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2001 Gibson Les Paul Studio - Wine & Chrome, (front), (flame), (back), (headstock), (case). Rare flametop Studio, this is easily a AA top and although the beauty is somewhat lost on a dark wine stain, it looks great in good lighting. This is one of the older "heavy" Studio's, before chambering became a standard feature on all LP's around 2005. Many players are seeking these out, with the belief that a better tone is worth the extra pound or two. The Studio's remain the best value in the "real" Les Paul line, i.e. gloss finish, carved maple cap over mahogany body, trapezoid inlays, 490R and 498T Alnico humbucker, Gibson deluxe tuners, etc. Basic construction is the same as the Standard with the exception of cosmetic appointments such as body and neck binding. Cosmetically this one has its share of scratches and dings, but there are no breaks, repairs, or other issues. I attribute the flaws to a careless owner rather than extensive playing time as the frets are near perfect. It's a great playing Paul and for a lacquer finish Studio a nice buy, especially for the many players who are looking for a non-chambered body, which are becoming harder to find. With a new Studio in Wine selling for $1319, for the player this guitar offers substantial savings, an a lovely maple top. Just $779 and includes Gibson brown case. Case is missing the combo latch but other latches work fine.
2001 Gibson Les Paul Studio - Wine & Chrome, (front), (back), (headstock), (case). These pre-chambered body Studios have recently become desirable models as I have customers specifically seeking out pre-'06 models. They have a crisper attack and more punch in the bass, more sparkle in the highs. Gibson generally saves all of their lighter woods for their expensive Historic series so if you buy a Studio from this era you're not going to find a light one but then I don't feel that light weight guitars are necessarily more resonant. This one is quite lively sounding in fact. Since the early 80's the Studio has remained the best value in the "real" Les Paul line, i.e. carved maple cap over mahogany body, gloss finish, trapezoid inlays, 490R and 498T Alnico humbucker, and Gibson Deluxe tuners. I'm seeing more and more "stars" playing Studio's on TV, and these are guys who can have any Gibson they want, usually for free. Other than a few cosmetic appointments, this model is pretty much identical to the LP Standard but it's stripped down cosmetics (i.e. no binding and headstock inlay) means around a 40% savings compared to the Standard. The original Studio's, ca. early 80's, were a more distinct model, with an all-mahogany body and dot inlays. Within a few years Gibson offered a "Studio Standard" with body and neck binding, maple cap, but dot inlays and screened headstock decals - and finally in the late 80's the model we know today. Cosmetically this guitar is in pretty nice shape with some light scratches and a few minor finish impressions, but nothing nasty and a fantastic low set up. The neck profile is medium, falling somewhere between the 60's thin taper and chunky 50's - and well rounded in the back. Gloss finish Studio's are now running $1319 new. This '01 model hasn't seen much actual playing time, judging by the frets, and is an inexpensive way to move up to a Gibson Les Paul - just $850 with original gigbag.
1997 Gibson Les Paul Studio - Wine & Chrome, (front), (back), (headstock). Sort of the LP mate to the SG above, also finished in transparent red and from the same '97 production year, a quality era for Gibson. You might remember this guitar, which was originally listed as a great player but in rough condition (before-1, before-2 and before-3) with miscellaneous finish chips and wear around the edges, but no structural issues. Martin touched up the rough areas with some "Wine" stain, lacquer over the areas, and buffed out the body. While it's certainly not mint, it is a very presentable guitar. The Studio's remain the best value in the "real" Les Paul line, i.e. gloss finish, carved maple cap over mahogany body, trapezoid inlays, 490R and 498T Alnico humbucker, Gibson deluxe tuners, etc. Basic construction is the same as the Standard with the exception of cosmetic appointments such as body and neck binding. The original Studio's, back in the early 80's, were a more distinct model, with an all mahogany body and dot inlays. Following that came the "Studio Standard" with binding, dots, and maple cap - and finally in the late 80's this model. It's a great playing Paul with very minor fret wear (pic) and no structural issues, no cracks, etc., and for a lacquer finish Studio a nice buy, especially for the many players who are looking for a non-chambered Studio, which are becoming harder to find. Just $839 with Gibson deluxe gigbag or $899 with a new, excellent quality, TKL wood/Tolex hardshell case.
