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Unread 04-01-2008, 10:40 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Sought after opinion(s) on Gibson Les Paul Smart Wood Series?

HI

I'm looking at a Gibson Les Paul Smartwood series and I was wondering if I could get opinion from you very knowledgeable people out there.
A guy is selling the guitar for NZ$2000 ($1,733.43 USD). I've seen the photos the guitar is in mint condition. I'm not sure what year it is. I'm yet to talk to the guy.
Here are the specs:

Deluxe Grover Tuners
Gold Hardware
Neck/Profile- 60's slim taper
Scale/Nut Width- 243/4"/111/16"
Bridge/Tailpiece- Tune-o-matic/Stopbar
Hardware- Gold
Pickups-
(Rhythm): 490R Alnico magnet humbucker
(Treble): 498T Alnico magnet humbucker
Controls- Two volume, two tone, three-way switch

Thanks for your help.
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Unread 04-01-2008, 11:20 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Sought after opinion(s) on Gibson Les Paul Smart Wood Series?

Even if its a smart wood standard, that seems hight price wise to me, but for the studio version a rip off. If you liked the look and feel I'd would be worth it for a standard.
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Unread 04-02-2008, 01:57 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Sought after opinion(s) on Gibson Les Paul Smart Wood Series?

They are great guitars, and something I've always wanted to own, but that seems pricey to me.

There's one for sale here in Calgary for $850.

Gibson Les Paul Smartwood 2002, w/OHSC and certificate - Calgary Musical Instruments For Sale - Kijiji Calgary
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Unread 04-02-2008, 02:49 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Sought after opinion(s) on Gibson Les Paul Smart Wood Series?

Yeah, theres one thats been on sale for a quite a while near me at about £500, which is a Studio. So i guess if it's a studio model, it can be had for cheaper.
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Unread 04-02-2008, 05:24 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Sought after opinion(s) on Gibson Les Paul Smart Wood Series?

It doesn't say Studio or Standard on the headstock... Just 'Smart Wood'. The guy who advertised it says it retails here in NZ at NZ$4000 ($3,145.74 USD)!
It looks more like a Standard than a Studio. The knobs are Standard ones, the top is a different wood tone from the body and there's the Smart Wood stamp engraved at the bottom of the headstock on the same side as the serial number.
So you guys reckon it's too much? Bear in mind that US guitars cost a lot more outside the US. Plus NZ being in the middle of the Pacific ocean with the closest neighbours behing Aussie, Fiji and New Caledonia, all between 2.5 and three hours away by plane. So we probably pay major importation fees.
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Unread 04-02-2008, 06:51 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Sought after opinion(s) on Gibson Les Paul Smart Wood Series?

The whole smartwood thing was set up to use ecologically sound woods. Woods from trees that arent endangered or somesuch...

It sounds good, but as I understand it they didnt sell great, and the series has been stopped. In the end, its a nice looking Studio. Though Im not a fan of gold hardware. In any case... pick it up if its good to you.

I wouldnt expect it to go up in value. But if it seems good to you... go for it.

People are pooh poohing the price, but I dont know what Gibsons go for in NZ. Id price it against other NZ Studios before saying if its high or low.
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Unread 04-02-2008, 10:27 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Sought after opinion(s) on Gibson Les Paul Smart Wood Series?

The smartwood Standard is just mahogany and maple, but from protected sources. The Studio has all sorts of different tops available.

If it sounds good, I'd buy it. Don't expect it to be worth anything more in a few years though. If anything it will depreciate. From a players perspective its a fine guitar, but if you're a collector, or looking for an investment guitar, then nah.
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Unread 04-02-2008, 10:50 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Sought after opinion(s) on Gibson Les Paul Smart Wood Series?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LoKi View Post
The smartwood Standard is just mahogany and maple, but from protected sources. The Studio has all sorts of different tops available.

If it sounds good, I'd buy it. Don't expect it to be worth anything more in a few years though. If anything it will depreciate. From a players perspective its a fine guitar, but if you're a collector, or looking for an investment guitar, then nah.
I think the standards hold their value fine from what I have seen price wise. Smartwood stardards are a solid $1500 when I see them from time to time. They aren't of the sought after standards or classics from certain choice years or anything like that, but they are not common. I thihk if you can get the standard for that pice its worth it - they are attractive buys. I think the classic antique zebrawood is a better natural wood guitar in appearance and for the money. The older studio ash with an ebony fingerboard is kind of nice as well. Most of the tops of the smart woods seem kinda pieced together to me, or boring looking.
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Unread 04-02-2008, 11:40 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Sought after opinion(s) on Gibson Les Paul Smart Wood Series?

