I need advice. Buying my first Black Beauty.

ClarkyZeppelin

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Heya!

Hope you guys are all healthy and safe!


So I'm preparing to buy my first Gibson. I've been craving one since I was like 6 and saw Steve Clark and Jimmy Page with awesome black Les Pauls with three pickups. To this day, 20 years later the Black Beauty is still my favourite guitar ever and I can finally afford high end guitars.

I have quite large hands so I really want a big, thick neck. The few older 50's Gibsons I've tried had those kinds of necks and god damn if that wasn't heaven for my hands. Mostly been playing an 8-string Ibanez FTM33 for the past year.


Basically I have three options available:
2018 R7
2019 R7
2021 R7
(Sorry if I'm using the "R" wrong. As I understand it means Reissue 57')

So I would need some advice from you guys. What are the differences if any on these different year models?

Should I wait for the 2021 line-up to be released before I make my purchace? Thomann told me they would be available in may of this year.

Is there a neck difference on these models? I would guess not, after all they are based on one single guitar.

I've heard a lot of good about the 2019 Gibsons and was reaffirmed by the Thomann custom shop rep that they truly are better than the years before it. Taking this with a grain of salt because..well they want to sell it to me. Any insight on this?


Any and all counsel, insight and experience that you guys can give me would go a long way.

Talk me into it, talk me out of it.



Please and thank you!
 

boola1

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Heya!

Hope you guys are all healthy and safe!


So I'm preparing to buy my first Gibson. I've been craving one since I was like 6 and saw Steve Clark and Jimmy Page with awesome black Les Pauls with three pickups. To this day, 20 years later the Black Beauty is still my favourite guitar ever and I can finally afford high end guitars.

I have quite large hands so I really want a big, thick neck. The few older 50's Gibsons I've tried had those kinds of necks and god damn if that wasn't heaven for my hands. Mostly been playing an 8-string Ibanez FTM33 for the past year.


Basically I have three options available:
2018 R7
2019 R7
2021 R7
(Sorry if I'm using the "R" wrong. As I understand it means Reissue 57')

So I would need some advice from you guys. What are the differences if any on these different year models?

Should I wait for the 2021 line-up to be released before I make my purchace? Thomann told me they would be available in may of this year.

Is there a neck difference on these models? I would guess not, after all they are based on one single guitar.

I've heard a lot of good about the 2019 Gibsons and was reaffirmed by the Thomann custom shop rep that they truly are better than the years before it. Taking this with a grain of salt because..well they want to sell it to me. Any insight on this?


Any and all counsel, insight and experience that you guys can give me would go a long way.

Talk me into it, talk me out of it.



Please and thank you!
Have you played an R7? The all mahogany body might not give the Les Paul tone that you're expecting.

There is also a 68 Reissue which is a black beauty but with the maple cap. It does have a thinner neck than the R7 though. Gibson do a made to measure program. You can spec the guitar (within limits) to how you'd like. But it'll cost you :)

I have a 2019 68 Reissue. The woods used in that guitar are world class. I don't think that would be any different in 2018 - 2021 models though.

The specs of the R7 will be identical 2019-2021 so no need to wait. All you'll get is a price rise.
 

bblooz

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First of all, welcome to the forum! The '57 reissue Custom is actually a LPB-7, It has the '50s larger profile neck and all mahogany body. Depending on what year it was made, it could come with '57 classics, Burstbuckers, or Custombuckers. If you really want to go old school, you could get the '54 LP Custom with the similar neck and body with the P-90 & "Staple" single-coils! Let us know what you decide on, and most importantly, share pix (we love guitar porn)!
:welcome:
 

Socrates

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I bought a 2018 LP Custom 57 Reissue last year. Mine is suprisingly bright sounding and really screams which surprised me considering ghe mahogony body. As far as the neck goes mine is .91 at the 1st fret and 1.01 at the 12th. I have seen specs for other ones and they all seem to be very close to these numbers. For me the neck feels thick and kinda like a soft v shape in the low frets and then more rounded higher up the neck. I doubt you will go wrong with any of those years...these are fabulous guitars. Have fun with the hunt!
 
