I've been thinking about picking up a Paul for a while now. I have a Gibson SG '61 Reissue that I bought new in 1999 and has been in heavy use ever since. My #2 is a 1990 Ric 360/6 (jetglo) that i've owned for about 10 years now. I also have a Mex Tele that comes out every once in a while.
Anyways, over the past 6 months i've been doing a lot of reading and playing different pauls. I had been pretty set on getting a used Custom, but it would require me to sell some amps to fund the purchase.
In keeping an eye on craigslist for any decent guitars, I came across a 1995 Studio in wine red with a headstock crack repair (crack, not break). I'm not one for headstock repairs, but the $400 asking price had me intrigued. I went down to have a look at it. The repair was done professionally in 1996. I picked the guitar up unplugged, hit an E chord, and that was all I needed to hear. It resonates beautifully. After some careful looking over and negotiations, I handed over $320 and brought home a new-to-me guitar, complete with the Gibson hardshell case.
I know this guitar is a bottom of the barrel Paul in every sense of the term. But I don't know of any LP enthusiast that would pass up a $320 Gibson Les Paul with a hardshell. I figure it will be a nice stepping stone to something a bit more upscale in the future.
Here's a few pics...
This color is hard to photograph, as it's so dark. But here she is after a good cleaning.
I had originally assumed this was veneer over the back, as there aren't any seams to be found...
But in looking at the edges, it looks like the back may actually be a single piece of wood. Again, this is tough to photograph.
And of course, everyone wants to see the carnage. It took a fall when he leaned it up against an amp. He was a 15 year old kid at the time and the guitar was less than a year old. That had to hurt.
And, i'm going to put some cream appointments on order...I like this look better than the black stuff. This is what will be happenning to her aesthetically (this belongs to a forum member here):
I'll keep the electronics stock for now. But sooner or later I want to upgrade the garbage wiring in the control cavity. I'm partial to the 57 classics in my '61 RI, but i'll give the pickups a chance for a while and go from there.
Thanks for all the great info in here, BTW.