Owners of Mainline Gibson Standards AND Custom Shop R 8,9,0.

MyLesPaul462

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I apologize if this is discussed ad naseum, But I have to ask...

In terms of the two most important aspects of a guitar IMHO, Tone (mainly by way of the pickups) and Playability (action, neck, fingerboard, feel, etc...) How big is the difference in your opinion between Gibson's Mainline Standards (50's & 60) and their Custom Shop reissue standards (R8, R9, R0)

I don't want to hear about the relic-ing or how they've used molecular analysis to recreate the plastics and paints at the molecular level. :rolleyes:

We're just talking Tone & Playability.
 

ManlyMcBeardface

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I have no experience with a custom shop Gibson, but I just purchased a Standard 50s and I can say that compared to a tribute or studio it’s mostly feel. Fret nibs are under the binding and the neck carve is more rolled and form fitting in the hand. So far these are the things I've noticed. The pickups are definitely an upgrade as well, but I’m not sure if that’s due to the pickups themselves or in combination with better tone woods. The standard just seems more resonate as a whole and the playability is immediately noticeable.

I would be curious to see if this also applies to custom shop pieces.
 

MyLesPaul462

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Definitely there's a huge leap from the Tribute to the rest of the line. I always tell people if you're struggling to pay for a tribute or studio, do yourself a favor and go with one of the high-end Epiphone models. It'll be a phenomenal build. The Chinese luthiers have come a long way. You can then swap out the pups for pups of your choice.

But if you make a decent living. Buy the standard you cheap bastard. A moped or dirtbike will run you more. lol. Help support American craftsman. Meanwhile Gibson should keep pushing for an ethic of quality and perfection at their U.S. plants. That's why it's called competition folks, you have to keep up with the competition.
 

ARandall

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A lot of feel and tone is personal.
And neck profile is one of the most individual feel things there is.....not to mention each neck will be a little different due to the hand finish sanding after machine shaping.

When I get a really great guitar the whole thing just seems more solid overall. Its sort of like the neck and body are better connected somehow. Is it that the neck joint is mysteriously tighter, or is it that the blanks of wood are more consistently selected so the whole guitar just more solid together.....who knows.
 

filtersweep

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My Tribute is so good, I question why anyone would buy a Standard (which I also own). This assumes you can deal with a ‘satin’ finish. My Tribute is a 2010– but seriously, it is that good.

On the other hand, my 2014 R8 is so much better than a Standard— and I bought it used for the price of a new Standard. The quality and playability is that much better.

I would never pay new retail prices for any Gibson. But I’d go used Tribute or used Reissue- and skip the Standard line. OK maybe the new Standards are better…. Never played this year’s model.
 

ManlyMcBeardface

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I do agree. It’s a really unique experience that I never understood until I started playing guitar. There is a feel and connection that happens when you find one that just clicks with you.
 

ManlyMcBeardface

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I can’t speak to the older standards, but from what I understand they fixed almost every complaint that was had with the past equivalents. I’m very happy with mine in comparison to the Studio and Tribute I own. Not to say that those aren’t fantastic instruments but it just feels a step or two above in most categories.
 

MyLesPaul462

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I grabed a tribute off the wall at a music store. And got freaked out at how light the thing felt. It couldn't have been more than 7 lbs, it felt freaky. Like it was made out of paper mache. And I have to admit for me the Les Paul is about those aesthetic appointments that make it look so "old world classy". the multi-ply binding on the top, and on the fingerboard. The Nitro finish to a glossy sheen. The tribute is to sparse. Although I'm sure you can get a quality build come through, that plays and sounds great.
 

ManlyMcBeardface

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The Tributes are really nice and I love the satin nitro finish but I realized one important thing to me is the weight. I’m not a light guitar guy. Nothing wrong with it but I just like the heft.
 

efstop

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Where are the light Tributes coming from? My 2013 '50s Tribute has 9-hole relief and weighs 9.2 lbs.
I can't compare it to any other Les Paul for tone or QC because I haven't played any of the other models.
 

JMP

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My experience is limited to a 2016 Traditional T and a 2001 R7. I’ll say they both play and sound amazing, but they are different for sure. I think “better “ is a personal thing. The Traditional is darker, slimmer neck, bigger frets, and a thicker finish. The R7 has a huge neck, it’s brighter, and has a more “woody” tone. I really like them both and for different reasons.
 