2008 Gibson Les Paul Swamp Ash Studio, (front/back), (headstock), (case and box). Never retailed - unplayed condition and ships in original box. Gibson started their "Smartwood" Series in the mid-90's, utilizing sustainable woods which are both tonally acceptable, and eco-friendly. While many of these were exotic woods (such as Muira Piranga) we had never heard of, this is one of the newer models featuring good old Swamp Ash, a name that's been synonymous with guitars since the 50's. The Swamp Ash Les Paul is a limited edition model, although Gibson hasn't released total production numbers. The tone isn't radically different from a "regular" mahogany/maple body, but it does seem to have more punch, more pronounced in the mid-range; Billy Gibbons comes to mind. Most remarkably, this guitar weighs in at a remarkable 6.4 lbs., which would be light for a Strat or Tele, and unheard of for a Les Paul. Features include: satin natural finish, figured swamp ash cap over swamp ash body, rounded mahogany neck with rosewood fretboard, 490R and 498T Alnico II humbuckers, rosewood fretboard, chrome hardware, green leaf truss rod cover, dot inlays, Gibson Deluxe tuners, and satin finished Mahogany neck. A regular black Studio is going to run you $1319 and will probably weigh around 9 pounds or more. This beauty is immaculate and at 6.4 lbs. is one of the lightest guitars, much less Les Pauls, you'll ever play - for just $1179. If you're looking for a Paul that you can play for 3 long sets without any shoulder fatigue, this is it. Includes black reptile case, manual, and paperwork.
2007 Gibson Les Paul Studio, (front/back), (headstock), (case). Since 1983 Gibson has offered the Studio as an affordable alternative to the Standard, with all the tone and playability, but without the fancy cosmetic appointments. Although initially it was an all-mahogany body, it soon evolved into the maple cap that made it even closer to the standard. At one point in the mid-80's they even made a "Studio Standard" which had a bound body and neck, but still with dot inlays and screened logo. A decade or so later Gibson added trapezoid fretboard inlays which makes the guitar look very much like a Standard from the audience perspective. It remains to this day and excellent and more affordable alternative to players who could care less about binding and inlaid logos. Features include solid mahogany body with maple cap, rounded neck profile, rosewood fretboard, 490R and 498T Alnico II humbuckers, dual volume and tone controls with 3-way selector, Tuneomatic bridge with stop bar tailpiece, Gibson Deluxe tuners, gloss lacquer finish, and chrome hardware. Judging by the clean condition of the frets and overall appearance, this guitar hasn't been played very much but at least for one night it had a careless owner with a mean belt buckle (as shown here). If you're a player who doesn't mind a little bit of character, sort of like pre-washed jeans, this is an excellent playing Les Paul and easy on the wallet at $850. Note: I also have a few of the vintage mahogany Studio's with Burstbucker Pro's, fresh in the box, for less.
Gibson Les Paul "Bugs", okay, here's a model you've never had a shot at - because it's the only one in existence. Available only through Gibson's "Custom Direct" service, where your $500 membership gives you access to the rarest of the rare. For this particular guitar, Gibson commissioned noted artist Carol Paulsen as part of their "Art of the Guitar II" to paint two "bug" guitars - this Les Paul and an ES-5 ( the ES-5 subsequently sustained a damaged neck, never retailed, and was blown out in a charity auction). As much a work of art as it is a playable instrument, the "Bugs" features a Les Paul Standard with hand-painted bugs on the top, as well as the highest quality Abalone fretboard inlays. It's hard to capture the the beauty and intricacy of her paining in great detail but here are some attempts: pic3, pic4, pic5, pic6, pic7, pic8. Includes original case and warranty card. This guitar was collector owned, unplayed, and mint condition other than very sight tarnish on the edges of the pickups - we can replace the pickup covers if desired. This guitar was obtained through an IRS auction where the original owner, with the finest collection imaginable, was forced to sell off dozens of highly-prized guitars, most of which remained unplayed. Cost to the original owner on this guitar was $10,000. There was not a list price, that was the actual selling price. Offered here, at my humble site, for just $7000. One of these days I hope to contact Ms. Paulsen and, hopefully, offer it on her site as well.
