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Working Man's Guitar

OldStrummer

Active member
Joined
Sep 12, 2016
Messages
105
I don't post here much, and I confess to being somewhat confused (and baffled) by the whole "reissue" thing. Does Gibson not make new Les Pauls anymore? It seems there's a lot of "resting on one's laurels," if you catch my drift.

Which got me to thinking. I have two LPs; one I got for its collectibility (by the way, don't ever buy a guitar thinking it's a collector's item), the other I got because I wanted a "working man's guitar" and not a case queen. So, I present my lowly 1998 Les Paul Special SL. USA made (Nashville plant) in Heritage Cherry red with P-100 pups. I got it from a guy who used it as his regular gigging guitar in Texas. It "ain't purty," (no bindings or bling) but it looks, feels and sounds like a Les Paul. I have the original case too, with the plush lining, the cover flap and combination lock. The only thing I've replaced is the selector switch tab.


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OldStrummer

Active member
Joined
Sep 12, 2016
Messages
105
Looks great -- but those pickups look like humbuckers, not P-100s. Were they swapped out before you acquired the guitar?
Sorry, I listed the first spec I came across, which was one of the configurations. These are the original stock pickups. I think they are the 498T (bridge) and 490R (neck).
 

Big Al

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 24, 2002
Messages
14,231
Hmmm, I must have been imagining all those, many, many non reissue models from Gibson USA for the last 30yrs.?????
 

jrgtr42

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Joined
Mar 24, 2005
Messages
1,942
|Not quite sure what you mean by "new" models? There's been a Les Paul Standard for about as long as the Les |Paul has been a guitar, that's been updated regularly over the years.
As has the Custom, Junior, Special, etc.
Fairly recently there's also the Traditional, HP versions, Access, ES and so on, not to mention the signature models.
Yes, here we're a bunch of cork sniffers who think the Les Paul peaked in the '58 - '60 range with the |Burst, so we like to see how close a new guitar can get to those, and Gibson sees this, so they do the reissue series, (Personally I want to see a '52 RI with the trapeze tailpeice...)
But Like Al said, there;s tons of non-reissue models built.
 

Big Al

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 24, 2002
Messages
14,231
Personal, Recording, Deluxe, Artisen, Artist, Standard Lite, Classic M III, Firebrand, The Paul, The Les Paul, Custom Lite, Studio Lite, Studio, Doublecut, Longscale, Baritone, Princess, XP, Tribute, Pro, Signature, Class 5, Supreme, Ultima, Classic, Mahogany Worn, Faded, Mahogany Classic, Spotlight, Custom Classic, ........
 

jrgtr42

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 24, 2005
Messages
1,942
Personal, Recording, Deluxe, Artisen, Artist, Standard Lite, Classic M III, Firebrand, The Paul, The Les Paul, Custom Lite, Studio Lite, Studio, Doublecut, Longscale, Baritone, Princess, XP, Tribute, Pro, Signature, Class 5, Supreme, Ultima, Classic, Mahogany Worn, Faded, Mahogany Classic, Spotlight, Custom Classic, ........
Don't forget the Smartwood series, BFG, Gothics...
 

Big Al

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Joined
Apr 24, 2002
Messages
14,231
Don't forget the Smartwood series, BFG, Gothics...
Yup! I had another emergency surgery and had just gotten home after spending the weekend in hospital. Still on some heavy medication and am a little fuzzy. I kept thinking Exotic, but I knew that was wrong. I really liked those Smartwoods a lot and that was a great use of the Studio platform, imo. It suited the old hippy in me. The Studio is an EXCELLENT model and has always been a personal favorite of mine. I'd like to see a return to 90's build and incorporate N.American hardwoods like the classic USA combo of Maple and Walnut. Cherry, Ash, Alder as well as Mytlewood and Redwood could all be used to make a true USA Les Paul without tropical hardwoods or 1950's fetish indulgence. But maybe that's just the drugs and old hippy in me talking.

I'm suprised no one mentioned Gems!! I'm sure I've forgotten many others but it speaks directly to counter the op's notion that Gibson has rested on its 1950's laurels and neglected newer versions of its Les Pauls. The only true 50's stuff is Custom Shop. The USA line has mostly been modern versions. Right now it's restructure and rebuilding time.
 

jrgtr42

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 24, 2005
Messages
1,942
Yup! I had another emergency surgery and had just gotten home after spending the weekend in hospital. Still on some heavy medication and am a little fuzzy. I kept thinking Exotic, but I knew that was wrong. I really liked those Smartwoods a lot and that was a great use of the Studio platform, imo. It suited the old hippy in me. The Studio is an EXCELLENT model and has always been a personal favorite of mine. I'd like to see a return to 90's build and incorporate N.American hardwoods like the classic USA combo of Maple and Walnut. Cherry, Ash, Alder as well as Mytlewood and Redwood could all be used to make a true USA Les Paul without tropical hardwoods or 1950's fetish indulgence. But maybe that's just the drugs and old hippy in me talking.

