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The Gibson Les Paul Classic ... which year(s) is best?

Texsunburst59

Member
Messages
4,894
My '97 Classic Plus is great. The previous owner installed a 57 Classic/57 Classic + set of pickups and my tech swapped in a set of A3 magnets on the neck pickup and it sounds great. The neck is perfect for my hand. It's one of the best LPs I've ever played.




Beautiful guitar! Yours looks a lot like mine but mine is just a Classic Plus, not Premium Plus so your flames are a lot tighter and perfectly bookmatched. Very nice!

Here's my '97 LP Classic Plus.



The 496R & 500T pickups can sound great in the right guitar but terrible in the wrong one. They sound wonderful in my LP Jr. Special Plus but not so good in my son's Les Paul Studio.

WOW!!

For a Classic Plus, that still a killer looking top, even if it wasn't designated a Premium Plus.

I'm SURE I could install a much better pair of Humbuckers in my guitar, but I really want it to exist in its original form.

I'm going to accept that it has some very hot pickups, and the tones lead more toward hard rock and metal.

I've got several other LP's that scratch the lighter classic rock tones, so I'm OK with that.

By the way, for being just a studio, your son's guitar has a great looking top.
 

slamigo

Member
Messages
231
I have a 2018 Goldtop as well. Plays super nice and replaced the bridge pickup with a Wolfetone meaner.....sounds wicked!
Different strokes. I love the stock P90s. Everyone has a different ear. Glad you're enjoying your guitar. I was actually shocked at how much I like this one.
 

stratzrus

Philadelphia Jazz, Funk, and R&B
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
20,895
By the way, for being just a studio, your son's guitar has a great looking top.
The second guitar is my LP Jr. Special Plus. I like them so much that I bought the one pictured as a backup for my main one.

My son's LP Studio Plus looks like this one.

 

Texsunburst59

Member
Messages
4,894
The second guitar is my LP Jr. Special Plus. I like them so much that I bought the one pictured as a backup for my main one.

My son's LP Studio Plus looks like this one.


Very nice.

You really do find some studios with some crazy nice tops.

If I can ever locate some studios with tops like those, for a good price, I'll snag one for sure.
 

Capador

Member
Messages
538
Mine is a 2006. It does not have locking tuners, push pull pots or weight relief. It came with 500/498T pickups, which I changed a few years into owning it. It also has the aged looking inlays, which I've come to dislike, but oh well. It does have a 60s neck, body/neck binding, good quality parts/construction and feels and plays great.

They tend to get some hate, but I always saw them as the best model to modify. They have the look and construction of a standard, but a price point that lets you mod without feeling guilty.
 
Messages
4,109
Do you want best or best price point? Best are the early 90s, but those are creeping up into the 3k range. Best price, just find a reasonable weight newer one.

Over 3k two weeks ago on Reverb, 1993

Great guitars- the examples that I've run into (with the 1960 on the pick guard) have all had slim profile necks that felt like they were especially thin. I'd suggest asking for fretboard measurements if you're interested in buying one that you can't play first.
 

deepcove17

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
795
Different strokes. I love the stock P90s. Everyone has a different ear. Glad you're enjoying your guitar. I was actually shocked at how much I like this one.
They are fantastic guitars. I just found the Gibson P90 to have excessive attack....the Wolfetone seemed to remedy this just right. :cool:
 

danelectro

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,052
I favored the 1990-1993 Classics because of the vintage-correct features such as an ABR bridge, narrow binding in the cutaway, the proper "Les Paul MODEL" silkscreen on the headstock, vintage style tuners, etc. I was never crazy about the stock pickups, but if you swap them for a pair of Seths, Antiquities, Classic 57’s, they can be great guitars.

When first introduced, they were a tier above the standard. Other than have a short tenon, the early Classics looked pretty much the same as the Custom Shop Reissues. The story goes that some unscrupulous dealers were inflating the prices and passing them off as Custom Shop guitars. Consequently, Gibson “dumbed them down” in 1993 by changing features so that they were less vintage-correct (wide binding in the cutaway, "Les Paul CLASSIC" silkscreen), although they are still very nice guitars. The inlays became piss-yellow around 1995, and then the ABR was changed to a Nashville bridge in the early 2000's.

