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Recommendation for First Les Paul?

Big Al

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Apr 24, 2002
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14,379
Any Gibson LP you can afford, that you like, will suit your needs. The learning curve is no steep and with a little time it all makes sense.


Oh, lighten up on finding all these "issues" and get on the goodfoot.
 

WBailey

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Apr 23, 2015
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Any Gibson LP you can afford, that you like, will suit your needs. The learning curve is no steep and with a little time it all makes sense.


Oh, lighten up on finding all these "issues"
and get on the goodfoot.

Agreed ! I have seen so many guys scoff at vintage Gibson guitars because of petty issues !

It's sad, but, oh well, more for us ! :salude
 

DanD

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Apr 8, 2007
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...
Playing one in person will rule out Wildwood and Ebay; leaves GC and Craigslist.

Thanks again for the comments.

Willcutt's is our premier dealer, like Wildwood, for this area of the country. Only a short drive to Lexington and more LPs at your fingertips than you can shake your xxxx at... :hmm

Remember, you may have to actually ask to play them. Don't be shy. It's your money! :##
 

ajay taylor

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Jun 20, 2015
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You can find 2014 Les Paul Peace guitars USED for $1700. It is a Plus Top Les Paul Standard, it's COLLECTABLE, and it is well under $2000. It is a bargain, and in the future prices could go up due to collectability. If You Don't care about collectable parts, You can sell the case for $200, The Volume and Tone Knobs for $60, and the Robot tuner for $125.
You can have a two year old standard for $1300 if You sell this stuff, then put a nice set of tuners on it, and You have a super deal.
 

Big Al

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Collectable? Collectable rare parts? I'm pretty sure that there are so many unsold discounted Stock Hippy Les Pauls because there is little to no demand for a badly executed nod to the swinging 60's, man. They might be cheap but I wouldn't bank on an increased collectors value at all.
 

SteveMKentucky

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Sep 9, 2015
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Actually, I wouldn't surprised to see the 14/15's become collectible, but likely only if they are kept intact.

I've seen many cars and motorcycles that people hated and wouldn't sell become collectible. Anybody remember the Edsel? Honda made a little bike called the GB500. They sat on the showroom floors collecting dust until the dealers discounted them heavily. Once discontinued they became collectors items and still are.
 

Big Al

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Actually, I wouldn't surprised to see the 14/15's become collectible, but likely only if they are kept intact.

I've seen many cars and motorcycles that people hated and wouldn't sell become collectible. Anybody remember the Edsel? Honda made a little bike called the GB500. They sat on the showroom floors collecting dust until the dealers discounted them heavily. Once discontinued they became collectors items and still are.

I doubt it, but who knows. The Motor Bike analogy has never been a factor in the Vintage Guitar Market. The are many, amazing high end guitars that Gibson made in very limited numbers, most of which were more expensive than a Les Paul Standard, that were limited and somewhat rare. Les Paul Customs in the 50's were top of the line yet sell for much, much less than the more common and cheaper Standard. Les Paul Recording Models same thing.

In the 70's Gibson made "The Les Paul" Models that are uber top line and rare as well as the L5S which was the most expensive and limited production solid body at that time. Good Standards sell for more. There are all kinds of rare, even one of a kind Les Pauls or other solid bodies that just do not fetch big bucks. It is demand to drive the used market and especially the Collector Market. There is always someone who collects something but I can't imagine many someones for the triply hippy guitfiddle.

I can't think of any poorly received modern Gibsons that became collectable and appreciated in time with the exception of Korina Explorers and Flying V's from the late fifties and early 60's leftovers. Modern replicas fetch far less and are a hard sell. I've seen the same guitars on websites for years unsold.

I do not think the 2015 spec class will do this. Rise up and somehow be a rare collectable commodity. I especially doubt it for the happy hippy model. But hey!, If that is your thought knock yourself out, there are plenty to find and they are being discounted. :peace:hippy:hank
 

renderit

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You want a hippy collectable get a 60's ilk VW bus.....There's collectable...
 

sonar

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I can't stress this enough - Play as many as you can.

