Now heres the thing, i have no buying experience with real Gibson Les Pauls. I want a real one. Nothing below a standard. Im probably gonna look to spend $1500-2000, but obviously the lower the price the better as this will probably tap me out for a while. What should i look for? Specific years? Good place to buy? BTW im definatly going used. What am i actually looking at spending? Any information would be very helpful.

PS. My favorite les paul models are the customs, but i am pretty sure those are outta my price range. or are they?

Thanks guys.
Good decision.

EDIT: Sorry I'm not much more help than that lol, I have a Classic Antique but I'm not sure you can get that particular one anymore. I'd probably go with a Traditional Pro nowadays... or an Axcess, but thats probably a little out of the old price range.

I'm definitely getting an axcess one day.
Last edited by Nickpocalypse at Jun 10, 2011,
I'm not a huge fan of the sound of a Les Paul, but I love the look. So I prefer P-90 Les Pauls as opposed to the humbucker models, but it all depends on the sound you're going for. That's just my personal opinion on the matter.
If it's creative, true to your musical goal, and it sounds good, put it in the song.

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2. Well-tuned acoustic piano and creativity.
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Stay away from LP Studios. They're not bad for an intro into the LP sound but if you want an LP used customs aren't a bad idea. $2000 is pushing it on used Customs though. For that kind of money you can custom build a pretty badass Carvin or get a really nice PRS. if you want an LP just to say that you have an LP then by all means have fun when you get one. If you're getting one because you just like the look then I would look into the aforementioned brands. For $1500-2000 you can find nice guitars that look like LP's but sound way better
best place to look for deals is craigslist however you have to be careful. make sure you bone up on the how to spot a fake info. as for years etc that's really a total crap shoot so play before you buy. i have seen a few customs at around 2 grand from people looking for quick cash so it is possible.
i really like the older standards, there is just something nice about them. this was before they went trad/trad pro IIRC. i am not a gibson history buff, but the standard kind of took the custom role after gibson split to Gibson USA and Gibson Custom. either way, just go check some out, play a bunch of them and get what you like the feel of. i own six gibbys at the moment and was considering a LPC in the next couple months, but now i am thinking of looking for a used SLO.

if you can get a custom, get a custom, they play amazing, and i will pick one up eventually.
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I just got a new goldtop for ~$2K during the musician's friend sale. The Traditional which is equivilant to the standard would have been around 1800-1900 during their sale. I know buying over the net is scary but they are really good about returns. Just pointing out that new may not necessarily be out of the question for your budget.

I have a 2006 Studio, a 2008 Standard, and 2011 Standard so I can really only speak to the newer models. They newer models are very light for LPs and will not cause back strain etc.
I have an 04 standard with burstbuckers. It is a special edition with ebony fretboard. Dont get the newer ones that have had it hollowed out some for weight purposes, they dont sound near as good IMO
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I've had my LP Custom since 81' bought it when it was only 6 months old it was in mint condition very well taken care of it belonged to a Music Producer's son. Who was a friend of one of my band mates. I only paid $550.00 for it. I will say this IMO they just don't make them like they used to. But in my case I was very lucky to get that guitar for that price. I was just at the right place at the right time. I still have the guitar and would never ever sell it. I would sell my BMW before I would ever sell that guitar. I have never ever played a guitar that plays as nice as my Custom. The new ones don't even come close. Not even a little bit. But I will say this. I bought a 2nd guitar in 98' because that Custom screwed my back up cause I played every day at least 5 or 6hrs. But after I got my 83' RR Jackson I didn't really play my Custom much because the Jackson just sounded so awesome. Just last yr I started playing the Custom more and also put some ZW Set of EMG's on it and it screams. It's funny because when ever I pick up that Custom it just feels like a top quality guitar. I just hope that the Custom's are going to be the sound your looking for. They are very nice guitars but there are so many other guitars that SOUND so much better. I just got a ESP JH 600 2 weeks ago. And that damn thing sounded better than my RR Jackson. But I had to send it back because it had some fret and finger board damage. I'm looking to get another JH 600 in a few days. hey man Les Paul Customs are the way to go if your going to get a Gibson you might as well get the best nothing like a Custom just make sure if your playing alot you wear a back brace!! hehehe yea I'm serious about the brace!! just take your time looking around one will show up before you know it. But if you hurry and make a bad choice. You'll see one the next day that you wish you would have got instead. good luck
If you go used, you can get a STD for $1200-1500. There is no particular year to look for or stay away from although certain years did mean differences in construction. (eg Norlin years had pancake bodies, multipiece maple necks, 2008 STDs and beyond have chambered bodies, Trads have weight relieved bodies)
If you buy new in the US you get a lifetime warranty with your Gibson. For your budget you're looking at a Trad GT or Ebony, Trad Plus Top or Trad Pro. A new STD is above your budget.
Moving on.....
Quote by vjferrara
Stay away from LP Studios. They're not bad for an intro into the LP sound but if you want an LP used customs aren't a bad idea.

Studios are not bad by any means.

When I bought mine, I played everything from studios to traditionals and I picked out the best sounding/playing guitar. It just so happened to be the studio.

I went in looking to come out with a traditional or traditional pro, but ended up with the studio.

