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Current Les Paul Historic differences


Digory

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Hi all

I'm looking at 58 Historic Les Paul reissues and am a little confused regarding some models and wonder if someone could help me? The two I am looking at are:

 

CS8 '50s Style Les Paul Standard VOS

 

and

 

Standard Historic 1958 Les Paul Standard VOS

 

Both seem to be current production models, both have very similar if not identical spec, however, the CS8 is a bit lower in price in stores and has a flame top, yet the Standard Historic is often labelled as having a plaintop (even though it also has a flame top??) and its more expensive.

 

Basically I'm wondering if there is a major difference I'm missing which makes the Standard Historic more money even though it has a plain(er) top? Or are they both basically the same guitar?!

 

Any help much appreciated :)

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The two I am looking at are:

CS8 '50s Style Les Paul Standard VOS...

Standard Historic 1958 Les Paul Standard VOS...

Could you post a link to the first-named guitar? I can find no mention of a "CS8 '50s Style Les Paul Standard VOS" in the current line-up.

 

I don't think you are; but if you are asking about the 'True Historic' '58 R-I then the price difference between the True Historic and Standard Historic versions is all about the finer points of manufacture. If the words 'hot hide glue' and 'molecular level plastic' get your juices going then the TH is the one to go for. If you have no idea why on earth anyone would pay an extra $2,200 for these phrases then go for the SH.

 

But the TH is more expensive that the SH and in your post you say the CS8 is cheaper than the SH so I'm a bit confused.

 

A link to the "CS8" you mention would be very helpful.

 

Pip.

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I could be wrong (it has been known) but as I understand it CS8 the new name for the R8. But having said that I notice that the dates on the pages linked have the CS8 as 2015 and the Standard Historic as 2016 model year.

It all comes down to how they play and sound at the end of the day.

 

 

Ian

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Thanks for the links Digory.

 

I think Ian is absolutely on the right tack when he points out that CS8 was, in 2015, the name given by Gibson to what we usually refer to as the R8 (AFAIK R8 is not, and never has been, an official Gibson designation). This would suggest that the lower price you have seen is possibly because the CS8s are, in effect, two-year-old stock.......eusa_think.gif.......

In '15 I see (from the first link) that Gibson were calling them the CS8; CS9; CS0 where beforehand they were always called 1958 Re-issue; 1959 Re-issue and 1960 Re-issue. Nowadays they seem to be "1958 Standard Historic"...etc...etc...

 

That's my guess at any road!

 

The specs look identical except that the current Standard Historic is available in both Hi-Gloss and VOS finishes whereas the '15 were all VOS only. The difference in the original MRSP might be because the '15 range received a big price hike over 2014 so perhaps some sanity resulted in a more realistic price for 2016/17?

 

Pip.

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(AFAIK R8 is not, and never has been, an official Gibson designation)

 

It isn't, and it wasn't. Thank you for saying that. I remember when a 58 Reissue became an R8, while dipsticks were arguing over which R8, the 6.9 pound or the 6.87 pound was in the sweet spot. I threw up a little just typing it.

 

rct

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Thanks for the links Digory.

 

I think Ian is absolutely on the right tack when he points out that CS8 was, in 2015, the name given by Gibson to what we usually refer to as the R8 (AFAIK R8 is not, and never has been, an official Gibson designation). This would suggest that the lower price you have seen is possibly because the CS8s are, in effect, two-year-old stock.......eusa_think.gif.......

In '15 I see (from the first link) that Gibson were calling them the CS8; CS9; CS0 where beforehand they were always called 1958 Re-issue; 1959 Re-issue and 1960 Re-issue. Nowadays they seem to be "1958 Standard Historic"...etc...etc...

 

That's my guess at any road!

 

The specs look identical except that the current Standard Historic is available in both Hi-Gloss and VOS finishes whereas the '15 were all VOS only. The difference in the original MRSP might be because the '15 range received a big price hike over 2014 so perhaps some sanity resulted in a more realistic price for 2016/17?

 

Pip.

Here's one for sale in the UK. https://www.gak.co.uk/en/gibson-custom-m2m-cs8-50s-style-les-paul-standard-vos-beauty-of-the-burst-p52/121559?gclid=Cj0KEQiAw_DEBRChnYiQ_562gsEBEiQA4LcssqB0QvFGKGUkr4mOrsahD_Y4PCfKa4aZaZneDRJ2egIaAh_a8P8HAQ

 

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That's a bit of a bargain.

Nice back and nice 'board, too, although unless the figure is much more prominent in real life to say it's "a faithful reproduction.....p52, BoTB...." is a bit of a stretch.

I quote from the appropriate text; "Pinstripe Flame Curl covers the entire top. Back has faded to a rusty orange..."

Still; it's pretty enough for my tastes.

