2011 Traditional vs new 50’s

dvir

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folks,

Long time since I asked a question here.
Things are toning down a bit lately and I found myself reaching for the guitar more and enjoying my lovely 2011 Traditional with swiss cheese weight relief. I used to play more back in the days and get together with people with different kinds of pauls (VOS, standards with the old Robot tuning Asymmetrical neck, etc).
I am from the more traditional camp of fatter necks, more mellowed pups and bluesy tones. So when I bought my guitar in 2011, I opted for new and traditional. The choice was Traditional or 57/8/9R
I really liked the traditional and didn't find as much difference between the R and the traditional as I thought I would... I think it has some things to do with the specific trad that I tried and bought eventually... It was a bit lighter than the rest, and the color of the wood was nicer IMO.
Like a lot of us nowadays being locked down,I found myself looking at the new 2019-2020 ’50s and ’60s and noticed that there are a couple of new changes (Nashville bridge changed, no weight relief etc etc...)
I was wondering since I don't have access to them at the moment if there are noticeable differences between a 2011 trad and a 2019-2020 50’s Paul?

I have considered adding, or selling in case of an overlap between a ’50s and a 2011 trad.

Would love to hear your thoughts on that guys, and if anyone has anything to add/note.

Thanks!
 

Guitpicky

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It’s not going to be an “upgrade” to your 2011, especially if your Traditional is a great example of its type. It would be a lateral move at best and not worth what you’d lose in the transaction :)
 

dvir

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It’s not going to be an “upgrade” to your 2011, especially if your Traditional is a great example of its type. It would be a lateral move at best and not worth what you’d lose in the transaction :)
Hey!
That’s what I was hoping to hear... thanks!
There she is:) I replaces the truss rod to a blank one... seems to suit much better IMO.
 

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Latearrival

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I think there are some really nice Traditionals around from that period (2009-11/12/13)

Mine is 2009 9.3 lbs, one-piece body, nice flame, and has that really authentic "woody" tone that some of the great LPs have - even with my hotter (498T) Bridge PU!

And much as I don't like the concept of weight relief, I don't think anyone could realisitically tell the difference between a 9-hole gutiar and a totally solid body.....Keep the '11, Let it age - Enjoy it!
 

christopherJ

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I have a 2010 Trad plus top that is very special. I'd keep your 11 traditional. I do wish it had an ABR-1 though and nickle hardware, but I have other Les Pauls that do. I was actually going to do the MapleFlame mod, but I keep chickening out because it sounds so nice. I have the conversion posts...one of these days I will swap out the Nashville for ABR for a test.
 

jbash

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For modern production Les Pauls, it mostly comes down to individual examples, not the year it was made. Don't fall into the hype of X year Trads are "better" than Y year trads. They are all extremely similar in build and components with only minor variances. Some may have specs that are more important to you, but when it comes to sound and playability, it's all about the finished guitar, that particular combo of wood, wire and metal and what the people at Gibson did with it. No guarantee of anything other than "specs".

And if the guitar doesn't have "it" right off the shelf there's not a lot of room for improvement . The 3P*s can only do so much.

*pickups, parts, pots.

So yeah, its nice to keep up with the joneses with the newest model year, but go to the store and shoot out individual guitars- yours vs, whatever. You might find that a 2015 Tribute kicks the 50s Standards butt, or that 50s standard kicks your Trads butt or maybe its that beat up old 1995 studio or 2016 Classic sitting in the used rack that puts them all to shame.

:shrug:
 

dvir

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Thanks guys for the replies!
I understand that I am not missing out with those new standards...
I will try them soon, In the meantime, gonna enjoy my beautiful trad.
 

Benniator

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The new Standards are better than anything that has come before them. Not buying one is doing yourself a disservice and contributing to the decline of the music industry.
 

LPCM&BFG

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The new Standards are better than anything that has come before them. Not buying one is doing yourself a disservice and contributing to the decline of the music industry.
I think it comes down to a personal choice on which is / feels better. Besides, buying a used Trad can mean the previous owner is now free to buy a new guitar, maybe a 50s if he/she/it likes it better.
 

PauloQS

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The differences are
  • The shape of the headstock. The new Standard ‘50s and ‘60s have narrower headstocks more akin to the ‘50s and ‘60s. I believe the wider headstock occurred sometime in the ‘70s.
  • As you mentioned, the ABR-1 bridge on the newer models compared to the Nashville bridge on yours.
  • The neck carve is also different. The Standard ‘50s has almost dead on the neck depth of my R9.
  • The neck binding. The Standard ‘50s and ‘60s have thinner bindings. It’s still thicker than what you find among reissues, but much thinner than what we were seeing before.
I mean, if you really wanted you could install an ABR-1 bridge on yours. The neck carve is just different. If you already find yours comfortable, there is no reason to go for the new neck carve. You don’t seem like the person who cares about how much closer is the headstock size to the ones of the original bursts.

The binding does in my opinion contribute with a slightly more refined and precise feel. However, 1) since you chose your traditional over Reissues, I doubt you’ll find it worth the trade for such marginal difference. And 2) your guitar is already naturally broken in. That’s likely going to feel better than a new guitar.

