Gibson Les Paul '59 60th Anniversary: Pros/Cons?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by EpicEsquire, Feb 21, 2019.

  1. Salfordlad

    Salfordlad Member

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    I'll take my '01 CS Custom Authentic R8 I paid $2500 for in 2002 with a Madagascar RW board and with that $5,000 left over buy a used Martin D28 Authentic. I'll be happy knowing that neither are "Authentic". I'm not worried that my switch plate may or may not not be Laminated Cellulose Acetate Butyrate.
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  2. Peanut73

    Peanut73 Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

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    2019 Historics = best fit and finish they've ever done. Pretty amazing work this year.
     
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  3. DiPa

    DiPa Constant GAS Gold Supporting Member

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    Lol,
    I own a huge number of Gibson Historics from the past 20 years, love the company, but that message is laughable for the simple fact that it is exactly the same message year after year. Hide glue and build specs etc has not changed, lol. But okay I want one with the Brazillan fret board.
    My 1999 R9 sounds as great as my 2000, 2001, ...2016 years ones. And they all look great. Dont worry too much about Gibson marketing, get an R9 and you will smile.
     
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  4. Peanut73

    Peanut73 Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

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    What I stated is not a message from Gibson, but rather my opinion based on experience with Historics from 1999 to present. I purposely haven't owned one since 2002 until now because I feel like the 60th anniversary guitars are really great. I agree a good one can be found from any year of production.
     
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  5. DiPa

    DiPa Constant GAS Gold Supporting Member

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    What aspects of the 60th anniv do you like better than previous years?
    Honestly, after the hide glue etc came out a few years ago, I could not put my fingers on anything more that Gibson would do or bring out to be more exact, except the Brazillian board.
     
  6. Thwap

    Thwap Silver Supporting Member

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    Just got one, I dig it.
    I don't know, this is my 7th or 8th historic, they've all been pretty good.
    I really love the neck carve on these 19's, and the unpotted custombuckers sound really good.
    Actually my son has been playing it constantly, he's really loving it.
    So I'm thinking merry early Christmas, and get myself another one.
     
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  7. mrfett

    mrfett Member

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    This is really too big a question to answer... Gibson has changed myriad things in how they make these guitars since 2003. Pickups, glues, finish, top carves, neck profiles, plastics, wiring, frets, small aesthetic details, truss rod, hardware...

    Many of us LP fans feel that post-2013 when the Custom Shop started using hide glue, the overall ratio of great guitars coming out increased. Since then the finishes have gotten even thinner (a good thing) and the plastics are even more accurate.

    They’ve always made killer guitars and you can find great R9s from all years. Fans just feel like these 60ths are spec-wise and feel-wise (the necks and top carves are all based on real laser scans of famous bursts now, and they change which burst they use as the platform each year) the most accurate as a whole that they’ve ever been.

    I’m not sure there’s a lot of Brazilian left at Gibson btw. Dave’s in Wisconsin had a bunch that were meant for Japan but never got there. As was said, they’re using great fretboards on these whether Bolivian or Indian so if you find one you like rock that ‘ish! :dude None of them use the same old growth mahogany that was used on the originals so don’t get too hung up on that stuff; if you want one with old growth wood you’ll need to go vintage (or “replica”).

    This thread needs pics... here’s my 2018 Brazilian (8.52 lbs for those who were curious). Carmelita neck profile and a little bit darker back color (it’s from CME):
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    Last edited: Nov 21, 2019
  8. malibucynroad

    malibucynroad Member

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    You can’t fault the current historics. Gibson has stepped up their game with regard to trying to capture the essence of the Burst. Using hide glue, removing the truss rod cover and crafting a slightly “better” pickup in the form of the custombucker, the improvements Gibson implemented post 2012 may not be revolutionary when taken individually, but in aggregate these provide the potential of a Les Paul that is second to none.

    All the BS about old wood went out the window the first time I picked up a good post 2012 Historic. And I came close to pulling the trigger on more than a couple of conversions back in the day. After owning several historics including a few recent Brazilians and a True Historic, I have no desire for vintage Les Paul except perhaps as a cool collector’s piece.

