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Gibson Les Paul Classic/Classic Plus

#1 User is offline   dsn716 

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 08:21 AM

Sorry guys, just need to know if I'm the only one, but how many of you would like to see the Les Paul Classic in regular production again?
I've owned a 1997 Les Paul Classic, and now a 2012 Les Paul Classic Plus. To me, there is just something about the 60's slim taper neck profile, coupled with the 496R and 500T pickups that I just can't get enough of. By far, it was/is the best mid-level Les Paul model Gibson ever made, in my opinion.
Again... just curious if I'm the only one...
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#2 User is offline   Zeppeholic 

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 06:30 PM

View Postdsn716, on 13 October 2013 - 08:21 AM, said:

Sorry guys, just need to know if I'm the only one, but how many of you would like to see the Les Paul Classic in regular production again?
I've owned a 1997 Les Paul Classic, and now a 2012 Les Paul Classic Plus. To me, there is just something about the 60's slim taper neck profile, coupled with the 496R and 500T pickups that I just can't get enough of. By far, it was/is the best mid-level Les Paul model Gibson ever made, in my opinion.
Again... just curious if I'm the only one...




Basically a 1960 Les Paul?

If it has a solid body and a 60's neck, it should be in production

*cough cough* 1960 Les Paul Custom *cough cough*
Kid, you haven't played guitar 'till you've played a Les Paul

#3 User is offline   FennRx 

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 07:18 PM

the funny part is that the Classic started as a model above the Standard. The original Classics were so close to the 1960 Reissues that some unscrupulous sellers began passing the Classics off as such. As time went on, Gibson watered the Classic down.

I would like to see it as it was in the beginning- no snot green inlays, no green tuners, an ABR bridge, 57 Classic pickups, Les Paul Model on the headstock and a regular pickguard that doesnt say 1960 on it. Swiss cheese, slim neck and plaintop would be fine.

#4 User is offline   IanHenry 

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 07:07 AM

Hi,
I own a 2008 Les Paul Classic Antique. I'm having difficulty finding any information about those guitars, very few people seem to acknowledge that they ever existed. When I contacted Gibson they gave me the spec of my guitar and the following link (strangely half of the page is in Japanese!).

http://www.gibson.co...ssic%20Antique/

I "found" the guitar whilst looking for my first Gibson during 2010, I'd tried several Studios and Standard's, but none of them sounded to me, as I thought a Les Pauls should sound. When I say I found the guitar, it was in a music shop that had lost it's Gibson dealership, in a corner looking pretty unloved and already two to three years old, although still brand new, I plugged it in and immediately thought, I've found it, the Les Paul sound I'm after!
The headstock has the same motif as a ES335 and, interestingly has binding around it. So far I haven't found a Les Paul that I like as much this side of an R9.
If anyone has any information about the Les Paul Classic Antique I'd love to hear it
Posted Image

Regards,
Ian.

#5 User is offline   pippy 

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 11:24 AM

I remember them when they came out, Ian. Very Nice Guitars. I liked the single-ply binding on the h'stock, the '57 Classic/Classic+ p'ups and I'm partial to the VSB finish, too.

Good Score!

[thumbup]

Here's an old GAK ad for the guit you have. Essentially the same info as in your link but with fewer Japanese words...

http://www.gak.co.uk...ic-antique/2896

I'm certain I've read quite a few articles about them but I'm buggered if I can find them just now! Very Odd...

There were quite a few variations on the Classic and several 'GOTW' 400-off limited editions - some with the old script-style Gibson h'stock logo.

I like the 1960 Classic very much. Obviously, as I have a pair....LOL!

P.

#6 User is offline   charlie brown 

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 11:34 AM

I too, own a (year) 2000 "Classic" model, Les Paul: (Honeburst, figured top)

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Posted Image

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I have changed out the pickups, to Classic '57 (neck) and '57+ (bridge), and put a
bone nut, and a '59 TRC on it, as well. Love it!!

I may, at some future point, change out the position markers, for MOP! But, it's not
a major thing, right now. They actually look worse, color wise, in photos, than in person.

CB

#7 User is offline   Zeppeholic 

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 01:49 PM

1960 Les Pauls are my favorite...


solid body, rounded 60's neck..

YES YES YES! [drool]
Kid, you haven't played guitar 'till you've played a Les Paul

#8 User is offline   Zeppeholic 

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 01:50 PM

View Postcharlie brown, on 14 October 2013 - 11:34 AM, said:

I too, own a (year) 2000 "Classic" model, Les Paul: (Honeburst, figured top)

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

I have changed out the pickups, to Classic '57 (neck) and '57+ (bridge), and put a
bone nut, and a '59 TRC on it, as well. Love it!!

I may, at some future point, change out the position markers, for MOP! But, it's not
a major thing, right now. They actually look worse, color wise, in photos, than in person.

CB





I'll buy it from you. I've been looking around for one just like yours, is the body fully solid?
Kid, you haven't played guitar 'till you've played a Les Paul

#9 User is offline   charlie brown 

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 02:08 PM

Yeah, it's "weight relieved" (although it's still quite heavy, compared to some more recent models).

