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  1. #1
    Les Paul Forum Member KennyCatbox's Avatar
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    Traditional vs Reissue

    Hi, Searching for my 1st LP. I've been plaaying everything from Standards to Trads to Reissues. I've been liking some Traditionals (2019 and 2014) and Reissues, but I'm not seeing any big differences between them, other than the considerable price difference. Both are solid, non-weight relieved. The Trads have the '50s neck,' but def not as chunky as the Reissues (especially the 58 and 57). Also, the 58s and 59s have some gorgeous tops, but at even bigger price tags. Both sound great. How are the Reissues going for double the price of the Traditionals?
    Am I missing something? I'd love to hear any feedback from anyone who owns either or both the traditional and Reissue. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Les Paul Forum Member toxpert's Avatar
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    Re: Traditional vs Reissue

    Traditional differs including but not limited to:
    Multipiece mahogany back
    Weight relieved body
    Nashville bridge
    Heavy tailpiece
    Cast body Gibson tuning machines
    Short pickup rings
    Pickguard USA style
    Body and neck binding used to be thicker and not vintage color
    Electronics and pickups not same as Reissue


    All the above said...lots of those items can be swapped out with after-market options.
    I have a 2013 50s Traditional I bought as a alternative...and really like the playability and itís voice.

  3. #3
    Les Paul Forum Member sonar's Avatar
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    Re: Traditional vs Reissue

    First off, welcome!

    Fwiw, this forum tends to be skewed toward a preference for Reissue's. People much more knowledgeable than me will (hopefully) chime in about tangible and intangible differences between the two models, but tread lightly. This topic can easily get argumentative and perceived as trolling. Some might just avoid the thread altogether.

    Simple answer is go with the guitar that you like and economically makes sense. There's nothing wrong with a good Traditional and for some it's more than likely their LP for life. I've always been in the camp that a good guitar is a good guitar, regardless of price point and vintage.

    One personal observation/opinion that I've developed is that the Gibson USA line appears to be geared more toward a "modern" rock tone and approach, where the Reissues are more identified with classic rock and British blues. That doesn't mean that the models are mutually exclusive and again, my opinion.

    Over time, and playing a bunch of LP's, you might find the nuance and quality of a Reissue to be worth the price jump. Some Custom Shop LP's really are exceptional guitars. Or maybe not.

    So go play a bunch of LP's and (funds permitting) buy the guitar you like the best.

  4. #4
    Les Paul Forum Member KennyCatbox's Avatar
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    Re: Traditional vs Reissue

    Quote Originally Posted by toxpert View Post
    Traditional differs including but not limited to:
    Multipiece mahogany back
    Weight relieved body
    Nashville bridge
    Heavy tailpiece
    Cast body Gibson tuning machines
    Short pickup rings
    Pickguard USA style
    Body and neck binding used to be thicker and not vintage color
    Electronics and pickups not same as Reissue


    All the above said...lots of those items can be swapped out with after-market options.
    I have a 2013 50s Traditional I bought as a alternative...and really like the playability and itís voice.
    Thanks for the reply. I like the idea of customizing the Traditional, especially as my 1st LP. Can you point me in the direction of after market parts, especially lightweight bridge and tailpiece? Changing the wiring and other electronics really improves overall tone and performance too? Thanks again.

  5. #5
    Les Paul Forum Member Atlas 82's Avatar
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    Re: Traditional vs Reissue

    Reissues: Long tenon

    Traditionals: Short tenon

  6. #6
    All Access/Backstage Pass Wilko's Avatar
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    Re: Traditional vs Reissue

    Quote Originally Posted by KennyCatbox View Post
    Thanks for the reply. I like the idea of customizing the Traditional, especially as my 1st LP. Can you point me in the direction of after market parts, especially lightweight bridge and tailpiece? Changing the wiring and other electronics really improves overall tone and performance too? Thanks again.
    Here're two thread on the mods I did to my Traditional to make it more like a re-issue (or real thing)

    https://www.lespaulforum.com/forum/s...el+traditional

    https://www.lespaulforum.com/forum/s...er+traditional

  7. #7
    Les Paul Forum Member KennyCatbox's Avatar
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    Re: Traditional vs Reissue

    So I found this 2010 Traditional. Looks and plays fantastic. Is it the real deal? Anyone see anything to question its authenticity? The serial numbers look slanted?Screenshot_20190416-012153_Chrome.jpgScreenshot_20190416-012432_Chrome.jpgScreenshot_20190415-193823_Chrome.jpg

