Standard vs studio

Phylodog

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I prefer playing my Studio models over my Traditional and Standard. They just feel better for me in spite of how badly I wanted to convince myself that I needed a custom shop.
 

Angelus

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Studios from the 90s are amazing guitars, I owned about 8 or 9 and still have 2. They have that massive tone which is wonderful. The standards have a bigger body and more finish options, to my mind they re a bit more organic but I wouldn t say it s better, just a bit different... anyway there are good and bad studios, as for standards, but in the 90s I never owned a bad one. Good wood era is not a myth for me...
 

smallstar67

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I have found that they are all different. The studio is much lighter of course, but I have a modern 2008 Hollowed out Standard that really kicks butt. The newer 2020 goldtop solid standard sounds and plays completely different than an older standard as well. Personally i prefer the custom all around it has the best tone if you pick the correct year and day. :)
 

Telechamp

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I've never had a Studio but I've looked at them, and one difference that I haven't seen mentioned here is that the Studios (and I don't know if this holds true for all years) were wired with push-pull pots so you could coil split or coil tap and get different sounds from them... my memory is a little fuzzy on this point, maybe someone who owns a Studio could elaborate?
My 2013 Studio has the coil taps. I don't use this option much, but I do use it at times. No Strat-like tone for sure, but it does come in handy with some tunes.









 

Dan18

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In the posts in this thread, many of you have older studios with different specs. I just ordered a studio plus which has a rosewood fingerboard, push pull pots, same Grover’s as standard and an upgraded maple AA top. So is it true then that these are closer than ever to a standard?
 

vintageguitarz

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The Studio not only doesn't have body or neck bindings, the Mahogany for the body and neck are B or even C grade, which is why until more recently nearly all "Studio" models were a solid color and not a Sunburst or Natural / translucent finish. Some of the early models well into the 2000's didnt' get Maple tops from what I've read, Spruce and other woods were used, it at all. Some were all Mahogany.

Also, the hardware is not "A Grade" and nether are the electronics. You aren't likely to get the same premium Gibson Humbuckers that would come on a Standard, on a budget Studio model. You also aren't going to get the same attention to finish (polish and the shoot) as you would on a Standard. Hey goes to reason, got to save production costs, right? Think you're gonna get a Camero SS engine and hardware in a standard budget Camero?
 

jk60LPTH

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It's all coming back to me, I spent about a month researching Studios when I was thinking about buying one. There are so many variations in builds and materials and designs, you'd need to study them for a lot longer than a month to figure out what each one is, and even within the same year that are different models and variations, weigh relieved, non-weight relieved, mahogany 1-piece bodies, mahogany slabs with 3-piece mahogany tops, maple necks, mahogany necks, rosewood fingerboards, ebony fingerboards, chambered bodies filled with balsa wood (Gibson calls it Chromyte), Smartwood, Smartwood Exotic, Swamp Ash, different wiring variations, 'good' P-90s or cheaper ones, various humbuckers, traditional Klusons, Grovers, dot-inlays vs traps, single ply binding around the neck and body, single or triple ply binding around the body, and more. Hearing people tell you what a Studio is, is like 10 blind men describing what an elephant is... they're all right, sort-of...

I finally gave up out of shear frustration because most of the sellers didn't have any idea what they were selling, otther than 'it's a Les Paul Studio'. There are some really sweet Studios, but without knowing what you're buying it's like playing roulette (the russian kind) except 4 or 5 of the chambers have bullets in them). I did find a couple of Studios that I could figure out what sub-model they actually were, but I gave up and decided to put that money towards another Custom Shop LP or a McCarty 594 single cut (cough cough).
 

Makroman

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If you look closely, you will see that the studios bridge pickup is slightly closer to the neck. (There is a greater distance from the bridge pickup and the bridge) This is actually a difference in tone....but shuuuush, be very quiet, not many people know this. Epiphone's are done the same way.....Ancient Gibson secret! Closer to the bridge equals a tighter tone.
 

sparky2

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The sales pitch for the Les Paul Studio back in the early days was this;

It's a Les Paul Standard, only without the edge binding and attractive top.
Period.

It was still that way when I bought my Studio from Zzounds in 1996.

Has it evolved into something else in more recent years?
Probably.
I don't know.
There are so many models now, and variants, and special editions.

Play what feels and sounds right to you.
If a Les Paul sings to you, then that's the right one.

;)
 

Wise Guy

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Nothing to do with wood density and everything to do with the minute differences in the pickups, pots, wire length resistance etc. Hence why two guitars made from the same tree and weigh exactly the same can have different sounds. When we make the pots, capacitors, pickups etc, there's a slight tolerance for deviation. Not much but enough to impact the electrical signal/tone.
 

jk60LPTH

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The sales pitch for the Les Paul Studio back in the early days was this;

It's a Les Paul Standard, only without the edge binding and attractive top.
Period.

