I think it'll work pretty well for them. Gibson is becoming a lifestyle company, they're targeting the nostalgic baby boomer crowd who can afford to spend the dough to get the same guitar that they saw their heroes play.
I visit the Les Paul Forum frequently and I get the impression that it's the younger crowd buying a lot of those Custom Shop and Historic Gibsons. The 50's guitars are pretty much off the market and when they do come up for sale only the very well off can afford them. We're talking $200,000.00+ for a '59 Les Paul. The boomers are now buying the late sixties and early seventies guitars because they are still reasonably affordable and available. 8-20k for a good one. Of course many boomers (like me) already have a 60's or 70's vintage guitar. Vintage gear is desirable to people of all recent generations and Gibson is well aware of that.
As for them being better than the originals, every guitar has to be judged for itself no matter when it was made. The fifties guitars were made with wood that had already been dried for 50-100 years. Modern guitars are made with green, kiln dried wood and it's the wood that makes a guitar sing not the pickups or the pretty tops. The best looking piece of wood is'nt neccesarily the best sounding. I'm sure many of those new Gibson's are fine guitars but don't be fooled by looks alone. Also, Gibson is notorious for not getting the specs right on their reissues. The company has changed hands twice since the 50's and there are private individuals who know more about their old guitars than Gibson does.
Im just one of those people that prefer modern technology to old vintage stuff. Once the prices of vintage Fenders and Gibsons rose, I cashed out, and got modern gear. I prefer the modern Gibsons to any of the old ones I had. Of course, everyone is different, and lots of people love the older stuff, which is why the prices rose so much over the past 20 years..............
Some day all those modern Gibsons will be vintage too. It's a good chance to buy one and put it away. When I bought my '70 Les Paul Deluxe it was considered a reissue, now it's considered vintage, but that does'nt mean it suddenly became a better guitar. I've been tempted to "cash out" too, but I've had it too long to let it go at any price. I paid $525.00 for it new. Maybe you cashed out too soon considering the way the prices are escalating!
Anyway, the most important thing is to get a guitar you are happy with because that's what's gonna make you play better. Nothing worse than a guitar that's "in your way".
I bought the vintage ones before the whole vintage hubbub, back in the early 80s. I paid $200 for a 1962 Les Paul (SG); $200 for a 1957 Gibson LG1 or LG0; $325 for a 1978 Gibson Les Paul Custom; $500 for a 1975 Fender Strat. The funny thing is, I also bought a bolton Raven SG copy from Pascal's (remember old retail store) for $200. The Raven had a neck made from sawdust, and a body made from plywood. It wasnt until about the mid 80s when guitar prices shot way up, thanks to a new breed of guitar heros, and guitar companies, such as Charvel/Jackson, Kramer, and others. The quality also shot way up too. Disco did one thing that was great, it made guitars very cheap. I'm just glad that rap has never been able to do that even though I cant diss disco too much, because at least some of those disco guys could actually play their instruments. The same cant be said for rap..............
Man, did you get some deals! The early 80's was a time when 90% of new guitars sold were "strat style" 3 pickup, whammy bar models and the Gibsons were in low demand. That seems to be reflected by the fact that you paid more for your Strat than the other guitars. Shortly after Guns 'n Roses came out, demand for Les Pauls resurged and Gibson was caught with their pants down. There was a 2 year waiting list for a new LP and the prices on the older ones started to climb. Good timing.
One of the big things is Gibson is using a Plek machine on these, so the fretboard should be perfect.
I know there are Plek machines in the US (costs about $200 to get your guitar done), are there any in Canada, specifically in Alberta?
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