#1
I'll be picking up a Gibson Les Paul some time this winter (Christmas bonus at work). As of right now, I'm thinking that I want a solid black Les Paul Studio. Since the fancy bindings and flame tops aren't on my priority list, I don't think I want to pay the price for a standard.

I've played both and they sound the same to my ears, but my question for the group is whether the Studio cuts any QC corners vs. the standard. Is there reasons to buy the standard other than the binding and fancier paint jobs? Or is the only reason to say that you have a Les Paul Standard?

I haven't really looked at the Les Paul special, but it seems to be in the price range as well, but I don't have any experience with it.
#2
Quote by Jeffh40
I'll be picking up a Gibson Les Paul some time this winter (Christmas bonus at work). As of right now, I'm thinking that I want a solid black Les Paul Studio. Since the fancy bindings and flame tops aren't on my priority list, I don't think I want to pay the price for a standard.

I've played both and they sound the same to my ears, but my question for the group is whether the Studio cuts any QC corners vs. the standard. Is there reasons to buy the standard other than the binding and fancier paint jobs? Or is the only reason to say that you have a Les Paul Standard?

I haven't really looked at the Les Paul special, but it seems to be in the price range as well, but I don't have any experience with it.


basic answer is yes just about everything is lower quality. different pickups, lesser quality wood and of course the things you mentioned. none of that means the guitar won't sound good though. the one reason to buy the standard would be resale. studios tend to not have a great resale value vs what you pay new.
#3
Quote by Jeffh40
I'll be picking up a Gibson Les Paul some time this winter (Christmas bonus at work). As of right now, I'm thinking that I want a solid black Les Paul Studio. Since the fancy bindings and flame tops aren't on my priority list, I don't think I want to pay the price for a standard.

I've played both and they sound the same to my ears, but my question for the group is whether the Studio cuts any QC corners vs. the standard. Is there reasons to buy the standard other than the binding and fancier paint jobs? Or is the only reason to say that you have a Les Paul Standard?

I haven't really looked at the Les Paul special, but it seems to be in the price range as well, but I don't have any experience with it.


Interesting that of the big three reasons to buy a particular guitar (looks, sound, playability), you've ignored perhaps the main reason to buy a guitar: playability.

As you've said, you think they sound the same, and you seem to have two criteria for looks: the Gibson logo and "black with 'no binding and fancier paint jobs'."

In the recent past, Gibson Quality has been a bit of an oxymoron and definitely a hit-or-miss proposition, especially when the pricetag drops below $2500-3000. Some guitars have been very competently done and some have obviously been rushed to meet a quota. By pulling a lot of the lower priced junk that they've been tossing out there and by raising prices across the board, Gibson may be attempting to bump the quality levels and maintain profit levels in 2015. My personal feeling is that they really begin to hit the levels that Gibson has made its reputation on when the pricetag gets past $3500.

My other personal feeling is that if I'm dying to own a Gibson logo and if I can afford it, I'd want the Gibson that really represents what Gibson is all about, and that would be one of the ones with binding and probably a burst paint job. I personally hate the pink plastics and bindings of a lot of Trads and Standards of the past and I really prefer an ebony fretboard over a rosewood one, and I like real MOP inlays over plastic. So my most recent NEW Gibson purchase was an Axcess Custom (white multi-layer binding, ebony, MOP inlays). About four grand. I asked about the price of a 4AAAA top and a burst finish, but that was going to run $5760, and this was going to be a working guitar, so I settled for black. I'm not personally a black guitar fan, but I'm also not particularly fussed about finishes, so I end up with more black finishes than I really care for.

The Studio has always been designed as a "cheaper" guitar by Gibson (and everyone recognizes them as such), so they've eliminated the labor-intensive bits. Owners invariably call those labor intensive bits "bling", as if their core values and appreciation of shabby chic were hipper somehow. I personally like those bits. I have plank guitars that sound and play great. But I don't go to Gibson for that. It doesn't make sense (to me). YMMV.
#4
Quote by dspellman
Interesting that of the big three reasons to buy a particular guitar (looks, sound, playability), you've ignored perhaps the main reason to buy a guitar: playability.

As you've said, you think they sound the same, and you seem to have two criteria for looks: the Gibson logo and "black with 'no binding and fancier paint jobs'."