I’ve owned three Classics from 1990, 1991, and a 1992. All were excellent guitars and I’d still own them, however once I bought my first Custom Shop Reissue in 2003 I became hooked on the thicker neck so I ended up selling off the Classics. If it wasn’t for the thin neck, I’d still be playing them.

My first was this 1990 that to which I loaded a pair of Classic 57 pickups into it


1992 Classic Plus


1991 Classic - This one I should have held on to. It had a slightly thicker neck and it was just a great guitar.
 

misterg71

The premier Hack Guitarist
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,483
90-93 are great years for these.
I played a 92 Trans Red for years.
I look back and wonder how I could handle the pencil thin slim taper neck.
Well, I just did. Never thought about it. It wasn't heavy either. Under 9. I had Duncans: alnico II bridge and jazz neck... what a great combo. That thing cooked.
Today a guitar's gotta be .88 deep minimum but really more like 1.05" with a 1 3/4 nut for me to dig it (Enter Bowery Pine)
I remember the days back when I first started (‘90). Back then I never thought about neck size, I just played whatever. These days I can’t seem to get along with anything that doesn’t have a larger neck size. But what I did like about those first edition Classic models were that so many of them came with great looking plaintops. Seems everything now has to be flamed.
 

RockDC

Member
Messages
1,455
Not saying the best but...

I have 2003 with the ceramic pickups. A real workhorse... although I'd rather have the pearl then snot green inlays. I also have a 2018 with p90's and its a team to play and use.
 

Yamaha 1421

Member
Messages
1,091
That was a real BEAUTY you had there Gary.

I'm sure you had a VERY good reason for selling it.

I'd love to find a '90's-00's Classic Goldtop like that.
Hi Skip,Yeah it went to a young guy who really wanted it bad[And he could really play] and had looked all over in the shops around here but they had nothing except some really spendy Les Paul Historics that were way out of his price range. Him and his dad met me at the mall here locally he had driven over 100 miles to get it on a Sunday in the winter.He played it and his dad asked do you want it?, and he said yeah..........oh yeah! It was a great guitar and it went to a good home.
 

Texsunburst59

Member
Messages
4,894
Hi Skip,Yeah it went to a young guy who really wanted it bad[And he could really play] and had looked all over in the shops around here but they had nothing except some really spendy Les Paul Historics that were way out of his price range. Him and his dad met me at the mall here locally he had driven over 100 miles to get it on a Sunday in the winter.He played it and his dad asked do you want it?, and he said yeah..........oh yeah! It was a great guitar and it went to a good home.
That sure was a beauty.

Like you said, at least it went to a good home.

Hopefully the young man was inspired by that Goldtop, and has since become a great guitar player.

I hope you and yours are doing great and staying safe during this trying time.

Take care Gary.
 

stratzrus

Philadelphia Jazz, Funk, and R&B
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
20,895
Mine is a 2006...It also has the aged looking inlays, which I've come to dislike...
The inlays became piss-yellow around 1995, and then the ABR was changed to a Nashville bridge in the early 2000's.
Actually the inlays are greenish in color, not yellow. To me it looks like a pale Jade color.

I wonder how many people wouldn't like them if they hadn't read on TGP that they weren't supposed to. :dunno

Frankly, I really never saw what the big deal was. What player or member of the audience spends time staring at the color of the inlays during a live performance? There's nothing particularly abominable about the color. In this shot you can clearly see that they're not yellow but just slightly green.

 

SFW

Member
Messages
1,393
I have a 2001 that is outstanding. I changed the pots for CTS 500k and did the 50s wiring. Also put in some pickups that were more my flavor.

 

Dean_E

Member
Messages
396
Did anybody get one of the 2017(?) not the seafoam green ones that were posted above, but the deep green ones. I saw a couple of those at a couple at GC. Green is my favorite color. On the newer ones, do they have ceramic pickups?
 




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