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Gibson Les Paul models

#1 User is offline   Rizal 

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Posted 02 November 2010 - 11:49 PM

I am really interested in owning a Gibson Les Paul. However, before I get into actually owning one, I would to know the difference between various Les Paul models. I did a bit of googling, but none has made a comparison, that is makes it easier for a non Gibson person to understand.

As far as I know, there are the models

Traditional
Custom
Standard
Studio

Also, I've read about 50's neck, and 6o's neck, which makes it more confusing. So, I am turning into Gibson forum, to help me to understand more about Les Paul. And spec for the neck would be good to for each models.

Thanks in advance.

#2 User is offline   shaved_ape 

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Posted 03 November 2010 - 12:05 AM

There are several differences.

I have never played a Les Paul Traditional, but here are the differences I can clarify.

A 50's neck is a lot fatter, more bulky and more favored by gorilla hand players such as myself.
A 60's neck is thinner, and plays a little faster for smaller finger players.

The Standard has binding on the body and has the fret edge binding on the fingerboard for smooth transition amongst the frets.

The Studio is plain Jane, no binding on the body, no binding on the neck and is made to be more affordable.

The grandaddy, the Les Paul Custom, has multi-ply binding on the top and bottom of the body of the guitar, not to mention the fret edge binding on the neck, and block inlays and a binded headstock which is actually a veneer.

The Les Paul custom in my opinion is the best sounding because it has more weight, tone, and sustain. The downside is if you are a small guy, it can get heavy if played standing up for extended periods of time.

Pickups can vary in these guitars, I believe the 60's neck STD's were meant to replace The Classic series and thusly have different pickups than the 50's standards, I could be wrong, but Gibson changes the pickups occasionally so it just depends on what kind of sound you want.

Recently the Standards will come with Burst Buckers which aren't bad, some studios I have seen have had 490's or 498's or something like that. I like the 490 series but I am a nut for Gibsons binding.

Some standards now are chambered which means they have a more hollow-like body, I don't like this so if you want a more solid tone I would look at one at least a few years old to get a solid guitar.

Definitely get one used. My opinion is if you grab something 1995-2000 you won't spend near as much, they will have less confusing features, and you can simply just rock one out, plus you will save some scratch.

For pickups I normally put a Jeff Beck in the Bridge and something like a Pearly Gates or a '59 in the neck. I have owned several Gibsons and I normally replace the pickups for looks and sounds. If you can grab an 80's with Tim Shaws those are awesome. I have had some SG's that also had the 490 series and I really like those pickups.
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#3 User is offline   NeoConMan 

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Posted 03 November 2010 - 12:25 AM

If you need that new guitar smell, things get confusing after 2007.
The Traditional is the replacement for the Standard, and the new Standard is an abomination.
Used is a good bet.

Custom if you can afford it.
Standard is THE standard by which all others are judged, you cannot go wrong.
Studio is cheaper because it lacks the cosmetic niceties, but it's pretty much a bare-bones Standard.


Faded, worn or satin finishes can save you some bucks - because they aren't worth as much.
They play and sound fine, but would you buy a car with only primer and no paint?

Pickups?
I LOVE 57 Classics in a Les Paul.

I'm a big guy, but I still prefer the thinner 60's neck.

Good luck in yer search.

#4 User is offline   MonstrO 

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Posted 03 November 2010 - 12:42 AM

Buy used.

#5 User is offline   duane v 

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Posted 03 November 2010 - 12:59 AM

Go to a music store. [thumbup]

We can all give advice, but in the end it's gonna come down to what works for you.

I think what would help some of the members to point you in a direction, you might want to let us know what type of music you like, and what tones you're looking for
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Posted 03 November 2010 - 03:38 AM

View PostRizal, on 02 November 2010 - 11:49 PM, said:

I am really interested in owning a Gibson Les Paul. However, before I get into actually owning one, I would to know the difference between various Les Paul models. I did a bit of googling, but none has made a comparison, that is makes it easier for a non Gibson person to understand.

