"Good Years" and "Bad Years" for Gibson Les Pauls

Meclazine2

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Someone was trying to tell me the other day to stay away from R8's and R9's between 2009-2012. He said the 2013 pickup in them was a much needed improvement that commands more money today in resale of these instruments.
 

jc2000

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Early 90's had nice wood and good QC and prices are pretty reasonable. Lotsa good ones from then.

There are good ones and dogs from all years. I have a 2011 Classic Custom that is awesome. Anything after 2013 I won't buy 'cause of changes I don't like......but that's just me.
2013 was a good year. It was th
 

jc2000

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Early 90's had nice wood and good QC and prices are pretty reasonable. Lotsa good ones from then.

There are good ones and dogs from all years. I have a 2011 Classic Custom that is awesome. Anything after 2013 I won't buy 'cause of changes I don't like......but that's just me.
2013 was a good year. It was the last year before the head stock signature fiasco...
 

bluesondoor

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Even 2015 apart from the headstock business is getting respect here lately after the sales and people get more play time with them.

From my experience there are good LPs every year and some not so good in those same years. 2017 was a top year and I'd put plenty of 2000s LPs with those from the 80s and 90s.

Speaking for myself I'd not let the year it was made affect any LP purchase. If it plays good, sounds good, and is the right price, I'll take it.
 

Nickel Zens

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Regularly I get offers of certain batches of Gibson, like 2016's this week, or a 2014 one last week. Then this question arises, is this a good or bad year?

I think this question is rather new in a way, for it matters more 'unseen' guitars, as in ordering on the internet. When you go to a shop you can feel what the guitar is like, you use you eyes, your ears, your fingers, try different amps maybe. Things enough to judge the guitar by. The individual guitar that is, the one hanging next to your specimen may be of the same brand, type and year, but may have flaws, plays worse etc. The shopkeeper may be able to adjust it, on the spot, or a day later. These days, buying online you don't have your eyes, your ears and your fingers (or accompanying friend/expert) to judge, you only have non-indivdual characteristics, brand, type, years and reviews (of other speci
mens of that brand/type/year). That's why year starts to matter so much.

All in all we start posing demands on guitars that have not so much to do with the mnaufactuere, but with our own behavior.

On the other hand, one step further, it is up to the manufacturer to give us the certainty we demand. Apparently some can. Better than Gibson.

However, instead of focusing on abstract, global quality-indicators, like year, we can still, of course, go to a shop an judge the individual specimen. An activity seemingly extinct.
There are no local music shops where I live , well there is but caters for beginners and schools, OK if you need strings quick and that stuff. But I have to travel 30+ miles if I want to go to a proper shop. I have bought online so long as there is a 30+ day non quibble guarantee. I would never buy from auction site though.
 

judson

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i got a 90 and 93 LP studio which are great but i just bought a 71/72 gold top LP that kicks their ass in tone and i tend to keep wanting vintage...new stuff and repro's dont get me hard...
 

yamariv

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Other than 58' thru early 60's (duh!) I don't know what's considered the best years for LPs, versus the ones to avoid.

So if someone is trying to sell me a 1990 and someone else a 2000 (just as examples), how do I determine which way to go? (other than the obvious of vintage/near vintage considerations)

Novice and would appreciate any guidance here.
double.jpg
 

Thumpalumpacus

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I don't believe in good years and bad years. I think there's keepers and dogs no matter. And yes, older ones which have survived this long are perhaps better ... or perhaps kept under the bed by Grandma Claire.

Play before you pay, and let your fingers and ears tell you.
 

Duane_the_tub

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When it was 2013
It was a very good year
It was a very good year for R8s and R9s
with more correct glue and condom-less truss rods
We'd play under the lights
in some rundown village bar
when it was 2013
 

scozz

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Other than 58' thru early 60's (duh!) I don't know what's considered the best years for LPs, versus the ones to avoid.
Back in those years, 1958 thru 1960, and a couple of years before, the Les Paul was NOT a popular model. Sales were so poor that the guitar was discontinued, nobody wanted them. Fast forward to the mid 60s...people started to become more interested in them. Due largely because of Mike Bloomfield.

