#1
I have a friend that is looking to buy a les paul. I was wondering what the difference was between the Studio, Standard, Classic(don't know if they make this model anymore), Supreme, etc. What's an intro model Les Paul? Is it the Standard or the Studio? What's the lower level Les Paul to the higher level Les Paul? I'm talking Gibsons here, don't care about Epi's, PRSs, ESPs, etc.. If you were in the market for a les paul, where would you start?

Thanks for the help,
#2
Quote by grim1
I have a friend that is looking to buy a les paul. I was wondering what the difference was between the Studio, Standard, Classic(don't know if they make this model anymore), Supreme, etc. What's an intro model Les Paul? Is it the Standard or the Studio? What's the lower level Les Paul to the higher level Les Paul? I'm talking Gibsons here, don't care about Epi's, PRSs, ESPs, etc.. If you were in the market for a les paul, where would you start?

Thanks for the help,


I'd audition the ones in my price range first.

http://www2.gibson.com/Products/Electric-Guitars/Les-Paul.aspx

http://www.guitarcenter.com/Gibson-Custom-Shop,Solid-Body-Electric-Electric-Guitar.gc?extup=Gibson&ipp=50&o=1

http://www.guitarcenter.com/Gibson-Les-Paul-g26549t0.gc?esid=Gibson%20Les%20Paul

#3
Go to the Gibson website and sort the les pauls in price from low to high.

That'll do it.
Quote by TheSennaj
And well yes, I'll enjoy the carpal tunnel and tendonitis, because trying to get one is clearly smarter than any word you have spoken thus far.
#4
Price range will determine what you're going to be looking at. There's no point in going through ever les paul made since ever, if your budget caps at $1500.
#5
I won't even attempt to list all the differences between the various models, but here's a short list with some of the highlights, from lowest to highest price:

  • Melody Maker - Few features, cheapest "Named" Les Paul and dissimilar to most other LP models.
  • Junior - Technically its own guitar, flattop mahogany with a single P-90.
  • Special - Two P-90 pickups; similar to the Junior.
  • LPJ - lowest "full spec" Les Paul from Gibson, very basic finish and appointments.
  • Studio 50s/60s Tribute - Vintage inspired Studio models.
  • Studio - Stripped down Standard model with different pickups and fewer aesthetic appointments
  • Classic Custom - Unusual woods used in response to sourcing issues at Gibson. (recently discontinued)
  • Les Paul Double cut - dual cutaway for easier fret access.
  • Standard - modern Les Paul with chambering and a unique neck profile, as of 2008. Sister model to the Traditional.
  • Traditional - Similar to the pre-2008 Les Paul Standard, Gibson's flagship model and the "original recipe."
  • Custom - upscale version of the original; no maple top for a darker sound.
  • Supreme - heavily figured and ornamented.
  • Reissues/VOS/Historic/ "R8, R9" instruments - vintage-correct versions of the original Les Pauls from the Gibson Custom Shop. The number after the R represents the year it was modeled after (e.g. R8 is 1958).


As far as what to start with, it depends on the budget. For $800 the Studio Tributes are decent; same with the LPJs at $600, but there are other competitive instruments in those price ranges; the most expensive feature any Les Paul has is the Gibson branding. After that, the prices get out of hand in a hurry and IMO a brand new Studio or Standard just aren't worth the price. Once you get into Custom Shop and Historic kind of money, those guitars are quite good and are rather popular among people who are very serious about such things. Some good deals can be had on used Historics for prices similar to a new Standard.

Basically, if I were in the market for a Les Paul, I would not necessarily end up with a Gibson. Here's what I'd consider my short list based on rough price ranges:
  • $200-400: Agile.
  • $600: Gibson Faded
  • $400-1200: Burny/Tokai
  • $800-900 Gibson Tribute
  • $1200-1600: used Gibson Standard
  • $1600+: Boutique/small luthiers come into play; dozens of great options past this point.
  • $2K: Gibson Historic
  • $2500+: Boutique territory; Hic Sont Dracones. Zero compromise, zero excuse territory.



Gibson just isn't a bang for the buck type of brand. If you can give us a more general idea of the budget and requirements we're working with, that would be helpful. Deciding that you have to have a Gibson Les Paul despite clearly not knowing much about their lineup makes me worry about tunnel vision.
#6
$400-1200: Burny/Tokai
$800-900 Gibson Tribute


Personally, I see $600-1200 as kind of the sweet spot for finding all kinds of really good LP-type options.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#7
Quote by grim1
What's an intro model Les Paul? Is it the Standard or the Studio? What's the lower level Les Paul to the higher level Les Paul? I'm talking Gibsons here, don't care about Epi's, PRSs, ESPs, etc.. If you were in the market for a les paul, where would you start?



Gibson's putting out a lot of low-level crapola recently -- you can pick up something that says Gibson Les Paul on it for under $499 this month. That's about as entry level as you can get.

IMHO, the Asian LP-alikes own the under-$1000 market in terms of quality guitar for the dollar, and a $500 Korean will absolutely kill a $499 Gibson.

The Traditionals and Standards are in the $2K territory and begin to approach what we'd normally think of as a "real" Gibson in terms of traditional finish and decent construction, etc.

After that, my *personal* Gibson cutoff would be closer to $3000-3500 (new guitar street price), at which point you're looking at a guitar that would represent Gibson as a premium guitar builder at the same level that we've seen through the years.
#9
Quote by grim1
Gents, Thanks for the posts, some were very helpful, others were not. Ultimately my friend went with The Traditional.
http://www2.gibson.com/Products/Electric-Guitars/Les-Paul/Gibson-USA/Les-Paul-Traditional.aspx
Hope that the person she bought it for appreciates it.


I have some major GAS for that model, especially in "Chicago Blue"... luckily it's so far out of my price range I don't have to worry about it following me home anytime soon. Whoever that's going to will have an awesome life-long instrument.