Was '97 still a good wood year for Gibson ?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by 1kidc, Oct 20, 2015.

  1. 1kidc

    1kidc Member

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    I've heard that the early 90's were considered the "good wood" years for Les Pauls. I Have a chance to pull the trigger on a '97 ebony LP Standard. Your thoughts?
     
  2. TrevorW

    TrevorW Supporting Member

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    There were bad guitars made in the "good wood" years too... Playing them is really the only way to tell if its a good one or a bad one.
     
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  3. 1kidc

    1kidc Member

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    Yeah, I'm aware of that..
     
  4. themightyjay

    themightyjay Member

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    I've had a '95 and a 2004. Only have the 2004 now as it sounds and plays better in every conceivable way. If you like the guitar on its own merits just get it. Don't worry about any Internet forum crap about "good wood" years.
     
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  5. TrevorW

    TrevorW Supporting Member

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    Sorry, I must've misunderstood the question.

    I'd buy it for sure
     
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  6. Hallogallo

    Hallogallo Member

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    Lotsa 'good wood' in the 90s.:D
     
  7. saf_1

    saf_1 Member

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    I think the "good wood" thing, applied more to the Custom Shop/Historic instruments, than it did to the production instruments - where much less attention was paid to the quality of the wood, than in the Historic models. And although there may be some basis in fact, I think this is also one of those "urban myth" type deals, that gets blown out of proportion over the years. There were "good wood" years, on the Historic models, well up into the 2000's. It just depended on what they had available, and what the characteristics were of the wood they used on the day they built your guitar. There are still really nice ones being built - some so, so - some downright bad (and "good" these days, applies more to quality control, than to the quality of the materials used in the guitar). But I think it's kind of naive to assume, that just because one of their guitars was built in the 90's, that the quality of the wood was automatically going to be good - or necessarily better than one built in 2004 (for instance). You just need to play it. If it is (for me) light, resonant, sounds good acoustically (unplugged), and also has good string to string definition at differing volumes on different pickups, both clean and distorted, not too bright, not too dark - balanced tonally - then it might be a keeper. (See the above response by TrevorW) Buying it sight unseen, though - especially when you are talking about a regular production line instrument - is a crapshoot. Could be a gem - could be a boat anchor. But the fact that it was built in the 90's doesn't really insure you of anything tonewise, IMO (and I've owned a shitload of LP's - from '56 Junior, to '70 Deluxe, through early 80's, and up into multiple late 90's/2000's Historic instruments).
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2015
  8. gibsonES330

    gibsonES330 Member

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    "Good wood year" is an invention of internet sellers - whatever year the guitar they are trying to unload on you was built is always a "good wood year".
     
  9. rmconner80

    rmconner80 Cantankerous Luddite Silver Supporting Member

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    What if you buy it and you love it and find out that somebody on the internet thinks that 97 didn't have "good wood?"

    It's wood. Regardless of what year it is, somebody at Gibson (who's job it is to invest tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars into wood) evaluated mahogany on the market for the grain and commercial properties of the wood in guitar building, and they bought the stuff that worked, Gibson used it in millions of dollars in inventory, they didn't use the stuff that they found wasn't good, and it all works pretty much the same. This happens every year of Gibson's existence.

    I don't buy the idea that there is anything special or lacking about wood from the 90s or some other period. It is true that Gibson used multipiece tops and backs at various points. I don't like that look or philosophy but as guitars they work just fine. It is true that the metrics and standards Gibson uses to evaluate wood (weight, grain) nowadays and for some time has varied by model / price point. But none of this has anything to do with the "goodness" of the wood, just comes down to the specific guitar and what you consider "good", and the wood on the bottom end instrument is still "good" by any rational standard.

    Anything that wasn't "good" about the wood in a 1997 guitar would have revealed itself by now in the form of cracks or twists or breaks or warping.
     
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  10. 1kidc

    1kidc Member

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    Thanks for all of your insights. Just got back from playing it. Kinda dead. Passed lol....
     
  11. mesa/kramer

    mesa/kramer Member

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    These threads always crack me up................
    There's good and not so good ones made of every year ever made (Even 1950's era)
    Who's to know the percentage of the total good or bad of any give year?
    A few guys chiming in ain't gonna tell the story either

    Just play the damn thing and decide if it's good or not :bonk
     
  12. Guitarworks

    Guitarworks Member

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    Yes - 1997 would be "good wood".

    Whenever I hear the industry speak of the "good wood" Gibson years, I sense it is referring to the window of 1987-2005. That was the era that spanned the time when Gibsons were officially out of the Norlin shadow and making good on their commitment to build high-quality instruments in the spirit of the vintage Gibsons, and up to the point where they really started altering those designs in favor of being a company that can 'modernize' its products, starting in 2006. The superstrat's 80s dominance was coming to an end with the notoriety of players like Slash bringing Les Pauls back into the spotlight in the late 80s. The quality of Gibsons (including the wood) across the board, especially throughout the 90s and early 2000s, was excellent and consistent. So I get the impression the vintage/used market sees those Gibsons made at some point from '87-'05 as being the "good wood" Gibsons - no longer a Norlin, but not yet an altered/modified/chambered/substitute fretboard/2-pc fretboard/generally mucked-with Gibson.
     
  13. Neopolitian

    Neopolitian Member

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    Were the strings fresh? It's going to sound a lot better with fresh strings vs. old and dead strings.
     
  14. BADHAK

    BADHAK Member

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    Had a 95 std that was a nice sounding and playing guitar, but was ridiculously heavy.....had to be 12 pounds.
    The 2002 I just got is about 9 pounds and superior in every way.
     

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