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Help with used Gibson Les Paul 2012 Satin Fireburst (my first Gibson purchase)

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  • Help with used Gibson Les Paul 2012 Satin Fireburst (my first Gibson purchase)

    Hi guys,

    I've been playing guitar for quite some time and usually look at the classifieds for used guitars and amps that may be good offers. I have a modified strat with a fixed bridge and a single humbucker, a SS-S-S pacifica with a Wilkinson trem and sperzels, so a HH seemed like a good addition. The Les Paul bug has bitten me lately and have already tried more than a few on different stores and kind of want to buy one. I don’t want to spend too much (>1k), but sadly only the most expensive ones are left on the stores. I’ve tried a LP Classic 2017, LP Standard 2016, LP Tribute 2017, LP 50’s tribute 2016?, melody maker, faded, and other I don’t remember. Also a few Epiphones, Studio, Traditional Pro and Standard. From all those I clearly remember the Epi Trad Pro and the Gibson LP Classic.

    I found this 2012 Gibson Les Paul Satin Fireburst for 600CHF (for simplicity let’s say 1CHF = 1USD) which seemed like a good deal to me. I think this would be the equivalent to the current Les paul Studio Faded 2016 T, but with different pickups and minus the coil splitting feature. After doing some research this are the specs that I have been able to find:

    Serial Number: 118521381
    Brand: Gibson
    Model: 2012 Les Paul Studio
    Finish Color: Satin Fireburst
    Weight: 8.46 lbs
    Top Wood: Carved Maple
    Body Wood: Modern Weight Relieved Mahogany
    Neck Wood: Mahogany
    Neck Shape: 1960's Slim Taper
    Fingerboard: Granadillo
    Fingerboard Radius: 12"
    Inlays: Pearloid Trapezoid
    Scale Length: 24.75"
    Width at Nut: 1 11/16"
    Frets: 22
    Pickups: 490R and 498T with Push/Pull Coil Taps
    Magnets: AlNiCo II (neck) and AlNiCo V (bridge)
    Controls: 2 Volume, 2 Tone, 3-Way Selector
    Hardware : Chrome
    Bridge: Tune-O-Matic
    Tailpiece: Stopbar
    Tuners: Vintage Style "Kluson Deluxe"
    Case: Gibson USA Case (also included with this guitar)

    What do you think? First, it is not a fake, right? Should I go for it? A friend has a Gibson LP with the same pickups and he says they are great, althought I have not played it myself I do like the sound.

    The ’16 Les Pauls, either Studio faded, 50’s tribute or 60’s tribute, go for 900CHF locally and 780CHF online. I would be saving up to 300CHF with the used one, plus if I ever want to sell it I might be able to get back close to what I paid, which will never happen with a brand-new guitar. I’m thinking about offering him 500CHF or my Yamaha Pacifica 604w (4 single coils in HSS, sperzel locking tuners and Wilkinson V100 tremolo) plus 200CHF.

    Thanks a lot for reading and for your advise,


    P.S. If you live in Zürich and want to get together and jam, send me a PM.

  • #2
    I am far from being a LP expert and have trouble sorting out all the different models and features. My understanding of the Studio series is that they are guitars built with the top of the line components but with less showy wood and finish, no binding or other bling. The ideas is that in a studio no one cares what it looks like, the sound is the important thing.

    Second, as the repair dude, what I always look for in a used guitar are the things that need repair - duh. A five year old guitar can be showing fret and fretboard wear if its been played a lot - check this and know what it costs to have refretted if needed. Check the action and playability, make sure you like the pickups (I certainly don't need coil splitting, do you?)

    Is it worth the price? Probably if everything checks out. I have been particularly unimpressed by what I've seen recently from Gibson so it might be a better choice than buying something new. Let us know what you decide


    • #3
      Looks real to me. The 490 R pick-up is nice. I use it a lot.
      I have a different T pick-up. I have 2 Les Pauls - a 2017 Faded
      and a 2015 Special.

