more than enough guitars)

    How heavy is your GC-R0? ..
    the one I looked at, was not bad at 9lbs even (considering this is in the R8 pricerange)

  34. #34
    Les Paul Forum Member ScreaminG's Avatar
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    Re: Classic 1960 RI vs Historic R0

    It's about 9.2lb

    Last edited by ScreaminG; 03-01-06 at 01:40 PM.
    DO PIGS FLY ?

  35. #35
    Les Paul Forum Member phil47uk's Avatar
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    Re: Classic 1960 RI vs Historic R0

    Oooops. Sorry just posted the same pic as Dr Rock did....
    amended.....

    Hi Dr Rock. The R0 neck has the same shoulders as the 50's Standard, but the back of the neck is shaved flatter.
    The 60's standard is more like the Classic, both having an elipse shaped neck profile.

    Phil.
    Last edited by phil47uk; 03-01-06 at 01:48 PM.
    'Long tenons......Short tenons. When the drummer comes in, what the fuck does it matter'.

  36. #36
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    Re: Classic 1960 RI vs Historic R0

    I've recently been weighing up the options on a R0 to go with my '99 Classic. BTW, my classic has a one piece back and an ABR-1 tail piece. Think I might have struck lucky with it as the various changes appear to have started happening from about then...

    I swapped out the ceramic pickups for a set of SD '59's because I just didn't get on with the high outputs (always fighting them to get the sound and tone I wanted) and it now sounds and plays like a beauty!!! Wouldn't sell her for the world!!

    I can't believe Gibson have done down the LP Classic. Whilst I understand they want to boost the sales of their flagship models, to me the classic was a sensible alternative to the Standard et al. I wont be purchasing a post 2000 model Classic - that's for sure!!!
    ________
    Blonde live
    Last edited by Classic; 04-07-11 at 08:40 AM.

  37. #37

    Re: Classic 1960 RI vs Historic R0

    Quote Originally Posted by PixelBurst View Post
    the Classic has those nasty fake looking inlay.
    I agree with you on the lack of class concerning the inlay work on the LP Classic...they would look much better with the nice WHITE inlay instead of putting off color yellowish inlays. My LP standard has white and to me looks much better.
    Playing LP standard-Tele Ame Std-PRS custom 22-Martin SWD

  38. #38
    Les Paul Froum Member
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    Re: Classic 1960 RI vs Historic R0

    IMO the early 90s were the pinnacle of Gibson USA Les Paul quality. I have has several 91-93 Standards that were simply fantastic in build and finish quality. I do not think you will ever be able to find a new Standard or Classic that would compare to an older (90-93) USA Les Paul. The Classics were premium Les Pauls in the earlier years, now they are cheaper than the Standard, and have two piece backs and are a shadow of what they started out to be.

  39. #39
    Les Paul Forum Member MIKE20's Avatar
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    Re: Classic 1960 RI vs Historic R0

    Quote Originally Posted by kink56 View Post
    IMO the early 90s were the pinnacle of Gibson USA Les Paul quality. I have has several 91-93 Standards that were simply fantastic in build and finish quality. I do not think you will ever be able to find a new Standard or Classic that would compare to an older (90-93) USA Les Paul. The Classics were premium Les Pauls in the earlier years, now they are cheaper than the Standard, and have two piece backs and are a shadow of what they started out to be.
    ...I agree and have been saying that ever since I bought my early '93...

  40. #40
    Les Paul Forum Member MIKE20's Avatar
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    Re: Classic 1960 RI vs Historic R0




    ...R0 and '93 Classic..



    ...'93 in it's current state...

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