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Question from a newby!

Giblinks

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Hopefully this isn't too dumb a question from a complete LP newby.

I am primarily a banjo player (ouch) but have played acoustic guitar for a long time. I have also collected instruments for many years and my only electric guitar is a 1964 Fender Telecaster, all original, in pristine condition. I mention this, as I have owned it over 30 years, and since I really do not play electric it has literally sat in the case all this time. I really do not need to be sitting on a guitar this expensive that I do not play. Before long I plan on selling the guitar (have a friend that is interested in buying) and I thought it would be fun to buy a Les Paul that I would play regularly and really learn to play an electric like it should be played. I was at the Asheville Guitar show this weekend and saw many nice (to me anyway) sunburst Les Pauls, most with the curly Maple tops ..... ranging mostly from about $1500 to $5000. I did not pay attention to all of the features that made one more expensive than the other but assume it was date of manufacture or "standard", "custom",, "studio", etc. or whatever designation to define the features. So my question is ...... is there a rule of thumb on what year or era that one Les Paul is better than the other or any year or era to avoid. Is there a step, for instance above say the $1500 guitars (guessing they were all the same model and close to same year) that is significant enough to justify the extra money? Thanks in advance for any advice!
 

Any Name You Wish

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If you want a sunburst, then that would be a Standard. Now you can get a very expensive "Custom Shop" standard, or you can get the regular "Original Collection" which is one grade down from Custom Shop, or you can get a "Modern" which is one more step down, or you can get an "Epiphone" model which is even one more step down and made in Asia. Generally you get what you pay for. If you get a used one, then the newer the better generally speaking until you get all the way back to the 1960's and those are super expensive.
 

Giblinks

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If you want a sunburst, then that would be a Standard. Now you can get a very expensive "Custom Shop" standard, or you can get the regular "Original Collection" which is one grade down from Custom Shop, or you can get a "Modern" which is one more step down, or you can get an "Epiphone" model which is even one more step down and made in Asia. Generally you get what you pay for. If you get a used one, then the newer the better generally speaking until you get all the way back to the 1960's and those are super expensive.
Thank you so much. First, I am not interested in an Epiphone, and am familiar with as far as their acoustics. Also familiar with the outrageous prices on the early 50's and 60's, so those are out. It sounds like the "Original Collection" or the "Modern" may be more like what I would be interested in. I don't mind spending more money if I ever sell and think that it would be easier to sell and get most of my money back.
 

ADP

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You want a Gibson Custom Shop "R8" 1958 Les Paul Standard Reissue. Get one that just looks like it's right, and try to pay $3200 or so. That's the best Sunburst experience for the money, in my opinion.
 

Giblinks

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You want a Gibson Custom Shop "R8" 1958 Les Paul Standard Reissue. Get one that just looks like it's right, and try to pay $3200 or so. That's the best Sunburst experience for the money, in my opinion.
Thanks ……. That is exactly the kind of information I was looking for. I’ll be on the look out for one.
 
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Giblinks

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You want a Gibson Custom Shop "R8" 1958 Les Paul Standard Reissue. Get one that just looks like it's right, and try to pay $3200 or so. That's the best Sunburst experience for the money, in my opinion.
Found a bunch today from about $3699 to around $5200 for new ones. I’m in no hurry, so I think I’ll just keep looking until I find the right one.
 

Jethro Rocker

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You also need to try different necks. I for one like slimmer necks so I like a 60s neck, not a 58 fat neck. You may find another model in there you like too. See if you find the difference between the higher end and medium end LPs worth it.
 

jb_abides

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You also need to try different necks. I for one like slimmer necks so I like a 60s neck, not a 58 fat neck. You may find another model in there you like too. See if you find the difference between the higher end and medium end LPs worth it.

+1

Locking in with the 'right' or favored profile for your hand and style is the most essential aspect of loving a Gibson. I too favor slimmer (60s) but adapt well enough to more vintage-y (50s) when the shoulders fall off well...

Custom Shop / USA
R0 / 60s SlimTaper
R9 / 50s Rounded C
R8 / 50s Beefy C

Or for CS: more outliers like the R7 which I find to have a Soft-V at least in older years, or true 'baseball bat' ones as are often found on R4/R6 models. Corresponding profiles on USA models are not generally readily available...

Then look at overall feel, tone and wood resonance, and appearance to taste. Everything else is fungible with modification and money.
 

ADP

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Start with the R8 - do not think about too much more than that. You'll love it. You'll never lose the value if you're into it right.

I have a bunch of Les Paul's, thin necks, thick necks, v necks. In my opinion that is all secondary to the overall completeness of the guitar. I can play any size neck to get the sound required from a specific guitar.

The R8 is the best Cherry Sunburst Les Paul Standard experience for the money. It is as simple as that. They have been made with every shaped neck.
 

Giblinks

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Start with the R8 - do not think about too much more than that. You'll love it. You'll never lose the value if you're into it right.

I have a bunch of Les Paul's, thin necks, thick necks, v necks. In my opinion that is all secondary to the overall completeness of the guitar. I can play any size neck to get the sound required from a specific guitar.

