How are the new Studios? Better than the Tributes?

Ted Pikul

Member
Joined
Feb 5, 2015
Messages
32
Reaction score
24
I left Gibson for a couple of years, looking for something more ergonomic, with a trem bar, that sounded as good. I played a bunch of light, well-contoured guitars with trem bars and other features, but it seemed like none of them had a tone that I liked as much as the Gibsons I'd played (mostly Studios). I recently bought a relatively inexpensive Gibson, an LP Studio Tribute, to see if the tone I thought I was looking for even existed, and I immediately heard what I'd been missing. Yes, that tone could be had. So I bought an SG Standard Tribute, to confirm my impressions, and now I don't really care about weight or ergonomics so much. I just want more Gibsons, again. In particular, I want a Studio, because the 498 pickup in the bridge is something I like very much.

The thing is, I'm worried about Gibson QC, which sounds like it's still a bit of a gamble. I'm wondering if I should quit while I'm ahead. These Tributes were set up very well at the factory; they're a joy to play, and they sound fantastic - the SG Tribute sounds almost as good as any SG Standard that I've played, and the Studio Tribute sounds as good as the Studios I've owned, and maybe a little better (though the 490 doesn't get as heavy in the bridge as the 498). These are truly excellent guitars. Has anyone played a new Studio lately, and perhaps also the Studio Tribute? Does anyone have a sense of whether a new Studio might not sound or feel like it's worth a few hundred dollars more than a Studio Tribute? I'm really impressed with these Tributes, and it makes me want to get more Gibsons...should I be happy with what I've got? Are people having bad experiences with new LP Studios and SG Standards?

I guess I'm wondering if anyone else has been particularly impressed by these Tributes, to the point that they feel that buying up the line woudn't be much of an upgrade, or if anyone has been disappointed by a new LP Studio or SG Standard, such that they wished they'd gone with a Tribute. Thanks for any info.
 

MP4-22

Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2012
Messages
1,240
Reaction score
1,377
A studio will feel like a more finished guitar.... Honestly in the Les paul realm id skip the studio and get a classic. Tributes are great and the core of what makes gibson great so if you're a no frills guy the tribute is a fine choice. The SG standard IMO was always the best bang for the buck guitar, they are alittle pricier now but still a great buy.
 

Peter M

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2021
Messages
155
Reaction score
347
Current Tributes and Studios have different neck profiles...so you should start there when comparing. Tributes have the rounded profile, while Studios have the slim taper. Then the bridge pickups are different: Trib 490, Studio 498. Finishes are different: Trib matte, Studio gloss. Studios are push/pull, Tribs are not. Some other minor details may differ... don't know offhand.

But if it's all about bang-for-the-buck... Tribute wins.
 

efstop

The dickens you say!
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
May 29, 2015
Messages
11,418
Reaction score
28,038
I have a 2013 '50s Tribute GT with a mini humbucker swap that I'm keeping. I kept my 2017 Tribute GT with 490s for a year and traded it on an Explorer. Never warmed up to the 490s.

Tributes are all you need. Decide on a neck and pickups and you're good to go.
 

Ted Pikul

Member
Joined
Feb 5, 2015
Messages
32
Reaction score
24
These are the two I'm talking about. I've owned Studios and SG Standards and I don't remember them ringing like these two do. Is it the finish, or lack thereof?



I'm leaning toward an SG Standard, because it avoids all weight/ergonomic issues, in my experience. They did used to be cheaper than Studios, that's kind of a drag. I like the Studio because I really like the 498 in the bridge, and I also think that weight/mass generally affects tone in a positive way in Gibsons...unfortunately, it also makes them heavier...but yeah, I like a 498 in the bridge. Thank you for mentioning that the Tribute has a bulkier neck! That gives me another good excuse to get a Studio.

These two guitars sound and play really well. I'm sure that I'll get at least one more Gibson, but one of the reasons that I'm on the fence is, these just sound so good, particularly compared to the superstrats I've been playing for the last couple of years, to the point that I really do wonder if I need (lol) more guitars. A bunch of those superstrats were great guitars, but those Gibson folks, who I love to complain about as much as anyone, really get it right when they get it right. Yes I am a fanboy.
 

TheWelder

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2011
Messages
2,496
Reaction score
4,272
Count me in the camp that would take a Tribute over most Studios. Not saying Studios are bad by any means, but I like the classic Les Paul look and Tribites seem to nail that well, especially the gold tops.
 

efstop

The dickens you say!
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
May 29, 2015
Messages
11,418
Reaction score
28,038
A '60s Tribute might have P-90s or
Thank you for mentioning that the Tribute has a bulkier neck! That gives me another good excuse to get a Studio.
A '50s Tribute has a fatter, '50s neck and P-90s. The '60s Tribute may have P-90s or 490s and a slim neck. The 2017 Tribute T has 490s and a slim neck.

The current Tribute has a rounded neck and 490s.
 

TheWelder

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2011
Messages
2,496
Reaction score
4,272
These are the two I'm talking about. I've owned Studios and SG Standards and I don't remember them ringing like these two do. Is it the finish, or lack thereof?



I'm leaning toward an SG Standard, because it avoids all weight/ergonomic issues, in my experience. They did used to be cheaper than Studios, that's kind of a drag. I like the Studio because I really like the 498 in the bridge, and I also think that weight/mass generally affects tone in a positive way in Gibsons...unfortunately, it also makes them heavier...but yeah, I like a 498 in the bridge. Thank you for mentioning that the Tribute has a bulkier neck! That gives me another good excuse to get a Studio.

