Help Me Understand the "Reissue" Craze

Discussion in 'Historics & Reissues' started by Detector, Aug 7, 2017.

  1. Detector

    Detector Senior Member

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    Perhaps I'm not understanding the definition of a reissue or the concept of the craftsmanship of Gibson was better 50 years ago. Is a reissue basically a new guitar built from old specs? Is this a persona taste thing? If so, why do they cost so much more than a Gibson with modern technology, which by all rights should make an improved version of the old guitar.

    Or is it as simple as if you want to have the sound of a 60's guitar, which being better or worse would be personal opinion, you either buy a 60's vintage guitar or a new one built to old 60's specifications?

    Thanks
     
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  2. chasenblues

    chasenblues Senior Member

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    1967?
    I think you'd still have to go further back another 7 or 8 years.
     
  3. Pythonman

    Pythonman Senior Member

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    By which rights should a modern Gibson be an improvement over an older vintage 50s Gibson? Here's something to ponder, the guys who made the original Les Paul models in the 1950s probably cut their teeth on the guitar making craft in the 1930s and 40s during the depression and WW2, while making archtop jazzers and acoustic guitars. Within a short 5 years of producing Gibsons FIRST solidbody electric they had perfected the instrument we all know and love (BURSTS!) and stopped making it altogether 2 years later. There were workers who picked out the best timbers to use, workers who did an awful lot of hard hand work shaping and assembling and finishing these particularly incredible instruments and it just so happens the best humbuckers EVER were invented right in the middle of the production run.
    A lot of discussion about why the original Sunburst Les Pauls are so much better than anything made since by Gibson revolves around the fact that back 65yrs ago Gibson had better quality old growth woods that were well seasoned and dried before being turned into instruments. It seems almost universally accepted that that's the main reason for the differences between new and vintage Les Pauls. I OTOH am not so sure that explains 100% of those differences. I truly believe, given the quality of woods and materials available in 2017, if you supplied it to those Gibson factory workers in 1959 the results would still be absolutely stunning Les Paul Bursts. These guys were trained different, they had different values, different work ethic and pride in what they were doing. Simple as that. They weren't hired off the street one day and started making Bursts a month later.
     
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  4. THDNUT

    THDNUT Senior Member

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    It's mostly cork sniffery.
     
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  5. Wizard of Ozz

    Wizard of Ozz Member

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    If we have to explain it... you won't understand it. ;)
     
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  6. christophervolume

    christophervolume Senior Member

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    youve just got to play a good one to understand.
     
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  7. mudface

    mudface Senior Member

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    A lighter slab of mahogany, without all the various types of holes milled into it, is one item. A more robust neck helps the tuning stability.
    Like with any Gibson you will still need to "weed" through to find the "one", but not as many as you would think. :D
     
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  8. Bobby Mahogany

    Bobby Mahogany Senior Member

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    Concept/definition of a reissue:

    People would like to own a '59.
    '59s are a bitch to find. And finance.
    So to fill the dream, reissues.
    Guitars made from (maybe) better woods (than regular production), better (as in more like the old ones) parts
    and more attention to details (as in some craftsman is gluing the tenon instead of $15/hour Joe Blow).
    A "Certificate of Authenticity" 'cause you wouldn't want someone to mistake your guitar as a real one, would you? :naughty:

    Cherry on the cake: The "exclusiveness" of that "owner's club" (the informal club that doesn't really exist).
    A price high enough that you will cherish it forever after hurting buying it.

    So there you go.
    Nostalgia is everywhere.
    Pursuit of happiness.
    Gotta have it.
    Cobra Kit Cars, etc.

    All that said with a smile.
    Go for what you covet.
    Personally, I wouldn't care for a reissue if it didn't feel or sound right to me.
    I would only buy it if I could try it before and it would "blow me".

    I've played "ordinary Les Paul that blew me away and reissues that were dead on arrival.
    But, as I always say, to each his own.

    P.S.: Mind game:
    What if you bought a '59 and it sounded fine but it's not the tone you're after...
    :shock:
     
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  9. PierM

    PierM Premium Member

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    It's mainly nostalgia for mid aged guys, like any other "cars were better in the 50', formula one was better in the 60', rock was better in the 70', money was better in the 80'..etc etc...etc". Oh wait, it's all true!! :run::run::applause:
     
  10. freebyrd 69

    freebyrd 69 Premium Member

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    Rather than typing it out again, I am going to quote a post I made about a month ago to respond to your question.....here...

