Gibson Les Paul 101

SkunkWorks

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Apologies if commenting on old threads like this is bad form (I've never really used forums) but I have a question for the community. I've recently purchased a 2006 standard. I have a NGD thread on the main board with pics. Anyway. It's dated to the 2nd October (October 2nd for our colonial friends across the Atlantic ;)) Now I know that chambering began officially for the 2007 Standard line but unofficially from late 2006 and most even say October 2006. As my guitar is the 2nd October, I'm wondering if anyone has an earlier standard model that they know is chambered? I suspect mine is as it is light and rings hollow around the bass side of the body. Although only really where the 'Swiss cheese' holes would be. Before anyone jumps on this saying its overblown and it should only matter if I like the look and sound of the guitar, I agree completely and I love it. I'm just curious. Many thanks! And thanks to the OP and all the contributions to this thread, it's a wealth of knowledge.
September 25, 2006 for my Chambered Standard...

http://www.mylespaul.com/forums/gibson-les-pauls/87875-ngd-2006-standard-ebony.html

http://www.mylespaul.com/forums/gibson-les-pauls/86568-need-opinion-asap-pending-purchase-chambered.html
 

NettoCPS

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I need some info on this Les Paul Alpine White I just got.

I see Its a CS52314 so it would be 2005 and the numbers of it made right? The certificate says it's hand-built by the historic plant so I'm confused about being a historic or not. I also see two "tops" on the back and in the front of the guitar is that correct? Can someone help me out with more info. I don't know much about Les Paul's. Thanks.






 

Tim Plains

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I need some info on this Les Paul Alpine White I just got.

I see Its a CS52314 so it would be 2005 and the numbers of it made right? The certificate says it's hand-built by the historic plant so I'm confused about being a historic or not. I also see two "tops" on the back and in the front of the guitar is that correct? Can someone help me out with more info. I don't know much about Les Paul's. Thanks.
It is a 2005. CS5 could also be a 2015 but they have different certificates.

It's not a historic. That's just the name of the Custom Shop.

The two-piece top is normal. I think the common belief is that Customs have one-piece mahogany bodies but it's hard to tell since most are painted over. I guess it's possible that some have two-piece bodies. If you see a line going down the body, then it must be.
 

NettoCPS

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It is a 2005. CS5 could also be a 2015 but they have different certificates.

It's not a historic. That's just the name of the Custom Shop.

The two-piece top is normal. I think the common belief is that Customs have one-piece mahogany bodies but it's hard to tell since most are painted over. I guess it's possible that some have two-piece bodies. If you see a line going down the body, then it must be.
Thanks for the Info

For what I can see here its one piece. Its a great guitar, but only whish Gibson would put bettter electronics in it, gibston pots on a custom shop guitar is so ****ty cost saving option in my opinion.

Is it worth upgrading to the RS kit with the CTS Pots and the .22 an .15 Uf caps?

Thanks (Sorry to ask this but dont) know much about electronics.

Thanks
 

DaddywantsaBatmobile

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Fantastic info and learned a lot just from this one thread. Just bought my first LP, so this 101 has just filled my head space very nicely. I now have a 2010 Studio Ebony 60's Tribute, with a dodgy output jack and strings are 10's methinks (bit too heavy for my fingers). It's the one with P90 Pups and the 'worn' look and it sounds like a dream. Good entry level for my first I thought, just needs a slightly better set up to make me happier. So first job, I am now gonna drop a string size and fix the jack. I don't mind the small issues, cause the guitar was a steal. One thing, although the seller threw in a HC it's too big, so what is a better case to look out for in the UK on a budget? Or should I just go to a local GC and try some? (Not too many in my city tho).