The R8 is the best Cherry Sunburst Les Paul Standard experience for the money. It is as simple as that. They have been made with every shaped neck.
My years of collecting and playing acoustic guitars and banjos, I have never been real particular about neck sizes and seem to adapt pretty quickly, so I don't think the neck size will be a problem. I have two Martin 00=18's, one from 1946 and one from 1954 with significantly different necks (the '54 being smaller). I can sure tell the difference, but after a few minutes of playing either is fine. Thanks again for the very hekpful comments.
 

Giblinks

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You have excellent taste in acoustic guitars!
Thanks ……. both are in excellent condition and have just had their necks reset by John Arnold. I had an all original 1930 OM-18 that I sold a couple of years ago …….. and still regret selling.
 

DrewB

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Thanks ……. both are in excellent condition and have just had their necks reset by John Arnold. I had an all original 1930 OM-18 that I sold a couple of years ago …….. and still regret selling.
Curvy girls are the best. Out of seven acoustics in my house, not a single Dreadnought.
 

Jethro Rocker

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Start with the R8 - do not think about too much more than that. You'll love it. You'll never lose the value if you're into it right.

I have a bunch of Les Paul's, thin necks, thick necks, v necks. In my opinion that is all secondary to the overall completeness of the guitar. I can play any size neck to get the sound required from a specific guitar.

The R8 is the best Cherry Sunburst Les Paul Standard experience for the money. It is as simple as that. They have been made with every shaped neck.
So the R8, regardless of neck, is better than the R9 or R0 somehow? Are they not all made to the same exacting standards?
Not everyone likes baseball bat necks so I pointed this out to OP.
 

ADP

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So the R8, regardless of neck, is better than the R9 or R0 somehow? Are they not all made to the same exacting standards?
Not everyone likes baseball bat necks so I pointed this out to OP.
Yes. They are made the same. That's why an "R8” at $3200 is the best Sunburst experience for the money. Correct. If you can find an "R9” or ”R0” (meaning ’59 Reissue and '60 Reissue) for the same price, more power to you. As they are basically all the same and have exceptions and variants to be found in every spec imaginable. Just keep looking til you find it.
 

Jethro Rocker

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Yes. They are made the same. That's why an "R8” at $3200 is the best Sunburst experience for the money. Correct. If you can find an "R9” or ”R0” (meaning ’59 Reissue and '60 Reissue) for the same price, more power to you. As they are basically all the same and have exceptions and variants to be found in every spec imaginable. Just keep looking til you find it.
Got it. Partly price.
I got a TH Wildwood R0 late in 2022. Gorgeous guitar. Expensive tho.
 

ADP

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Got it. Partly price.
I got a TH Wildwood R0 late in 2022. Gorgeous guitar. Expensive tho.
I paid $2700 for a Wildwood "Benchmark" Series at Guitar Center back in 2019. It was an amazing guitar and only weighed 7.5lbs. It's always price. I can't enjoy playing a guitar I couldn't immediately sell at a pawn shop for any less than what I paid. There's a lot of Les Paul's out there, just be patient and The One will pop up.
 

Jethro Rocker

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I paid $2700 for a Wildwood "Benchmark" Series at Guitar Center back in 2019. It was an amazing guitar and only weighed 7.5lbs. It's always price. I can't enjoy playing a guitar I couldn't immediately sell at a pawn shop for any less than what I paid. There's a lot of Les Paul's out there, just be patient and The One will pop up.
Hey I paid for it but it's the one!! I absolutely love it. I look at guitars as we only have limited time here, enjoy it while you can! Depends on one's budget as well.
Cheers.
 

ADP

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Hey I paid for it but it's the one!! I absolutely love it. I look at guitars as we only have limited time here, enjoy it while you can! Depends on one's budget as well.
Cheers.
Over a phone call I once heard a very key piece of advice and overall wisdom "Son, I've been buying and selling guitars my whole life and I always said 'I had the one.' Well now I'm sitting in my couch looking around at all of the best, and I know somewhere out there is a better one."
It was sound advice, as I'm looking around at the same scene.

It's fun to keep going until you get a real Les Paul. From the 50's. That's the goal. And be into it for $1500 at the end of it all. Or something like that. It's hardly Rock N Roll to drop anywhere near $200k on a guitar you want to enjoy. Who is anyone kidding?

My point is it has never depended on budget in my experience. It has depended on diligent search efforts and expert negotiating. Everything is worth exactly how much someone will take for it. An R8 for $3200 is a reasonable goal that one can achieve within a couple weeks or less of hard searching. Make offers.
 

LPR6

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Thanks ……. both are in excellent condition and have just had their necks reset by John Arnold. I had an all original 1930 OM-18 that I sold a couple of years ago …….. and still regret selling.
I’d regret selling a 64 Telecaster as well. If you were playing it you wouldn’t be sitting on a guitar you don’t play. You say want to play more electric, just sayin’… Makes no sense to sell a Tele so that you can buy a $5000 Les Paul so you can see if you like playing electric. End of rant.
 
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