Would a Historic Gibson make you sell your standard?

golfnut

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I recently picked up a new Standard 50's Les Paul. I feel I got a really good one. Pretty nice flame on the Tabaco burst top for a standard. Someone I know picked up the same guitar with the same finish and it isn't near as nice, no flame whatsoever and a very mismatched looking top. Mine is also fairly light at 9.2 pounds. It plays like a dream and sounds fantastic. Being a Fender only guy for 40 years and owning 2 very nice custom shop Fenders, I can't believe how easier a gibson is to play. Still need my Fenders but I've been playing the Les Paul 80% of the time at gigs since I got it.
However I'm thinking that some where in the future I may be looking to acquire an R8 (possibly an R9). Likely I'll buy new unless the market changes around me. All the used ones listed seem to be going for near the price of a new one and some are asking more than new. However I will be keeping my eyes on the used market.
However I can't see me selling the standard that I have now. On the other hand if I find an R8 that is that much better I'm not sure why I would hang on to the standard. I'd be in a position where financially I could keep both. I'll be trying to compare as I go along to see if the R8 isn't necessarily better but just very different.
So just wondering for those that have acquired a historic R7\R8\R9\R0, etc and owned a standard model and kept it. What were your reasons for keeping both?
 

OmegaWoods

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Since you play out, I would say keep the Standard for playing out if you get an R*.

I'd be reluctant to take a $6k guitar to a gig unless I had a tour bus.

For me, I've recently implemented a "one of each kind" guideline. LP with humbuckers is a "kind" for me so if I want to get a different LP with humbuckers, I would sell my current one after verifying that the new one was indeed better. This works for me since I can morph the definition of "kind" over time if needed while still keeping my stable at a manageable size. For someone else, an R7 might be a very different kind compared to an R0.

This isn't an answer to your exact question but I can see where keeping a gigging guitar and another pristine collectable of the same type would be wise.
 

golfnut

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I’d keep both. My view is that if I can afford more guitars, and I have the space for more guitars AND I’m going to play those guitars, then I can have those guitars. I’ve found for me, I max out at ten guitars. When I was younger, it was about three guitars.
I'm getting close to you. I currently have 2 Fender custom shops (tele, strat), 1 MIM roadworn tele, the Standard 50's LP and 2 Martin Authentics. At the beginning of Next year I'll be adding a Historic Gibson Hummingbird that a friend is holding on to for me. That will bring me up to 7. If I add an R8 or R9 I can't imagine going beyond that many guitars.
 

244300

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I'm getting close to you. I currently have 2 Fender custom shops (tele, strat), 1 MIM roadworn tele, the Standard 50's LP and 2 Martin Authentics. At the beginning of Next year I'll be adding a Historic Gibson Hummingbird that a friend is holding on to for me. That will bring me up to 7. If I add an R8 or R9 I can't imagine going beyond that many guitars.

Nice array. We have fairly common tastes.

I’ll add my comments above, that I’ve consigned 20 or so guitars in the past few years. I had ballooned up to sixteen or so guitars. Then I realized I couldn’t effectively play them all and some of the models (Strats come to mind) didn’t really suit me. I’m happy I tried a good range of guitars but it was too many for me all things considered. I also learned a lot about the kinds of neck profiles, frets and pickups I prefer and today’s range reflect my tastes very well. My efforts at guitar “hypergamy“ has been well worth it and it would be difficult for me to find better instruments (for my playing) in the future.

Today, I’ve got three Les Pauls including a vintage ‘73 LPC with P/W, modern spec LPS, GCS ‘60’ reissue LPS, a lone GCS ‘61‘ ES-335 and four Teles including a Nashville P/G Tele, modded CW P/W Tele, HS Tele, HH Tele Deluxe and a Jazz bass. No acoustics. One of the Teles is set for Open G and another is D Standard so I get a lot of extra open tuning flexibility with those two guitars. Three of the Teles have solid rosewood necks all robbed from other guitars including one from a Stratocaster. All of my guitars are professionally setup and play like a dream. They also offer modest tonal differences primarily due to differing pickups and I really appreciate and enjoy those subtleties.

Comically enough the three LPs are all similar shades of cherry sunburst and ALL the Teles are Fenders version are similar shades of the classic 2-3 tone sunburst. The 335 looks the same as a “vintage” burst. The causal observer at jam sessions wouldn’t think I own more that three guitars.

It took me 6-7 years (beginning at age 47) to start and finish this guitar journey and I’m good to go now and I’m pragmatically done fussing with any guitar GAS.
 

Esquire Jones

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For some weird reason I relate to the plain old Les Paul Standard. I always thought of them as the workin man’s Gibson.

I mean it’s the “Standard”!

I’ve owned several Lester’s over the years but the one I’ve kept the longest is the 9 lbs 92 Standard. It does everything a Paul should do.

And I like that.
 

brookdalebill

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I presently have four nice Historic Les Pauls.
I do think the Custom Shop Historic reissues are indeed better instruments.
I rarely gig with them, but they sound, play and look better, IMO.
I like the fact that they are accurate replicas of the original 50s-60s guitars.
I’m an old guy, so I like to have guitars that remind me of my youthful heroes.
Most of those guys played 1950s Les Pauls.
That said, Gibsons newer production guitars are the best I’ve seen from them in years.
They’re perfectly good for gigging.
Keep you new guitar, and look around till you find the perfect R8, or R9.
It’ll be pricey, perhaps kinda crazy pricey.
It will be a lesson.
It was for me.
For me, the lesson was you pay 4 times as much for a guitar that’s 20% better.
It may, or may not be worth it to you.
 

