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  1. #1

    "Best" LP model and year in the $1500 - $2K price range?

    First off, I understand this is hugely subjective but I am looking for a consensus. My assumptions are that the 1980 - 2010 or so Standard model is it. The Traditional, Tribute, Classic, etc. all fall in line behind the Standard. I am also curious on the tonal differences between the BB and the Slash model pup's. I am very close to pulling the trigger on the next addition to the herd.
    Thanks for your thoughts!
    G

  2. #2
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: "Best" LP model and year in the $1500 - $2K price range?

    The Standard has not in any way stayed the same guitar during that period, nor was it the best if we're counting the features ladder.
    The 1980 Standard was a fully solid body, 3 - piece maple neck with volute. In 82 to 83 or similar was the start of the 9 hole weight relief, removal of volute and maple as the neck wood.
    They were chambered starting in 2006. And Similar to this time they got assymetric necks, coil switching options and locking jack. Many consider these changes as a step backward from the 'Standard' aesthetic.
    When the Trad was introduced it was the Standard as it had been before the changes.

    The classic was a reissue lite when introduced. So closer to vintage spec than a standard......Which seems to be above a standard to many eyes.

    The only model you've guessed correctly as being a lower level on the hierarchy since introduction is the tribute......Which is a studio level guitar.

    None of this has any bearing whatsoever on tone or playability.....these are wholly separate to the features or how expensive the guitar is.

  3. #3
    Les Paul Forum Member sonar's Avatar
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    Re: "Best" LP model and year in the $1500 - $2K price range?

    My favorite is the 2002-2008 Standard (FYI spring 2006-2008 are chambered) although I have since moved on from the BB Pro's. They look the part and both the neck profiles (50's & 60's) work for me.

    If you can deal with a super skinny neck the very early Classics can be good guitars (again, not a fan of the ceramic pickups) but aesthetically I only really like the early ones, as the neon/snot green inlays on the later models are a bit of a turn off.

    I've player a few Traditionals over the years that I liked. Not a big fan of the larger headstock and I've never gotten along with 57 pu's, but pickups can be changed.

    All three of these models should fall in your price range and are my preference in order. I would pass on a Tribute if you're willing to spend $1500-2k.

    You're also just shy of the new Standard in price. I've played a few at CME that were ok, but not a great sample size. They were also really heavy, and unfairly mixed up with some Custom Shop LP's that were noticeably better in pretty much every way.

    Good luck, play as many as you can get your hands on, be patient and find the one. A good LP should be a lifetime guitar, so be picky.

  4. #4
    Les Paul Forum Member Trans-Am's Avatar
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    Re: "Best" LP model and year in the $1500 - $2K price range?

    ..any of the Standard models and from the Guitar of the Week/Month that Gibson promoted were pretty good unlike some of the robotic takes on tuners and such etc.
    Old WOOD Is Good WOOD !!!

  5. #5
    Les Paul Forum Member deytookerjaabs's Avatar
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    Re: "Best" LP model and year in the $1500 - $2K price range?

    My favorites are the Classics with the ABR bridge and the aesthetics don't bug me. They're still well within that price range. The earliest ones had super skinny necks but by the end of the 90's and early 00's they got thicker. The one I had was a nice U shape that measured .85-.95, had a 1 piece back, nice plain top, and really rung out well. Had to let it go after an impulse vintage move but 'tis the way it goes:



  6. #6

    Re: "Best" LP model and year in the $1500 - $2K price range?

    My Favorite Les Pauls are the ones made in the mid to late 90s. I would look for one of those. I have a 95 standard that I paid $1600 for, and a 97 custom I paid $2000 for, and they are the best Les Pauls I've ever owned or played. My first Les Paul was a 1971 Les Paul Deluxe Gold Top, which sounded great until you got over the 12th fret. Then it was a dud. The ones I had in the 80s were awful, nothing but boat anchors. I swear I had everything then.

    1995 Standard


    1997 Custom
    My gear used with "The RoYaL PaIns"
    2-Voodoo V-plex 50 watt amps
    1- Voodoo V-Rock 100 watt amp


    www.voodooamps.com

  7. #7
    Les Paul Forum Member Big Al's Avatar
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    Re: "Best" LP model and year in the $1500 - $2K price range?

    There is no magic year, no magic model and no magic pickups. There is no "Best of". There are many different models, variations and options to be found in that range to choose from. Any one of which could be "the one" depending on who is choosing and what really speaks to that person.

    Why? What is the reason to buy? Is there a compelling musical need? A particular tone, a desire to cop a specific sound of an artist or song. A style that requires a specific type instrument to achieve?

    What features are important to you? Neck profile and overall feel is a big factor, as those specs can be quite different across the many models and change over the years, even within the same model. Electronics and especially the control wiring can be very different, from old school soldered components to modern pcb mounted components offering greatly expanded switching choices for a much wider tonal pallet. Pickup choice is sometimes a factor, especially if you are the type that insists on keeping everything stock and original, (Keeping a guitar stock, as from the factory, is just fine. I prefer to buy such guitars and many place a premium on such guitars.), others find modding a guitar fun and allows a wider choice, as it is easy to change pickups, is reversible and allows one to consider guitars that may not have pickups you like but otherwise find desirable.

    Mojo factor. Sometimes it's all down to the look and vibe. This can be powerful. If you just want a guitar like one you can't stop lusting for, finding one that makes you moist when you see it demands serious consideration.

    What and why mean more than some internet consensus.
    The older I get, the better I was.

  8. #8

    Re: "Best" LP model and year in the $1500 - $2K price range?

    Are you after a keeper or buying from the net?

  9. #9

    Re: "Best" LP model and year in the $1500 - $2K price range?

    Quote Originally Posted by Thundermtn View Post
    Are you after a keeper or buying from the net?
    I purchased an 07 Standard via Reverb. After some adjustments, I am very happy with my choice!
    G

  10. #10
    Les Paul Forum Member Big Al's Avatar
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    Re: "Best" LP model and year in the $1500 - $2K price range?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gdog5149 View Post
    I purchased an 07 Standard via Reverb. After some adjustments, I am very happy with my choice!
    G
    I've found keepers on the net.
    The older I get, the better I was.

  11. #11
    Les Paul Forum Member Trans-Am's Avatar
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    Re: "Best" LP model and year in the $1500 - $2K price range?

    Totally agree with ONLINE treasures and OFFLINE as well. So far it's been online for me and touch wood I have been fortunate.
    Old WOOD Is Good WOOD !!!

  12. #12
    Les Paul Forum Member JimFog's Avatar
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    Re: "Best" LP model and year in the $1500 - $2K price range?

    Try to find a Traditional from '13 or '14, when they weren't weight-relieving them. I have a '13 and everything about it is perfect. I've played it head to head with top-notch R8 and R9's and it has nothing to ashamed of. Different in some ways......but definitely not objectively better or worse.

  13. #13
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: "Best" LP model and year in the $1500 - $2K price range?

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Al View Post
    I've found keepers on the net.
    + 1 , and since 2012 , I have found all of them online and then made a phone call for more specific info

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