#1
I'm in the market for a Gibson Les Paul Standard but I have no idea what year(s) I should be looking for. I've been looking at the new 2013 models and I'm looking for something simpler. I don't need the coil splitting features with the push/pull pots and all that jazz. If I need/want a single coil sound, I'll play my stratocaster. I'm mainly looking for great tone, great electronics, and great playability - all around just a good solid Les Paul Standard. Are there certain year models in particular that I should look for OR stay away from? The heaviest music I'll play is Randy Rhoads and other 80s classic rock - no metal. Thanks
#2
There isn't really a particular year to look for (I mean, I've heard things like 96-98s are really good but take that with a grain of salt) but it's better if you can play them beforehand to see if you really like them.


The Traditionals are pretty simple guitars and tend to be cheaper than a standard. You could also look for Les Paul Classics and LP Standard faded models if you don't mind going used. There's even more options if you don't mind the guitar not being a Gibson.


You could also browse your local classifieds for some nice scores too.
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#3
Unless you get one with an amazing, and I mean AMAZING top don't get a 2012. Unless it's got the wow factor you'll lose more money on resale due to the laminated fretboard than you would on another year. It doesn't change the playability or tone but it's a feature that the LP community doesn't appreciate.

If you're looking for a guitar for life you might be able to find a 2012 cheaper than you would another year, so if you don't give a shit about that nonsense, have a look around.

If you can get a great top they tend to retain their value much, much better. But you'll need a AAAAAA top, or whatever the grading system is.
#4
Get a Traditional.

The 'old' standard. Its the one you want.

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#5
Why not get a Studio? Isn't there only really a difference in the top, binding and extra electronics like coil splitting?

If someone could clarify that'd be cool.
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#6
I A-B tested a 2012 standard and a traditional and the traditional got my money even though i went in with the money and full intention of buying a standard. It's a bit heavier, the necks a bit thicker but the PAF style pickup sounded amazing compared to the Burstbucker Pro in my opinion and the standard just doesn't do a finish as nice as light burst once again imo. The main differences between the years is in the weight relief so for 2012 the standard was chambered and the traditional was swiss cheesed, if you don't want chambering on a standard you have to go pre 2006 but I would say base your preference on weight alone, tonally it doesn't make a big difference.
The only NOS you're going to find on a LP is 2008 anyway so your 3 choices are 08, 2012, and 2013
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#7
Quote by AWACS
Why not get a Studio? Isn't there only really a difference in the top, binding and extra electronics like coil splitting?

If someone could clarify that'd be cool.


You're largely paying for aesthetics but those aesthetics are the difference between a good guitar and a great guitar.

They also choose better, hand picked, higher graded mahogany as you go up the models. There's different weight relieving in different models too. Also the pickups are different.
#8
Quote by Mephaphil
You're largely paying for aesthetics but those aesthetics are the difference between a good guitar and a great guitar.

They also choose better, hand picked, higher graded mahogany as you go up the models. There's different weight relieving in different models too. Also the pickups are different.


Ah, thank you.
Caution:
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#10
...and they say a Studio is just a Standard without the glitz and shiny bits...
#11
Quote by dazza027
...and they say a Studio is just a Standard without the glitz and shiny bits...


When Gibson first introduced the Studio, they were trying to make more money off the Les Paul model by cheaping it up. So they began the current trend of removing as many of the labor intensive parts that made them who they are as they could. Pickups cost Gibson much less than $5 to produce; there just wasn't a lot to remove there. They already had cheap tuners on the Standards and the pots and wiring were just pennies in volume. What was labor intensive (and very expensive) were things like binding, refined finishing, etc. So that's what began to come off Gibson guitars. As they moved to the inevitable conclusion of all of this, they eventually eliminated grain fill and any pretense of quality finishing, and now we have the satin/matte finished guitars and their marketing pushed for an ethos of "shabby chic," claiming it was "stripped down, no-nonsense rock and roll."
#12
Quote by Tom 1.0
Get a Traditional.

The 'old' standard. Its the one you want.


+1

They're cheaper too. Win win.
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#13
I own a 2005 standard. I´ve tried way to many LP´s and always been dissapointed because i find them hard to play with my tiny fingers.....this one on the other hand was a keeper. Ít has burstbucker pro´s for a good alround sound, really nice finish and the 60´s slim taper style neck. 2005 is the last year before they started full on chambering (I think it got even worse 2008) and are just like LP´s from 82-2006 "weight relieved"....which means they´re heavy as hell but if you´re into the whole "solid body= sustain and tone" belief than you won´t look past 2005.
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#14
Quote by Mephaphil
You're largely paying for aesthetics but those aesthetics are the difference between a good guitar and a great guitar.

They also choose better, hand picked, higher graded mahogany as you go up the models. There's different weight relieving in different models too. Also the pickups are different.

Have to disagree with this (most of it anyway, the higher graded wood thing can be a little subjective but is technically true).

Personally, I love my Studios & wouldn't swap them for anything: when I bought the first of them even though I was actually shopping for a Standard, with the money for a Standard in my pocket, I bought the guitar that felt nicest...a Worn Brown Satin Studio, the cheapest model they had!! I played 4 or 5 Standards in the shop and none of them had that 'It' factor that grabbed my attention. It was actually the guy in the shop who told me to try the Studio & it felt so good I fell in love with it instantly.

To me, the lack of all the glossy finishes they put on a Standard makes the guitar feel much more natural. The aesthetics don't make the guitar, they just make it look pretty in pictures.

Also, obviously there are a couple of different options but most Studios actually have the same spec pickups as the equivalent Standard.
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#15
Quote by GaryBillington
Have to disagree with this (most of it anyway, the higher graded wood thing can be a little subjective but is technically true).

Personally, I love my Studios & wouldn't swap them for anything: when I bought the first of them even though I was actually shopping for a Standard, with the money for a Standard in my pocket, I bought the guitar that felt nicest...a Worn Brown Satin Studio, the cheapest model they had!! I played 4 or 5 Standards in the shop and none of them had that 'It' factor that grabbed my attention. It was actually the guy in the shop who told me to try the Studio & it felt so good I fell in love with it instantly.

To me, the lack of all the glossy finishes they put on a Standard makes the guitar feel much more natural. The aesthetics don't make the guitar, they just make it look pretty in pictures.

Also, obviously there are a couple of different options but most Studios actually have the same spec pickups as the equivalent Standard.


nothing wrong with pretty....and nothing wrong with the worn look......it´s really all down to preference.....If a shiny finish makes you a better guitarist (makes you love your instrument just that little bit more, makes you pick it up a little more often and hold onto it a little longer) than shiny it is....if roadworn does the same ....than go for that....guitars are like women and thank god that we don´t all have the same tastes there either!!

...and of course it´s gotta be playable.....all the guitars I´ve ever owned have taken me 3 minutes to decide if I should buy them....1 minute of looking, 1 minute of playing.....and 1 minute of pondering if the wife will really kill me this time for coming home with another guitar
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