90s Les Paul or a new Standard?

SD1992

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Hello MLP, I'm hoping to pick your brains on what guitar to buy next.

Context is I have been playing for almost 20 years now, and with a significant birthday coming up I want to get myself a really good Les Paul. I currently have a 2013 Traditional Pro ii which is fine, but I haven't really gelled with it. My old man has a 1990s Studio Gem which is significantly better to my hands and ears, so I was thinking about getting a 1990s or late 80s one to replace mine. I've also seen that Gibson have revamped their range recently and the current batch of Standard 50s look like very nice guitars.

There seem to be a few nice LPs on Reverb at the moment from that era, but I can't decide to roll the dice on one of those or to play it safe and get a new Standard which I can go into a shop and try.

Where would your money go in this (very fortunate) situation? Budget would be no more than £4k or so which seems to encompass anything that isn't a custom shop. No issues spending less either.
 

BadPenguin

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I tend to go with used myself. All of the bugs have been worked out, and I don't need to spend more money and time in a setup.
 

monty john

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I had and gigged with a 92 classic for 6 years...fantastic les paul once I put in my favo pu's.....miss that one...can't stand the new ones: 2 piece backs etc.....the 92 was made before cnc machines and union labor which started in 95 or so..def get a 90 91 92 .. they used to be affordable
 

SD1992

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Thanks for the input, sounds like either would be a safe bet really. Will need to see if a local shop has a new one to try.

To throw a spanner in the works it seems a Custom Shop R8 could be had in budget, albeit a 2010s model as opposed to a 90s one. Any thoughts on those? Slightly hesitant as mine is a 2013 and not amazing, however clearly thats not a fair comparison.
 

Duane_the_tub

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Thanks for the input, sounds like either would be a safe bet really. Will need to see if a local shop has a new one to try.

To throw a spanner in the works it seems a Custom Shop R8 could be had in budget, albeit a 2010s model as opposed to a 90s one. Any thoughts on those? Slightly hesitant as mine is a 2013 and not amazing, however clearly thats not a fair comparison.
People go cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs over the 2013 Historics. If it's a '13 (when they made some spec changes seen by many as significant) or later, that's a good choice.
 

Torren61

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I love this question. My birthday is coming up in June. I leveraged that for permission bo buy a 1999 Les Paul Classic with an outstanding top. I've been doing a LOT of research and this article is ESSENTIAL to giving you one very good option as an answer to your question.


Another option is if you can find a "Music Machine" Les Paul. You'll need to Google that. Good luck with the hunt!
 

rjwilson37

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Agreed with nkd above, go try a bunch at your local store and get the one you gel with the most. Same guitar models from same years will all feel/play differently in one way or another, it's just the way it is. I hope you find one you like. I have purchased new and used Les Paul's over the years, a new one is nice because you can try it for 30 days and return it if you're not bonding with it. I have purchased mostly new over the years and the one used Gibson Les Paul I purchased, I got to play it before my purchase, and it is an outstanding guitar.
 

Torren61

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$4000 GBP is very close to $5000 USD. Here's a 1990 Custom for less than $5000.


Here's another for less:

 

searswashere

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+1 to you need to go try a bunch.

I have a 96 standard. Great guitar. As well built as my 2019? Hard to say. As much fun to play? Yep. But they are different guitars - my 96 has a much slimmer neck and a heavier body.
 

dk2429

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I wouldn't mind a 90's Standard in Wine Red AT ALL assuming it's in good condition. I'd get that over a new one.

However, if there's not a paticular finish you're looking for that was in the 90's, don't turn away from the new Standards. They are some of the best Gibson has produced in years. Just read on this forum, you'll see.
 

AJK1

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Save yourself a lot of money and get yourself an Epiphone
If you go to the Epiphone forum here on MLP they’ll tell you how they are as good or better than new Gibsons…..
 

musicmaniac

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Since you're on this forum I'd say either one will do. But since you've mentioned a historic I'd say that's your best bet. Good luck!
 

integra evan

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Is this gonna be a forever guitar? Try a bunch out, and don't settle. You've got a good budget to get something you'll really like.
 

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