As far as I know, there are the models

Traditional
Custom
Standard
Studio

Also, I've read about 50's neck, and 6o's neck, which makes it more confusing. So, I am turning into Gibson forum, to help me to understand more about Les Paul. And spec for the neck would be good to for each models.

Thanks in advance.

If I may mention the Les Paul Junior too, which comes in a variety of configurations and is a joy to play [biggrin]





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#7 User is offline   Mark 

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Posted 03 November 2010 - 05:43 AM

View PostMonstrO, on 03 November 2010 - 12:42 AM, said:

Buy used.


That is real good advice.

#8 User is offline   duane v 

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Posted 03 November 2010 - 06:40 AM

View PostMark, on 03 November 2010 - 05:43 AM, said:

That is real good advice.


For the experienced guitar player that knows what to look for when purchasing a instrument, yes going used is a nice option. But if you cant spot issues like a twisted neck, uneven frets, dead-spots and grounding issues. One should consider taking an experienced player with them to make sure you're not purchasing a used turd. Normally you don't get a warranty, so please do your due diligence.

The downside, if purchasing from Ebay, you just don't know what you'll end up with because you wont get to play the guitar before purchasing.
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#9 User is offline   damian 

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Posted 03 November 2010 - 07:14 AM

Welcome to the Forum Newbie Rizal; Congragulations on wanting to own a Gibson Les Paul. The advice so far is good; NeoConMan and duane V exel at all advice they give !!! Many of the 'theaders' post their collections in their bios and you will see that most of us own more than one Gibson Les Paul. Research as much as you can before you dive in. Our much esteemed coleague Boy Vader began a 'thread' Oct 25th entitled " LP Buying Advice. " Read it; There is a link provided by our other esteemed coleague 'R9' on Boy Vader's thread which is facinating as well as very informative, and I highly recommend that you check it out and download it. Passions run deep on all aspects of our choices of Les Pauls, and yes, the variations are many, and the preferances run deep among us who love our Gibson Les Pauls. Musician's Friend, ZZSounds, Guitar Center, and other on-line retailers are good sites to help you get a general idea on what models are currently being manufactured; and these sites are a good way to start learning the differences between MSRP, retail prices, and what is realistic, as none of us pay more than we have too, even when going high end for one of the Re-Issues. Someone suggested buying used, which is good advice, but I'd suggest going with a brand new Gibson Les Paul first as it can be such a thrill to own a new one; ie., a Newbie for a Newbie...Then add to your collection by buying used as you learn which ones you want and/or suit your needs. As you read the online retailer sites I mentioned, write down what your questions are and then do furthur research on each subject individually, stock up all you learn, and eventually it will all begin to make sense and be more comprehensible...Gibson's own website may be of help ( I haven't 'visited' it in a while)...If we know more about your budget range, level of proficiancy, style(s) of music you do, and any other factors you can think of to share with us, the more we will be able to advice you on your proper and very wise decision to join the world of Gibby Paul owners.......And we will advise you to the best of our ability...I also suggest browsing E-Bay and viewing all of the Gibson Les Pauls available there; not to purchace, but to gain a better knowlege of the variety of Gibson Les Pauls that there are. The choice of pick-ups will affect your tone perhaps more than anyother feature on your Les Paul; there's Alnico IIs, Alnico Vs, and variations therein and thereof, and there are ceramic pickups as well; There's humbuckers and P-90s....I have already said a lot and thus won't expand on pickup science, and I'll wait to see if one of our esteemed Les Paul owners wants to tackle this subject in detail for you ( and they will ). I own a handful of Gibson Les Pauls myself, and my current favorite is my Les Paul Traditional Plus in desert 'burst with Gibson '57 Classic pickups in both the neck and bridge positions. Now, Newbie, I could explain what that all means, but to make it fun for you I'll let you begin your research and will await what you come up with. I also thank you for asking us such a serious question ( How do I choose a Gibson Les Paul ) because this will be an interesting thread, and perhaps some of the answers given will be a learning experience for even the most hardened Gibby veterans ( With the sole exception of NeoConMan whom we all rely upon for wisdom when we are at a loss in regards to any subject and / or topic. )...............And when you choose to purchase, play them in person; your Gibby will choose you as much as you choose her......
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" After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music." Aldous Hoxley
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#10 User is offline   Bowdiddley 

