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Justbluefish

Advice on first Les Paul Custom

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Hi, I'm am fairly novice when it comes to the Gibson Custom Shop guitar offerings and I'd love some advice.

 

Other than a Gibson Les Paul Studio I've never owned a higher end guitar, but the idea of having that once in a lifetime heirloom instrument has always appealed to me. I'm at a point where I could pull the trigger on one, but I'm not sure if I should. I don't want to make an expensive mistake.

 

That said here is the guitar that I've had my eye on. It's a Gibson Custom 1960 Les Paul reissue at Guitar Center. Here's the specific model I'm looking at: https://www.guitarcenter.com/Gibson-Custom/1960-Les-Paul-Figured-Top-Reissue-Electric-Guitar-PG-129.gc

 

Truth be told I don't know what questions I should even ask, as they say sometimes you don't know "what you don't know". So I'll ask very generally, is there anything I should know about this guitar before I purchase it? Any reason to avoid this model or look at other models instead? For that matter, does this offer much more over the new Gibson USA Les Paul Standard models that were show this year at Namm?

 

Sorry for not having more specific questions, but I'm just starting the learning process and I'd appreciate anyone that can give me a little hand holding for my first few steps of the process.

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My first, and so far only, Les Paul Custom is a 2007 in Wine Red. I'm partial to 1990s to early 2000s Les Pauls, and there are many out there to be had in great condition for less than what this new one is going for. I've owned 2013, 14, 15, and 16 Gibsons, but after my 2007, I won't buy anything built after 2010.

IMHO the quality of the build and materials were better back then, and the sound is incomparable.

Again, just my $.02. Its your choice and what we say shouldn't matter. You may want to visit a few stores and try out various years before you make up your mind.

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Hi, I'm am fairly novice when it comes to the Gibson Custom Shop guitar offerings and I'd love some advice.

 

Other than a Gibson Les Paul Studio I've never owned a higher end guitar, but the idea of having that once in a lifetime heirloom instrument has always appealed to me. I'm at a point where I could pull the trigger on one, but I'm not sure if I should. I don't want to make an expensive mistake.

 

That said here is the guitar that I've had my eye on. It's a Gibson Custom 1960 Les Paul reissue at Guitar Center. Here's the specific model I'm looking at: https://www.guitarce...uitar-PG-129.gc

 

Truth be told I don't know what questions I should even ask, as they say sometimes you don't know "what you don't know". So I'll ask very generally, is there anything I should know about this guitar before I purchase it? Any reason to avoid this model or look at other models instead? For that matter, does this offer much more over the new Gibson USA Les Paul Standard models that were show this year at Namm?

 

Sorry for not having more specific questions, but I'm just starting the learning process and I'd appreciate anyone that can give me a little hand holding for my first few steps of the process.

 

Custom Shop Gibsons are great guitars. My advice is to learn about the finer details such as construction, perhaps a bit of history on the Custom Shop - how it came to be. There's a short video on YT that talks about the Custom Shop and what they offer up. If you're going for the historic stuff, there are a lot of guys who really dig this stuff... Some of the newer stuff is not so much sought after - and the guitars typically after the 2010 era started to use Richlite on the fretboards rather than ebony (for LP Customs) - but I guess that all depends. If you want to run a poll (please don't, haha!) on who prefers ebony to Richlite, you'll probably be thinking badly of Richlite after all is said and done. I personally like guitars that sound to my liking, so I don't really care what negative thoughts others have of my guitar(s) if there are any thoughts to be shared with me, haha!

 

I would learn a bit about the construction differences between the newer and older LPs. Things like hide glue that is used to adhere parts together, neck tenons, electronics, hardware, etc. You will pay a premium for the more historic Custom Shop LPs. Whether or not these make a difference, that's up to you, but know what you are paying for in a purchase like this.

 

I own 2 Custom Shop LPs - 2010 and 2015. My 2010 is a 1968 Reissue and my 2015 is just a "regular" LP Custom so to speak that is more modern (compared to the original LP Custom) in terms of how it is constructed. The 2010 has an ebony fretboard, ABR bridge, 57 Classics, long neck tenon... My 2015 has Richlite fretboard, Nashville bridge, 498T/490R, and a short neck tenon (i.e. set-in neck as GC lists them). A tad bit more historic-like things going on with the 2010, but they both are stellar guitars and had top craftsmanship involved in each guitar's construction.

 

The people who go after Gibsons are aware of these things in each guitar they spec out, so learning how to compare guitar A to guitar B is what you want to do before pulling the trigger - i.e. how to make a more calculated move targeting THE guitar of your dreams. Good luck and ask more questions if you have any.

 

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the first question to ask, was the guitar a display model, on hangers displayed in the store?

 

Guitar Center stock is quite vulnerable to wear marks, scratches, dents, dings, on guitars they have out for display and just let people pull down and play.

 

If it was my purchase, and it wasn't a in person/try before you buy (aka if you are making an internet purchase) guitar center is the last place I'd look.

 

If you're going all in, at least go in knowing that the guitar you're buying wasn't hung on rack and played. You could get by ok, but my guess is at $4k you're not gonna want that guitar, which is supposed to be NEW, to show up at your house looking like someone owned it already. And there is a real good chance THAT is what will happen, that's just how it is there.

