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2012 Traditional 1960 Zebra

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The Gibson Les Paul Traditional, Traditional Bigsby (Model LPTD), and the Les Paul Traditional Mahogany (LPTDM) all came with covered pickups.

 

The one you are looking at is most likely the Gibson Les Paul Traditional Pro '50's (Model LPGC5), the one with the uncovered zebra pickups.

The pickups were:

Neck - Zebra '57 Classic

Bridge - Zebra Burstbucker 3

 

In 2012, the MSRP for that model was $3,339.00, and it was sold exclusively thru Guitar Center.

 

 

Today she is worth $1,700 in mint condition, and $1,400 in Excellent + condition.

 

It sounds like you are getting a good deal if she's in really pretty shape.

And of all the finishes available in 2012, the gold-top would be my choice, for sure!!

:)

Edited by sparquelito

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I imagine they are very nice guitars, but this is a good example were Gibson got confused with their own naming systems. What is the difference between the Trad 1960 and one of the old Classic 1960's (which I have one of - 2003) other than different pickups and fingerboard material?

Edited by cody78

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One is a Classic and one is Traditional. Two of the over 100 or so LP's Gibson makes or made.

 

Thanks for clearing that up [biggrin]

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I had a 1960 re-issue as well at one time. It was a 2000 model I bought in Feb of 2001 and was referred to as a "classic" model. It had a nice Cherry Sunburst finish, rosewood board and zebra pickups, but I think they were 498R and 498T. Not 100% sure about the pickups, but they were a little hotter than '57 Classics. I bought it new and paid $1,459.99 (still got the receipt) at Sam Ash. The so called "MSRP" at that time was $2,483.00.

 

So considering inflation over 18 years I'd say $1,500 for a 2012 model is a fair deal as long as it is in good condition.

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Guest Farnsbarns

I had a 1960 re-issue as well at one time. It was a 2000 model I bought in Feb of 2001 and was referred to as a "classic" model. It had a nice Cherry Sunburst finish, rosewood board and zebra pickups, but I think they were 498R and 498T. Not 100% sure about the pickups, but they were a little hotter than '57 Classics. I bought it new and paid $1,459.99 (still got the receipt) at Sam Ash. The so called "MSRP" at that time was $2,483.00.

 

So considering inflation over 18 years I'd say $1,500 for a 2012 model is a fair deal as long as it is in good condition.

 

Just for clarity of information, a 1960 classic is not a reissue.

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Just for clarity of information, a 1960 classic is not a reissue.

 

They were 'inspired by'...however, saying that I'm sure I have a book which states the early 90's LP Classics were closer to the original 1960 LP's than the reissues at the time and people used to sell them on as reissues back when they had LP 'Model' as the silkscreen and this is why they changed it to say 'Classic' instead. Obviously they had 9 hole weight relief at the time and more powerful pickups than a true reissue, but it's interesting if the statement is true about early Classics vs Reissues.

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Guest Farnsbarns

They were 'inspired by'...however, saying that I'm sure I have a book which states the early 90's LP Classics were closer to the original 1960 LP's than the reissues at the time and people used to sell them on as reissues back when they had LP 'Model' as the silkscreen and this is why they changed it to say 'Classic' instead. Obviously they had 9 hole weight relief at the time and more powerful pickups than a true reissue, but it's interesting if the statement is true about early Classics vs Reissues.

 

USA Vs Custom Shop. People can say what they like about it being closer to 60 but it's still not a reissue.

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From Vintage Guitar magazine, May 1998, Eric Shoaf's article on the evolution of the Les Paul Classic:

 

"Late in the decade, Gibson's head of research and development, J.T. Riboloff, designed a reissue Les Paul based on the popular and collectible 1960 model. The key difference between this guitar and other Les Pauls in production at the time was the slim neck profile. In addition, Riboloff added other features to make the instrument faithful to the original such as a narrow headstock, thin cutaway binding, aged fingerboard inlays, inked-on serial number, nickel hardware, vintage-style logo and aged binding on body and neck.

 

The Les Paul Classic, as it was to be called, did have a couple of concessions to marketing such as a truss rod cover with "Classic" and pickguard marked "1960." The pickups came with no covers so the coils were exposed, another characteristic to differentiate it from other Les Pauls, though this was fairly realistic and a tip of the hat to those who traditionally removed covers to get a better tone on their old Pauls.

