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#1
I'm sure this will seem like a dumb question to the people who know the answer, but I don't.

I've seen a lot of Gibson Les Paul Standards and Les Paul Traditionals going used for $1,500-$2,000, while I don't have a hard time finding MIA Fender Strats (standards, mind you) going for $600-800 used - and there are a fair number of Gibson SGs floating around for $600-900. For comparison, at that $600-800 range, one could get a Les Paul Studio, one of Gibson's stripped-down models.

All three are fantastic guitars, and all made in the USA. What accounts for that difference in pricing?
#2
Can't comment on the Fenders, but the main difference between a Gibson LP Standard & Studio is all about the finish. Essentially Studios are the same as a Standard, but made as a studio workhorse rather than something designed to look good on stage (hence the name). They have the same hardware, they just don't have things like the flametop wood, edge binding & general finishing that you get on the Standards, and that as a rule is where the extra money goes.
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#3
They are 500-600 more expensive in the first place?

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#4
THE ANSWER TO YOUR QUESTION IS THAT THEY ARE A ROCK SYMBOL & A CLASSIC GUITAR!! Classic style sells!
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#5
GaryBillington hit it on the head.

Studio and Standard are meant to be the same guitar. One that looks pretty and one that they cut cost on the finish. Through the years they've cut more than just finish, at least to my knowledge. I could be wrong.

If you look hard enough you will be able to find an LP Standard for <$1500. It won't be too much less than that but it will be less. It's very tough to directly compare Fender and Gibson.
#6
I'll say this much, I've owned my LP Studio for 13 years and through my teenage and college years I was not gentle with it at all. There was a stretch where I left it out of it's case for over a year, exposed to cold in the winter and heat in the summer, and it was years in between the last time I took it to a luthier for a tune up. Not once did I have issues with it despite all that, it still played like a beauty. I obviously wised up a few years back and take good care of it now but if anything, it's reliability and durability warrants a good portion of that pricing.
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#7
The reason Gibson LP Standards cost a lot more than Fender Standard Strats is because Les Pauls are a lot more difficult to build in their nature.
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#8
And they're the shit.

As are Fenders.
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#9
The construction of a Les Paul is a bit more complicated. Gibson does have machines to do it much faster, but it's not like a strat or tele that have a scooped headstock, a flat top, and top-routed cavities. And then you throw in stuff like binding and a lacquer finish on top of that.

I'm not saying Gibson doesn't mark up the price quite a bit because of the brand name, but to expect a Strat and a Les Paul to cost the same is asking a lot. But somehow, Gibson does just that with the studio models. By simply removing the binding and using more glue joints on the body, they are able to make a Les Paul in the US that competes with a US Fender. I think Gibson should be applauded for that, not criticized for having more expensive guitars available.
#10
I do have to say that a Studio is no match for a Traditional or a Standard, in my opinion, and they certainly don't feel like the same guitar with the only differences being the finish and binding.

My Traditional plays heaps better than any Studio I've ever played, imo.
#11
Quote by Tom 1.0
They are 500-600 more expensive in the first place?




+1

that actually has a lot to do with it. What something can be got for new plays a pretty big part in the usual second-hand price of something- not the only part, of course, but a pretty big one nonetheless.
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#13
Quote by kingneptune117
You are paying for pretty logo on the headstock.


Okay, troll.
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#14
Quote by I K0nijn I
I do have to say that a Studio is no match for a Traditional or a Standard, in my opinion, and they certainly don't feel like the same guitar with the only differences being the finish and binding.

My Traditional plays heaps better than any Studio I've ever played, imo.

Gibsons have to be considered more for each individual guitar though - I used to have an LP Standard that I didn't think was anything special, but now I have an LP Studio that I fell in love with instantly.

Even two guitars of the same model can feel different - and for me that is one of the best thing about Gibsons. You have to seek out the right one for you, you can't just order one online and expect it to be the same as your mate's, they each have their own personality and once you find the right one, it's yours for life.
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#15
Quote by I K0nijn I
I do have to say that a Studio is no match for a Traditional or a Standard, in my opinion, and they certainly don't feel like the same guitar with the only differences being the finish and binding.

My Traditional plays heaps better than any Studio I've ever played, imo.

My studio was. It might be on a guitar to guitar basis, but I think the worst case scenario with a studio is a full fret job and setup. Personally, I don't find a fret job to be a huge deal in the end, but most people don't want to buy a guitar and take it to a luthier to be able to play it. But other than that, I find the quality of the craftsmanship and parts on a Studio to be very good.
#16
Quote by W4RP1G
The construction of a Les Paul is a bit more complicated. Gibson does have machines to do it much faster, but it's not like a strat or tele that have a scooped headstock, a flat top, and top-routed cavities. And then you throw in stuff like binding and a lacquer finish on top of that.

I'm not saying Gibson doesn't mark up the price quite a bit because of the brand name, but to expect a Strat and a Les Paul to cost the same is asking a lot. But somehow, Gibson does just that with the studio models. By simply removing the binding and using more glue joints on the body, they are able to make a Les Paul in the US that competes with a US Fender. I think Gibson should be applauded for that, not criticized for having more expensive guitars available.

