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Unread 09-30-2010, 01:01 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Les Paul Traditional vs 2008 Standard.

I'm looking to either buy a Gibson Traditional or Standard Les Paul. The Traditional is weight relieved and the Standard is chambered. What one do you think is better? I've been told that chambering is very good and it has improved sustain and is easier to play etc. I play classic rock, hard rock...zeppelin, KISS, Ace Frehley, ACDC etc

What one would you buy and what are your reasons for it?
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Unread 09-30-2010, 03:55 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Les Paul Traditional vs 2008 Standard.

In the local music shop there were two les Pauls I was interested in, one a Standard, the other a Traditional (both leftys). I tried both of them, and came to the conclusion that the Standard played better, and the Burstbucker Pros in the Standard were more powerful, and had a clearer and sweeter tone. The Standard had a far nicer top, and overall was the far better guitar. I ended up getting the Standard, and have been impressed also with the Grover locking tuners.

That was my experience of comparing the two in recent weeks.



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Unread 09-30-2010, 03:59 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Les Paul Traditional vs 2008 Standard.

I went for the Traditional because I liked the neck profile, and felt that some of the Standard's features were a bit gimmicky. I have nothing against the chambering though; having owned a chambered Studio I would happily buy another. A lighter guitar is certainly more comfortable to play for a long period. The neck tenon I don't feel is an issue either way. You either have a good slab of wood or you don't. Luckily for me my short tenon Trad is a good slab. If you can, try 'em both. Maybe hard in NZ I know, but the Auckland Rockshop should carry both in stock.

If you wanted to buy used, there are plenty of pre-chambered Standards on Trademe right now. All weight relieved, just like the Traditional.

Les Paul Standard - Bargain!!! for sale - TradeMe.co.nz - New Zealand

Gibson les paul standard for sale - TradeMe.co.nz - New Zealand

Any of these guitars will give you the sounds you are looking for, provided you pair them up with the right amp.
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Unread 09-30-2010, 05:09 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Les Paul Traditional vs 2008 Standard.

I tried out a traditional and a standard in my local store. I bought the standard. I guess it's a matter of personal choice, but for me the standard sounded better and I preferred the neck profile.
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Unread 09-30-2010, 05:45 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Les Paul Traditional vs 2008 Standard.

They are so different that you really have to try them yourself. I have had the 2008 standard for a couple of years and its the guitar I play most of the time vs. my R8 (which is also an amazing guitar). I personally don't think that the traditional is a good value at the moment when you can get a slightly used historic for the same price. Can't say the same for a chambered LP tho.
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Unread 09-30-2010, 05:50 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Les Paul Traditional vs 2008 Standard.

I tried a Standard, a Traditional Pro and a used Traditional at my local GC when I was looking...

I did really like the standard. I liked the asymmetrical neck a lot actually. The chambered one I tried wasn't a super light guitar, but I also have no problem with chambering. The color and top were nice, fit and finish good. The pickups sounded very Les Paul like. oh, I liked the locking output too... I know some guys don't care for it, but it seemed like a well thought feature to me.

Next, I tried the Traditional Pro. I found the neck on the thin side... not unplayable, just not to my taste exactly. If I had picked it up and no other, I doubt I would have found any issue with it. The top was a beautiful plain top, but they didn't have it in a color I wanted... only Heritage Cherry (sorry, not my cup of tea). I tried the coil taps and found it a sound I doubt I would use all that often... it was kind of like almost a Les Paul or leaning towards a Fender sound... I already have several Fenders so it didn't sway me much. I didn't like the Burstbucker in the bridge....

Then the sales guy says, hey, I have this Traditional in Iced Tea Burst. It had been bought at that store and then returned about six months later on a trade-in for some other gear. I liked it right off. The bigger neck was very nice. The Pickups were probably what really sold me though. They are very sweet and very classic rock sounding. I tried some Allman Brothers, ZZ Top, Led Zeppelin and it was all there. Played some of my typical BB and Albert inspired Blues licks and they were there too.... The fact that it was used and I got it for almost a grand less than the Standard made it an easy choice.

So, bottom line is I liked the Standard a lot but not a grand more lot... IF money had been no object, probably would have had a Standard in Honey Burst on order instead of putting the Traditional on layaway.

I have zero regrets. I love my Les Paul. I think it sounds just like a Les Paul is supposed to and it plays beautifully. I compared it the other night to a buddy's Custom Shop 54 Goldtop with the wrap around bridge and P-90's. They feel very similar, the P-90's have just a little bit different sound. They compare actually pretty well. My buddy wasn't happy with how well they compare actually. I was! LOL

I don't think you can go wrong with either the new Standard or a Traditional. I'd say you have to play them yourself, if you can.
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Unread 09-30-2010, 07:06 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Les Paul Traditional vs 2008 Standard.