      I like Les Pauls. But they're heavy to me. My Faded LP has weighs
      about 6 1/2 lbs. It is still heavy if you ask me. But it plays & sounds
      great. The one you are buying weighs more I think.
      Last edited by Etienne Rambert; 11-06-2017, 02:00 PM.
      He has escaped! Youtube , ​Murika , France


      • #4
        Originally posted by Freeman Keller View Post
        Is it worth the price? Probably if everything checks out. I have been particularly unimpressed by what I've seen recently from Gibson so it might be a better choice than buying something new. Let us know what you decide
        This is true, I tried a 2016 LP 50's Tribute and was disappointed by it, I actually liked a Epi Trad Pro better. I saw an Epi LP Standard on sale with a Harley Benton 40W amp for 250CHF, which seems like a pretty sweet deal to me. I will give it a try and like a friend said, it will help me to get used to the shorter scale and knob position, also to the shape of the guitar and neck; this should help me get started in the LP world. If I feel the need for a "better" or "real" Les Paul I can search for her with time until I find THE ONE.


        • #5
          Now I found this 2016 Studio Faded for 550CHF...

          BUT, the seller painted over the top with a gold-green reflective paint. I know that repainted Gibsons lose their resale value, so I'm willing to pay max 500CHF

          What do you think?


          • Freeman Keller
            Freeman Keller commented
            Editing a comment
            Well, its not my cuppa but we'll put that to the side and just think about the guitar. Refinishing vintage guitars destroys their value but frankly I don't think it makes much difference on a new one. The Reverb price for a 2016 Studio Faded seems to be $600 - 700 so the price is probably in the ball park.

            What I would look for is how professionally done the paint job was. Is it flawless (like the factory finish would be)? Was the binding properly scraped, is the clear coating done correctly? Can you live with the color? Then of course all the other things that we have discussed - frets, playability, do you like the pups, yadda yadda.

            Also if you are truly thinking about resale already remember that not only will the fact that it has been refinished cut down the number of people who might want it, so will the color.

        • #6
          I agree with everything Freeman has said. I happen to like the color of the refinish, so that wouldn't bother me. How it plays, how it feels, and how it sounds is more important then a color, in my humble opinion. BUT that being said.... If the guitar was refinished in anything other then nitro lacquer, I would pass on it. Here's why....
          Recently on an Anderton's music youtube thingy, they compared the most expensive Epiphone Paul, with the cheapest Gibson Paul. Both played great, both sounded great, but despite have a more "bling" and features like coil tapping and the USA pickups, the Epiphone fell short of the Gibson due to way the guitar responded with the poly finish. If you have ever played a poly finished guitar (ie: Epiphone.), and a nitro finished one, (ie: Gibson) you can feel a difference in the way the guitar resonates.

          The actual point I am making starts at about the 31:50 mark

          My Music:
          Some of my guitars: 64 or so Domino Beatle bass; 73 Ibanez 2398; 79 Epiphone Genesis; 79 Manoman; 99 Ric 330; 78 Gibson L6S; 95 Ibanez JS-700; 04 Samick Lasalle JZ3: 05 Ibanez AS73; 81 Paul Custom, 07 Gary Kramer Simulator T and about 50 others.


          • #7
            There is no binding on a LP Studio so scraping the binding after a re-finish is a non-issue.

            My Number One is a '94 Studio with an ebony FB that had the finish completely removed during a broken headstock repair before I got it. It has the 490/498 pickup set with no extra switches for coil tap etc. It is heavy (no weight relief).

            The closest I have seen to mine (sans cosmetics) is a new LP Custom that I found in a music store with the same neck profile and pickup combo. It also has no weight relief and comes with a $5k price tag that is reflective of the highly figured maple top. My guitar has a three piece top which is very plain.

            Click image for larger version

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            I highly recommend the LP Studio, particularly the older ones, because what you pay for is the function not the appearance. The fact that the one you are looking at has been 'devalued' by being re-finished would be a plus in my book.
            "Isn't it a pity, isn't it a shame,
            how we break each other's hearts
            and cause each other pain"


            • #8
              I like that refinish. That would be my choice.


              • #9
                I like the looks also. We already established that studios are for sound, not appearance. For the money, it would be hard to go wrong if it plays well and is not damaged other than cosmetics.


                • #10
                  Thanks a lot for the advice! I will try to see it over the weekend. I saw a 2014 LPJ in satin fireburst that I also like. It's at 590, but I hope to get it lower.

                  Here are a few more pics:


                  • #11
                    I got it!
                    NGD post here :
                    Hi guys, I've been playing guitar for quite some time and usually look at the classifieds for used guitars and amps that may be good offers. Some of you may