They had a unique sound at the time...thick, warm, full sound that had great sustain, and there were very few if any solid body humbucker loaded guitars to choose from. Suddenly everyone wanted one, but there weren't that many around, after all they were only made for 3 years. Because of this high demand and low supply these guitars became coveted, and Gibson re-issued the model in 1968.

I say all this because imo those 1958 to 1960 Les Pauls were not much different tone wise than the ones made post 1960.

All years have some dogs but for the most part the vast majority of LPs are fine instruments. IMO some of the finest LPs were made in the 80s and 90s. Although like I said there are great LPs from all years.
 

vivanchenko

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It would be nice to have a definition of good and bad. Saying that something kicks something else's a$s says nothing.

So what is it? Sustain? Resonance? Weight? Playability? Workmanship? Construction? Aesthetics? Resale value? All of these?

I think that the answer is easy - the closer an LP is to the best original 59 spec LPs the better it is. This includes resale value. This makes it easy to quantify an LP's worth from any era because there were certain undesirable changes in each later era.

I would term everything else as preferences. For instance, if somebody likes chambered LPs from 2008 that's fine. A chambered LP may sound 2x better than a solid one, but it won't sound and feel like an original LP. So, it might be more of a guitar, but not as much an LP as the solid one. So, it's value in terms of being an LP will be significantly lower.

The marketplace will tell you the same thing.

So, one can find a good guitar from every era, but you can not say the same thing about a Les Paul.
 
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ARandall

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I think that the answer is easy - the closer an LP is to the best original 59 speck LPs the better it is.
You've made this error before.....assuming everybody wants the same thing.
As an example, Adam Jones from Tool wants precisely the opposite. His idea of better for a Les Paul is the furthest from the 58/59 construction that Gibson ever got.

So lets move on from the silly assumptions you seem unable to stop making.
 

vivanchenko

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You've made this error before.....assuming everybody wants the same thing.
As an example, Adam Jones from Tool wants precisely the opposite. His idea of better for a Les Paul is the furthest from the 58/59 construction that Gibson ever got.

So lets move on from the silly assumptions you seem unable to stop making.
What Adam Jones wants is his preference, which has very little relevance to LP value. Try selling a Gibson LP built to Adam Jones spec and then another one built by Gibson to exact 59 spec and you will see my point.

You are confusing things. This time it is the LP spec and personal preferences. Once you separate the two life will be much easier.
 

ARandall

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Spec and preferences are the same. There is no reason other than personal preference that a certain spec is better. The whole inclusion of 'better' in your post immediately takes your argument into the personal preference sphere by definition. As every guitar made in the LP history is physically able to withstand the rigors of play there is never any construction method that is inferior structurally.
Every other aspect you have mentioned is personal.

Resale is another thing entirely - and there are close to endless examples of guitars made to non-vintage spec being more valuable than ones that are.

So your argument falls down (as it has done every time) on your inability to know the scope of your position.
 

vivanchenko

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59 spec and personal preferences is not the same thing. Preferences may or may not be in line with 59 spec.
 

vivanchenko

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As I mentioned previously, I do realize that there were turds in any era, including 50s. This is why I suggested to use best (known) 59 LPs as a reference of a good Les Paul (the best possible LP). This simply makes it easier to quantify all other differences and to make an informed purchasing decision. Again, I am speaking about Les Pauls, not electric guitars in general, because in this case you might have to look elsewhere.
 

lpfan1980

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My 2006 Gibson Les paul that i just bought is the only Gibson i have ever owned and since i am madly in love with it so- 2006 :dude: actually i ve talked to a guy who said he played some nice Norlins and said he played a 1956 that in his words an over priced doorstop so ya never know the factory could have a good day in a bad era or vice versa if your lp looks nice sounds nice and is fun to play good enough..
 

mrdannyboy

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opinions are like assholes, everyone has one. thats said Im an asshole and the earl/mid 90's is supposed to be good lpl
 


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