  8. #8
    Les Paul Forum Member KennyCatbox's Avatar
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    Re: Traditional vs Reissue

    Quote Originally Posted by Wilko View Post
    Here're two thread on the mods I did to my Traditional to make it more like a re-issue (or real thing)

    https://www.lespaulforum.com/forum/s...el+traditional

    https://www.lespaulforum.com/forum/s...er+traditional
    great info! Thanks for sharing

  9. #9
    Les Paul Forum Member Don's Avatar
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    Re: Traditional vs Reissue

    Quote Originally Posted by KennyCatbox View Post
    So I found this 2010 Traditional. Looks and plays fantastic. Is it the real deal? Anyone see anything to question its authenticity? The serial numbers look slanted?Screenshot_20190416-012153_Chrome.jpgScreenshot_20190416-012432_Chrome.jpgScreenshot_20190415-193823_Chrome.jpg
    It looks good from those pics.

  10. #10
    Les Paul Forum Member deytookerjaabs's Avatar
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    Re: Traditional vs Reissue

    Trust your instincts. If you read around the internet enough there are so many variations of opinion that there will be no shortage of people saying your guitar model is no good whether it's a reissue, production guitar, replica, and others. Nice choice, if you buy used at a decent price the good news is that if you don't bond with it you can move it for hopefully a full return down the line.

    Only good advice I can give is don't get too caught up in the bedroom impression of a guitar. Use it live for a while, get it set up well with experimenting if you're not initially satisfied, and try to really bond with it to see if you dig it for the long haul.

  11. #11
    Les Paul Forum Member thunderkyss's Avatar
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    Re: Traditional vs Reissue

    Quote Originally Posted by KennyCatbox View Post
    Hi, Searching for my 1st LP. I've been plaaying everything from Standards to Trads to Reissues. I've been liking some Traditionals (2019 and 2014) and Reissues, but I'm not seeing any big differences between them, other than the considerable price difference. Both are solid, non-weight relieved. The Trads have the '50s neck,' but def not as chunky as the Reissues (especially the 58 and 57). Also, the 58s and 59s have some gorgeous tops, but at even bigger price tags. Both sound great. How are the Reissues going for double the price of the Traditionals?
    Am I missing something? I'd love to hear any feedback from anyone who owns either or both the traditional and Reissue. Thanks.

    They're the same thing, basically.

    They both are aimed at people who want the "traditional" Les Paul. Where the traditional is mostly aesthetic, the Reissues take it to another level.

    The traditional gives you the basic look, feel, & sound (with contemporary PAFs). The Reissue is a true lightweight solid piece of wood, period correct carve, aged plastics, etc...
    Oye Coma Va..... me ritmo!

  12. #12
    Les Paul Forum Member Deep Purple Fan's Avatar
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    Re: Traditional vs Reissue

    I have both. I have a 2013 1958 reissue and a 2016 Traditional. I like both a lot. The Traditional is good enough. My guitar is all stock, sounds great, looks great and feels great. Itís got pure Les Paul DNA. I took the Traditional in on a trade for a very nice American Vintage Reissue strat I didnít play. I was going to sell the Trad but I canít bring myself to do it. Itís a fun guitar.

    It really comes down to intangibles and value for dollars. I personally prefer the reissue. While the Trad is good enough, I can see visually the difference in the finish. You do need to have the guitars side by side to really notice a difference. The difference is there. The finish on the Trad is also excellent. I like the neck and rosewood on the reissue better. I like the custombuckers a bit more on the reissue. Regarding the things you canít see but know about the build on the reissue, I like that too.

    If you donít care about things like hide glue and getting closer to historical build or If saving several hundred to a grand (or more) on like condition used guitars is important, the trad is a great choice. Youíre not really losing much in tone or playability. For me, Iím willing to pay more for the reissue Custom shop guitar. The used market is the way to go.

  13. #13

    Re: Traditional vs Reissue

    Quote Originally Posted by thunderkyss View Post
    They're the same thing, basically.
    The Traditionals are very, very different than the Reissues.

    Quote Originally Posted by Atlas 82 View Post
    Reissues: Long tenon

    Traditionals: Short tenon
    The long neck tenon is a big deal. Many players argue that the sonic qualities of the long neck tenon are vastly superior to that of the short tenon. I'm one of those players, but really, the point of finding a nice guitar to play is to find the one that speaks to you. In the end it doesn't matter. It's your sound and your guitar.

  14. #14
    All Access/Backstage Pass Wilko's Avatar
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    Re: Traditional vs Reissue

    Quote Originally Posted by brandtkronholm View Post
    The Traditionals are very, very different than the Reissues.