In the recent past, Gibson Quality has been a bit of an oxymoron and definitely a hit-or-miss proposition, especially when the pricetag drops below $2500-3000. Some guitars have been very competently done and some have obviously been rushed to meet a quota. By pulling a lot of the lower priced junk that they've been tossing out there and by raising prices across the board, Gibson may be attempting to bump the quality levels and maintain profit levels in 2015. My personal feeling is that they really begin to hit the levels that Gibson has made its reputation on when the pricetag gets past $3500.

My other personal feeling is that if I'm dying to own a Gibson logo and if I can afford it, I'd want the Gibson that really represents what Gibson is all about, and that would be one of the ones with binding and probably a burst paint job. I personally hate the pink plastics and bindings of a lot of Trads and Standards of the past and I really prefer an ebony fretboard over a rosewood one, and I like real MOP inlays over plastic. So my most recent NEW Gibson purchase was an Axcess Custom (white multi-layer binding, ebony, MOP inlays). About four grand. I asked about the price of a 4AAAA top and a burst finish, but that was going to run $5760, and this was going to be a working guitar, so I settled for black. I'm not personally a black guitar fan, but I'm also not particularly fussed about finishes, so I end up with more black finishes than I really care for.

The Studio has always been designed as a "cheaper" guitar by Gibson (and everyone recognizes them as such), so they've eliminated the labor-intensive bits. Owners invariably call those labor intensive bits "bling", as if their core values and appreciation of shabby chic were hipper somehow. I personally like those bits. I have plank guitars that sound and play great. But I don't go to Gibson for that. It doesn't make sense (to me). YMMV.

very interesting view that has some good points. personally I find that at the Standard level the guitars are really good and that some of the guitars in the $2000 range seem really solid and worthy of the Gibson name (we're talking LP here). most of the cheaper ones have been less than awesome and the current real cheapies are overpriced junk. better off buying a higher end Epiphone. name on the headstock seems to be a huge factor in this. Gibson may want to consider skipping the nitro finish on the lower end guitars in favor of a decent poly finish which will at least make the guitar look good. yes I know nitro is part of the gibson legacy.
#5
Most Studios actually use the same pickups as the more expensive guitars Gibson make. The ONLY difference in terms of spec is the aesthetics.

Truth is, you can find a Studio that is excellent just as easily as you can find a Standard or Custom that is terrible.

Shop around, play everything - not just Gibson - and pick the best guitar you find.
Gibson LP Traditional, LP GT, LP Studio, SG Standard x2
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#6
About playability (should that enter into your purchase equation).

If you're a wanger; one of those people who jumps around the stage and who believes that "dynamics" involve hitting the strings as hard as possible, ignore everything from here down.

Since you ARE reading past that last sentence, allow me to suggest that a lot of guitars (including some Gibsons) are essentially kits, and that includes the expensive spread, unfortunately. I've gotten to the point where I budget a couple of hundred for a Good Initial Setup (no matter what the guitar costs), and in my case that includes a fret superglue and a run on the PLEK. That $4K Gibson I mentioned above had a Gibson Hump (yeah, it was supposed to have been PLEK'd at the factory, blah blah). That's sort of a signature bump up in the higher fret area near where the neck meets the body, and it causes fret buzz if you like your action fairly low. Supergluing the frets is a process of wicking thin superglue into the tang cavities under the frets. It accomplishes two things: it helps prevent "flyer" frets when the weather changes, and it helps eliminate "dead" frets. When completed, you can almost deck the action without buzzing, and the frets themselves are like glass.

If you're a playability fan, you'll want to know what kind of a neck you prefer.

I have huge, very strong hands, and I prefer thinner wider necks, frets that are at the low end of the Jumbo range, flatter radius fretboards, ebony fretboards. I play with my thumb in the middle of the back of the neck most of the time and my palm rarely touches the back of the neck. I like very low action, I like playing in the higher fret area.

As a result, several things bother me about *Gibson* Les Pauls. They often come with baseball bat necks. Those are fine for people with weak hands, for those who use their palms to bring forearm muscles into play to help with bends, etc. and who hang a thumb over the top of the fretboard a lot. For me they're a waste of wood. Gibsons generally have medium size frets (they're advertising them as 27% lower this year) and fairly narrow string spacing (once due to "nibs", now due to...whatever). They advertise a 12" radius spec that often measures out closer to 10". The pretty cutaway horn on a Gibson forces me to rotate my hand when playing those upper four frets. Worse, that very clunky 1912-based neck heel/body point stabs my palm when I try to use the upper frets. That's why I bought the Axcess!

