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Les Paul Studio


MoxieBlues

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I'm new to the forum - Greetings!

I just picked up a used Les Paul Studio from a local music store. It is quite unusual, and I want to confirm that it is authentic. The serial number stamped on the back of the headstock is 02133424, it is also stamped Made In U.S.A. The things that are unusual are the top (it has a figured maple top) and the body is thinner than my Les Paul Classic (1.6" at the end near the strap lock vs 2.0" on the Classic). Both guitars weigh 8.8 lbs. It has gold hardware and Grover tuners. Any feedback would be appreciated. Also... The position marker blocks are smaller than on other Les Pauls I have seen. The photo doesn't show the Gibson on the headstock, but it's there and appears typical for the decal style.

Thanks!

post-41165-009197800 1330493085_thumb.jpg

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Congratz on the LP and welcome to the Forums.

 

I'm not one of these experts who can pick out a fake, but it looks to me like some sort of Les Paul Studio Premium Plus. The top hat knobs and Grover tuners do make me go "hmmmm?". But then again, I don't keep up with every variation of every model Gibson makes. If it's an authorized Gibson dealer you can be pretty sure it's legit.

 

I copied some serial number info below for you:

 

- In 1977, Gibson introduced the serialization method that we primarily use to this day at Gibson USA, Gibson Acoustic, and the Gibson Custom facility in Memphis, TN.

 

The serial number will be an 8 digit number impressed into the back of the headstock with "MADE IN USA" below.

 

The pattern is as follows:

YDDDYRRR

YY is the production year

DDD is the day of the year

RRR is the factory ranking/plant designation number.

Prior to 1984 when the Kalamazoo, MI factory was closed, the numbers 001-499 indicated Kalamazoo production. Ranking numbers 500-999 continued to indicate Nashville production through 1989.

 

Since 1989, all Gibson acoustics are built in Bozeman, MT and all Gibson electrics are built in Nashville or Memphis. Ranking numbers for Bozeman start each day at 001 and the electrics may start as low as the 300s.

 

Examples: 70108276 means the instrument was produced on Jan. 10, 1978, in Kalamazoo and was the 276th instrument stamped that day.

 

82765501 means the instrument was produced on Oct. 3, 1985, in Nashville and was the 1st instrument stamped that day.

 

NOTE - Gibson USA goes to a 9 digit serial number in early July 2005..

The sixth number is now a batch number- batch 0 starts at the beginning of the day, and once we stamp 699, the batch number will change to 1. The first 5 numbers remain the same, the last 3 numbers will remain the same. The only difference is the addition of this batch indicator.

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Very nice top I have to say

 

Heres what the Project site says:

http://www.guitardaterproject.org/gibson.aspx

 

Your guitar was made at the

Nashville Plant, TN, USA

August 1st, 2003

Production Number: 124

Most of the time this is accurate but it isn't item specific,

 

The serial relates to the day the BODY was finished

The pickups (Depending on type) & COA White card will have a different date on them

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.

Welcome.

 

Fuzzy pic, but basically it looks genuine. The Studio LPs maple cap is a bit thinner than the standard and its variants (except for a couple years in the mid 90s they were the same thickness). I've seen those small trapazoids before, might be an exclusive run for a retailer like GC. If you email service@gibson.com with the serial# and a pic or two (2mb limit), they can check their serial archives and might be able to tell you the model, hardware, finish.

 

Very nice looking Studio and a beautiful top.

 

Congrats. . B)

 

.

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Thanks BigKahune. I did email service@gibson.com and they confirmed that the guitar is a 2003 Les Paul Studio Plus. Yesterday is took out the pickups to examine them. They are both marked Gibson USA and T. The guy at Gibson didn't say anything about the pickups. I think the normal configuration is 490R and 498T. Do you or anyone know how to tell these pickups apart? I was expecting the neck pickup to be marked R instead of T.

Thanks!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks BigKahune. I did email service@gibson.com and they confirmed that the guitar is a 2003 Les Paul Studio Plus. Yesterday is took out the pickups to examine them. They are both marked Gibson USA and T. The guy at Gibson didn't say anything about the pickups. I think the normal configuration is 490R and 498T. Do you or anyone know how to tell these pickups apart? I was expecting the neck pickup to be marked R instead of T.

Thanks!

 

Here is my 2004 Studio Plus.

StringChange014.jpg

 

StringChange007.jpg

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Any feedback would be appreciated.

I hate to throw questions or doubt onto the fire, but here's what I can tell you. I still have my 2003 desertburst Studio Plus which was purchased new, and naturally I was quite interested in this model at the time. An amber or natural burst finish was not offered in 2003 (which your serial number indicates). Grover tuners were not standard on this model, black speed knobs were the original issue, fretboard was rosewood, switch tip was black, pickup adjusting screws were gold, and the inlays were indeed larger. Of course, a one-off instrument or special run could have been produced at the factory. Maybe this was an employee guitar, as we have seen some very interesting variations of standard models (I recall a confirmed employee ES-137 Premier with significant modifications near this time period). But what I can tell you with certainty is that this guitar does not match the '03 Studio Plus model (AA figured top) as listed in Gibson literature for 2003. The Studio Premium Plus with AAA top came along a couple of years later, and there was a natural finish version, not amber.

