First Post - Help me spend my money!

lanningwk

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Hello all!

First post to the MLP forum. I joined everything SG a while back and should've joined here much sooner.

I have a gorgeous 2004 Les Paul Standard in Desert Burst. One of the greatest tops I've ever seen/played IMO. My best friend bought it new and I envied it up until the day he finally sold it to me. It has sentimental value and I'll never part with it. That being said - I have gripes. 60's neck and black back. I don't mind a 60s neck - I have an SG after all - but the black back is a shame. I contacted Gibson repair to inquire on refinishing it to transparent brown to let the mahogany wood grain show through and I was quoted about 2000 bucks. For that money, I figured I'd just buy another LP that had a transparent back.

My first thought was LP 50's Goldtop. I love Dickey Betts and I've always wanted a goldie. Recently, though, I found a 2015 Traditional Pro II in Vintage Sunburst with an unbelievable figured top as well as a nicely grained back and sides in trans brown. It has the 50's neck profile and coil splitting (which I honestly like the idea of, but haven't played one). On paper, this is the antithesis of my current LP and I'm thinking it may have a place in my collection.

Mine is a rimburst, this one is a teardrop. 60s neck vs 50s neck. Black back vs transparent brown. Standard pickups vs coil split/phase change.

THE ONLY thing that I don't know if I'm a fan of is the fact that it has a 9v battery compartment for a 10 or 15 dB boost. Fine enough for Clapton's strat I guess, but I don't know if I want that. But the price is good at 1700.

I've got 3k saved up. Thats a good chunk of change for this high school teacher - but I'm seemingly on the fringe of having more money than I need for a standard or traditional but not enough money for a custom shop R7 or R9. I just wanted to see if any of y'all knew of any models I'm overlooking. Like a GC exclusive that I might be able to find on reverb or if you wanna throw out your opinions on what route I might go.

Any and all input appreciated!

Thanks folks!

Kyle

PS: I'm attaching pics of my 2004 LP - just because I'm proud of it :)

Hope to speak with y'all soon!
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Peter M

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Beautiful top! What is your main priority - neck profile or top? If you are all about the 60s profile, look at the 60s Standards and Classics. But if you're just after another AA - AAA flamer, you should look at all the Standards, some of the Trads, and the Slash models - you could still squeak one of those out for under $3k.
 

lanningwk

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My main priority is a back and sides with nice mahogany grain. A nice top would be a plus, but I'd also enjoy a goldtop. As far as neck profile, I'd like to have a 50s just to have it but if a 60s neck checked off other boxes, that'd be ok.

I guess my main objective in posting was to determine if there was a mid range price point. I can get a few years old Standard for less than 2k all day and I could save up another couple thousand and get a reissue - but wanted to see if there was an "in between" niche. The Slash ones are definitely in that range. I hadn't really considered those and I'm looking at one now on Sweetwater. Thanks so much!
 

Peter M

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The Slash ones are definitely in that range. I hadn't really considered those and I'm looking at one now on Sweetwater. Thanks so much!

Slashers have exceptional tops and feel like a top-notch 50s Standard should. I would definitely check 'em out.
 

wildhawk1

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I have a Epi Traditional Pro II with a 9v compartment for the knob activated boost.

Never use it. It's nothing more than a hideaway for "stuff".

IMHO a gimmick that you probably won't utilize like me.
 

lanningwk

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I have a Epi Traditional Pro II with a 9v compartment for the knob activated boost.

Never use it. It's nothing more than a hideaway for "stuff".

IMHO a gimmick that you probably won't utilize like me.
Thanks for the reply - so if I don't load it with a battery, or the battery dies, it won't affect the normal performance of the guitar?
 

integra evan

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If your priority is the back and sides showing nice grain - that gives you LOTS of options.
Things to consider - does the back need to be natural/clear? Or would cherry be ok too? Cherry shows the grain.
Are you concerned with weight at all? Does it need to be weight relieved or chambered, or is solid ok?
 

mjross

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I’d go with a 50’s Gold Top! Recently purchased one just to see if all the hype was valid. They are exceptionally nice, better than I remember them. The one I purchased is a keeper and the last thing I need is another Les Paul, just ask my wife! You might even be able to pick one up at a reasonable price. A lot of them were sold before the price hike.
 

