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#1
..this topic is probably the millionth like it, but I don't have time to search..

Basically, I just got an Ashton AGL85LTD, because I wanted an LP style guitar - it looks and sounds great, for the price, it's great. Doesn't feel too good to play, but everything else is great.

Anyway, basically it just made me feel like I want the real deal, so here I am..

What's the best Gibson LP I can get for around $1000?
I plan on saving up and getting what I want this time, not impulse buying some alternative..

I'm interested in the 2014 Futura, anyone played one?

What's the difference between a Studio and a LPJ? Why is it called an LPJ anyway?
I read they are the same size as normal.

But yeah, looking for some suggestions for a brand new LP style Gibson, around the $1000 mark, that I will be proud to have/own.
I'm not looking for any alternative or any other brand, I've got a cheap alternative and all it's done is make me want the real deal.
To be fair, the Ashton will be a more practical choice for gigging (a $1000 guitar would be way too precious for me to take out the house really).

Any suggestions would be appreciated!


EDIT 24/3/14: Went with the LPJ.
Last edited by King Turi at Mar 23, 2014,
#2
Get whatever Studio Traditional or Tribute they have out this year. They are always way far and away better value than anything else Gibson puts out. For the most part at least.
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#4
What Offworld92 said

You do know that you can get a used Gibson LP studio/LPJ for $400-$500 all the time

The LPJ has a Maple neck and a satin finish, the regular Studio is all Mahogany and has a gloss finish. I think the LPJ has the 50's neck and the Studio has either a

The important thing will the LP's you will be looking at is to play them first, there can be a big feeling difference between the guitars even if they are the "same model"
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#5
Here's one Right in your Price Range...

Just my opinion, and I don't mean to start a huge fight... but Yes.. there is a difference between an Epiphone and a Gibson. That being said... Robbgnarly is absolutely correct... Go PLAY them... Every guitar plays, feels and sounds different... Don't lay out a grand for any guitar you haven't played... It's definitely a crap shoot to buy a guitar online... I wouldn't do it to save a few bucks..
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#6
Honestly, in that price range my favourite is the LPJ, not the studio. It's smooth satin neck makes it a killer to play. Main issue is the crappy paint jobs (look for the gold top), and the quality may not be of top notch, but only in terms of cleaning things up and setting up the guitar. But really, the satin neck makes it so much better than most Les Pauls, and it's honestly the best feeling Les Paul all the way up to the Traditional.
#7
so you want the best "gibson" for a grand and NOT the best "guitar" or best "Les Paul" for a grand?

you're doomed for failure right from the start.
I wondered why the frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.
#8
Quote by gregs1020
so you want the best "gibson" for a grand and NOT the best "guitar" or best "Les Paul" for a grand?

you're doomed for failure right from the start.


agree. also what's the point if you would be afraid to actually use it? you can take care of your gear and play out as well. will you get a little ding here and there most likely yes but that's part of the game.

I'd look at some of the singlecut guitars offered by PRS or something like a ESP/LTD EC1000 for that price range. personally I find the LPJ to be kinda crappy and more about saying you have a "Gibson" than owning a guitar you can be proud of.
#9
^ On the other hand, if all your life you've dreamed of owning a Gibson buying any other guitar will not satisfy that dream.

With Gibsons, it's not necessarily about buying the 'best' guitar, it's about buying the one that grabs your attention and makes you fall in love with it.

When I bought my Faded Brown Studio (probably technically the lowest ranked Studio at the time) I was shopping with a couple of grand in my pocket trying out loads of different LP Standards and SGs as well as a few other brands like PRS & ESP, but none of them felt right. Then a guy in one of the shops I went to passed me my LP Studio & said "try this". I was initially confused, as I couldn't understand why he would recommend a £600 Studio over a £1700 Standard, but once I played it I knew. It truly was love at first play, I bought it there & then.

Basically, you need to spend time touring round as many guitar shops as possible, trying as many different guitars as possible until you find The One. Don't restrict yourself to only trying Gibson and be open minded about other guitars, but don't worry if your dreams lead you in that direction anyway. At least you'll know you tried other options but couldn't connect with them.
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#10
Quote by GaryBillington
^ On the other hand, if all your life you've dreamed of owning a Gibson buying any other guitar will not satisfy that dream.

With Gibsons, it's not necessarily about buying the 'best' guitar, it's about buying the one that grabs your attention and makes you fall in love with it.

