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Are the recent Historic Les Pauls the best Les Pauls Gibson has made since 1960

JPP-1

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Jul 11, 2006
Messages
1,333
I can’t believe how alive and resonant these recent historics feel. Every time I attempt to sell off one or two of my less used Historics something draws me in about the tone. From my 2015 True Historic to my 2021 Murphy Painted, they all share that vocal flutey hollow dry wood tone but with different shadings. Some brighter and snappier like Page, some a bit warmer and smoother like Duane. Each has its own sonic personality so to speak.

I played and owned more than a few 2012 and older Historics and found as a whole they sounded duller and just felt numb-er. Every guitar is unique so it’s presumptive to draw conclusions but with these recent Historics, everything from woods, to construction techniques, to pickups, have been uniformly outstanding. Imho, Gibson has been hitting it out of the park these past several years.

We are truly in the midst of a new golden age for guitar lovers.

Some of my Historics hanging with some of my amps. Great paint, flame and rosewood both Brazilian and East Indian

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goldtop0

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Aug 19, 2003
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8,432
Like your style JPP-1 and your gear.........is that a vintage two tone coffin badge Marshall head!!
I've got a '13 R8 that knocks all other historic humbucker LPs I've tried out of the ballpark for depth of tone, and with its bridge custombucker it goes bananas.
Over recent years I've concluded that these Custombucker pups are a godsend as was the removing of the truss rod condom after 2012.
 

jb_abides

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Apr 6, 2005
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3,058
It seems there's been a good trend, or batting average. I really dig my 2 TH-era, but I certainly have great ones back going to 2003... is that 'back in the day' now?!

I remember waves of discussions for spec changes, and 'good wood' eras proclaimed. '05, '07, '13 if memory serves. Vigorous arguments, all born out of perception. And there are 'great ones' and 'turds' spoken of from every year.

I do think the look, the tops, the finish have a certain vintage-y vibe of late. My latest is a 2020 60th R0 and I dig it but my Stingers and '03 R0 are top notch, too.

I feel the need to move to Murphy Lab / M2M to fill some gaps. And I still hem and haw over doing a Historic Makeover or 2...

We are blessed.

P.S. the bengal in that couch pic gives me GAS. But with the recent break story, also nervous.
 

goldtop0

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Okay, so what's the 'recent break story' with the bengal.......that's the obvious question with that one, I'm curious?
I've got a '58 M2M 335 in the pipeline that's been as of now 21 months in the making and I hope it's going to be a major success in terms of the specs I want, a fat 'Babe' unbound neck with a rich burgundy tobacco sunburst surround finish.........we'll see when it comes to fruition.
 
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jb_abides

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Apr 6, 2005
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3,058
Okay, so what's the 'recent break story' with the bengal.......that's the obvious question with that one, I'm curious?
I've got a '58 M2M 335 in the pipeline that's been as of now 21 months in the making and I hope it's going to be a major success in terms of the specs I want, a fat 'Babe' unbound neck with a rich burgundy tobacco sunburst surround finish.........we'll see when it comes to fruition.

Not a break with the real Bengal. Ye gods, no!

I am liking your bengal-looking guitar, the one atop the couch... But get nervous about breaks, given Ed A's recent fall story.
 

rockabilly69

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Joined
Jul 29, 2001
Messages
2,716
I believe since around 2013 there seems to be a higher percentage of great sounding custom shop Les Pauls. After I got my 2019 R4, I just plain stopped looking to buy a Les Paul. It's that good. Everytime I pick it up, I get inspired. And my 2014 R7 is also great sounding. But I have an older 2010 R0 and it's also a great sounding Les Paul.

After I found the tonal nirvana with those three beauties, I stopped buying Les Pauls. I then got on a kick building or modding up Fender style guitars (Jaguar, Strat, Jazzmaster, and I'm currently doing up a Tele) and I can't tell you how much fun it is to lay down a rhythm track with one of the Fenders, and then lay down a fat lead tone with one of the Les Pauls!!!

Conclusion? With all the modern great guitars and parts out there it's a great time to buy or build guitars!
 
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goldtop0

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Aug 19, 2003
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8,432
I'm in much the same boat as you rockabilly got my '13 R8 and '13 R6 with some '52 P90s and they cover all the LP bases for me, wouldn't have minded a slightly fatter neck at the 1st with the R8(.873/1.05) but the rich tone of the thing more than makes up for that shortcoming.
 