So I spend some time OFF the reservation (I have a wad of Gibsons, and absolutely no logo envy) when it comes to playability. For the price of a Studio (or less) I can have a Les Paul (not a "real" Les Paul, the fanbois will remind me, because it's not a *Gibson* Les Paul) with a solid mahogany body, neck-through construction, an Axcess-style neck heel, a rib contour (Leo Fender had something, there), jumbo frets, ebony fretboard, real MOP inlays, a 14" or 16" radius fretboard, a wider (1 3/4") nut with concurrent string spacing, several choices of neck profile, and a choice of whether I want that binding and a nice finish (lots and lots more choices) or not. If I'm willing to wait a bit for a custom shop, I can order up with a 24-fret neck, a longer scale (if I want), a Floyd Rose and much more, and STILL be under the price of a Studio. And even though you can't hear the difference, the guitar will sound very much like a Gibson Les Paul with a set of '57s on it, except that it will probably have a bit more sustain.
Last edited by dspellman at Dec 18, 2014,
#7
Quote by GaryBillington
Most Studios actually use the same pickups as the more expensive guitars Gibson make. The ONLY difference in terms of spec is the aesthetics.


I don't really buy this. On the other hand:

About Gibson pickups. It costs perhaps $1-$4 (max) to produce a Gibson pickup in bulk. It's about time that people realize that no matter what Gibson actually charges for their pickups (and this goes for the custom builders as well), the actual material cost is tiny. Gibson pickups are machine-made (an operator lines up a bunch of them on the machine, attaches the wire to the bobbins, and they merrily zip along) in bulk on older and less-efficient machines than the Koreans, Chinese and Indonesians use, but on machines nonetheless. Gibson is offering the same pickup on a $499 selling price guitar as they offer on the $6K spread. There's nothing special about a Gibson pickup.

If everything sounds the same simply because there's a Gibson pickup on it, then why bother with a guitar that has the Gibson logo on it? Pick up a set of the pickups that Gibson owners are casting off to put Bare Knuckles and SDs and DiMarzios and Suhrs and all the other aftermarket pickups on, slap them on something else and job done.
#8
I bought a 2009 Studio Sunburst a few years ago as sort of a tribute to Les when he passed away. I really wanted to love the guitar but never did. It never felt like home on the fretboard and I couldn't find my tone in there. I don't so much blame Gibson as much as my own changing tastes/wants over time. I sold it for exactly what I paid and it's back to Fender guitars for me.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
#9
Quote by dspellman
I don't really buy this. On the other hand:

About Gibson pickups. It costs perhaps $1-$4 (max) to produce a Gibson pickup in bulk. It's about time that people realize that no matter what Gibson actually charges for their pickups (and this goes for the custom builders as well), the actual material cost is tiny. Gibson pickups are machine-made (an operator lines up a bunch of them on the machine, attaches the wire to the bobbins, and they merrily zip along) in bulk on older and less-efficient machines than the Koreans, Chinese and Indonesians use, but on machines nonetheless. Gibson is offering the same pickup on a $499 selling price guitar as they offer on the $6K spread. There's nothing special about a Gibson pickup.

If everything sounds the same simply because there's a Gibson pickup on it, then why bother with a guitar that has the Gibson logo on it? Pick up a set of the pickups that Gibson owners are casting off to put Bare Knuckles and SDs and DiMarzios and Suhrs and all the other aftermarket pickups on, slap them on something else and job done.

Not arguing against that, not many people would upgrade to a standard Gibson pickup....

Just saying that the differences are primarily aesthetic, and try before you buy is a must, especially with Gibson.
Gibson LP Traditional, LP GT, LP Studio, SG Standard x2
Barber Tone Press > EHX Worm >TC Polytune > MXR Custom Badass 78 > EXH Glove > EHX East River Drive > Zoom G3 > TC Spark Mini Booster
Laney VC30
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Jet City JCA22H
.
My SoundCloud
#10
Quote by GaryBillington
Most Studios actually use the same pickups as the more expensive guitars Gibson make. The ONLY difference in terms of spec is the aesthetics.

Truth is, you can find a Studio that is excellent just as easily as you can find a Standard or Custom that is terrible.

Shop around, play everything - not just Gibson - and pick the best guitar you find.



That is what I saw on their website. Looks like the same specs just different aesthetics.

It looks like others disagree. That is why I posted the thread. I want everyone's opinion so I can be as educated as possible when plucking down $1-2K. A $4K LP is not in the budget.

Of course, I'll play before I buy (or at least order from GC because of their return policy)
#11
Quote by Jeffh40
Of course, I'll play before I buy

This is the most important thing.

