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  1. #1
    Sinner's Swing! Dutchie5150's Avatar
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    12.15.17 @ 07:06 PM
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    Default Gibson Les Paul Traditional question

    I've got a question or maybe it's more that I'm looking for advice. I'm looking to buy a Les Paul. I've always wanted one, but have never got around to getting one. I really want a Standard in sunburst or cherryburst and I want to get a second hand one as I've heard that the new Gibsons are not as good as they once were. I cant seem to find any around town, but I did check out a few Les Paul Traditional's which look great.

    My question is.. Is the Gibson Les Paul Traditional any good??? I take it they are a bit of a "lesser" guitar than a standard. Are they worth the money they sell for?

    Sorry for the stupid questions, but I dont have a great knowledge of Gibsons and I interested to hear some of your opinions.

    Thanks...
    If you have nothing nice to say about Eddie Van Halen, you're at the right website. - Me (A few years ago)

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    "A lot of people ask me which Van Halen singer was better. You can't compare them. It's like asking which guitarist is better. Nobody is better than anybody. Every player is their own person."-Edward Van Halen

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  2. #2
    Good Enough SLEEPER5150's Avatar
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    In my opinion.....and don't take this the wrong way....No new Gibson is worth what they sell for....but, that being said, If I was to buy a new Les Paul (or Less Paul as their sometimes called!) it would be a Traditional, it's not really less of a guitar. It has a plain maple top, not a AAA top obviously, but alot of great Pauls of the late 80's early 90's had plain tops..... but there have been some changes over the past while that have affected the entire Les Paul line. One thing is most of the Pauls are weight releived, or chambered, having a fair amount of wood removed under the maple cap.
    This does affect the sound somewhat, but some people dig it. It's described as a little more bell like, and they are a little lighter. Pickups are another area that seem to change regularily. Be prepared to change one or both pickups on a new Les Paul. I know this sounds stupid but it's true. Usually, plugging in, you're going to find that the bridge pickup is very trebly, almost unbearable, but the neck will sound very rounded and smooth. If it's got the 490T in the bridge which they seem to use alot on lower priced models despite many poor reviews, replacing it with a Duncan Pearly Gates or a Gibson Classic 57 will do wonders for it and it will sound like a whole new guitar. So it's not just the Traditional that's changed. I honestly think it's a very good guitar in their lineup, but you have to be very selective when it comes to new Gibsons.
    Make damn sure, and I'm telling you from direct experience, that the neck is very straight....sight down each side, make sure there is no buzz, or at least only enough that you feel you can take out with only a small minor adjustment. The reason I mention this is I and many other recent buyers on other boards have hade issues with unstable necks due to moisture content being too high in the wood at time of manufacture,(the typical instrument wood should be right around 7%. when my luthier probed the wood in the pickup cavity at the neck joint, it read 13%! and that was after a month of exposure) so as the wood dries out in a home environment, the neck begins to warp and twist, causing terrible buzz, and also fret ends sticking out of the fretboard. Sorry for the horror story, but if you are selective and take you time to avoid the pitfalls it will aid you greatly.
    Personally, to do it all again, I'd stick to the Buy & sell or Craigslist, and look for an older model. The 90'-92' models are very good. Alot had ebony fingerboards, handrubbed finishes, one piece mahagony backs, and bookmatched maple tops. Mine was a beautiful red wine finish, and I miss it dearly. In all honestly, none of the new Pauls even come close to that guitar feel or sound wise and they cost a hell of alot more. Good luck with your decision.
    She looks so $#@!'n good ,so sexy and so frail....Somethin's got the bite on me, I'm goin' straight to Hell.

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    If you want a Standard, try to find a 2003/2004, they are considered the best runs in a LONG time. the traditional is a nice one. the new standard are to much weight releif for me.

  4. #4
    Sinner's Swing! Dutchie5150's Avatar
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    Thanks for replying SLEEPER and thanks for typing all that out.

