Gibson LP 1959 Reissue vs Gibson LP 1960 Plain Top Reissue (G0)

rabbuhl

Member
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2,981
I bought a Gibson Les Paul 1960 Plain Top VOS Reissue (G0) in 2010. I got the G0 because I tried a 1958 reissue and in 2010 the necks was baseball bat plus sized. The G0 is a nice guitar, sounds great and plays well. I replaced the Burstbucker 1&2 with a set of Kloppmann HB 59's.

After buying the G0, I bought a 2010 Les Paul Studio 50s Tribute (50's neck) and recently a 2016 Gibson Les Paul Standard Faded (50's neck). I now see how the neck thickness can make a difference. I also realized the Gibson Les Paul 1959 Reissue has the overall profile which makes it the holy grail of the historic series.

How much difference is there between a Gibson Les Paul 1960 Plain Top Reissue (G0) and a Gibson Les Paul 1959 Reissue? Is it worth the hassle of an upgrade?
 
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AdmiralB

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3,060
How much difference is there between a Gibson Les Paul 1960 Plain Top Reissue (G0) and a Gibson Les Paul 1959 Reissue? Is it worth the hassle of an upgrade?

Well, the 1960s have different knobs...

Traditionally, the 1959s have had very fancy tops and smaller shoulders on the necks - the neck depth on the '59 and "earlier" tends to measure the same, but the '59 has the shoulders dressed away so it feels smaller. That's about it, in terms of obvious differences - your top is probably plainer, to a greater or lesser degree, than an R9...your neck is slimmer, but might have bigger shoulders (I noticed this on Historic '61 SG/LPs, the necks feel bigger than they measure), and you have metal-insert knobs.

But there are exceptions. Necks in general seem to be getting smaller; I have a 2014 R6, and its neck is not much different than my '10 R9. Nowhere near as big as my '05 R6, or my Junior/Specials.

There are also a fair number of 2014-up R8s with R9 neck profiles, and fancy-but-not-quite-as-fancy-as-R9 tops. I know Dave's and Wildwood had them (I got one from Wildwood).

My R9 was the first Historic Gibson I owned. I bought it because it was a leftover '10 (in 2012) and was a great deal - relatively speaking, of course - and, well, it was an R9! However, having also now owning a '14 R8 with the aforementioned 1959-ish features, there's nothing special about the R9.

Of course, in the two years that passed, prices went up and the R8 cost as much as the R9 did just two years prior.
 

rabbuhl

Member
Messages
2,981
Well, the 1960s have different knobs...

Traditionally, the 1959s have had very fancy tops and smaller shoulders on the necks - the neck depth on the '59 and "earlier" tends to measure the same, but the '59 has the shoulders dressed away so it feels smaller. That's about it, in terms of obvious differences - your top is probably plainer, to a greater or lesser degree, than an R9...your neck is slimmer, but might have bigger shoulders (I noticed this on Historic '61 SG/LPs, the necks feel bigger than they measure), and you have metal-insert knobs.

But there are exceptions. Necks in general seem to be getting smaller; I have a 2014 R6, and its neck is not much different than my '10 R9. Nowhere near as big as my '05 R6, or my Junior/Specials.

There are also a fair number of 2014-up R8s with R9 neck profiles, and fancy-but-not-quite-as-fancy-as-R9 tops. I know Dave's and Wildwood had them (I got one from Wildwood).

My R9 was the first Historic Gibson I owned. I bought it because it was a leftover '10 (in 2012) and was a great deal - relatively speaking, of course - and, well, it was an R9! However, having also now owning a '14 R8 with the aforementioned 1959-ish features, there's nothing special about the R9.

Of course, in the two years that passed, prices went up and the R8 cost as much as the R9 did just two years prior.

It is confusing because I read the Jimmy Page had the neck of 59 shaved really thin and he seemed to have a pretty good tone :)

I like the lemon burst top from the Historic series and some of the other tops not so much. I would have to find a R9 which was fancy-but-not-quite-as-fancy-as-some-R9-tops.
 

thebowl

Member
Messages
784
Neck thickness and tone don't really correlate. Neck thickness and playability, ok.

Keep in mind that there are R9 plaintops out there. I have one, and it is the only LP I will ever need to own. But it sounds like your issue is neck thickness. That actually can vary a fair bit, within one specific model. The only way to be certain with the neck of a Lester is to play it.
 
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Tim Plains

Member
Messages
6,140
How much difference is there between a Gibson Les Paul 1960 Plain Top Reissue (G0) and a Gibson Les Paul 1959 Reissue?
Same guitar except R0s have slimmer necks, reflector knobs, and double rings on the headstock tuners. Newer ones will have specs more in line with a 50s Les Paul but comparing a R9 to a R0 built in the same year is comparing apples to apples.
 

xjojox

Tardis-dwelling wanker
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
5,745
I have a '99 R9 plaintop. Neck is not as big as my '08 R7 but it's still big! The necks have gotten smaller, especially since 2014, and they have always varied, so it's difficult to make any assertions. If you have an R0 and you like it, I don't think an R9 is going to change your world.

Do not equate neck size to tone. OP is correct regarding Page's '59, the neck was shaved down. That's the one Joe Walsh sold him I believe. I'm not sure I'd describe Page's tone as "big", more like "nuanced", which is where the magic is in vintage LP's. Regarding thick full tone, I've played guitars with huge necks that sounded thin, and I've played guitars with thin necks that sounded huge. The "biggest" LP tone I've ever heard was a 1999 weight-relieved clown sunburst off-the-rack totally stock LP Standard that I paid about $900 for used. It sounded like a 900lb gorilla. But I think my R9 has a more nuanced delicate tone.

Every piece of wood is different so play a guitar that you *actually* like, don't buy a guitar that you *think* you *should* like.
 

KenG

Member
Messages
1,510
A G0 is a Guitar Center version of the R0 with most of the specs intact but it doesn't have the same cache as the R0. They were sold for several hundred $$ cheaper and were always Plain Tops. Their resale is lower than a R0 as well, but many bought them as you got the bones of a true Custom Shop RI for less.
 

Dr Doom

Member
Messages
1,369
I did that, had a G0 which I eventually sold to buy an R9. Didn't make a whole lot of sense, as I paid a lot more for the figured top and a slightly thicker neck profile. But my thinking was, I only live once, and I really wanted a flamey R9. No regrets. An LP is one guitar I really don't want to compromise on, so I didn't. Even though the $$ to diff ratio between that and the G0 were out of whack. The G0 quality, fit, finish, etc. was every bit as good as the R9 btw.
 




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