2002 - changes to Les Paul specifications

HonestAl

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I have an odd one that I'm sure someone(s) here can help with.

I clearly recall back in 2001 reading how Gibson were changing a lot about the following year's Les Paul Standard specs. Here in the UK there's a really popular magazine called Guitarist, which ran quite a feature on them. I remember it well, it was why I went looking once the 2002 range became available here, and subsequently bought one. My recollection was they improved the standard of the tops, made a 50s and 60s style neck, changed from chrome to nickel hardware on the bridge, tailpiece and pickup covers, even shipped the guitars without the scratch plate installed - not even drilled - supposedly to show off the better wood even more.

On the strength of that I tried them out and definitely liked the 2002 version more than my '91. Which is why I bought one.

I'd really like to be able to find some details from the time. Best of all I'd love to find that Guitarist article. Sadly my gazillion copies of Guitarist outstayed their welcome quite some time ago, and are now just a fond memory. But I bet you guys know someone somewhere who has something which would support my memories. I'd be interested in any stuff you have you might be able to link on here.

Thanks for the help, maybe this'll trigger some memories in those of you around and interested at the time
 

Brek

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I worked in music retail in 2002/2003 I do remember a noticeable uplift in flame, was some real nice 3D popping on the tops that came into store that year. I bought a few choice les paul classics to sell on which also had much improved flame. sadly thats all I remember.
 

Les Paul Newb

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I have an odd one that I'm sure someone(s) here can help with.

I clearly recall back in 2001 reading how Gibson were changing a lot about the following year's Les Paul Standard specs. Here in the UK there's a really popular magazine called Guitarist, which ran quite a feature on them. I remember it well, it was why I went looking once the 2002 range became available here, and subsequently bought one. My recollection was they improved the standard of the tops, made a 50s and 60s style neck, changed from chrome to nickel hardware on the bridge, tailpiece and pickup covers, even shipped the guitars without the scratch plate installed - not even drilled - supposedly to show off the better wood even more.

On the strength of that I tried them out and definitely liked the 2002 version more than my '91. Which is why I bought one.

I'd really like to be able to find some details from the time. Best of all I'd love to find that Guitarist article. Sadly my gazillion copies of Guitarist outstayed their welcome quite some time ago, and are now just a fond memory. But I bet you guys know someone somewhere who has something which would support my memories. I'd be interested in any stuff you have you might be able to link on here.

Thanks for the help, maybe this'll trigger some memories in those of you around and interested at the time
Is this the issue in question? It mentions “Gibson’s new les Paul” on the cover.



 

HonestAl

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Is this the issue in question? It mentions “Gibson’s new les Paul” on the cover.



It might be - great find! I've written to the publishers to see if they keep back issues that far back. I don't hold out a lot of hope for a reply. But I've contacted a couple of eBay sellers (having been inspired by you finding this, I've discovered the Sept 2002 edition has an article on 'the new Les Pauls' too)
 
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NightShift88

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Wish I had something more to add, but I do remember that the Standard was revamped for 2002...all the stuff you mentioned already, plus the BB Pros. I bought mine new in 2002, some of the tops were gorgeous and unique, you wouldn’t find tops like those on any Standard nowadays...mine wasn’t drilled for a scratchplate as you said, and didn’t come with one either. Still have it...I have many guitars and it’s still my #1.

AF5E133E-7098-465F-A2DD-605FCC142B8A.jpeg
 

Classicplayer

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I did a search on that 2002 Les Paul Standard and the link below has posts from current and former owners. Perhaps trying to contact one or more of the owners might even produce a brochure for you. Most that have owned them give that model year very high marks.

Classicplayer


 

jbash

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They went back to the peekaboo binding, new pickups, different neck specs, flamey tops. I think those were the biggest changes.
 

dro

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2002 was the first year of the Burstbucker Pro pickups I've had a few from this era. Still have a couple 05's and an 06. the 06 has been my #1 live guitar since I bought it. Have used many different ones as a backup. But always come back to #1
Dessert burst.jpg
 

Pwrmac7600

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If you contact Gibson and ask for the spec sheet for the 2002 Les Paul they will email it to you.
 


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