#1
So to get straight to the point I work at a pawn shop and see a lot of Les Paul's come through. Now I have a pretty good idea about what most are worth, but there are so many variations just between the 2012 standards or a 1990 studios. Is there a good site to reference besides eBay or the basic musicians sites? obviously searching Gibson Les Paul studio is gonna show you prices from $800 from $8000.

what I'm trying to find is guide that would show me how to identify the subtleties that Gibson has used over the years.

any ideas are appreciated and thanks for your time.
Don"t Be A Bitch.
#2
They're worth nothing. Especially the ones from the 50's.

Where is it that you actually work again?
#3
They're all worthless, but I'll take it off your hands for $100.
Quote by Axelfox
Reeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
#4
I'd actually be interested in such info myself.
'93 Gibson LP Studio (498T/490R)-Ebony
'14 Gibson LP Standard (JB/Jazz)-Ocean Water Perimeter
Epi MKH LP Custom-7 (SD Custom Shop JB-7)-Ebony
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#5
Just buy a guitar valuation book like blue book of guitar value (tells you used values of guitars in various conditions I believe). That'd help you. Once you get to know the different types of Les Paul's like collectors choice/historics/tradiotional/classic/standard, you'll have a better understanding of the values and differences between them.
#6
Quote by PanamaJack666
Just buy a guitar valuation book like blue book of guitar value (tells you used values of guitars in various conditions I believe). That'd help you. Once you get to know the different types of Les Paul's like collectors choice/historics/tradiotional/classic/standard, you'll have a better understanding of the values and differences between them.


I have a blue book but funny thing is is that if you don't know what the model of the les paul is you can't find it in the book. I know studios from standards but knowing the year and model or run of the guitar seems to be the grail.
Don"t Be A Bitch.
#7
Well, the year part is easy. Here's how to decode a modern (post-1980) Gibson electric serial number:
The SN should be 8 or 9 digits. Some models like the Classic and signature/CS guitars have fewer digits, but most Gibson electrics have 8/9. From 1980-ish to 2005, a serial number looked like this:
YDDDYNNN
Where they YY number gives you the year, the DDD gives you the day of the year (i.e. out of 365) and the NNN gives you the production number, starting at 300. So:
90819300
Is the first guitar produced on April fool's day 1999.

In 2005 they switched to 9 digits, which is the same except for a batch number:
YDDDYBNNN, so:
008160101
Is the 101st guitar of the second batch (first batch is 0) of April 1 2006.

Fake serial numbers may deviate from this, but don't count on it; if I can type this out, so can the guys making fake Les Pauls. Things to look out for are pre-2005 numbers below 300, or above 900 (reserved for prototypes, so not impossible, but unlikely), and 2005 numbers with a production number higher than 699, which is when the batch number resets. The only deviation I'm aware of for this system was in 1994, when Gibson had their 100th anniversary and decided to stamp their electrics with serial number starting with "94" so they'll just be 94NNNNNN. No way of knowing really what day it was made on. I'm not 100% sure that all guitars from 1994 had this, but it's something to know because it might look like a fake at first glance.


So that's the serial number part. As far as identifying the model, a lot of that is going to come with practice. I don't think anyone will be able to type out an exhaustive list of identifiers for Studios, but here are a few things to look for:
-Studios had trapezoid inlays for a while (early 90s) then switched to dots, then back to trapezoids. Not sure of the years on all of those but just know that you'll see some stock Studios with each type of inlay.
-Up until maybe 2003 there was really only one Studio model. It had no binding on the body, neck, or headstock and had a gloss finish (most common were black, white, and red, but they made plenty of others, some in limited runs). There was a Studio Plus model with a nicer top and a few other aesthetic upgrades but those are fairly rare. Studios have slowly but consistently dropped in price over the last 10 years or so, and at the same time have diverged more and more from the Standard. So in 1999 a Studio cost significantly more than the 2013 Studio model does, but differed from the Standard only in the binding. I'm not sure how this translates to resale but it's something to be aware of.
-In the early/mid 2000s more Studio models started coming out. The Studio Faded and the Studio Mahogany Faded had a bare-wood look with a dark brown or red stain.
-A model called the LP special pro looks somewhat like a Studio but has a flat top and a lower value.
-Within the last year the LPJ has come out which is a low-cost Studio. It says LPJ on the truss rod cover so that's an easy ID.

The wikipedia page is a good start, you can also generally figure out the year and then google "2002 Les Paul Studio" to see what the model looked like that year. IDing can be tough but just looking at a lot of them will eventually clue you in to the differences.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gibson_Les_Paul_Studio

Once you ID or at least get close then it's usually just a matter of poking around on eBay completed listings.
#8
There was a period (and it may still happen) where if you send Gibson the serial number by email they will respond as to what you have - model, colour, date of manufacture etc.
Be aware that Gibson does not have complete ledgers through the 1950s so some of the real vintage stuff they can't tell you about.

I doubt they would take kindly to answering lots of queries from the same guy and I suspect a business email address would be a none starter, but it may help out with some difficult guitars when all else has failed and could be a selling point with a full description on resale.

Also a few enthusiasts are on web sites like mylespaul and the real vintage officiadoes at the lespaulforum where you might post a pic or two and ask. Again doing that as a commercial thing would get you routed out, but the odd one will not be seen as taking advantage. The lespaulforum particularly are a prickly bunch of mainly 1950s guitar nuts but the collective detailed knowledge to be gleaned is worth looking in for.