Since 1990 - what are Gibson's best years?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by 1973Marshall, Apr 20, 2016.

  1. 1973Marshall

    1973Marshall Member

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    It's easy to find details on why 1982 Les Pauls are sought after, whether it's construction or Shaw pickups, but once you hit the 90s there is little discussion of landmark years to own or years that might be less desirable for one reason or another.

    Curious to hear from owners/players about the models and years that are must-haves, unfairly overlooked or when it's time to look elsewhere. Consider this a database.

    As a personal note, I'd love to know about 1996-2000 era 335s and Les Pauls.
     
  2. RayBarbeeMusic

    RayBarbeeMusic Member

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    2012-present. People hated the changes in '15, including me, but that's subjective. I'd take a 12/13/14/16 over an earlier one any day if I'm buying sight unseen.
     
  3. 27sauce

    27sauce Member

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    The USA line from 87-94 is highly regarded.

    93-99 Historics
    03 Historics
    07 Historics
    13-on Historics

    Standard fadeds are hot
     
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  4. rummy

    rummy Member

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    Late 90s into mid 2000s is what I like.
     
  5. jiml

    jiml Member

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    98- 99 seemed like good years for Historics
     
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  6. Brian N

    Brian N Member

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    What constitutes a historic? Like would a 60s tribute be consider a historic?
     
  7. cam.man67

    cam.man67 Member

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    2005 was a good year for SGs.
     
  8. Bluplirst

    Bluplirst Supporting Member

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    August through November 1997
     
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  9. Kmaz

    Kmaz Member

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    Some pretty nice R8s made in 2005. Great ones through all of the years, I'm sure.
     
  10. deadbeat son

    deadbeat son Member

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    No, a tribute is not a historic. A historic is a historic reissue built by the custom shop, frequently referred to as an R4, R5, R6, R7, R8, R9, R0, G0, B4, B7, etc.
     
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  11. Bankston

    Bankston Supporting Member

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    My purely subjective opinion:

    '02-'07 LP Standards are killer guitars.

    I have two 2014 LPs, a traditional and an R9 VOS and there is not much difference between the two in terms of build quality, playability and choice tone.
     
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  12. bluesjuke

    bluesjuke Disrespected Elder

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    I can pretty much agree with this.
    You can find a good or even outstanding one from many years but in these years it seems as if there more than a few special ones, more common I shall say.

    Outside of these years though I can say my two favorite Gibsons outside of the 2013 Les Paul I have now had been 2005 and 2006 models.
    As outlying years that could have been luck of the draw though I can't say.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2016
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  13. Guitar Josh

    Guitar Josh Resident Curmudgeon

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    IMHO, for standards, it is 2000-2003.
     
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  14. talentless hack

    talentless hack Member

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    Based on reputation, anything before 2010 is regarded as being solid. 2010 and later (especially the last couple years) has a reputation for being pretty uneven, to put it mildly.

    I haven't owned a ton of Gibsons, though, so I honestly can't tell you whether it's a matter of people complaining about how Gibson and the world at large are going to hell in a handbasket, or if there's been a legitimate drop in quality for Gibson.

    I can tell you the following first-hand:

    *I hated the changes in 2015, especially the wide necks that made many models a literal pain for me to play with my smallish hands.

    *My 2012 Gibson SG Special was pretty sweet with a clean tone that was downright spiritual, though the fretwork had some flaws.

    *Many of the early '90s budget models - LP & SG studios - have ebony fretboards, if that does anything for you.
     
  15. 1973Marshall

    1973Marshall Member

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    I know this is premature but it feels like 2016 is going to be a good year for Gibson quality.
     
  16. cutaway

    cutaway Supporting Member

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    you just have to get lucky. any year and no year can be good. this is a huge corporation that turns out total gems and dogs on any given day. no one here has played a big enough segment of a single year's guitars to be able to nail down one year as being better than another.
     
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  17. Brian N

    Brian N Member

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    I know you have to watch out, at least on cheaper models, for stuff made after 2010. I believe they got raided around that time and much of their rosewood was confiscated. Since then, they've been sneaking in some alternate fretboard woods such as baked maple and granadillo. They've also had some fretboards that were a rosewood laminate, or a multi-ply rosewood. They are upfront about it for the most part, but they're definitely banking on uninformed buyers who never bother checking.

    The funny thing is, they never (to my knowledge) snuck those alternate woods into their lower end Epiphone brand guitars. That's likely because since the Epiphone guitars are made in Asia, it's cheaper to get rosewood there (both because of shipping costs and the fact that their Asia plants won't get raided by the FBI).
     
  18. Pedal Dan

    Pedal Dan The Island of Misfit Pedals Gold Supporting Member

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    I've got a 95 Les Paul Custom...

    Thanks for letting me know it's bad.

    8^}
     
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  19. Bossanova

    Bossanova Silver Supporting Member

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    "whatever year mine is from"

    --TGP

    ;-)

    kidding! but, i think it really depends whether you're talking historics or production

    i would basically avoid 2012 (many nice guitars, but lower re-sale) and 2015 (horrible and horrible resale), but everything else i think really varies from model to model, and example to example.
     
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  20. 27sauce

    27sauce Member

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    I was going to tag you, but thought itd be rude. Good to see you got the memo. :)
     
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