These two guitars sound and play really well. I'm sure that I'll get at least one more Gibson, but one of the reasons that I'm on the fence is, these just sound so good, particularly compared to the superstrats I've been playing for the last couple of years, to the point that I really do wonder if I need (lol) more guitars. A bunch of those superstrats were great guitars, but those Gibson folks, who I love to complain about as much as anyone, really get it right when they get it right. Yes I am a fanboy.
Those are some beautiful Gibsons, OP! I would proudly rock either one of them at home or at a gig. Both have some really nice figure and grain patterns. Far be it from me to try to talk you out of buying a new guitar (the more the merrier, right?), but there's absolutely nothing wrong with either of those two axes.

In my experience, satin finished Gibsons (Tributes and some older Studios) do have a certain open and almost acoustic like sound quality that you don't get from a full gloss nitro. Not that it's better or worse, but they just have a different sound. I've said it before on these boards, but the best sounding Les Paul I've ever played was a non-descript satin brown Studio (maybe a 2013?) that wasn't much to look at....but absolutely monstrous sounding plugged or unplugged.
 

Ted Pikul

Member
Joined
Feb 5, 2015
Messages
32
Reaction score
24
Count me in the camp that would take a Tribute over most Studios. Not saying Studios are bad by any means, but I like the classic Les Paul look and Tribites seem to nail that well, especially the gold tops.
I really like the look of the gold top Tributes. In fact, now that I know I like their sound, I might just get an older gold top Tribute with stock 498 in the bridge.
Those are some beautiful Gibsons, OP! I would proudly rock either one of them at home or at a gig. Both have some really nice figure and grain patterns. Far be it from me to try to talk you out of buying a new guitar (the more the merrier, right?), but there's absolutely nothing wrong with either of those two axes.

In my experience, satin finished Gibsons (Tributes and some older Studios) do have a certain open and almost acoustic like sound quality that you don't get from a full gloss nitro. Not that it's better or worse, but they just have a different sound. I've said it before on these boards, but the best sounding Les Paul I've ever played was a non-descript satin brown Studio (maybe a 2013?) that wasn't much to look at....but absolutely monstrous sounding plugged or unplugged.
The part about nothing being wrong with these is what drives me nuts. With guitars that I played over the last few years, I could usually hear (or rather not hear) the tone I was going for. These guitars just get me there as soon as I put my stupid fingers on them. I'll deal with the ergonomics. I do wonder if the minimal finish contributes to the tone...that's actually another of my excuses for getting another Gibson - I'm not just buying a slightly more polished version of the same guitar, I'm getting a guitar with a gloss finish, which is a totally different instrument! Anyway, that's the sort of thing I tell myself. I also use a whammy bar as an excuse - there are some pretty good no-mod/lo-mod trem bars for Gibson out there, and I'd like to try one out on a guitar...buy a Studio/Standard/Classic, or an SG Standard, and then try the trem bar with the Tribute...something like that.
 

cybermgk

“Happiness is the most insidious prison of all"
Gold Supporting Member
V.I.P. Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2011
Messages
15,736
Reaction score
22,952
These are the two I'm talking about. I've owned Studios and SG Standards and I don't remember them ringing like these two do. Is it the finish, or lack thereof?
Count me in the camp that would take a Tribute over most Studios. Not saying Studios are bad by any means, but I like the classic Les Paul look and Tribites seem to nail that well, especially the gold tops.
I had 2 2011 60s Tributes (still have one). I had Chicago Guitarworks put a Gloss Nitro finish on them both. Neither changed in sustain, 'ringing out', tone, liveliness etc.

Now ONE difference with Tributes then, and I think still holds is that their body is just a tiny bit thinner. They were also heavily weight relieved. Is that still done? But then my full finish, full size Classic is the most resonant, lively LP I have.

Back then, I could buy the tribute, Have someone put a gloss nitro finish on it, and still come out less than a Studio. Not sure, you could today. Price is too close.
 

rjwilson37

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2010
Messages
7,085
Reaction score
5,072
Yep, love the 60's Tribute. I took out the P90's and put in some Mini Humbuckers. Love this guitar, it feels/plays/sounds great.

LPStudio60sTribute_ModWall.jpg
 

rjwilson37

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2010
Messages
7,085
Reaction score
5,072
If you want a full featured Gibson Les Paul with a little bit thicker body which can give it a little bit beefier tone, go with the Les Paul Classic. If you want an even beefier tone, you can go with the Les Paul Custom that comes with the 490R/498T pickup combination and the Customs start to have this growl to there tone that only a Custom seems to get, because of the heavier/thicker body I am thinking.
 

joe_cpwe

Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2015
Messages
48
Reaction score
113
I had 2 2011 60s Tributes (still have one). I had Chicago Guitarworks put a Gloss Nitro finish on them both. Neither changed in sustain, 'ringing out', tone, liveliness etc.

Now ONE difference with Tributes then, and I think still holds is that their body is just a tiny bit thinner. They were also heavily weight relieved. Is that still done? But then my full finish, full size Classic is the most resonant, lively LP I have.

Back then, I could buy the tribute, Have someone put a gloss nitro finish on it, and still come out less than a Studio. Not sure, you could today. Price is too close.
Never thought of getting a Tribute and or faded...whatever, and adding gloss finish after. Not a bad idea.


Yep, love the 60's Tribute. I took out the P90's and put in some Mini Humbuckers. Love this guitar, it feels/plays/sounds great.

View attachment 561133
Played a used 60s Tribute goldtop at a store, previous owner had installed Duncan Antiquity mini humbuckers. That guitar sounded and played amazing. I should've bought it.
 


Latest Threads



Top