Gibson Les Pauls in the 90's

rlefty

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I've developed a small obsession with Les Pauls that were manufactured in the 90's. I don't know if it's nostalgia, the woods they were using, the quality control that existed, all in my head, or some voodoo combination of all of those things, but I feel like the guitars that Gibson was producing in the 90's were the best mass production run guitars in its history.

I'm a lefty, so it's pretty hard to find, and even harder to try guitars from all different eras. I can say that I've played/owned a small sampling of newer (2006 -> present) a few 90's, and maybe one or two Pauls from the late 70's/early 80's. I now own none of those aside from a 93 and a 96. None of those others guitars had "it", for me at least, and the 90's ones do.

I'm not trying to start a flame war. If you have an amazing <insert your year here> guitar I think that's awesome, and would love to hear about your different experiences with 90's era Les Pauls in contrast to newer and older ones.

I'm going back now and trying to collect some literature that was available at the time (in the 90's)... everybody's got a hobby :) I figured I'd start a thread to get some real life opinions on the subject.

DISCLAIMER: I'm not comparing these guitars to the late 50's - early 60's guitars. Those have a mojo all to themselves, and they weren't really mass produced. Also not trying to compare to custom shop models, which have a level of personal craftsmanship that is hard to match, period. Really just talking about a Les Paul that any one of us average guys could have walked into a shop and purchased right off the rack.
 

rlefty

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I'll start it off with a pic of my current favorite, a Cherry Burst 1993 LP Standard. It's mostly original though I did swap out the bridge pup w/a 57 classic plus and I removed the pup covers. Weighs a bit over 9 pounds. Great neck, great tone. It's more or less the guitar I measure other guitars I play by.

 

rlefty

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Its funny really......I had a lefty either 93 or 94.......could have been the twin of this one. By far the worst LP I've owned.

I have no nostalgia for this period as you can imagine.
What bugged you about it?
 

sixlicks

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This is my 1996 standard . It is a fine guitar and I have always been very happy with it .
 

jstarr823

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Funny you mention this. My '14 Studio Pro reminds more of "those" Gibsons than any other I've owned in the past five years.
 

grayd8

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I cant speak for their entire history, I've been playing a good number of Les Paul's every year for the past decade. From my experience 2013 - 2014 have been among the best sounding and playing. Every year has had good and bad ones, these years had very few duds. Even the 2015 with all of the questionable design changes have had good quality and sound. I just haven't felt the need to play too many.
 

culturejam

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I had a 92 Studio that I bought a couple years ago. Great construction and looked nice, but I just couldn't get any mojo out of it.

I recently got a 1999 Standard. Plays and sounds great, but is heavy as hell.

 

Tomsmenace

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I had a 93 (I think) Studio Lite in translucent blue. I just never loved it and it played backup to a 91 Ibanez RT450 on most gigs. Sold it, with no remorse in 2004.

There was nothing wrong with it, it just felt dead. This however is all very subjective.
 

ARandall

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What bugged you about it?
I just had to fight it to get any meaningful sustain, especially lead playing.

I sold it on quite a while back as you can imagine.....so who knows whether the improvement in technique and feel I've had since would have made the difference.
Interestingly more recently I had a '99 SG that was a dog too. It got sold as well, so I'm 100% strike rate for 90's guitars and dogs.
 

MUSTANGCAT

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I have a 98 which just kills. Sustain for days. The 490/498 combo is very well balanced as well. I could see me picking up another 90s era LP someday. The funny thing is unlike my other two Les Pauls, I did not even plug it in at the store when I got it. My other two I test drove through a Marshall before ringing them up.
 

circles

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Well, I can only speak for one '94, but it's great. Perhaps the sample size affects one's perception of an era. I love the look, feel and tone, and have yet to 'hit a wall' with it when playing. All hail 90's LP's!

 

rlefty

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Well, I can only speak for one '94, but it's great. Perhaps the sample size affects one's perception of an era. I love the look, feel and tone, and have yet to 'hit a wall' with it when playing. All hail 90's LP's!

Crazy grain on that top!
 

Sawyer

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I think you'll get good and bad from every era. Wood is not a consistent material. Dare I say there were probably some dogs in the 50's.
 


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