2008 Gibson Les Paul Push Tone #167, (front/back), (headstock), (Detail-back), (Extra pickups), (Case/Acc.). Gibson's Guitar of the Month (GOTM) for May '08. Never retailed and offered in mint condition. Last year Gibson offered a unique collection of monthly limited editions, with production limited to just 1000/each, an idea that was previously used with their Showcase Editions (link here) in 1988. Clean examples of Showcases go for significantly higher than their regular production counterparts and these guitars should also prove to be good investment pieces. Most of the 2008 models featured cool colors and pickup/hardware variations but this one is truly radical. The Les Paul Push Tone's defining feature are easily switchable pickups (click here for a demo) and each guitar comes with a pair of BurstBucker Pro's and a pair of P-94's that attach wirelessly to the body using strong magnets. Burstbucker Pro's for the classic fat Paul sound you know and love, while the P94's are actually P90 single coils that are designed to fit in a regular humbucker slot - giving you 4 mix-and-match pickup combinations for loads of tonal flexibility. The pickups load through the back and each is complete with the pickup already attached to the mounting bracket, and each comes with a quick-connect plug. In addition to this unique pickup options this is a killer Les Paul with a lacquer finish in Antique Natural with a beautiful AAA maple top. The flame on this one is rather unique and is definitely nicer than the average Push Tone, with thin ribbons in a chevron pattern at the bottom, becoming straight across at the middle, transitioning into reverse chevron at the top. It's a very pleasing look. Other unique options of this model include: Maple fretboard inlays, Ebony fretboard, 50's rounded neck profile, locking Grover tuners, Neutrik locking output jack, commemorative case with commemorative interior shroud, and a very "clean" look without a pickguard, pickup rings, or selector ring. Other specs are the same as a regular Les Paul Standard. This was one of the more expensive GOTM models with a list price of $4399, discounted to $2899. This one is better than new, totally untouched except for a killer setup by Martin, inevitably better than factory, and priced $400 less than a regular Standard Plus at just $2399. For full specs click here for Gibson's site. Trades on Fender Custom Shop and PRS are desired.
1973 Gibson SG Standard, (front), (back), (headstock), (pots/switch), (Gibson/Bigsby), (case). Killer SG in lovely vintage condition, a classic rock icon from the 70's. Pickups are the sought after "Super Humbuckers", designed by Bill Lawrence and easily identifiable by the black epoxy on the underside (pic). This guitar sounds incredible, plays fantastic, and is an excellent example of Gibson's early 70's guitars. Features include mahogany body and neck, ebony fretboard, block inlays, 22 frets, factory Gibson/Bigsby tailpiece, wide Schaller-made tune-o-matic bridge, Gibson/Schaller tuners, narrow 1-9/16" nut, and 24-3/4" scale. All original except for two pots replaced in 1983. You'll note the rounded end of the fretboard (shown here under blacklight), which is more associated with Gibson acoustics but you will see the occasional solid body. Google it and you'll find one recently sold by Elderly with the same feature. Cosmetically, very nice vintage condition with just the usual scratches in the clear coat but nothing through to the finish. No cracks, no repairs, a very solid piece, ready for another 40+ years of jamming. Includes the proper case for a Bigsby-equipped SG, the rectangular tolex case with plush purple lining, top of the line model. Very cool SG with a factory Bigsby for $1950.
1997 Gibson SG Special with Upgrades, (front), (back), (headstock), (pickups), (case). For you EMG fans out there, this one just had a new set installed, plus a set of Hipshot locking tuners. Pickups are an EMG-89 in the neck, which pairs perfectly with the EMG-81 bridge. The 89 has the bonus feature of being splitable via push/pull pot which gives it the ability to deliver Strat-type sounds, or traditional fat humbucker tones. EMG's sound great in an all mahogany guitar and this is definitely better sounding than any Special I've had. Also upgraded were the tuners, which now feature a new set of Hipshot locking type. All work was done by my man Martin, so you know it's done right. Lastly, pickguard was changed to a white with beveled edge, which is gives it a cool tuxedo appearance. Cosmetically this guitar has its share of scratches and dings but as the frets are perfect, I'll chalk that up to a non-meticulous owner who gigged with it for a brief period. The set up is fantastic and with excellent sustain, this guitar is definitely a winner. If you're not looking for the flash of a Standard, but are more concerned with tone, this is a sweet axe for $679. Includes original brown case with non-working combo latch and missing the latch from another latch - no problem, it stays closed just fine.