When I bought my Faded Brown Studio (probably technically the lowest ranked Studio at the time) I was shopping with a couple of grand in my pocket trying out loads of different LP Standards and SGs as well as a few other brands like PRS & ESP, but none of them felt right. Then a guy in one of the shops I went to passed me my LP Studio & said "try this". I was initially confused, as I couldn't understand why he would recommend a £600 Studio over a £1700 Standard, but once I played it I knew. It truly was love at first play, I bought it there & then.

Basically, you need to spend time touring round as many guitar shops as possible, trying as many different guitars as possible until you find The One. Don't restrict yourself to only trying Gibson and be open minded about other guitars, but don't worry if your dreams lead you in that direction anyway. At least you'll know you tried other options but couldn't connect with them.


didn't mean to discount Gibsons just that you may be able to find a better guitar with similar specs for that price. I've also found that dreams and reality don't always work out for the best. I wanted a LP just like Jimmy Page's for many years when I first started to play. reality is that I don't get on real well with LPs (owned 2 over the years). nothing wrong with following your dreams though. I never even gave owning a BC Rich Eagle a though let alone a dream and yet it suites my LP needs better than a LP.
#11
If you save up a little more in the 1100-1300 range you can pick up a nice used LP Standard/Traditional/Classic from someone that is eager to sell it quick. Just wait around and check the local ads and be ready to pounce. They usually are not listed for more than a day or two.
#12
I bought a 2014 LPJ because I thought a USA made Gibson was great deal at $500. I ended up taking it back. I was disappointed with the finish and quality. I ended up trying a bunch of different guitars at a couple different locations. I settled on a Godin Core HB (blue Jean finish). It's made in Canada (I'm Canadian, so it made sense to me, lol). All of the Godin guitars I tried seemed to be priced far below thier quality level. I had never even heard of Godin before, so it was a very nice surprise.
#13
I'd look for something used, and I'd stay well away from anything with "LPJ" on it. I think they've named it "J" for Junque. It's *really* a cheap, disposable guitar and nowhere near the quality of any of the Asian imports at the same price. I don't think the LPJs are as well made as the Chinese fakes.

If I were seriously considering a Les Paul that represented what Gibson has done in the past, I'd look for a Traditional or Trad Pro (new or used) in good shape. You'll still want to do some work on it (most likely) to make it a very playable guitar if you like low action. My personal opinion is that Gibsons really don't begin to reflect the quality level of what made Gibson's reputation until you get into the $3500 (new, street) price range.

The Studios can certainly be had cheaply, if all you're looking for is something reasonably playable with Gibson on the headstock.
#14
Quote by King Turi

Basically, I just got an Ashton AGL85LTD, because I wanted an LP style guitar - it looks and sounds great, for the price, it's great. Doesn't feel too good to play, but everything else is great.


"Doesn't feel too good to play" can be fixed.

Consider a new guitar a "kit."

I have an AL-2000 Floyd "B Stock." I got it for under $200, with case, shipped, because it had finish issues. I handed it to Gary Brawer in San Francisco, who superglued the frets (http://www.stewmac.com/tsarchive/ts0043.html ) and then put the guitar on the PLEK and did a full fret level and setup. He essentially decked the action (I like it quite low) and we found a sweet spot for the pickup height (fairly low) and that guitar now plays spectacularly well. It is easily the equal, in terms of playability, of my $4K Gibson Axcess Custom (which also went on the PLEK and had its frets superglued).

I know that it seems crazy to put $200 worth of PLEK job into a $200 guitar, but this guitar has become one of my go-to bar guitars, and everyone who's played it is surprised at both the playability and the sound (that's even MORE subjective, of course). The most-uttered phrase is, "What, Seriously?"

So first spend the money to make that Ashton play well. THEN start saving money for a Gibson. I've got a ton of them and here's news; they're nice, but not *that* nice. And, as I mentioned in the other post...if you're going to make a run on a Gibson, save MORE money and don't catch the tail of the train (the cheapos that barely let you say you have a real "Gibson."). Hunt down and buy one of the Gibsons that leave no question that you've got an excellent member of that herd.
#15
I've got a 2007 Les Paul Studio Faded I'll sell you for $530. I put a switchcraft pickup selector and CTS 500k Long Shafts in it.
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#16
Thanks for all the suggestions - I really do dream of having myself a brand new, Gibson though, straight from the store.
I just love them and I know that anything else I get before that, will just set me back and won't quench the thirst.

I'll need to go play the LPJs they have at the music shop here and see what I think.