Edit: Just checked some old MF catalogs and other info I retained from back in the day. The Studio Plus was initially available in desertburst and transparent red. By the spring of '05, it was offered in desertburst & transparent black. My recollection is that the Premium Plus came out sometime in the latter part of '05. In a July '06 catalog, the Premium Plus is show as available in a natural finish, but again, not amber.

Edit #2: Just measured the body depth on mine. It's 1.75" at each strap lock, and 2" at the cutaway's widest point.

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I appreciate you taking the time to respond so thoroughly boboux. My warm and fuzzy feeling is cooled somewhat! I am surprised that Benton Cummings from Gibson either wasn't aware of, or didn't point out these inconsistencies. I even asked is it was a special run or something and he didn't address that part of the question. From what I have seen these Grovers "kidney bean" tuners are un upgrade from what was stock at the time. At least they are more expensive today. I have the guitar set-up the way I like it now, and it plays great. It lacks i little clarity on the wound strings, but that may be inherent in the 490/498 pickup combination. I am comparing to my 1999 LP Classic Plus with SD 59s in it. Thanks again!

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It lacks i little clarity on the wound strings, but that may be inherent in the 490/498 pickup combination.

Yes, I feel the same way about mine re the tone of the wound strings. To remedy this, I've purchased a gold Gibson P94 to put in the neck position. I currently don't play this guitar too often & have no idea when I'll get around to installing it, but I'm thinking the single coil will clean things up nicely. As for Gibson's customer service, it may be that their data base lacks specific detailed information regarding variations on a particular model's theme.

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I appreciate you taking the time to respond so thoroughly boboux. My warm and fuzzy feeling is cooled somewhat! I am surprised that Benton Cummings from Gibson either wasn't aware of, or didn't point out these inconsistencies. I even asked is it was a special run or something and he didn't address that part of the question. From what I have seen these Grovers "kidney bean" tuners are un upgrade from what was stock at the time. At least they are more expensive today. I have the guitar set-up the way I like it now, and it plays great. It lacks i little clarity on the wound strings, but that may be inherent in the 490/498 pickup combination. I am comparing to my 1999 LP Classic Plus with SD 59s in it. Thanks again!

If your still not sure maybe post some more detailed pics of it? the front and back of the headstock is often a good way to tell

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Hi Rabs. I have attached some more pics. Your input is appreciated.

Thanks!

Looks good to me... three piece headstock, logo and book end shape looks right..

 

Seems like the previous owner has just upgraded the hardware which is not unusual.. people sware by grovers

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Looks good to me... three piece headstock, logo and book end shape looks right..

Yes, the additional pictures are very helpful, and everything looks right. I'll add that because there are no screw holes above the Grovers, they clearly were installed as the original tuners - and as I mentioned above, the standard Studio Plus model came with tulip tuners. Therefore, this guitar appears more and more to be a special run or employee version of the Studio Plus, and certainly a very nice one!

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Hi Rabs. I have attached some more pics. Your input is appreciated.

Thanks!

Also just found this on musicians friend.. so it does seem to be legit.. as was mentioned was a real limited exclusive or an employee version.. but is certainly real.. looks like you got a rare find there ;)

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/guitars/gibson-les-paul-studio-plus-99/517358000057284#review

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Also just found this on musicians friend.. so it does seem to be legit.. as was mentioned was a real limited exclusive or an employee version.. but is certainly real.. looks like you got a rare find there ;)

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/guitars/gibson-les-paul-studio-plus-99/517358000057284#review

Rabs - Nice job solving the mystery! That is indeed a very nice version (love the amber finish!).

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Guest rogerb

The serial number rolls as a 2003 Les Paul Studio '99. This means the specs are same as they were in 1999 which would be a little thinner than the regular studio. The finish is translucent amber and it has gold plated hardware.

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The serial number rolls as a 2003 Les Paul Studio '99. This means the specs are same as they were in 1999 which would be a little thinner than the regular studio. The finish is translucent amber and it has gold plated hardware.

Rogerb, Is there is record of how many Les Paul Studio '99s were made in 2003? Was it a special run of some kind? I would like to find out if this is indeed a rare guitar. Thanks for your time!

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  • 1 year later...

Rogerb, Is there is record of how many Les Paul Studio '99s were made in 2003? Was it a special run of some kind? I would like to find out if this is indeed a rare guitar. Thanks for your time!

 

Belatedly hi MoxieBlues and the rest of you folks,

 

I stumbled on this thread while trying to find out more about the LP Studio I bought secondhand last summer, and I nearly fained when I saw pictures of my guitar!

 

OK, it's a little different.... the pickup surrounds, switch label and tophat knobs are black on mine. My serial is 02033213; same year.

 

This is the most aggressive electric guitar I've ever played - a real monster! Huge bottom on the rhythm, wonderfully chunky, woody on the bridge. Fantastic bark when the gain is up.

 

If anybody wants pics, holler and I'll do it. So I dunno if it's rare or was a special run, but I've got one, and I sure treasure mine!

 

jon

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Hi Rabs. I have attached some more pics. Your input is appreciated.

Thanks!

 

The dot on the 'i' looks blended into the 'G' in the second pic. Is it really like this?

 

I have two Gibson LPs and neither of them look like this.

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