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Woods in old LP studios better than current Std/Trad?

theroan

Member
Messages
5,973
I was thinking the other day. If back in the 80's and 90's Gibson was using their inferior woods for Les Paul Studios. Given the scarcity of quality woods in general now, would that make older lower line guitars more desirable than current production "high quality" models?

Just thinking out loud.
 

SPROING!

Member
Messages
8,794
Define "better."
I come from a woodworking background and the history of mahogany is kinda fascinating.
It seems "back in the day," the preferred wood came from higher up on the hills. It was lighter because the tree grew further from the water table and did not draw up as much mineral content. It's the "rock" in the wood that contributes a lot to the heavier woods we see today. Trees felled in the valley are heavier than trees felled on the hilltop.

As far as its impact on the tone of an electric guitar, however, I have my doubts.
 

EADGBE

Senior Member
Messages
12,338
You'd have to compare about a dozen or more side by side to come to a consensus. Play as many as you can and just buy the one that plays and sounds the best.
 

Mike9

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
10,969
I have a '95 Studio and the wood is anything but inferior.
 

telelion

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
2,807
No idea in your case but I recall an article as far back as the late 70's-early 80's in GP where Gibson, Martin, and luthiers of all sorts(like generations of classical guitar makers)weighed in on the fact that the top notch wood of yore were way harder to come by at that time and would be even harder in the future. And that's 35 years ago.

Even my so-called budget "student" classical guitar which is a very decent instrument made in the Ramirez shop in 1970(plus I have a high end BW boutique classical) has killer Indian rosewood and my mid 60's bare bones ES125 is fanatasic piece of mahogany as is my 1971 Guild D25. Three examples of wood that you would find today on top level and finer built guitars but back then even on many of the middle tier guitars, the great wood was a given.

I grew up with a few examples like a 1948 D28 a friend had so it gives one some perspective because there is a very noticable difference at that level. But I think there is still quality wood especially for Fender style guitars but the "tonewoods" guitar made in "mass" have no doubt suffered from days gone by though obviously there are still good ones.
 

Rod

Tone is Paramount
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
23,421
I've owned many reissue Lp 's and I have now 2 Lp studios that were made in 2008. One is a Vintage Mahogany and the other a strait chambered studio. They are both great sounding guitars and the woods used are pretty to look at as well. The build and finish quality is really very good (by Gibson standards) and far better guitars than the Lp 's I purchased in the late 60's and 70's.. Imho of course
 

goodwater

Member
Messages
1,023
I've got a '93 and it's one of the best LPs that I've owned (out of probably around 20) but it's also one of the heaviest LPs that I've ever picked up. It was my first one so I thought they were all this heavy when I bought it. I played an identical one a while back...same year, same color, same hardware and it didn't play anywhere near as well as mine but it was a helluva lot lighter.
 

73Fender

Member
Messages
3,980
I was thinking the other day. If back in the 80's and 90's Gibson was using their inferior woods for Les Paul Studios. Given the scarcity of quality woods in general now, would that make older lower line guitars more desirable than current production "high quality" models?

Just thinking out loud.
What's your source of information?

After trying some new Les Pauls in the $2k range several months ago and being underwhelmed (didn't have the feel of build quality to me of my much cheaper used Heritages),I came across a thread regarding quality of the Gibsons from the late 80's and early 90's. A former Gibson production worker from those years chimed in and pretty much said the opposite of what you're saying. Another former CS worker on another forum agreed.

I started looking for LP's from that era and came across a 93 Studio on CL for not much money (less than 1/3 of the other LP's I tried) and even though it had been neglected, never had a set up I believe, old strings, buckle rash, no binding etc, I could tell it was righteous. Took her home, happy happy. I'd say the old wood is probably better but what do I know.

Here's the thread:
https://www.thegearpage.net/board/archive/index.php/t-1117031.html
 

mc5nrg

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
10,398
The original premise isn't really accurate. Differences between the Studios and Customs and Standards at the time was mostly cosmetic...
 

73Fender

Member
Messages
3,980
I did a lot of looking around the net..lot's of posts of guys lamenting selling various early 90's LPs..especially Studios.
 

Mike9

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
10,969
I like mine enough it's getting a makeover next summer. It's wine red that has turned blood brown. I want to strip the back and sides to natural and have a blood top. I love the neck on that thing.
 

groovington

Member
Messages
2,852
My '93 studio is the most resonant guitar I own. No joke, playing it unplugged it is almost as loud as a dreadnought acoustic guitar. And I've never weighed it, but I think it's around only 8.5 lbs.
 

73Fender

Member
Messages
3,980
I like mine enough it's getting a makeover next summer. It's wine red that has turned blood brown. I want to strip the back and sides to natural and have a blood top. I love the neck on that thing.
I have that wine finish with chrome on my 93. They even made a faux binding by letting a thin ring of lighter maple appear around the top of the sides, I thought it was the width of the maple top itself til I removed the pickups, it has a thick maple top so they just did that with the finish some how. Ebony board too.

My '93 studio is the most resonant guitar I own. No joke, playing it unplugged it is almost as loud as a dreadnought acoustic guitar. And I've never weighed it, but I think it's around only 8.5 lbs.
Mine is 9.2 lbs, pretty resonant too. It was a mess when I got it, the guy played it pretty heavy when he bought it then stashed it for years, he said it never had a set up, even had the original receipt with his name on it. Intonation wasn't even in the ball park, sharp frets etc..very nice now.

If you find a good one, great bargains. Funny I drove a few hours for mine on CL, a month later one popped up 10 miles from me..listed for $500 on CL. Jersey Shore CL, still there, now listed for $800..maybe he's reading up on them haha.
http://jerseyshore.craigslist.org/msg/4307747638.html
The 92's had the maple necks with ebony board I think.
 

mdog114

Member
Messages
3,922
I kept a studio over a few other higher end models because it sounded better than anything else. I don't know if they used poor quality wood, but whatever they used sounded better than the standards I got rid of.
 






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