'59 or Elitist?

83stratman

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Hi, new here. My first post...

I have had many LPs over the years, from a Gibson '96 Standard, Gibson '02 '60s neck Std., Edwards to a '04 Elitist Std. Plus, 2012 Gibson LP junior faded and 120th Anniversary LPJ maple neck. Currently still have a R7 and the faded Jr. My favs were the '96, R7, Elitist, and Jr.

I'm not much of a LP guy, but have to have a LP Std/LPC in the stable. My Jr. though is one of my favorite guitars, go figure.

Not being a LP guy, I am thinking of selling the R7 and getting a cheaper LP (or two!)

So, I have played a new Epi '59. Pretty impressive, but with a bigger neck than I have grown to like. I could live with it though. I also played a new LPC. That needed a setup, but the neck felt just like my old Elitist! The surprise of the day was a purple burst Epi worn classic! Man, that felt great! And they are CHEAP!

I also have a line on a super clean Elitist Std. for $900 with original case or a Elitist Studio for $800 with regular Epi case. Both are about three hours drive away.

I can get a Epi '59 locally for about $630 used.

I can't believe how much Elite/Elitist have gone up in price! Back in '06/'07 ish I paid about $575 shipped on Ebay for my Elitist Std. Plus!

FYI, I wasn't impressed with the Edwards.

What would you do?
 

noodlingguitars

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To me it comes down to the following - ymmv:

Assuming the same color, the ONLY two decisive factors for me would be:

(1) neck size <-- this is not an issue for me I love 50s necks, but ESPs are also part of my guilty pleasures... but for many it is quite a big deal; and

(2) whether you want a satin finish (I mean you could polish it - see all the other threads about this) or a gloss finish.

Personally I'd lean towards the '59 for the following reasons:
- '59 gets you a new guitar (i.e. no worn frets)
- '59 gets you Burstbucker 2 and 3s. I like those more than the ones they have in the Elitist
- the '59 would feel more like your R7 than the Elitist
- you get a hard case
 

83stratman

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To me it comes down to the following - ymmv:

Assuming the same color, the ONLY two decisive factors for me would be:

(1) neck size <-- this is not an issue for me I love 50s necks, but ESPs are also part of my guilty pleasures... but for many it is quite a big deal; and

(2) whether you want a satin finish (I mean you could polish it - see all the other threads about this) or a gloss finish.

Personally I'd lean towards the '59 for the following reasons:
- '59 gets you a new guitar (i.e. no worn frets)
- '59 gets you Burstbucker 2 and 3s. I like those more than the ones they have in the Elitist
- the '59 would feel more like your R7 than the Elitist
- you get a hard case
I'd get a hard case either way. I do like the BB II and III in my R7. My particular R7 darkback has what feels more like a R9 neck on it for some reason, but I wouldn't mind a '60s neck this time around. I am not super picky though. I also don't mind the faded finish. Color isn't too much of a concern, except a clown burst.
 

83stratman

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I guess my real wine influenced question is... for people who have owned both, neck size and finish type not withstanding, how does the new '59 or LPC stand up to the old Elite/Elitist? The only thing I didn't like about my Elitist was the super thick finish. I prefer thin finishes in a perfect world. Maybe thats why I liked that worn classic?
 

noodlingguitars

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I guess my real wine influenced question is... for people who have owned both, neck size and finish type not withstanding, how does the new '59 or LPC stand up to the old Elite/Elitist? The only thing I didn't like about my Elitist was the super thick finish. I prefer thin finishes in a perfect world. Maybe thats why I liked that worn classic?

They're both thick finishes - just that the '59 has a satin finish on top. Is money a huge issue? If you're dead set on selling the R7 and downgrading (for lack of a better word), have you considered maybe one of the faded Gibson USA models?
 