I played 100s of different guitars a couple of years ago when I was shopping with a £2k budget, tried everything I could find, but the best out there was a £600 Studio. Truly outstanding. Better than any Standard etc I found, but I nearly didn't even try it because it had the cheaper price tag.

In my experience, other brands can be a lot more consistent, but with Gibson when you find the right one for you get your wallet out straight away! Other guitars of the same model (throughout their price range, not just with cheaper models) may not be the same.
Gibson LP Traditional, LP GT, LP Studio, SG Standard x2
Barber Tone Press > EHX Worm >TC Polytune > MXR Custom Badass 78 > EXH Glove > EHX East River Drive > Zoom G3 > TC Spark Mini Booster
Laney VC30
Marshall TSL602
Jet City JCA22H
.
My SoundCloud
#12
I use a 2006 1958 RI with one of the largest necks I've ever seen. It's perfect - those thin, tiny shred necks are uncomfortable as all **** when you have a 4-3/4" palm.

The neck heel does kind of suck, but you get used to it and then you don't notice anymore. And, as you said, there's alternatives if you don't want to bother.
Everyone is entitled to an opinion.

Feel free to express yours so I can make an informed judgement about how stupid you are.
#13
Quote by bubb_tubbs
I use a 2006 1958 RI with one of the largest necks I've ever seen. It's perfect - those thin, tiny shred necks are uncomfortable as all **** when you have a 4-3/4" palm.


Again, your palm really isn't supposed to enter into this. My palm rarely touches the guitar at all. If it does, a thin neck is going to cramp your hand. If you've got good (er..."proper?") technique, it won't matter. If you're finding that the big muscle in your palm at the base of your thumb is getting sore, you want to change your technique now, or you're going to have an issue with arthritis later in life that may prevent you from opening your peanut butter jar.
#14
To my knowledge current LP studios are chambered (aka hollowed out) since 2006. If you want a normal weight relieved (9 swiss cheese holes in body) LP Studio like they made them for many years you will need to keep your eye out for a used studio 2005 or older. If you want a completely solidbody LP you will want to look for used historic reissue.
Last edited by HighGainer at Dec 18, 2014,
#15
Gibsons can be great or horrible regardless of price point. try first. dspellman has a huge hard-on for agile and other brands, but he likes Gibson's when they are good.

So eventhough he ha some good suggestuions, he is extremely opinionated.

he also has a hard-on for Carvin amps (which are crap IMO) but he does give some good advise


Merry Cristmas dude
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Last edited by Robbgnarly at Dec 18, 2014,
#16
Quote by dspellman
Again, your palm really isn't supposed to enter into this. My palm rarely touches the guitar at all. If it does, a thin neck is going to cramp your hand. If you've got good (er..."proper?") technique, it won't matter. If you're finding that the big muscle in your palm at the base of your thumb is getting sore, you want to change your technique now, or you're going to have an issue with arthritis later in life that may prevent you from opening your peanut butter jar.

Or I could get a neck that fits my hand perfectly so it doesn't get sore.

Besides, I'm using hand tools all day and play violin and piano at a grade 9+ level - getting arthritis from a guitar neck is the least of my worries.
Everyone is entitled to an opinion.

Feel free to express yours so I can make an informed judgement about how stupid you are.
#17
Might as well post something helpful while I'm here.

TS, if you're fairly sure you want a Studio, I'd try to find a nice, used early to mid 90's one. They had several options like ebony fretboards so there's a decent variety and they play very, very well if you can get one that speaks to you.

I had one for years until I got the R8. Loved it but didn't need two Pauls and the historic murdered it sonically so it had to go.
Everyone is entitled to an opinion.

Feel free to express yours so I can make an informed judgement about how stupid you are.
#18
Quote by Robbgnarly
Gibsons can be great or horrible regardless of price point. try first. dspellman has a huge hard-on for agile and other brands, but he likes Gibson's when they are good.

So eventhough he ha some good suggestuions, he is extremely opinionated.

he also has a hard-on for Carvin amps (which are crap IMO) but he does give some good advise


You've been peeking at my hard-on AGAIN? Buy me dinner first, will ya?

To clarify:

I like my Carvin Belair (which has been modified extensively), my ancient '71 solid state thing with the huge 2x15 cabinet, my late '80's X100 1x12 combo and the TS-100 tube power amp. You've played exactly none of those. I've played none of the others, so your opinion that others are crap could certainly be valid.