Oh, I didn't mean to sound critical in my OP - if anything, I was shocked to find out that SG Standards and American Strats were so surprisingly affordable! My expectations had been set by the fact that the Les Paul Standard was so expensive.

Your explanation makes it all make sense, though.

EDIT: "sight"? Huh?
Last edited by kindadumb at Mar 24, 2013,
#17
Gibson LPs are more complicated to build, generally use more expensive materials and gibson likes to mark stuff up. Even SGs with their flat tops, smaller bodies and less binding are simpler to make.
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#18
the SG was created with the strat and tele retail price point in mind.

the LP wasn't.
#19
Quote by GaryBillington
Gibsons have to be considered more for each individual guitar though - I used to have an LP Standard that I didn't think was anything special, but now I have an LP Studio that I fell in love with instantly.

Even two guitars of the same model can feel different - and for me that is one of the best thing about Gibsons. You have to seek out the right one for you, you can't just order one online and expect it to be the same as your mate's, they each have their own personality and once you find the right one, it's yours for life.


Yes, I know. Both my SG as my LP have been "hand-selected" in a store where I basically played everything they had I could pay.

However, I was talking about a pretty consistent feeling I have. I've really never come across a studio that I think was as good as your regular Standard or Traditional, all varying in year of manufacturing and all that. 90's studio's and standard's being the oldest and the newest ones being the newest, of course.

In the end, it's all about opinions, though, so I get that there will be people that'll disagree. :-)

Quote by W4RP1G
My studio was. It might be on a guitar to guitar basis, but I think the worst case scenario with a studio is a full fret job and setup. Personally, I don't find a fret job to be a huge deal in the end, but most people don't want to buy a guitar and take it to a luthier to be able to play it. But other than that, I find the quality of the craftsmanship and parts on a Studio to be very good.


I don't know, a Studio doesn't seem to be as balanced (both in sound as actual balance of the guitar xD) as higher end Les Paul's. Fret jobs and setups aside, I still wouldn't get a Studio, to be honest.

I do think they're decent guitars and they're probably the best Les Paul type guitar you can buy at that price point, in my opinion, but I'd rather save up more and get something higher end.
#20
I tried a studio out years ago and its probably the only gibson LP I really enjoyed.
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#22
Quote by I K0nijn I
Whatever floats your boat, I guess.


Of course, that wasn't a judgement, just an observation. I've played some of the standard and traditional LPs that I thought were ok, but they've never really been my thing, so that has a lot to do with it.
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#23
I don't really know what're changes between a studio and a standard. I guess the pickups, and in some models, chambering. I don't really buy into the idea that Gibson is setting aside the better mahogany for the traditionals and standards and using crap for the studio. Perhaps they do that for the Customs. I also don't believe a 1-2 piece body will sound better than a 3-piece. So the question is, does a non-chambered studio with better pickups, a fret job, and a setup, compete with a non-chambered standard? I believe it does.
#24
imo its because they put alot of frills onto them, i mean you think about how they have binding, fancy inlay, fancy paint, *cough gibson on the headstock *cough *cough

then look at a fender, no binding, plastic dot inlay, automotive laquer, fender decal lol

(this is my opinion, everyone has the right to have one, dont go crazy on me)
if you want a pretty guitar, get a gibson
if you want a functional guitar, get a fender
i've had 3 gibsons through the years, and everyone ive had has been absolutely stunning, but played like crap, i hated the sound, i hated the feel, i hated the controls, i hated everything about it... except how it looked on my wall.

like i said thats my opinion everyone has the right to theirs. but thats how i feel about gibson. all show, no functionality
#25
Quote by W4RP1G
I don't really know what're changes between a studio and a standard. I guess the pickups, and in some models, chambering. I don't really buy into the idea that Gibson is setting aside the better mahogany for the traditionals and standards and using crap for the studio. Perhaps they do that for the Customs. I also don't believe a 1-2 piece body will sound better than a 3-piece. So the question is, does a non-chambered studio with better pickups, a fret job, and a setup, compete with a non-chambered standard? I believe it does.

play-wise sure, absolutely it would.

i believe that standards, even through all the chambering and weight relieving variations, were always one piece bodies.

i know some trad models were and some weren't.
#26
Quote by gregs1020
play-wise sure, absolutely it would.

But why wouldn't it sound the same if it's the same wood, construction, and pickups? (I have a feeling that this is heading toward a 1-piece vs 3-piece body debate).
#27
Quote by W4RP1G
But why wouldn't it sound the same if it's the same wood, construction, and pickups? (I have a feeling that this is heading toward a 1-piece vs 3-piece body debate).



you won't hear that debate from me.

there's no way in hell i could ever tell the difference and attribute it to that.

even if everything else was the exact same, you said the studio got better picks ups.

the studio would probably sound better to whoever prefers those types of pick ups over whatever is in the standard.

