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Which Gibson Les Paul 1959 Reissue?


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For someone looking at a Gibson Les 1959 Reissue which ones should I look at. Off the top of my head I can think of these below. Also, what is a good year for a used one?

 

- Artist models like the Ed King, Mark Knofler, etc.

- True Historic

- Standard Historic

- Collector Choice

- Wildwood Spec

- Etc...

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Hi and welcome to the forum.

 

As far as 'which to go for?' there's no correct answer for that question, I'm afraid.

 

Specifically the Artists' Sig models and CC range are as-close-as-possible recreations to a particular instrument and the higher price charged (in comparison with a 'normal' R-I) reflects the extra amount of work which goes into this process of replication; there is no guarantee that these instruments will somehow be 'better' than a regular Custom Shop R9 for your needs.

 

As a general rule-of-thumb bear in mind that all Custom Shop Re-issues can vary from one to the next. The only real way to find out what you like is to play as many as you can find and buy the one which 'speaks' to you.

 

Go out and play everything you can lay your hands on. I'd strongly advise you not to limit yourself to the 1959 re-issues and variations thereof. Necks on R0's ('60 R-I's) are meant to be slimmer than those on R9's which are supposed to be slimmer than those on than R8's but the reality is that because all R-I necks are hand-shaped there is great variation within each model. Furthermore the amount of 'shoulder' there is (the 'meat' at the sides of the neck which determines the curvature of the neck profile) can have a huge impact on how chunky - or otherwise - the neck will feel. Paradoxically (and just as an example) an R8 with less shoulder will feel slimmer than an R9 with more shoulder even if it is thicker in absolute terms from front to back.

 

Good luck and remember; the chase is meant to be as much fun as the catch.

 

Pip.

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Sorry; forgot about this bit...

 

...what is a good year for a used one?...

Frankly all years will have good and, if not bad then perhaps 'not quite as good'. IMX the recent re-issues have been amongst the best I've ever played with more of the offerings being very good indeed.

 

In general the specs of the historics have been getting closer to the original instruments in terms of accuracy of measurements and so on with each passing year.

The True Historics, for instance, now use hot hide glue (in place of Franklin TiteBond) for setting the necks etc. The plastics are also purportedly chemically closer to the original LPs.

 

Some folks talk about those instruments made in the mid- to late-'90s as being rather better than otherwise with some spectacular tops - if that is important to you - especially some of the '97 run. There are also some instruments which have genuine Brazillian rosewood 'boards but be aware that these carry a price premium. This makes them around $1,000+ more than a similar instrument with an Indian rosewood 'board.

 

Pip.

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The Paul Kossoff model would do me nicely thanks very much!

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I had the good fortune to play one a few years ago at a London dealership and, tonally, it was absolutely outstanding. Quite remarkable.

I believe our fellow forumite Ian Henry has also played one and his feelings mirror my own.

 

I have to say the example I played was one of the 'aged' versions and the replicated "broken+repaired" neck was REALLY off-putting.

Still; if I were offered one of the the VOS versions for Xmas I wouldn't say no...

 

Pip.

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