1998 Gibson SG Special - Ferrari Red, (front), (headstock), (back), (gigbag or case). The SG Special provides the classic SG tone, but without the cosmetic features of a Standard, it's a better bargain. It features an un-bound neck, dot inlays, screened logo, and uncovered pickups, but is otherwise the same guitar. Its all mahogany construction with unmistakable beveled edges gives it that classic warm SG tone that has helped define the sound of rock, most notably with Angus Young. The light weight, thin body, and deep cutaways make it one of the most comfortable guitars to play. Pickups are 490R/490T Alnico humbuckers. The neck is well rounded and more chunky than the '60 thin taper, but not as chunky as a 50's style. Cosmetically, the body has some scratches in the clear coat and the top of the headstock has 6-7 small touch ups on some finish chips (shown here) and a few milky spots on the headstock (pic), but no real issues such as cracks, repairs, or fret wear. For more info click here for Gibson's site. Don't confuse this with the faded series - this gloss finish model lists for $1665, $500 more than the Faded SG, plus neither comes in Ferrari Red, which was discontinued years ago. If you're looking for a real SG and not worried about a few minor cosmetic flaws, you can save big time on this great playing used one. $629 includes Gibson gigbag or, if you prefer, $699 includes a nice 90's Gibson brown case with pink lining shroud. (Note: I have this model in Black on my Gibson page).
2003 Gibson SG Standard - Black - EMG 25th Anniv. Pickups, (headstock), (case). Freshly installed Limited Edition 25th Anniversary Silver EMG81's. In '08 EMG produced just 2500 sets of this pickups world-wide, at a cost of $350 if you could find them. Other than the pickups, this is your basic SG Standard, largely unchanged since 1961, when it was released as the "new" Les Paul style. It has been in production continuously since that year, the longest running solid body model in Gibson history. Features include all-mahogany construction finished in gloss Heritage Cherry lacquer, solid quarter-sawn mahogany neck, rosewood fretboard with 12" radius, trapezoid inlays, Corian nut, 1 11/16" nut width, bound fretboard, 22 medium jumbo frets, Gibson Deluxe tuners with Keystone buttons, holly headstock overlay with mother-of-pearl inlaid logo and crown inlays, black top hat knobs with silver inserts, Tuneomatic ABR-1 bridge and Gibson's most popular pickups, the 490R/498T Alnico humbuckers. The SG Standard's remarkable sustain is due largely to two unique features: the mortis & tenon neck joint which binds the neck to body so that the two pieces form one solid unit, employing the long tenon found on earlier SGs - plus the traditional 17 degree headstock angle, which increases pressure on the strings which maximizes string vibration between the nut and the tuners. It features the neck profile of the mid-60's, not at all chunky as the 50's style, but nicely rounded. Famous players of the SG Standard is a who's-who of rock music greats including Clapton during the "Cream" era, Tony Iommi and Angus Young both users for over 30 years, and Derek Trucks, who also uses extensive slide work in his playing. Even with the EMG's, it still sounds like an SG, only better, with a more balanced tone, that's totally noise free. This guitar is in excellent condition, with nice, low action, and with these Ltd. Ed. EMG's, a nice buy at $999(HOLD-Adam 1/27/14).