It was still that way when I bought my Studio from Zzounds in 1996.

Has it evolved into something else in more recent years?
Probably.
I don't know.
There are so many models now, and variants, and special editions.

Play what feels and sounds right to you.
If a Les Paul sings to you, then that's the right one.

;)
Not saying you're wrong, and for much of the Studio's years and models you're absolutely right. But there are very few things that can be said about Studios that are universally true for all years, all models.
"The Studio Standard was produced from 1983-1987 and was very similar to the Studio Custom, including the "dot" inlays, but had a single-ply binding around the body and neck."
"The Studio Custom was produced in 1983-1985...It had a mahogany neck and mahogany body with a maple top, single-ply binding around the neck and three-ply binding around the top of the body only."
 

nomadh

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All of these are studios I either owned or was considering.
This was my first studio. A plain jane '13 closeout. IT really was a damn good playing guitar. and very satisfying especially being a gibby for $500ish. But then I got a very pretty agile and the gibson just didnt inspire me to play it much. It "seemed" wrong that the gibson had to be the ugly duckling.
DSCN9576lp studio 2013[1].JPG



So later there was a closeout on the 13 gloss studio deluxe II. I kind of fell in love with one while picking up my plain studio model. They had flame tops that were pretty damn impressive and I loved how the unbound maple top made a sort of herringbone maple binding. I think it looks many times better than plain plastic they charge so much for. Even as a plain top I still prefer it to plastic binding.
This was a heritage CSB
IMG_20131127_142317_235[1].jpg


While waiting for my honeybust studio deluxe to be delivered I went to look at a semi local one
IMG_20140831_164412_956 LP 13studio deluxe II 60s quilted san marcos [2].jpg

It was quite beautiful but was truly a dog to play. Just didn't like it. To prove it wasn't just me I compared it to a std and then I saw a 14 studio that was quite beautiful. I played it and loved it.
IMG_20140831_202807_699 14LP studio hsb 60s[2].jpg

It was a matte finish, maple neck I really liked, push pull pots, and an understated flame looking at it from the front but from the player perspective it was an uneven but dazzling flame. It seemed to have some extra zing in the high end I thought would help cut through a mix. It was on sale with a coupon so I bought it for $800.
Everyone who saw and heard it or played it loved it. Later I saw a similar looking 14 studio at another GC nearly as pretty. so I thought they were all like this that year. Eventually my studio deluxe came in and it was stunning, full gloss and hard case but it was at the $1k mark.
SAM_8922[1].JPG

SAM_8921[1].JPG

SAM_8925[3].JPG

So I had the 14 studio and the 13 studio dlx to compare and 1 had to go back. It was killing me. Took both to rehearsal and the band only commented on how nice the dlx sounded. I found the 14 didnt cut through like I thought although still very nice.
It came down to +/- $200 , the case, the gloss, the boost circuit vs the tougher maple neck, unique look, very likeable semigloss finish. I decided to let all that wash out. In the end it seemed the deluxe popped better in the band and something in the tone and playability of the dlx was just barely, maybe, sort of if you made your ears squint, better?

Then more recently I took the bait at sam ash on the closeout LP CM because I wanted to play with the robot tuners and possibly try to do a refinish.
LPCM15SESN1_MAIN_HERO_01[1].jpg

Even this bottom of the barrel going bankrupt fire sale scrapwood lp is a damn decent player. I think im not a big fan of the 61 pickup, certainly not bad, and I've been spending alot of time with it recently but not a fav pickup. Very comfy for a long standing jam and there is something special about a raw wood feel. Especially as modern nitro becomes more and more poly like.

this is why it was killing me to decide.
SAM_8933[2].JPG

Even the weird mocha plastic looked good on this model.
All of these are compared to my agiles and a very nice 78 lp custom with ebony fb sort of fretless wonder.

So thats the range of studios I've dealt with but when I came down to it yes. The studio was still very much an lp. The differences in tone I found were very much in the realm of personal preference
 

efstop

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The Studio not only doesn't have body or neck bindings, the Mahogany for the body and neck are B or even C grade, which is why until more recently nearly all "Studio" models were a solid color and not a Sunburst or Natural / translucent finish. Some of the early models well into the 2000's didnt' get Maple tops from what I've read, Spruce and other woods were used, it at all. Some were all Mahogany.

Also, the hardware is not "A Grade" and nether are the electronics. You aren't likely to get the same premium Gibson Humbuckers that would come on a Standard, on a budget Studio model. You also aren't going to get the same attention to finish (polish and the shoot) as you would on a Standard. Hey goes to reason, got to save production costs, right? Think you're gonna get a Camero SS engine and hardware in a standard budget Camero?
I can't see Gibson ever building a "cheap" pickup because economies of scale would eliminate most of the extra cost. Gibson makes pickups, period IMO.

And it's "Camaro". Not a car guy, eh?

Studios are not exactly cheap in the first place.