I normally prefer a really dark 'board but that one is very attractive. Quite similar to the one on my own 1993 R9...erm...1959 re-issue.

 

Pip.

 

EDIT : Hmm....yes; the 'R' designation.

I eventually succumbed to using the shortened version after years of typing '1960 re-issue' or whatever. It got to the point where the full thing began to look a bit to OTT. Finally (and as we all know); 8 lbs 11 3/4 oz is where the sweet spot is to be found......tongue.gif......

 

Hey Ho.

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I'm looking at Mark's Guitar Loft where I bought my '58 reissue back in 2010 and I see that there are several '58 reissues and the serial number starts with R8 on the 2016s.

 

Does this mean Gibson gave in into the R8 thing then?

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I'm looking at Mark's Guitar Loft where I bought my '58 reissue back in 2010 and I see that there are several '58 reissues and the serial number starts with R8 on the 2016s.

 

Does this mean Gibson gave in into the R8 thing then?

 

No, their work in process sheets start with the designator "Reissue". A Les Paul can only have certain years for that type, so the R is followed by whichever year. It's like calling your uber schweet 09 Strat a Z9, and I'm sure somewhere a bunch of guys are in the basement having a hot tub back shaving session and cooing over their Z9s and Z7s and which is better.

 

rct

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I'm looking at Mark's Guitar Loft...and I see that there are several '58 reissues and the serial number starts with R8 on the 2016s........Does this mean Gibson gave in into the R8 thing then?

Well I never! So they do! I suppose Gibson might have changed their numbering policy for the 2016 Historics???

Confusingly, though, the 2015s don't seem to have CS8 serials which the one at GAK does have..............eusa_think.gif

Which begs the question; Is the CS8 really the same thing as a 1958 Re-Issue after all? They do seem to emphasise the slightly vague " '50s Style" part in the name and not " '58 Style".

 

I'll have to verify all that a bit later-on.....

 

TBH the numbering of the re-issues was a bit confusing; my '93 R9 1959 re-issue bears the serial # 9 3131.

For all I know there could be a 2003 - as well as a 2013 '59 - R-I with the same number...

 

Pip.

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No, their work in process sheets start with the designator "Reissue". A Les Paul can only have certain years for that type, so the R is followed by whichever year. It's like calling your uber schweet 09 Strat a Z9, and I'm sure somewhere a bunch of guys are in the basement having a hot tub back shaving session and cooing over their Z9s and Z7s and which is better.

 

rct

 

I understand how it works. I simply was pointing out that on the 2016 models the serial number starts actually with R8 which I had never seen before...not that I pay attention to those kinds of details.

 

The only other thing I knew when I was looking for a reissue Les Paul is that there were chambered versions that started with a CR serial or something like that.

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I understand how it works. I simply was pointing out that on the 2016 models the serial number starts actually with R8 which I had never seen before...not that I pay attention to those kinds of details.

 

The only other thing I knew when I was looking for a reissue Les Paul is that there were chambered versions that started with a CR serial or something like that.

 

I should point out that I don't know the serial numbers of my guitars and if they are written down somewhere it was Mrs not me.

 

Perhaps they are using R8 themselves now, that could very well be. I've never taken notice of serial numbers and probably won't start now.

 

rct

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I actually don't know the serials of my guitars either and I probably should take notes for insurance purposes, it is good practice. A house in my neighborhood burned to the ground last week and it took like 10 minutes, only the driveway is left.

 

I am also not going to get upset if somebody looks at serial numbers especially if the number gives them an idea as to what they are trying to buy.

 

And there's no perhaps, they are using the R8 now, I was simply pointing that out because I noticed it...

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I actually don't know the serials of my guitars either and I probably should take notes for insurance purposes, it is good practice. A house in my neighborhood burned to the ground last week and it took like 10 minutes, only the driveway is left.

 

I am also not going to get upset if somebody looks at serial numbers especially if the number gives them an idea as to what they are trying to buy.

 

And there's no perhaps, they are using the R8 now, I was simply pointing that out because I noticed it...

 

Oh sure, as a serial on the headstock, sure. But the use of the words "my R8...your R9...our R0..." started with internet cork sniffing long time ago, not Gibson. I meant perhaps they've given into it as well, which is fine.

 

rct

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Guest Farnsbarns

I presume everyone knows the R* thing came from the stamp Gibson put inside the control cavity?

 

Sort of "semi official"? Seems to me it's an internal designation. Not important but hey ho.