Patek

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Dec 4, 2015
Messages
415
Went to a few stores in Tokyo recently and can safely say the new Murphy’s look absolutely incredible. The light age and heavy age particularly (not ultra light / ultra heavy) look equally good to any extremely expensive replica as I have ever seen if not better

There were a burst or 2 in stock and the murphys looked good enough to me to. also some well regarded replicas (twice or more the price of a Murphy lab) and the murphys looked more authentic !

Authentic looking Top with flecks: nailed
Colour: nailed
Fade: nailed
Nitro finish: nailed
Age work (light / heavy age, not ultra): perfectly executed

Gibson have never released incl murphys own work anything close to real authentic burst looking until now. I am so impressed with what they have done. It will start to kill the replica market and will probably damage the historic / bavarian makeover market, as a Murphy will be overall cheaper and they appear to do as good of a job.. maybe even better with some of the colours and fade, plus the top choice on some of the murphys are so spot on

Is this because the Tokyo market is better (access to the best of the best) ? I’ve not seen any in person in Europe yet

So far anyway, they are absolutely superb and I look forward to getting one in the future. I’d have loved to have brought one back to the UK if it wasn’t for the duty, as in tokyo they are about £1k cheaper RRP than UK which is bonkers…
 

axeman565758

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Jan 23, 2007
Messages
1,134
I have owned at least one Historic from every year since 1998, with multiple guitars from 2000, 2001, 2006, 2008 and 2009. I'm only missing ones from 2013-2016. Have 2018-2020 models now. I owned a mint early '68 Goldtop, a mid-70's Standard and a KM model from '80. Roughly 50 guitars, so I have a great sample list.
I'd agree. Gibson Custom is producing their best and overall, Gibsons best since at least the late 60's. The quality, fit, and finish is the best Ive had contact with. I cant speak for 50's/vintage guitars, though.
 

axeman565758

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Joined
Jan 23, 2007
Messages
1,134
I believe since around 2013 there seems to be a higher percentage of great sounding custom shop Les Pauls. After I got my 2019 R4, I just plain stopped looking to buy a Les Paul. It's that good. Everytime I pick it up, I get inspired. And my 2014 R7 is also great sounding. But I have an older 2010 R0 and it's also a great sounding Les Paul.

After I found the tonal nirvana with those three beauties, I stopped buying Les Pauls. I then got on a kick building or modding up Fender style guitars (Jaguar, Strat, Jazzmaster, and I'm currently doing up a Tele) and I can't tell you how much fun it is to lay down a rhythm track with one of the Fenders, and then lay down a fat lead tone with one of the Les Pauls!!!

Conclusion? With all the modern great guitars and parts out there it's a great time to buy or build guitars!
absolutely agree with all of the above!!
 

jb_abides

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Apr 6, 2005
Messages
3,058
Ditto. Custom Shop is doing great things. I am eyeing M2M / Murphy Lab in a year or so....

And let's not forget: Bozeman is still running strong in the wake of Ren's build-up, Memphis was finally hitting its stride under Mike Voltz's offerings and the Nashville transplant seems to be fired up, USA is now focused and Corp isn't all over the place a la Harley lifestyle branding or all affiliated spaces (Onkyo?) but investing in core capabilities: expanding Epi legacy, MESA good choice (don't ruin it!), Kramer reborn, etc.

As an aside: I acquired 2 LP Standards (2017, 2018) with Ultra Modern Weight Relief, asymmetrical slim compound neck, push-pulls, etc. in the last gasp of HJ that are stellar, even if you don't care for the specs. I understand why the T/HP but not a fan of HP (knobs no pup rings), for that I'll go elsewhere. I like how they moved the best of those features to the Modern Collection.

Everything's coming up roses. Pray for no black swans events!
 

Torshalla

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Sep 26, 2020
Messages
122
Went to a few stores in Tokyo recently and can safely say the new Murphy’s look absolutely incredible. The light age and heavy age particularly (not ultra light / ultra heavy) look equally good to any extremely expensive replica as I have ever seen if not better

There were a burst or 2 in stock and the murphys looked good enough to me to. also some well regarded replicas (twice or more the price of a Murphy lab) and the murphys looked more authentic !

