2020 Classic vs 2020 Standard 60s/50s

HRC-E.B.

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What's the deal with the new Les Paul Classics?

They seem to me like all the wooden parts and build are the exact same as a Standard, with different pickups, tuners, pots and knobs.

They seem like they start off their life on the same line and could end up as Standards if they were finished with the same parts listed above.

Yet, here in Canada, a Standard is $3200 and a Classic is 2100, or about two thirds of the price of a Standard, where the Standard is expensive enough to warrant waiting for a good used R8.

I'm thinking that for someone who intends to swap pups and pots anyway, and who is not dead set on a 50s neck carve (would be my preference, but difference isn't huge), a Classic at that price is a no brainer compared to a Standard for an "everyday" LP.

What am I missing?
 

musicmaniac

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You're not missing a thing really. Get the one that suits you.
 

Duane_the_tub

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Pickups and neck carve are two very significant factors in how a guitar plays and sounds. I wouldn't necessarily dismiss those as just a few parts.

That said, if you like the Classic it's always nice to save some dough.
 

Christosterone

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I work for the classic Chamber of Commerce :naughty:
So my answer is always to get a classic…
I think they are the greatest guitar’s on earth for the money and my number one is a classic… And it’s bone stock

-chris
 

OldBenKenobi

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The Classic is the same as the 60s Standard except it has weight relief, a plain top and PCB push-pulls instead of traditional wiring.
 

Injector

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The Classic is the same quality as a Standard. It has a plain maple cap, different pickups and different wiring. Pickups all cost Gibson the same amount of money, they're just wire and a magnet. If you like the neck profile then get a Classic. Plain tops look cool IMO.
 

JMP

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If you like the neck carve, Classics are a fantastic option.
 

RocketKing

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Don't think you're missing anything.
If you like the specs of the Classic then go for it.
It's not a "lesser" guitar.
Plus regarding the Classic = Standard in terms of quality.
If you consider that the Classic now is the same price of a Traditional of a few years ago (IMO Traditional = current Standard) then it better be the same level quality wise!
Mini rant over :D
 

HRC-E.B.

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My only experience with these models has been a couple minutes playing with 60s and a 50s gold top.

TBH, I much preferred the 50s neck carve, as I prefer deeper, rounder profiles compared to flatter profiles.

That said, I'd personally not pay 3200 plus tax (total of almost 3700 CAD for a Standard. That's too much money when everyone knows that the real deal LP is the hide-glued, long tenon, premium lumbered Custom Shop models. Plus there's too little price difference between a used R8 and a Standard. Better save for the former.

But a 2200 plus tax, 2500 all in, the same guitar compares quite well with what you can buy from any brand at that price. Getting a classic with a neck on the thicker end of the spectrum for that model would still tick a lot of boxes and leave room for an eventual Custom Shop in a few years.
 

Injector

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My only experience with these models has been a couple minutes playing with 60s and a 50s gold top.

TBH, I much preferred the 50s neck carve, as I prefer deeper, rounder profiles compared to flatter profiles.

That said, I'd personally not pay 3200 plus tax (total of almost 3700 CAD for a Standard. That's too much money when everyone knows that the real deal LP is the hide-glued, long tenon, premium lumbered Custom Shop models. Plus there's too little price difference between a used R8 and a Standard. Better save for the former.

But a 2200 plus tax, 2500 all in, the same guitar compares quite well with what you can buy from any brand at that price. Getting a classic with a neck on the thicker end of the spectrum for that model would still tick a lot of boxes and leave room for an eventual Custom Shop in a few years.
People do that all the time, compare the price of a used R8 with a brand new USA Standard. They're pretty much twice as expensive if you compare new v new and used v used. A long neck tenon and hide glue mean diddly in the real world.

Most of my heroes played USA Standards during their heyday when they made all their classic albums. They weren't playing 50s vintage kit and nor were they playing Custom Shop guitars....
 
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Imperial

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What's the deal with the new Les Paul Classics?
...
They seem like they start off their life on the same line and could end up as Standards if they were finished with the same parts listed above.
The Gibson TV videos show it well that there are no separate factory lines for each model, so it pretty much comes down to the specs. On average, a less expensive model is not of lesser quality, but some of them will end up being a bit better than some other ones, because of various reasons.

As others have pointed out, the new Classic is almost the same as the new 60's Standard.
 
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pondcaster

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Regarding differences between the '20 Standards & Classics, I've got a couple of '19s (60s Unburst & Classic Translucent Cherry) and they're pretty darn close. I actually swapped the Classic for a '20 50s Std HCS that I couldn't get along with the pickups. Got the LP I really wanted and ended up with around $700 back so there's that difference.

Weight-relieved but almost a half pound heavier, the Classic comes in at 9lb 7oz. Unburst exactly 9lb.

Both have Grovers but slightly different on mine. Ones on Classic look like little milk bottles.

Standard has cream output jack plate, Classic has metal. Classic has the larger mushroom strap buttons vs the regular ones on the Std.

As others have mentioned, the top on the Unburst is a bit more figured than the Classic but the beautiful translucent cherry finish does subtly hide a top with nice figuring, rings, mineral streaks, etc.