Just go in and play a bunch of les pauls and see which one feels the best and then get it. Don't be afraid to go to a few stores/places to try them out.
My Gear
-Gibson Les Paul Tribute (Bare Knuckle Nailbombs)
-Ibanez "lawsuit" Les Paul (Seymour Duncan Pegasus and Sentinent)
-Ibanez S470 (Dimarzio D-sonic and Humbucker from Hell)
-PRS SE Custom (Guitarforce Black Diamond and Lord of the Blues)

Marshall TSL100
EVH 5150III EL-34 50w
Marshall 1960a cab

Dunlop 535q wah
Boss Super Chorus
Bogner Uberschall
Ibanez DE7 Delay
Electro-Harmonix Power Booster
Fender PT100 Pedal Tuner

Ernie Ball Skinny Top/Heavy Bottom 10-52
I have a 2010 Standard Faded. It's incredible. Good decision with Gibson by the way. You won't regret it.

I'd try a Traditional or a Standard. Traditional's are heavier and give a much warmer and harmonic sound. They haven't got any of the new kinda stuff as the standard has. it's not chambered.

A standard is chambered. The pickups are Burstbuckers usually. They're quite hot are harmonically rich. The standard is much lighter. It sometimes has locking tuners, locking jack. However, you can get two of the same guitars and they can sound completely different. Different trees, different wood. Even if it's the same species. If one tree's older than the other, that'll affect the sound. If one's been growing in a warmer climate, that might change the sound. Definitely try it out before you buy.
Quote by vjferrara
Stay away from LP Studios. They're not bad for an intro into the LP sound...

Why stay away from them?

It isn't going to give you the exact sound of a Les Paul, I'll grant you that. It doesn't have the maple cap, and doesn't have the same pickups as the standard, but they ARE good guitars, and IMO sound better than a the standard if you put in new pickups (popped a FRED in the bridge, getting ready to put something new in the neck soon).
Fender 72' Deluxe Tele
Schecter Damian Elite 7
Fender '62 Reissue Jazz Bass (MIJ)
Peavey XXX 212 (back on the East Coast)

Macbook Pro 15" Retina
Logic Pro X 10.0.7
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Im probably getting a Standard and a Studio pretty soon!
To buy:

Line 6 MM4
Voodoo Lab power
Mesa Boogie Single rectifier
Boss TU-3 Done
Shure SM58 Done

I am saving up my money for a tele but if I switched it up and wanted to get a Les Paul I would go for the Studio.
I bought a Trad last year and have been really happy with it. Much more classic sounding than the Standard, though I really liked that too.

The studios were good guitars but are going to suffer from living in big brother's shadow. I also think they are overpriced for what they are because of that.

The new limited edition studios with P90s look effin sick though.
Quote by JLT73
Studios are not bad by any means.

I never said that they were bad. I'm just saying that if TS wants an LP that the studio probably won't be what he is looking for. Most people don't realize the differences between all of the different LP models. I know I didn't when I bought mine. I loved it. When I played it I got that LP sound but I was star struck just by playing an LP that I really wasn't listening to the differences in sound that I should have. After playing it for a few years I began to realize how different the models are from each other and I started to not like it anymore because of that. All I'm saying is that if the TS wants an LP for the feel, sound, and feel then the Studio probably isn't going to be the one he is looking for
Honestly I think saving up just a little more and getting a brand new Traditional is the way to go. They're the same quality as Standards but they don't have the more modern refinements. They're more like the pre-2008 Standards. They'r ejust really nice, straight-forward Les Pauls. Most people these days want extra features or a total vintage build so that's why the other Standards and reissues cost so much more but the Traditionals are slightly more affordable. They do have weight relieved bodies but that has been a part of regular Gibson production for years and most people never notice the difference bewteen that and a solid body.

If what you want is just a really nice Les Paul, the Gibson Traditional is the way to go and I'm pretty sure that a new one is close to your budget.
Hmm...Well i appreciate those who had actual input on this. After doing some research and going out and about, i just dont think i can justify the money on a Gibson Les Paul......

.....So i have decided i am going to go the route of buying an old Burny, Oreville, Greco, Tokai, etc. Les Paul copy.
I am not sure where your from, But if you want a Gibson LP, then don't settle. I am not here to debate the pro's and con's of other mfr's. But if you want the Gibby then get the Gibby. With a budget of 2k you can not only get a nice brand new LP, but have a good chunk of change left over.

People seem to forget that G.C. is not a set priced store. The new LP Trad Plus is the LP Standard from 08 and older. They sell at G.C for $2299.00 at any given time, walk into a GC and pick up a guitar or amp or drum set or any other instrument and you can get 20% just from demanding it, ( Politely of course) That brings you down 1840 right there. Before any real negotiations.

I picked up mine Nov of last year. After getting the initial 20% knocked off i sat around and BS'd with the salesmen and kept making counter offers. I got out the door with my New LP for under 1700.
Gibson Les Paul Traditional Plus
Schecter C-1 Elite
MIM Fender Strat
Phaez JTM 18
Peavey VK 112
well im really GASing for a ew les paul traditional pro which is right on the 2000$ mark.

its unchambered, has coil splitting pups, satin back finish, 60s neck and locking tuners.

its exclusive to GC/MF/Thonnaman from what i understand though

used you might be able to find a custom as a project guitar, or a working one if ou get lucky....