Big difference between Gibson USA LP Custom vs Custom LPC?

diogoguitar

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hey guys

LP custom had always been under my radar, but now I'm considering it. The one I'm looking at is a 2002 model (based on what I could research, it's a Gibson USA not custom shop model). I know how Gibson USA can be a hit or miss in many years (although I'm super happy with my 2009)... so what you guys think about the 2002 Les Paul Custom?

Btw I can't just go and play the guitar because the one i'm looking at is in another country

I tried to lookup threads but couldn't get to a conclusion about the fit/finish/quality of the guitar. Thanks!
 
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PierM

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Of course every guitar needs to be evaluated for what it is, despite its production year, but IME, late 80 until early 2000, were pretty fine years for the Customs, for couple of reasons; production numbers were smaller than today, so the fretwork in general was better (better crown, better nibs, better binding job etc..). Also, the ebony used was of a better source, with tighter grain and (especially from 70/80) a natural pitch black color. Let' say those years a good LPC was less of a crapshot, compared to these days.

Differences, construction wise, with a production CS LPC? Well, not so many really, especially comparing a 2002 with late 201x models. Binding is thicker than a CS, and had no rolled edges. The neck profiles for those years were typically starting thinner than today, so in the .800/.950 range (1st/12th). Short tenon, while latest CS LPC are long (corksniffery really).... 9 holes weight relief (latest years they stopped this). Circuit wiring it's still the same but using a 500KOhm pot for the Tone, and a 300KOhm for the Volume. Latest years they are all taper 500KOhm. It should also have the same 490R/498T Pickup combo, as today. Stock tuners were Grover with tulips, instead kidney they are using these days (it's the same tuner, just different key).

As you see it's all small details, the overall construction is the same; Mahogany body (should be one piece), Maple Cap (2 pieces), Mahogany Neck (1 piece). Headstock shape, logo etc, it's same as today.

If you have a good deal, and guitar it's in good condition, I would do it.
 

mudface

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A 2002 Custom should be an excellent guitar..... the move to build them as Custom Shop models was only a year later.

With the few minor details that @PierM mentioned they're the same guitar....... except in price. Should get the USA version for a few hundred less than the CS models......... a better overall deal. Here in the US around the lower 2K for one in good shape for a 2002...... less if modified.
 

none2low

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I owned a 2003 CS LPC for a few years and IMO there was no discernible difference is quality or tone vs regular US production during this period. Can't speak for more recent versions.
 

Phusion974

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I own a 2002 Les Paul Custom and have owned 2 Custom Shop Les Paul Customs made in 2011 and 2012.
Fit and finish was just as good as the latter.
 

diogoguitar

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Of course every guitar needs to be evaluated for what it is, despite its production year, but IME, late 80 until early 2000, were pretty fine years for the Customs, for couple of reasons; production numbers were smaller than today, so the fretwork in general was better (better crown, better nibs, better binding job etc..). Also, the ebony used was of a better source, with tighter grain and (especially from 70/80) a natural pitch black color. Let' say those years a good LPC was less of a crapshot, compared to these days.

Differences, construction wise, with a production CS LPC? Well, not so many really, especially comparing a 2002 with late 201x models. Binding is thicker than a CS, and had no rolled edges. The neck profiles for those years were typically starting thinner than today, so in the .800/.950 range (1st/12th). Short tenon, while latest CS LPC are long (corksniffery really).... 9 holes weight relief (latest years they stopped this). Circuit wiring it's still the same but using a 500KOhm pot for the Tone, and a 300KOhm for the Volume. Latest years they are all taper 500KOhm. It should also have the same 490R/498T Pickup combo, as today. Stock tuners were Grover with tulips, instead kidney they are using these days (it's the same tuner, just different key).

As you see it's all small details, the overall construction is the same; Mahogany body (should be one piece), Maple Cap (2 pieces), Mahogany Neck (1 piece). Headstock shape, logo etc, it's same as today.

If you have a good deal, and guitar it's in good condition, I would do it.

thank you for such a detailed post. So the binding doesn't have rolled edges? I like that my LP doesn't have hard edges on the rib support. I remember I sold my '62 RI tele because the double binding was digging both my forearm and ribs
 

jlb32

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I've owned a few non Custom Shop Customs and a 2005 Custom Shop Custom. They are very close but the thing I realized most is the Custom Shop attention to detail is much better over the non Custom Shop models. Personally, the only one I still own is my 2005.

Take that for what it is though. Every guitar is different so pick the one you love and enjoy it.
 

PierM

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thank you for such a detailed post. So the binding doesn't have rolled edges? I like that my LP doesn't have hard edges on the rib support. I remember I sold my '62 RI tele because the double binding was digging both my forearm and ribs

They never fully roll the binding on LPCs (not as much as they do with R7,8,9 etc), but USA LPC models had a tad more edgy binding than latest CS counterparts, and a bit more fat nibs, nothing to really worry about imho. Also, if that 2003 got played for good, that binding has been probably smoothed out naturally. I wouldnt really break a deal for that.
 

Guitpicky

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thank you for such a detailed post. So the binding doesn't have rolled edges? I like that my LP doesn't have hard edges on the rib support. I remember I sold my '62 RI tele because the double binding was digging both my forearm and ribs

I went straight down the middle with a Modern Custom. I love the look of the binding on Customs but that back binding might just be the least comfortable feature on ANY guitar.

My Modern Custom (as well as the Axcess Custom) solves that by keeping the pretty up front, ditching the back binding nobody sees and replacing it with a much more ergonomic belly carve and rounded contours.

The main difference between the Modern and Axcess Custom is the Moderns don’t have the shaved down “Axcess” heel on the neck. Personally I prefer the traditional heel.

For me, it’s the perfect Gibson :)
 
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