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Posted 03 November 2010 - 07:19 AM

I'd have to say the "granddaddy" would IMO be the historic reissues, R2-R0
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#11 User is offline   pippy 

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Posted 03 November 2010 - 08:03 AM

View Postduane v, on 03 November 2010 - 12:59 AM, said:

Go to a music store. [thumbup]

We can all give advice, but in the end it's gonna come down to what works for you.


This is the best thing you can do, if possible.

All those listed by you are humbucker-equipped. Whilst there are very many differences in spec over the model range and they may all come with different p-ups fitted they will all still sound, in essence, pretty much the same in the grand scheme of things; i.e. like a Les Paul.

As has been said before; as a general rule-of-thumb the more expensive the model the more fancy the package. That's about it.

What matters more is how any one instrument feels to you.

The two areas that vary most are the neck size (and profile) and the weight of the individual instrument.

You really do have to try the necks out for yourself. To some people any difference is unimportant. They can swap between instruments without a second thought. Some others may find one or other shape to be so uncomfortable as to make the instrument horrible to play.

As far as weight goes; All models (with the exception of the Historic re-issues) have some sort of wood-removal going on underneath the top carve.
Some, such as the 'Traditional', have several holes drilled out. These still feel much the same weight as they always were - around the 9lb mark.
Others, such as the 'Standard', have much of the body-mass removed. These can be much lighter - say around 7.5lb - but not always.

From my own point of view I found the lighter bodies balanced badly on a strap. The relative slightness of body allowed the neck to head groundwards of it's own volition. For me the greater mass made the heavier instruments more comfortable to play.

This is why you must try out as many examples as you can find. To some small degree every instrument is unique - even with guitars of the same model-type - and it will be these small differences that will make you either love or hate any one particular guitar.

IMHO.

P.

#12 User is offline   damian 

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Posted 03 November 2010 - 08:09 AM

View Postpippy, on 03 November 2010 - 08:03 AM, said:

This is the best thing you can do, if possible.

All those listed by you are humbucker-equipped. Whilst there are very many differences in spec over the model range and they may all come with different p-ups fitted they will all still sound, in essence, pretty much the same in the grand scheme of things; i.e. like a Les Paul.

As has been said before; as a general rule-of-thumb the more expensive the model the more fancy the package. That's about it.

What matters more is how any one instrument feels to you.

The two areas that vary most are the neck size (and profile) and the weight of the individual instrument.

You really do have to try the necks out for yourself. To some people any difference is unimportant. They can swap between instruments without a second thought. Some others may find one or other shape to be so uncomfortable as to make the instrument horrible to play.

As far as weight goes; All models (with the exception of the Historic re-issues) have some sort of wood-removal going on underneath the top carve.
Some, such as the 'Traditional', have several holes drilled out. These still feel much the same weight as they always were - around the 9lb mark.
Others, such as the 'Standard', have much of the body-mass removed. These can be much lighter - say around 7.5lb - but not always.

From my own point of view I found the lighter bodies balanced badly on a strap. The relative slightness of body allowed the neck to head groundwards of it's own volition. For me the greater mass made the heavier instruments more comfortable to play.

This is why you must try out as many examples as you can find. To some small degree every instrument is unique - even with guitars of the same model-type - and it will be these small differences that will make you either love or hate any one particular guitar.

IMHO.

P.


Well Pippy, they won't let me hand out 'bumps' or 'thuds' ( their bad ), so I gave you a +1...[thumbup] Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image
I use Atlas Stands because they are the best................. http://www.facebook.com/atlasstands ......American Made.......Rewind Pickups; MIA and the Best.......
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Music Consultant, Songwriter........................................ - THE MENSA PRETZEL LOGIC PROJECT - .............................. Advocate for the Disabled, Gentle Hellraiser.