I play lots of KISS and other classic rock and I prefer the traditional plus. The thicker neck is not an issue. The pickups should not be the deciding point of either guitar, they can be replaced. Since I was looking for Ace's tone, I pulled out the 57 classics (which sounded fine) and replaced with dimarzio super distortions. I sold the 57 classics which paid for the super D's. The tops on the traditionals look just as good as the standard other than the pickguard being attached (I took mine off).
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Unread 09-30-2010, 07:06 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Les Paul Traditional vs 2008 Standard.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Graemewoodman View Post
I'm looking to either buy a Gibson Traditional or Standard Les Paul. The Traditional is weight relieved and the Standard is chambered. What one do you think is better? I've been told that chambering is very good and it has improved sustain and is easier to play etc. I play classic rock, hard rock...zeppelin, KISS, Ace Frehley, ACDC etc

What one would you buy and what are your reasons for it?
Any Les Paul is great for Rock that's what they are famous for
Id forget about the whole chambered issues and get the one that plays better for you........
both are killer guitars.......
Unless you are a collector or are a real expert any Gibson Les Paul that feels good to you is the right choice..........

BTW Vasko I love the colour and flamin on that lefty...Its a real beauty!
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Unread 09-30-2010, 07:18 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Les Paul Traditional vs 2008 Standard.

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i tried out a traditional and a standard in my local store. I bought the standard. I guess it's a matter of personal choice, but for me the standard sounded better and i preferred the neck profile.
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Unread 09-30-2010, 04:30 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Les Paul Traditional vs 2008 Standard.

Which finish is better?
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Unread 09-30-2010, 04:32 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Les Paul Traditional vs 2008 Standard.

There is absolutely no consistent difference between the finishes. They all vary.
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Unread 09-30-2010, 04:36 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Les Paul Traditional vs 2008 Standard.

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There is absolutely no consistent difference between the finishes. They all vary.
+1
But FYI, this is my 08 Standard:
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Unread 09-30-2010, 06:34 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Les Paul Traditional vs 2008 Standard.

I thought the Standard was not worth the extra $300 over the Traditional for what I wanted. Locking tuners on a Les Paul (or any non-tremolo guitar) are somewhat redundant. Most of the Standards were 2-piece bodies which horrified me while my Trad was a 1-piece. I like Classic 57s and the neck profile is great.
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Unread 09-30-2010, 07:59 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Les Paul Traditional vs 2008 Standard.

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I thought the Standard was not worth the extra $300 over the Traditional for what I wanted.
True that! I chose the standard because there werent any Traditionals around here, and i got the standard for the price of a traditional.

Try both if you can, see which neck profile suits you better, the one found in the standard '08 compared to my 50's neck SG is really great, not slim not too chunky.

The only thing i dislike about the traditional are the Kluson tuners!! God bless Grovers, specially kidney grovers!
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Unread 09-30-2010, 09:11 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Les Paul Traditional vs 2008 Standard.

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+1
But FYI, this is my 08 Standard:
Wow....very nice!
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Unread 10-01-2010, 09:22 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Re: Les Paul Traditional vs 2008 Standard.

Don't you hate it when you reply to a thread in a forum and then accidentally hit the back space and your browser backs out, and before you know it, the 3 paragraphs that you wrote mysteriously disappears into cyber hell. That's what happened last night when I started to reply to this thread...oh well...whatcha gonna do?

Anyway...I wrote up a pretty long reply last night because I've owned both...albeit, one wasn't for very long..and actually, the one that I didn't have for long was a GC exclusive "Traditional Pro"...but it was pretty similar to the Traditional...so I'll comment anyway.