1963 Gibson SG Junior (back), (front1 front2), (back1 back2), (headstock), (checking), (case). Ah, the beauty of the Junior. There's something wonderful about the simplicity of a single P90, with just a volume and tone, and wraparound tailpiece. You only have one sound, but what a sound it is, and most of us tend to stick with our favorite tone 90% of the time. I can't remember ever using the neck pickup on a Tele. Equally simple is the single stud tailpiece, which is compensated for better intonation unlike the 50's studs which were a straight bar. The wraparound is extremely comfortable and effective for string muting or playing staccato passages. As they have since the 50's, the Junior (formerly Les Paul Junior with slab body) features all-mahogany construction which is a very warm, full tone that marries perfectly with the single-coil P90, which is a high output single coil, and is essentially the same guitar as the higher end SG Standard, including thickness, beveled edges, etc. As you can see in the 2nd pic above, the body still has a strong cherry color, with the back of the neck being the only area that's faded to a brownish red. This baby is 100% original including finish, electronics, and hardware. There are no cracks or repairs. Worst flaws are normal finish checking, some light finish rubs such as on the edge of the headstock, and some fine spots on the top which are visible only if viewed from the perfect angle, probably caused by using some spray cleaner and letting it soak in without polishing right away. The pickguard has typical cracks at the 4 points, with only the treble point missing a small piece of plastic. There are no stress cracks which are common around the jack and neck joint; electronics are all original with all factory solder. The neck isn't the extremely chunky one found on some early 60's, nor a thin taper, it' very much a medium neck. It's 1 11/16" at the nut, which for most players is more comfortable than the narrow 1 5/8". Some players would make this their main guitar but for those of you who take an arsenal to a gig, this one can do your P90 tone beautifully. Gbase price on a '63 Junior with no issues would be around $3800-$4500 but get this one that's reality priced. Just $2700 for this baby. Includes Gibson brown case that's missing the combo latch.
1962 Gibson SG Special, (front), (headstock/neck/frets), (back), (controls), (finish checking), (cosmetic flaws), (headstock repair). For the player who likes 50+ year-old Specials but doesn't have $6K to spare, the best value is a headstock or heel repair. If done correctly these are excellent utility guitars whose playability and tone are unaffected. Many times you'll see repaired Gibsons which have been cannibalized of pickups, pots, bridges, knobs, etc. but this one hasn't been raped and features all original electronics with factory solder joints, original pickups, original nickel compensated bridge, and knobs. The tuners were changed but that was done as a practical upgrade to a set of Grovers that stay in tune perfectly, rather than ancient Klusons. This came in with a very solid repair, but the area hadn't been finished cosmetically. Martin did a superb job of finishing the repair with the proper Gibson stain and multiple coats of nitro lacquer over the repaired area. The result is a repair that most people would never spot unless they were looking for it. I'm not real clear on why these were never called a "Les Paul Special", since other same-year models with the SG body shape were called "Les Paul Junior" or "Les Paul Custom" but the fact is these are correctly called SG and not LP/SG. The Special was more than a 2-pickup Junior and had upscale features such as a bound neck and inlaid mother of pearl logo rather than a decal. As you can see in the pics, the color is very strong, a very vibrant red rather than the faded cherry or almost walnut look that these guitars frequently develop. Overall it's in very clean shape, other than some rubs around the edge shown in the pic above. The body is checked front and back but not excessively. Original frets are in great shape, fretboard doesn't have any deep gouges, and the action is low and very comfortable. This guitar has a very thin neck, a tad thinner than, say, a '60 Classic or "thin taper". Under a blacklight, the guitar has a strong glow other than the repaired area (shown here). The tone of these P90's, combined with very well aged Mahogany, produces a warm, very fat tone, that's tailor made for rock music - Pete Townsend was one of the famous players of the Special back in the 60s - but anybody who likes the P90 tone will love this guitar. No wood sounds like old wood. If you're a working guitarist, or a collector who doesn't ignore value-priced classic guitars, this is one great Special. At $2250 it's well under 50% of a comparable condition Special without a headstock fix and it undoubtedly plays and sounds at least as nice. Included will be your choice of a recent model Gibson brown case or an aftermarket high quality black tolex case
2001 Gibson SG Special - Gloss Black, (front), (headstock), (back), (gigbag). The SG Special provides the classic SG tone, but without the cosmetic features of a Standard, it's a better bargain. It features an un-bound neck, dot inlays, screened logo, and uncovered pickups, but is otherwise the same guitar. Its all mahogany construction with unmistakable beveled edges gives it that classic warm SG tone that has helped define the sound of rock, most notably with Angus Young. The light weight, thin body, and deep cutaways make it one of the most comfortable guitars to play. Pickups are 490R/490T Alnico humbuckers. The neck is well rounded and on the chunky side, but not as chunky as a 50's style. Don't confuse this with the faded series, which are good guitars in their own right, but this is the gloss finish model which sells new for a $1K. For more info click here for Gibson's site. A new Special in black or cherry is going to set you back $999 but this one's in excellent condition with a great set up for just $679 with the older & better Gibson wedge-shaped gigbag.
