Trying to decide between 2 Les Pauls

aarad03

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Hi all, first time in the forum in years but have been playing guitar for a while now. My main guitar is a Gibson ES-335 but I’ve been wanting to pick up a Les Paul lately to pair with my ES-335. My budget is pretty low (about $1k max) since I’m not trying to replace my ES-335, more just to compliment it and have something else to play on the side for variety.

To get the most value for my money I’m looking at Les Pauls with headstock repairs. I know they lose about 30-50% of their value compared to a regular used one but I just want a good sounding, good playing Les Paul. I found a 2018 Gibson Les Paul Tribute T with Seymour Duncans and a repaired headstock on music go round for $650 shipped and a 2007 Gibson Les Paul Standard Faded on reverb for $1215 shipped.

I checked out both models online and people praise the Standard Faded like crazy saying it’s an unbelievable Les Paul, some of the best Gibson makes so I’m leaning towards that one. I know it won’t appreciate in value or become a collector’s item or anything due to the repair but I just want a good Les Paul. The only things I’m concerned about are the price considering the repair (I don’t want to get ripped off) and the fact that I honestly don’t like the top too much (very flamey orange-ish cherry burst, not too big on that. I’m more of a plain aged honey burst kind of person).

Are either of these guitars a decent deal or should I pass on both of them? Maybe just stick with the $650 Tribute T to get a decent beater Les Paul on a budget? I’ve also looked into Tokais, Burnys, etc but there are just so many that it’s hard to know what’s good and what isn’t. Plus call me shallow but if I’m going to have 1 Les Paul I kind of want it to say Gibson on the headstock to tell the truth.

My style is vintage voiced blues and blues rock. Think Peter Green, Bluesbreakers/Cream Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Freddie King, Ten Years After, BB King. Generally speaking I like playing on the verge of breakup with high responsiveness/picking dynamics.

Thanks!
 

Christosterone

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FWIW, my ESLP is a headstock repair....best deal I ever got on a guitar...

It is my opinion that a les Paul standard faded is the best-guitar-for-the-money on earth...

I like shiny things so don’t have one....

standard faded is my vote...and it’s not close

-chris
 

Merkin

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The best Les Paul I ever played was a LP Standard Faded, which is something I try not to think about as I couldn't buy it at the time.

I've not played one since, trying to convince myself that that one was a freak, but from what everybody says about them I think they are probably all a bit special and I'm kidding myself.

By comparison I have a 2012 Studio Tribute Gold Top, which is a really nice, vibrant guitar - but if I'm totally honest doesn't really feel like a 'proper' Les Paul. I play it a lot and like it, don't care about the missing binding, chambering, the baked maple fretboard or anything else, but deep down, like not having Gibson on the headstock of a Japanese copy, I know it isn't the real deal.

I think you buy the best one you can afford or you'll always be wondering - go for the faded or better still go and play as many Standards, Traditionals or whatever that you can. I think we might all find that second-hand guitars get a lot cheaper in the near future...so don't be in a panic :)

Edit: Oh, and photos of the 335, obviously... :)
 

aarad03

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Thanks for the replies guys! I’m really leaning towards the Faded now, it’s calling out to me. Any other input is welcome, especially about the price ($1200 for a headstock repaired Faded Standard)

As requested here’s my #1, my ES-335 (technically it’s a 333 but the previous owner dressed it up like a 335 and also put in 57 classics):

 

judson

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offer $1,000 on this, get rid of the EMG and you will have a guitar you will love forever...i got 2 of em that were wine...stripped em both...ebony fretboard on the 90-93 studios feel great....get it now!

 

Rds

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offer $1,000 on this, get rid of the EMG and you will have a guitar you will love forever...i got 2 of em that were wine...stripped em both...ebony fretboard on the 90-93 studios feel great....get it now!

I second that. I have the same guitar and it's great. My first paul, I've got several different Paul's now and still play this one every now and again.
 

Christosterone

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This is a thought because my number 1 is a classic...
and I think gold tops are the most beautiful piece of musical art on planet earth..