    That's the kind of info that I was hoping for. As I said, I dont have any great knowledge of Les Pauls and even less of the Traditionals. I wasn't sure of the quality of them. Are they a bit less than a Standard or a bit more than an Epiphone... That kind of thing. As I said, the few I saw today looked great. Here in OZ, the range from about $3500 - $4000. I saw a second hand sunburst for $2800 which I could probably get a fair bit cheaper. Changing pick ups is no problems at all. I kind of figured that the pups wouldn't be as good as they could be, so I was thinking about that anyway., but thanks for pointing that out.

    I would love to get an early 90's or late 80's LP, but the price they go for here is outrageous. Definitely a lot more than I'm willing to spend. I want to use My Ibanez Jem as a trade so that kind of rules out the Bay or craigslist or whatever. Maybe I should sell the Jem first...

    Anyway, I'm glad to hear that they are decent guitars and thank you again for typing all that info out.
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  5. #5
    On Fire KS 5150's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dutchie5150 View Post
    Thanks for replying SLEEPER and thanks for typing all that out.

    That's the kind of info that I was hoping for. As I said, I dont have any great knowledge of Les Pauls and even less of the Traditionals. I wasn't sure of the quality of them. Are they a bit less than a Standard or a bit more than an Epiphone... That kind of thing. As I said, the few I saw today looked great. Here in OZ, the range from about $3500 - $4000. I saw a second hand sunburst for $2800 which I could probably get a fair bit cheaper. Changing pick ups is no problems at all. I kind of figured that the pups wouldn't be as good as they could be, so I was thinking about that anyway., but thanks for pointing that out.

    I would love to get an early 90's or late 80's LP, but the price they go for here is outrageous. Definitely a lot more than I'm willing to spend. I want to use My Ibanez Jem as a trade so that kind of rules out the Bay or craigslist or whatever. Maybe I should sell the Jem first...

    Anyway, I'm glad to hear that they are decent guitars and thank you again for typing all that info out.
    Hi Dutchie, I do know a little about the LP Traditional, so I may be able to give you a little more info as well.

    To my understanding, when Gibson introduced the new version of the Standard, the 2008 Standard, they repackaged the previous Standard as the Traditional, and lessened the weight relief as well, as they had a demand for heavier Pauls, such as in the '80's/90's. The Traditional does not have a plain-top, but has an AA Maple top, instead of the AAA Maple top of the Standard. As a result, the tops are less spectacular, although I've seen great and poor tops on both new Standards and Traditionals...here in Canada, they sell new for about $2400 CDN, whereas the Standards are a little more at $2700 CDN. (both grossly overpriced in my opinion).

    I hope that info helps a little more, and good luck with whatever you decide to do..
    "People ask me how far I've come. And I tell them twelve feet: from the audience to the stage." - David Lee Roth

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    Thanks for pointing out the additional info on that. I totally agree.As far as me describing plain tops, I was too broad. I was more referring to lack of any quilting or "flame in the top. I was just at Long & Mcquade, and they are selling Traditionals for even less, like $2,300.00 which has what they call a "plain Top" which is just that, maple, but with little definition in the grain, but still finished nicely, but could use a darker finish color IMO. As far as pricing....yeah, you could say their between the Standard and an Epi. Actually, to my horror, Gibsons latest trend it seems, is their jacking up the prices of Epi's now. Some of them are now close to what I paid for my last Les Paul new back in 05', granted maybe more options, but I just saw one in a catalog for 1.400.00 For an Epi! Now I know that the quality of Epiphone has improved dramatically.
    I just saw a show where they did a tour of the Qing Dao factory, and all the supervisors are Yanks, the shop is clean, and the attention to detail is quite good. Gone are the days of misplaced bridges, or ill cut fret slots, and cheap over the saddle grounding wires. Their a great instrument, but it seems Gibson is creating a split down the middle. For the average middle class consumer, the Epis are priced for you. If you're a corporate big wig with an empty slot it your climate controlled display case right next to your Cuban cigar signed by Monica Lewinsky purchased off of Ebay, or an "acomplished musician" who can afford the priviledge of owning an "authentic handcrafted Gibson instrument", then Gibby's are priced toward your elite club. I think if you are to purchase new or slightly used, the Traditional is the way to go.
    She looks so $#@!'n good ,so sexy and so frail....Somethin's got the bite on me, I'm goin' straight to Hell.

