Buying a Gibson Les Paul Classic, Please Help!


I went to guitar center and wanted to buy a gib LP classic (much better than standards in my opinion haha) anyway, they dont have any in stock and told me that i would have to pay in full, then they would ship one to my house. i wanted vintage sunburst but all tehy have is lightburst. Two more important than the other.. first is this safe to do, buying a guitar in full, with no refund ability, without playing it at all? i know it sounds crazy but it seems the only option. Can factory set up be that bad that I might get a lemon? And second, how do you owners of lightburst gibsons like the looks of them? Its hard to get a good feel for it in pictures. how do they look as they fade over time? Thanks for your guys help!

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Why dont you ask him to order one so that you pick it up from the shop? When i order my guitars they go to the shop i just pay a 10% deposit, i would want the dealer to set it up for me before i take it, surely there must be a guitar shop in your area where you can play before you pay?
Vintage burst and light burst are very nice, honey burst is great too but i dont think they do that on the classic.
Good luck with it.

I own a 68 Les Paul Standard, not one of the top years, but I prefer it over a recent Custom Black Beauty. I think the new Les Paul's still need some set up work to play well. Straight from the factory they play fine but little intonation tweaks with strings you like will go a long way. Like any guitar the more they are played with the same type of strings and the more adjustments from a good set up doctor the better they sound. I like medium electrics with a wound "g" for a good bottom end. I play Rhythm and Zep style leads and absolutely feel that a used Les is better than a new one if it is in good shape.

I would strongly recommend that you insist on trying it before paying top whack. I work in a music store and Gibsons quality control varies drastically at the moment! If your paying a substantial amount of money for a guitar, then the shop should bend over backwards for you! If they won't, go to one that will! Have you tried Hertitage Les Pauls? Made in the old Gibson factory by old Gibsons workers-they are head over heals better than Gibsons themselves at the mo!!! Its a shame as Gibson Les Pauls are the best guitars ever!

Are you sure you have a Les Paul standard 68' ??
i thought they stopped making them in 60' and moved production to the Les Paul SG?

I would have to check my guitar book on the history but I believe 68 was the first year of re-introduction of the les paul. You are right about Gibson discontinuing production from the Kalamazoo plant but after the mid 60's success of the heavier rock sound Gibson brought them back and started building them out of the new Nashville plant after National Music bought the company. I thought 68 was the first year. You can tell the mass produced standards of that era because they lack the nice matching maple tops and are slabs of mahogany with either unfigured maple or alder tops. Mine is a tobacco finish with a yellow to dark brown sunburst. What I love about it is the tone. Silky smooth with lots of woodsy sustain in the midrange. What amazes me about this guitar is it never goes out of tune. I like Markley blue steel mediums on it. I really abuse it however. It hardly ever goes into a case except for gigs and living in So CAl along the beach it gets humid to dry conditions year round and stays in tune. I play alot, perhaps 40 or more hours a week in practice or gigs so it gets tuned regularly, but I never need to adjust on stage much. The band also has a newer les paul black beauty and several strats and all have there place. The black beauty sounds dull though, less harmonics and a more trebly sound. It also doesn't hold tune as well but does have a faster neck and lower action. I would find as many les paul's as you can and play em all before buying one. Intonation seems off on most new ones I have picked up, even the 8k-10k top of the lines, but every once in awhile you pick up one that plays itself, with thick rich overtones and harmonics. I watch the strings to see if they start moving on their own with the slightest notes or chords to see if they are picking up harmonics or octaves. In any case find a good guitar doctor when you get one to go over the intonation and frets with strings you plan on using all the time, the extra 200-300 bucks can bring out the magic in a guitar.[/img]

You have to play it. I have a LP Classic Premium Plus. Yes I fell in love with it at 1st sight (cherry sunburst etc). But it was plugged in that sold me. I played std's new 2nd hand - all kinds of pick ups before I purchased.. But when I played the LP Classic I purchased it was the sound /feel that made me want it. Don't listen to all the technojerks - the gibson ceramic magnet pickups offer a range of sound and tone I have not heard from Alnico or after market units - but it is up to the individual. Many retail style guitar shop sales people try to be intimidating - remember this - they are feeling pain being close to the commission on a high priced unit - make them work for it!.

I agree you have to go by your ears, and there is nothing wrong with those ceramic magnet pickups, i prefer the sound of the alnico's my self but that is my taste, my friend has a 1960 classic, with the bullion gold top and he loves it, he sold his standard to buy it, the neck is a 60's tapered one which he loves and he loves those pickups, one word of advice, if i were going to buy one i would get a used one, they go for less than the standards, i think if you buy one new then you would pay about the same price as a standard, but used they are cheaper than standards, standards hold there money a bit more than the classics.

Only Gibson is good Enough! No Fade Problem, I have an 81 LP Custom! It's like fine wine it gets better over time. I don't know about you all, I find that Gtr Ctr hires people that only fog mirrors! I live near Chuck Levin's largest independent on the East Coast. Go online Washington I would contact someone there. Even if just for info!
I believe you can't miss with any Gibson! The Custom is King...depends on budget, I also would ask more questions I would not feel comfy paying 500 up front also, although when I bought my SG Supreme from Chuck's it took about 4 mos, came brand new in the box and I only put $100 down on it. They called me, no one played it, I opened right there in the store & it is a BEAST! Love IT! Gibson is pretty hot at setup out of Nashville...I wouldn't worry. With a name like megadeth aren't you interested in Mustaine's Jackson V?

Lee, you got me wondering about my les being a "standard" or just a "les paul" from the mass prodcued era, 68++++. It is one from the mass produced "no name" era and I'm checking on it's real heritage. I think the most amazing part of guitar playing is that the intsrument is only half the sound. The lead guitarist in our band can't stand my favorite guitar and I loathe his strat just about as much. Its got wimpy strings that never seem in tune, yet he makes every note sound great, like wise he can't stand the mediums I put on my mine. Play a certain set up long enough and the ears tell you what to do. Digitally recording the band has done a lot for each of us to fine tune our parts. There are so many tricks of the trade but probably the most important one regarding any guitar is it has to sound great played clean through a good amp. In tune everywhere along the fretboard. I took a tip from the lead guitarist of Blink 182, can't remember his name (sorry), but he pointed out it was a sin to put too many sound affects between the guitar and the amp. A pure overdriven tube amp can be better than all the foot pedals lined up. A great Les Paul only sounds better with the right strings suited to the playing style of the guitarist through an amp that is also selected for it's ability to reproduce and enhance the style of music played. I'm not a big fan of the 1000 sound digital amps that have come out. Try plugging one into a good tube amp at 3/4 level and let the guitar sound come through. Off the thread a bit, but a good guitar deserves a good amp and only subtle sound modeling. I write way too much.

Well, Megadeth, you're on your own with this question. Gibson's quality has improved over the last few years, so whatever product you get, you're likely to get an excellent product. I ordered my '57 reissue black beauty on New Years Eve through an online dealer, and was very pleased. As some of folks who've replied have indicated, hearing the instrument is very important...particularly on a Les Paul. Prior to this one, I've owned two other LP customs I bought from Guitar Center, which I was not happy with. There are a lot of different dealers, and you probably should check around and see if one will let you make a deposit before your drop the entire price of the instrument. Otherwise find a dealer that has a no fault return policy if you are not happy with the instrument.

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