LP Traditional vs. Reissue

Longgone

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Can you LP guys give me the fundamental differences in a LP Traditional and a 58 Reissue? I`m considering one or the other and the price differential is huge. What is it that the reissues have that warrant such a hefty price tag? Thanks.
 

Pythonman

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I'll try to help you figure this out. The differences (not that they're necessarily worth the extra cost but they are there to consider): weight relived body for the Trad, non weight relieved higher grade mahogany for the reissue. More closely vintage spec hardware on the reissue, way different top carves and neck angles on the reissues not to mention the outline of the body is more svelte and trim closely matching vintage Les Pauls. More handcrafting overall involved with the reissue so shop wisely, they're all slightly different! Better (IMO) electronics on the reissue vs the new setup on the Traditionals that make no sense to me personally.

Having said all of that I recently played a friends new chambered Les Paul Standard and it was very nice. Light weight, choice assymetrical neck shape, everything just perfect as could be and I'd be pretty happy with it but seriously, he paid $2000 for it and I could get an R8 for maybe $350 more brand new so for me the choice would be the Historic. Once you get one and get the whole idea of them and note the differences in playability and sound you may never want anything less from a Gibson Les Paul guitar again.
 

Longgone

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Thanks for the reply Pythonman, I was starting to think I was on MyStrat.com rather than MyLesPaul.com :D I`m thinking more and more about just buying a Standard or a Traditional, upgrading the hardware to nickel, install some Burstbucker pickups and change out the pots and caps. Besides a long neck tenon and tiger stripe top, wouldn`t I practically have a Reissue?
 

Louie

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Thanks for the reply Pythonman, I was starting to think I was on MyStrat.com rather than MyLesPaul.com :D I`m thinking more and more about just buying a Standard or a Traditional, upgrading the hardware to nickel, install some Burstbucker pickups and change out the pots and caps. Besides a long neck tenon and tiger stripe top, wouldn`t I practically have a Reissue?

A word to the wise: last year I bought a very nice Traditional, upgraded everything I could to make it sound the best it could (and it did!), then made the "mistake" of playing a 58 reissue. I traded the Trad for it without any regrets to this day.
 

GuitarGuy503

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It's hard to describe the difference in words. It just takes the experience of playing one to "get it". I will say that I have never heard of anyone upgrading and regretting it. It makes that much difference. People upgrade and they never look back. Not to say the Gibson USA stuff sucks because it doesn't. The historics are just better guitars.
 

GuitarGuy503

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In addition to the solid body and long tenon the historics have shorter and "softer" frets. Not to mention the different neck shapes depending on what reissue(s) you are looking at. Again you really have to play one to justify the price difference between the Custom Shop stuff and the Gibson USA stuff.
 

Longgone

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I seem to be getting similar replies in regards to these two in comparison. Most everyone that has a Reissue attests that there is no comparison to the "run of the mill" Les Paul.
 

XKnight

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...he paid $2000 for it and I could get an R8 for maybe $350 more brand new so for me the choice would be the Historic.

$2350 for a new 2010 R8 with a warranty is a hell of a price. That price was doable a few years ago, but I haven't seen it lately.
 

XKnight

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I've played a few Traditionals and they were very nice, but my R8 is much nicer. Try them both and if you find a Traditional that you like as much as an R8 then by all means grab it. I'm sure they are out there, but you might have to search for them.
 

marshallmellow

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I have both a Traditional and a '58 VOS. While the Traditional is a killer guitar the R8 just has a certain vibe to it when you pick it up and play it.

I put in an RS upgrade kit in the Traditional that really opened up the sound of the guitar. The R8 was perfectly fine with the stock BB's but I transformed it into the ultimate tone machine after installing some WCR pups.

Traditional
DSCN0945.jpg


'58 VOS
DSCN1004.jpg
 

capthowdy

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It's hard to describe the difference in words. It just takes the experience of playing one to "get it". I will say that I have never heard of anyone upgrading and regretting it. It makes that much difference. People upgrade and they never look back. Not to say the Gibson USA stuff sucks because it doesn't. The historics are just better guitars.