But, Sorry Zep...it's not for sale. At least, not at this time...I love it, too much! [biggrin]

CB

#10 User is offline   dsn716 

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 05:40 PM

View PostFennRx, on 13 October 2013 - 07:18 PM, said:

the funny part is that the Classic started as a model above the Standard. The original Classics were so close to the 1960 Reissues that some unscrupulous sellers began passing the Classics off as such. As time went on, Gibson watered the Classic down.

I would like to see it as it was in the beginning- no snot green inlays, no green tuners, an ABR bridge, 57 Classic pickups, Les Paul Model on the headstock and a regular pickguard that doesnt say 1960 on it. Swiss cheese, slim neck and plaintop would be fine.

That is probably the thing I like most about my 2012 Classic plus. Yeah, the figured top is awesome, but it doesn't have the ugly greenish inlays.
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#11 User is offline   dsn716 

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 05:46 PM

View PostZeppeholic, on 13 October 2013 - 06:30 PM, said:

Basically a 1960 Les Paul?

If it has a solid body and a 60's neck, it should be in production

*cough cough* 1960 Les Paul Custom *cough cough*

Yeah, a 1960 Les Paul Custom would be nice, if I had 4 - 5 grand burning a hole in my bank account. In terms of "mid-grade" ($2,000 and less) Les Pauls, the Classic was/is the one.
2013 Fender American Standard Strat
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#12 User is offline   IanHenry 

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 02:18 AM

View Postpippy, on 14 October 2013 - 11:24 AM, said:

I remember them when they came out, Ian. Very Nice Guitars. I liked the single-ply binding on the h'stock, the '57 Classic/Classic+ p'ups and I'm partial to the VSB finish, too.

Good Score!

[thumbup]

Here's an old GAK ad for the guit you have. Essentially the same info as in your link but with fewer Japanese words...

http://www.gak.co.uk...ic-antique/2896

I'm certain I've read quite a few articles about them but I'm buggered if I can find them just now! Very Odd...

There were quite a few variations on the Classic and several 'GOTW' 400-off limited editions - some with the old script-style Gibson h'stock logo.

I like the 1960 Classic very much. Obviously, as I have a pair....LOL!

P.

Thanks Pippy. So was the Classic Antique a budget model, or is that just an old price?

Regards,
Ian.

#13 User is offline   pippy 

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 02:50 AM

View PostIanHenry, on 15 October 2013 - 02:18 AM, said:

...So was the Classic Antique a budget model, or is that just an old price?...

It wasn't really a budget guitar such as, say, a base-model Studio is but it was about 70% the cost of a USA Standard at the time so a bit of a budget model.

As FennRx mentions in post #3 the 1960 Classic was originally priced higher than the Standard; roughly half-way between that model and the 1959 R-I (the figure I've usually seen quoted is 40% higher than the Standard of the time).
When the Classic specs were 'watered down' (again, as FennRx says) it eventually became below the Standard in the pecking/price order.

The price in the GAK ad is exactly the same as they charge for a current Les Paul Signature T so if you consider the Sig. T to be a budget model then, yes, the Classic Antique was the same.

Without wishing to become too much of a History Lesson;
Gibson had been making, in very small quantities/short special-order runs, something approaching the '59 LP for a great many years before the Historic Division (now Custom Shop) made the 1959 Re-Issue a regular production model in 1993.
The 1960 Classic, however, had been introduced four years before this date (in '89). After the R-I came out it was hard for R-I buyers to see where their their extra money was being spent so something had to be done to 'devalue' the Classic...

FWIW my two 1960 Classics are both fairly early examples (a 1991 and a 1995) and I just happen to prefer both over any USA Standard I've ever played.
The former, especially, is truly beautifully made. The short neck-tenon is about the only real constructional difference between the Classic and the R-I's.
In fact some things were actually more historically accurate on the Classics than the early R-I's - such as the sharp-point trapezoid inlays. Early R-I's were fitted with rounded traps for many years...
By the time the '95 was made Gibson had started to bring in changes to 'distance' the Classic from the R-I's. It has the wide binding in the cutaway and the Les Paul CLASSIC silk-screen but still has an ABR-1 and, sharp, un-aged inlays.

P.

#14 User is offline   IanHenry 

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 06:28 AM

In that case, I think I got a bargain then!


Ian.

#15 User is offline   gypsyseven 

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 06:51 AM

I played an old LP Classic a week ago and i have to say they´re pretty ace!

#16 User is offline   pippy 

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 07:14 AM

View PostIanHenry, on 15 October 2013 - 06:28 AM, said:

In that case, I think I got a bargain then!...

Oddly enough, on the subject of price/value, when these instruments come up for sale they are more often than not offered for around the same price as they were when new.
The early Premium Plus 1960 Classics are especially sought-after in my neck of the woods.
According to what I've read when the model was originally released the idea was to make them all as Plain-Tops (although there are some figured examples out there).
Public demand saw Plus and Premium-Plus tops introduced from about '92 so it's possible to get something almost exactly the same as a R-I (tenon and weight-relief aside) for about half the money.