" It occured to me by intuition, and music was the driving force behind that intuition. My discovery was the result of musical perception." Einstein on his theory of relativity.
" Music is a higher relevation than all wisdom and philosophy. Music is the electrical soil in which the spirit lives, thinks and invents." Ludwig von Beethoven
" There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.' Johann Sebastian Bach
" Playing scales is like a boxer skipping rope or a punching bag. It's not the thing itself; it's preparatory to the activity." Barney Kessel
" After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music." Aldous Hoxley
" There's a fine line between genius and insanity. I have crossed this line." Pianist Oscar Lavant
" Music came before language; musical grunts became words." Damian (copyright)
" I know how to get there, all I've got to do is keep playing." Jimmy Page
" Without music, life would be a mistake." Friedrich Nietzsche
" Music is an outburst of the soul." Fredrick Deluis
" Rock and Roll forever, man." Unknown
" Damian's cool." NeoConMan
" WTF ??? " dem00n
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#13 User is offline   Rizal 

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Posted 03 November 2010 - 08:16 AM

Thanks for all the replies. And yes, this is part of my get-to-know Les Paul before I go and try them out at the store. Just want to make sure I know/understand what I am playing once I get there.

So, let's see if I've learn anything so far

I would be choosing a 60's neck which would be better for my tiny hand.
I wouldn't go with Studio, because its not a binding type
I wouldn't go with Custom, since its Grand Daddy, it would probably be out of my league price wise.

So, that leave me with Traditional, Standard and Junior.

Just a little background. This guitar playing is more like a hobby. I do have jamming session once a week. I used to own a Washburn. And now I have 2 Ibby's, and 1 PRS. By no means I am experienced, thus, I wouldn't know what to look for when buying used. So, its going to be new. I have never played a Gibson, but I have played Epiphone. And I like it. So, I guess I better go for the real thing, and get a Gibson.

The other thing is, does where it is made, makes a difference?

#14 User is offline   damian 

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Posted 03 November 2010 - 08:36 AM

View PostRizal, on 03 November 2010 - 08:16 AM, said:

Thanks for all the reply. And yes, this is part of my get-to-know Les Paul before I go and try them out at the store. Just want to make sure I know/understand what I am playing once I get there.

So, let's see if I've learn anything so far

I would be choosing a 60's neck which would be better for my tiny hand.
I wouldn't go with Studio, because its not a binding type
I wouldn't go with Custom, since its Grand Daddy, it would probably be out of my league price wise.

So, that leave me with Traditional, Standard and Junior.

Just a little background. This guitar playing is more like a hobby. I do have jamming session once a week. I used to own a Washburn. And now I have 2 Ibby's, and 1 PRS. By no means I am experienced, thus, I wouldn't know what to look for when buying used. So, its going to be new. I have never played a Gibson, but I have played Epiphone. And I like it. So, I guess I better go for the real thing, and get a Gibson.

The other thing is, does where it is made, makes a difference?


All Gibsons are made in the USA, most Epiphones overseas. I own a handful of Epi Les Pauls, well made and I love them, but they are not Gibson Les Pauls. I own many overseas made electrics, and the quality is usually VERY good...But once again, for investment purposes, American made Gibsons are the way to go. Many people have issues with current Gibson quality control ( which I will NOT discuss ), as such choose yours in person. The 59 necks are barely thicker than the 60s style necks, and I find the extra wood improves the tone, and are not harder to play. Gibby owners love their SGs, I do too, but the shape isn't my style...And be wary of sales people; some are honest and know their stuff, and some are useless, and will try to sell you a Gibby that hasn't sold for whatever reason.....If you can find a very knowledgable friend to help you shop, that would help; however, if you had or knew one, you wouldn't have started this thread !!!!! Now, you say that you own a PRS; is it an American made one, or one of the PRS cheap imports ???? The difference is huge, and an American Les Paul is ALWAYS going to be better than an import Epi L.P., despite the fact that they are great guitars as well. Chicks, girls, and women love the guys who own the real deal as well, just an afterthought, but an important one...
I use Atlas Stands because they are the best................. http://www.facebook.com/atlasstands ......American Made.......Rewind Pickups; MIA and the Best.......
.....................Codtone Pedals from OZ......................................." Ya'll remove hats, please "...................................Motor City Pickups......................................
.................................." I hate it when people compare god with jimmy page, I mean, he's good and all, but he's no jimmy page."..................................
Music Consultant, Songwriter........................................ - THE MENSA PRETZEL LOGIC PROJECT - .............................. Advocate for the Disabled, Gentle Hellraiser.

