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.
12 thoughts on “Mission Gibson Les Paul”
Your way of saving is good Dennis because you get what you want even if it takes a little longer but you don’t have to deny yourself other things for a long time while you save. Sometimes the researching, saving and waiting makes the item all the more special when you get it I think.
Yes, the researching is actually interesting. I like the pondering when doing research. Since saving in paralell takes more time, it’s also less likely that you’re unhappy with the purchases, because there’s tons of time to become very sure what model or product you want. Happened to me very often with different things. The more time there is, the better prepared you are. I dislike impulse buys, because it’s a good recipe to get unhappy with what you got (not counting daily things in like clothes where this is fine in my opinion).
Even with clothes it’s better to take some time to think what suits you, whether it is fit for the purpose you want it and if it is value for money. Once you know the brands you like you don’t need to think about it much though.
Yes. It’s easier if you know the clothes already. I often buy the same style and even the same clothes again. It’s getting more problematic when they stop to produce my favorite clothes 😀
Awe, fess up. You just love the instruments. It’s okay. I love them too. I used to own a LOT of them, but my wrists and arthritis decreed otherwise and I gave them to people who might actually USE them. Enjoy!!
Yes, it’s love. I love to play them, and recently I noticed I also like to look at them 😀 Especially my Guild Bluesbird… what a BEAUTIFUL guitar 🙂
Marilyn I am afraid of that…. I already had issues with carpal tunnel a few times, fortunately it always went away after a break of using guitars and PC keyboards. But I already get these issues once a year. Always makes me mad and I hope it won’t get worse over the years. But it probably will. We all get older.
Agree with you on the neck binding. By the way, perhaps consider a les Paul junior or even my preferred Gibson offering…an SG!
I could live with an SG, ironically even with one that has no neck binding. Maybe because my cheapo SG copy has no binding either. So, I am used to that look on an SG. It’s just alien to me on a Les Paul. I don’t know. Even my cheapo Vintage V100 Lemon Drop has neck bindings and on the body. My Guild Bluesbird anyway, which was a bit more expensive than the Vintage, but it did cost about as much as a Les Paul Studio. I think quite a lot of Les Paul copies have neck bindings (Hagstrom and what not), except the old Les Paul Studio’s. Maybe that’s why Gibson is starting to add it now too. The 2018 models looked really nice.
I saw some Les Paul Juniors too. Saw a second-hand bargain some weeks ago, but I’m still leaning to a Studio, probably even a Classic since I am patient, and it would hold the value a bit better over time.
I won’t stress myself… I have time. I’m quite happy with the guitars I have. I’m only making the purchase if I can make a bargain. It’s really just a prestige project… just want to have an “original” here too… and another option to grab, with different pickups or to swap them to my liking.
Could very well be that I forget it in summer anway, that’s usually time to go outside. So, I might also come back to the idea next winter, with more money.
I think I feel similarly about it. I would like one too, but it would have to be bargain of the century. The les paul is such an iconic guitar…they’re just so heavy though. I prefer the junior I think, they have a more streamlined look.
That les paul gold top though would be the one,,,if i ever went for it. What a gorgeous, gorgeous guitar~~!
Yeah absolutely, goldtop looks fantastic as well! But there are so many beautiful guitars… after a bit of researching and seeing different ones, I usually need to stop because GAS feelings can get way too strong 😀 Same with guitar stores… can’t stay long, because GAS can be dangerous 😀
Iconic yes. It’s the reason I want one. I know I wouldn’t need one because I could change pickups of my Bluesbird to whatever Les Paul pickups I like. But yeah, having a Gibson, that would be cool. It’s because it’s a historic brand… I am not exactly happy with Gibson as a company and their price politic. But that brand is still music history, that’s maybe why we would like to have one too.
If I ever get one used in my price range, I hope I won’t get new stupid ideas 😀 Enough is enough.
Like you say, keep an eye on the second hand market…think you may get a good deal of you’re patient.I’ve seen some late 70s sgs for not too much cash.
Definitely. I’m just mad that I didn’t get the one for 700€, because I woke up too late on a saturday 😀 Someone else got lucky… so, it’s possible. I gonna be patient and see what happens. 🙂