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Gibson Les Paul Studio Deluxe III vs Studio T


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Hey guys,


New here, looking to purchase my first Les Paul, ideally with a cap of $1000. Looking mostly at the used market now. I'm a hobbyist playing mostly bluesy rock. A little torn between a few models, mainly the 2016 Studio T and the Studio Deluxe III or IV. Would love a Trad Pro but those are pretty out of budget. I really dig that these models have coil-splits and the db boost is a nice perk. But mostly I'm comparing their pickups and I'm finding I'm really digging the more clear sound of 57's vs the 490's which I find a little muddier. Burstbucker Pros sound pretty cool too. I'm still learning the nuances of them all so any input on your experiences with Gibson pickups I'm happy to hear it.


My ideal Les Paul would have:


57's (or similar)

At least some weight relief

Wine Red or Honey Burst

Coil Split (Boost is a plus)

No more then 3-4 years old

Binding would be awesome but probably unrealistic


I know I've got a lot of wants! But may as well aim high. Any input with these models or better ones would be awesome. Thanks a bunch!




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If you can try a 2015 model, something like this for example:




Due to the unpopularity of the 15 range the prices are insanely low.

If you don't have a problem with wider neck, metal nut, auto tune etc. this may be the perfect option for you.


Coil split, boost and 57 Classic and Classic+.

As a bonus full gloss, binding and hardcase.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I bought one of these last August. It has all of your requirements plus a bit of an upgrade on the top. Musicians Friend will apply a coupon to the price of this if you can find one. A good deal for a nice Les Paul with a hard shell case............ It was $1,699.00 & on sale for $1,199.00 when I bought mine. Then the price dropped to $1,319.00 or so just before Christmas. You could end up with this on for around $800.00 & some dollars if you found a 20% off coupon that they would honor.








P.S..... Just got an email for a call & save coupon from MF............ 877-560-3807.

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  • 1 month later...

Hey, thanks for all the awesome responses you guys! All those look like great options. Didn't see these before.


I'm definitely open and interested in the 2015 range - I noticed the same thing: great guitars that just happen to be unpopular. I noticed the 2015 Studio has Classic 57's. Anyone try one of those out?


Thanks again!

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...I noticed the 2015 Studio has Classic 57's. Anyone try one of those out?...

The '57 Classics are widely regarded as being amongst the best PAF-type p'ups available anywhere - Gibson or aftermarket.

As you say your preference is for bluesy-rock these would be perfect for your needs.


The Studio range is very much liked hereabouts. Less Bling does not mean less Les Paul.

As long as you can handle the fractionally wider neck (excuse the pun) and don't mind the "unpopular"(*) features a 2015 would be a great choice.




* In point of fact some players here actually prefer the wider neck, auto-tune and adjustable zero-nut of the 2015s.

You might, too.

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Hey BryDraws,


Your description fits the 2013/14 Traditional Pro 2 models that were built as a special GC and MF model. The have body and neck binding, classic and super 57 pickups, true coil split and 15 dB boost via push-push pots, and also have locking tuners which are real nice. The only thing missing on your list is the weight relief.


They came in several colors including wine red, vintage sunburst, black and others (don't remember honeyburst though) and also in 50s and 60's profile necks. On top of that, most have a modest flame top on them.


I just searched the GC website for used ones and there are 40 in their used inventory right now. Just go to their site, pick the "USED" tab and enter "LES PAUL TRADITIONAL PRO". Can't go wrong with their 45 day no questions used equipment return policy. If you see one out of state you like, talk to the store, ask them for additional photos, ask them to assess condition, playability, etc, before you make the deal, and then ask what shipping will cost you. They are very reasonable and if you don't want it in the end, you have 45 days to take it back to your local store (if you didn't buy local. Prices start at $1199 with most falling in the $1299 to $1399 range. A great price to pay for a full featured Les Paul. I have a 2013 and saw/played a lot of them in picking mine. Quality was quite good in 2013 and 2014. There are some good review/demos of these on YouTube.


Good luck in your search!

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