" It occured to me by intuition, and music was the driving force behind that intuition. My discovery was the result of musical perception." Einstein on his theory of relativity.
" Music is a higher relevation than all wisdom and philosophy. Music is the electrical soil in which the spirit lives, thinks and invents." Ludwig von Beethoven
" There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.' Johann Sebastian Bach
" Playing scales is like a boxer skipping rope or a punching bag. It's not the thing itself; it's preparatory to the activity." Barney Kessel
" After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music." Aldous Hoxley
" There's a fine line between genius and insanity. I have crossed this line." Pianist Oscar Lavant
" Music came before language; musical grunts became words." Damian (copyright)
" I know how to get there, all I've got to do is keep playing." Jimmy Page
" Without music, life would be a mistake." Friedrich Nietzsche
" Music is an outburst of the soul." Fredrick Deluis
" Rock and Roll forever, man." Unknown
" Damian's cool." NeoConMan
" WTF ??? " dem00n
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#15 User is offline   duane v 

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Posted 03 November 2010 - 08:40 AM

View PostRizal, on 03 November 2010 - 08:16 AM, said:

The other thing is, does where it is made, makes a difference?


That would depend on who you talk to.

My personal choice for guitars is Made In USA first. But I have played other instruments that were produced in other areas of the world, and the quality has been quite good.
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#16 User is offline   pippy 

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Posted 03 November 2010 - 08:46 AM

View PostRizal, on 03 November 2010 - 08:16 AM, said:

I would be choosing a 60's neck which would be better for my tiny hand.

The other thing is, does where it is made, makes a difference?


Whilst the slimmer neck might, indeed, be better for you some people with small hands still prefer the thicker neck profile in terms of playing comfort. The shape of the neck can be the deciding factor - not just the size. There are two basic styles of profile (leaving the assymetric out for the sake of brevity). The 'C' shape and the 'D' shape. The latter has what are known as thicker 'shoulders' and these alter the feel of the neck to a considerable degree.

To give you some measurements as an example;

My slimmest necked LP has measurements of 0.748" and 0.862" at the first and twelth frets.
My thickest necked LP has these dimensions; 0.876" and 1.042".

In other words differences of 0.128" (1/8th of an inch) and 0.180" (1/6th of an inch) respectively. This is not much on paper. In practice, however, the slimmer neck has a 'C' profile which makes it seem much slimmer than it is in reality.

It may be that you would prefer a slimmer 'D' to a thicker 'C'.

As to your final point; all Gibson Les Pauls are made in the USA.

P.

(Thanks for the [thumbup] Damian; I appreciate it.)

#17 User is offline   BigKahune 

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Posted 03 November 2010 - 10:24 AM

Custom
Supreme
Standard
Deluxe
Traditional (Plus)
Studio (Deluxe)
Classic
Doublecut
Special
Junior
13 Gibson CS Advanced Jumbo R/Spruce..O12 Gibson Southern Jumbo TV....O11 RainSong JM-3000 12
11 Martin 000-15M Elderly LE....................O10 Gibson ES-359......................o10 Rickenbacker 360/12
09 Jackson PC-1.....................................O09 Fender 52 Telecaster AVS..ooO08 Gibson SJ-200 (Colosi S/P)
08 Gibson Robot SG LTD........................oO08 Fender Am/Dlx Stratocaster.....08 Gibson Les Paul Push Tone
07 Epiphone Les Paul Ultra II.....................o07 Guild F412...........................O07 Taylor NS74ce
98 Martin D-45VR.....................................097 Guild X-700 Stuart.................O73 Yamaha G-55A
65 Gibson Melody Maker.............................Amps: Bogner Alchemist (Head/212Cab);. Line6 Spider Jam & Micro Spider
..............................................................oKeyboard: 06 Yamaha DGX220