I know you sell and repair Gibsons (or so you say...) but how long did you work at Gibson, before or after you worked at Fender?

If I seem to be the only member here calling you out, it's because your "facts" are too close to opinions.
 

truckermde

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The sales pitch
Something that's not just cosmetic is the thickness of the body.

Does it affect tone? Not really. I used to like the skinny bodies of Studios, but I prefer the thicker ones these days.

Sold my last Studio 8 or 10yrs ago. It was a '94. Nice guitar.

I will say this though: if you own something and you are constantly asking yourself if it's as good as another thing, you really want that other thing.
Sorry about quoting myself, but I found this interesting old thread which starts out with some pics of the body thickness of Studios vs. Standards:

 

dro

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All of these are studios I either owned or was considering.
This was my first studio. A plain jane '13 closeout. IT really was a damn good playing guitar. and very satisfying especially being a gibby for $500ish. But then I got a very pretty agile and the gibson just didnt inspire me to play it much. It "seemed" wrong that the gibson had to be the ugly duckling.
View attachment 496531


So later there was a closeout on the 13 gloss studio deluxe II. I kind of fell in love with one while picking up my plain studio model. They had flame tops that were pretty damn impressive and I loved how the unbound maple top made a sort of herringbone maple binding. I think it looks many times better than plain plastic they charge so much for. Even as a plain top I still prefer it to plastic binding.
This was a heritage CSB
View attachment 496532

While waiting for my honeybust studio deluxe to be delivered I went to look at a semi local one
View attachment 496533
It was quite beautiful but was truly a dog to play. Just didn't like it. To prove it wasn't just me I compared it to a std and then I saw a 14 studio that was quite beautiful. I played it and loved it.
View attachment 496535
It was a matte finish, maple neck I really liked, push pull pots, and an understated flame looking at it from the front but from the player perspective it was an uneven but dazzling flame. It seemed to have some extra zing in the high end I thought would help cut through a mix. It was on sale with a coupon so I bought it for $800.
Everyone who saw and heard it or played it loved it. Later I saw a similar looking 14 studio at another GC nearly as pretty. so I thought they were all like this that year. Eventually my studio deluxe came in and it was stunning, full gloss and hard case but it was at the $1k mark.
View attachment 496536
View attachment 496537
View attachment 496538
So I had the 14 studio and the 13 studio dlx to compare and 1 had to go back. It was killing me. Took both to rehearsal and the band only commented on how nice the dlx sounded. I found the 14 didnt cut through like I thought although still very nice.
It came down to +/- $200 , the case, the gloss, the boost circuit vs the tougher maple neck, unique look, very likeable semigloss finish. I decided to let all that wash out. In the end it seemed the deluxe popped better in the band and something in the tone and playability of the dlx was just barely, maybe, sort of if you made your ears squint, better?

Then more recently I took the bait at sam ash on the closeout LP CM because I wanted to play with the robot tuners and possibly try to do a refinish.
View attachment 496568
Even this bottom of the barrel going bankrupt fire sale scrapwood lp is a damn decent player. I think im not a big fan of the 61 pickup, certainly not bad, and I've been spending alot of time with it recently but not a fav pickup. Very comfy for a long standing jam and there is something special about a raw wood feel. Especially as modern nitro becomes more and more poly like.

this is why it was killing me to decide.
View attachment 496551
Even the weird mocha plastic looked good on this model.
All of these are compared to my agiles and a very nice 78 lp custom with ebony fb sort of fretless wonder.

So thats the range of studios I've dealt with but when I came down to it yes. The studio was still very much an lp. The differences in tone I found were very much in the realm of personal preference
I like #3. I have played allot of beauty's that couldn't cut the mustard. Crazy how that works.
 

CB91710

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I can't see Gibson ever building a "cheap" pickup because economies of scale would eliminate most of the extra cost. Gibson makes pickups, period IMO.
They kinda do... but they call them "Probuckers" and they are in Epiphones.

But like Fender has used DiMarzio and SD in various models, even though they wind their own singles and humbuckers, there's nothing to keep Gibson from sourcing pickups from a 3rd party. That eliminates the economy of scale problem inherent in actually manufacturing your own pickup for a specific model... which... like the Firebird... would end up making it more expensive than a Burstbucker or T-Top.

OTOH, if they anticipate running 1,000 Studio/Tribute for a year, they can make a deal with Duncan to OEM 2,000 Duncan Distortion with a Gibson stamp on the back... or the Asian import "Duncan Designed" like G&L used to use.
 

nomadh

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I like #3. I have played allot of beauty's that couldn't cut the mustard. Crazy how that works.
I remember the guy on the phone trying to explain it to me. He was saying its not a flametop. I said oh, its plain. He said. No that wouldnt be right at all. :) Finally he txted me a pic . If it played well I would have taken it. And maybe the 14 studio with the other 13 still on its way to the local gc. Thats would have been over the crazy line for me.
 


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