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    [QUOTE=SLEEPER5150;1201281] Pickups are another area that seem to change regularily. Be prepared to change one or both pickups on a new Les Paul. I know this sounds stupid but it's true. Usually, plugging in, you're going to find that the bridge pickup is very trebly, almost unbearable, but the neck will sound very rounded and smooth. If it's got the 490T in the bridge which they seem to use alot on lower priced models despite many poor reviews, replacing it with a Duncan Pearly Gates or a Gibson Classic 57 will do wonders for it and it will sound like a whole new guitar. So it's not just the Traditional that's changed. I honestly think it's a very good guitar in their lineup, but you have to be very selective when it comes to new Gibsons.
    QUOTE]

    I absolutely agree with SLEEPER's comment about the pickups in new Gibsons. I can't get over how anemic the pickups in the LP Axcess are...it's just surprising to me that a guitar with a Floyd would have such a weak & thin sounding bridge humbucker (Burstbucker 1). I've got a 57 Classic Plus I intend to swap out in its place, and hopefully get some of that thicker "zing" back...
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  8. #8
    On Fire KS 5150's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SLEEPER5150 View Post
    Thanks for pointing out the additional info on that. I totally agree.As far as me describing plain tops, I was too broad. I was more referring to lack of any quilting or "flame in the top. I was just at Long & Mcquade, and they are selling Traditionals for even less, like $2,300.00 which has what they call a "plain Top" which is just that, maple, but with little definition in the grain, but still finished nicely, but could use a darker finish color IMO. As far as pricing....yeah, you could say their between the Standard and an Epi. Actually, to my horror, Gibsons latest trend it seems, is their jacking up the prices of Epi's now. Some of them are now close to what I paid for my last Les Paul new back in 05', granted maybe more options, but I just saw one in a catalog for 1.400.00 For an Epi! Now I know that the quality of Epiphone has improved dramatically.
    I just saw a show where they did a tour of the Qing Dao factory, and all the supervisors are Yanks, the shop is clean, and the attention to detail is quite good. Gone are the days of misplaced bridges, or ill cut fret slots, and cheap over the saddle grounding wires. Their a great instrument, but it seems Gibson is creating a split down the middle. For the average middle class consumer, the Epis are priced for you. If you're a corporate big wig with an empty slot it your climate controlled display case right next to your Cuban cigar signed by Monica Lewinsky purchased off of Ebay, or an "acomplished musician" who can afford the priviledge of owning an "authentic handcrafted Gibson instrument", then Gibby's are priced toward your elite club. I think if you are to purchase new or slightly used, the Traditional is the way to go.
    That's a good insight that you have...The Gibson's are way overpriced unless you get lucky or get one used. I have an LP Classic that I got from my brother for a deal. The only reason he got rid of it was he hated the color (Sapphire Blue). It was a 1/2 price Boxing Day deal at a local shop here so he didn't have a choice of color. He then found a Goldtop on Kijiji and sold me the blue one relatively cheap. As for the tops, I saw one recently at a shop here - It was an Iced Tea Standard with the worst top I've seen on a non-plain top...for $2800!! As for the Epi's, they seem to go for around $650-$700 here for a plus-top...they were as high as $850 but have dropped back down recently.
    "People ask me how far I've come. And I tell them twelve feet: from the audience to the stage." - David Lee Roth

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    It's hard when you have a budget and want a nice Les Paul. Sadly they are pricey guitars. If you settle you don't really end up with what you wanted.

    If you can hunt down a nice mid 90's Jimmy Page you will have one hell of a versatile and sweet Gibson LP Standard. They have the push pull pan pots that change the phasing of the pickups and really help give you a world of sounds. Making a Paul sound like a tele for example. The neck is amazing also on it. I love this guitar. But again you gotta try them in person to verify it's a good one.

    Either way hunt around and try all you can. Many privately owned music stores resell guitars and you may find a sweet deal. Of course you know that but I want to push this point...IMO even if one is a little pricier than you want to spend, but it's perfect to you...maybe you can do a pay a little at a time deal. In the long run I think you are MUCH better off really getting what you want, and a good one instead of settling.

    Don't even consider Epiphone. Though not bad guitars, some are actually very nice they aren't in the same league as a really nice Gibson Les Paul. If you want a nice Les Paul don't settle for a Epi.