The used market (private sale) is something to seriously consider. People flip guitars at a jaw dropping rate and often for no good reason.

As for models under 2K you have a few options. I like the '02-'08 Standard's... '08-? Traditional's seem to fall in your wheelhouse... Pre-'13 Custom Shops are excellent bargains right now (although you might want to increase your budget)... 90's Classic models... Norlins... basically there are good, mediocre and bad from every era. (I'll defer to AL about the 14/15 debacle). Again, play as many as you can.

My LP purchase was, in some ways, the most intimate choice out of however many guitars (from vintage to cheap asian models) bought and sold over the years. In the end it didn't come down to what was considered internet "desirable" or the most expensive model. It came down to 2 things - what guitar felt right and me finally pulling the trigger. Just because you're new to the game doesn't mean you should second guess your instincts. When you find the one, just go for it. After playing a few you'll get a feel for what's what.

I remember going from my Strat (model I learned on) to picking up a LP for the first time. The Gibson felt pretty foreign at first, but after a few times the LP started to feel really good. (btw I sold my last Strat a dozen years ago).
 

Bernt

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Jun 5, 2015
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Any Gibson LP you can afford, that you like, will suit your needs. The learning curve is no steep and with a little time it all makes sense.

This.
Dont spend more time looking just get one that you like and start having fun.
 

WBailey

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Apr 23, 2015
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Original post;

I've been looking at LP Standards and want one that's pretty traditional. I will be playing this guitar, not collecting it

:hmm :bigal
 

Recoil Rob

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Nov 15, 2015
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Great post. I too will be purchasing my first LP in the coming months, it's going to be a Standard or Traditional, and this is just what I was looking for in the way of a concise review.


thanks,

Rob


A lot of models, a lot of variables, a lot of choices. You're doing the right thing by researching and asking first. You also need to go to stores and play them and find what you like. It may turn out that you just fall in love with a Studio... or that you're more of Traditional or Standard guy... or Reissue guy. Tough to tell for sure until you get some hands on first person perspective. I started off "thinking" I wanted a Standard. Got one (a 2014) really didn't care for the Burstbucker Pro pickups in it. Returned it and discovered (after some more trial and error) that I am a Traditional guy all the way (and became a convert to the thicker 50s profile necks in the process). So now I have 2 Trads (and have had a total of 4).

Things to be aware of (not necessarily "look out for" or "avoid" because every guitar is its own animal and it's possible to get one that stinks from what's generally considered a "good year" and vise-a-versa).

Anyway... here's a few things I "discovered" at least about the models of the last few years (say from 2011 till now) while I was trying to decide what model and what year LP I wanted (I've not owned an LP older than 2011).

Be aware of weight relieving methods that exist on varying modes. Gibson has used everything from solid bodies, to traditional weight relief (ie, 9 swiss cheese holes) to modern weight relief (lots more holes) to full on chambering. People will argue about whether this weight relief method or that weight relief method makes a difference vis-a-vis tone, etc. Point is, it's pretty subjective and there's no real "right" or "wrong" answer... just what you like. So if you find yourself just intuitively thinking you don't want any weight relief at all... then stay away from Standards and Studios and even most year Traditionals have some form of weight relief (in the case of the Trads it's the conservative traditional weight relief... except from 2013-2015 when they built them non-weight relieved). Also, as an FYI... 2011 was the last year they chambered the Standard. In 2012 it went to modern weight relief.

2011-2012: Something to be aware of here is the fretboard issues Gibson had back in late 2011 through early 2013. They had a ton of rosewood (and ebony IIRC) confiscated by the feds. And for a while during the 2012 model year (and even some into early 2013s that I've seen) many of their guitars (not just LPs) were receiving 2-piece laminated fretboards. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it was different and did cause some heartburn back in 2012 among the LP faithful. There are fears that future refretting could be problematic with these 2-piece boards (I personally doubt it though... there are plenty of old Strats from the 60s with very thin rosewood boards laminated onto maple necks that have survived multiple refretting jobs). That said... 2012s could conceivably suffer from a resale perspective (might also be cheaper for you to buy too as a result). Just something to be aware off. The real issue with the fretboards in 2012 for me wasn't the laminating of the 2 pieces of rosewood together... it was the general lack of good quality rosewood that was available to them (lots of light colored, sub-grade-A rosewood being used back then that IMO didn't look great even if it sounded fine).