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Gibson has been making historic reissues every year since 1993 and they were discontinued for 2015 when True Historics came out. True Historics were marketed as very exclusive with only about 800 made or 800 remaining within the US, but since Gibson makes around 10,000 (probably) historics every year, they introduced the 50s style guitars with CS serial numbers to keep the volume up. 50s Style guitars were the same as a 2014 regular historic but with short neck tenon. They were a huge flop and Gibson couldn't give them away. It was bad, like, really bad. Due to poor sales, and push from some dealers, Gibson unofficially continued making 2014 spec reissues with long neck tenon throughout 2015 but with 2014 serial numbers.

 

So, yes, they had 2015 True Historics, 2015 50s Styles with short neck tenon, and 2015 regular historics with long tenon and 2014 serial numbers.

 

50s Style guitars only lasted one year. 2014 spec reissues were officially brought back for 2016 and named Standard Historic. The only difference was 2016s have serial numbers beginning with the letter R to differentiate them from True Historics, which have proper serial numbers. So, 2016 had had True Historic and Standard Historic. Both with long neck tenon. The R serial numbers only lasted one year, I guess enough people complained about that, and enough people complained about having two separate historic lines. I don't think 2017 historics are out yet but it seems Gibson dropped having two lines of historic Les Pauls. 2017 Standard Historics are supposed to have some of the True Historic features and, if you want a new True Historic, you will have to order it through their Made to Measure program.

 

Personally, I would stay away from a 50s Style guitar unless you can play it first and and know you will keep it for a long, long time. I used to be a "shut up and play your guitar" kinda guy but you have have to keep resale in mind because life does happen. Medical expenses, a big car repair bill, house things, work lay off, etc. Unless you can get a new flame top CS8 50s Style for around $2,000 USD, I would walk away. The tenon effect on tone is debatable but the fact is you will not be able to sell it unless you practically give it away because people simply do not want them. As a comparison, you can buy a brand new 2016 Standard Historic around the $3,000 mark if you shop around and are a good negotiator. I get you are in the UK and that prices are different there but I listed these just to give you a general idea.

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After seeing this post I've been watching videos on the construction of Gibson guitars. USA, Custom and Epiphone. To say that the Custom shop is hand made

is a lie. There is virtually no difference from the USA built guitars. Perhaps better wood, different finish aged hardware. Then I watched the Epiphone and they are far more handmade that the Custom shop. I think if you took a USA standard. Refinished it to match a Custom shop you wouldn't tell the difference. I watched a video about how they now roll the fretboard. Shouldn't they have always done that? It's a luxury guitar. Why on the true historic models do they age the guitar and never to anything the the fretboard? If you have a guitar that is 50 years old why would it have a new fretboard? It should have that age patina that makes them play wonderfully. Or is that the next way to charge more? Age the fretboard and charge $3k for it.

fret_zpssovjmjva.jpg

Look at these fretboards. Forget the frets. Look how smooth they are. That is how they should come out of the custom shop on an aged guitar. People may say that the neck is for you to age, so why age the body?

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Why on the true historic models do they age the guitar and never to anything the the fretboard? If you have a guitar that is 50 years old why would it have a new fretboard? It should have that age patina that makes them play wonderfully...

Possibly because worn fretboards don't always play wonderfully. Not everyone puts their fingers in the same place as everyone else and this could make an aged 'board quite as uncomfortable as would be wearing someone else's worn-in shoes.

 

This is a snap, taken fairly soon after I bought it, of the 'board of my (now-departed) '64 Strat after it had acquired around 16 years of 'patination';

 

Scan-110325-0013lo-res.jpg

 

I kept the thing for the next 24 years but trust me when I say that the new, unworn, smooth 'board on my MIM '60s Classic Series Strat is more comfortable.

 

msp_smile.gif

 

Pip.

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Possibly because worn fretboards don't always play wonderfully. Not everyone puts their fingers in the same place as everyone else and this could make an aged 'board quite as uncomfortable as would be wearing someone else's worn-in shoes.

Pip.

 

I didn't mean the divots so much. More a nice smooth board. Polished to look old. I might do one on one of my old hags.

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I didn't mean the divots so much. More a nice smooth board. Polished to look old...

Ah, I get you now, Larry. I agree; that might make some sense.

I had a mental image of a LP advertised a while back at Mark's Guitar Loft where they had replaced the stock Indian Rosewood 'board with a slab of Brazillian and had gone to town with a sander to give it the sort of mess I showed in my earlier snap. Ruined an otherwise beautiful guitar IMO but, hey, I'm certain the next owner would be convinced it must surely have added tons of MOJO.

 

Strangely enough I don't remember the 'boards being 'too new to the touch' on any of the Historics I've played which is a trifle odd. Perhaps I should make a trip into Denmark St. to refresh my memory?...

 

When I bought my '91 1960 Classic from Macari's back in 2011/12 it was NOS - as in 20 year-old, unsold stock (long story) - and the board was dry and had that very fine brand-new roughness which took years of playing to lose.

 

Pip.

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