I cannot afford a Prehistoric '57 . . . what should I be shopping for (Neck feel discussion)?

Michael M.

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Hello,
Newbie Michael here.
I just posted another thread about a strange Prehistoric headstock logo . . . now here is my thread asking for help about finding the right Les Paul.
As I mentioned in the previous post . . .lately I have been obsessed with an expensive 1986 Prehistoric '57 Goldtop in a local shop. I am obsessed because it feels so much better to me than the Standards 50s & 60s I felt at Guitar Center one was too thick, and the 60s felt good but it was NOT instant love like I have felt in the past when picking up a Les Paul. I also had the opportunity to try a Traditional and it felt toooo thick.

That Prehistoric, however, was just amazing. Not to thin, not to thick, WOW so comfortable! The problem is the price. I could buy two new Standards for the price of this Prehistoric goldtop. Maybe it was the frets? I ran into the prior owner and he said it was re-fretted.

So that got me wondering . . . what should I be looking for if I like the feel of that 1986 Prehistoric?

I have been reading a bunch of threads here and in one thread about Slash's 1987 '57 Prehistoric a guy who indicated that he worked for Gibson at the time stated that the Prehistorics really just cosmetic changes to standards (along with ABR bridge) and that they all had medium C shaped necks just like the Standards up to 2002.

- What are your thoughts and opinions?
- If I search for a Standard, what years (19xx-2002?) BTW - what happened to the necks after 2002?
- If I find a Deluxe basket case I don't mind taking on as a project and such a mess I don't mind routing the pickup shape would that have the same neck?

Having said all of that I would still like to try some Classics as they seem to be a lot more affordable. They get more affordable if I get into the last 10 - 15 years (although I have also been told to avoid years 2004-2009 as they have "rubber" finish that is hard to work with. Told that by a refinisher in the event I find a LP that needs to be refinished. Don't know if that was true.)

Ok, went off the rails there talking about the Classic so feel free to focus on question of models that have that "medium C" shape if you agree with that assessment.

I am looking for an arch top model with nic finish, binding on neck and body, humbuckers not P90s as I have that already, not interested in Classics.

Thanks,
Michael M.
 

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Michael M.

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I forgot to add in my description of what I am looking for . . . I would like a goldtop or a burst that is amber in color (something like unburst, tea burst, honey burst) or something that has been refinished so I can feel comfortable refinishing, would feel weird doing that to a LP in it's original state.
 

Socrates

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That Goldtop looks really nice. If you love it and can swing it...you should buy it:jam:
 

Michael M.

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Socrates,
It really does look and feel fantastic but it is $5,699.99.
I am looking for something more like $1,500-$2,400.
I'll admit, however, that I have a hard time paying close to $2,400 for a used LP when I can get a Standard new for less than that. The Traditional I felt was 1 year old and $1,700. Yea yea, I know, what is the point of talking about guitars you didn't fall in love with . . . but there has to be something in the range that I will.
 

Socrates

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Socrates,
It really does look and feel fantastic but it is $5,699.99.
I am looking for something more like $1,500-$2,400.
I'll admit, however, that I have a hard time paying close to $2,400 for a used LP when I can get a Standard new for less than that. The Traditional I felt was 1 year old and $1,700. Yea yea, I know, what is the point of talking about guitars you didn't fall in love with . . . but there has to be something in the range that I will.
Yeah I hear ya man...it is s lot to spend on a guitar for sure. It is a beauty with that darkback .

I bought a 2019 standard 50s Goldtop and it is a sweet playing LP...

If I were gonna buy a goldtop in the $2k range I would be looking at this one...just caught my eye at Wildwood...and has a smaller neck and might be one you would like https://wildwoodguitars.com/product/02164506/2004-gibson-les-paul-standard-60s/?cat_id=32
 

afjungemann

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I would find and play more of the new standards. They still vary a lot in neck shape and size.

The mental game of “why buy used when I can buy new for the same or less” doesn’t really apply here since the used you are buying isn’t the same as the new. Buying a used 2020 model for more than a new 2020 model doesn’t make sense for sure. But a used 1986 for more than a new 2020 model is apples and oranges.

Hopefully you find what yo6 are looking for though!
 

Michael M.

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I would find and play more of the new standards. They still vary a lot in neck shape and size.
you might be right. Maybe it was just a bad one. I’m loving a partscaster with a Gibson scale neck. I went back and looked at the neck profile and it was thin so I must be more of a 60s neck profile guy. Trying a standard 60s again is a good idea. I also haven’t felt a classic yet.
 

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rjwilson37

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You should get that Wildwood 2004 Gold top, that is totally sweet and pretty much exactly what your looking for. The price is even right in line.
 


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