What should I expect from a Custom Shop Les Paul (over a Standard) ?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Raymond Lin, Jan 26, 2015.

  1. Raymond Lin

    Raymond Lin Member

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    As per the other thread, I have reserved a Gibson Les Paul Custom Shop Class 5 to be pick up this weekend. I have been mainly a PRS guy thus far so my only point of reference of guitar is PRS mainly. I have never played a Custom shop Les Paul before, so what should I be expecting?

    I guess I am asking how I should set my expectation...the Gibsons I have tried in the past, Traditional, Custom Classics, Standard, Studio never blew me away. I guess the best one of the lot was a Studio strangely enough. I am having high hope for this Class 5.

    So the question is...what major differences between a regular Les Paul to a Custom Shop Les Paul that you guys look for or feel that that is better from a Custom Shop guitar?

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Tim Plains

    Tim Plains Member

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    Hopefully, a better sounding/feeling instrument with good fret work. Class 5s are not very common as most people go the historic route at this price point. Class 5s have 17 holes drilled out of the body if you didn't know that already.
     
  3. Raymond Lin

    Raymond Lin Member

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    Thanks ! I do know about weight relief body and the holes, didn't know there are 17, not that it concerns me. Prefer that than chambered personally.

    As for price, lets just say I am paying about 60% less than an R9 so it's no where near the price point of a Historic.
     
  4. jlb32

    jlb32 Member

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    IMO the first thing is to make sure it is set up to your liking and that the intonation is spot on before even playing a single note. Don't get your first impression of any guitar from it not being set up properly.

    IMO Gibsons and PRS feel, sound and play much differently. If you are mainly a PRS guy then it may take you a bit to get use to the feel of the Les Paul.
     
  5. AParrotLooksAt4O

    AParrotLooksAt4O Member

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    I'm no expert, so please clarify how this is possible?
     
  6. dave-o

    dave-o Member

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    What color is that finish? Looks amazing!
     
  7. DiPa

    DiPa Silver Supporting Member

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    Better quality, better pups and feel, and well balanced.
    They look better and play better.
    Having said that, I have seen Standards do very well with some mod.
     
  8. ixnay

    ixnay Member

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    I've owned quite a few of each, and I've never really noticed enough of a difference that would justify paying the price difference. That's not saying the Custom Shop guitars were bad, just that the non-Custom Shop guitars I've owned/played were excellent in the first place.

    In cases where I had the choice between a $2000ish Standard or Traditional or an Historic Reissue (or other CS model) that is on sale for $2500 or less, I'd grab the Reissue. However, if the Reissue is priced closer to MAP at $4000 or more, I'd be perfectly happy with the Stadard/Traditional and the extra $2000+ in my pocket...
     
  9. guitarnut_1

    guitarnut_1 Member

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    Historics may be killer guitars but may be dogs as well. If you buy one used in a mint condition and it turns out to be a dog or you don't like it for whatever reason, you can always flip it.

    IMO a USA standard is nowhere near a historic reissue. Next thing I'd consider, close to a historic that comes from Gibson would be an early 90s classic. Awesome instruments at good prices!
     
  10. guitarnut_1

    guitarnut_1 Member

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    And BTW I had a historic with a KILLER TOP, that was a complete tone turd.
     
  11. jlb32

    jlb32 Member

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    Before plugging the guitar into a amplifier. Is that better?:D
     
  12. Raymond Lin

    Raymond Lin Member

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    It's much closer to the former than the latter. :)
     
  13. ixnay

    ixnay Member

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    Right, and buying used would be a little different than my example (which was assuming buying new). But it would still depend on the price gap between the Gibson USA and Custom Shop choices available at the time.
     
  14. ixnay

    ixnay Member

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    If this the one that is 9lbs 9oz? That does seem heavy for one with extra weight relief...
     
  15. Raymond Lin

    Raymond Lin Member

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    A new Gibson Les Paul Standard is £2,500 over here...crazy, that is almost topping $4,000 !

    A used Les Paul, not Historics are around £1,500 here. I could get them lower nearer £1200 on eBay but would be taking a chance.

    This Custom Shop is £2,200.

    It's the very one, I guess it is but it's the overall weight that matters.
     
  16. Kato10

    Kato10 Member

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    To me the Historics are worth the price of admission. They have a more musical voice to my ear, but the biggest difference to me is the feel. I wish it were something I could better articulate, but I cannot. They just feel right to me. Ever since I bought my first Historic I have not purchased another Gibson USA production model, and probably never will. I may be a cork sniffer, but I know what I like.
     
  17. AParrotLooksAt4O

    AParrotLooksAt4O Member

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    Much better!:beer
     
  18. XKnight

    XKnight Member

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    I'd buy a used R7 or R8 instead. The Class 5s are usually more about fancy tops than anything else. That being said if you can play it and compare it to other similarly priced LPs and you like it best then go for it. You money and your guitar.
     
  19. DiPa

    DiPa Silver Supporting Member

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    Once you get a Historic, there is no going back to the production models...
    They feel right and musical and looks are great.
     
  20. paulbearer

    paulbearer Supporting Member

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    Agreed-
    Maybe 60% less than a '59 RI, but probably same price as an R7 or R8 Plaintop.
    It's really a matter of preference and it sounds like weight is a key consideration for you...
    Cloud 9s (historics) are also a sweet option...
    For the differences, check this out: http://www.lespaulforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=101503
    Cloud 9s (CR XXXX serial #s) tend to be a bit more $.

    Sounds like the Class 5 you're eyeing is $3400 usd. Premium priced considering what you can get (year or ten old) Rs and CRs for.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2015

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