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Is the 2016 Les Paul Studio Faded T a diamond in the rough?


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First off, I am a drummer but love to play guitar and some bass too. But I could really benefit from the opinions of other guitar players or Gibson enthusiasts. I have always wanted to own a Gibson but never had the extra coin to spend. Or so I thought until I saw a used Gibson Les Paul Studio Faded T from 2016 with a price tag of 649 Canadian dollars (roughly 500 American dollars). I couldn't believe how much of a bargain it was especially since it was in almost new condition. I bought it without even playing it, which looking back on it was kinda crazy. I am not disappointed however. It looks and sounds and feels amazing. It has a much bigger neck than my Casino but you get used to it. I did some research and wanted to compare this Les Paul model to other models. I knew the one I had bought was ultimately the least expensive Les Paul you could buy without resorting to an Epiphone. After doing some research I was pleasantly surprised. I found that this guitar had all the guts and essentials that the Les Paul Standard had. The main differences were in finish (Faded T has a satin nitro finish), lack of binding and different nobs. Other things that Gibson will often change to save costs on their less expensive models would be pick-ups and a different neck material (maple necks are cheaper than mahogany necks I am told), but my Studio Faded T has Burstbucker Pros and a mahogany neck, a combination that doesn't really seem to exist in less expensive Les Paul models. A lot of Studio models have a maple neck or different pick-ups than the Standard such as the 490R and 490T or 498T. So my question is did I stumble upon a hidden treasure? A diamond in the rough? Could it just be that the 2016 Studio Faded T though low on the price tag is actually super high in value? I am especially interested in hearing from other owners of this guitar.

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I have a 2016 LP studio faded fireburst. 

It also came with BB pros. I swapped them for 57s. I like it better. But the BB pros were pretty good too. 

I love my guitar! Cost me about $650. 

I own a few guitars that cost more.  This one, however, is my favorite. 

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The 2016 Studio Faded T was my first real Gibson, I bought it new and then it was affordable.

I loved that guitar, the neck is different than other Les Pauls I've since owned - a rounded '59 Profile that fit me well actually.  It also really screamed played thru my Marshall.  I only traded in to acquire a different model a few years later, it might be the one I will regret one day.




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You can definitely get some gems if you shop down the range. Flame maple tops and binding add to the price but don't actually have any effect on the sound or playability.

I have two Les Pauls, a 2015 LPM and a 2016 Standard. The LPM is the guitar I gig with, because it's less precious - I don't worry as much about it getting bashed about, and I feel free to modify it, so it does more of the things I want. Also, it just feels more like my guitar. Guitars aren't consistent, some of them feel right in your hands more than others do, and the ones with the fancy decorate accoutrements aren't necessarily any better put together than the plainer ones. If a Studio Faded is the one that comes alive in your hands, then that's your guitar. But the next Studio Faded you come across might not click the same way for you.

Also, bigger necks are underrated. The LPM has a pretty fat neck, and I find my thumb gets less tired playing it than guitars with skinnier necks.


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On 5/11/2020 at 7:16 PM, tmlfan5 said:

 So my question is did I stumble upon a hidden treasure? A diamond in the rough?


You sound jazzed about it. That's great. Be happy you found something you love. 


Could it just be that the 2016 Studio Faded T though low on the price tag is actually super high in value? 


No. Price tag = value.

Its unlikely to accumulate in value in years to come either.



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The 2016 Studio Faded were great. Like you mentioned, the mahogany neck and BB pros, which were used on Standards. Also, the trapezoid inlays and pickup covers. That was truly a Les Paul Studio with a satin finish. It was also refreshing to see a neck carve other than the slim tapper, which Gibson overused it in some recent years. 

In 2017 Gibson dropped the Studio Faded and put in place the Faded. That’s when you see the maple neck and dot inlays. 

Now for two things that I think needs clarification, regarding pickups and neck material. The price on Gibson pickups were identical between the BB pros and 490s. Furthermore, although the BB pros were used on the Standards the 490 were being used on the Les Paul Customs. In reality, the BB pro is an upgrade to some, and a downgrade to others, for it is purely a preference thing.

Modern studios have mahogany necks. By modern I mean anything from at least 2015 to now. What I think is happening a common confusion between Studios and Faded. It’s the Faded models from 2017 and on that had maple necks.

With that said, I understand that there was a lot of variation across the years regarding Studio specs. Binding, no binding, gloss, satin, trapezoid, dots, construction, wood selection etc. My clarification above only applies to 2015 to current studios. 

With that said, yes I do agree the Studio Faded were fantastic guitars. And I’ll add that 2016 and 2017, Gibson did a fantastic job on the fret ends of unbounded necks, including Faded and Studio Faded. I can’t say the same about my 2018 Faded. I had the tools, so I got rid of my fret sprouts, which then required to round the fret ends. In the process I rounded my fretboard edges a bit for a more comfortable feel. The end result was absolutely fantastic.

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