    A good guitar is really a purchase that lasts a lifetime.

    Good luck! Post a pick if you get one!!
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  10. #10
    Sinner's Swing! Dutchie5150's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by At0micPunk View Post
    It's hard when you have a budget and want a nice Les Paul. Sadly they are pricey guitars. If you settle you don't really end up with what you wanted.

    If you can hunt down a nice mid 90's Jimmy Page you will have one hell of a versatile and sweet Gibson LP Standard. They have the push pull pan pots that change the phasing of the pickups and really help give you a world of sounds. Making a Paul sound like a tele for example. The neck is amazing also on it. I love this guitar. But again you gotta try them in person to verify it's a good one.

    Either way hunt around and try all you can. Many privately owned music stores resell guitars and you may find a sweet deal. Of course you know that but I want to push this point...IMO even if one is a little pricier than you want to spend, but it's perfect to you...maybe you can do a pay a little at a time deal. In the long run I think you are MUCH better off really getting what you want, and a good one instead of settling.

    Don't even consider Epiphone. Though not bad guitars, some are actually very nice they aren't in the same league as a really nice Gibson Les Paul. If you want a nice Les Paul don't settle for a Epi.

    A good guitar is really a purchase that lasts a lifetime.

    Good luck! Post a pick if you get one!!
    I wish it was that easy... I actually saw a '59 reissue that I'd absolutely love to own but unfortunately at $14,500, it was a bit above the price range I'll be looking at. The shop I was at on the weekend get quite a few second hand Standards, they just don't have any ATM. Thats why I was looking at the Traditionals. As I said, they look really cool. I said that I wanted a cherry or sunburst, but last night, I found a picture of a honeyburst and it looks awesome.. Maybe I might check one of these out... I've got to go back into the city (where the shop is) in a few weeks so hopefully something will happen then.

    Although i have nothing against the Epiphones, I wouldn't settle for one over a Gibson. Epies are a dime a dozon here. I plan on getting an Epie Exployer soon to make a copy of EVH's Shark guitar. Owning a Gibson will be costing me my Jem... and I love that guitar.

    Thanks again for all the advice. Its greatly appreciated.

    I will post pics if and when.
    If you have nothing nice to say about Eddie Van Halen, you're at the right website. - Me (A few years ago)

    "People take Van Halen much more seriously than we do" - David Lee Roth (1980's)

    "I don't sit on the end of your bed while you're trying to make a living" - David Lee Roth (1988)

    "For some reason people love to complain about everything. The internet has made it easy for people to do that. Shut the fuck up and get a life, or show me how good you can do it."- Edward Van Halen

    "A lot of people ask me which Van Halen singer was better. You can't compare them. It's like asking which guitarist is better. Nobody is better than anybody. Every player is their own person."-Edward Van Halen

    "I do like Eddie Van Halen as a player. He gets it right quite often." -Paul McCartney

  11. #11
    Good Enough SLEEPER5150's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dutchie5150 View Post
    I wish it was that easy... I actually saw a '59 reissue that I'd absolutely love to own but unfortunately at $14,500, it was a bit above the price range I'll be looking at. The shop I was at on the weekend get quite a few second hand Standards, they just don't have any ATM. Thats why I was looking at the Traditionals. As I said, they look really cool. I said that I wanted a cherry or sunburst, but last night, I found a picture of a honeyburst and it looks awesome.. Maybe I might check one of these out... I've got to go back into the city (where the shop is) in a few weeks so hopefully something will happen then.

    Although i have nothing against the Epiphones, I wouldn't settle for one over a Gibson. Epies are a dime a dozon here. I plan on getting an Epie Exployer soon to make a copy of EVH's Shark guitar. Owning a Gibson will be costing me my Jem... and I love that guitar.

    Thanks again for all the advice. Its greatly appreciated.

    I will post pics if and when.
    Thats' the thing with Gibson. If it's a reissue, somehow that give's em liscence to charge almost as much as if you were buying the damn original! Maybe not quite, but you know what I mean. The Pearly Gates Les Paul is $15.000.00 MSRP right now. I'm guessing financing is'nt entirely out of the question?
    She looks so $#@!'n good ,so sexy and so frail....Somethin's got the bite on me, I'm goin' straight to Hell.

