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Gibson Les Paul Standard '50s

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by caboholic, Jul 26, 2020.

  1. agquake

    agquake Member

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    It’s a 2019 with a KM truss rod cover, speed knobs, and CS Duncans.
     
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  2. caboholic

    caboholic Member

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  3. Evan_R

    Evan_R Supporting Member

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    What’s a KM truss rod cover?
     
  4. caboholic

    caboholic Member

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    On the new 50's standard they have the upgraded version at sweetwater that has a triple AAA top and the 57 classic PAF, what's the difference between these pickups and the Burstbucker Pro pickups? I have some SD Peraly Gates in my current epiphone LP, which of these pickups are closer to the PG's
     
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  5. JDGibson1959

    JDGibson1959 Member

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    This is pretty sweet... I dig the whole “KM” theme!!
     
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  6. JDGibson1959

    JDGibson1959 Member

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    Oh, I hear ya on the flaming with the tops... don’t get me wrong, I was well love some nice flaming... which I’m not certain if intentional on Gibson’s part or not, but just noticed with many of the 50’s, it’s a bit more subtle or at times Les pronounced or even simply a bit less tight with the flaming as say compared to the 60’s models which I kind of dig simply given that this was often the case with the original bursts ranging from little to no flaming to a good bit at times while at the same time, there was often more subtleties with the overall grain or even imperfections in which would show though which I tend to like myself and would have to maybe think Gibson did so deliberately. That being said, I have seen quite a few of the 50’s models with significant flaming especially with the heritage cherry... I have the Tobacco burst and can try to take some photos to show you what I am referring to where there is still quite a bit of flame and/or figuring but nothing like with this cherry one another member had posted or with the wildwood selections where it seems them and some other dealers are ordering them specifically with hand selected “AAA” tops which they do look rather killer but if not wishing to spend the extra money, i think you will be able to find one of the regular 50’s standards with a top in which you find to be very pleasing! That being said, if choosing to pay for the upgraded top through Wildwood or other dealers, I’m not sure if anyone has mentioned this or not, but at least with Wildwood and I believe is the case with some of the other dealers, it’s not only the tops where they chose to use different pickups as well... I believe the most common are ‘57 Classics or what I believe they are calling, “Wildwood ‘59 Tributes” where if you are liking the sound of the regular 50’s Standards, just a heads up, the ones with the “AAA” tops may have a slight different sound. That of course, is a bit subjective and dependent upon the players ears... personally, I really like the Burstbucker 1&2’s... they are relatively a bit lower in output and aren’t quite parallel or wound quite evenly where especially with cleans or when playing on the edge of breakup, they are just very warm and kind or have some single coil characteristics to them due to this... almost a bit like a fatter P90 sound which is relatively what the original PAF’s were voiced to sound like and imagine is why it’s not uncommon to see many even swap out their Custom Buckers for the BB1&2 with R8’s & R9’s but I will say; whether it be the BB1&2, ‘57 Classics or the Wildwood ‘59’s, they are all going to be great pickups and pretty close to that PAF sound where I really don’t think you can go wrong, I just personally tend to favor the BB1&2 over the ‘57’s. I also favored them a bit over the BB 61T & 61R on the 60’s Standard... they still sounded great; but a bit hotter and a bit pokier sounding while they also just sounded a bit more compressed over all... the BB1&2’s, especially when rolling off the volume a bit, they just have this cool airy quality or openness to the sound while allowing for a lot of your playing dynamics to show through especially when playing through a proper valve amp while they sound just amazing when then fully driving the amp! That’s one area I am really loving the new 50’s & 60’s, I feel Gibson did a really good job with the pots where you can just get a lot of great tones simply using the volume & tone knobs. Overall, I’ve seen a lot of different or what I would refer to as mixed opinions or takes on these new Standards, which more times than not, I feel is most likely haters or Fender & PRS guys. I love them all, but am definitely a Gibson guy at heart and have been since I was a kid. One of the misconceptions I would point out, especially as you consider your options, is when anyone tries to say the new 50’s Standard is simply the “Traditional” renamed or trying to suggest it to simply be a “marketing ploy” on part of Gibson... this could not be further from the truth especially if you by chance get to play the two models side by side... saving some money on the Traditional, while a great guitar, they are not the same Les Paul... aside from quite a few variances, such as the thinner binding on the new 50’s, thinner/more period correct headstock, different nut, ABR-1 vs Nashville (which yes, the ABR-1 isn’t quite 100% but will hold up better)... same as with the more pronounced carve and dishing when it comes to the tops on the 50’s, even with the “50’s style neck”, there is still a significant difference... the shape of the neck on the Traditional is more in line with a 50’s but not the same as on the 50’s Standard... while it can vary some from guitar to guitar; same as with the carve & dishing as they are again primarily done by hand, playing them side by side, I would say aside from the general shape of the neck’s on the Traditional's being more like that or a ‘59, I would say the feel is actually a bit closer to the more vintage 60’s taper on the 60’s model than it is to the necks on the 50’s standard where the necks on the traditional’s are simply more 50’s inspired whereas the necks on the ‘50’s Standard, Gibson Master Luthier Jim DeCola has stated, the neck profile is actually based off that of a ‘59 Les Paul... as I had previously stated, at least with my Tobacco and same with a Gold Top I recently played, I feel the overall girth or chunk feels a bit closer to an R8 while the shape feels more like an R9... measurements, I think mine is coming in around .91 or .92, a lot of the R9’s are right around this range or slightly under at times... same as with the originals, this could just really vary and is still true to this day with the Custom Shop and the new 50’s Standard where I know you had mentioned it being important to you to have the fatter neck... you will definitely be more pleased with the 50’s Standard vs the Traditional where despite being beefier so to speak, the necks on the 50’s also just seem to feel and play so smoothly especially with the rolled edges... in many ways, they feel like an old familiar friend or more like a guitar you have owned for some time vs a new guitar which I think says a lot about the overall quality and direction Gibson has gone with these new Standards... like I had said in my previous post, in many ways, the look and feel along with the tone, it’s a bit like opening a time capsule to find a Les Paul that just sat for 60+ years versus a modern Les Paul of recent years. The reason I put this out there with the Traditional’s, I’ve seen many try to make this argument while also encouraging people to save the money and get the “same guitar for less”, where that simply isn’t the case and have seen a lot of left over Traditional’s on sale where I realize online purchases may be some of the only options for many of us at the moment due to Covid-19 and would rather see you get the Les Paul you are looking for... hopefully; you will get lucky enough to play a few in some shops like I have but by the sound of it, the 50’s very well may be what will suit you best and just more a matter of finding a top you really love which if able to play first; while I have yet to play a new one I haven’t loved, much like my Tobacco, some are simply more resonant than others where I always say, go with the tone and feel before the appeal but am confident you will be able to do so with a top you love as well even without necessarily having to spring for the Wildwood model or one of the “AAA” tops ... if you can; let us know what you settle on or keep us updated... excited for you to find the right one that speaks to you!