2013: At least from a Trad perspective is considered a particularly good year. They went to non-weight relieved bodies and fatter early 50s profile necks. Other models seem to be generally well regarded in 2013 as well. I think the neck delaminating thing is pretty anecdotal. This is also the first year Gibson started making the MinEtune robot tuner optional on many models. I don't like 'em... YMMV.

2014: More MinEtuner on more models. Also all models in 2014 (except for some special order retailer models like GC's Trad Pro II models) received the somewhat controversial 120th Anniversary 12th fret inlay. I personally have ZERO problem with the inlay. I have it on my 2014 Trad and I think it's tastefully done and I even kinda dig it. But some people just couldn't get over the fact that Gibson put it there. That said, nowadays I think most folks have probably chilled out considerably about the inlay (no doubt because of the massive changes that followed in 2015 that REALLY gave people something to complain about). Anyway, generally though, from a build perspective 2014 is a pretty decent year (other than those infernal MinEtune gizmos). The Trad in particular in 2014 is a treat. It not only retained the non-weight relieved body, and the early 50s neck profile, but also has the very excellent 1959 Tribute humbuckers. These appear to have only been a 2 year option (2014-15) as the new 2016 Trads have gone back to their usual 57 Classic/57 Classic Plus pickup config (which is what the Trad had always had before 2014). I'm not sure why the 59 Tribs didn't make it into the 2016 Trads...but I have an as yet uproven theory that they have moved them over to Custom Shop usage only (they are/were that good!).

2015: The year of the train wreck! :dang Now, some people are actually fans of many of the 2015 "innovations" but I am NOT one of them (and I dare say I am in the majority!)... so I mean to offend no one here, but hey, I'm writing this so I'm gonna call it as I see it. In 2015 Gibson flat out lost their minds! They made many sweeping across the board changes the entire line up that it was frankly stunning to many in the LP community... and to top it off introduced a massive price increase (as much as 29% IIRC on some models). I won't go into all the gory details (you can EASILY research this yourself and see all the changes they made and the resulting backlash)... but suffice it to say, history will likely record the 2015 model year as definite black mark on the LP's storied history. I personally would avoid them like the plague. Frankly you couldn't give me one without me immediately turning around & selling it to fund a different year... any year!

2016: The Great Gibson Comeback? After the disasterous 2015 model year it appears that Gibson got the clue and has returned once again (thankfully) to building LPs in the time tested and traditional manner. Gone are the etuners and wide necks and holograms and brass nuts and metal flake paint that polluted the 2015 year. Basically it appears that Gibson went back to building them like the built most models in the 2010-2012 timeframe. AND... they even reduced the price back to close to 2012-13 levels. FULL DISCLOSURE: I bought a new 2016 Trad a week and a half ago... and I do have to say... it's awesome!!!!!!!!! If someone would have handed it to me and said, "Check out this 2011 Trad" I'd have totally believed them until I noticed the larger strap buttons (a good carry over from 2014-15) and the "2016 Model" stamping on the back of the headstock. It appears Gibson has righted the ship and gone back to making them as they should. This same holds true for the Standard and the Studio, et al. That said, there is talk that the Gibson USA line will actually be split in 2016 to include the "Traditional Line" (dubbed "T" as in "Les Paul Standard T" or "Les Paul Traditional T") and a new as yet to be released "Modern Line". This Modern Line presumably will be the home experimental gizmos and other things that they tried to make standard across the board (and failed miserably at) in 2015. Time will tell if the Modern Line succeeds or not. But at least right here, right now... for at least one more year... we can get an LP built the proper way with the "T" line. Which is why I snapped one up myself.

Anyway, regarding other older models... I'll leave that to you to research... I've already been obnoxiously long-winded with this and if you've made it this far in reading this post you probably deserve some kind of medal. :3zoneHope it helped. :salude
 

Tokyo Mike

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Feb 14, 2015
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Original post;

I've been looking at LP Standards and want one that's pretty traditional. I will be playing this guitar, not collecting it

:hmm :bigal

Most people would assume a Les Paul Standard would be traditional. It is Gibson who does not seem to understand.
 