Incidentally, here's a snap of one of the 'limited edition' variants on the 'Classic' theme, this one is a Classic Custom from around the time yours was new;
Posted Image

The only accurate info I have of it was it was a "GOTW #28" from around 2008/09.
By this time, as can be seen, the Classics had the Nashville bridge and round-cornered traps.
I played a s/h one with a view to buying it (I don't have a P-90 equipped Lester) but it had suffered a broken headstock and the dealership was still asking £2,000 for it ($3,187 for our cousins in the US).......[scared]

Very nicely made, though. VERY nice.

P.

EDIT : This is a very informed article (I probably got most of my info from here back in the day) by the great guitar afficionado and collector Mike Slubowski;
http://www.lespaulfo...es/frameset.htm

#17 User is offline   Big Bill 

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 07:30 AM

View Postpippy, on 15 October 2013 - 02:50 AM, said:


As FennRx mentions in post #3 the 1960 Classic was originally priced higher than the Standard; roughly half-way between that model and the 1959 R-I (the figure I've usually seen quoted is 40% higher than the Standard of the time).
When the Classic specs were 'watered down' (again, as FennRx says) it eventually became below the Standard in the pecking/price order.


P.


Pippy, what year did they start "watering down" the Classics?
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#18 User is offline   pippy 

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 07:49 AM

Not too long after the introduction of the Historic Division 1959 Re-Issue was released in '93. As I say a little bit earlier my '95 has a few changes when compared to my '91 so it must have been around '94(?).
I've played a couple of '93s which were, to all intents and purposes, the same as my '91.

Things changed quite slowly and sometimes a change would be reversed for reasons unexplained - such as the h'stock silk-screen;
The original style saw 'Les Paul MODEL' in the same font as a regular Standard (which is different font from that on a R-I, BTW) but by the time my '95 was made it had become Les Paul CLASSIC.
BUT!....some later years saw the word MODEL re-introduced, only to be replaced by CLASSIC yet again.

The early guitars had the thin-binding in the cutaway but, again, by '95 it had been changed to the wide style but I think both thin and wide made appearances from time to time...

Early traps were regular-coloured swirly-pearl style with sharp ends. These became, imfamously, the 'Snot-Green' style by the mid-'90s.
My '95 has paler version of the aged style so they seem to have become 'greener' in stages! Later on the traps had the regular USA-style rounded 'points'.

Sometime in the mid 'noughties (2004 rings a bell for some reason but I might well be wrong) the ABR-1 gave way to the Nashville style bridge.

I think the pots were also different values in the later guitars but, again, I can't be 100% sure of that.

I'll post some pics to illustrate things if that would help?

Here are the pegheads of my '93 R9 to compare with the '91 Classic. Look at three things;
Different Kluson post bushes; very narrow p'head on the '91; and the font and spacing of MODEL on the two instruments...
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Narrow binding in the '91; wide in the '95;
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Posted Image

Sharp-point 'white' inlays on the '91 Classic;
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Cracked-Ice round-point inlays on the '93 R9; pale (they are much darker looking here than in real life! very strange!) aged sharp-points on the '95 Classic;
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...and finally gratuitous Porn-shots of the Calssics....'cause you've all never seen them before.......lol!

'91. "Treacle";
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'95. "Honey";
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P.

#19 User is offline   Big Bill 

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 08:17 AM

Thanks Pippy. I have a 2000 Classic. Outside of the snot green inlays, I love this Lester. I had a 2008 Traditional, for me the Classic is a much nicer player.

Posted Image
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#20 User is offline   pippy 

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 09:09 AM

View PostBig Bill, on 15 October 2013 - 08:17 AM, said:

Thanks Pippy. I have a 2000 Classic. Outside of the snot green inlays, I love this Lester. I had a 2008 Traditional, for me the Classic is a much nicer player.

Very Nice Looker, Bill. I love flowing grain more than tons of flame believe it or not.

[thumbup]

Just to clarify things;
When I talk about things being 'watered down' it was not so much the quality of the instruments but the design details. They became less like the original 1960 'bursts for reasons already explained.

As I've mentioned ealier I'm a big fan of the Classic guitars. I even like the ceramics in my '91 - although (perhaps like yourself) I prefer them with covers.
It's an absolute hooligan of a guitar but can be tamed as and when. I prefer '57 Classics but I can get the ceramics to within, say, 95% of those with judicious use of the various tone knobs available to me.
My '95 already had the original p'ups swapped-out (for a matched pair of S-D Antiquities) before I bought it.

One thing I forgot to mention before is how slim the early necks are.
Just for fun one day I took a set of digital calipers to the necks of my Lesters.
The '95 1960 Classic was, amazingly, within three-thousandths of an inch identical to my '95 1960 Re-Issue all along the neck from the first to the twelfth fret.
The '91, OTOH was far, far slimmer. I don't have the figures to hand but it worked out to be something like 15% narrower which is extremely noticeable to the palm/fingers.
In fact it's the one black mark against it; not so much the slimness itself but it is very susceptible to even slight tuning alterations - often sending all the other strings out of pitch. Tuning can be a right PITA.
Perhaps that's why later ones have more meat to them?

P.

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