Forum's input on choosing First Les Paul

BronieV

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Hey There!
I'm looking for my first Les Paul and I found three that might be interesting + be a good deal. I have no real chance of checking those exact guitars before buying - however every time i bought guitar from other country and had it sent to me it always turned out great so far. I'm playing rather heavier music, lets say shred style so I'm looking for Santa Cruz/Zakk Wylde sound. I've been superstrat/strat guy but I seen no problem with classic LP neck size so everything seems great to play.
I've found those:

LES PAUL STANDARD 2008 ICED TEA
Price: $1,412.95
Burstbucker Pro pickups
asymmetrical neck profile
Gig Bag

GIBSON LES PAUL TRADITIONAL 2019 TOBACCO BURST
Price: $1,518.46
Round Neck with 50’s style
Burst Backers 1 & 2 (PAF replica)
Hard Case

GIBSON 120TH ANNIVERSARY LES PAUL TRADITIONAL MANHATTAN MIDNIGHT
Price: $1,541.40
Pickups: 59’ Tribute Pickups
special inlay on the 12th fret and limited coloring
Hard Case

I'm looking for opinions about those models, and general input while I'm thinking about the options there. 120th anniversary traditional has 59' tribute pickups that i heard are awesome choice. Les Paul Standard 2008 with asymmetrical neck might be better for my style of playing (no chance to try this one before). Traditional 2019 will be least used so thats a plus. Maybe something else would be a good choice? I'm looking for used LP somewhere around that price tag (it will be around $180 more with shipping). Willing to learn something from You experienced LP guys :)
 

Max Max

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I would choose the 2008 Les Paul Standard, through the process of elimination.
If you're used to playing super strats, that LP Traditional neck is going to feel like a tree trunk to you. As for the 120th Anniversary, I think if you play high gain rock and metal(like I do), you'll be disappointed in the amount of output from those 59s. My Studio has burstbuckers and they sound good playing metal through my DSL and 6505. Just my opinion, hope this helps.
 

Thundermtn

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Buying without playing them means you're rolling the dice. So buying the guitar with the best ratio of price to attractiveness of top makes the most sense if it's a dud and you have to flip it.

Not trying to rain on the parade but if they were GREAT guitars they wouldn't be for sale. Putting your hands on one is the only real way to sort them. Neck size, shape and stiffness are paramount. Resonance, sustain and tone fill out the rest. Anything else is pretty much just a which one has the best top contest.
 

DaveSG

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Buying without playing them means you're rolling the dice. So buying the guitar with the best ratio of price to attractiveness of top makes the most sense if it's a dud and you have to flip it.

Not trying to rain on the parade but if they were GREAT guitars they wouldn't be for sale. Putting your hands on one is the only real way to sort them. Neck size, shape and stiffness are paramount. Resonance, sustain and tone fill out the rest. Anything else is pretty much just a which one has the best top contest.

I hear you on the great guitar point, but a lot of times what people think is a dud may just be a bad setup. Plus 'hard times' sells is a thing. My biggest 'dud' ended up being a brand new guitar and I just couldn't get it to work for me after trying to set it up, pickup swap, etc. My best guitar ended up being found on clearance because nobody bought it for 2 years because they thought it was a dud. Killer guitar, that '62 GC Reissue turned out to be.

Totally agree though, getting your hands on the guitar is the only way to know for sure.
 

Thundermtn

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Some good points, but no amount of setup or swapping will fix a floppy neck. It's the second or third thing to test for.
 

Bro KV

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Not trying to rain on the parade but if they were GREAT guitars they wouldn't be for sale. Putting your hands on one is the only real way to sort them.
Not entirely true, sometimes people have to sell GREAT guitars because they need the money or for other personal reasons. Sometimes they even price them to sell quickly and a GREAT guitar can be had for a killer price.
 

TheWelder

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First off, welcome to the forum!

Are there photos of these guitars available? That may help you narrow it down. As far as PUPs are concerned, they are all in the PAF territory. BB Pros, I believe, have more pronounced highs. Not sure what the main difference is between BB and the '59 Tributes. To me, most of the Gibson PAF style PUPs all fall around the same general tonal spectrum which is the classic Les Paul sound.

As far as cosmetics, the 2008 Standard is likely going to have a rim-burst which isn't for everyone. The 120th Anniversary is a deep blue which may or may not be your thing. The 12th fret inlay isn't my thing personally, but far from a deal breaker. Without more information and photos, from this bunch if I had to choose I'd go with the Trad, but I prefer a tear-drop burst and classic specs. Whatever you choose, I'm sure you'll enjoy your new Les Paul. And please post photos when you get it!

Also, don't let a rounded neck scare you off. I play guitars with necks ranging from paper thin 60s Fender to huge Louisville Slugger early 50s style necks, and have no problems adjusting.
 
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David Garner

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I'd get the 2019 Traditional of those options. The 2008 Standard is a cool guitar, but IIRC it's chambered and has that asymmetrical neck profile. You might love both of those things, but it is not a vintage-style instrument. They sound good and they are very light.