 

The Classic was introduced in 1990 with a retail price of $1,529. The least expensive Les Paul Standard at the time was the ebony finished version costing $1,169 while the sunburst model was $1,399. The Classic's higher price was justified by its reissue-yet-modern vibe and was further enhanced by availability in several sunburst finishes, and in bullion gold on the top, sides, back and neck. Most of the tops on sunburst models were plain and no extra effort was made to use fancy wood on these.

 

An immediate hit for Gibson, the Classic was tweaked further as time passed. The first change was the addition of a curly or "Plus" top in April 1991. Using maple which was deemed lacking in figure for the vaunted '59 reissue line, the Classic received nicely flamed tops and the designation Les Paul Classic Plus. Pricing was also adjusted as the Classic rose to $1,699 and the Classic Plus debuted at 2,099. By way of comparison, the '59 Reissue listed for $4,199 at the time. The Classic line continued to be a popular seller.

 

The success of the Classic and its new brother, the flamed top Classic Plus presented some difficult marketing problems for Gibson. The fact was that in many ways, the Classic was more of an accurate reissue than the '59 Les Paul of the early 1990s which still had a wide headstock, bright fingerboard and inlays, and wrong tuner bushings. The '59 did have a beefier neck and a highly flamed top, but the issue was further clouded when some highly figured Classic Plus models came to market. Wood grading is not an exact science, and some of the tops rejected for '59 reissues were in fact quite highly figured. Others had only mild flame. But with just a few easily obtainable parts, a blank truss rod cover, pickup covers, and a new pick guard, the owner of a particularly flamey Classic Plus could have a guitar that appeared to be just as nice as a '59 reissue while saving over $2,000 in the process.

 

Customers weren't the only ones who noticed this. Dealers were equally aware and they had a further beef with Gibson. As previously mentioned, tops on the Classic Plus ran the gamut from fairly mild flame to highly figured. A dealer ordering four Classic Plus models from Gibson might receive two which were nicely figured and two which were much less flamey. But the price was the same for each and explaining the difference to customers wasn't easy. The dealer gripes became louder in 1992 when the Historic Collection was announced. Dealers receiving the Historic Collection franchise were required to place a cash deposit with Gibson in order to participate in the program. Included among designated Historic Collection instruments was the Les Paul '59 reissue which, at that time, had not yet been reconfigured to Historic Collection specifications. Some dealers felt that a premium was being charged for a guitar which wasn't as faithful to the original as lower priced offerings.

 

Further, in 1992 a 1960 style slim tapered neck was mated with a '59 reissue body to create a Les Paul 1960 reissue which some customers confused with the Classic Plus until they checked the price tag. Worse, some dealers may have felt compelled to pass off a tarted-up Classic Plus as a 1960 reissue in order to improve profitability.

 

To complicate things even more, the Classic line was extended again in early 1993 with the introduction of the Premium Plus model. Responding to complaints about top grading, Gibson set up yet another line of figured tops which were nicer than "plus" tops but not as nice (in most cases) as '59 reissue tops. For dealers, the basic concern still remained: these guitars were almost like reissues for a lot less money. The only real difference between the Plus and Premium Plus was the top and the fact that the Premium designated guitars had no pickguard installed. It was delivered in the case pocket. The buyer also paid a $500 premium for the Premium Plus compared to the Plus.

 

While having the appearance of corporate bumbling, Gibson was actually trying to work out the differences and, also in 1993, they managed to get it right. The Historic Collection '59 Les Paul introduced that year was the most accurate reissue of the model to date in details which went far beyond appearances. The '59 has become the most popular of Gibson's Historic line. Still, for those who wanted the look of a '59 without the cost there was the Classic Premium Plus with a few changed parts for a lot less money. But Gibson solved that problem as well in mid-1993 when the decal on the headstock of all Classics was changed from "Les Paul Model" to "Les Paul Classic." This finally differentiated the Classic from other Les Paul models in a way which couldn't be easily tampered. Late in 1993 the binding in the cutaway of the Classic was widened, a further distancing from the '59 reissue.

 

 

 

 

 

Long neck tenon on the RIs I believe was another difference?

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Thanks for posting that article Golden. That is the one I was thinking of in my earlier post and like I mentioned it was used in one of the books on LP's that I have in my collection (it may be in the 'Les Paul Legacy' later years if I recall correctly). The article certainly has some very interesting points about the early Les Paul Classics.

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Thanks for posting that article Golden. That is the one I was thinking of in my earlier post and like I mentioned it was used in one of the books on LP's that I have in my collection (it may be in the 'Les Paul Legacy' later years if I recall correctly). The article certainly has some very interesting points about the early Les Paul Classics.

 

 

thumbs-up

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