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What is the best Les Paul I can expect with $1500-$2,000 budget?

dachshund

Member
Messages
802
New or old. Color doesn't matter. I would like it to be a single cut, and either a Standard, Custom, or Historic.

I was considering buying a new Fender from the Professional line, but if I can get a great LP for a similar price, I'll start looking for Gibsons instead.

Thank you
 

eigentone

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
8,351
The used market is pretty flooded. Save a ton of money and buy used. There are plenty of great used and like new instruments.

This is a pretty personal choice, based on your preferences. Humbuckers, P90s, or Minis? Vintage or modern?

$2000 is the lower end of Gibson Custom. I recommend going that route, but keep your eyes open for good vintage axes.

In fact, some guys here at TGP go to the emporium and say "I have this much money for a Les Paul. What have you got?" and get some pretty sweet offers.

Personally, I would aim for a Historic R4, R7, or R8. Yes, good Historics can be had in your budget. Good luck :)
 

sleep

Member
Messages
3,217
If you don't mind a thinner neck and don't think that tone is in the tenon length get a 90's Standard. Read this TGP thread which includes a lot of info from someone who worked there at the time.

My opinion is that the 90s were the last time that guitars were made with the intent of being used as instruments instead of collectibles (guitar was the dominant instrument on the radio for much of the 90s) and you're paying for performance, not a grab bag of allegedly historically accurate details- which somehow get more accurate each year- and fake bumblebee capacitors, and a case pocket overflowing with crap you're supposed to hold on to for the life of the guitar lest that little booklet (the COA) take a couple hundred off the value of the guitar if, god forbid, you lose it. Also, the American economy was doing well for much of the 90's and Gibson wasn't cutting corners (for example, the faded finishes or BFG guitars of the 2000s).

I've had a bunch of historics and they are very nice guitars, but so are the 90's LPs, and they can be had for much less.
 

RRfireblade

Member
Messages
3,975
Not too many that can't be had with that budget used. You need to really figure out what exactly it is you're looking for in a Les Paul first and then go from there.
 

Faded

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,061
You might get a standard or production (non Custom Shop) custom for under 2k. If you find a historic for under 2k it'll have a break or other issues.

You can find traditionals all day around 1.5k, probably your best value.
 

hackenfort

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,685
I would be on the lookout for a fair priced historic gold top or plan top such as a G0 - Prices are all over the map, but I would think with a little searching $1700-2000 would get you one.
 

CharAznable

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
17,268
Traditional pro's seem to be avail well under that range.

Can someone explain to me why the Trad Pros seem to be held in lesser regard? They seem like good guitars from afar?
My mint 2013 trad pro 2 was $1400. It's a great guitar but it has undesirable features like coil splits, locking tuners and a switchable mid boost. Les Paul fans have no use for useful features like that. On the other hand, it is a solid, non weight relieved boat anchor. Les Paul fans love that.

It's a tone monster though.
 

Texsunburst59

Member
Messages
5,274
If you're patient and are willing to do a lot of searching it could pay off big time.

I'd really suggest you play and hear the guitar you're going to buy.

Don't buy online just for price alone.

Make sure you get the guitar more for how it feels and sounds than just price.

I waited over 25 yrs. before I bought my 2nd LP. It was a '77 LP Deluxe I bought for $750 in a pawnshop.

2 yrs. later I bought my 3rd LP which was an '89 LP Standard for $1075 which I also bought in a pawnshop.

I've was patient and waited for the right guitars at the right prices.

No matter what I suggest you buy used so you can get the most bang for your buck.
 
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dirk_benedict

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,487
My mint 2013 trad pro 2 was $1400. It's a great guitar but it has undesirable features like coil splits, locking tuners and a switchable mid boost. Les Paul fans have no use for useful features like that. On the other hand, it is a solid, non weight relieved boat anchor. Les Paul fans love that.

It's a tone monster though.
I had some locking tuners on an SG that, in playing position, were sort of obtrusive looking and funky (see pic below)...but those other features sound pretty interesting to me!!!

 

mrsongbird

Member
Messages
771
Yeah, the Traditional Pros are amazing deals. Great features and cool looks. I covered the pickups on mine because I'm not a huge fan of open zebra coils (which might be sacrilege to some, but to each his own). You could certainly save some cash if you go that route (and maybe get a used Fender along the way!).
 






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