#18 User is offline   Riverside 

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Posted 03 November 2010 - 10:27 AM

View PostBigKahune, on 03 November 2010 - 10:24 AM, said:

Custom
Supreme
Standard
Deluxe
Traditional (Plus)
Studio (Deluxe)
Classic
Doublecut
Special
Junior


Eh.

They're all copies of copies of copies of copies.

Nothing wrong with that, though.

I recommend that you look at them all - and then buy used.

Save a ton of money.

#19 User is offline   damian 

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Posted 03 November 2010 - 10:32 AM

View PostRiverside, on 03 November 2010 - 10:27 AM, said:

Eh.

They're all copies of copies of copies of copies.

Nothing wrong with that, though.

I recommend that you look at them all - and then buy used.

Save a ton of money.



Roger, copy that, over...:unsure: [scared] [blink] [lol]
I use Atlas Stands because they are the best................. http://www.facebook.com/atlasstands ......American Made.......Rewind Pickups; MIA and the Best.......
.....................Codtone Pedals from OZ......................................." Ya'll remove hats, please "...................................Motor City Pickups......................................
.................................." I hate it when people compare god with jimmy page, I mean, he's good and all, but he's no jimmy page."..................................
Music Consultant, Songwriter........................................ - THE MENSA PRETZEL LOGIC PROJECT - .............................. Advocate for the Disabled, Gentle Hellraiser.

" It occured to me by intuition, and music was the driving force behind that intuition. My discovery was the result of musical perception." Einstein on his theory of relativity.
" Music is a higher relevation than all wisdom and philosophy. Music is the electrical soil in which the spirit lives, thinks and invents." Ludwig von Beethoven
" There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.' Johann Sebastian Bach
" Playing scales is like a boxer skipping rope or a punching bag. It's not the thing itself; it's preparatory to the activity." Barney Kessel
" After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music." Aldous Hoxley
" There's a fine line between genius and insanity. I have crossed this line." Pianist Oscar Lavant
" Music came before language; musical grunts became words." Damian (copyright)
" I know how to get there, all I've got to do is keep playing." Jimmy Page
" Without music, life would be a mistake." Friedrich Nietzsche
" Music is an outburst of the soul." Fredrick Deluis
" Rock and Roll forever, man." Unknown
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#20 User is offline   LPguitarman 

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Posted 03 November 2010 - 11:33 AM

One model that was missed and you may be able to find some used is the Classic Antique.

Flamed Top
Binding on body, neck and HEADSTOCK (A real plus for me)
'57 classic Pick-ups (NICE)
'60's Slim Taper Neck (VERY COMFORTABLE)
Chambered Body (LIGHTER AND NICE ACOUSTIC / BLUESY TONE)

In my opinion, this guitar is very top end, with the binding around the headstock and the '60's Slim Taper neck profile.
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Guitars:

2007 Gibson Les Paul Classic Antique GOW#2
2013 Gibson Songwriter Deluxe Studio EC Acoustic/Electric


Pedals:

Original Cry Baby Wah
Morley Power Wah Boost
DOD Stereo Chorus
BOSS DD-3 Delay
DOD Flanger
MXR 6-Band Equalizer
BOSS Acoustic Simulator
BOSS Chromatic Tuner
BOSS Compression / Sustainer
DOD Grunge
MXR EVH Phase 90
Original Voice Box
(2) Pedal Boards to hold it all (1) SKB & (1) Boss


Amp:

50 Watt Peavey Classic VT Series 2x12 w/ Scorpion speakers

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