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1960 Classic - Years of Manufacture

kevt141

New member
Joined
Apr 4, 2015
Messages
21
Hi All,
Can anybody please help - between what years were the 1960 Classics made? The ones with the "1960" etched scratch plate and inked serial numbers? I believe they started in 1990?
Also - when did the headstock decal on these models change from Les Paul "Model" to Les Paul "Classic" . Any other info on this particular model appreciated - official colours etc.
Thanks
 

kevt141

New member
Joined
Apr 4, 2015
Messages
21
OK, thanks very much for the reply and the link but appears to be all about classic premium plus? Different range to the 1960s? Thanks anyway, appreciated
 

Cody

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 23, 2002
Messages
4,467
There were a few made in ‘89. I’ve only ever seen pictures of one, a Bullion Gold example belonging to a rock star.

The colors I saw available in ‘90 were Bullion Gold (all gold - top, sides, back, neck), Honeyburst plaintop and Cherryburst plaintop. They all had the “1960” pickguard and exposed double black humbuckers with ceramic magnets.

Around ‘92 I saw an Amber (vintage yellow) one at Gibson’s showroom. Did I see black ones then too? I’m not sure… memory ain’t what it used to be.

I’m not sure when the decal changed… maybe ‘93? Also, sometime around then the binding in the cutaway got wider than the more vintage correct thin one of the first few years.
 

El Gringo

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Joined
Apr 8, 2015
Messages
4,470
There were a few made in ‘89. I’ve only ever seen pictures of one, a Bullion Gold example belonging to a rock star.

The colors I saw available in ‘90 were Bullion Gold (all gold - top, sides, back, neck), Honeyburst plaintop and Cherryburst plaintop. They all had the “1960” pickguard and exposed double black humbuckers with ceramic magnets.

Around ‘92 I saw an Amber (vintage yellow) one at Gibson’s showroom. Did I see black ones then too? I’m not sure… memory ain’t what it used to be.

I’m not sure when the decal changed… maybe ‘93? Also, sometime around then the binding in the cutaway got wider than the more vintage correct thin one of the first few years.
Yes, the reason why the decal and the binding in the cutaway changed was because Gibson Custom Shop being in it's infancy and Gibson wanted to differentiate between the Gibson USA Classic model and the Brand new R series Custom Shop Les Paul's . I remember it like yesterday at my local Mom and Pop shop on Halloween 1993 ordering a Les Paul Premium Plus Classic in Heritage Cherry Sunburst (which I took delivery of in early August 1994) because there was no way I could afford the more expensive Custom Shop R series Les Paul . So this was my very first Sunburst which I still have today and still play . 5-15-21 (2).jpg
 

Texsunburst59

Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2004
Messages
758
I joined the Classic family early '20 when the pandemic hit.

My local guitar tech/friend's business was virtually shut down and his wife was laid off from her job.

He needed to sell some gear he wasn't using,and asked me if I'd be willing to buy some of it.

He said he never really played his Classic and said it was a "Case Queen".

I really didn't really need the guitar and really wasn't looking to purchase any guitars at that time, but he made me an offer I couldn't pass up.

My '00 Gibson Classic Trans Amber Premium Plus :

49771543142_541a4e081a_b.jpg

49770692483_027be0d0bd_b.jpg
 

El Gringo

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 8, 2015
Messages
4,470
I joined the Classic family early '20 when the pandemic hit.

My local guitar tech/friend's business was virtually shut down and his wife was laid off from her job.

He needed to sell some gear he wasn't using,and asked me if I'd be willing to buy some of it.

He said he never really played his Classic and said it was a "Case Queen".

I really didn't really need the guitar and really wasn't looking to purchase any guitars at that time, but he made me an offer I couldn't pass up.

My '00 Gibson Classic Trans Amber Premium Plus :

49771543142_541a4e081a_b.jpg

49770692483_027be0d0bd_b.jpg
That sure is a beauty !
 

Texsunburst59

Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2004
Messages
758
Love the Classics. Here's my 1990.

That's a beauty Strings.

If you EVER want to sell or even consider a trade for that guitar, contact me on this forum .

My son was born on April 17,1990, and I've been on the lookout for MANY years for a quality birth year guitar.

My son is a music director for a local Mega Church.

He's an AMAZING guitarist, and an even more AMAZING singer.

He deserves a quality birth year guitar, and eventually I'll find one for him.
 

grimlyflick

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 27, 2005
Messages
1,235
Can’t beat a good Classic.

My 2004 Classic, not much left of the original spec. Only the poker chip and neck pickup ring remain from the electrics and hardware from when I got it new, but I love it. Its done loads of gigs, taken a hammering over the years and is still my no.1. 😊👍

F0A0339C-901D-44AC-9193-4F6D15BA9EF4.jpeg
 

DANELECTRO

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 24, 2003
Messages
6,200
There were a few made in ‘89. I’ve only ever seen pictures of one, a Bullion Gold example belonging to a rock star.

The colors I saw available in ‘90 were Bullion Gold (all gold - top, sides, back, neck), Honeyburst plaintop and Cherryburst plaintop. They all had the “1960” pickguard and exposed double black humbuckers with ceramic magnets.

Around ‘92 I saw an Amber (vintage yellow) one at Gibson’s showroom. Did I see black ones then too? I’m not sure… memory ain’t what it used to be.

