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Value of early 80's LP Standard


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I play and produce for a living and happily own more than a dozen great guitars, each has its own character and can offer me something different on different sessions and backing up different people.

I have a great SG and a V, along with Teles and a Strat and all kinds of things, but I have actually never owned a Les Paul.

I own a studio and there are ALWAYS new things to be buying in the pro audio world, from mics to pres etc, so I don't think I can justify a major vintage LP purpose (though I would love a late 60's 3-pickup Custom).

I'm looking at a couple LP standards from the early 80's. They all seem to have Tim Shaw humbuckers in them and at this stage they are past the point of the sandwich body.

My gut is telling me to spend the extra money on something from this era as opposed to something from the 90s or 00s, but the values seem to be pretty varied. A used item is only worth what someone will pay for it so - what would YOU pay for a reasonable-shape early-80's LP? Or, can you give me a good reason to stay away from these guitars?

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When Gibson changed hands in the mid-80s the standard went up.

Norlin-era guitars and LPs from the 70s are certainly appreciating (or sellers are asking more!) because of their age, but slowly.

I don't think an early 80s Norlin LP would be better than a 90s-00s LP (certainly up to 2003) but you never know until you play it.   Shouldn't be much more than a good 90s one either yet, IMO.

Go carefully and good luck!

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I think to find the right LP, you have be connected to guitar shops, pawnshops, and a lot of guitarists in your area.

To me it's all about being connected.

Sometimes having a relationship with the above groups will give you access to some great guitars, and possible deals on purchasing them.

All my LP's were killer deals.

2 of them were because I knew the persons who owned them  and got the buddy deals, and the other 2, were because I had connections to pawnshops.

Obviously you have to be able to audition any LP you plan to buy, whether it's early 80's or 90's-00's.

You won't know which era is going to speak to you and sound the best, until you play as many as you can.

Just for reference, here are my LP's and the prices I paid for them.


$500   - '80 Gibson "Jimmy Wallace"  '58RI LP Standard (bought in '84)


$993   - '89 Gibson LP Standard:


$1500  - '00 Gibson Classic Premium Plus LP


$762  -  '08 Gibson LP Standard Plus


Edited by Texsunburst59
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