Used Gibson Les Pauls

Discussion in 'Standard Guitars' started by BenjaminW, Sep 20, 2017.

  1. BenjaminW

    BenjaminW SS.org Regular

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    Recently, I made the decision to get a new guitar which as you can tell by the title, is a Gibson Les Paul. I decided to get a new guitar because I will be graduating from middle school this year and what's a better graduation present than a new guitar? Originally, I was going to get a 2018 model but I had heard that Gibson's quality of production has gone downhill and that a used LP is the way to go. I haven't decided on a specific year but I am looking in the early 90's to mid 2000's range. Any Norlin era LP is a 50/50 for me but there's no way I am going to consider buying a 1959 Les Paul like I wish I could. Anyways, feel free to ramble all you'd like about older Les Pauls and I will take any advice left in the thread.
     
  2. Dineley

    Dineley SS.org Regular

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    Norlin's are awesome, especially Norlin era customs, blues dads just get soft penises over anything thats not a 50's spec burst.

    From like 2014 on, quality control has been pretty awesome, the 2015s have some sweet features for heavier music like soloist neck width and adjustable nut, people dont like the headstock logo so these can be had for cheap.

    90's studios especially ones with ebony board are good and can usually be found for fairly cheap.

    But yeah some Norlin stuff is a bit wonky but really lots of awesome norlin instruments, and some with volutes, lots of sweet stock pickups back then too although chances of getting original t-tops is low.

    Happy hunting, i will watch the thread closely, big time Les Paul fan boy here haha.
     
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  3. steinmetzify

    steinmetzify CHUG & SLUDGE

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  4. BenjaminW

    BenjaminW SS.org Regular

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  5. jephjacques

    jephjacques BUTTS LOL

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    With Gibsons it really varies a lot from guitar to guitar. I've seen $5000 custom shop LPs with glaring cosmetic issues, and $800 LP Studios that played like absolute gems. Personally I've always liked LPs with the older 490/498t pickups, I find the newer Burstbuckers a little thin sounding in comparison.
     
  6. Rawkmann

    Rawkmann SS.org Regular

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    All my recently purchased Gibsons have been great including 2 LPs (Studio and Traditional). I wouldn't hesitate to order another one, especially if You order one from a place like Zzounds or Sweetwater You have a money back guarantee if You aren't happy with it. I mean used is perfectly fine too but less likely to offer You a hassle free return if You're not satisfied.
     
  7. MASS DEFECT

    MASS DEFECT SS.ORG Infiltrator

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    I think after 2015, Gibson is doing quite well QC wise. Got a 2016 SG HP and it's a dream to play.
     
  8. Chokey Chicken

    Chokey Chicken mouth breather

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    I have a 2014 lp that is top notch. We have a 2017 V that's nice too, as well as some post 2013 (I think) sg's, LP jr's and a firebird. All of them are pretty decent stuff. Certainly worth the price imo.
     
  9. BenjaminW

    BenjaminW SS.org Regular

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    My next step is to go to Guitar Center tomorrow and try out any of the 2018 models there and see if I like them. I am a bit wary about the costs of the 2018's which is a big reason as to why I'm not getting the newer models but anyways, I will report back to the thread tomorrow to say what I liked about the newer LP's.
     
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  10. Wizard of Ozz

    Wizard of Ozz Arch-Mage of Metal

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    Gibson quality has not declined. If anything it has really improved in the last few years. I've played LPs for over 25 years... and have owned quite a few LPs. Case in point I just bought 2 new 2017 R9 Historic Custom LPs... shown here:


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Both are flawless. Zero issues... and dare I say the most perfect (for me) guitars around. And I've owned some pretty other nice guitars (PRS, Jackson Custom Shop, Suhr, Anderson, McNaught, Huber... just to name a few).

    Get a used 2013-present used R7 or R8 (1957 RI Gold Top or 1958 RI Plaintop)... as these are the most bang for the buck. The Standard production line is good too... but you get more for your money with a used HI RI Custom. Try in person if possible as weights and neck shapes are always a crap shoot.
     
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  11. High Plains Drifter

    High Plains Drifter SS.org Regular

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    2017 SG HP owner... Fret-board needed finishing but was no big deal and otherwise, a great guitar. Hope you find an affordable LP that you like.
     
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  12. Nitrobattery

    Nitrobattery SS.org Regular

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    Gibson's QC is awesome right now. I've had several vintage Les Pauls over the years, and my 2016 Traditional is my favorite LP I've ever had. I wouldn't hesitate about buying a new one. I've played a bunch of 2015-2017 Gibsons and they've all been great.

    Norlin era Les Pauls can be killer. I love a maple neck on a Les Paul....but the prices on them are getting out of hand as of late. Just be prepared that if you're buying sight unseen, you may drop a bunch of cash on a Les Paul that's 40 years old and needs a complete refret to get it where you want it. I'm not saying it's not worth it, just something to keep in mind/prepare for.
     