Last edited by gregs1020 at Mar 25, 2013,
#28
Quote by W4RP1G
But why wouldn't it sound the same if it's the same wood, construction, and pickups? (I have a feeling that this is heading toward a 1-piece vs 3-piece body debate).


Speaking of piece bodies, I was able to get my hands on a one-piece studio

I do have to admit it was a premium model, but still a studio nonetheless.
#29
Quote by gregs1020


you won't hear that debate from me.

there's no way in hell i could ever tell the difference and attribute it to that.

even if everything else was the exact same, you said the studio got better picks ups.

the studio would probably sound better to whoever prefers those types of pick ups over whatever is in the standard.


Oops, I mispoke. I meant if the studio pickups were upgraded to the same pickups as the standard. At that point, I believe it would be indiscernible from a standard.

Quote by RockAddict311
Speaking of piece bodies, I was able to get my hands on a one-piece studio

I do have to admit it was a premium model, but still a studio nonetheless.

I didn't know such a thing existed :/
Last edited by W4RP1G at Mar 25, 2013,
#30
Personally, I prefer necks without binding - it's a "feel" thing for me, not a normative statement or statement of fact or anything, just what I'm personally more comfortable with. That being said, I'm also much more comfortable with set necks.

Put those two together, and I'm personally a fan of Gibson's stripped-down models - I routinely prefer SG Studios and LP Studios to their upscale models. (I also like the "satin" finish on my SG Studio).
#31
Quote by randywolf244
imo its because they put alot of frills onto them, i mean you think about how they have binding, fancy inlay, fancy paint, *cough gibson on the headstock *cough *cough

then look at a fender, no binding, plastic dot inlay, automotive laquer, fender decal lol

(this is my opinion, everyone has the right to have one, dont go crazy on me)
if you want a pretty guitar, get a gibson
if you want a functional guitar, get a fender
i've had 3 gibsons through the years, and everyone ive had has been absolutely stunning, but played like crap, i hated the sound, i hated the feel, i hated the controls, i hated everything about it... except how it looked on my wall.

like i said thats my opinion everyone has the right to theirs. but thats how i feel about gibson. all show, no functionality


That's, as you said, just an opinion. I'd never be found dead with a Fender, for instance, as there is this mystery as to why I don't like them. I can't say why, but a Fender doesn't feel right to me in any way but sound. :P

@Studio vs. Standard:
it'll probably sound the same and no one will notice the difference in a mix, I suppose. Then again, they'll play differently.
#32
Quote by I K0nijn I
That's, as you said, just an opinion. I'd never be found dead with a Fender, for instance, as there is this mystery as to why I don't like them. I can't say why, but a Fender doesn't feel right to me in any way but sound. :P

@Studio vs. Standard:
it'll probably sound the same and no one will notice the difference in a mix, I suppose. Then again, they'll play differently.


I can respect that, everyone has different tastes, I can't stand gibson, some people can't stand fender. Everyone has the right to their own opinion. I appreciate the lack of attack lol. I've been called everything but wonderful for voicing my opinions of gibson on forums like this lol
#33
Quote by I K0nijn I
@Studio vs. Standard:
it'll probably sound the same and no one will notice the difference in a mix, I suppose. Then again, they'll play differently.

Why? Does the Standard have a different neck profile than a studio? (I'm not talking about any of the limited run Studios)
#34
Quote by gregs1020
play-wise sure, absolutely it would.

i believe that standards, even through all the chambering and weight relieving variations, were always one piece bodies.

i know some trad models were and some weren't.



Depending on the year you may or may not get a 2 piece with a standard. It's not unheard of that's for sure. Now if it was an R9...


Classics are mostly 2 piece. Some trads are and some aren't as you said.
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#35
Quote by Dave_Mc


+1

that actually has a lot to do with it. What something can be got for new plays a pretty big part in the usual second-hand price of something- not the only part, of course, but a pretty big one nonetheless.



Thought it was fairly obvious

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#36
Quote by W4RP1G
Oops, I mispoke. I meant if the studio pickups were upgraded to the same pickups as the standard. At that point, I believe it would be indiscernible from a standard.

sound wise and play wise, yeah.
Quote by H4T3BR33D3R
Depending on the year you may or may not get a 2 piece with a standard. It's not unheard of that's for sure. Now if it was an R9...

i didn't know there were 2 piece standards. i mean, i wouldn't put much past big "G" though.
#37
Quote by gregs1020
sound wise and play wise, yeah.

i didn't know there were 2 piece standards. i mean, i wouldn't put much past big "G" though.



They aren't that common but it can happen. Probably leftover classic bodies or something like that
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#38
Quote by Tom 1.0
Thought it was fairly obvious


yeah
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

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Et tu, br00tz?
#39
Quote by W4RP1G
Oops, I mispoke. I meant if the studio pickups were upgraded to the same pickups as the standard. At that point, I believe it would be indiscernible from a standard.

Don't know if this goes for all Studios as there are a few different models, but the one I have has the same pickups as a Standard, according to the official blurb the same pickups are also fitted to some Custom models.
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#40
studios have had the same stock pick ups as both standards or customs depending on the year.
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