    Ps... sorry for being so lengthy... while I love many builders, just a bit of a nerd when it comes to Gibson which I know they have caught a lot of flack at times over the years particularly with QC, yet just love what they have done here with this original collection where even on down to any minor flaws at times, more times than not, I really do feel it only adds to the beauty and character and would have to say, even with QC, Gibson has really taken strides and am beyond excited to see how things continue to progress under the new management team as I couldn’t applaud them more when it comes to the new original collection, particularly with these 50’s Standards!
     
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  7. JDGibson1959

    JDGibson1959 Member

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    This is an absolutely gorgeous cherry burst! Which yes; there absolutely are many 50’s Standards in which are flamed quite heavily! I was just telling the original poster, it really may not be necessary to pay for the upgraded “AAA” too through Wildwood or another dealer and how if choosing to do so they should be aware of the fact the Wildwoods and others also come with different pickups which may or may not be something to consider. But yes, this is a perfect example and just a gorgeous cherry burst... I just meant that it seemed to vary a bit more with the 50’s model where I kind of like how many are a bit less pronounced while many are also torched with flame which was often the case with the originals but I also tend to really enjoy R8’s where even standard grain I can find to be beautiful. I agree on the necks... they really are just perfect and have a great broken in feel in a lot of ways with the rolled edges... it seems quite a few are coming in right around that weight by the way where mine is just a tad heavier at 8.9 pounds and really do feel they closed that gap a bit between the USA range and the CS range... finishes, plastics, glue, maybe the long neck tenon... it’s more or less things like that whereas the overall build, quality along with the sound and feel, these new 50’s models absolutely scratch that itch pretty well! While I don’t know it makes a huge difference tonally, one of the other things I’ve found great as well is many of the 50’s & 60’s models have single piece backs which rather surprised me as that has often seemed a bit more reserved for the CS models. I’ve seen quite a few with two piece backs but more times than not with a single piece which is the way my Tobacco is built. Rather curious if that’s just random or if maybe some of the earlier runs were two piece and Gibson decided to start using one piece backs to be more period correct?
     
