Gibson Les Paul Standard 1989 - 1994

charlyhurricane

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Hello folks, this is my first post in this beautiful forum.

I was told that 1989 - 1994 was the last great era from Gibson Standard. What is your opinion? Why the Les Pauls from the early 90's are so wanted?.

Thanks!
 

Wuuthrad

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I think it’s nonsense- the best guitar is the one you’re playing.

Not being a collector though who knows? Do I care? Not really.

I would guess that Ebony fingerboards might have something to do with it.

“Don’t believe the hype” - my words to live by for the most part.

Although intrinsic value and ever diminishing returns always come into play, one way or the other with guitars.
 

MSB

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good and bad from every year... EVERY year.


but each era has "traits," that depending on how history is written makes them more or less desirable. I'm blessed for the most part in that traits I find desirable tend to go against the grain, so I tend to get phenomenal deals on guitars that others shun from.
 

TorzJohnson

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You may hear that from people trying to sell a Les Paul made between 1989 - 1994 .

Just like how so many Mexican strats being sold were actually "made from American parts".

Or a 70's Fender for sale always being "one of the good ones". ;)
 

mudface

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It seems that every turn of a decade it’s something “special” about them..... Why?..... there isn’t.

1958-60.... you know why

1968-74.... :hmm:

1979-82.....:dunno:

1989-94...... ??

1999-2004.... same thing

And it goes on..... I’m sure 2019-202? Will be the same..... after HJ era wood is better.... or whatever reasoning sellers what to brag about.

The truth has already been mentioned by the posters above..... there’s good and bad and just plain fantastic every single year.

Including 1959.
 

jdm66

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My 93 standard was terrible. It was my first Les Paul and was excited to finally get one. It had that heritage cherry clown burst that was not applied evenly at all. The fingerboard cut outs for the inlays were oversized and mismatching filler was used to fill the gaps. The dealer went to bat for me, but in the end Gibson said the inlay flaws didn't effect the playability of the guitar. The guy I sold it to got rid of it a few months later.
 

HogmanA

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Cue the chorus of "There are good and bad in all years... blah blah blah...!".:run:

There are certainly differences, or more accurately as someone mentioned above, 'traits'.

I think some of this is to do with whether you acknowledge or not the effect of wood on the sound.

Also, what an individual values in a guitar. For example, I value individuality over a perfect guitar, in both the sound and the fit and finish.
My own very limited experience is that the Gibson guitars in the 90's had less consistency/ greater variation. I spent months in the early 90's going around guitar shops in London hunting for a Gibson LP Standard that spoke to me.
In those days, people didn't buy guitars online.
Now, 50% of Fenders sales are online - people are buying guitars unseen - the individuality and the sound is less important than a perfect guitar.
Sometime before the 90's, Gibson stopped selling factory seconds, and this fact goes some way to support my theory - as the seconds were now sold as new.

Also, consider that the custom shop as we know it was started in 93. It is feasible that earlier in the decade the lighter body blanks that are now sent to the custom shop where used for USA models in the early 90's.
My early 90's Lp Standard (bought new) that I have to this day is 8lb exactly and has a fretboard width of the dimensions of a custom of the time.
There is oversanding of the neck near the 12 fret that my hand fits in and the binding is untidy - thick and thin. But it sounds ace and completely unlike any of the others I tried. I doubt I would ever find another LP that sounds anything like it.

LP's now seem to all sound much more similar to each other. That was always the impression I got from Yamaha SG's too - lovely guitars, but very consistent from one to the other.
 

Guitpicky

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I think overall quality and consistency is probably the best it’s ever been, mostly because of improvements in manufacturing methods and materials. Some of the woods used fifty years ago are no longer around, but even back then they were just using what was readily available and economically feasible.

They may have had more personality “back in the day” but I’d attribute that to a much greater inconsistency in the finished product, and you were much less likely to get a “good one” than one with a bunch of what we’d deem today as “serious flaws”.