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Dick Banks

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After looking at the weight-relieved x-ray on Tim's OP (excellent photo!), it seems to me that there isn't much "weight relieved" in those 9 little holes. Half a pound maybe? But more likely a better balanced guitar is the desired outcome...
 

garybaldy

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Fantastic info and learned a lot just from this one thread. Just bought my first LP, so this 101 has just filled my head space very nicely. I now have a 2010 Studio Ebony 60's Tribute, with a dodgy output jack and strings are 10's methinks (bit too heavy for my fingers). It's the one with P90 Pups and the 'worn' look and it sounds like a dream. Good entry level for my first I thought, just needs a slightly better set up to make me happier. So first job, I am now gonna drop a string size and fix the jack. I don't mind the small issues, cause the guitar was a steal. One thing, although the seller threw in a HC it's too big, so what is a better case to look out for in the UK on a budget? Or should I just go to a local GC and try some? (Not too many in my city tho).

View attachment 242308 View attachment 242309
Try Gear4music. I got a nice SG case with a mock croc skin look from them.
 

Gerald Gates

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I had a re-fret from Terry Parker at Terry Parker Customs on my r-9 about 6 months ago and one of the frets is loose.
Should I contact him t repair or just glue it myself?
 

holmcross

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Late to the game, but I was under the impression Traditionals were neither weight-relived nor chambered.
 

Les Paul Newb

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Late to the game, but I was under the impression Traditionals were neither weight-relived nor chambered.
That started with the 2014 trads, I believe. Could be 2013. In any case, it's becoming more common. Even the 2018 Classics are non weight relieved.
 

RokkaRolla

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Hi guys, I'm interested in buying this 2012 Les Paul Classic. Does it have 9 holes or chambering?
I also wonder when Gibson dropped specific s/n on Classics and brought back Les Paul Model to headstock.
Thank you!

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BowerR64

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This thread makes me want to sell my chambered studio and get another solid EPI custom pro
 

Naquat

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I have a 2018 L.P. Tribute that has NO Weight Relief, top and back look like 1pc, aluminum tailpiece, mucho sustain. I don't want to mess with it so I'm thinking of getting another or similar to mod because I'm thin, wear my guitar high and it digs my ribs. Plus I have a set of 70's Gibson pups and a Callaham bridge I'd like to install with his SS Nashville to ABR-1 Studs. I was lucky and got mine new for <$900. It did need to have the frets cleaned up a bit and a slight level and crown in the upper register but still...this guitar sings.
 

lpfan1980

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Rather than keep sending people to Gibson Forums, I figured I'd post this here. Maybe with some luck, this will become a sticky.
This post mainly applies to newer Les Pauls. Nowadays, there are two types of Les Pauls - Gibson USA and Gibson Custom Shop.

Gibson USA
Weight-relief started around 1982/1983. Every Gibson USA Les Paul between 1982 - 2007 is weight-relieved. They do not have solid-body construction. Weight-relief is also known as "swiss cheese holes" and refers to the nine holes drilled out of the body in order to reduce the weight of the guitar.

Chambering officially began for 2007 but the late 2006s are also chambered. Any Les Paul made after October 2006 maybe or likely is chambered. Every 2007 and newer Gibson USA Les Paul is chambered, except for the Les Paul Traditional. The Les Paul Traditional has swiss cheese holes. Chambering is essentially hollowing out the body. Again, this is in order to reduce the weight of the guitar.

Gibson Custom Shop
Gibson's Custom Shop makes regular production guitars and historic reissues. The regular production guitars, such as the Les Paul Custom, are also weight-relieved. They do not have solid-bodies.

The historic reissues are solid. All historic reissues, be it Standards or Customs, are solid. The exception being the chambered reissues. Chambered reissues are often referred to as Cloud 9 guitars. They are identified by their serial number, which begins with CR. chambered-reissue.org

So,

A 2003 Les Paul Classic is weight-relieved
A 2008 '57 reissue is solid
A 1995 Les Paul Standard is weight-relieved
A 2009 Chambered '58 reissue is chambered
A 2008 Les Paul Studio is chambered
A 1987 Les Paul Custom is weight-relieved
etc.