Enjoicube

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Haven’t tried the new 59, but I’ve had a few elitists and had a 2010 1960 LP V3 reissue. The quality comparison wasn’t even close: the elitist won hands down. These days I have an IBG 335 and an elitist 335 and the comparison still leans heavily towards the elitist. While the elitist pickups aren’t as good as the BBs, the wood and materials used on the elitist will be higher quality, and you can’t upgrade that later. I also much prefer the thinner necks on the elitists.
 

rbraad68

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Haven’t tried the new 59, but I’ve had a few elitists and had a 2010 1960 LP V3 reissue. The quality comparison wasn’t even close: the elitist won hands down. These days I have an IBG 335 and an elitist 335 and the comparison still leans heavily towards the elitist. While the elitist pickups aren’t as good as the BBs, the wood and materials used on the elitist will be higher quality, and you can’t upgrade that later. I also much prefer the thinner necks on the elitists.
I agree with that for sure. The Elitist is going to have the better wood and workmanship you can always change out the hardware and pickups. That is saying alot for me because I love my 59s.....
 

frehley76

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I would go with the Elitist, or a Tokai if you can find one, the old Tokais are excellent.
 

Spirit

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Hi I would go with the worn classic as that seems to be the one you bonded with the most
59 is outstanding I’m playing mine for around 2-4 hours a day its a blast to play,i however picked up one with a very slim neck more d shape than c
 

rbraad68

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I have to say that these 59s are hard to beat. Set up right maybe a few upgrades just a little love they play great. I got my JB Laz and my Tribute in the same month back in April. Out of these 2 guitar pretty much set up the same way same faber bridge pieces equal playing field and hands down I grab my JB every time!!
 

frehley76

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I have to say that these 59s are hard to beat. Set up right maybe a few upgrades just a little love they play great. I got my JB Laz and my Tribute in the same month back in April. Out of these 2 guitar pretty much set up the same way same faber bridge pieces equal playing field and hands down I grab my JB every time!!
Have you played an Elitist lately? Mine was cheaper than a new 59 and I have to say a much better guitar, sorry lol. 2pc solid top, 2pc back, 1pc neck, correct headstock degree, the attention to detail is much better, plus rosewood board with nicer inlays. If you can find a used 59 cheap its so worth it but for the price new there are a lot better guitars out there for the price. I will probably get slammed lol.
 

fry

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Everything I’ve read, the elite/elitist are supposed to be exceptional. Personally, I don’t like the tombstone headstock, so I’ve never pursued getting one.
 

frehley76

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Everything I’ve read, the elite/elitist are supposed to be exceptional. Personally, I don’t like the tombstone headstock, so I’ve never pursued getting one.
Then look for an Epi JDM LPS-80, pretty much the same only with a Gibby headstock.
 

rbraad68

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Have you played an Elitist lately? Mine was cheaper than a new 59 and I have to say a much better guitar, sorry lol. 2pc solid top, 2pc back, 1pc neck, correct headstock degree, the attention to detail is much better, plus rosewood board with nicer inlays. If you can find a used 59 cheap its so worth it but for the price new there are a lot better guitars out there for the price. I will probably get slammed lol.
I want a Japanese guitar one of these days you know that. But I still love my 59's :)
 

fry

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I remember the elite/elitist models when they were still a current thing. I just didn’t know that much about Epiphones back then, I thought they seemed a little pricey. I remember my buddy saying “I’m not paying that much money for something that says Epiphone on the headstock“. By today’s standards, they were probably a steal.
 

83stratman

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I remember the elite/elitist models when they were still a current thing. I just didn’t know that much about Epiphones back then, I thought they seemed a little pricey. I remember my buddy saying “I’m not paying that much money for something that says Epiphone on the headstock“. By today’s standards, they were probably a steal.
IIRC, before the blowout, a Std. Plus was $1149.
 

Enjoicube

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I want a Japanese guitar one of these days you know that. But I still love my 59's :)
I know this is the epiphone forum, but you may look into importing an FGN NCLS (I think that’s what they are called). I’ve seen a few floating around on reverb for around $1000 or so, and this was the company that made the elitist LPs, so a good way to escape the crazy price inflation that the elitists went through while getting basically the same guitar. I’ve also seen the Tokai LS-140 GT go for around $850 or so, same Japanese dealer - I have a Tokai ES-180 and it is flawless!
 

Cardinalcomb

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Elitists sure have shot up in value. My first year elite is part of my retirement plan.
 

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rbraad68

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Elitists sure have shot up in value. My first year elite is part of my retirement plan.
Alot of these Japanese made guitars have shot up in price. I wish I had known about them a few years ago when they were relatively cheap now there crazy money...
 

83stratman

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So I ended up with a deal I couldn't pass up on a used '59 with the pickups replaced with Dimarzios and it looks like the saddles have been replaced with Graphtech. I love it. Just as good as the Elitist I used to have.
 

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