No, the guitar in the photo above is not a Gibson Les Paul, I just needed a related photo because I wanted to talk about guitars. It’s actually my Guild Bluesbird, and I absolutely love that guitar as all my others. But the thing is, I don’t think my collection is complete unless I get myself a Gibson Les Paul in the future. It’s not exactly that it would improve my life, I am already very well set with guitars, but it’s basically a prestige project because I’d like to play with some of the most iconic guitars. Apart from that I am also interested to have another guitar that has yet again different pickups, because I realized the more options you have, the more creative you become. There are days when you are bored of a certain pickup sound, but since I have more than one guitar, I can pick another one until I am fine with the other one again. This is no joke, since I got myself a small collection, I am ultimately more creative and I am playing way more than I previously did. That’s the side effect of having a couple of guitars to choose from. I know, you can play that game indefinitely, and you would probably become a guitar collector. But for now, and this has always been a plan, I just need one more, it’s a Gibson Les Paul.
So, I have set up a piggy bank for a new guitar since some time. I actually have more than just one piggy bank because I like to be very determined. You have different hobbies, and different more important things to pay for your life. So, I am a “This is for that” and “This for that” type of guy. Even if I realize that all my piggy banks together could make it possible to make me afford one of my dreams, I wouldn’t do it. I am patient, sometimes I have a priority list and do things sequentially, but most of the time I do save in parallel. Because for me it’s not important to get something fast, but to make sure that I can achieve a couple of things that are really important to me. I also like to put something aside for life, for the next years, for the future. With that said, and I am fine with it, you can’t always have everything right now or very soon. I can live with that. But eventually you will have the things at some point, and then you can be happy that you have been patient, while not forgetting all the other important things.
That makes the second-hand market very interesting. Not just because I could save money, it’s also because I had a very good experience with used guitars, for example with my Fender Stratocaster. So, talking about the Gibson Les Paul again, I monitor the local classifieds since quite some time, and I monitor Ebay and get email notifications whenever some Les Paul’s search a new owner. I am mainly looking for a Gibson Les Paul Classic. I already checked some but the price was still above what I currently can pay, not much but I am getting closer to have more chances. On the other side, I saw quite a few people not able to sell their guitars because they have too high expectations (Seriously, some ask as much as a new ones costs in the stores with documents and all that). I am the same, if my guitar piggy bank would already contain already enough to make it possible to purchase at this price, I’d rather do it in the store than second-hand. Sure, there are collectors and some guitars with a special build year, colors or pickups are sold, but believe me, I’ve seen tons of guitars not being sold and re-listed again and again with a decreased price until someone eventually bought it.
I think that’s the way to go. Know your price, definitely know what you want to pay. I know I could die tomorrow, and if that is the case, so be it. But if it doesn’t happen, I saved a ton of money on a guitar. That’s what happened with the other guitar I got second-hand. If I would be rich, I’d be able to afford all the things right now. But I am realist, not poor, but definitely not rich. So, it’s really good to know what you can afford, or when you can afford it. It’s also good to do your research, you need to know what the used price is. That’s fairly simple because if we take Ebay as an example, you can actually look up for what things sold in the past. Local classifieds give a nice impression too, actually often even a more accurate impression. Not sure why, but that’s my feeling. I definitely will get there, but there is no chance I will pay retail prices for a used guitar or even more than that. I am not looking for a collectors guitar, I couldn’t care less if it’s a special one or when it was made. It just can be a modern one, I just look what type of pickups it has, the color of the guitar, and it needs a neck binding (yeah, just for the eyes).
When I mentioned the neck binding. That’s actually an issue. I’d be pretty happy with the cheaper Studio models. I think Gibson added neck bindings to the Gibson Les Paul Studio’s in 2018 and 2019. But at the same time they increased the price quite heavily, actually so much that you could just get a Gibson Les Paul Classic used. And the Classic has neck binding and body binding. I am subscribed to these models as well, and I actually missed a deal a month ago. I could have gotten a Studio 2018 for like 700 Euro (because my price would have been 800 on Ebay), I just didn’t wake up in the morning and another guy got lucky. He paid just 700 Euro for a model of the last year, what a lucky fellow, but I felt sorry for the seller. The guitarists under you might wonder “If you’re fine with a Gibson Les Paul Studio, why don’t you get yourself one of the older models that go for like 500 or 600 Euro all the time?” and “Is the neck binding that important to you?”. Yeah, I am guilty here. I can’t tell you why, but a Gibson Les Paul without neck binding doesn’t look right to me. Seriously, I wouldn’t be able to get over that unless I would already own one with a neck binding. A second Gibson, as upgrade platform, yeah why not. But right now? No, thanks. My first Gibson should have neck bindings.
Others find body binding equally important, I myself don’t find it that important. People complained about that because the newer Studio models just have the neck binding, but not the body binding. I am ok with that. The Gibson Les Paul Studio 2018 in Smokehouse Burst color looked absolutely fantastic without body binding. That’s what I am basically in the market for, either one of the newer Studio’s with neck binding, or a Gibson Les Paul Classic. Of course I am more interested to get a Classic, but the newer Les Paul Studio’s would be fine too, I am only playing at home anyway. Guitar playing is more of a passion than a job. I am not going outside with any guitars, not yet, and probably not in the future.
I was not sure what I could write for my blog over the last days, but what I mentioned here is what I was thinking about over the last days. It was pretty much researching, checking auctions and sales and so on. I thought I mention these things with this post, since my blog is basically also my diary.