I’m not sure when the decal changed… maybe ‘93? Also, sometime around then the binding in the cutaway got wider than the more vintage correct thin one of the first few years.
^^^ this pretty much nails it. A few things I can add:

I've only seen one '89 which had an all-gold finish. There must not have been many made in 1989.

In addition to All-Gold, Cherry, and Honeyburst (brown back), the 1990's were also available in a Darkburst which had a brown back with the Darkburst finish wrapping around the heel on the backside:

In 1991 and maybe a few other years, Gibson offered flametop Classics in a variety of colors including purple, red and green

1990 Darkburst:
0_446_Classic_b.jpg


0_446_Classic_j.jpg


1990 Bullion Gold:
0-0482_Classic_all_gold_b(2).jpg

0-0482_Classic_all_gold_c(1).jpg


Other details that I recall:

1989 thru early 1993 models had narrow binding and Les Paul MODEL on the headstock. This changed to wide binding and LES PAUL CLASSIC around the middle of 1993

The inlays changed from oyster gray to snot green around the early 2000's I believe

The bridge changed from an ABR to a Nashville sometime around 2003


Here are three Classics that I owned years ago:

1990:
LesPaul0-121061_zps3f5d500a.jpg


1991 - I should have kept this guitar. It was an excellent guitar with a beautiful cherry finish that looked very vintage-like. It was easily on par with the Historic Reissue models that I owned. I sold it on eBay and a couple months later the buyer sent me a note to say that he tripped on the cord while the guitar was in a stand and busted the headstock off. He said he took it to "the best luthier in Los Angeles" who informed him that the guitar was a fake because "the serial number should be embossed not stamped in ink". He said I ripped him off and he wanted his money back. I dug into my photo archives and sent him a couple dozen photos of other Classics with ink stamped numbers just to let him know that his luthier didn't know what he was talking about. Its a shame to know that he carelessly busted such a beautiful guitar.
GibsonLesPaul91Classic1-5439800.jpg


1992 with some flames. This guitar had a super-thin neck which measured .752" at the first fret
92Classiccouch.jpg


The early Classics are great guitars if you prefer a thin neck. I favored thin necks until I got my first Historic, a 2003 R7. I was afraid that the neck would be too thick, but I adjusted to it immediately and I realized that I much favored the thick neck, so over time, the Classics ended up being replaced by Historics.


These are not my Classics, just some photos that I had saved to my computer years ago:

1993:
1a(1).jpg


1992:
92_Classic_3.jpg


1993:
i-2_B_L.jpg


1992
2-3245_Classic_PAFs_Murphy_Refin_c.jpg


1992:
2-4158_Classic_d.jpg


1992:
2-7130_Classic_Plus_a.jpg


1993
342737b.jpg


1993:
91_Classic_Sweet_Cherry_1a.jpg



1993:
93_Classic_pp_1.jpg


A big-flame 1995:
95_Classic_Plus_2e.jpg


a 2004 with snot green inlays:
04_Classic_honeyflame_a.jpg


a 1992 with a very vintage-looking top:
2-2999_gibsonLPclassicPogueTp.jpg


another 1992 with a killer top:
2-5719_Classic_Plus_a.jpg
 
Last edited:

uncajoey

Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2016
Messages
44
Classics are great guitars, from 1990 till 2003, they were nearly identical in terms of specs, with the exception of silkscreen, inlay color, and binding detail in cutaway. You’ll never notice these differences unless you’re a nerd and care about such things. The necks on my 2000-2001 examples are slightly beefier feeling than either my 91 or 93. The best tops (for the most part) didn’t begin arriving until 1993.

The best tops I’ve seen are on 2000-2001 Classics for sure, among the best of all time, nicer IMO than most Custom Shop models, and way nicer than on original bursts.
 

Keefoman

Active member
Joined
Nov 4, 2009
Messages
499
Can’t beat a good Classic.

My 2004 Classic, not much left of the original spec. Only the poker chip and neck pickup ring remain from the electrics and hardware from when I got it new, but I love it. Its done loads of gigs, taken a hammering over the years and is still my no.1. 😊👍

View attachment 15309
That is a very nice one. Has the red faded, or did it come like that? Also like the figuring. Makes it look like a one piece top. I generally don’t like one piece tops, especially when they’re flamey, but this looks really good!
 

grimlyflick

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 27, 2005
Messages
1,235
That is a very nice one. Has the red faded, or did it come like that? Also like the figuring. Makes it look like a one piece top. I generally don’t like one piece tops, especially when they’re flamey, but this looks really good!
It’s called Lightburst and was always mostly light brown’ish colour around the edges. It’s quite a bright photo which makes it look a little more yellow although it has faded a liitle too.

I’ll try and find an older photo.
 

au_rick

Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2010
Messages
828
WOW !
I had a 1960 Classic about a decade ago, very plain top, almost a clownburst (maybe the cherry plaintop referenced above by Cody ?), so I assumed they were just a low end "reissue" for the masses. Didn't like the neck very much.
I never realised they made them with such great tops :|
 

Keefoman

Active member
Joined
Nov 4, 2009
Messages
499
I also had a 2001 Classic plain top years ago. I swapped the pickups to Lollar Imperials, electronics to an RS Kit with Jensen caps and the tailpiece and bridge from an R9. It was a great guitar, but unfortunately I couldn't afford to keep it when I bought the R8.

36384310766_b6b07fe67c_b.jpg
 
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