I have a SmartWood Exotic - Peroba top and Curupay fretboard, and I absolutely love it. If I lost it or it was stolen I would pay close to that to get it back. I'd probably go as high as 1250 or so, but that's in the US. I think the price is fair, and I disagree that it will go down in value. I don't think ANY LP will depreciate in value, unless it's damaged or modified. In fact, I expect them to go up, since they were discontinued. Granted, they're not the most sought after LP's, but they are cool, and mine plays and looks great. I think it's beautiful, but I'm sorta biased... LOL

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Unread 04-02-2008, 03:23 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Sought after opinion(s) on Gibson Les Paul Smart Wood Series?

61276610_full on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Here's a link with a few pics of the guitar. I don't know if it's a Studio. Looks more like a Standard to me... What do you guys think?
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Unread 04-02-2008, 06:04 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Sought after opinion(s) on Gibson Les Paul Smart Wood Series?

You didn’t really say why you wanted a “Smartwood” guitar.
If it is because you feel that is ecologically responsible, please
understand that all Gibson guitars made in the last few years
are “Smartwood” guitars. The branding never really caught
on the way Gibson thought it would, so it isn’t promoted as
such, but every guitar Gibson makes is made from Rainforest
Alliance Certified Wood. Therefore they are all made to the
“Smartwood” standards. If you want one because of the unusual,
and often very beautiful woods used, then the price seems to me
to be reasonable, as you aren’t likely to see them again for a few
years.
The link below is to an article about Gibson Smartwood guitars


Modern Woodworking
^^^^^^^^^
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Unread 04-02-2008, 10:07 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Sought after opinion(s) on Gibson Les Paul Smart Wood Series?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freddyb View Post
61276610_full on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Here's a link with a few pics of the guitar. I don't know if it's a Studio. Looks more like a Standard to me... What do you guys think?
It is definitely NOT a standard. The Standard Smartwood had trapezoid inlays just like regular Standard Les Pauls. I agree with the post above that the smartwood standards go for $1,500. Smartwood studios go between 700 to 900
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Unread 04-03-2008, 12:56 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Sought after opinion(s) on Gibson Les Paul Smart Wood Series?

Dot inlays, no binding... Definitely a Studio. Don't pay more than $800, if you still want it. Nice looking guitar though. I do love the woods they use for the tops.
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Unread 04-03-2008, 02:00 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Sought after opinion(s) on Gibson Les Paul Smart Wood Series?

Thanks for your info Delaware Gold. That's interesting. So it's not a standard then, my mistake. I should have known just looking at the keys and the fingerboard. And thanks for the article
Loki, you're saying don't pay more than $800. Is that US or NZ$?
The guy says they retail for $4000 here in NZ. What do you reckon?
That sounds like a hell of a lot for a Studio.
I don't really want another Studio though. I'd like a Standard now, to have something different. Plus I REALLY want a Standard. Cause i'm a brat.
Sounds like the guy is asking for waaaaay too much then...
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Unread 04-03-2008, 02:24 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Sought after opinion(s) on Gibson Les Paul Smart Wood Series?

Yeah, even for NZ prices, he's going waaaaay overboard for a Studio. Smartwood Studios were slightly cheaper than regular production Studios at the time they came out. I was saying $800 Canadian. If you factored in what it would cost to get one in NZ, it is still a used Studio... Not sure what that would cost you normally, but now where near $4000!!
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Unread 04-03-2008, 02:55 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Re: Sought after opinion(s) on Gibson Les Paul Smart Wood Series?

That is a Smartwood Exotic, Peroba top, Curupay FB exactly like mine. It's an AWESOME axe - you will love it. It's thinner than a standard LP, but the tone is not thin... It even has a belly contour. If it was me, I'd snatch that up QUICK. JMHO

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Unread 04-03-2008, 03:04 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Re: Sought after opinion(s) on Gibson Les Paul Smart Wood Series?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robster View Post
That is a Smartwood Exotic, Peroba top, Curupay FB exactly like mine. It's an AWESOME axe - you will love it. It's thinner than a standard LP, but the tone is not thin... It even has a belly contour. If it was me, I'd snatch that up QUICK. JMHO

R
Is it $2000 awesome though? There is an exotic here at L&M for half that... It is a great guitar though.
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Unread 04-03-2008, 04:36 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Re: Sought after opinion(s) on Gibson Les Paul Smart Wood Series?

Bear in mind it's 2000 NZ dollars, which is just over 1500 US dollars.
As I said above, US guitars are more expensive outside the US, whether you go to Europe (the UK is particularly expensive. I remember Studios there selling for almost 2,000 US dollars (1000 British Pounds) or Australia and Asia. France and other european countries are a bit cheaper but as a rule of thumb you can expect to pay round about a third more outside the great US of A.
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Unread 04-03-2008, 04:38 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Re: Sought after opinion(s) on Gibson Les Paul Smart Wood Series?

u guys are talking in American dollars right?
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Unread 04-03-2008, 06:11 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Re: Sought after opinion(s) on Gibson Les Paul Smart Wood Series?

the only one ive seen was a studio and it was $1200.
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Unread 04-03-2008, 06:16 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Re: Sought after opinion(s) on Gibson Les Paul Smart Wood Series?