I might take my Ashton into the shop in the mean time and see if they can get it feeling better for me - I don't even know what the problem is, it stays in tune, intonation is perfect, looks fantastic and sounds way better than it should for the price I got it at, it's really a great guitar.
For some unknown reason, it just doesn't feel good to play, bends are really hard to do, and I feel like I'm some kinda lumberjack on the fretboard. :/

I'm not saving up for half a year to a year, to buy something second hand, no chance, it's going to be brand new and it's going to be an LP style Gibson.

My local music store has a few Gibsons in at the moment, might just try them out, they don't have a Futura though and I don't remember a Studio being in there either, both of these are ones I'm interested in. I know they had LPJs.
I'd love to hear from anyone who's played a Futura.
#17
Gibson Futuras are exceptionally rare guitars. They're only available through Gibson's Custom Shop. You're not going to find a person who owns one any time soon.


EDIT: Oh wait, are you referring to the Gibson SG/Les Paul Futura? If you are than I guess those are a lot more common. That is totally not confusing at all.
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Last edited by T00DEEPBLUE at Mar 1, 2014,
#18
Oh, really? I just saw it on their website and thought it was cool.
No pickguard though, so I was a little iffy on it.

Had no idea they were rare - there's a buy it now button on the website for them. :/
#19
I would go got the Studio, it is a Standard without the bling (which are mainly the binding). It has all the core components and to be honest, i think because it lacks the binding, the guitar is nicer for it since i don't think Gibson's binding is that great. So a smooth bare wood actually feels nicer to me.
#20
Quote by King Turi
Oh, really? I just saw it on their website and thought it was cool.
No pickguard though, so I was a little iffy on it.

Had no idea they were rare - there's a buy it now button on the website for them. :/

I was wrong. I thought you meant 'Gibson Futura' as in the Gibson Futura- The Explorer prototype from the 1950's. Not the Les Paul or the SG Futura. Those guitars are totally different. I thought you were talking about this guitar.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gibson_Futura

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Last edited by T00DEEPBLUE at Mar 1, 2014,
#21
Quote by raymond lin
I would go got the Studio, it is a Standard without the bling (which are mainly the binding). It has all the core components and to be honest, i think because it lacks the binding, the guitar is nicer for it since i don't think Gibson's binding is that great. So a smooth bare wood actually feels nicer to me.


One thing I liked about the LPJ finish was it was like raw wood. It wasn't glossy or anything, looked like it'd literally just been sanded back, stained a colour, and then put up for sale.
I love that raw wood look.

Definitely going to try play a few and make my mind up.
#22
Quote by King Turi
One thing I liked about the LPJ finish was it was like raw wood. It wasn't glossy or anything, looked like it'd literally just been sanded back, stained a colour, and then put up for sale.
I love that raw wood look.

Definitely going to try play a few and make my mind up.


The real reason for buying a Gibson has traditionally been fit and finish. And the logo.
In the LPJ, Gibson abandons everything but the logo. In particular, Gibson saves money by eliminating grain fill, tons of sanding and polishing, and most of the steps necessary to produce a beautiful finish. Instead, they hose the guitar down with a couple of coats of a matte lacquer and then call it a day.

The problem with that is that the finish, which is supposed to protect the raw wood, doesn't. Folks have reported that in some cases, the guitars are already losing finish in high-wear areas from the use they get while hanging on Guitar Center walls. Over time, areas of a guitar that are worn to the bare wood get filth ground into the bare wood, and those areas can eventually develop dry rot; old Fender and Gibson guitar necks that have been played right down to bare wood have eventually become unplayable (Eric Clapton's "Blackie" is in that boat) and nearly impossible to keep in tune. I have a fairly rare all-koa guitar that was done completely in a tung-oil finish. This is a gorgeous finish for a guitar that will be a closet queen, or that will be one of several in a carefully maintained rotation, but it's not a finish for a gigging guitar. When I got the guitar, there were areas that had ground-in dirt and that were impossible to clean. The guitar doesn't have mojo; it just looks nasty. Worse, the bare wood is far more likely to sustain dings and dents. I have another solid koa guitar that was painted, in about '89, in a polysomething clear coat, and despite some fairly heavy play time, it still looks gorgeous.

