Should I get a Gibson Custom Shop?

What’s your choice?

  • Gibson Custom Shop Les Paul R0

    Votes: 76 60.8%
  • Fender Custom Shop Tele + Gibson USA Les Paul

    Votes: 49 39.2%

  • Total voters
    125

Syntek

Member
Messages
76
I’ve been saving for a pre-owned Gibson Custom Shop Les Paul R0. But, now that I am ready for that commitment, I did realize that for the same price I can get a Fender CS tele and a Gibson USA LP.

Currently, I do have a Strat and a Duesenberg StarPlayer TV.

What would you get? Are Gibson’s Custom Shop worth the hype?
 
Last edited:

TheRedBoy

Member
Messages
95
I think they’re worth the hype. I worked in a shop from 2009-2016, and I played a ton of them. I found they changed the specs up in 2013, and every one I’ve played that was made after that has been amazing. I’ve got a 2014 R8, that I absolutely love.
 

slide13

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,201
It feels like the CS LP is the guitar you really want, if that’s the case I say go for it.

I’m more a Fender guy myself and just got a CS Strat. I could have gotten a couple nice guitars for that price but I love Strats and this one is exactly the one I’ve been looking for. I don’t regret it one bit! So if the CS LP is what you really want I think it’s the right move even if, on paper, it may not always make the most sense.
 

eigentone

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
7,467
Buy what you really want. If the R0 is your dream guitar, go find one you love.

Are Gibson Custom Shop guitars worth the price? I think so, if you can comfortably afford it. My #1 is a Les Paul from Gibson Custom. I own a few Gibson Custom guitars; Gibson USA guitars are just not very tempting anymore. That's not to say Gibson Custom guitars are all better than all Gibson USA guitars but… chances are the Custom will be a cut above.

The hard part about buying a used R0 is that there are few places on the planet where you can compare multiple R0s side by side. There is a good amount of variation in sound and some variation in spec. It sounds like you may need to play a few more and determine if it is worth more to you. To me, one great guitar is more useful/inspiring than three mediocre guitars.
 

dspellman

Member
Messages
8,310
I’ve been saving for a pre-owned Gibson Custom Shop Les Paul R0. But, now that I am ready for that commitment, I did realize that for the same price I can get a Fender CS tele and a Gibson USA LP.

Currently, I do have a Strat and a Duesenberg StarPlayer TV.

What would you get? Are Gibson’s Custom Shop worth the hype?
Gibson "custom shop" has varied over the years. I have a guitar that was built in the Custom Shop, that I had to wait to be built to spec, but there are a lot of "CS" serial numbers that claim to be Custom Shop that are, essentially, just production guitars. These days I ignore "Gibson Custom Shop" for the most part. My Gibsons are largely production models from the last century, when the custom shop was there to inlay some country star's name into the fretboard. IMHO, an R0 is really just a high end production model.

I don't buy new Gibsons these days, unless Fretted Americana has something that was tucked under a bed some years back. And especially not Les Pauls, though I came close to swapping an original '59 for an old car ten years ago. My last new Gibson brand Les Paul was an Axcess Custom (carved neck heel, tummy cut, white binding, Floyd Rose). At this point, I think there are better single cuts made by other brands.

If I were committed to buying a Gibson, I'd go with the Fender tele and a decent Gibson USA LP.
 

dspellman

Member
Messages
8,310
More is not better. Buy the best, never regret it.
I have learned that lesson through my business, and in my personal life. I do not make that mistake anymore.
Get the CS.
I try to buy the one that works the best. But I don't buy what other people think is the best (unless it really is).
An R0 isn't necessarily the best LP-style guitar you can buy, nor even the best *Gibson* LP you can buy (IMHO).
 

eigentone

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
7,467
They saw you coming mate.
All my heroes played USA Les Paul Standards and USA Strats. The 59 bursts are all USA Standards. Nobody played a Custom Shop guitar because there wasn't such a thing and I'll tell you what, with modern machinery the USA guitars they make now are of a better quality and higher consistency than the guitars they made in the 50s, 60s and 70s.
Plenty of pros play instruments from Gibson Custom and Fender Custom Shop. Probably some of your heroes as well.

