Early Standard Faded vs early 90's Classic (possible trade, help needed)

JohnnyWalker

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Hey, how is it going?

So i have my 2005 Standard Faded which i love, had her for more than 10 years. It was my first Gibson and honestly i got it cause i couldnt afford a regular Standard. Now im amazed with how much its price went up.

I got offered a possible trade: a 1991 Les Paul Classic (AA top?), in good condition (the bridge was replaced, and no pickguard included). Ive been reading a lot about this early Classics, so im intrigued. I know the pickups are ceramic, but that can easily be solved. I know the neck is smaller as well (mine is more like a 50s neck).

What do you think about this possible trade? I know the answer is probably "try both side by side" and thats the plan, but i could use some advice before driving a couple of hours just to check the Classic, lol.
Also, id be lying if i said i dont mind resale value. Im not looking to get a profit, but if eventually i had to sell, id like to know, basically, if i would be taking a hit by getting the Classic.

Anyway, hope you can give me some insight. I'll post a couple of pics tomorrow. Thanks!
 

Misty Mountain Hop

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I LOVE my 1991 Classic. I had a 1992 Premium Plus Classic that I traded. Liked it, but it just didn't have the feel and tone of my 1991. I swapped the pickups around 94 to the SD's pictured. Although the inlays in the first pic look a little green, they were not. It was just the grass reflecting. That "snot green" inlays started more towards 1993.

I recently totally redid my 1991 - refinished, new hardware, inlays, headstock veneer, MOP Logo, pickups, plastics, electronics. Now, nothing short of amazing (for me). I would make the trade all day long for that 1991....

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JohnnyWalker

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Don't do it. The old Faded series are great guitars, and kind of rare. The Classic is not rare, and the pickups are not really that great. I think you would take a hit on resale as well.
Thanks man.

So what is it about this early Classics that makes em so much better than newer ones?
 

dc007

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I have a 2006 Classic or should I say my son in law has it. Fine guitar but it did not come alive IMHO till I swapped out the pickups and wiring harness. I find I get along better with a beefier neck but I could gig it and be perfectly happy. Those green tinted inlays aren't my cup of tea either but they were not a show stopper when I acquired the guitar. My son in law borrowed it 5 years ago.
 

Misty Mountain Hop

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Thanks man.

So what is it about this early Classics that makes em so much better than newer ones?
The early nineties were really solid years for Gibson. The custom Shop was getting spun up and the Classic, although not a reissue, brought back some cool things like smaller vintage style headstock, slim taper binding. They do have sort of eighties slim taper neck, however. So you have to either like it or not. Hey Jimmy Page likes his number 1 which was slimmed up (shaved) before he got it.

As far as swapping pickups - it could be argued that good pickups and harness can make any guitar better. I swapped my pickups pretty early on as I thought they stock ones were a wee bit harsh for me. But I swapped the SD's out for Throbak SLE 101 Plus in my latest updates and put a fifties wiring harness with old (fifties) bumblebees in it. Huge difference for me, but it was a great guitar out of the box for me. Great sustain, always sounded great unplugged but just came to life when plugged in. I think the things I did only enhanced the foundation of what was already there in the guitar.

I have heard great things about the faded but I could not bond with the finished look. But if it plays great for you I would maybe just do the Peter Green thing that the one fellow (can't recall his name) did with Faded LPs.
 

BikeBro

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The early nineties were really solid years for Gibson. The custom Shop was getting spun up and the Classic, although not a reissue, brought back some cool things like smaller vintage style headstock, slim taper binding. They do have sort of eighties slim taper neck, however. So you have to either like it or not. Hey Jimmy Page likes his number 1 which was slimmed up (shaved) before he got it.

As far as swapping pickups - it could be argued that good pickups and harness can make any guitar better. I swapped my pickups pretty early on as I thought they stock ones were a wee bit harsh for me. But I swapped the SD's out for Throbak SLE 101 Plus in my latest updates and put a fifties wiring harness with old (fifties) bumblebees in it. Huge difference for me, but it was a great guitar out of the box for me. Great sustain, always sounded great unplugged but just came to life when plugged in. I think the things I did only enhanced the foundation of what was already there in the guitar.

I have heard great things about the faded but I could not bond with the finished look. But if it plays great for you I would maybe just do the Peter Green thing that the one fellow (can't recall his name) did with Faded LPs.

Funny you bring that up, the guy doing that faded series upgrade was Larry Corsa, I should be picking up one of his custom builds this week!

Anyhow, back to classic vs faded - I have an ‘03 classic I am in love with, excellent guitar. I fully gutted mine for OX4’s and 50’s wiring and it just sings. It’s cool that you get so many vintage features (small headstock, abr1, nickel hardware, small tuner bushings, inked SN etc) at a USA price.
 

Brazilnut

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Funny you bring that up, the guy doing that faded series upgrade was Larry Corsa, I should be picking up one of his custom builds this week!

Anyhow, back to classic vs faded - I have an ‘03 classic I am in love with, excellent guitar. I fully gutted mine for OX4’s and 50’s wiring and it just sings. It’s cool that you get so many vintage features (small headstock, abr1, nickel hardware, small tuner bushings, inked SN etc) at a USA price.
I own a Corsa Manalishi, only I replaced the Mannis with Wagners. That is the best-sounding and playing electric guitar I've ever owned!

I have owned several 90's Classics, and they were all fine guitars. But I'd rather drive a Faded any day!
 

LCPG282

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I have three 2005 faded models (one with 50's neck, two with 60's necks.)
My first bought is stock with the original BBpros,
the second one has been upgraded with SD '59 & Pearly Gates with OOP on the bridge tone pot, Tonepros ABR1 & stopbar, new harness, 50's wiring,
the last one has a 21 Tone Jimmy Page 50's Wiring harness with 4 CTS push-pull pots, Hysteric Bar PAF's, Luxe Bumblebees, Faber ABR1 with Titanium saddles & aluminium stopbar.

IMHO these Standard Fadeds are the best sounding Gibson Les Pauls I've ever played, moreover if you upgrade them (harness, pots, wiring, PIO caps, PUs of your choice...) they easily play in Custom Shop territory. The only difference being the top notch aesthetics of the CS guitars while the Fadeds can be great looking... but sometimes fugly (although they sound just as good) and have the thin satin finish that some peole dislike (but not me as it probably is why they sound so good.)

My 2005 Fadeds will not be going anywhere until I die. Keepers for sure!!!

- 50's neck Heritage Cherry (stock condition):


- 60's neck Honeyburst with Seymour Duncans:


- 60's neck Honeyburst with Hysteric bar PAFs:

I also have two 2008 chambered Standard Fadeds, but it's another topic isn't it?
 

JohnnyWalker

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When did they start making the chambered Fadedes? late 2006 or 2007?
 

LCPG282

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When did they start making the chambered Fadedes? late 2006 or 2007?
Production of Les Paul Standard Fadeds with a change to “chambering” for weight relief started in very late 2006. Gibson USA continued to produce this model until 2008, and those made in late 2006 to 2008 were all chambered.
However, according to some reports, some of them made in very late 2008 were again weight-relieved.
 

bluesoul

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I have to agree with those who say "keep the Faded". I have an 08 chambered faded and it has something special going on.
Keep the faded or one day you might say "I wish I had not let that one go"!
 

pillbug

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They are both great guitars but no way would I do a straight trade. 2005 Standard Fadeds can go for $2k-2200 whereas the '90s Classics should be more in the $1800-2k range at most. JMHO
 


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