opinions on the Gibson Les Paul Studio

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Lution, Mar 17, 2006.

  1. Lution

    Lution Supporting Member

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    I've been looking into getting a used Les Paul. I think a used Studio is within my budget. Right now I'm looking at a couple of Studios built in the late 90s early 2000s. How does this model stack up in the hierarchy of Les Pauls?
    One thing I'm concerned with is the painted neck. Does this cause problems with moving your hand around the neck with the paint on the back?
    Also, how do these pickups sound? I believe they have the 490R and 498T setup.

    any opinions are welcome. thanks!
     
  2. DualRectifier

    DualRectifier Silver Supporting Member

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    I liked mine a lot. Great classic sounds.

    The overly-finished neck can get a little sticky when you start sweating though.

    The pickups are great when you want distortion, but they roll off precipitously, and have a very flaccid clean. Those pickups need to be pushed at all times, at least a little. If you do a lot of sparkly clean stuff, make sure you have another guitar, cuz an LP studio ain't gonna get it. That said, it's got the best distorted bridge sound you're gonna get for less than a couple grand. The other positions are great for lite crunch/pushed clean also.

    You get most of the sound and functionality of a Standard, but not as pretty, and much cheaper. The hardware could be better. Pot metal bridge and stopbar, crappy tuners. Plus I had to touch up the wiring, right out of the box, which I consider completely unacceptable.

    I definitely recommend a used LP studio. They tend to get thrashed relentlessly, so buy carefully. But you won't lose money on it. If you tend to get upgrade-crazy, and plan to change the pups or hardware, you should probably save up for a used Standard, cuz you won't get your money out of an upgraded Studio.

    The one thing I didn't like was that those pickups are only 2-lead. I was hoping I could split them.

    Well anyway, that's my opinion.
     
  3. Rich

    Rich Member

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    Ive had a zillion LPs over the last dozen years, including a couple of mid/late 90s Studios.

    I noticed no difference whatsoever in things like hardware quality between them and, say, Standards. Maybe in more current versions there are-- but not then.

    You may find a Studio done in a trans finish (not all were painted back then). I had a very sweet honeyburst flametop limited edition that was as pretty as the typical Std Plus tops of the time. Gave up the body and neck binding, but thats all. And it sounded and played just fine.

    If you find a nice one at your budget $$, no worries.
     
  4. michael patrick

    michael patrick Supporting Member

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  5. michael patrick

    michael patrick Supporting Member

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    There's a nice looking one in the emporium (I'm not connected to the seller, just trying to help ya out...).
     
  6. Lution

    Lution Supporting Member

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    thanks for the replies.

    What is a fair price for a 1997 through 2003 Studio in great shape?
     
  7. cam

    cam Supporting Member

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    I had a mid 90's Studio in pretty good condition with an ebony fretboard and gold hardware. As I recall, I sold it for around $600 on eBay a couple of years ago.
     
  8. drbob1

    drbob1 Silver Supporting Member

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    Between $600 and $800 in great shape would be fair. Since you've got to upgrade pickups to get the most out of a Les Paul anyway, I wouldn't be too concerned about the ceramics. You can buy a set of used Seymour Duncans (say a JB bridge and 59 or custom neck) for less than $100 if you keep your eyes open, maybe spend another $100 on an RS upgrade kit (better pots and caps, 50s wiring) and you'll have a guitar that'll sound better than most historics out of the box, for less than $1k. The other cool one if you can find it is the LP Studio M3-which adds the most effective "strat like" sounds I've ever heard from a humbucker guitar.
     
  9. Rich

    Rich Member

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    Pups on mine were Alnico, not ceramic. And they were just fine. I dont agree that one needs to swap the pups on an LP to get good tone. (That is, unless they are the ceramics-- which do suck IMO.)

    Ditto for swiching out the pots and caps and wiring etc. There are plenty of great sounding bone-stock LPs out there-- always have been.
     
  10. DualRectifier

    DualRectifier Silver Supporting Member

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    The 490R (alnico II)/498T(alnico V)'s are obviously not ceramic. I bought my LP studio mainly to stick in some extra SD's I had, a Jazz neck and '59 bridge. The stock pups sounded so good I didn't even bother.

    I might have just gotten a crap one, but the hardware was definitely not up to Standard specs. Specifically the tuners and stopbar/bridge.
     
  11. adrenalinejunky

    adrenalinejunky Supporting Member

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    I like 'em. I've got a 96 and an '02. They changed them some in '97-Y2k or '01, and they had smaller traps, and at some times the body was thinner. If you can, try to fine one made before then, they're a little more guitar for the money. An early-mid 90's will have full sized traps, full sized body and a lot of them had ebony fretboards, so they're basically a Custom without binding, instead of a Standard without binding. When they changed them again, they went back to the full sized traps, and full sized body etc.
     
  12. Rich

    Rich Member

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    a-junky

    Right, remember now. Aint that just like Gibson -- Diff thicknesses, diff boards, and the real traps versus those little rectangles they were doing. Jeez.

    And come to think of it, they also did a run of all mahogany in a natural gloss finish several years ago. Could have been a GC only deal. Seem to remember seeing them there at some dirt cheap price-- under 500 on blowout I think.
     
  13. Hardtail

    Hardtail Member

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    I have a 98 dot neck in translucent cherry red (not the usual dark wine red). Its got everything a Standard has ... in the dark, I defy anyone to tell the difference in playabiilty & sound from a standard. Great value on the used market...

    HT
     
  14. papersoul

    papersoul Member

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    You have to make certain you vibe with the feel! They feel way different than a standard. Pick up a new Standard and new Studio and the feel is very different....so make sure to test both. I prefer the Standard with 50s neck....that does it for me.
     

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