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Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by Chase TM, Oct 6, 2016.
Is it what you really want or does it just look like what you want?
I don't completely agree with the "paying a premium for the name" point that some have made... yes, you pay more for the name brand, but it's not all for the name. I would rather have an entry model from Gibson than the flagship model from Epiphone, but that's just my personal preference. For the same reason I'd rather have an entry model coupe from Mercedes than the top model coupe from Hyundai. Premium construction techniques and materials seem to flow downwards easier than they flow upwards. But this is all just generic-speak, with no real application; as I said earlier, what really matters is how it feels to you, and whether you like what you see after a good close inspection. It's entirely possible to find a killer guitar from any number of non-premium builders, as others have repeatedly done.
I happen to have to have owned a number of very nice Gibsons (and Fenders) through the years and still have many of them. They have ranged from vintage models, through to some of the nicer Customs and historic reissues.
None of these has given me more pleasure than a 2011 Gibson Les Paul Studio 60's goldtop tribute model with its twin P90s and the two piece pale mahogany back which I much prefer to the darker option. I also love the classy arched maple cap. This is a superb guitar and one which provides a heck of a bang for the buck. Beautifully finished, it is also more playable than some of those old but genuine '60s LP goldtops that it clearly resembles, and which I can no longer afford to look at.
Hey ChaseTM do yourself a big favour and give one of these a good workout at your local dealer. Whichever model you select, I'm sure your gonna like it. Whether you buy it is up to you, but to my mind there not much out there can touch these guitars at that price point.
The soft case is perhaps the only thing that I would replace and even that doesn't affect the playability of these guitars.
Thanks for all the responses so far! To answer some questions, I would love to spend a little more on a LP, and am all for buying used, but the problem I had with the upper end LPs is the neck profile and the binding on the fretboard... Again, I don't care for the name on the headstock, but the truth of the matter is that availability up in Canada of decent clones or many used instruments is not what it is in the US and not what it used to be... Also, if I can be convinced a more expensive model is worth my money I would absolutely spend the extra $$$.
As far as epiphones go, I would probably much prefer an epiphone actually (provided it met all my criteria) but just can't bond with the 'D shape' neck profile on any of the dots or Sheratons. I'm after a fat C shape. Another option I may consider is buying an Artcore AS model and replacing most of the hardware and all of the electronics.
Also, please note that I don't give a toss about resale value. If I like a guitar and am willing to part with hard earned cash, i generally keep it around for the long haul.
Also, I have always found SGs to be neck heavy (especially with the thicker profile I prefer). Again I don't care about make or model as long as it's resonant and stays in tune.
Check your PMs.
I have a 50's tribute. I love the fat 50's neck....it plays very well. I have 4 LP's total and I. Was once told by a Gibson rep that the Studios and Faded LP's cost less because between binding an gloss hey can require half the hands-on time in production. Binding is glued and trimmed and wrapped by hand. Gloss is sprayed and buffed and sprayed and buffed by hand over and over.
The Tribute guitar has good pickups and hardware and lumber. The Tribute doesn't spend 12 hours in the paint shop. People skills make guitars more expensive.
Go for it. You'll love it.
My last Gibson LP buy/sell cycle was a brand new Historic Goldtop several years ago, it was one of those rare ones that ended up getting the short run of ubber rare Brazilian rosewood fret boards.
Lovely guitar, and flawless, but I just never bonded with it, the 57 pickups just didn't jive at all with it nor did the baseball bat size neck with my hands, so out the door it went. I sold it for substantially more than I paid due to the craze that started for the Brazilian rosewood fret board ones once they stopped using it again.
A few years later I was in a store and was checking out their Gibson LP's, they had quite a few new and used and most all of them did nothing for me at all from the big dollar ones on down the line...... until I grabbed a NOS 2013 Studio Deluxe II desert burst Flametop with a natural finish back that looks to be 1 piece.
Immediately upon playing it unplugged it felt just right and VERY lively. Once I plugged it in and wailed for several minutes I had to have it.
I got it for $825 w/HSC. It's a keeper.