  8. sunking101

    sunking101 Member

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    Yeah, the 50s are generally speaking less flamed than the 60s Standards. However, there are exceptioms and I've seen some wickedly flamed 50s tops kicking around. Much like an R8 is supposed to have a plain top I see a few mega-flamed R8s from time to time.
     
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  9. dlguitar64

    dlguitar64 Member

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    Here is my 50s Figured Standard (I had 2 nice Eastman LPs, but was hankering for that Gibson logo)



    Here it is in action

     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2020
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  10. JDGibson1959

    JDGibson1959 Member

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    I am sorry, I didn’t see you had actually asked about the pickups but did somewhat address it in my last reply... that being said, both the BB1&2 and Classic 57’s are going to be great sounding pickups while both are PAF style pickups... that being said, the ‘57’s are maybe slightly hotter and at least to my ear, which I have heard of others making the same comment, they are a bit thinner sounding... while similar in nature tonally, the two definitely differ a bit where the ‘57’s, they seem to really shine with the semi-hollows such as the ES 335... their characteristics seem to just match really well with the semi hollow where they just seem to pair very well while they absolutely do still sound great in a Les Paul... the BB1&2 though, they are going to be the slightly lower output pickups especially the BB1, where they are also not exactly balanced where one of the coils has more windings which especially on lower gain settings or when rolling off the volume a bit, they tend to be a bit more airy or open sounding while almost having a bit of a single coil characteristic, kind of like a fatter P90 which I would say makes them maybe a bit closer to original PAF’s where this is how they were done while Seth Lover had initially attempted to retain the voicing and characteristics of a P90 only hum canceling where overall, I feel they maybe have a bit more characteristics yet both are great options... it does seem to be the case many do feel similar however and is why it’s not uncommon to even see people swap their R8’s & R9’s with BB1&2’s in favor for them over the custom buckers which I feel the both are very similar. Oh, and one other thing, you had asked about the tuners... the 50’s standard, especially after stretching the strings a bit or once settled in, they hold tune better than any Les Paul I’ve played while Gibson seems to have also been able to somewhat correct the notorious issue with the G string always slipping at times, so yeah, the tuners do great, even with big bands!
    great in a Les Paul... additionally, they are bit more balanced
     
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  11. JDGibson1959

    JDGibson1959 Member

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    Ps... the BB Pro’s... it’s the BB1&2 in the regular Standard 50’s... the Pro’s... they are pretty damn hot... and can he rather harsher sounding, or more modern sounding... they can be pretty beastly and fun, but if wanting more of a traditional PAF sound the BB1&2 and the ‘57’s are going to be better! Of course a lot comes down to the tone you are chasing and the styles you enjoy playing... blues, classic rock, that classic Les Paul sound or more in the vein of the R8’s & R9’s, definitely the BB1&2 or the ‘57’s!
     
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  12. JDGibson1959

    JDGibson1959 Member

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    Another gorgeous cherry burst! Congrats on that one... she’s gorgeous and sounds the way she looks!!!
     
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  13. JDGibson1959

    JDGibson1959 Member

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    It definitely is the case... one can absolutely find a very nicely flamed 50’s... I have often noticed the same with the R8’s & R9’s... which I believe always was the case with the originals... I actually love ‘58’s even with the plain top but think it’s cool how some randomly had some subtle figuring but have seen R8’s with a ton which obviously wasn’t the case in ‘58... it’s more of a random thing or at times a special order where someone or a dealer likes the neck and such on a ‘58 yet wants the top of a ‘59 or ‘60... not sure if you watch Anderton’s at all but the Captain, there is an episode where he discusses that a bit with his ‘58 having some nice flame. Either way, I like how it seems to vary with the 50’s Standard as it’s just one of those additional little things that’s maybe a bit more period correct as I have even seen ‘59’s & 60’s where the flaming/figuring is less pronounced even.
     
  14. sunking101

    sunking101 Member

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    Yeah I've seen Lee Anderton's lemon burst R8. It has more flame than a typical R8 and looks very nice indeed. I find plain lemonbursts a little too plain.
     

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