Nothing looks like a goldtop les Paul imho...and classics are my favorite models

just sayin...bet u could haggle this one
i would offer $975 shipped...
also I am a lowball buyer...never hurts to make a legit offer...especially from a box store like this one
or have them repair it...use the scratches and dings to lowball them...
that’s what I would do
but I’m obsessed with gold so maybe don’t listen to me :h5:


 
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judson

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chris...i agree with you EVERYONE needs a gold top at some point....if that seller would come off price that much it would be great but i dont know.....not sure but doesnt hurt to ask as you said...

that neck repair onyour classic is hardly noticable...great job whoever did it

or go for the 90-93 get a quart of acetone, strip it and spray the top gold........dam i should do that and resell it

what do you think a 90-93 with ebony neck stripped, except spray the top gold would go for...i see many of these and never thought to buy em up after i got my first two...they both were fun learning projects

ok i use any excuse to post these ,,,but really its easy if you enjoy working on guitars...but nothing wrong with leaving them with the factory wine finish either...its all good
IMG1993stripped.jpg
1990stripped.jpg
 

aarad03

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Thanks for all the advice and input everyone! I spent the last couple hours looking up everything there is to know about Standard Faded Les Pauls and watching probably 90% of the videos of them on YouTube and something is telling me not to pull the trigger, so I’m going to hold off for now. Like another poster in here said maybe just be patient and wait for a good deal to pop up especially since we are in troubled times right now with the pandemic in full swing.

I think I’ll save up a little more and keep looking around for a good deal on a plain top honey burst Les Paul Classic/Traditional/Standard Faded with more vintage voiced pickups in it already, something like Antiquities, SD 59s, or 57 classics. Maybe even a Tokai or Japanese Les Paul if it’s a really good price too.

The studios from the early 90s have a great reputation from what I have read but I’m not sure if they’re for me. I’m not too fond of the wine red/black/white/fire burst finishes, no binding, and ebony fretboard as far as cosmetics go. I’ll check them out though if I stumble on one that has vintage voiced pickups...is the studio compromising anywhere or with good pickups and wiring can it do what the Les Paul Standard/Faded/Classic can do?

Thanks again everyone
 

Christosterone

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judson

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Thanks for all the advice and input everyone! I spent the last couple hours looking up everything there is to know about Standard Faded Les Pauls and watching probably 90% of the videos of them on YouTube and something is telling me not to pull the trigger, so I’m going to hold off for now. Like another poster in here said maybe just be patient and wait for a good deal to pop up especially since we are in troubled times right now with the pandemic in full swing.

I think I’ll save up a little more and keep looking around for a good deal on a plain top honey burst Les Paul Classic/Traditional/Standard Faded with more vintage voiced pickups in it already, something like Antiquities, SD 59s, or 57 classics. Maybe even a Tokai or Japanese Les Paul if it’s a really good price too.

The studios from the early 90s have a great reputation from what I have read but I’m not sure if they’re for me. I’m not too fond of the wine red/black/white/fire burst finishes, no binding, and ebony fretboard as far as cosmetics go. I’ll check them out though if I stumble on one that has vintage voiced pickups...is the studio compromising anywhere or with good pickups and wiring can it do what the Les Paul Standard/Faded/Classic can do?

Thanks again everyone
my understanding the early studios (first was 1983) were somewhat the same without the binding, someone can correct me but body is maybe a 1/4 thinner , pretty much the same without the bling. You probably will end up changing electronics anyway but the stock pickups are fine 490/500's or 498T, 490R

the ebony fretboards i want on everything...nice firm, smooth wood and looks great, the 90-93 studios , most had them.

i can understand wanting binding as after my first two studios i wanted a LP with binding, the black studio is faux binding some MLP member did so when i stripped the second one i gave it a try. I own a few others with binding but really those first two do everything i need....best bang for the buck.....good idea , take your time but i am sure you will own a few.....btw that 335 is on my GAS list, looks great....happy hunting

 
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judson

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ok i will stop...but here is a nice faded studio if you like the faded series

 

bad565ss

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If you can spend the $1200 on the repaired guitar I would try to scrape together $1500 and jump up to a nice used Traditional or Classic. Even if it took a couple months to get there you'd be better off in my view.
 

moreles

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Did I miss pictures of the repair? The conversation is pointless without them. Who cares what the guitar is if the break is terrible and repaired poorly? On the other hand, who cares if there's a repair if it has been effectively and cleanly?
 


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