I was going to buy a smartwood a while ago, it had the same thin body my lp lites have. I suppose that was the Smartwood Studio as well?
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Unread 04-03-2008, 11:51 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Re: Sought after opinion(s) on Gibson Les Paul Smart Wood Series?

$1500 US is still way more than a new Studio costs here. Studios can be gotten for under a thousand if you look hard enough. 'Retail' price is usually around $1200 for a brand new one.
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Unread 04-04-2008, 03:38 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Re: Sought after opinion(s) on Gibson Les Paul Smart Wood Series?

I also found a Gibson SG for NZ$950... Brand new. The guy won it in a comp, wants to get rid of it. The only thing is that it has a Tommy Hilfiger logo on it, lacquered... Rosewood fretboard. The thing's black. I've been wanting an SG for a while too.... What do you guys think?
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Unread 04-10-2008, 01:37 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Re: Sought after opinion(s) on Gibson Les Paul Smart Wood Series?

The guy has just lowered his price a bit, but I'm not convinced. It was an online auction, so there's no chance I can see the instrument before I buy it, which, I know is a bit stupid when buying a guitar.
I'm gonna go for a second hand Standard. That whole chambering thing has scared me a little, so I'll look for an early 90s one if I can find it.
Cheers (all of you) for your help. Oh and I'm not gonna buy that SG either. It looks horrible with that TH logo. I thought it was easily removable, but apparently Gibson made the stupid thing as a promotional tool for Tommy Hilfiger. So I'll stick to a Les Paul...
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Unread 04-10-2008, 01:40 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Re: Sought after opinion(s) on Gibson Les Paul Smart Wood Series?

I love a good SG... But I can't stand Tommy Hillfiger. Good call!

Keep hope alive my friend, you'll find a stellar Les Paul in no time!
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Unread 04-11-2008, 04:39 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Re: Sought after opinion(s) on Gibson Les Paul Smart Wood Series?

Cheers Loki... Been playing my Studio heaps lately and lovin it... Still wouldn't mind getting my hands on a nice Standard....
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Unread 04-12-2008, 12:12 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Re: Sought after opinion(s) on Gibson Les Paul Smart Wood Series?

If you played punk rock that Hilfiger SG would be TOO SWEET in my opinion.

You get it, and with a big bright permanent marker in bold letters write:

"Im no CORPORATE SLUT!!!" over the TH logo.

Done. Sweet guitar, guilt free.
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Unread 09-29-2008, 05:21 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Re: Sought after opinion(s) on Gibson Les Paul Smart Wood Series?

I own a 1998 Les Paul SmartWood, with the Curapay top, and paid $880.00 new with a hardshell case. I don't hate the guitar, but my SG and Les Paul studio are much nicer guitars.

One great thing about these guitars is their weight. You can play this guitar all night and still have use of your shoulder. But the same can be said about the SG Standard, and I like my SG Standard a whole lot better. I tend to tune the SmartWood for slide and the SG is set up for fast action.

If the guitar has a Gibson Hard Shell case, I would think it might be worth about $900.00 to $1000.00 US, but that's in like new condition.

Just my thoughts and good luck.
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Unread 10-05-2008, 02:05 AM   #29 (permalink)
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Exclamation Re: Sought after opinion(s) on Gibson Les Paul Smart Wood Series?

No, it's NOT A Smartwood Standard.
This is a click: Gibson Les Paul Smartwood Standard
Cheers . . .

- Ian
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Unread 02-16-2009, 11:36 AM   #30 (permalink)
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Re: Sought after opinion(s) on Gibson Les Paul Smart Wood Series?

I have probably missed the boat on this one, but as owner of one of these guitars I can add my opinion. To help those trying to set the record straight, this is NOT a Standard and it is NOT a Studio either. If it has to be compared with anything, it should be compared to a late '70's/early '80's model called 'The Paul' which I read somewhere (I think on Gibson's web site in the product description page for this model) is what it was based on. The only real difference I can see between the two in terms of construction is that the original Paul had a flat top with no cap while this one does have a carved cap.

IMHO, if anyone sees one up for grabs, GET IT!! I recently bought one of these 'worn' SG Specials and changed the 490 pickups for a 496/500 ceramic pair to give it more oomph. I then dragged out my Flying V which has the same pickups to compare the two. My Smartwood Exotic lives downstairs so I thought I would add that one to the mix as well AND IT BLEW THE SG AND THE V AWAY COMPLETELY!!! - I only came onto this site and looked at this thread because after that little experiment I needed to confirm that it was originally equipped with 490/498 pickups.

It has a lovely range of sounds but the woods used and the comparative thinness of the body do tend to make it sharper and more brittle than most other Les Pauls - almost like a halfway house between a Les Paul and an SG.

Would I part with mine? NOT AT ANY PRICE!!
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