While flat finishes are certainly the current fashion trend (as were the tiger stripe superstrats of the '80's), all of this seems somewhat at odds with your desire to own a brand new never been touched by anyone else Gibson LP (rather than accepting something of better quality but gently used).
#23
Quote by King Turi


I might take my Ashton into the shop in the mean time and see if they can get it feeling better for me
For some unknown reason, it just doesn't feel good to play, bends are really hard to do, and I feel like I'm some kinda lumberjack on the fretboard. :/


This sounds pretty much like a setup or a string gauge issue.
#24
Quote by King Turi
Thanks for all the suggestions - I really do dream of having myself a brand new, Gibson though, straight from the store.

and your budget is $500.

you won't find an awesome new gibson for $500, just crap.

good luck.
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#26
Mu budget isn't $500, and if the LPJ's basically just fade away then I'm not going to want that.

My budget is basically unlimited, in my first post I said I'm going to save up for one - I can't afford to get one right now - I literally just bought my Ashton AGL85LTD.

Thanks for the offer JustRooster but I really want a brand new one, the way I see it, if I'm going to save up for a long time to get one, it's going to have to be brand new.
I've got a baby due next month more like this month, I've got 2 jobs, I study, and I also still try to get gigs around town, so it's really going to be something I can't get until the end of the year after a long time of saving up small amounts of money.

I have recently found out that about 2 and a half hours away is a massive music/guitar warehouse so I'm thinking I'm going to save up as much as possible (should be around $1500) and head down there and see what I like.
Right now I feel like I won't be happy with anything other than a Gibson, 'cuz I'm going to want that logo. :/
#27
Quote by King Turi
Mu budget isn't $500, and if the LPJ's basically just fade away then I'm not going to want that.

My budget is basically unlimited, in my first post I said I'm going to save up for one - I can't afford to get one right now - I literally just bought my Ashton AGL85LTD.

Thanks for the offer JustRooster but I really want a brand new one, the way I see it, if I'm going to save up for a long time to get one, it's going to have to be brand new.
I've got a baby due next month more like this month, I've got 2 jobs, I study, and I also still try to get gigs around town, so it's really going to be something I can't get until the end of the year after a long time of saving up small amounts of money.

I have recently found out that about 2 and a half hours away is a massive music/guitar warehouse so I'm thinking I'm going to save up as much as possible (should be around $1500) and head down there and see what I like.
Right now I feel like I won't be happy with anything other than a Gibson, 'cuz I'm going to want that logo. :/

no offense but this line of thought is all about why Gibson has these shitty low end guitars. gotta have a Gibson Les Paul. dude the name on the headstock has nothing to do with sound or feel. gotta be new under those circumstances really. odd priorities. I would think getting the most bang for the buck would be a bigger priority. all but one of my guitars was bought used and I got great deals on all of them. cash and some patience = best deal for the money.
#28
I know this, but I'm really not in a position to be able to buy guitars when I want.. I need to save for a very long time.

The way I see it, if I'm saving up for a long time, then I'm going to need to have the exact brand name on the headstock that I want, and it's going to have to be brand new.

Otherwise, I'll wind up still wanting one. I've already got make-do guitars. :/
#29
Quote by King Turi
I know this, but I'm really not in a position to be able to buy guitars when I want.. I need to save for a very long time.

The way I see it, if I'm saving up for a long time, then I'm going to need to have the exact brand name on the headstock that I want, and it's going to have to be brand new.

Otherwise, I'll wind up still wanting one. I've already got make-do guitars. :/

umm... not saying don't buy a Gibson just that your cash will go farther buying a used guitar. you save your money and then when you get to the amount you want to spend then you look and see what is available. you may end up spending less and getting more in the end.
#30
I look at it this way... a new car on the lot is 30 grand, the day it rolls off the lot its just dropped 7500 in depreciation cos its now second hand... If someone offered me my Gibson fireburst studio secondhand but less than 1 year old for 60% of the new price, then I'm pretty damned sure that I would forget in a hurry about the ideal of owning 'from new'. Let some other sucker pay the mark up and get an as new second hand Gibson for a song, its not that your mad if your don't, its that your f---ing stupid if you don't.
#31
I have a 2013 60s Tribute I bought in Nov. on sale for 749.00 and a 2013 I bought in Dec. for 549.00 and I like the Tribute the best,great guitar for the money.The LPJ is heavy to me.
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#32
Just to add, 2 weeks ago I was set to get a Les Paul, I want to Rock and Roll man !!! Be like my idols and all that Gibson aura that comes with having a LP.

So I went into a big guitar store and had a play on half a dozen or so.

First was the ebony les Paul Traditional, meh, it felt wrong when I picked it up, it even looks wrong too. It photographs much better than it looks in person, the binding quality on it is also suspect. It isn't flushed with the maple top or the neck joint. That actually isn't just on that one, checked a few out and it's a Gibson trait, QC on the binding can be hit and miss. Compare to the Taylor, the binding on that is smooth with the guitar all round.