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  13. C_Henderson

    C_Henderson SS.org Regular

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    Well, one of my friends is currently trying to buy a new 2017 Standard T and he's not having much luck. He's already ordered three and they all have been pretty bad: scratches on the neck and fretboard, poor fretwork, paint stains on the body, crooked tuning pegs... On the first one there were even blue-inked fingerprints under the neck coating, first time I've seen something like that! Now he's waiting for a fourth one to show up, we'll see how this one turns out.

    As it's often been said, modern Gibson QC isn't exactly reliable; there are flawless Studios out there which are a dream to play, and also absolutely horrible CS models that are almost unplayable. If I had to buy one, I'd either go used and get a late 80's or 90's one which were really good for the most part (and possibly cheaper), or if buying new I'd make sure a full refund is available in case something goes wrong.
     
  14. Gerin

    Gerin SS.org Regular

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    I would suggest making a fast account on Reverb and take a peak at the average sale price on used Les Pauls. The entire used guitar market has been tanking in prices for a while now so going used is almost a steal as long as you are aware of the value and the person selling understands the market also.

    The last I checked you can get a used 2015 Les Paul Standard in like new condition for around $1200-$1400.
     
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  15. Chokey Chicken

    Chokey Chicken mouth breather

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    Your buddy has shit luck. We have six or seven semi-new Gibsons (again, 2013-2017) and all of them are quality instruments bought online without playing first. (The most recent of which is in fact one of the 2017 flying V T's.) The one guitar that has any issues at all is an Explorer and the issue is jagged strap button screws. I'm surprised your friend pulled three short straws trying to get one guitar when we've bought so many and haven't had an issue.
     
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  16. protest

    protest SS.org Regular

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    My brother in law got a 2017 Blueberry Burst from SW earlier this year. It's an awesome guitar. Plays great and sounds like a Les Paul.
     
  17. C_Henderson

    C_Henderson SS.org Regular

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    The Blueberry Standard T is exactly the one my buddy wanted. They looked awesome, but unfortunately at the shop they only had 3 left, and they're the ones he had to return.
    He's really having shitty luck, for his sake I hope he gets a good one this time. He's had to settle for the Bourbon Burst finish though, which is also cool but he was a bit disappointed about that.
     
  18. laxu

    laxu SS.org Regular

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    Gibson quality has been hit and miss for the last 20+ years. Unless you get the Historic/Custom Shop models you have a chance to get a guitar that is somewhere between "excellent" and "should not have left the factory" quality. Typical issues you will find on Gibsons:
    • Too much neck angle. See this pic. If you look at the Historic/CS stuff you can see the bridge is usually very close to the top. This is correct neck angle for the TOM bridge. Too much neck angle means bridge will be high off the body and so will the tailpiece. This ends up robbing some sustain. A fix for this is wrapping strings around the tailpiece so you can get it closer to the top but the best way is to avoid guitars with this issue altogether.
    • Rough fretwork. Despite stating they use a Plek machine on their necks, most Gibsons seem to come with wide, flat top frets from the factory.
    • Badly cut nut. This is really an industry-wide issue but at least an easily fixable one. I would not rule a guitar out based on this since it's such a simple fix.
    • Finish issues. If you see an orange peel effect in the finish, don't buy that guitar. That is a finishing defect that should not exist on a guitar this price. Other typical issues are paint on binding and file marks on fretboard. Minor cosmetic issues are no biggie as long as the price is right.
    What you can find seems to vary based on country. I was recently in Japan and saw lots of nice Gibsons in stores. Earlier this year I would not have bought any of the 2016 and 2017 Gibsons in my local Gibson dealer here in Finland. If you are in the US you should have far better chances to get a good Gibson.

    The reason to go used is simply because there are tons of Les Pauls floating around. The only ones I would avoid are the drastically different 2015 models. If you can afford it, see if you can find a used Historic R7/R8 Les Paul. If not, then pick a model that fits your preferences. Personally I like the '50s necks more than the slimmer '60s style.
     
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  19. BenjaminW

    BenjaminW SS.org Regular

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    I did go over to Guitar Center today after school to see if I liked any of the Les Pauls that were on sale there. I didn't see a whole lot of 2017 models in the Platinum Gear section which made looking a bit tricky. I was able to get my hands on a Historic R9 (I am not kidding when I say that) but I don't think I'll be spending $6,000 any time soon. Speaking of prices, I will probably set $3,000 as my limit since I have been seeing dozens of Les Pauls on Reverb go for less than my limit unless if I'm looking at actual 1958 - 1960 Bursts which DEFINITELY cost less than $3,000. Anyways, that's some more of my personal news in my journey to find a Les Paul for my graduation.
     
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  20. laxu

    laxu SS.org Regular

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    That should score you a used R7/R8.
     

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