    "My "come to Jesus" moment with these guitars happened at a gig. Now, I love my Reissue's, and, like many here, I bought them new in the low 4 range. I have spent over 6 figures on L.P.'s, amps, cabinets, etc.. I never owned more than 6 or so at once, but all told, with all of the buying, selling, and trading.....yeah, lot's of dough. Not bragging, just telling you so you know I am qualified to make the following statement. LOL

    My buddy asked me to play his Bonamassa Epiphone L.P. at the aforementioned gig. He doesn't gig and he wanted to hear it in a live setting. No problem, I can do that! Short story long, I learned two things that night. The first, I promise you that nobody in that club noticed that I was playing an Epi vs. a Reissue. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little shocked at just how close the tone, playability, and overall sound difference was through that Epi, in a live band setting through the P.A.. I played it the whole set. Second, "I" noticed the difference though. The feel wasn't the same, the playability wasn't the same, so to me, I'll stick with my Reissues. Now, if I am being 100% honest, can I say there is a $4000 difference in these guitars? NO. $3000? NO.

    The thing is, I love playing my reissues. If you have to try and justify or quantify a dollar amount for owning/playing them, you shouldn't own one. Simple as that. Just play it, and enjoy it. I can't put a dollar figure on the enjoyment I get out of my R's."
     
  11. MooCheng

    MooCheng Senior Member

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    The reissues are great, chances are some are better than many of the original instruments they are supposed to represent.

    part of the reason heaps of praise are given to vintage instruments is..... When someone spends a fortune on one of these things and get lumbered with a real stinker the last thing they will say is, "its a dog" or theres this wrong with it or that wrong with it, they might want to sell it someday. I'm sure its the reason some of these change hands so often

    Its easy to see how good reputations can become self perpetuating rather than fully deserved.
     
  12. Sct13

    Sct13 Premium Member

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    We wantzez our Gibson-sez ! Must have our Precious.....

    [​IMG]
     

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  13. Sct13

    Sct13 Premium Member

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    I will never go back....I'm not like our good buddy Gollum any more....but I can't really express my music on anything that's not built well...I have been consistently disappointed in Fender (bummer big time) and a few other brands that just don't and that includes Gibson USA ....

    Theses are the pinnacle in guitar design....it can almost go nowhere else. we are lucky Gibson did the reissue line....

    And you WILL find disagreements in all corners....

    I have my three rings.....I mean .....re issues....
     
  14. GitFiddle

    GitFiddle Premium Member

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    I spent the majority of my guitar playing days on Strats and Teles. Even had an ES-335 for some time. Back in 2009 I fell in love with a Goldtop Les Paul at an old vintage guitar shop. It played better than any guitar I had ever played in my lifetime. After many visits I ended up getting the guitar. It turned out to be a 1999 Reissue of a 57 Goldtop. I didn't really even know what a reissue was until I bought the guitar and joined MLP. All I knew was it played and sounded better than anything I had ever played. It was not made in the Gibson production factory. It was made with a lot more attention to detail in the Custom Shop. I wouldn't even consider it cork sniffery since I didn't know what a reissue was until after I bought it.

    Try a few out and judge for yourself.
     
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  15. clutchcargo

    clutchcargo Bionic Member Premium Member

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    Case closed. Jon just said it best. I trust his ears over mine and to back that up he can attest that I have bought 2 reissues from him over the last 2 years. Both of them did exactly what he described they would.

    One thing is for sure though. The feel and playability (for me) was and is present on them both. They just feel more special, solid, all around quality. Like someone individually cared for them at the factory. Even if only for a short time.
     
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  16. Nippon

    Nippon Senior Member

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    For one, it's not a 'craze'.

    Have you ever seen people lining up out the door, to buy a reissue?
     
  17. Farquad

    Farquad Senior Member

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    They feel, play and sound different than the regular USA line. I would agree they don't feel play and sound multiple thousands of dollars better, but that is the cost for this point of entry. The years used to generally mean neck carve and top figuring. They don't so much anymore.

    Hey Nippon, I once waited outside the store to buy a R9, but that was because I arrived at the store a couple minutes before they opened. ;-)
     
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  18. PaulStratJackson

    PaulStratJackson Senior Member

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    Exactly. Not $4000 better, but definitely better.
     
  19. clutchcargo

    clutchcargo Bionic Member Premium Member

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    $4,000 better is relative. If you have the means and the guitar is going to take you to the gateway of the afterlife. Then that's a small price to pay. IMO.
     
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  20. L96A1

    L96A1 Senior Member

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    They maybe expensive, inconsistent, but the historics are nice les pauls, and I love nice les pauls.
     
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