• Guys, we've spent considerable money converting the Les Paul Forum to this new XenForo platform, and we have ongoing monthly operating expenses. THE "DONATIONS" TAB IS NOW WORKING, AND WE WOULD APPRECIATE ANY DONATIONS YOU CAN MAKE TO KEEP THE LES PAUL FORUM GOING! Thank you!

Guidance on buying a Historic...

Tragg

New member
Joined
Dec 31, 2005
Messages
67
A friend wants to buy a 59 style Historic. Are some years better than others? Anything to avoid? Thanks!
 

EdwardR9

Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2015
Messages
194
You cannot go wrong with a 2013-2016. Very consistent and alive. In my mind when Gibson removed the tubing and used hot hide glue for the neck set the guitars have better chime and sustain. i don't know which of the two changes make the difference, but I like them. The prior years of the Historic line are great guitars as well and if you like a solid guitar with balls you cannot go wrong with the price on these. I have a 98' 1958 reissue that I just did not get along with for many years but I could not force myself to sell it. I eventually put a bone nut and aluminum tailpiece on it and it came to life. You cannot go wrong, but if you can play the guitar before you buy then a pre-2013 R9 is a great guitar. If you cannot play the guitar in person, a 2013 and up is a pretty good bet you will find a really good one. Just my opinion.
 

marshall1987

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 30, 2005
Messages
3,230
Forget buying a guitar based on the year it was made. There are very good Historic Les Pauls from the 90's, 2000's and 201X. The only year I would avoid is 2012 when Gibson Custom shipped Les Pauls with 2-piece rosewood fingerboards. The guitars coming from the factory after 2007 or 2008 (I think) with a PLEK job, seem to play very well, and the nuts are cut nicely.

Personally, I don't buy into the latest hide-glue hype, and the "no-truss rod sheath" hubris. I have played and owned many Historic Les Pauls from all three decades and noted exceptional examples from each.

A savvy buyer will base his/her decision on how the guitar plays and sounds. Is the guitar dull sounding, or bright, does it have ample mids and lows? Test the guitar you like with new strings. And make sure it has been properly set up.

And by all means, don't base your decision solely on the presence of a "monster top". If that's your only criterion, you could end up with a mutt. :##
 

renderit

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 19, 2009
Messages
10,219
My personal observations are from 2013 on the guitars are more consistent. You are more likely to run into a good player from 2013 to present. As always, chit happens. I am sure bad ones are out there. I have run into very few in the current period which were bad.

Personally I do buy into the truss-rod sheath 'hubris' and hide glue 'hype'. I think they make a difference. I have spent many many thousands of dollars on said 'hype' and 'hubris'. Savvy?
 

EdwardR9

Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2015
Messages
194
If your friend is buying his first Historic and is not near any mega dealers, I bet my soul that the newer ones are more consistent.
I am 80 miles from Manhattan and in my travels to NYC, NJ and CT I have played about forty Historic's over the last few years and bought only the 2013 to present versions. it's not to say that the prior years are bad, but I am totally convinced about the truss rod tubing and hide glue. They just ring ring better and sustain better and you have a higher probability of finding a killer R9. Keep an open mind because advice is different than personal feelings.
 

Tom Wittrock

Les Paul Forum Co-Owner
Joined
Aug 2, 2001
Messages
42,567
Guidance on buying a Historic...

Very simple ... play it first. :ganz
 

Thomas/Sweden

Active member
Joined
May 13, 2015
Messages
196
I have a 2012 R9 Green Lemon and it's a great LP with a horrible resale value.

Have a nice weekend!
 

TBR623

New member
Joined
Dec 5, 2001
Messages
555
The 2013's on are quite nice players. I've sold 2 R8's and an R7 all pre 2007 that just didnt do it for me. The neck sets are far more consistent and as much as I hate to admit it, I really wish I could justify $4k plus on a new R8. The "dead" ones are fewer and far between. Go ahead- you need one!
 

57LPJay

New member
Joined
Feb 26, 2015
Messages
80
My 2010 R9 is a flood year guitar, it sounds great. I did however send it off for a makeover with Kim in Florida, just to get the color right. It was already super resonant and had a great flame top. Like everyone says, play it first. I got mine at Gruhn in Nashville, and played it 2 or 3 different times thru different amps before pulling the trigger on it.
 

