Other Guitars

Gibson ‘studio series’

1

Les Pauls, Firebirds, etc. in this lower priced 'studio' line -- anyone know what the cost cutting differences are?

2

No binding, simpler setups, not as "decked out". Still plays fine, just doesn't have a ton of bling.

4

No binding, simpler setups, not as "decked out". Still plays fine, just doesn't have a ton of bling.

– wabash slim

Yep, and in the case of the Les Paul Studio, an all mahogany body, without the maple cap of the Standards (or the extra bling that the all mahogany bodied Customs have)

5

My 1991 Les Paul Studio has a maple top and a mahogany body that is a 1/4" thinner than a std. A mahogany neck with a ebony fretboard and gold hdwr. and gloss nitro. finish. I put a set of Duncan Seth Lover PU in mine but the orig. pick ups were good too. It's a nice guitar with great tone but still with (Swiss cheese) weight relief it is still a but over 9#. Thanks John

6

I'm checking out an O-T-G (off the grid) non reverse Firebird w/ upgraded pickups, bridge, tuners, etc. Non reverse Birds weren't popular then, really still aren't. Still they reissued a load of them.

7

I've got an early Les Paul Studio, a 1983, and it's a keeper! Less binding and bling and lighter weight.

8

I've come across "The Paul" which I always thought were fairly light and plain Jane for a Les Paul...usually in the vicinity of 5-8 hundred used.

Anyone know how they compare to Studio models?

9

Yep, and in the case of the Les Paul Studio, an all mahogany body, without the maple cap of the Standards (or the extra bling that the all mahogany bodied Customs have)

– EllenGtrGrl

Unless things have changed in the last year or so this is not true.

The studio still has the maple cap. No binding and usually a cheaper pickup option.

The absolute cheapies such as vintage mahogany omit the maple cap.

10

Considering that they have basically the same pickup setup, there won't be that much difference in the way the Studios sound compared to the fancier models. The wood cap might make some difference, but in the great scheme of things, the Studios just won't be as "blingy". I just happened to play a Studio yesterday. Basic Gibson with 'buckers. I'm all for a lighter guitar, and I'm not all that concerned with bling.

11

I have a '97 Firebird and I'm not sure I would classify with the "Studio" line. It is neck-thru with the neck composed of layers of Mahogany and Walnut with solid Mahogany slabs/wings connected to the sides that represent the body and where the controls are. It doesn't really have the body type where one would want binding as that would look out of place.(think of binding on a Strat body.....it doesn't work).

The fingerboard has binding and nibs, banjo tuners, but was and is still very reasonably priced. I think it is a looker vs. the Explorer which is plainer at the same price point.

So in answer to the OP, the cost cutting really applies to the LPs. The lesser priced models are grade A maple top while LP prices rise greatly with every "A" added to a certain models build. I think the quilted maple tops with a AAAA rating are the highest priced. Some recent researching has led me to see that the prices are not as ridiculous as in the past but still not a bargain by any means.

12

There's a weird twist i want to introduce to this story. The (Ch)ibson. Chinese manufacturers are making outright fake Gibson's for an extreme fraction of the price of a genuine. Many luthiers, experienced guitar nerds are asking the question why is this happening.
Some have drawn the conclusion that Gibson is looking the other way as purchasers quickly throw away hardware electronics and replace with genuine Gibson parts. Anyone want to voice thoughts on this in relation to DC birdmans question?

13

I've come across "The Paul" which I always thought were fairly light and plain Jane for a Les Paul...usually in the vicinity of 5-8 hundred used.

Anyone know how they compare to Studio models?

– crowbone

I think that was an all mahogany model. Of the 80s.

14

I think that was an all mahogany model. Of the 80s.

– GeorgeCornwell

Yes, I believe you're correct, but weren't all Les Pauls just mahogany?

15

Yes, I believe you're correct, but weren't all Les Pauls just mahogany?

– crowbone

Yes but I don't know the year when the addition of maple tops were introduced and how long it took until most models had them and therefore make the mahogany slab models the least expensive of the LP product line. I'm going to research this.

16

DCBirdman - To answer specifically to what the cost cutting differences are, the following is an itemized list of cost drivers that raise the price of LPs from the "Studio" line. Here are a few:

  • labor costs of weight relief(chambered) of some LP models. Studio I think does have it but the mahogany is thinner.....less wood and therefore a little cheaper

  • The addition of maple tops (Studio-type models are just a mahogany slab)...correction: I think the Studio is now available with a plain maple top over a mahogany slab.

  • The grade of the maple tops starting with "A" to the most expensive of "AAAA",

  • Binding....body and neck

  • block inlays vs. dots

  • variation of pickups vs. "Studio-type" models are just one kind without additional options(490R & 498T).

  • The Studio has a Slim taper neck vs. other model like the Standard which provide choices like asymmetrical. The asymmetrical necks of some more expensive models has a slight bulge along the neck where your thumb rests, helping to reduce fatigue when playing long sessions. Again, it’s more expensive to manufacture.

  • The Studio models do not have locking tuners

  • The type of knobs: Studio-types have speed knobs vs. the more appealing amber "top hat" knobs. Expensive models like the '14 Traditional have amber speed knobs though.

Hope this helps some and am sure I missed a few key points but I think I got most of them.

17

Yeah, NJdevil, that nails it. I've a 90s Studio definitely a Maple top. Ebony fretboard(!). No binding. And the 498/ 490 pickups. Deificent (sic) hardware that the buyer me could update. Which I did. I did have the block inlays.

18

Yeah, NJdevil, that nails it. I've a 90s Studio definitely a Maple top. Ebony fretboard(!). No binding. And the 498/ 490 pickups. Deificent (sic) hardware that the buyer me could update. Which I did. I did have the block inlays.

– GeorgeCornwell

Nice George and love the ebony fretboard. These are great players and have to admit, I actually like the lack of binding on the neck. Feeling the frets helps when I'm soloing and have some movement up and down.....probably from years of playing only Strats.

19

If I may interject, The Paul was part of Gibson's "Firebrand" series. And IIRC, the bodies were solid walnut. Could be wrong but that's what I believe I remember.

20

Also new at NAMM, Epiphone's new $99 Les Paul.

21

Also new at NAMM, Epiphone's new $99 Les Paul.

– Bob Howard

These are total punk rock guitars. I wonder what they sound and feel like? They look cool to me!

22

Those EPIs remind me of the old Melody Makers.

23

I bought this 2011 Les Paul Studio 50s Tribute model from GDP'er Matt Sheehan. It was chambered, had no binding and the body was mahogany with a maple top. The pickups were Gibson P90s. It is a great guitar that I sold to my brother which means if I ever want it back he would probably be willing to sell it to me!

24

Les Paul Studios are all over the place regarding features depending on the year, etc. Some have dot marker necks, but some have keystones. Fretboard materials can be ebony, rosewood or baked maple. Bodies/tops vary also from all mahogany, plain maple caps and even a special run of Studios with flamed maple tops.

25

My Les Paul Studio looks very much like an undecorated Les Paul. It has a chambered mahogany body with thick maple top (not veneer like the Epiphone).


Register Sign in to join the conversation