Lawdawg

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I haven't played any of the reissues so I can't judge. I would say that I am very hard pressed to imagine any Les Paul being $2K - $3K better than the 60s Standard I bought last year. As far as I'm concerned Gibson hit a home run when they introduced the 50s and 60s Standard models a couple of years ago.

If you've got the cash by all means grab an R8, but I can't imagine that it will be significantly different than the 50s Standard. If you regularly play out, I could see the benefit of keeping the Standard 50's for gigs since it's roughly half the cost of an R8.
 

golfnut

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I haven't played any of the reissues so I can't judge. I would say that I am very hard pressed to imagine any Les Paul being $2K - $3K better than the 60s Standard I bought last year. As far as I'm concerned Gibson hit a home run when they introduced the 50s and 60s Standard models a couple of years ago.

If you've got the cash by all means grab an R8, but I can't imagine that it will be significantly different than the 50s Standard. If you regularly play out, I could see the benefit of keeping the Standard 50's for gigs since it's roughly half the cost of an R8.

I'm not as familiar with Gibsons having been a Fender only guy for 40 years. I've owned everything from the Japanese reissues in the 80's, American standards, AVRI and other similar reissues and my one MIM as well as Fenders from the 60's. I currently own a couple high end custom shop Fenders and I know what the difference is from the non custom shops.
I don't yet know how my Standard 50's that I just bought stacks up against the historic line but I imagine the gains would be about the same. Having said that my Standard 50's really fits in well with my custom shop fenders in quality, tone and playability.
The question I'm asking though isn't how much better or not better are the historics but just curious as to who kept their standard after getting a historic and why.. So far the popular reason to keep the standard as the gigging guitar. Although I would want to gig an R8\9 if I were to buy one. Might be choosy where I'd bring it but I'd still want to gig it. All my guitars are for gigging.
 

Jakedog

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The current standards are outrageous guitars. Yes, the reissues are better. Better enough to justify the cost difference? That’s up to you.

For me, if I could swing it, I’d do it. To me the guitar doesn’t have to be twice as good to cost twice as much. If it’s the best one, that’s the one I want. I’ll gladly pay more for an increase in quality if I can afford it.

As for playing out with a $6k guitar? Sure. Absolutely. I’d play out with a real ‘58 if I had one. In my world, that’s what guitars are for.

Plus, we guitar nerds get all uptight about what things are worth. 99.9% of the people who will see you playing it won’t have any idea what it is or what it’s value is. They just see an electric guitar. Even if they do recognize it as a Les Paul, they’re not going to know the difference between it and your standard. In the overwhelming majority of cases, guitars don’t get stolen because they’re valuable or expensive. They get stolen because a low-life loser sees an opportunity. A CS Les Paul is no more likely to get grabbed than an Epi is. Just don’t provide easy opportunities and you’ll be fine.
 

244300

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It takes a little more money to go from an entry level guitar to a mid-level guitar.

It takes a bit more money to go from a mid-level guitar to a high end guitar.

It takes a LOT of money to go from a high end guitar to a top of the line one that’s maybe 5-10% ”better”.
 

Peegoo

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I do think the Custom Shop Historic reissues are indeed better instruments.

Based on all the Les Pauls I've played over the years and the bunch that I own, I agree. I have a 2014 CR8 and it is the guitar I grab when I *really* want to enjoy playing and a humbucker tone will work for the job. This guitar practically plays itself; I looked for more than a year for this one.

Does it make me want to abandon all the other Pauls I have? No, because those have their own personalities and sounds that are still plenty good enough to keep in the quiver.

Gibson-Les-Paul-CR8.jpg
 

golfnut

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This guitar practically plays itself;

Gibson-Les-Paul-CR8.jpg
Thats the way I feel about the standard 50's I just bought. Its godawful easy to play. Everything so smooth. Its like another level from my custom shop fenders on how easy it is to play. Maybe I'm just really digging the flatter radius and shorter scale.
I put a bit of dirt on with my kingsley page, dial back the guitar volume on the bridge pickup a bit and I'm chicknpickn with an almost tele vibe
 
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Peegoo

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I'm chicknpickn with an almost tele vibe

That is what a truly great Les Paul should do: twang when rolled back, and when dialed up they sound like a Telecaster on steroids.

Played through a really reponsive amp, a fine LP is a thing of sonic beauty.

If you want more twang, add a treble bypass across the volume pots; this increases the percentage of highs as you roll off the volume control, and keeps things from getting dark or muddy.

The Custombuckers that Gibson installs in their R-series Les Pauls are their best-sounding humbuckers to my tin ears.
 
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drmordo

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What makes a guitar great is intangible, and your Standard may very well be a great guitar. So I wouldn't plan on selling it. I'd get the R8, then decide if it eclipses the Standard enough to sell it. It may very well be that you get the R8 but still reach for the Standard most of the time.
 

Wallaby

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I wish I had these problems...

If you can do it go for it. I mean keep BOTH.

It's easy - keep the cash flow at par by waiting longer before getting the Historic. It doesn't have to be a zero-sum game.

There is something special about a tweaked guitar that doesn't advertise how special it is until you have that goofy grin after picking it up and realizing how great it really is.

Plus who would let go of a guitar they like for one they're not sure about yet?
 




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