Les Paul Traditional vs 2008 Standard.

Discussion in 'Gibson Les Pauls' started by Graemewoodman, Sep 30, 2010.

  1. Graemewoodman

    Graemewoodman Senior Member

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    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?
     
  2. John Vasco

    John Vasco V.I.P. Member

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    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.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  3. S4RDave

    S4RDave Senior Member

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    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.
     
  4. Catfish

    Catfish Senior Member

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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.
     
  5. LPV

    LPV Senior Member

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    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.
     
  6. Axis39

    Axis39 Senior Member

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    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.
     
  7. ACELUEK

    ACELUEK ACE FREHLEY'S BASTARD SON Premium Member

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    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).
     
  8. Rev 48

    Rev 48 Senior Member

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    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!
     
  9. Yaff

    Yaff Senior Member

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    +1
     
  10. Graemewoodman

    Graemewoodman Senior Member

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    Which finish is better?
     
  11. LPV

    LPV Senior Member

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    There is absolutely no consistent difference between the finishes. They all vary.
     
  12. Yaff

    Yaff Senior Member

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    +1
    But FYI, this is my 08 Standard:
    [​IMG]
     
  13. KenG

    KenG Senior Member

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    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.
     
  14. alanucc

    alanucc Senior Member

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    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!
     
  15. wmrobrtsn

    wmrobrtsn Member

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    Wow....very nice!
     
  16. veniculum

    veniculum Member

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    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.
    Todd
     
  17. S4RDave

    S4RDave Senior Member

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    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.
     
  18. BigB

    BigB Senior Member

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    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.

    [​IMG]
     
  19. ledlover01

    ledlover01 Senior Member

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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!
     
  20. Hotspur

    Hotspur Senior Member

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    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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