Authentic looking Top with flecks: nailed
Colour: nailed
Fade: nailed
Nitro finish: nailed
Age work (light / heavy age, not ultra): perfectly executed

Gibson have never released incl murphys own work anything close to real authentic burst looking until now. I am so impressed with what they have done. It will start to kill the replica market and will probably damage the historic / bavarian makeover market, as a Murphy will be overall cheaper and they appear to do as good of a job.. maybe even better with some of the colours and fade, plus the top choice on some of the murphys are so spot on

Is this because the Tokyo market is better (access to the best of the best) ? I’ve not seen any in person in Europe yet

So far anyway, they are absolutely superb and I look forward to getting one in the future. I’d have loved to have brought one back to the UK if it wasn’t for the duty, as in tokyo they are about £1k cheaper RRP than UK which is bonkers…
I m off to Tokyo next week… any recommendations in terms of shops to visit? Would love to see these bursts / replicas and murphys you are referring to :)

Also, is it really difficult / expensive to bring one back? I guess buying a new ML there would be tax / duty free… then paying duty at home would cancel out?
 

Patek

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Dec 4, 2015
Messages
415
I m off to Tokyo next week… any recommendations in terms of shops to visit? Would love to see these bursts / replicas and murphys you are referring to :)

Also, is it really difficult / expensive to bring one back? I guess buying a new ML there would be tax / duty free… then paying duty at home would cancel out?
Tax free in Japan is 10% off. Add tax in Uk if caught / declared is 20%+ so yes cancels it out for me

For stores start with G club Tokyo on Mei dai dori street… huge selection of murphy lab LPs, about 30 in this one store. Plus dozens of other customshop LPs incl second hand, as well as 2 replicas in that store, bunch of vintage and a 1960 LP mint condition (£350,000). Must be like 100 les pauls in this store alone.

Then from there walk down this road and there are about 10 to 15 more guitar stores down towards the canal. Mostly used stores, but some new with more murphys and some more replicas and original vintage. Very cool ESP flagship custom store down here too, crazy Japanese guitars

This is one small section of the Tokyo guitar stores market. Dozen more in shinjuku and shebua. And scattered around the rest of the city

However my office was a short walk to Mei dai dori street so had all the time after work to enjoy just this section of the Tokyo guitar world

I’m still in awe now as I think back to how many incredible pieces were in stock to try out.
 

Torshalla

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Sep 26, 2020
Messages
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Thanks! Really appreciate the tip. I was planning to go to the Ochanomizu area anyway as it is not so far from my hotel, so it is perfect :)
Looking forward to seeing such a selection of Gibson Custom Shop and vintage… we don’t have that many to see in Stockholm lol
I am not sure about buying anything though, seems to be that i would have to check the guitar in on my flight home… so would need good packaging (same as for shipping)…
 

Patek

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Dec 4, 2015
Messages
415
Thanks! Really appreciate the tip. I was planning to go to the Ochanomizu area anyway as it is not so far from my hotel, so it is perfect :)
Looking forward to seeing such a selection of Gibson Custom Shop and vintage… we don’t have that many to see in Stockholm lol
I am not sure about buying anything though, seems to be that i would have to check the guitar in on my flight home… so would need good packaging (same as for shipping)…
flying business or first moving guitars I usually check in the case, and take the guitar on board in a soft case and keep it in the jacket rack. Never had an issue on emirates, BA or sing; but do double check in advance if you are allowed.
 

Torshalla

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Sep 26, 2020
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I m flying ANA and i wish my emplyoer paid for business or first haha… happy to get to go eco premium lol
 

Patek

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Dec 4, 2015
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ANA is good but probably don’t have a jacket closet in premium; presume they have in biz so perhaps u can ask. Particularly if the flight isn’t busy they may cut you some slack. Find out in advance though

Generally if you take a guitar on board in eco etc they’ll require you buy another seat for your instrument - that’s the normal practice, as it ain’t going in the overhead or under the seat
 

Torshalla

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Sep 26, 2020
Messages
122
Thanks, i will ask… i am afraid there aren’t that many flights and they are quite full.
Maybe another option would be to ship the guitar… or prepare to check it in
 

jb_abides

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Apr 6, 2005
Messages
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Do the forum a favor and document what you see with photos, and a visit thread, if so inclined!
 
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