I like the Agile AL-3200 a whole lot. I own a couple of other Agile LPs, and I think the rest of them are very decent value for the money.

Other than that, you're pretty much spot on.
#20
Quote by dazza027
Can't believe no one has recommended a Reverend yet...

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!
#21
Quote by Jeffh40
I haven't really looked at the Les Paul special, but it seems to be in the price range as well, but I don't have any experience with it.

that's the one you need to pay close attention to.
I wondered why the frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.
#22
Quote by hihamusic
I got some good les paul guitars here : www..com
even they are not oiginal but good and cheap and worth to order


advertising is against the rules here. posting Chinese knock offs is a big no no. reported
Last edited by monwobobbo at Dec 20, 2014,
#23
Quote by Jeffh40
I'll be picking up a Gibson Les Paul some time this winter (Christmas bonus at work). As of right now, I'm thinking that I want a solid black Les Paul Studio. Since the fancy bindings and flame tops aren't on my priority list, I don't think I want to pay the price for a standard.

I've played both and they sound the same to my ears, but my question for the group is whether the Studio cuts any QC corners vs. the standard. Is there reasons to buy the standard other than the binding and fancier paint jobs? Or is the only reason to say that you have a Les Paul Standard?

I haven't really looked at the Les Paul special, but it seems to be in the price range as well, but I don't have any experience with it.


Well, do you honestly think that the difference is just cosmetic? (Why even buy a Gibson if you don't want what they're known for?) The Studio may have been intended as a stripped down Standard once, but now it's just a Les Paul that's been stripped and corner cut to something that does not even resemble a Standard.

It may still be a good guitar for the money, but if you're thinking you get the same guitar as the Standard without binding, you are seriously fooling yourself. In the last few years they used a lot of different woods for the fretboards when the supply on rosewood was low, and while granadillo may work well as fretboard material it certainly doesn't look or feel the same as rosewood they reserved for the Standard/Traditional.
"Your signature can not be longer than 250 characters."

How you know you have too many guitars...

Apparently once also known as PonyFan #834553.
#24
Quote by HomerSGR
while granadillo may work well as fretboard material it certainly doesn't look or feel the same as rosewood they reserved for the Standard/Traditional.

I've seen some LP's and other models with those fretboards and they look pretty damn close to Brazillian rosewood once they're oiled. They feel very similar as well.
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.
#25
The Studios I've seen with supposed granadillo fretboards have been somewhere between maple and the lightest rosewood in colour. It didn't feel like my Deluxe or Standard Faded's rosewood either. My point still stands, and it is that the Studio would only be compared to the Standard by someone who bought one and would like the guitar to be 'better' than it is.

It's a mid-level Les Paul. Quality-wise you could get as good a guitar with a PRS SE 245. Feel wise, which is as important, it does have the feel of a Gibson, and I still think it is a good choice for the Gibson-feel and sound on a budget - but it ain't a Standard or Traditional minus the cosmetics.
"Your signature can not be longer than 250 characters."

How you know you have too many guitars...

Apparently once also known as PonyFan #834553.
#26
Quote by HomerSGR
The Studios I've seen with supposed granadillo fretboards have been somewhere between maple and the lightest rosewood in colour. It didn't feel like my Deluxe or Standard Faded's rosewood either. My point still stands, and it is that the Studio would only be compared to the Standard by someone who bought one and would like the guitar to be 'better' than it is.

Oiling the fretboard certainly makes it feel and look an awful lot more like Brazilian rosewood though. Granadillo fretboards look light when they're very dry, and that's probably what you've been seeing.
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.
Last edited by T00DEEPBLUE at Dec 21, 2014,
#27
The Standard is made using higher graded woods, pretty much everywhere when compared to the Studio. There are about 4 Les Paul models that fall in between the Standard and the Studio price-wise, so why not consider those? The Standard costs almost 2 1/2 times as much as a Studio. Quite a price difference! Depends on how much you want to spend on a guitar. If you are a gigging professional guitarist, then it might be worth the extra money. If you are a hobbyist bedroom player, probably the Studio is the right choice. I have a 2005 LP Studio and I am content.
#28
Keep in mind that a good portion of that upcharge is the labour costs of doing full binding and the increased number of neck profiles and finish colours.

This is talking in general, of course. I know next to nothing about new Gibbys (what models have baked maple boards instead of rosewood, etc.) because, frankly, there's such a huge used market pre-2006 that there's really no point from a personal perspective.
Everyone is entitled to an opinion.

Feel free to express yours so I can make an informed judgement about how stupid you are.