Les Paul Reissue- worth the $ ?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by delco, Oct 4, 2008.

  1. delco

    delco Member

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    are the prices on the '58 and '59 reissues really worth it? I've been looking into used ones and man they sure don't come cheap - even used! I'm wondering if it's mostly an aesthetic thing with quilted tops and all and if you could switch out pickups on a regular Standard to get just as good a sound as the more pricey reissues?
     
  2. Caretaker

    Caretaker Silver Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    Are they worth the $$? That is up to the player and your financial situation. Can you put great pickups in a Standard and get the same thing? IMO, no.
     
  3. JoeNewbie

    JoeNewbie Member

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    The 58 and 59 reissues are desirable for different reasons.

    The 59 has a higher grade maple top along with custom shop quality. I've read many positive reviews about this guitar despite the hefty price tag.

    The 58 on the other hand comes with a plain top and costs about two thirds of the 59. The plain tops, in my opinion, look much better than the low quality pseudo-flamed top on today's Standard.

    The washed cherry sunburst 58 reissue is THE Standard Les Paul in my opinion.
     
  4. XKnight

    XKnight Member

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    The current R8s don't have flame tops so you're not paying extra for that like you would with the R9. I have a plain top R8 and I think it was absolutely worth the money I paid, which happened to be under $2000. I played a bunch of Standards and none of them were as good as the R8. It's my favorite guitar.
     
  5. Nick Sorenson

    Nick Sorenson Rocketfire Guitars

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    As a guitar builder, I think you can do a lot with the right parts. That said, almost any LP or even LP copy is Mahogany and Rosewood. That's the starting point. After that comes finish and metal hardware. None of that will sound good with the wrong pickups.

    All of that said, with some elbow grease even the worst LP guitars can really come alive. The key is:
    1. Most LP's have a mile thick finish. If I had the time and wanted to really make a nice guitar, I'd buy the best LP copy I could find (probably a lawsuit copy) or even an Epiphone and go to work. I'd strip the finish, make sure it's clean as a whistle, and refinish it in very thin nitro.

    2. Then upgrade the hardware as fit.

    3. Most important Pickups! I'd not skimp here. Most importantly in my opinion is that the pickups are PAF copies that are NOT potted. I've heard the same pickup before and after potting and it was quite drastic. AFAIK the '59 RI Les Paul has potted pickups. The real ones did NOT. .... if money is not as much of an issue real PAFs could be part of the project. But... in my opinion with the amount of good pickups being made, the right ones are available. Just have to look.


    So... Whew... after all that work, I think a guitar could be customized to be close to the real thing... whether or not it's closer to the real thing than the RI... that just depends what kind of effort and cash went into it. I'd bet this could be done for under $800. That's almost like a HGTV show where a budget is given and great things have to be pulled off for a small budget. It's possible and I think great results are very possible.
     
  6. Bluedawg

    Bluedawg Member

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    Used plaintop 58 reissues (R8s) and R7s can be found for about the same price as a new standard. They are as good as the R9s.

    The R8s have been plaintops since 2003 except for limited runs and special orders.

    Before 2003 the R8s had flamey tops.

    Whether the fancy tops are worth the extra cash is totally up to the buyer.

    Don't forget the Guitar Center/MF plaintop versions of the R0. They run the same price as the R8 and R7.

    Good Luck

    :knitting
     
  7. LowWatt

    LowWatt Member

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    Don't forget the biggest difference. The reissues actually have solid woods. The standard and other non-custom shop Les Pauls are actually semi-solid with unadvertised weight-relief holes to compensate for the heavier pieces of mahogany that they put into them.
     
  8. bluesjuke

    bluesjuke Disrespected Elder

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    I don't care how people spend their money but an R9, in most cases, is not worth the extra to me.
    It's too much extra.

    I got my R7 and R8 when the prices were more reasonable.

    I also had an '02 Standard, the first year they made major changes, that would blow most Historics out of the water.
    Too bad they changed them again.

    I sold the Standard to finance something else because I was not willing to part with an Historic.
    I should have because it is rare to find a guitar like that one was.
    Even the AA top beat most R9 tops I've seen.
    Very tastey and not gaudy.

    Both of my HIstorics are well worth it to me and the R8 especially for the sound I seek.

    I keep hearing lately that the Historics are up there in price used.
    I'm going to get up to date on where they are at as I haven't looked in a while.
     
  9. ajchance

    ajchance Member

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    Half dozen or so LPs have been through my house over the past several years. I picked up an '07 VOS R8 and am now satisfied. It's that much better.
     
  10. bluesjuke

    bluesjuke Disrespected Elder

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    Yep, the right one is always worth it.
     
  11. Jedi

    Jedi Member

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    The Historics have some key difference and IMHO advantages over the standard production LPs. For example the long neck tenon and overall lighter weight solid tone woods. However, I myself have been thru a few and the only one I have kept at this point is an R4 w/ P90s. I have not been able to find one that is airy and open as I prefer. However, that does not seem to stop me from trying.

    There is no doubt that right now the R7 & R8s are a good value and right now it is a buyer's market and you can find R9s & R0s for much less than 4K if you keep an eye out.

    Good luck
    :)
     
  12. Tonefish

    Tonefish Member

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    I got a great quilt-top R9 for $3500 a couple years ago. I think that is a fair price for the quality.
     
  13. Stonesy

    Stonesy Member

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    I purchased a R8 new in Canada. It was approaching $4000 with tax. Any used Historics in Canada never get sold. I envy you guys.
     
  14. rockinlespaul

    rockinlespaul Member

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    I've been in L&M a few times when I was in Manitoba. Your right. The prices wanna make me puke. Ridiculous.
     
  15. Hugo Da Rosa

    Hugo Da Rosa Silver Supporting Member

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    Monetarily speaking, the prices for these RIs are way too high. I can hardly justify myself paying that much for an original let alone the RIs. However, the quality of those guitars are paramount for modern made guitars. The choice of wood, alumnium hardware, somewhat accurate bumblebee clones, REAL beefy necks, and pickups all work together to create a sound that you can't make on even an early 90s LP with upgraded parts. I didn't believe the quality was that great until I played one - it really is a different animal.
     
  16. RCCola

    RCCola (|@ / \ @ |.) Gold Supporting Member

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    Yes and no.

    I love my R9, but I also love my other guitars that cost much much less. I wouldn't pay over $4k for a stock R9 myself.

    If I had to do it again, I might look for a replica. Would cost about the same but could get brazilian rw board, no truss rod condom, more accurate neck shape, etc. The biggest drawback of a replica is waiting - either finding it or having one built.

    Or I'd buy a goldtop and send it Historic Makeovers.
     

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