  12. #12
    Baluchitherium
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dutchie5150 View Post
    I wish it was that easy... I actually saw a '59 reissue that I'd absolutely love to own but unfortunately at $14,500, it was a bit above the price range I'll be looking at. The shop I was at on the weekend get quite a few second hand Standards, they just don't have any ATM. Thats why I was looking at the Traditionals. As I said, they look really cool. I said that I wanted a cherry or sunburst, but last night, I found a picture of a honeyburst and it looks awesome.. Maybe I might check one of these out... I've got to go back into the city (where the shop is) in a few weeks so hopefully something will happen then.

    Although i have nothing against the Epiphones, I wouldn't settle for one over a Gibson. Epies are a dime a dozon here. I plan on getting an Epie Exployer soon to make a copy of EVH's Shark guitar. Owning a Gibson will be costing me my Jem... and I love that guitar.

    Thanks again for all the advice. Its greatly appreciated.

    I will post pics if and when.
    You are talking a whole different animal once you get into the boutique style Les Pauls in that price range or a true holy grail which is more of an collector's investment.

    My point is a Traditional goes for around 2k give or take. A really nice Standard with a beautiful top could be 3-4k give or take. Generally speaking.

    It's just my opinion that you should wait until you find the right axe and or your money is right to get one. An axe like this will be a valued possession for a long long time. IMO it shouldn't be an impulse buy especially if you have to sell your beloved Jem to get it. I love Jem's btw. A lot of private shops where the owner is a cool guy will do a layaway thing. Some down and money over time. So either way good luck! Just offering food for thought.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  13. #13
    Sinner's Swing! Dutchie5150's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by At0micPunk View Post
    You are talking a whole different animal once you get into the boutique style Les Pauls in that price range or a true holy grail which is more of an collector's investment.

    My point is a Traditional goes for around 2k give or take. A really nice Standard with a beautiful top could be 3-4k give or take. Generally speaking.

    It's just my opinion that you should wait until you find the right axe and or your money is right to get one. An axe like this will be a valued possession for a long long time. IMO it shouldn't be an impulse buy especially if you have to sell your beloved Jem to get it. I love Jem's btw. A lot of private shops where the owner is a cool guy will do a layaway thing. Some down and money over time. So either way good luck! Just offering food for thought.
    I think you might be right, Atomic. That's generally the way I think anyway. I was just now looking on OZ Ebay and a '94 Standard just this minute went for $2600. I think I'll have to sell my Jem privately and just wait for a standard I like to pop up. I not crazy about the idea for buying a guitar without playing it first though.... I'll sort it out.
    If you have nothing nice to say about Eddie Van Halen, you're at the right website. - Me (A few years ago)

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    "I do like Eddie Van Halen as a player. He gets it right quite often." -Paul McCartney

  14. #14
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    If you're shopping for used Gibsons, and you're looking for a specific year, here's the serial number code:

    YDDDYPPP
    YY is the production year 1 and 5 number
    DDD is the day of the year 2-4 numbers
    PPP is the plant designation and/or instrument rank 6-8 numbers

    Example:

    82765501 = the instrument was produced on Oct. 3, 1985, in Nashville and was the 1st instrument stamped that day.


    This isn't for vintage Gibsons, but it goes back twenty years or so.







    Don't read this.

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    On Fire KS 5150's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dutchie5150 View Post
    I think you might be right, Atomic. That's generally the way I think anyway. I was just now looking on OZ Ebay and a '94 Standard just this minute went for $2600. I think I'll have to sell my Jem privately and just wait for a standard I like to pop up. I not crazy about the idea for buying a guitar without playing it first though.... I'll sort it out.
    Just to let you know...I bought a LP Standard Cherryburst, my dream guitar, off ebay this week for about $1700 USD. It should arrive in about a week. When it arrives, I'll post pics of (hopefully) a nice guitar at a good price...or I'll be weeping in my beer about being ripped off!!
    "People ask me how far I've come. And I tell them twelve feet: from the audience to the stage." - David Lee Roth

 

 

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