Gibson Owners - How Do You Keep Up With...

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Teleplayer, Mar 17, 2008.

  1. Teleplayer

    Teleplayer Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2004
    ...all of the different models and shops they come from? Custom Shop, Historic, VOS, Reissue, Gloss Finish, Signature, Brazilian Board, Brazilian Board made in certain years - or on certain days of the month in certain years and on and on and on and on.

    I swear, I would not even know where to start. Is there any general guideline to following the marketing trail these guys have created without either: A) Taking a Ph.D. course-load in Gibson guitars or B) Buying a Bloodhound to follow the trail?

    Not trying to be funny here - I simply don't have the time to research and follow it all. Suggestions?
  2. codyj84

    codyj84 Member

    Oct 3, 2007
    Tulsa, OK
    I play a '78.... Thats all I say.

    I hear ya though.. I wouldnt know where to begin. VOS, Historic, CS, R8........ Its all confusing...

    Luckily, Im not in the market for a new one. My 78 is awesome. Have you thought about vintage??
  3. Jahn

    Jahn Listens to Johnny Marr, plays like John Denver Supporting Member

    Feb 27, 2007
    these days there is plenty of diversification in every company, trying to fill every nook and cranny. same goes with Fender, and Martin, and Taylor, etc etc.
  4. bynt

    bynt Member

    May 18, 2006
    Flagstaff, Arizona
    I hear you. I'll add one and say that as ridiculous as Gibson is with all thier market flooding, they've got nothing on Fender. I'd like to see just how many different strats there have been in their catalogue.

    Anyway, in answer to your question, a good place to start would be over at the Les Paul Forum. Some of those guys know how many grains were in the tops in a run of guitars built between march 88 and dec 89.

    Kidding, but not by much. That should help you out.
  5. twinrider1

    twinrider1 Member

    Jun 17, 2005
    Columbus, OH
    Ha, I wonder the same thing about the zillion different Fender models. USA, MIM, MIJ, Thinskin, Highway, three different levels of Custom Shop Limiteds, and it goes on and on.

    Basically, there are two levels with Gibson, USA and Custom Shop/Historic.

    regular production
    Standard - a few models, having different pups, neck profiles, tops.
    Custom - ebony neck, block inlay.

    Custom Shop/Historic
    A number of reissues of classic Standards of the past.
    A few construction differences, closer to the originals.
    Main differences between them are neck profile and tops (flame, plane, or goldtop)
    R7 = 1957 Historic Reissue
    So you'll see Custom Shop, Historic, RI, Reissue interchanged somewhat. Basically the same thing.

    VOS isn't a model, it's just a finish option among Historics. VOS or GLOSS.
    Brazilian boards? Not available since '03. There's a premium among some for these.
    Signatures are same as signatures everywhere. Maybe change just looks, maybe some tweaks.

    Hope that helps. Happy to answer any more detailed questions you have, but that's an overview of the Les Paul
  6. Ghostman574

    Ghostman574 Member

    Aug 13, 2007
    Right there with you...

    I play a '69 Les Paul Custom. The only "newer" Les Paul I would look at is a 1991 Candy Apple Red Les Paul Standard with gold hardware...I wish I never sold that one.
  7. Pete Galati

    Pete Galati Member

    Jan 9, 2006
    Both Fender and Gibson (and Epi) seem to do that. They seem to want to have a version of their popular models, for every market. Doesn't seem like they innovate much to me. They just specialize in repackaging popular designs from the '50s. Not that I've liked any new models they come up with.
  8. Clapton is God

    Clapton is God Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2008
    Richmond, VA

    Thanks for that post, it was very informative! In regards to the R7, would an R8, or an R9 mean styled after a '58, and '59 respectively?
  9. justonwo

    justonwo Supporting Member

    Mar 2, 2005
    SF Bay Area
    Yep. "R" is for "reissue." The number indicates the year.

    They're all small variations on the same themes. I will add that a couple of the Historic Les Pauls have P-90s (the 56 and the 54, but I don't think the 54 is offered anymore). Other than that, it's all about tops and neck profiles. That's correct.

    And there is a claim that the R9s and R0s get "the best wood," which has never really been substantiated since that's so subjective anyway. They are far and away the most expensive, and they used to get the lightest wood, but these days the weight on most Historics has gone up. I seem to see them all between 8.5 and 9.5 lbs.
  10. Speed_Racer71

    Speed_Racer71 Member

    Jan 6, 2005
    US of A
  11. CS'56

    CS'56 Member

    Jan 28, 2002
    What is a Yamano? and what's the deal with the Tom Murphy Les Paul's??? I NEVER see a new one, only used. How do these Murphy's come about?
  12. NatDeroxL7

    NatDeroxL7 Member

    Mar 28, 2007
    Anything with the word "historic" in it, or labled with an RX or G0 is all you need to know to land a great top of the line gibson.

    Play as many as you can until you find 'the one', and what you will take home is a rock solid, quality chunk of wood that will provide you the best possible platform for creating your ideal humbicking guitar tone by changing pickups and electronics.
  13. LPSlinger

    LPSlinger Member

    Apr 22, 2005
    Charlotte, NC
    Why do you have to know all of the different models and options in order to own a Gibson? I have a 2003 Les Paul Standard...that's more than enough information for me. When I was looking to buy one, I went into the store and played a few. That's probably the best option if you are looking to become an owner yourself.
  14. twinrider1

    twinrider1 Member

    Jun 17, 2005
    Columbus, OH
    I believe it's a big Japanese dealer (distributor?). They have the reputation of getting the best looking Les Pauls. Something big changed recently as there was talk of 'yamano quality' Les Pauls being available here. Gibson is taking European distribution in-house, so maybe that was the big change.

    Tom Murphy
    Relics guitars. Some love his work, some don't. What seperates him from others is his work is done under the Gibson roof, and has their blessing, and maintains it's warranty. I don't know if he still does any himself, or now just manages a team that does it. Maybe both.
    Could compare it to Roush Fords. Plenty of shops hop up Mustangs. But you can get a Roush through Ford, so there's some piece of mind.
  15. bonchie123

    bonchie123 Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2007
    Gibsons are actually really simple.

    VOS is simply a finish. Theres VOS and Gloss on Historics.

    R8 - 1958 Les Paul/Big Neck
    R7 - 1957 Goldtop/Big Neck
    R9 - 1959 Les Paul/Medium Neck
    R0 - 1960 Les Paul/Slim Neck

    Thats the Historic models.

    Then theres the USA stuff, almost all Gloss finish. Studios, Classics, and Standards. There are some cheapie sub Studio models also but I don't keep up with them.

    For the most part all Historics and Standards come with Burstbuckers. The Classics have 496 and 500's and the Studios have 498 and 490's. Very simple to keep up with.

    Fender is just ridiculous on the other hand. Not only do they have all the different models of the Strat all with different pickups combinations, they all have different neck radiuses and its not as simple as slim, medium, and fat like Gibson.
  16. humbuster

    humbuster Senior Member

    Apr 23, 2007
    I don't pay attention.
    I look, I play, I buy if I want to.

    Simple, really.
  17. Help!I'maRock!

    Help!I'maRock! Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Capitol City
    its no different for Fender. one of my guitars is a 50s Classic Tele. its MIM, but the Classic is made from better materials than the standard MIMs. then its a 60th anniversary model. and i refer to it as a "Fat tele" because the previous owner put a Duncan '59 in the neck (which i'm switching out for a P-90).

    its all very confusing.

    at least my Rickenbacker 330 is what it is.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice