#1
I'm getting the itch for a Les Paul, and it will probably take a while to save the money.

I won't have the money for much more than the Studio Pro models, and I want real Gibson. I also like the pronounced horizontal grain pattern in the maple tops. It almost looks like tiger stripes on some of the custom models.

Is that finish only available on the more expensive custom models, or can it be found on LP's in the $1000 to $1500 price range?

If I can't find that finish, that's not the end of the world, as my first concern is the sound and playability of the guitar.
#3
I know its not a real Gibson, but you should be able to get exactly what you want aesthetically by purchasing a Carvin...and the tones will be similar, too. In either a 22 or 24 fret design. Probably better made, too.

www.carvinguitars.com/catalog/guitars/cs6

www.carvinguitars.com/catalog/guitars/cs624
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Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Apr 27, 2014,
#4
It's actually not the grain of the wood which gives it that effect at all. The grain always goes down the length of the guitar, but it's the figuring of the wood which gives the horizontal stripes effect.
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#5
I think what your looking for is a flamed maple top. Normally only the more expensive Gibsons have it but the new studio deluxe has a flamed top for around $1300.

Carvin is a very good brand personally I think there better then Gibson. A flamed top is a $200 option on any of there guitars and they are likely going to be using a better looking top wood then a low end Gibson. On the other hand average price for a carvin is around $1600 depending on the options you choose. Check out there Facebook page for examples they post about 10 pictures a day from there factory.
#6
Quote by mhanbury2
I think what your looking for is a flamed maple top.


+1
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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.

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#7
Quote by Monkeyleg
I'm getting the itch for a Les Paul, and it will probably take a while to save the money.

I won't have the money for much more than the Studio Pro models, and I want real Gibson. I also like the pronounced horizontal grain pattern in the maple tops. It almost looks like tiger stripes on some of the custom models.

Is that finish only available on the more expensive custom models, or can it be found on LP's in the $1000 to $1500 price range?

If I can't find that finish, that's not the end of the world, as my first concern is the sound and playability of the guitar.


Two things:

The top you're looking for is a flame maple, and if you're buying the cheaper Gibsons the tops can be VERY haphazard. You might get a sadly mismatched top on one, a gorgeous top on another. Gibson wants big bucks to insure that you get a good top; when I bought an Axcess Custom, I priced both the black version and one that would have had a 4A quality top. Gibson wanted an extra $1760 for that top (a total of $5760 for the guitar).

"Real Gibson" varies from the $600 junker LPJ guitars to the $6000 R9s. Not everything in the Gibson lineup is a premium guitar. Fact is, a lot of folks set the bar at $3500 for a guitar that really reflects Gibson quality, while others figure that, at a minimum, it's wherever the Traditional series of guitars begins. I have Gibsons that start at 1949, make stops in the mid-50's, mid-60's and mid-70's. I have just one Gibson branded guitar built recently (that $4K Axcess Custom now a couple of years old) and quite honestly, I have other guitars that cost less money that are simply better guitars.

The Carvins mentioned by dannyalcatraz are semicustoms by a US company with a reputation for amazing woods and excellent build quality. You can actually call them and ask them to hand-pick a top for you. Their CS (California Singlecut) series guitars have a smoothed neck heel, a tummy cut and a slightly thinner body (Gibson Studios are also often thinner than Traditionals or Standards), but it's solid mahogany, not cheesed or chambered. You have an amazing array of options, including 24-fret versions, trems, woods, finishes, frets (stainless available), fretboard woods (ebony is standard), inlay styles (or no inlays at all, but all inlays are real MOP or abalone rather than the plastic found on most Gibsons) and more. Note that if you get a flamed (or quilted) top, you also get a matching headstock. Carvin has a bit more realistic price on their amazing tops; a guitar with a plain maple cap will run about $1119 (no options) and one with a spectacular figured maple cap will run $1399. Worth noting that the entire guitar is priced less than what Gibson wanted for its figured maple cap alone.

I have 7 Carvins purchased from 1989 to the present. Playability on the old ones is at least as good as on the new ones.

If the Gibson logo is a priority for you, then you get what they give you, and with luck you can find a nice-looking top.
#8
Quote by dannyalcatraz
I know its not a real Gibson, but you should be able to get exactly what you want aesthetically by purchasing a Carvin...and the tones will be similar, too. In either a 22 or 24 fret design. Probably better made, too.

www.carvinguitars.com/catalog/guitars/cs6

www.carvinguitars.com/catalog/guitars/cs624

YESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYES. I haven't played a bad Carvin yet, and I don't think I ever will.
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#9
OP there's figure and there's grain. Gibson tops are either flat sawn, quarter sawn or rift sawn. Each gives a different view of wood grain. Rift and Flat show the grain of the woods more (pattern) while 1/4 sawn shows only the growth lines across. The figure is the amount of 3D effect the wood shows & at one time it was generally believed 1/4 sawn showed any figure present more. I don't necessarily agree with this. My R0 is flat sawn but has a very 3D figure to it. If you look at the 3rd pic you'll see the grain of the wood from an angle where the figure doesn't obscure it.





Moving on.....