Big Al

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Most people would assume a Les Paul Standard would be traditional. It is Gibson who does not seem to understand.

A little trite, dontcha think?

Look If you want TRADITION pony up and go for the R series or THR Series. All kinds of 50's tradition. Of course not everyone is that traditional. There are OTHER models because there are pickers with OTHER needs. Get it? There are a few that fit the "traditional" need to varying degrees, and there are other more specialized models to suit the often specialized needs of the player.

Gibson makes a full line of Les Pauls to suit many needs and budgets. Not everyone can shell out big bucks in todays economy, and thank gawd there are things like the excellent Studio series available. I have quite a few uber dollar high end Gibson Les Pauls but I regularly used my Les Paul Studios in clubs and studios with great results.

DON'T GET HUNG UP ON MINUTIA!!!! Set your budget, decide if you want new or used, forget the commodities stock broker hang ups, try as many as you can, AND GO WITH THAT WHICH MAKES YOU MOIST!!!

You can over think and over analyze this to the point you freeze up and can never make a decision. Relax and enjoy the process.
 

ajay taylor

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I agree with You Big Al. The Peace may be a historical failure and a complete flop. Completely possible and more than likely what will happen. However, itIS a heck of a lot of guitar for $1700, and they have recently sold for less. However, if I was looking for a Gibson Les Paul with all of the trimmings, they are a deal. He probably won't make a nickel on it, but He won't lose much either.
Plus, there are hundreds of Peace owners who love 'em. Stripped down like mine is, it looks an awful lot like a Slash Vermillion, and that's a guitar that people are willing to shell out a pile of money for, just because it's a Slash Model. Whatever happens, I still say that for $1500 new, it's right down the middle between a Stafndard and a Traditional. I know that ZI'll never sell mine, and mine even came hand-wired from the factory.
I did see a 1960 Les Paul Junior for $2500, and I would buy that before I bough.tk a Peace any day. And a lot of people paid over $2500 for their Peace Model. I have about $1800 wrapped up in mine, and the guy threw in a brand new Roland 40GX to sweeten the deal. Pretty hard to beat. Mine even has a logo that isn't all ragged out.

 

Big Al

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AJ I always liked the color of that one, and the prices they sold for were very attractive. Under the Hippy Happy Peace thing beats a rather nice Les Paul. I would caution everyone new to this to not buy a Gibson with the idea you are making a great investment. No telling what the future holds and it is simply better to enjoy and play them, IMO, than wait for some iffy future payday.

I have heard that those Peace Les Pauls work very well with Hemp Cone Speakers, Man! they are really groovy! I have a custom burlap sack gig bag for mine.:hippy:hippy:peace

Couldn't help it AJ. And the Orange really does look good. I would be tempted to put on a Bigsby, some Filtertron Humbuckers or DeArmond Single coils and go with the Gretsch type Chet Atkins thing!:hank:hank
 

sonar

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DON'T GET HUNG UP ON MINUTIA!!!! Set your budget, decide if you want new or used, forget the commodities stock broker hang ups, try as many as you can, AND GO WITH THAT WHICH MAKES YOU MOIST!!!

You can over think and over analyze this to the point you freeze up and can never make a decision. Relax and enjoy the process.


Heh, "MOIST." :spabout
 

ajay taylor

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Jun 20, 2015
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Gets the green one...

I agree. If I had a choice when I got mine, I def would go for the Mellow Out Green. The Green and Orange ones don't get the deep discounts. Usually the Blue and Purple ones are the ones that get deep discounts. If I could find a Green one with flame like mine I would buy it right now. The Green and Orange ones are supposed to be plaintops believe it or not.
Mine is a really early one, and they hadn't gotten in their order of PCB's with Orange Drops and simple Volume and Tone controls with no switching, so mine and all of them below 8000 SN are hand-wired, which I personally like a lot. I am with You. The Greens are really nice looking Les Pauls!
 
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