HSTR

New member
Joined
Dec 6, 2015
Messages
65
+1 on the play it, feel it, hear it.
And if the guitar is worth the money to you, spend it.
 

renderit

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 19, 2009
Messages
10,219
I love how everybody always tilts their collective glasses down and looks over them and says "play it first". Like that's always an option when you live in say Liberal Kansas. Kind of like saying "don't forget to breathe", but sometimes you just have to hold your breath and jump in the pool. Which is why I always say "from 2013 on they are more likely to be good". Because they are and I don't sound like I'm about to administer a suppository. I propose we change that rule to "Play it first if you can. And don't forget to breathe." And then "Go for the monster top". Why? Because the monster top will have resale down the line. Because EVERYBODY says their guitar sounds like the "angels farted gold dust on it!". But a monster top looks cool and peeps will buy it when you get you next guitar which sounds like "angels farted gold dust on it!". Which comes to Ren's second rule of used guitar buying. "If somebody is selling it, make sure it has a monster top because they ain't selling anything that sounds like "angels farted gold dust on it!". Which comes to Ren's first rule of buying a used guitar. "Play it first". But I ain't sayin' that out loud because I sound like I'm about to administer....you get it.
 

clapton101

Member
Joined
May 1, 2007
Messages
77
Old thread I know, but on2012’s are they all laminated fret boards? If not how do you tell, I’m eyeballing 3 different r7’s there are at a great price that are 2012’s. Thanks in advance
 

P.Walker

New member
Joined
Apr 17, 2007
Messages
941
Whatever you do, check the neck for a functioning truss rod/excessive underbow & overbow/lateral twists/excessive humps.

I wouldn't take even the best sounding guitar in the world if it displayed any combination of those problems above.

Techs and other obsessive folks (like me :p) will understand.

Depending on the degree, the problems can be totally solved, or mitigated, or you will have to live with some, even with a refret and a full-plane job.
And as much as I love the process of the refret, I'm not thinking of it when I buy a guitar like a recent historic.

As long as it passed the neck test, I've never really run into a bad sounding Gibson historic in all the ones I've played.
Some are more memorable than others, but it was rarely due to the tone.
Now my main one is a TH58 which I've worn down the frets on, but it doesn't necessarily sound better than historics I've had in the past.
I do like it the most, but again, tone isn't the main reason why I like it above other previous historics.

I could be deaf though, so that is my disclaimer :p
 

clapton101

Member
Joined
May 1, 2007
Messages
77
Whatever you do, check the neck for a functioning truss rod/excessive underbow & overbow/lateral twists/excessive humps.

I wouldn't take even the best sounding guitar in the world if it displayed any combination of those problems above.

Techs and other obsessive folks (like me :p) will understand.

Depending on the degree, the problems can be totally solved, or mitigated, or you will have to live with some, even with a refret and a full-plane job.
And as much as I love the process of the refret, I'm not thinking of it when I buy a guitar like a recent historic.

As long as it passed the neck test, I've never really run into a bad sounding Gibson historic in all the ones I've played.
Some are more memorable than others, but it was rarely due to the tone.
Now my main one is a TH58 which I've worn down the frets on, but it doesn't necessarily sound better than historics I've had in the past.
I do like it the most, but again, tone isn't the main reason why I like it above other previous historics.

I could be deaf though, so that is my disclaimer :p
So as long as the neck is good don’t worry about if the fretboard is laminated?
 

P.Walker

New member
Joined
Apr 17, 2007
Messages
941
So as long as the neck is good don’t worry about if the fretboard is laminated?

When did I say that?

But just to answer you, I'll take a stable and straight two-piece lam vs. a warped one-piece, if it came down to a choice between two.
So much for being one piece.

Do you not like ES 335 bodies as well?

Please don't take this to mean I love 2 piece lams nor would I even pretend it's even historically accurate, but that's an entirely different matter.

It's not the single most important part of a guitar. I would choose a 2012 over a 98 for example, even if the latter has a one piece.
 
Top