    The long neck tenon is a big deal. Many players argue that the sonic qualities of the long neck tenon are vastly superior to that of the short tenon. I'm one of those players, but really, the point of finding a nice guitar to play is to find the one that speaks to you. In the end it doesn't matter. It's your sound and your guitar.

    While mostly true, there have been changes to the short tenon that mae the difference far smaller.

  15. #15

    Re: Traditional vs Reissue

    Quote Originally Posted by Wilko View Post
    While mostly true, there have been changes to the short tenon that mae the difference far smaller.
    Interesting...what are the differences? Tell me more.

  16. #16
    All Access/Backstage Pass Wilko's Avatar
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    Re: Traditional vs Reissue

    Quote Originally Posted by brandtkronholm View Post
    Interesting...what are the differences? Tell me more.
    There were some threads about it and i'm not sure we got all the images--they are gone now from here and the gibson site.

    Being all CNC now, that hand rounded old short "rocker tenon" is long gone and the joint fits a lot tighter with better contact all around. My 2012 rings like an historic. I've always been a total tenon snob. I've got plenty of experience with '68s, Norlins, historics, and even a 1956 conversion.

    This was confirmed by a Gibson employee ass being what the current tenon looks like:

    Last edited by Wilko; 04-19-19 at 05:51 PM.

  17. #17
    Les Paul Forum Member toxpert's Avatar
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    Re: Traditional vs Reissue

    Over the years I learned quite a bit from reading Wilko’s posts. That started me on a successful search for a ‘68. My ‘68 is sooo much a better instrument than the ‘69 I had been playing for 30+ years. Reading Wilko’s review of his Traditional, I was intrigued when I saw a 2013 hanging on the used wall at GC.

    I reached out for it, tuned it up and was amazed at the resonance, acoustic tone...and a 50s neck profile that really is (e.g., not a baseball bat). The 2013 came home with me. It performs right up there with my ‘68 GT and my ‘58 DC JR.

    Nothing but good things for me to say about the Trad.

  18. #18
    Les Paul Forum Member deytookerjaabs's Avatar
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    Re: Traditional vs Reissue

    Eh, I'm not a Tenon aficionado by any means and it's well known...but have to concur to @wilko's point with an example of my own. I bought this "ES 335 P90" and opened it up to see this:




    Look at the fit on that quartersawn maple neck, who needs glue??? It's crazy how tight the tolerances are on some modern mass produced stuff. I've seen old "golden era" ES's with big glue gaps or shims or different amounts of contact in the visible joint area etc....silly. The guitar was great, fantastic neck, I got a decent deal on it but I was shallow and returned it because it was advertised as a regular 335 w/mahogany neck. So, being more of a studio model the deal was no longer as great as I initially hoped. But, fantastic guitar and the MHS P90's smoked.

    I know, I know, not a Les Paul, but I thought I'd add my two cents. Again, I'll reiterate...trust your instincts.

  19. #19
    Les Paul Forum Member KennyCatbox's Avatar
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    Re: Traditional vs Reissue

    Quote Originally Posted by Wilko View Post
    There were some threads about it and i'm not sure we got all the images--they are gone now from here and the gibson site.

    Being all CNC now, that hand rounded old short "rocker tenon" is long gone and the joint fits a lot tighter with better contact all around. My 2012 rings like an historic. I've always been a total tenon snob. I've got plenty of experience with '68s, Norlins, historics, and even a 1956 conversion.

    This was confirmed by a Gibson employee ass being what the current tenon looks like:

    Current 2019? Or what year would this have started?

  20. #20
    Les Paul Forum Member deytookerjaabs's Avatar
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    Re: Traditional vs Reissue

    Quote Originally Posted by KennyCatbox View Post
    Current 2019? Or what year would this have started?


    If that concerns you why not go for key-tenon standard which was supposedly even bigger/stonger than vintage:







    I think they were circa 07-09 or so but not sure. This one in the pic was an '08. They don't have a cult following yet but "logic" dictates they must possess superior resonance-y-ness properties to their short tenon brethren.

  21. #21

    Re: Traditional vs Reissue

    Quote Originally Posted by toxpert View Post
    Traditional differs including but not limited to:
    Multipiece mahogany back
    Weight relieved body
    Nashville bridge
    Heavy tailpiece
    Cast body Gibson tuning machines
    Short pickup rings
    Pickguard USA style
    Body and neck binding used to be thicker and not vintage color
    Electronics and pickups not same as Reissue


    All the above said...lots of those items can be swapped out with after-market options.
    I have a 2013 50s Traditional I bought as a alternative...and really like the playability and itís voice.