I’m a huge fan of the new models. I think they’re absolutely phenomenal. I’ve also been accused of being an enabler. However, since you already have an excellent example of an amazing Les Paul, I don’t think you’re missing out on anything.
 

LPTDMSV

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For modern production Les Pauls, it mostly comes down to individual examples, not the year it was made. Don't fall into the hype of X year Trads are "better" than Y year trads. They are all extremely similar in build and components with only minor variances. Some may have specs that are more important to you, but when it comes to sound and playability, it's all about the finished guitar, that particular combo of wood, wire and metal and what the people at Gibson did with it. No guarantee of anything other than "specs".

And if the guitar doesn't have "it" right off the shelf there's not a lot of room for improvement . The 3P*s can only do so much.

*pickups, parts, pots.

So yeah, its nice to keep up with the joneses with the newest model year, but go to the store and shoot out individual guitars- yours vs, whatever. You might find that a 2015 Tribute kicks the 50s Standards butt, or that 50s standard kicks your Trads butt or maybe its that beat up old 1995 studio or 2016 Classic sitting in the used rack that puts them all to shame.

:shrug:
Really agree with that. BTW here's a pic of an old Trad with conversion posts and a new Gibson ABR-1
WP_20200325_005-e.jpg
 

LPTDMSV

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I think there are some really nice Traditionals around from that period (2009-11/12/13) ...

Mine is ... has that really authentic "woody" tone ...

And much as I don't like the concept of weight relief, I don't think anyone could realisitically tell the difference between a 9-hole gutiar and a totally solid body.....

Keep the '11, Let it age - Enjoy it!
Yep, agree.

Mine too!

Agree.

Sooo . . keep the Trad, and maybe buy a new one too when the shops re-open and you can try some new ones hands-on? Win-win.
 

themollusk79

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My new Standard '50s (while not perfect) has exceeded my expectations in every way - it's awesome. So, hey, why not have both? :dude:
 

Guitpicky

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The new Standards are better than anything that has come before them. Not buying one is doing yourself a disservice and contributing to the decline of the music industry.
Sarcastic humor is at its best when half the people reading it fail to realize it’s sarcasm.

Good job :)
 

LPCM&BFG

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folks,

Long time since I asked a question here.
Things are toning down a bit lately and I found myself reaching for the guitar more and enjoying my lovely 2011 Traditional with swiss cheese weight relief. I used to play more back in the days and get together with people with different kinds of pauls (VOS, standards with the old Robot tuning Asymmetrical neck, etc).
I am from the more traditional camp of fatter necks, more mellowed pups and bluesy tones. So when I bought my guitar in 2011, I opted for new and traditional. The choice was Traditional or 57/8/9R
I really liked the traditional and didn't find as much difference between the R and the traditional as I thought I would... I think it has some things to do with the specific trad that I tried and bought eventually... It was a bit lighter than the rest, and the color of the wood was nicer IMO.
Like a lot of us nowadays being locked down,I found myself looking at the new 2019-2020 ’50s and ’60s and noticed that there are a couple of new changes (Nashville bridge changed, no weight relief etc etc...)
I was wondering since I don't have access to them at the moment if there are noticeable differences between a 2011 trad and a 2019-2020 50’s Paul?

I have considered adding, or selling in case of an overlap between a ’50s and a 2011 trad.

Would love to hear your thoughts on that guys, and if anyone has anything to add/note.

Thanks!
Personally, if you can get it from a company that offers a decent return policy, maybe order the 50s, play it a couple of time to see how it compares. If you don't like it, send it back.

My biggest problem with selling or flipping guitars is that I know that one I have gotten used/really like playing, I will miss it as some point after I sell it (it's happened 3 times). So now I collect guitars, instead of selling them on / flipping them (cheap Squiers etc not included).
 

dvir

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The differences are
  • The shape of the headstock. The new Standard ‘50s and ‘60s have narrower headstocks more akin to the ‘50s and ‘60s. I believe the wider headstock occurred sometime in the ‘70s.
  • As you mentioned, the ABR-1 bridge on the newer models compared to the Nashville bridge on yours.
  • The neck carve is also different. The Standard ‘50s has almost dead on the neck depth of my R9.
  • The neck binding. The Standard ‘50s and ‘60s have thinner bindings. It’s still thicker than what you find among reissues, but much thinner than what we were seeing before.
I mean, if you really wanted you could install an ABR-1 bridge on yours. The neck carve is just different. If you already find yours comfortable, there is no reason to go for the new neck carve. You don’t seem like the person who cares about how much closer is the headstock size to the ones of the original bursts.

The binding does in my opinion contribute with a slightly more refined and precise feel. However, 1) since you chose your traditional over Reissues, I doubt you’ll find it worth the trade for such marginal difference. And 2) your guitar is already naturally broken in. That’s likely going to feel better than a new guitar.

I’m a huge fan of the new models. I think they’re absolutely phenomenal. I’ve also been accused of being an enabler. However, since you already have an excellent example of an amazing Les Paul, I don’t think you’re missing out on anything.
Thanks for the detailed answer! Cheers:)
 

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