Changes and best years for the Les Paul Standard 1985-2008?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by nomotivs, Apr 4, 2008.

  1. nomotivs

    nomotivs Member

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    Hi. I'm searching for my first Gibson Les Paul Standard. I've owned a couple newer studios but never the real deal. Most of the Standards I've seen in my budget seem to be from the mid eighties to present. If you know of any changes that they have made to them over the years or have any preference or opinions on what years are the best or what I should look for I would love to hear it. Thanks for your help.
     
  2. Allthumbs56

    Allthumbs56 Member

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  3. ripvanwinkle

    ripvanwinkle Member

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    I've had a few early 1990s era Standards pass thru my hands that I remember liking.

    Currently own a '57 reissue from 1996 that is a keeper. For me the R7s it would be worth a small incremetal price increase over the standard (if you dont mind goldtops).
     
  4. Guitar Josh

    Guitar Josh Resident Curmudgeon Silver Supporting Member

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    IMHO, 1995-2001, followed by 2002 ONLY. Chambering began in 2003, no thanks.

    Of course, late 80's VOS and Reissue series are amazing instruments.
     
  5. Brownface

    Brownface Member

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    I have a '91 HCSB and have bought and sold a few since it, but can't let it go.
     
  6. nomotivs

    nomotivs Member

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    Chambering in 2003. I was wondering about that. Thanks. What don't you like about pre 1995?
     
  7. trisonic

    trisonic Member

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    Nonsense trying to figure it out; believe me you can find good and bad Lesters in any of the years you mentioned.
    You know what the trick is? Always try before you buy.............

    Best, Pete.
     
  8. Guitar Josh

    Guitar Josh Resident Curmudgeon Silver Supporting Member

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    It's not that I don't like pre 95, it's just that I prefer the 95-01 models. I think they really pulled it back together in those years.
     
  9. nomotivs

    nomotivs Member

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    I see. Thanks!
     
  10. cmatthes

    cmatthes Member

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    I owned a number of Les Pauls from '88-'94 vintage that I really liked. Far better quality than most of what I've found today. I actually played through a rack of LPs in the early '90s and there wasn't a single dog in the pile. I didn't pick up any (at the time) new ones after that, but when I went back to check some out about 7-8 years ago or so, I wasn't overly impressed outside of the Historic stuff. I only purchased one from that era (a 2003 model), but have played some quite nice ones recently (again, VOS and CS models only).

    I wouldn't rule out the later '80s/'90s stuff - it can be fantastic!
     
  11. RockDC

    RockDC Member

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    Chambered started in 2003 but became standard in 2007. Most, I mean like 97%, of the LP's were not chambered from 2003-2006. Some of my favorite LP's are from this decade. The early 90's were known for poor build and cheap woods.

    In my research I found that the Les Paul Classic is a poor mans Standard. Its everything the Standard is without the flame top and the burstbuckers... I prefer it.
     
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  12. Bluedawg

    Bluedawg Member

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    Chambering was used only on specific models before 2007. These models were clearly advertised as having "tone" chambers.

    Chambering became standard on Gibson USA LPs in 2007. That includes LP standards, Classics, etc.

    Chambering became available as an option on LP Historics in 2004 and is still only an option. The serial numbers of chambered LP historics begin with a "CR." All other historics are solid.

    I like the chambering myself.

    Before 2007 most Gibson USA LPs had weight relief holes drilled in the mahogany. This started in the early 80s.

    The LPs with the worst reputations come from the 70s, but even these can be great guitars.

    Gibson made major changes in the early 80s. Since teh early 80s Gibson started trying to build LPs closer to the vintage 50s specs.

    Classic 57 pickups were introduced in the 90s and the historic line was also introduced in the 90s.

    I've never heard anything bad before about poor quality wood in the 90s. In fact there was very little difference between the early 90s production LPs and the historics. Relative to the Gibson USA LPs, the historics started improving in quality and vintage accuracy around '93 when the long neck tenon and other "vintage accurate" feautures were introduced.

    The early 90s LP CLassics were marketed as better than the standards. Only in the last 10 years or so have the Classics became the "poor man's standard."

    In 2002 a version of the Burstbuckers became standard on LP standards and some other very nice changes IMHO were added to the LP standard. My favorite LP standards are the 2002 to present, including the chambered LPs.

    Lots of good LP info at www.lespaulforum.com Lurk a little and get a feel for the place before you post, but there is tons of great info there.

    Most people prefer the historic LPs. For a little more money than a standard you can find an R7 or plain top R8 historic.

    Play as many as you can get your hands on and buy the one you like the most. In the end great LPs can be found from all eras and in every model type.

    :BEER
     
  13. Deadwood

    Deadwood Member

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    What Bluedawg said.
     
  14. serial

    serial Member

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    I've owned a bunch of LPs over the years and played hundreds on hundreds. The two best that I spent any time with were a '78 Deluxe (factory second) and a TV yellow 92 Standard.

    I've got a great Historic R4 Goldtop, but I'll put Historics on a different level than the production stuff. For regular production instruments, I'm pretty damned happy with this '85:
    [​IMG]
     
  15. nomotivs

    nomotivs Member

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    Well, I just picked up a 96 Ebony Standard online! Hopefully its a good one! I'll probably change the pickups and switch it to 50's wiring!
     
  16. HHB

    HHB Member

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    call me shallow but I like the newer ones that have the small 50s headstock and the chambers, I had an issue w/the big headstock and the shoulder strain
     
  17. doobiebrother

    doobiebrother Member

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    I've got a 1990 standard that I've owned from new and has been my main guitar since. Out of all the guitars I own it would still be my 'grab if the house is burning' guitar.
     
  18. The Pup

    The Pup Supporting Member

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    I searched for many years for a "newer" Les Paul and I ended up with a 2002 standard. It's the best Les Paul in my collection.

    [​IMG]

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  19. Guitar Josh

    Guitar Josh Resident Curmudgeon Silver Supporting Member

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    Pup, I like the 2002 year alot (and that's a beautiful guitar!). In 2002, they started experimenting a bit with the LP. First, they kept the LPS neck, which is a little chunky but not baseball bat chunky. Then they attempted to lower the weight without chambering or WR. This mostly meant finding the right piece of wood. You can find, as you can see, some great plus and PP tops from 2002. The first year Burstbuckers I think are the best, personally, like a 57 classic with just a bit more gain.

    A winner!!
     
  20. The Pup

    The Pup Supporting Member

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    Mine weighs 8.25 lbs and has the '50s neck profile.
     

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