Talking about picking a les Paul that speaks to you, I did try a Custom Classic that just screamed out off the rack. Love that but it's more expensive again.



The last les paul I tried was the 2013 Studio in Wine Red.

Brilliant colour and I like the wine grain on the top, more so than the flamed in the Signature T actually. The lack of binding also means the edges are smooth all round (seriously, if my limited experience of Gibson binding is true across the board, they need to see how they bind a T5, really not impressed by the binding at all, considering the money it costs compare to a Studio), I actually really like the studio, more so than I did with the Signature T.



My gut basically tells me LP is just not for me, not only I find Gibson's finish and quality control suspect, the guitar is heavier than i liked, it is thicker than i liked. The neck, even though it is a 60's neck, which is thinner, it is more a U shape than the C shape.

Over the weekend I got a PRS Custom 24 instead and i am over the moon. What shocking is that the Gibsons I was looking at was the same price ! In fact the PRS was less than the Classic Custom II.

So go try a few Les Pauls and listen to your heart.







Last edited by raymond lin at Mar 3, 2014,
#33
raymond lin - Fair call. Same to everyone else. I know I need to just play some, but I can't get it out of my head that if I have to save for SO LONG to get something, then it has to be what I want.

I think the wise decision will be for me to re-evaluate "what I want" after I've got the money and have played some more guitars.
That PRS is absolutely beautiful.
#34
Listen to your fingers, your hands as much as your heart.

Does it feel right, if it doesn't, try another, try 30 if you had to.

Ask yourself why it isn't right, what's right with that one and what's wrong with that one.

Buy the one that you can't let go of, you will know when you pick it up.
#35
Quote by raymond lin
Listen to your fingers, your hands as much as your heart.

Does it feel right, if it doesn't, try another, try 30 if you had to.

Ask yourself why it isn't right, what's right with that one and what's wrong with that one.

Buy the one that you can't let go of, you will know when you pick it up.


Incredible advice.
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#37
i used mccarty would be worth looking at too.
I wondered why the frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.
#38
Quote by raymond lin
Listen to your fingers, your hands as much as your heart.

Does it feel right, if it doesn't, try another, try 30 if you had to.

Ask yourself why it isn't right, what's right with that one and what's wrong with that one.

Buy the one that you can't let go of, you will know when you pick it up.


great advice. can't tell you how many guitars my heart said oh yeah to that my hands and ears said meh....no to. personally I'd ask myself why it has to be a Gibson.

saving and then buying what you really want is of course the best plan. knowing what you really want is the hard part. new or used the right guitar is the right guitar. nothing sucks worse than saving and buying only to find out down the road that it wasn't the right choice.
#39
Quote by raymond lin
Just to add, 2 weeks ago I was set to get a Les Paul, I want to Rock and Roll man !!! Be like my idols and all that Gibson aura that comes with having a LP.

So I went into a big guitar store and had a play on half a dozen or so.

First was the ebony les Paul Traditional, meh, it felt wrong when I picked it up, it even looks wrong too. It photographs much better than it looks in person, the binding quality on it is also suspect. It isn't flushed with the maple top or the neck joint. That actually isn't just on that one, checked a few out and it's a Gibson trait, QC on the binding can be hit and miss. Compare to the Taylor, the binding on that is smooth with the guitar all round.



Just so you know for future reference, the binding is flush, it's sanded that way. What you are noticing is from scraping the shader coats of finish off the binding (only) before the clear coats are applied.
This is where it helps to actually know how these guitar are made and finished.
The body & neck are assembled with binding, frets, inlays etc already installed. Then the fretboard and guitar front is tapped off for spraying. The body is sprayed with a coloured finish (called a shader) and this gets on the binding (neck and body). After several coats (with drying time in between) the tape is removed and the neck and body binding get hand scrapped to remove the coloured finish and get back down to the bare binding. Then the clear coats are applied over top of the body, neck & binding so it often leaves a ridge that can be felt but this is in the finish only & is NOT the binding not being level with the wood. You should watch some fatcory tours some time.
Moving on.....
#40
I have actually watched the tours - Taylor, Gibson, Martin, PRS.

Gibson's one is the most, shall I say, low tech with lots of room for errors.

I can only say what I feel, the binding on my T5 is so flushed with the rest of the guitar your'd think the white is sprayed on. If you close your eyes and feel it in your fingers you would not know where the bindings are.

Close my eyes and feel the binding on the Gibson i can tell where it starts and stops.
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