lanningwk

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If your priority is the back and sides showing nice grain - that gives you LOTS of options.
Things to consider - does the back need to be natural/clear? Or would cherry be ok too? Cherry shows the grain.
Are you concerned with weight at all? Does it need to be weight relieved or chambered, or is solid ok?
I like red backs too - any of the burst colors (iced tea, light burst etc) of the early 2000's era that were supposedly mimicking the aged look of a true burst had red backs and I loved those. I would say I prefer the look of a clear coat over brown mahogany that has some sort of darker grain filler to it. Here is a pic of the back/sides of the vintage sunburst LP I'm currently looking at. I love this look.
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lanningwk

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I’d go with a 50’s Gold Top! Recently purchased one just to see if all the hype was valid. They are exceptionally nice, better than I remember them. The one I purchased is a keeper and the last thing I need is another Les Paul, just ask my wife! You might even be able to pick one up at a reasonable price. A lot of them were sold before the price hike.
I've got my eye on a 2008 Traditional Goldtop. Just enough finish checking to get a lower price and some honest aged looks, but not enough to make me pass. I like that its in the same era as my current 2004 LP. Gibson was producing some good stuff around that time. My fear with buying another flametop is that I'll have it for a month or so and realize I still want the goldtop. Knowing I probably won't get a top that is lots better than my current LP, gold may be the way to go anyway!
 

mjross

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I've got my eye on a 2008 Traditional Goldtop. Just enough finish checking to get a lower price and some honest aged looks, but not enough to make me pass. I like that its in the same era as my current 2004 LP. Gibson was producing some good stuff around that time. My fear with buying another flametop is that I'll have it for a month or so and realize I still want the goldtop. Knowing I probably won't get a top that is lots better than my current LP, gold may be the way to go anyway!
Gold Top has my vote!
 

1allspub

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That Vintage Burst Trad Pro II looks like a stunner. Would like to see its top better.

As for the battery compartment... just remove the battery. The guitar will function fine without it. In fact, instead of a boost then you'll have a built in Kill-Switch... which is actually a nice feature to have. Then spend another $8-$10 and get a regular cavity cover and nobody will be the wiser! :)

If this Trad Pro II just isn't floating your boat for some reason... look for a Classic Gold Top. I think they had these in 2017/18 timeframe. I almost bought one new back then... cool guitar, but then changed my mind at the last minute and got something else instead (can't remember what, ha!).

Or look for a 2016 or later Traditional in Honey Burst. Will have a bit fatter neck and the brown back you like. I have one (2016) and it's a killer guitar.
 

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integra evan

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Have you considered a Special then? All mahogany so you'll see the grain on back AND front
 

lanningwk

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That Vintage Burst Trad Pro II looks like a stunner. Would like to see its top better.

As for the battery compartment... just remove the battery. The guitar will function fine without it. In fact, instead of a boost then you'll have a built in Kill-Switch... which is actually a nice feature to have. Then spend another $8-$10 and get a regular cavity cover and nobody will be the wiser! :)

If this Trad Pro II just isn't floating your boat for some reason... look for a Classic Gold Top. I think they had these in 2017/18 timeframe. I almost bought one new back then... cool guitar, but then changed my mind at the last minute and got something else instead (can't remember what, ha!).

Or look for a 2016 or later Traditional in Honey Burst. Will have a bit fatter neck and the brown back you like. I have one (2016) and it's a killer guitar.
I was 100% looking for a goldtop. And if you'd told me "hey check out this teardrop vintage sunburst" I'd have been like "nah" but then I saw this thing.... Judging by the fact that the control side of the top looks crazy flamed in one pic and pretty plain in the other pic, I'd say this one has some crazy movement to it.
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lanningwk

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Have you considered a Special then? All mahogany so you'll see the grain on back AND front
Actually - no I hadn't considered that but I may look around for a used CS special. I have friends that are like: My Gibsons better have trapezoids and not dots yada yada yada... that's not me. I like dots, trapezoids, blocks... Wood quality and sound do it for me. Not smaller aesthetic attributes.
 

wildhawk1

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Thanks for the reply - so if I don't load it with a battery, or the battery dies, it won't affect the normal performance of the guitar?

Right... no effect with or without and good or dead.
 

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