+1

I have an R0 and and 2001 Std. Love the std and still thrash it regularly but the R0 is a much better guitar - it just has a feel that I haven't on any std's, studios, etc that I've played. The neck and board i love especially - it kinda plays itself, if you know what I mean. It's also a fair bit lighter which makes it easier to throw a few shapes:D
 

BSeneca

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I cleaned house of my standard,classic, and custom to upgrade to R6, R8, and R9. And It NEVER EVER fails to amaze me how GREAT these guitars really are, and I have owned 13 or 14 USA models. My only problem is my band has got back together and I no longer have a "beater" to play the clubs with. Mine are tools not collectables, but most clubs are tight and a headstock crack would kill me! Anyhow go historic you will not regret it!
 

KenG

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New you are going to pay considerably more for the Re-Issue. They are great guitars and I doubt you'd be sorry, just a little poorer financially. The Trad is a great USA guitar as well and to me represented what a USA LP should be as I'm not crazy about the newer Standards.
If you're talking used, & are comfortable buying that way, RIs can be had for a little more than the price of a new Trad (private sale). which would be something to consider. I would caution against buying unseen, unplayed from a private seller where you'd get the best prices but little security. Retail Vendors selling used are less risk to no risk but do charge more for the used instrument than private sellers.
I have both and have no intention of getting rid of either. Should I get another RI it'll be in addition to my other Gibsons, not at the expense of....
 

Pythonman

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How could I forget the long neck tenon?? Probably the most important detail missing from all the previous USA Gibsons and Classics that sent me on the hunt for my first Historic. As far as prices, shop around. And also, if you like beefier necks dont forget the R7 Goldtops which may be the best value out there. Sometimes you get real lucky and find your R7 has been painted gold over a nice flamey bookmatched top like mine was.
 

R'nien

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I did the upgrading of a few Les Pauls with nickel hardware and different pickups. For 15 years I played a standard thinking I wasn't missing out not playing a reissue. Then I came across a well played 57 reissue goldtop. Holy crap!!!! All those years I could have played a reissue. I have to say that my standard was a great guitar, I mean all the Les Pauls I've owned have been great, but the 57 reissue ruined me for everything but a reissue. I played a 58 flametop now and I dont ever feel bad about not having any of my standards.
 

trefoil

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In addition to the solid body and long tenon the historics have shorter and "softer" frets.

Sorry to jump in on someone else's thread, but I'm a Les Paul newbie looking to buy his 1st LP (i've got 2 Fender Strats, an '87 Strat Plus and a japanese HM Strat from '89) but wanted a LP since I was a kid.

I've been hanging my nose over R8's in the UK as I love plain-tops.

Can I ask what guitarguy503 meant by the historics having 'softer' frets??

Do the R8's and R9's have the same frets now?
 

KenG

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The fret heights on modern USA Gibsons are around 0.049 Inches tall (Trad). My R0's are 0.040 Inches tall but slightly wider than the Trads. (Measured with Digital Calipers)
Softer I don't understand. All Fretwire (other than SS) is made of the same percentages of metals (Primarily nickle and copper). According to Dan Erlewine whose measured fret wire hardness, the only difference is how the frets are worked. Straight stock fretwires that is bent to the radius and installed is likely to be less hard that coiled fretwire that is straightened then rebent to the correct fretboard radius for installation.
He says this is because bending metal back and forth hardens the material and uses the example of copper tubing which demonstrates the effect.
 

Les Zombie

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The feel is really important to me, i had a few traditionals but i didnt like them half as much as my historics.
 

GuitarGuy503

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In regards to my "softer" frets comment.....

The frets on the Historics don't seem like they are made of the same stuff as used on the Gibson USA stuff IMO. The Historics frets seem like they aren't as hard and wear easier (where my "softer" comment comes in).
 

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