    To me vintage, not reproductions are what you buy if you’re collecting. I doubt many recent Historics, except maybe the ones signed by Jimmy Page will ever be particualry collectible. The orignal Bursts were worn by the iconic guitar slingers of the time. While their tone can be replicated, as a piece of music history, they are without parallel. It’s a different age now but the good news is we are spoilt for choice. I’d say the recent Historics are the finest guitars I’ve had the pleasure of playing, incredible tone, effortless action and feel, like a a Porsche that entices you to just drive, I can’t look at one of my Historics and not want to play it.

    While the 60ths unpotted humbuckers, luxe bees, and more vintage accurate pots can be added to any Les Paul, the convenience of having all these little “improvements” right out of the box is nice. And let’s not forget, few companies have been around for 60+ years, fewer still are making fastidious recreations of the original items that put them on the map. So I say “A salute” Gibson. And congrats to anyone who has purchased one of these fine guitars.
     
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  9. jbat

    jbat Member

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    That’s a gorgeous axe. I’d love to buy one, but I don’t like fat necks so it’d have to be one of the ‘60’s reissues. Really nice, though. :aok
     
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  10. C-4

    C-4 Member

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    The 60's models are just as good. I totally understand neck size desires, and that takes nothing away from either model. :)
     
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  11. Armchair Rockstar

    Armchair Rockstar Member

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    The differences are visible when compared to another R9.

    Plastics more accurate color

    Tip more accurate color, smaller seam which the originals had none

    Inlays are more accurate in color not bright and smaller

    Headstock inlay correct angle, Les Paul logo is thinner and more accurate.

    Wood is premium light weight mahogany, top is flamed but almost plain at times with a holographic flame like the old ones

    Pickups are unpotted, real bumble bee paper and oil caps

    Correct bridge now wire, correct truss

    Correct headstock angle, nylon nut

    Best feature is the neck. All of them have the Carmelita neck from joe bonomassa’s “the claw”. Perfect 59 spec neck.

    3D scanner accurate specs and carve

    Color options are based on various stages of color fading in the originals. Lemon burst is the almost no burst, royal ice tea is a guitar that sat under the bed.

    Other than the Brazilian board and a few minor details like machine groove angles it’s accurate beyond any of the other years. Call it what you will, marketing, hype, anniversary etc. what you can’t do is deny its the best they have made in 60 ish years for production.

    Best playing, most open sound, huge range from clean and chimmy to gritty, snappy and bite for days. Resonance is unmatched.

    Paid $4660 online, new delivered. Finish is ok, wish it was more worn visually but the patina is spot on. It’s worth every penny you spend.
     
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  12. Gavlar55

    Gavlar55 Member

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    Hi all, this is my first time posting here. Last year I decided to buy a 60th Anniversary Les Paul. I spent the best part of the year trying out guitars and must have played between fifty and one hundred 60th Anniversary models. I thought I’d give my thoughts as others may find them interesting. Take them with a pinch of salt though, as there’s a lot of personal preference in this.

    Firstly, out of all the guitars I played, there were more similarities than there were differences. That’s the big takeaway from this. I didn’t come across a bad guitar so well done Gibson! Things I particularly like about the 60th are the neck carve and the pickups. I believe the neck carve is modelled on the neck of the 59 Carmelita. The pickups are now unpotted and they have an airiness to them and are a bit brighter sounding than previous historics I’ve played.

    Weight wise, the lightest guitar I tried was 7.6lb and the heaviest was 9.2lb. All the 60th guitars were pretty light. I don’t think much has changed in this regard since Gibson Custom shop launched the true historic range a couple of years back. Long tenon, hide glue and lightweight Honduran mahogany just like the original 59s. They were all pretty resonant and felt great acoustically. The only real thing missing that I would have liked to have seen, is a Brazilian rosewood board, but I don’t think they’re about to return anytime soon. I can’t stress how much difference the new pickups make though. Playing the 60th alongside a 2018 historic, the 2018 sounds darker and a little less dynamic. Something I’d never noticed before.