Do you seriously think that you need to spend 3/4/5k in order to get a decent guitar?
Alright… You tell me what Gibson Custom guitars I own and have owned and how much I paid for them. And Fender Custom Shop while you are at it.

Harley Benton knock out LPs for £150 and Teles for £85. Are you telling me that a £2k Gibson Les Paul Standard or a £1800 Fender Ultra Strat isn't the dog's danglies? I was briefly suckered into Custom Shop guitars but I compared one with a good USA example and quite honestly I just don't see where the extra money goes. There are more man hours in a relic job if you go down that route and they tax you for long neck tenons & hide glue etc but come on guys!
This might make more sense as a standalone post (ie a response to the OP) rather than a response to what I wrote.

Re Dog's Danglies: Yes. I usually feel underwhelmed after playing a modern Gibson USA Standard LP or Ultra/Elite/AmDeluxe Strat. I honestly don't find myself considering buying them afterwards. I have my LP and Strat tones covered well and I am not a fan of most of the "improvements" they make. And the guitars with these era modernizations usually take a pretty big hit used. American Elites were just discontinued a few months ago. You can pick them up for $1100 used, down from $1800 new.

If you are happy with an £85 guitar… just enjoy that. I'll enjoy the guitar I want. I just did my annual income taxes. I made a solid profit off the gear I sold last year. So you really don't need to worry about my spending.

Who will be buying this stuff once the boomers pass on?
Boomers are already dying off. Most will die in 5-25 years and it will probably peak in 10-15 years. I may be in the market for a Gibson Custom or two then. And if I live to 80 (present day life expectancy in the US) I will have many, many years to enjoy them.
 

3940bigdaddy

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
928
If your heart is really set on an R0 then get it. You can always save up later for a CS Tele. Yes CS Fender/Gibson are worth it. I owned 10 of them and that all that I play. YMMV of course.:):):)
 

eigentone

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
7,467
None of my heroes played Custom Shop guitars in their heyday, not one. There was no such thing as the Custom Shop back then. Sure some play them now but who cares about that? The most expensive guitars on the planet, 59 bursts, are USA Standards.

I don't play cheap guitars. I have Gibsons and Fenders but I only own two Custom Shop guitars, both Gibsons (*I forgot about the 335 I have because it's at my luthier). The rest are all USA models and they're every bit as good so far as I'm concerned. Sure Elites were discontinued. They have been replaced with Ultras which will themselves be replaced in two or three years. All guitars take a hit. Your reissiues will be worth significantly less than what you paid for them unless you bought them used.
"…so far as I am concerned" is an important qualifier. You can state your opinion without trying to force it on other people. It's ok that people have different opinions on a subjective matter. Right?

If you really feel that way, maybe you should sell your Gibson Custom guitars.
 

dblazer

Senior Member
Messages
347
If you like a Les Paul and the weight works for you, I'd say give it a try. I bought a "bucket list" Custom Shop VOS R8 (2016 built) and it was really very well done, it looked like a brand new guitar, but one that had been left in the case for 60 years. I wanted to see if it was "all that". In a tough "A/B" with my Heritage H-140 it lost out and I sold it.

Deciding factors? The Heritage is almost 2 lbs lighter, a little thinner body and slimmer neck profile, and an ebony fingerboard.

If you want the best approximation of an early Les Paul, the Custom Shop is the way to go.

 

Sporque

Member
Messages
13
I can only speak for my 2017 Gibson CS ES-339.

I pretty much adore it. It says it was finished on a Wednesday (or inspected, or whatever the date on it means), and I believe it. It's a Wednesday guitar all the way.
 
Messages
1,507
I don’t own either so my opinion doesn’t mean much however I do have a similar story I can share;

I was about to buy a used prestige Ibanez plus a G&L legacy with about $1600 ish I had at the time. I talked to a guy who said they’re both fine guitars but why not get something special. He recommended a Suhr.

I went with the Suhr and it introduced me to a whole level of quality I had never experienced in a guitar.

I’ve since bought a prestige Ibanez and have played G&L’s and they are indeed very good, but I’m thankful that I took the advice and forever redefined what a truly “premium” instrument can be.
 




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