Only problem has been Gibson does not understand hum shielding, the guitar came with uncovered 490R neck & Burstbucker Pro bridge pickups with coil splitting to single coil mode (they should've went series/parallel) along with an active 10 Db boost makes for a recipe for lots of hum.
After going over everything, paint shielding all the cavities & wire tunnel & copper tape shielding their covers,replacing the non shielded wire that went to the selector switch, and wrapping the pickups coils with copper foil tape it's dead quiet even in single coil 10 Db boost mode.
getting strings and a cleaning/setup, it has a nice flame top for a budget Studio Deluxe II:
I like the no binding look:
Fat neck is the key. Add P90 tones, a complete lack of gloss and bling.....but a full helping of resonance and excellent hardware. What's there to talk you out of?
I don't want to be pampering guitars. I don't care whether or not they look flashy on stage. They need to play well and sound good. Of course, you can put in some of the omitted hours of detailing yourself. There are plenty of threads here about polished Studios- subtly handsome upgrades, at the cost of some elbow grease.
Studios are a great platform, if you know what you want; in my case, I wanted a 50s neck profile and early 50s West Coast tones- T Bone, Pee Wee Crayton, Lowell Fulson. Through a good amp, my 50s gives me all of that.
Interesting thread. One more to throw in is the Les Paul Less Plus which should be around the same price but will suit better for weight and body depth if you are used to partscasters.
If you've found the only neck that works for you then go for the Studio.
I would recommend checking out some Tokais
Sounds great. I have the SG with the thinner neck and P-90's. I really love the pickups and I don't mind the finish. I would wish I could have found a fat neck. The PLEK'd frets are great but I think I'm done with larger frets. I plan a partscaster with a Bigsby and the smallest steel frets I can get. If you can get along with the big frets over time you'll love it. Get a hard case - that was one cheap-out I carry a grudge about.
They are tremendous bang for the buck. Buy one. Mine has a good quartersawn neck, chunky but not fat. It has an honest to goodness one piece mahogany slab. No seams at the edges. Typically, the Studio line uses cheaper, heavy mahogany, but mine was obviously light before chambering: it's 7 lbs. 3 oz. I replaced the pups because to my ears the 4nn series pups are mainly for rock and that's not my thing. There's nothing rong with them, though.
Don't do it!
There, that's the best I can do to talk you out of it.
Now, you're on your own to decide.
Justify it to yourself by telling yourself about how much you're saving by buying this instead of a True Historic model which is several thousand dollars more expensive.
My 50s trib is chambered and I love playing it unplugged. Very lively
I got one 4 years ago, and I can't speak badly about it. It'll actually be 4 years next Wednesday!
I had a 2013 50s tribute that was okay. Not bad not great. I played a 2017 tribute that felt miles ahead of the one I had. I'd get a new 2017 over any other year.
My 2013 with P90s is a great guitar. I love thin satin finishes.
I can't help talk you off the ledge because I'm facing a similar quandry on a 2014 Goldtop P90 Tribute that is pretty much everything I've been looking for in a Gibby for a while now. Sorry.
I don't own a 50's tribute LP, but I recently purchased a 60's Tribute SG Special and I can say that it is one of my favorite Gibson's that I own. I own 2 LP Standards an SG standard and a 335 and my SG Special gets played more than all the others. It's not as nice as the standards when it comes to fit and finish, but it plays well and looks nice. Someone added a Lyre vibrato to it before I bought it.
If it's what you want, get it. I'm certainly not the guy to talk anyone out of buying a Les Paul!
Is that a 50s Tribute? From what I can read the 2017 MY have slim taper necks.
I also wanted one so on Tuesday I was near Denmark Street and tried a 2016 SB finish, I wanted a Goldtop, but I didn't like the lack of neck grain filler, fret end finish, the stock pickups. I did like the neck width and profile.
For me it would need the neck stripping, grain filling and spraying with nitro, a set of Seth Lovers, proper wiring (no PCB) some locking Sperzels ( I hate those plastic keystones), maybe some better hardware, stop tail and TOM.
And hey, I just doubled the price!
When I got home I had no incentive to order a GT 2016 model at £649...
I will keep looking for a used one that I can upgrade as that neck size is what I want.