I'm suprised no one mentioned Gems!! I'm sure I've forgotten many others but it speaks directly to counter the op's notion that Gibson has rested on its 1950's laurels and neglected newer versions of its Les Pauls. The only true 50's stuff is Custom Shop. The USA line has mostly been modern versions. Right now it's restructure and rebuilding time.
Sorry to hear about the surgery. Hope all is as well as could be hoped for, Al.
Yeah, I got to try a few of the smartwoods - I did like some of them, I wasn't as into the sound of others. I don't remember which is which though.
|I do agree that I wish that the manufacturers would experiment with more of the native and non-endangered woods that still sound good.
And that consumers would accept them. Have you been following the Fender announcement that they'd be phasing out Rosewood for Pao Ferro?
Another of my interests is wooden boats. There's similar discussions about the woods used there, traditional or not (though there's also the added issues of rot resistance and strength for something that's constantly wet and moving.)
 

Wise Guy

New member
Joined
Apr 3, 2021
Messages
19
I've been wanting to add one of these to my collection for awhile now. I'm not sure which I prefer, the flat slab top or the carved top.
 
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Big Al

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Apr 24, 2002
Messages
14,231
I've been wanting to add one of these to my collection for awhile now. I'm not sure which I prefer, the flat slab top or the contoured top.
About 10 yrs, maybe more ago I bought a then new bottom of the line carved top, an all mahogany Studio Worn Brown. I gigged with it non stop. I see them used at decent prices and it is a real gem.fwiw
 

Wise Guy

New member
Joined
Apr 3, 2021
Messages
19
About 10 yrs, maybe more ago I bought a then new bottom of the line carved top, an all mahogany Studio Worn Brown. I gigged with it non stop. I see them used at decent prices and it is a real gem.fwiw
I had something similar back in the 90's. Mine was a super bare bone LP with an all mahogany body, black plastics, dot inlays and a satin walnut-like finish. Purchased it up in MA for only $699. Very similar to todays Faded T's minus the maple. I had gotten rid of it due to it's 50's neck profile. Yes I was young and silly once and regret selling it...
 
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Big Al

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 24, 2002
Messages
14,231
I had something similar back in the 90's. Mine was a super bare bone LP with an all mahogany body, black plastics, dot inlays and a satin walnut-like finish. Purchased it up in MA for only $699. Very similar to todays Faded T's minus the maple. I had gotten rid of it due to it's 50's neck profile. Yes I was young and silly once and regret selling it...
Mine is all mahogany, carved top with crown inlays. It is very light due to its being chambered, but it gives it a neat tonality. The rounded 50's neck, though full, is very comfortable with reduced shoulders and overall smaller profile compared to Custom Shop R9. A plus for me.

I got it to see how good the cheapist version would be and found an excellent feeling and sounding guitar. Gotta love it.
 

El Gringo

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Joined
Apr 8, 2015
Messages
3,968
Yup! I had another emergency surgery and had just gotten home after spending the weekend in hospital. Still on some heavy medication and am a little fuzzy. I kept thinking Exotic, but I knew that was wrong. I really liked those Smartwoods a lot and that was a great use of the Studio platform, imo. It suited the old hippy in me. The Studio is an EXCELLENT model and has always been a personal favorite of mine. I'd like to see a return to 90's build and incorporate N.American hardwoods like the classic USA combo of Maple and Walnut. Cherry, Ash, Alder as well as Mytlewood and Redwood could all be used to make a true USA Les Paul without tropical hardwoods or 1950's fetish indulgence. But maybe that's just the drugs and old hippy in me talking.

I'm suprised no one mentioned Gems!! I'm sure I've forgotten many others but it speaks directly to counter the op's notion that Gibson has rested on its 1950's laurels and neglected newer versions of its Les Pauls. The only true 50's stuff is Custom Shop. The USA line has mostly been modern versions. Right now it's restructure and rebuilding time.
Maybe we should direct the OP to Henry J's creations ? For instance the Firebird X ? Henry was quite the visionary ? As in way ahead of his time .
 

Amp360

Active member
Joined
Feb 16, 2012
Messages
226
When I got hired to do my first big tour I didn't have any money. I went to Guitar Center and bought two faded SG models. I think one may have been used. They were two of the best sounding SGs I've ever owned. I ended up painting one of them white when the finish wore off.

When Gibson tried to innovate (Firebird X, Smartwood, Push Pull series, etc...) people freak out then they complain that they rest on their laurels.

My guess is they make what sells.
 

ch willie

Active member
Joined
Jun 7, 2007
Messages
865
I think that part of what's driving Old Strummer's original post is that Gibson has so many variants of their instruments now, and the Standards are not discussed as much as the Historics, CSs, and all the newer types. He's got an oldish Gibson archtop that is so beautiful it will make you GAS bad.
 
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