I prefer the tobacco burst to the Manhattan Midnight, and I like the BBs, so that's the reason for the preference between the two Trade.
 

Cookiee

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If I remember correctly the 2008 Standard came with some features that aren't for everyone such as a locking output jack. I personally would go with the 2019 Trad
 

BronieV

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Buying without playing them means you're rolling the dice. So buying the guitar with the best ratio of price to attractiveness of top makes the most sense if it's a dud and you have to flip it.

Not trying to rain on the parade but if they were GREAT guitars they wouldn't be for sale. Putting your hands on one is the only real way to sort them. Neck size, shape and stiffness are paramount. Resonance, sustain and tone fill out the rest. Anything else is pretty much just a which one has the best top contest.
Sure I'm aware of that. Maybe because i did it few times I fell quite ok trying that way. In my country I see used LP standard only in around $2300-2500 range. So if any of those (especially talking about the Standard) would not be perfect match for me I still should be able to sell it at least without any loose
 

01GT Eibach

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I would go with the 2019 Traditional. I have a 2018 LP with a rounded neck, and it can rock. The 2008 Standard bothers me a bit because it has been separated from its case (i.e., ... why?, to me this is a sign of a guitar that might have a hard life). The special 120th Anniversary guitars are not my favorite as I don't find all that anniversary stuff "special" to me, and I am also generally not a fan of blue guitars.
 

BronieV

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First off, welcome to the forum!

Are there photos of these guitars available? That may help you narrow it down. As far as PUPs are concerned, they are all in the PAF territory. BB Pros, I believe, have more pronounced highs. Not sure what the main difference is between BB and the '59 Tributes. To me, most of the Gibson PAF style PUPs all fall around the same general tonal spectrum which is the classic Les Paul sound.

As far as cosmetics, the 2008 Standard is likely going to have a rim-burst which isn't for everyone. The 120th Anniversary is a deep blue which may or may not be your thing. The 12th fret inlay isn't my thing personally, but far from a deal breaker. Without more information and photos, from this bunch if I had to choose I'd go with the Trad, but I prefer a tear-drop burst and classic specs. Whatever you choose, I'm sure you'll enjoy your new Les Paul. And please post photos when you get it!

Also, don't let a rounded neck scare you off. I play guitars with necks ranging from paper thin 60s Fender to huge Louisville Slugger early 50s style necks, and have no problems adjusting.
Sure I have some photos - Another thing I've got to check is are they original or fake. Any input on that (based on photos or serial number) would be helpful also :) serial numbers:
120th Anniversary Serial Number: 140006958
2008 LP Standard 122800566
2019 Traditional: 190003044
 

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TheWelder

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That Traditional is stunning. It has a Slash November Burst vibe to it.

Another plus for the Trad is I believe you’d have an easier time selling it if you didn’t vibe with it. There’s always a market for a nice flame top tobacco burst.

Edit: they all look real to me, but I'm no expert.
 
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Thundermtn

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That's a tough one. I lean towards the midnight. It's unique with a dark board. The standard has nice flame but it's a perimeter burst. The other trad is nice too but I'm not a fan of dark burst in general.

Safe money is on the '19 Trad as long as it isn't boat anchor heavy.
 

diogoguitar

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Welcome to the forum!
Sounds like you and I play similar things, so let me jump in here

If you're ok with beefy necks, get the traditional because it will be more satisfying to play. Double check, go to a store and play a 50's neck. I didn't do it when I bought my traditional and I love my guitar, but it was a complete shot in the dark.

Among the 3, I'd take the blue one for its looks.
If i'm not mistaken, the burstbucker pro are the hottest pickups of these 3, but it's still a fairly vintage pickup set. If you're looking to get something more metal, you might want to swap out the pickups to something else.

I happen to have this pickup set on my LP Modern, and I love it for metal. I just crank the amp really hard and put pedals to help push..
 

moreles

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I would choose the 2008 Les Paul Standard, through the process of elimination.
I agree with the choice and the reasoning. Any LP plays well for me, but why not get the one that most favors what and how you play? Isn't that the point? I totally disagree with the notion that used guitars are being sold for reasons of mediocrity. My experience is the reverse: that guitar stores are full of standard fare or worse, and that if you know how to search, you have access to way more instruments (including junk, to be fair) in the used market, and I consistently scoire really superior guitars that are being sold because 1) the owner regularly buys and sells because they like to, and 2) need for money forces not only a sale, but a timely sale. BTW, most guitar owners are pretty clueless, and I've gotten great instruments that the seller moved because they didn't "bond" with the tone or feel, quaklities I could easily transform through proper adjustment. On the other hand, oddly, my fave used buy was a MIM Strat that I bought because I wanted to do a fixup/changeup job to get a beater for travelling. The instrument I got was an old one, played to death by a kid who was selling it to raise money to buy his next step-up guitar. He came to the sale (off CL) with his mom! It was fantastic to give the guy his asking price, get his banged up Strat, and have him leave excited for the next thing. I did my sweat equity fixup and ended up with a terrific player that makes me smile every time I pick it up because it's got its own special mojo.
 


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