 

I dropped in to a GC on vacation, looking at 12 strings, they had a Takamine the gy working there told me was just unboxed a two days prior. There was already a 1 inch gouge in the top, and a few other dings and dents... the sales guy was embarrassed, I just told him "don't be, I've been coming to these stores for many years, it's just the way it is."

 

he said "yes, damn kids!" (not just kids. some people are like bulls in a china shop.)

 

 

It it was me, I'd rather work with an online place like Sweetwater, as you're going to be very sure your the only person who's ever played it other than the techs who inspect and get it ready for shipping. I've bought many guitars from there, including an SJ200 (they don't give those away) and it was always a great purchase experience. they will stand behind the sale, and if you have issues,they'll address them.

 

Your money, your decision, Just trying to offer some insight about Guitar Center. I could be wrong, but I doubt it..

Edited by kidblast

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The guitar you are looking at is certainly a beauty. As Kidblast mentioned though guitars that are on the sales floor at Guitar Center take a beating. But assuming it is in brand new condition you couldn't go wrong buying that guitar.

 

That being said - you don't have to spend $4000 to get a good Les Paul. There are so many out there, different models, new and used that you probably could get one just as good for less. It sort of depends on what you are looking for. Some of us buy guitars because we are in working bands and the sound and playability are way more important that looks. Others don't make a living playing guitar and it's more of a hobby where how the guitar looks is really important.

 

Get out to some stores and play a few different ones with different pickups so you can decide what you like as to the tone and feel. Then you can make your own informed decision as to what feature you want and how much you have to spend to get them.

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This, to me, is fairly reasonably priced CS. In my mind, I think of CS guitars costing, for the most part, $3K-7K with a new Les Paul Standard costing $3400. And this one being $500 off makes it that much more appealing. The 1960s variants always seem to be what people really love, so you are making a solid pick there in terms of future value/resale. Personally, I don't necessarily think you need to know all of the intricacies of every build detail ... You should be able to at least answer in basic terms why this guitar is worth more than a $2500 Les Paul or a Les Paul Standard. If you can answer that question (so you are not paying money for the sake of paying money) and this is the guitar you really want, then just pull the trigger, bro. I don't have a Custom Shop Les Paul ... but, I don't think I need to know the guitar you are considering would be a killer guitar.

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That said here is the guitar that I've had my eye on. It's a Gibson Custom 1960 Les Paul reissue at Guitar Center. Here's the specific model I'm looking at: https://www.guitarce...uitar-PG-129.gc

 

 

That's an interesting guitar. I don't find the SN or model year mentioned. The PG 129 I think may refer to Beauty of the Burst page 129. But that was a '59.

 

Assuming it's new, the price would seem to indicate a plain top, but it says it's figured, and it looks figured and generally R0's are figured, . So that's a bit confusing, unless it's not new, or it's damaged or maybe it's been there for a while and they are discounting it.

 

If it is new, and in new condition, then that's a really good price. I would want more details about it.

 

There are lots of bad things to say about GC, but, one good thing is that you can have them ship it to a store near you and if it's not to your liking you don't have to keep it.

 

Edit:

 

This is interesting. There is a pg 129 burst that was made as a R0. However, it had some interesting specs. It's a plain top with BB's and had push-pulls with coil splitting, phase switching and a kill switch.

 

See here: https://www.sweetwat...vos-pg129-burst

 

The one you linked at GC says it is figured with CBs and no push pulls so that's a mystery.

Edited by Black Dog

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Please note that "Gibson Custom 1960 Les Paul reissue" and "Les Paul Custom" are 2 different models of the Les Paul guitar.

 

But maybe you know this anyway?

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Sorry to reply to a post so long after it's been published. I have this same guitar, the R0/G0 pq 129, except mine has darker edges than the one depicted here. I absolutely love it. The figuring is very light, more akin to a R8, hence the price difference. I think in 2016, R8s were 2,000 cheaper than R9's and R0's and this particular guitar, the R0/G0 has the same price tag as an R8 from a few years back. When they first came out, the R0/G0 came with actual plain tops, but they have since made the switch to lightly figured tops. When they say lightly figured is that some of the figuring can only be seen at certain angles. The guitar itself has a long tenon, bumblebee capacitors, Custombucker pickups and all the regular construction and electronics from a regular R0, minus the VOS finish and aged hardware. It is the best playing guitar I've ever played and the reason I plan on getting an R9 for my 40th birthday in two years. One thing this guitar doesn't have that the regular R0 has is the knob pointer (aka thumb bleeder), which to me is a plus. Also, the case is or at least was the same as the regular R0 at the time I got mine. I don't know if Gibson will continue making those R0/G0 pg 129 guitars. They used to be a Guitar Center and Musician's Friend exclusive, but now I can only find it on the GC website, but not on the MF site. When I got mine, GC had a regular used R0 with DiMazio pickups going for the same price as my R0/G0 pg 129. I ended up liking the R0/G0 slightly better despite the two being very close. My local GC kept Gibson Custom on the top racks, so my guitar was in perfect shape. Lately, they've been locking some of the more expensive guitars and they are being better kept these days.

 

Edit: The R0 is the one on the right. I replaced the reflector knobs with gold ones.

NUWGYYL.jpg

Edited by pauloqs

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