    Not all models have these elements. Traditional Ts in 17 are not weight relieved, have Kluson tuners and a variation of the ABR with aluminum stop tail.

    https://www.sweetwater.com/store/det...herry-sunburst

    http://www.gibsontraditional.com/mod...tional-2017-t/

    I love mine. The Ts are not Historicals or reissues for sure but are amazing guitars.





    http://drpietrzak.com/music/Lpabp1.jpg

  22. #22

    Re: Traditional vs Reissue

    Quote Originally Posted by Wilko View Post
    There were some threads about it and i'm not sure we got all the images--they are gone now from here and the gibson site.

    Being all CNC now, that hand rounded old short "rocker tenon" is long gone and the joint fits a lot tighter with better contact all around. My 2012 rings like an historic. I've always been a total tenon snob. I've got plenty of experience with '68s, Norlins, historics, and even a 1956 conversion.

    This was confirmed by a Gibson employee ass being what the current tenon looks like:

    This is news to me! That joint looks different to what I can recall from the Norlin era Les Pauls and even through the early 2000s. Very interesting!

  23. #23
    Les Paul Forum Member stephan_l's Avatar
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    Re: Traditional vs Reissue

    mh, i thought the standard USA tenon looks like this since 2008



  24. #24
    All Access/Backstage Pass Wilko's Avatar
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    Re: Traditional vs Reissue

    Quote Originally Posted by stephan_l View Post
    mh, i thought the standard USA tenon looks like this since 2008

    That was only used for a short time. looks pretty solid though.

  25. #25
    Les Paul Forum Member stephan_l's Avatar
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    Re: Traditional vs Reissue

    Quote Originally Posted by Wilko View Post
    That was only used for a short time. looks pretty solid though.

    ah, ok. When i saved the picture back in 2008 i was wondering about this kind of good looking long tenon.

  26. #26
    All Access/Backstage Pass Wilko's Avatar
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    Re: Traditional vs Reissue

    Quote Originally Posted by stephan_l View Post
    ah, ok. When i saved the picture back in 2008 i was wondering about this kind of good looking long tenon.
    I posted that pic a few years back too. I was hoping it was in my traditional. No such luck.

  27. #27
    Les Paul Forum Member sonar's Avatar
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    Re: Traditional vs Reissue

    Sorry, but I've always found the tenon debate to be overblown. There's plenty of great LP's made in the past 40 years that have rocker joints. Conversely, there are some pretty ordinary Custom Shop R's out there with long tenons.

    Spend time with how a LP plays and sounds plugged into an amp.

  28. #28
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Traditional vs Reissue

    Quote Originally Posted by Wilko View Post
    There were some threads about it and i'm not sure we got all the images--they are gone now from here and the gibson site.

    Being all CNC now, that hand rounded old short "rocker tenon" is long gone and the joint fits a lot tighter with better contact all around. My 2012 rings like an historic. I've always been a total tenon snob. I've got plenty of experience with '68s, Norlins, historics, and even a 1956 conversion.

    This was confirmed by a Gibson employee ass being what the current tenon looks like:

    So that's a short tenon ?

  29. #29
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Traditional vs Reissue

    I say do what you have been doing. Play as many as you can and buy the best one in your budget.
    Run as fast as you can from the internet.
    I was happy with my Norlin era Standard for many years as a kid.
    and then this damn internet thingy came along and educated me on why I should hate my Norlin.
    I didn't know about long/short tenons, the wide Norlin headstock and plenty of other differences.
    The only thing I knew that the Norlin didn't have was the flamed maple top like Jimmy Page had.
    And it's strange that now that I have several LP's I only have 1 flame top. the rest are plain top, ebony or gold top.
    Have the models changed over the years?? Yes. But you can find good or bad ones in every product line/price point.
    And to be honest I have never played a Reissue. For whatever reason none of the stores in my area carry them.
    I'm sure they are nice guitars but maybe (at least for me) not worth double the price.

    good luck with your search,
    dj
    Last edited by dju; 04-24-19 at 04:07 PM.

  30. #30
    All Access/Backstage Pass Wilko's Avatar
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    Re: Traditional vs Reissue

    Quote Originally Posted by El Gringo View Post
    So that's a short tenon ?
    So far that's what appears to be the current style neck joint on all standards, traditionals, etc. It's really the same thing as a
    "long tenon" as far as joint style and contact area, just a little shorter.

    Assuming you know what the 70's 80s style looked like?

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