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Different types of 1959 Les Pauls


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I'm new to the forums and I decided to join the moment I decided I wanted to get a 1959 for myself. Problem is since I'm no expert I'm a bit lost regarding the variety of them.

I've been browsing the Gibson oficial catalogue and many many stores (trustworthy stores, from what I can tell) and I've seen an enormous variety of 1959 LP with different names, different set-ups, different finishes... there's LP 1959 Reissue, LP Historic Collection, VOS, Collector's Choice, LP Standard 1959 and so on... What I wanted to know is whether there is a huge difference between those and if it's possible for a 1959 to have different specs than the Gibson catalogue.


I mean, I've come across a few different 1959 LPs, such as one with three pickups, some with Custombuckers, others with Burstbuckers 1&2 or 2&3, or even '57 Classics, one had nickel-covered nick pickup and an open coil bridge pickup, one which had that same feature of the Collector's Choice #1 (in which the neck pickup is wired out of phase) but was NOT a CC#1, and all claiming to be 1959s. I've seen a few with pickguards, others without, some with the "Gibson Custom" stamp on the back toggle-switch cover, some without and some with finishes I can't even find any info about (such as Surrey Burst). All come with the regular stuff, such as cases and COAs and they have no problem whatsoever in showing the serial number and all. They all seem legit but since I'm new to the 1959 field of expertise, I don't know whether there are really so many variations and that's what I want to know. Are there really so many variations like that? I couldn't find many in the Gibson website catalogue, so I'm in doubt.



None of the guitars are used or from some shady shop. I did some research and all are from well-known online shops and I've even bought a few equipments from one of them before. The stores mentioned are mainly Thomann, Music World Brilon and Session (all german, as I'll be receiving the guitar in France the shipping of a american store would be very expensive).


Any thoughts? and since we're on the subject, any suggestions on which one I should bring home? My main candidates (if legit, obviously) are:

- 3 Custombucker Lemonburst 1959 Standard Reissue

- VOS Factory Cherry Burst 1959 Standard

- 2x Bursbucker 3 (with neck wired out of phase) Surrey Burst 1959 Standard Reissue

- Collector's Choice #3 "The Babe"

- Burstbucker 1 (nickel-covered) and 2 (uncovered) VOS Beauty of the Burst Page 130 '59

Pictures (from the website only, sorry) follow


Any feedback would be deeply appreaciated! Thanks in advance

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post-69068-000426800 1418132715_thumb.jpg

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  • 2 months later...

And looking through most of the Les Paul Forums there seems to be no definitive 59 Les Paul. Weight, Wood, neck profile, hardware all seems to vary. Sounds like a way for Gibson to make more money introducing new Les Paul 59 Models every year. I am amazed that the current description of a $7k guitar is " Genuine Mahogany" make you think that there are some guitars made on not Genuine Mahogany. Best to get into the store and find one that looks good and your hands love, then look to see what the price is.



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Welcome to the forum. I can see how you might be confused by the many models. The 59 reissues are all based on roughly the same specs. Pickups change from year to year as well as some colors. The reason for the many models and no definitive model is for consumer choice. You wouldn't expect General Motors to make just one car and one truck. The first choice you need to make is your budget. That may limit your choices. Next consider if you want a replica of the guitar your favorite player uses. The next is how does it feel when you play it. If you are buying to collect and not play it often, that may not be very important. The guitars coming out of the Gibson Custom Shop is some of the best they have ever made. Improvements are made every year. These are more handmade than those from the Gibson USA factory (just blocks away from Gibson Custom in Nashville) so each guitar will vary. The way it feels is important to a player and unless you know and trust a dealer, it is difficult to purchase without playing it yourself. You may also want to consider resale. The market for a 3 pickup Les Paul is more limited than for a 2 pickup guitar but the 3 pickup may be your ideal model. A Collectors Choice guitar may bring you more return on your investment than a general model but at the added initial investment. The Collectors Choice guitars have different specs than a generally made model, such as pickups, neck profile, color, etc. My personal advice is that if you are going to play it and not keep it as a collector, get the one that feels best in your hands. If you are going to be a collector, get the one that will hold its value best and is the most pleasing for you to look at.

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