So after many years of playing I think its time for me to step up to a professional level guitar. I've played mostly epiphones (SG, Del Ray etc) over the years with the odd strat here and there.

I'm pretty much set on a Les Paul Standard (not with the weird ass neck or anything like that) or a Les Paul Traditional.

I played the 2016 Standard T which felt pretty great (I think I slightly prefer the chunky neck on the Traditional, but I like the locking tuners and advanced electronics on the Standard (coil taps, direct out switch etc)

A brand new Standard costs about $2800 which is what I have budgeted. (Sorry no Custom Shops for this guy)

The question is, if you were me should I just buy a brand new 2016 for $2,800 or should I try and find a used standard, or maybe an unsold model from an earlier year.

I keep hearing that Gibson's manufacturing quality has gone down in recent years (maybe people are just being grumpy?) So I'm wondering if getting a 2016 is the way to go.

Anyways any advice on this is much appreciated.
Go used, I like Gibson's but new they are over priced for the most part. Stay away from 2015 models because those had some bull-shit features most people didn't like.

Have you thought about PRS at all? I traded my old LP for a USA PRS and never looked back.
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^+1 to this. I have not owned any of the newer gibson's, the used market is full of them and can be had for much cheaper than new. I have found a certain fondness for my S2. Eventually I will go after a CE or Custom 22.

Depending on what you are looking for spec-wise $2800 will get you a long way. You might even try looking at doing a custom carvin/kiesel.
Gibson LP traditional and DC standard, PRS S2 Custom 24, MIA Standard Strat, Schecter Banshee 7
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I'd definitely buy used as well. Locking tuners and coil taps are upgrades that you could do later on as well that aren't permanent changes. As long as you keep the original parts, you won't lose value on it.

If you're open to more than Gibson, there are brands out there that do great stuff for 2800 and under. However, I'd fully understand you just want the "real deal".
There is definitely a part of me that wants "the real deal" but I'm open to alternatives if it makes sense. Seems like most used guitars are either at major chain stores and marked way up or they're on Ebay which has its own problems. Whats the best way to find and play used guitars. I do live in NYC but it seems most smaller shops only have ultra premier custom shop guitars.
I just picked up a 2002 Gibson LP Studio from Guitar Center for $600. I was originally going to go with new since I had the budget, but I just couldn't find enough good reasons to justify doubling the cost to get a brand new one. I played about a half dozen Gibson LP's until I found "the one". The 2015 midnight blue Studio was beautiful, but neither I nor the salesperson could get the auto tuners to put the guitar in standard tune (it went to some weird open tuning instead with lots of flashing lights). That was enough deterrent for me. I went with a used one in the end, but it's your call.
At 2800, if you take your time, you could 100 percent get something like an R8 plaintop CS LP used.

I paid about that for mine and it's an amazing guitar.

Other than that, other companies make sweet LP style guitars if headstock logos don't matter to you. You could get a nice Corsa Manalishi or MIJ offering for that change.
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To most of the folks here on UG, the different between new and used is generally just the price tag. I agree with that sentiment. Anyone with some contact cleaner and a phillips head screwdriver can clean up normal use if you're worried about the aesthetics.

Many people in the LP community are underwhelmed by the production of this year and the last couple.
gonna chime in too, for $2800 you can get a CS-level used Les Paul. As someone else said, you can add locking tuners and coil tapped pickups later (and as an aside, coil taps are nice but 95% of people who have them barely, and i mean barely, use them) if those are things you'd really like to have. I would just stay away from LPs made in the last couple years, they aren't good value.
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Bitches be Crazy.

Another thing I want to add is that you definitely want to try these things out before you buy them. You might prefer the feel of the newer ones compared to the more vintage specs of a CS guitar. I was a more vintagey kind of cork sniffer so the CS guitar was the better deal for me @ 2800. If I needed a compound radius, slim neck, locking tuners and hot pickups, a new Gibby Standard might work better ( but you could probably spend you money better )

It all depends on your preferences at the end of the day. Try out as many guitars as you can and go with the one that speaks to you the most.
Quote by zgr0826
My culture is worthless and absolutely inferior to the almighty Leaf.

Quote by JustRooster
I incurred the wrath of the Association of White Knights. Specifically the Parent's Basement branch of service.
Sold 1977 LP for $1800
Just replaced it with an 82 Ibanez Artist. $400

I cannot tell the difference.

PRS has great values as well.

Never buy new.
I tend to buy used, too, particularly when it's a Gibson. I *did* spend $4K on one about six years ago, but I didn't have much of a choice. Honestly, most of my Gibsons are pre-1980 and will NEVER depreciate. There are a lot of places to buy used guitars, including guitars shows, Craigslist, the used section of GC online, other forum members, etc.

My brother in law has just lent me several LPs to A/B including a 58 VOS, CS Goldtop, 2005 standard and 2002 standard. My conclusion - if you are going to spend lots of £s on a Lester you really need to play it as they seem to be variable from nice to verrrrry nice! For half the money of a 58 reissue I would suggest looking at a Traditional - it ain't half the guitar!
Last edited by monabri at Feb 2, 2016,
If you're anywhere near New York City, Ludlow Guitars on the Lower East Side usually has a pile used LPs on display.
Dave Bowers

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