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mdubya

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IMHO - there is maybe 10% to 15% difference between a historic and a solid USA line Gibson.

But I prefer SGs and Firebirds and 335s to Les Pauls.

I had a 2010 50's Tribute LP with P-90s that had some of the best tone I've ever heard from any Gibson. I only sold it because it was my only Les Paul and Les Pauls sell easier and faster than other models. I needed the cash at the time.
 

Injector

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My R7 feels, looks and sounds more premium and has nicer playability than any Standard I've previously owned or played. That's why I bought it. I was previously a custom shop sceptic...

They aren't twice as good or anything. The price tag is ridiculous but I had to have it.
 

01GT Eibach

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But if you make a decent living, buy the Standard you cheap bastard ...
Love it ... and totally agree, except I'll allow the "cheap bastards" to get a Classic if they really want to downgrade just a bit. LOL
 

Rogueaverage616

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My Historic Les pauls, blow my USA Standards out of the water.
I absolutely love my Usa les paul, but my Historics sustain forever,play easier and faster
 

theusualdan

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I've got a 2001 and 2003 R7, and a 2002 Standard. The R7s probably sustain a little more than the standard, but that may very well be bias because I like playing them a bit more. Mostly I like playing them for the fatter neck. That said, the 2002 standard is great. One piece back, and a great top, and as far as standards go, it's my favorite one I've played. The run of standards from about 2001-2007 are pretty consistently great in my experience. All these guitars have swapped pickups and/or electronics so in terms of tone, I'd say they're all pretty evenly matched. If I played them back to back recorded and tried to pick them out blindly in a mix.... I THINK I could do it, but I'd rather not try and get it laughably wrong. I justify them by saying "but they're all slightly different"... but that's a pretty thin premise to own all three if I'm completely honest.
 

Rogueaverage616

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I've got a 2001 and 2003 R7, and a 2002 Standard. The R7s probably sustain a little more than the standard, but that may very well be bias because I like playing them a bit more. Mostly I like playing them for the fatter neck. That said, the 2002 standard is great. One piece back, and a great top, and as far as standards go, it's my favorite one I've played. The run of standards from about 2001-2007 are pretty consistently great in my experience. All these guitars have swapped pickups and/or electronics so in terms of tone, I'd say they're all pretty evenly matched. If I played them back to back recorded and tried to pick them out blindly in a mix.... I THINK I could do it, but I'd rather not try and get it laughably wrong. I justify them by saying "but they're all slightly different"... but that's a pretty thin premise to own all three if I'm completely honest.
Really? Your usa standard has a one piece back? It looks like my 2016 usa standard has a 2 piece.My Custom Shop LP’s are one.They must have moved to 2 piece for the usa models later on
 

theusualdan

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Really? Your usa standard has a one piece back? It looks like my 2016 usa standard has a 2 piece.My Custom Shop LP’s are one.They must have moved to 2 piece for the usa models later on
Your skepticism made me doubt myself for a second, so I had to check... But yup, one piece. Again, they were doing them pretty right in that 2001-2007 era.

 

AaronE

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I recently had a similar debate with myself, believing that some of the most well-regarded Gibson USA models would be as good (or even better) than a Custom Shop reissue. As such, I bought a 2005 Les Paul Standard Faded that had the Corsa Conversion from CV Guitars. It was on Guitar Chimp and had all the paperwork, looked great, couldn't wait.

It was a nice guitar, certainly, and it did sound good. It had lots of sustain like a Les Paul should, and it had a very classic rock & roll tone. However, after the new-ness wore off, I was pretty much immediately disappointed by the other aspects of it in comparison to my R8 (my only other Les Paul at the time). The feel of the R8 was much nicer, the finish was much better and more consistent, the neck felt like it was made out of entirely different materials compared to the USA. I just didn't vibe with the USA Standard in the same way that I did with the R8.

I made a thread about it here while I debated what to do: https://www.mylespaul.com/threads/not-in-love-with-my-standard-faded.450629/

In the end, I sold the Standard Faded for about the same thing I paid for it (so it was a loss when you count the fees) and bought a 60th Anniversary R0 instead. The R0 immediately felt right, like the R8, and after having it for a few months now, I know the 2020 R0 isn't going anywhere.
 


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