I've always been a strat player (or strat style I should say)...but about a year and a half ago, I made up my mind...no guitar collection is complete without a Les Paul. So I did my homework (to the best of my ability), and then went shopping. Checked out lots of stores, and it just so happened that the GC in Springfield, NJ had the biggest selection at the time (of course, that may have changed now). Anyway...I played all three...a Traditional, Traditional Pro, and a Standard. I also played a few customs, and if I would've had the extra grand/grand and a half, I'd have picked one of those up instead...so be it...I'm not poor, but I'm not made of money either...and considering this would be the first LP for me, I wanted high quality, but didn't demand the highest quality.
When I was done, after spending like 2 hours there, I brought home the Traditional Pro. It was the cheapest of the three (in heritage cherry burst)...and it was pretty heavy, not being chambered. I didn't mind the flatter neck...matter of fact, I kinda liked it. But that's where the fun stopped. When I got home, the thing just wouldn't stay in tune, no matter what I did..and it wasn't intonated either. So I brought it back, and they did a complete setup. Brought it home again and same thing. So I lubed the nut, made sure all the tuners looked good and were tight, etc...still same problem. My LP experience was not starting out well. So took it back again...they replaced the nut, did another setup (all on the house of course)...and when that second trip to GC didn't work out, I gave up. I took it back (was still in the 30 day return period) and told them, I want another one..I was thinking of just getting another PRS...cause I love my CE 22. At that point, the same guy who sold me the first LP told me to give the Standard another try. Well, I really liked it this time. I liked the finished back (as opposed to the satin on the Trad. Pro). I liked that it was lighter...and the neck grew on me a little...right there in the store. So I said f-it...I'll just pay a couple hundred more and get the Standard.
I couldn't be happier with my decision. This guitar is the cream of the crop in my collection (which is all top quality, USA-made strats, jackson/charvels, etc) Tuning stability is still a little iffy with this thing...but since I used a little graphite (from a pencil) on the nut, it's been much better. I'm getting more and more used to this neck....the lightness did nothing to help or hurt the tone compared to the Trad. Pro..of course, these are two separate guitars with quite a few differences, so it's hard to compare tone.
In any event, I couldn't recommend a standard more. It's just a great guitar. Definitely not cheap...but what kind of real high quality instrument is? I'd still love to own a custom one day. Regardless of whether or not I do, this cherry burst Standard will always remain in my collection. I guess that's the highest compliment I can pay.
Hope this long post helps with your decision...and please don't take it as I'm bashing the Traditional (or Trad. Pro)...I think I just had bad luck with the one I bought. Regardless..I like the standard better...it works better for me.
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Unread 10-01-2010, 04:30 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Re: Les Paul Traditional vs 2008 Standard.

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the one that I didn't have for long was a GC exclusive "Traditional Pro"
Quote:
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I personally don't think that the traditional is a good value at the moment when you can get a slightly used historic for the same price.
This is NZ though guys, we don't get Trad Pros here, and you'd certainly struggle to find a used Historic, especially at a price anywhere close to a USA model.

Of course there is always the option of buying online, but the OP may not be willing to spend that kind of money without trying first, or want to run the risk of being shafted by NZ customs when it arrives.
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Unread 10-01-2010, 04:43 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Re: Les Paul Traditional vs 2008 Standard.

I've never played a traditional but I own an '08 STD and I love it. Done some upgrades (my sig) and it's just that much better.

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Unread 10-01-2010, 05:43 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Re: Les Paul Traditional vs 2008 Standard.

Love everything about the 08 standard even the chambers,but i hate those slim necks.You can take wood off a really fat neck but you cant put wood on!
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Unread 10-01-2010, 05:58 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Re: Les Paul Traditional vs 2008 Standard.

I tried of both of these guitars and walked away vastly preferring the standard.

But it's really a question of subjective things, like - do you like the pickguard? Do you like the thicker neck? Which pickups do you prefer?

There isn't a "Right answer" here, so don't look for one. Play 'em both and buy the one that you like better. That's the right answer for you.
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Unread 10-01-2010, 06:18 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Re: Les Paul Traditional vs 2008 Standard.

do i like the pickgaurd? That helped you choose the better one?
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Unread 10-01-2010, 08:27 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Re: Les Paul Traditional vs 2008 Standard.

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Love everything about the 08 standard even the chambers,but i hate those slim necks.You can take wood off a really fat neck but you cant put wood on!
Really? I found the necks on all the 08's I tried massive... I've heard that the asymmetrical necks are about halfway between a 50's and 60's in thickness. I find the neck on my 2010 Standard comfortable, but if it were any thicker, I'd be damn near unplayable. Do they really vary THAT much?
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Unread 10-02-2010, 09:02 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Re: Les Paul Traditional vs 2008 Standard.

StANDARD BABY! I played the traditional and the standard and its just hands down to the standard! PS: I think the standard i played sounded a bit better then the R8 although the R8's finish is amazin!
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Unread 10-03-2010, 01:07 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Re: Les Paul Traditional vs 2008 Standard.

I bought my Gold Top Standard new last year.

I adore the chambered body and the assymetrical neck!

After one year, the Nutrik jack is starting to intermittantly blip in an out. Replacing it with normal jack. Probably will need mods to make it work. POS.

Locking tuners. I normally like locking tuners but these seem to be more of a PIA to use. Jury is out, but I am VERY temped to replace them with normal Grovers.

Pickups are a bit bright and stronger than I prefer but I also like them pretty well. Have not completely decided yet, may go with a change. Certainly not a deal breaker.