If you put on your x-ray goggles, this is what a chambered Les Paul would look like:


This is what a weight-relieved Les Paul would look like:



Neck tenons


Some Les Pauls have long neck tenon, while others do not.

Short: Standards (before the 2008 "new" Standard), Customs, Studios Classics.
Long: Historic reissues, 2008 Standards.

Norlin
Gibson guitars made between 1968 - 1986. Great info right here. http://www.mylespaul.com/forums/norlin-years/38456-faq-norlin-history.html
Any Norlin related items/questions should be posted here. Norlin Years - My Les Paul Forums

Historic Reissues
R2 = reissue of the 1952 Gibson Les Paul
R9 = reissue of the 1959 Gibson Les Paul
CR8 = chambered reissue of the '58 Gibson Les Paul
There is no R3 or R5.

Historic Customs are often referred to as B4, B7, R4BB or R7BB. BB meaning Black Beauty.

Gibson's VOS - Vintage Original Spec line. The terms VOS, historic, reissue & historic reissue all refer to the same guitar. There is only one difference, VOS refers to the aged finish on the top and hardware. The ones that do not have the VOS finish are referred to as "gloss" or "high gloss" reissues because (obviously) they have a high gloss finish. Websites like Guitar Center list the two guitars as VOS and "reissue." Reissue refers to the high gloss. I think this has caused some confusion with some people but rest assured, they are all the same guitar. Again, one looks brand new and the other does not look brand new - that's the only difference. VOS costs $300 less.

Any historic Les Pauls related items/questions should be posted here. Historics & Reissues - My Les Paul Forums

Historic Customs
Standards have mahogany bodies and maple tops. Historic Customs have mahogany bodies and mahogany tops (while modern/regular Customs have maple tops). The Custom will likely weight around a pound heavier but that's about it for differences.

1968 Reissue
Another reissue that never seems to be on gibson.com is the '68RI. These are the same as the B7s, only difference is they have maple tops, different pickups and Gibson USA electronics.

R8 vs. R9
This question gets asked a lot !!
They are the same guitar. All reissues are essentially the same guitar with minor differences. These differences are neck thicknesses, pickups, weight of each individual guitar, finishes & tops. The best way to get an understanding of the neck sizes is to actually play them. Me explaining that R8s have thicker necks than R9s and R7s have thicker necks than R8s doesn't mean jack unless you sit down with the guitar and see for yourself.

R9s list for $1,500 - $2,000 more than R8s. Why? The answer is because R9s have flame maple tops and the R9 should weigh less than the R8. That's it.
Here's a great pic taken from inside Gibson's Custom Shop


Please feel free to correct any mistakes I have made and also add any info you want but let's try and keep this thread educational.
 

lpfan1980

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Thanks so much I ve started to put money away for a Tribute goldtop Les Paul Gibson and i own a 2017 Epiphone LP so i know how awesome and wonderful these guitars can be . So excited ive decided to start living thanks for this info.
 

dro

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hipofutura, is the wood used today better than the wood used in the '70s? Good question!! Depends who you ask, I suppose. :)
A pre-1981 would be solid. One thing I forgot to include was pancake bodies. These were made in the '70s. Which years exactly, I don't know. I'm sure the answers are already in the Norlin section of the forum.

I've got a pancake custom, Thing weighs a ton


Re-read my first post. Studios before '07 are weight-relieved, Studios after '07 are chambered. Customs were Gibson USA guitars before 2004. In 2004, they became Custom Shop guitars. Either way, modern Customs have swiss cheese holes. Historic Customs have solid-bodies.


Quiet you!! :laugh2:


I'll be the first to admit that I really don't know anything about Norlins or pre-historics. If those pre-historics were Gibson USA guitars, they're most certainly weight-relieved. If they were made in the Custom Shop, I have no idea.
 


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