Same pickups in both (61 Burstbuckers) which are outstanding in each, although the Zebras in the Classic are a bit brighter, with same settings on guitars/amps. Of course there's the push/pull pots for variety of tones in the Classic. Standard's just old fashioned humbucker goodness.

Lastly, the neck carve on the Classic is actually noticeably chunkier than the 60s Std.

 
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Justin_Case

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In pure theory the Classic has a higher production cost.

The machining of the weight relief adds time and cost. The 4 wire pickups are marginally more expensive to make than the 2 wire. The 4 Push / Pull Pots on the PC Board cost more that the the components in the Standard. Slight advantage in cost on the Classic for wiring time with the Plug and Play on the PCB.
 

HRC-E.B.

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Regarding differences between the '20 Standards & Classics, I've got a couple of '19s (60s Unburst & Classic Translucent Cherry) and they're pretty darn close. I actually swapped the Classic for a '20 50s Std HCS that I couldn't get along with the pickups. Got the LP I really wanted and ended up with around $700 back so there's that difference.

Weight-relieved but almost a half pound heavier, the Classic comes in at 9lb 7oz. Unburst exactly 9lb.

Both have Grovers but slightly different on mine. Ones on Classic look like little milk bottles.

Standard has cream output jack plate, Classic has metal. Classic has the larger mushroom strap buttons vs the regular ones on the Std.

As others have mentioned, the top on the Unburst is a bit more figured than the Classic but the beautiful translucent cherry finish does subtly hide a top with nice figuring, rings, mineral streaks, etc.

Same pickups in both (61 Burstbuckers) which are outstanding in each, although the Zebras in the Classic are a bit brighter, with same settings on guitars/amps. Of course there's the push/pull pots for variety of tones in the Classic. Standard's just old fashioned humbucker goodness.

Lastly, the neck carve on the Classic is actually noticeably chunkier than the 60s Std.

Thanks! That's super helpful! Would your 19 Classic be the same guitar as today's Classic?

Would you attribute the neck carve difference to individual variations between samples or something of a difference where the Classics would be thicker than the 60s Standard in general?

How does your Classic compare to your former 50s for neck carve?
 

pondcaster

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Thanks! That's super helpful! Would your 19 Classic be the same guitar as today's Classic?

Would you attribute the neck carve difference to individual variations between samples or something of a difference where the Classics would be thicker than the 60s Standard in general?

How does your Classic compare to your former 50s for neck carve?
As far as '19s & '20s models being the same, not sure but it would be easy enough to check. I would think so.

As to the carve, I'm guessing it's a variation or a case of getting kinda lucky to get a thicker one? It's maybe my favorite I've been fortunate to play/own... Although the 60s is very comfortable. Would I like the 60s to be thicker? A little but it's real nice, without a doubt.

The 50s was larger than Classic by a good margin...I have the numbers somewhere, I can get them, if you want? The 50s neck played great.
 

pondcaster

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Hey @HRC-E.B. here's those #s I mentioned above:

60s Unburst
1.73 wide .82 tall @1st
1.82 .84 @3rd
2.09 .90 @12th

Classic Translucent Cherry
1.75 wide .84 tall @1st
1.83 .84 @3rd
2.10 .93 @12th

50s HCS
1.73 wide .90 tall @1st
2.09 1.0 @12th
 

dCi_king

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Hey @HRC-E.B. here's those #s I mentioned above:

60s Unburst
1.73 wide .82 tall @1st
1.82 .84 @3rd
2.09 .90 @12th

Classic Translucent Cherry
1.75 wide .84 tall @1st
1.83 .84 @3rd
2.10 .93 @12th

50s HCS
1.73 wide .90 tall @1st
2.09 1.0 @12th

Which one do you prefer? The 60s Unburst or the HCS 50s?
 

Michael M.

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Lastly, the neck carve on the Classic is actually noticeably chunkier than the 60s Std.
This is interesting . . .
As I have posted elsewhere lately, I have been hunting for a LP lately.
I have loved:
1986 Prehistoric - supposedly Medium C shape (wayyyy to expensive for me)
1990s Classic (felt great but crazy heavy and Bigsby with holes drilled [maybe weight was the Bigsby??? - I usually don't care about weight as I don't gig anymore but this thing wouldn't even sit on your lap - so heavy it wanted to fall backwards], snot green inlays - but the next did feel great!)

Did not care for:
2020 50s
2020 60s (it was good but not as good as the old Classic and Prehistoric)

Yesterday I asked to try the 2020 Classic in Translucent Cherry and it felt wonderful - not too thick - not too thin!!! Just as good as the Prehistoric and old Classic to me. Interesting that Gibson describes both as "Slim Taper."
IT must be an individual guitar - set up thing that I am feeling????
I just wish they made one in a gold top or some kind of Amber Burst or Unburst with a little be more than plain top. But that Translucent Cherry does look good. I'll be curious to see the Honeyburst in person.

This whole experience is scaring me from buying online as well as each feels so different and I want to end up with something that is instant love.
 


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