Volume and tone controls will be upgraded when I do the jack. Not as adjustable/usable as I like. Thinking about the RS Guitarworks modern setup. Hoping it will bring the best out of the pups and make a change unnecessary.

Nut, total crap. I am a bender and it is constantly out of tune. Gonna have my luthier guy fix it. Why have I lived with it this way for a year? Well, maybe it is not necessary but I try and let a guitar settle in for a year in its new life before I spend money on fret levels and nuts. I have had new guitars setup in the past and had them "walk" around and then had to do it again. So I have adopted this policy over the years.

Frets - another set up item. When the nut is redone, I will have the fret level and frets crowned to get rid of the square, catchy fret feel.

Tone pros locking bridge and tailpiece - this I like a lot. Once set, I lock it ito place and don't have to touch it. Very nice.

Fit and finish is fabulous. So the fact that I dig the chambering, neck shape, fit and finish and locking bridge and tail piece I think I made the right choice. I would have rather had the PU, electronics, Jack plate and tuners of the traditional, but these are all fixable on this instrument. I have never owned a guitar that did not require a professional setup to my tastes so fret level, recrown and nut would have had to be done on any LP I chose.

Just go for the neck, weight and overall vibe of the guitar and the rest is workable!!
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Unread 10-04-2010, 02:24 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Re: Les Paul Traditional vs 2008 Standard.

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The only thing i dislike about the traditional are the Kluson tuners!! God bless Grovers, specially kidney grovers!
Nothing stopping anyone from swapping the Klusons out for the Grover Kidneys. If I buy a Traditional as my third Les Paul, I'd probably swap to the Grover Kidneys. Not that the Klusons are terrible; I have them on both my Studio and Classic Antique.
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Unread 10-04-2010, 05:23 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Re: Les Paul Traditional vs 2008 Standard.

I would choose Traditional..Older standards are better than the new ones..Trads are more Les Paul sounding...Maybe Gibson is trying ta make a new standard for the new generation but for me, i prefer old school...The real Gibson Les Paul sound!
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Unread 10-06-2010, 12:21 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Re: Les Paul Traditional vs 2008 Standard.

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Older standards are better than the new ones..Trads are more Les Paul sounding...
I have both an '07 Standard (chambered) and an '87 Standard (i.e. the ORIGINAL Traditional) and I don't think there's anything more "Les Paul sounding" about one over the other.

This whole knee-jerk 'older is better' thing that's all over the forums is getting... 'old'
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Unread 10-06-2010, 01:04 AM   #28 (permalink)
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Re: Les Paul Traditional vs 2008 Standard.

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I would choose Traditional..Older standards are better than the new ones..Trads are more Les Paul sounding...Maybe Gibson is trying ta make a new standard for the new generation but for me, i prefer old school...The real Gibson Les Paul sound!
What cracks me up about this is that the Trads are really based on the design choices made in the '80s.

Nothing wrong with that, but back in the '80s everyone was talking about how much those design choices all sucked.

I like the 57 Classics. I'm not sold on the locking jack. But I prefer the chambering and asymmetrical neck ... it's one of the to each his own things.

But if you want "the real Gibson Les Paul Sound" let's not pretend the Traditional is a '57 RI.
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Unread 10-06-2010, 05:19 AM   #29 (permalink)
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Re: Les Paul Traditional vs 2008 Standard.

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What cracks me up about this is that the Trads are really based on the design choices made in the '80s.

Nothing wrong with that, but back in the '80s everyone was talking about how much those design choices all sucked.

I like the 57 Classics. I'm not sold on the locking jack. But I prefer the chambering and asymmetrical neck ... it's one of the to each his own things.

But if you want "the real Gibson Les Paul Sound" let's not pretend the Traditional is a '57 RI.
And so the corksniffing begins...

Seriously, the Trad sounds like a Les Paul should. I call bullshit on anyone who claims to be able to hear the difference that 9 weight relief holes and a tenon's length make. Especially given the natural discrepancies between two different pieces of wood. A good guitar is a good guitar.

Lots of great music was recorded on 80's and 90's spec Standards. And I don't believe for a second that every musician spent the 80's complaining about the spec's of their Les Pauls. I think most of them just got on with the job and made music.
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Unread 10-06-2010, 11:10 AM   #30 (permalink)
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Re: Les Paul Traditional vs 2008 Standard.

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Originally Posted by Hotspur View Post

But if you want "the real Gibson Les Paul Sound" let's not pretend the Traditional is a '57 RI.
No one is saying that Traditionals are '57 RIs..Though its the closest vintage vibe compared to the new Standards...Besides, you can not fool yourself of what you hear and feel..Nothing against the new Standards, I just prefer the vibe of Trads..
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