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mudface

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BB7s are more common as a two pup,.. while the 3 pup version is harder to find,... and most 3 pup version have the Bigsby.

These do have a mahogany top versus the maple cap like regular production Custom Shop Customs..... pickups are usually Custombuckers in the Historic models that are lower output than the high output 490 series in non-Historic models.

So I guess it depends on your preference.... Historic or Modern sound of Black Beauty.
 

bblooz

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FYI, saw this 2011 Black Beauty 3 PU version w/stoptail on the Les Paul Forum just popped up for sale:
 

Dazza

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I have a '97 LPB3. Be prepared, the chicks like it !

104493118_10163886828880191_4765159809548224417_n.jpg


Anyway.
It's 1 piece mahogany with a decent size neck. You'll typically find comments saying these Customs have a darker, warmer tone. Mine is the opposite. It may be the wood, or the stock Bigsby, or that it's only 9 1/2 lbs despite all the gold hardware. Likely a combination of all the above.

Not really being a 57 Classic fan it was a long journey matching replacement pickups and pots that gave me more options than stock 3 pickup wiring, while best suited to the guitars' natural tone.

My mates 54 Custom is all mahogany, with the P90 / Staple pickups, over 10lb plus a bigger neck. They both have the definitive snappy ebony board attack to the note, a very different tone to a burst. I've several Historics to compare with.

A simple tonal observation is while bursts have always been popular with blues players, Customs are seen more in hard rock / metal. Not exclusive of course.

Basically they're all great. Get one of each and go from there.

Daz
 
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kakerlak

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I've heard some anecdotal accounts of '68RIs with especially large necks, but those may have been early-mid 2000s instruments.
 

Brek

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I asked a similar question a while back, I narrowed it down to the 2019/20 as is solid mahogany no cap glued on, no 2 piece body either. Just cannot find one in the U.K. at mo.
 

ClarkyZeppelin

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Thank you everyone for the great insight and warm welcomes, great to a part of the forum!

I'm in talks with one seller about a 2018 57' Reissue and waiting for him to respond. Price was 7000 euros but it's in Ukraine so I would also have to pay tax in which I'm not really interested in. Same reason why I really can't /don't want to buy one from the states. If the world didn't have a little pandemic then I'd go for a road trip and get my guitar from overseas plus an awesome story to tell.
Thomann offered me a new one in may for the same price and I need to get a bass guitar from them anyway so I might just hold off until may. If I've waited all these years, a couple of months wont hurt me.

For some reason this exact guitar is insanely rare in europe at this time. Might be that every 2019 model is sold out and the dealers are waiting for the new line-up.

I've been hawking over this site as they sometimes have some really cool stuff in stock. They even had a actual 3-PUP Black Beauty from the year 57 in stock a few years back but that was like 45 000 euros and that's way out of my league. Maybe some of you find something yourselves.

I'm maybe kind of stupid in a way but I really love big, heavy guitars. I want to "wrestle" with it as I am playing, kind of what Jack White was talking about in the movie "It Might Get Loud". I play all sorts of genres but mostly heavier stuff and I think the the Gibson will replace my Fret King for almost everything as they are insanely versatile.
You guys might want to hang me for playing heavy metal through an Axe-FX 3 MKII with such a classic guitar but well...I like to hang. lol


Going to resume the hunt and you guys can bet your asses that I'll be posting pictures the second I get my hands on it!

And again, thank you for all the insight!
 

caloyburger

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Just some minor "improvements" on the 2019 over the 2018. Period correct larger 21st fret inlay, supposedly improved PIO caps and tweaked CTS pot tapers, and pearloid tuner buttons. Personally, those aren't much a big deal for me and I'd still take one that sounds better and has better pricing. The 2021 would be the same as the 2019 since Gibson hasn't updated their Historic line since.

I've got a 2016 True Historic 57 Custom now and once owned a 2018 Wildwood 57 Custom. Both were practically identical in finish and performance. I'd say the 2016 TH was a tad beefier, but that could be a result of a culmination of minor variances between materials used between guitars.
 


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