    In regards to how the weight affected the tone, I’d say that 8lb 8oz or 8.5lb was around the most balanced in terms of midrange voice and high/low end and sustain. As the guitars got heavier, sustain went up and the high and low end become more overpowering, but they lost some of that voice and responsiveness. Some of them became a little boomy and a little shrill in the high end.
    On the other end of the scale, the lighter ones were really resonant and had a wonderful voice to them and were super responsive. As they got lighter though, they tended to lose a bit of their low end and became much more mid focused and nasal sounding.
    My personal favourite sweet spot was the guitars weighing around 8.3lb or 8lb 5oz approx. They lent slightly more towards midrange voice, but still had great lows and highs and were tonally the most pleasing to me. In fact, every guitar I tried between the weights of 8.3 and 8.6lb sounded great. There were some really nice heavy ones too and some nice really light vocal guitars. But every guitar I tried that put a big old smile on my face, weighed in this 8.3-8.6lb range. Again, this is purely personal preference on my part.
    I will say that I didn’t change anything in terms of setup or pickup height on any of the guitars to match them, so this was by no means a scientific test.

    So what did I end up buying? I bought an 8.3lb 60th in Factory Burst. Very classic looking. Great flame from certain angles and then fairly plain from others. Sounds absolutely amazing and I’m thrilled every time I play it!

    Just to conclude, I’d encourage anyone thinking of purchasing one to spend some serious time playing as wide a range of guitars as possible to see what appeals to them. If you can’t though, then I can’t imagine anyone being unhappy with a 60th Anniversary 59 in that magic weight range.

    Hope this helps someone!

    Some pics of my guitar...

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    Last edited: Apr 18, 2020
  13. JeffHaddad

    JeffHaddad Silver Supporting Member

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    Where did you find between 50 and 100 to try out?!

    That is a gorgeous guitar, by the way! Congrats!
     
  14. Gavlar55

    Gavlar55 Member

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    Thanks Jeff! That was over the course of 2019, not just in one location. I tried a lot at the start of the year with a view to purchase, but then never actually pulled the trigger. Left it for the summer and then picked up the search again in Autumn.
     
  15. DiPa

    DiPa Constant GAS Gold Supporting Member

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    Congrats!
    Enjoy that one in good health.
    Some of my fav in my collection (have over 40 LP) are the older heavier ones, > 8.8 lbs.
    I don’t buy the point some people claim and make that an exact weight translates to the best sound. My experience is it varies and depends on many factors on the guitar.
    however if your ears decided that 8.3 - 8,5 lbs were the best, go for it.
    Those new ones surely look great and kudos to Gibson.
     
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  16. Gavlar55

    Gavlar55 Member

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    Thanks DiPa! I completely agree with you too, that weight alone doesn’t guarantee the best sound. It was just an unexpected observation on my part when trying these new 60th models and is also based purely on my personal taste too. Interesting though.
    Cor, I wish I had 40 Les Paul’s! Enjoy your guitars.
     
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  17. gmann

    gmann Member

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    Just Wow!!
     
  18. modavis99

    modavis99 Silver Supporting Member

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    Great review, thank you!
     
  19. Louisguitar

    Louisguitar Member

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    Ciao a tutti,
    Ho un Les Paul Standard del 2010 del 1960, versione 1 standard 1 in colore darkburst, la parte superiore è incredibile, ma ho sempre voluto sostituirlo con un vero modello storico o CC.
    La mia chitarra suona bene, ma pensi che potrei aggiornare cambiandola per un 60 o è meglio comprare un vero modello storico?
    O è meglio che tenga il mio?
    La tastiera in palissandro boliviano (Pau Ferro) può penalizzare una rivendita?

    Grazie
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2020
  20. Louisguitar

    Louisguitar Member

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    Sorry for the Italian language, this is the correct message.

    Hi all
    I have a 2010 50th anniversary Les Paul Standard 1960, version 1 in darkburst color.

    The top is amazing , but I always wanted to replace it with a True Historic or a CC.

    My guitar sounds good, but do you think I would make an improvement by replace it for a 60th or is it better a TH or a CC model?

    Can the Bolivian rosewood fingerboard (Pau Ferro) penalize a resale?

    I like factory burst.

    Thanks
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2020

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