2003 Gibson SG Special Limited Edition, (front), (headstock), (back), (gigbag). Very unique SG - Limited Edition Platinum with all chrome/platinum parts (pic here) including body, plastic, and hardware. All mahogany construction gives it that classic warm SG tone that has helped define the sound of rock, most notably with Angus Young. This model also features an Ebony fretboard, usually reserved for higher-end models, which gives it a little more snap on the attack than rosewood. Pickups are 490R/498T Alnico II humbuckers. You Fallout Boy fans might remember front man and guitarist Patrick Stump playing this model when they were becoming huge, before his jump to Gretsch. If you like low action - you'll love this guitar. It's got a great neck which allowed us to set the action very low. The neck's a tad on the chunky side, much closer to a 50's rounded neck than a 60's thin taper. Don't confuse this with the faded series. This is the gloss finish model and it sold in stores for $1049 during its last year of production 6 years ago. This one is pretty much immaculate - no scratches, dings, or fret wear, an easy 9.8 - and wouldn't look out of place hanging with brand new guitars in your local store. A new Special in black or cherry is going to set you back $999 but for $200 less you can have this beautiful and rare Ltd Ed Platinum model. $799 includes original gigbag.
2007 Gibson '61 Les Paul/ SG Standard VOS - White, (front/back), (headstock), (case/acc.). I've said it before but...I love these VOS models. They're not only built to the exact spec's of the original model but they also have the patina of a 45-year-old guitar and aged hardware. You get the feeling that you're playing a an actual vintage instrument rather than a shiny new guitar that obvious just rolled off the assembly line. 1961 was a pivotal year for the Les Paul. Gone was the single cutaway model that had been around since the early 50's - and which was less than an overwhelming success - replaced by the new all-mahogany double-cut body with beveled edges, which eventually was renamed the "SG" for Spanish Guitar. Everything was different about this "new" model Les Paul and for the player, access to the upper frets was markedly improved which along with the new lightweight design, made this guitar a joy to play. Unlike the original Les Paul model, which disappeared from '61 to '67, the SG design has stayed in the Gibson line for 48 straight years. Spec's of this model include Mahogany body, Set one-piece mahogany neck with long tenon, 22-fret rosewood fretboard, Burstbucker 1 & 2 humbucking pickups, Stop bar tailpiece with tuneomatic bridge, 24-3/4" scale length, and wide 1-11/16" nut width. The only flaw on this guitar is a small red mark on the back of the neck (shown here) which was a reaction from the Nitro finish and a rubberized guitar stand. This model, properly called a "Les Paul" is still being made, although it's lost the "Les Paul" name and called merely "Gibson Custom SG Standard Reissue VOS", (shown here) which sells for $3399 ($4774 list). For $1000 less, you can have this wonderful guitar, in unplayed condition with plastic still on the pickguard and not a hint of use. $2399(SOLD-Mike W 4/4).
GIBSON OR USA EPI SEMI-HOLLOW & ARCHTOPS:
OTHER USA GIBSONS: MELODY MAKERS, NIGHTHAWKS, FIRBIRDS, EXPLORERS, V’S, ETC.:
(ask about our “hot rod” job to install new pickups, Sperzel tuners, etc., prior to shipping. For around $200 (INCLUDING labor) you can get a pair of Gibson, or other similar quality pickups and a set of Sperzel/Grover/Gibson/Hipshot tuners. These upgrades will likely run you over $350 at your local store.