Old unstable plastics and finishes that reacted with everything, clunky ugly stamped hardware, one color that faded into any of half a dozen other colors depending on who knows what, poor finish consistency and reliability, no two neck or top carves were ever the same even when they were supposed to be, horrible neck sets, bad paint jobs... and the list goes on.

If you ask me, with the exception of over harvested woods no longer available, pretty much everything has improved over the years... it’s just that our expectations have out paced those improvements :)
 
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Mvrush

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Gibson guitars are fairly consistent as long as you stay in the upper price range. That said. every range has a few lemons and a few that achieve close to perfection. The best thing to do is play the guitar and see how it feels and sounds to you. My buddy has a Les Paul he absolutely loves but I hate the way it sounds through my amp. It really comes down to your own personal opinion. My Les Paul's speak to me when I play them and I love them!
 

rogue3

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Hello folks, this is my first post in this beautiful forum.

I was told that 1989 - 1994 was the last great era from Gibson Standard. What is your opinion? Why the Les Pauls from the early 90's are so wanted?.

Thanks!
I think Henry...and Gibson were highly motivated...and some beautiful Les Pauls came out in that period.But that was just the first wave.

I have 4. 87,2-89's,and a 90. When i had to choose between keeping any of the 4, and a 2011 R8,no contest, i sold the R8.Part of that was sentimental...but really,if any of those late 80's lesters were worse than the R8,i would have kept the R8 and sold one of the four.

To me,my 4 late 80's LP.'s are better.Reasons? quality of the rosewood board.Nice hard and shiny.I like. They all have nice note bloom, just my preference.They have more comfortable necks(for me). The shaping of the body to the neck is not as chunky as the R8.They are smoother,sleeker.The neck angle is slightly more setback,i like.

They all sound better than the R8 i sold.Warmer,fatter,clear without a slightly annoying high end the R8 had.Different strokes.:wave:
 

dc007

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I love my 92 Standard. However it it does not get the play time that the Custom shop Lesters do.
 

charlyhurricane

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I think Henry...and Gibson were highly motivated...and some beautiful Les Pauls came out in that period.But that was just the first wave.

I have 4. 87,2-89's,and a 90. When i had to choose between keeping any of the 4, and a 2011 R8,no contest, i sold the R8.Part of that was sentimental...but really,if any of those late 80's lesters were worse than the R8,i would have kept the R8 and sold one of the four.

To me,my 4 late 80's LP.'s are better.Reasons? quality of the rosewood board.Nice hard and shiny.I like. They all have nice note bloom, just my preference.They have more comfortable necks(for me). The shaping of the body to the neck is not as chunky as the R8.They are smoother,sleeker.The neck angle is slightly more setback,i like.

They all sound better than the R8 i sold.Warmer,fatter,clear without a slightly annoying high end the R8 had.Different strokes.:wave:
This was the comment I was looking for! Thank you very much @rogue3 !! I played some '93 and '94 and i felt all that you said comparing them with others Standards. I also played an traditional 2019 yesterday and it was very good!
 

Shadow Explorer

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This was the comment I was looking for!
If you were looking for a specific answer, what's the point of asking?

I think some of this is to do with whether you acknowledge or not the effect of wood on the sound.
If the placebo works on someone or not.
And I do believe they do play a part in the overall sound (harmonics sustain), but each piece of timber is unique, so it's not really a constant factor. Thus no two guitars are exactly the same.

2016 was a good year because you had a lot of choices regarding to model specs, many limiteds etc,
better look the specs you would like your guitar to have than just the year.
 

ARandall

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Now that the blindfold has been lifted, and we are really looking closely at the HenryJ era......here is something else for your consideration.

The only thing HJ did in the first years of his ownership was to increase prices. That's all.
ALL of the things making the guitars more vintage accurate compared to the 70s were done by the Norlin company in the early 80s. And all of the remaining inaccurate parts/construction were kept.
The guitars were still boat anchors. The new owners kept the weight relief, 3 piece top, short tenon and Nashville bridge.
 

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