Gibson prices

Magnus Pym

Grudges rot the soul
#1
The list price of a Les Paul (with hard case) in 1952 was apparently $261.50. According a website I looked at that is the equivalent (an inexact science, I know) of $2,432.68 in today's dollars. A 2019 LP standard is listed as $3,399.00. Scarcity might make the materials more expensive and skilled labour costs way more but automation should have a reducing effect. Is a 2019 standard eqivelent to 1952 standard (when new)? Is this right? Are they gouging? Anybody have any thoughts?

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#2
Are you mentioned modern day MSRP pricing or actual shop pricing. I’ve found there has been significant differences between the two.

Either way, they’ve upped their pricing recent through years, where they’ve also gone less appealing to my tastes. I know where my money isn’t going ;)

Another interesting discussion is whether raising the factory new prices is going to negatively affect the used prices because owners will be measuring it to the new pricing. Locally I can say people tend to overvalue their belongings a whole lot based on new pricing, for when it has raised in price. To my experience at least.
 
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AngusWolfe

Likes red things.
#3
I think that Gibson see the Standard as more of a premium guitar than they did then. I think that something like the Plus, it comes down to demand. If people weren't willing to pay that much they wouldn't charge that much. People are, so that's how much they charge. The Classic is seen more as the workhorse, and the pricing for that is about right.
 

metromusic

Negative, I am a meat popsicle
#5
A bit of a stupid question from me, but I'm guessing there's a few differences between a standard Les Paul from 1952 in comparison to one from 2019. I guess when you look at pricing for anything, there's always the hidden overall costs that are taken into account (i.e R&D, distribution, advertising etc.) which I ASSUME are a lot different now in comparison to the 50's ones.

My 2018 Les Paul Tribute goldtop cost me £900 new, and I thought that was a bargain. I guess people will pay what they think it is worth to them, I mean I wouldn't drop more than £2k on a Gibson personally*, but I would on other brands (such as my Musicman St. Vincent). I do think they charge a lot for the higher end models, but it is an American made guitar that has been the standard for such a long time it's understandable to me. Plus there's the whole "aspirational" thing a lot of people associate with them, but it's not something that I look for in a guitar.

*unless it's a Firebird. In which case, I want it :p
 

ScutMonkey

Well-Known Member
#6
The list price of a Les Paul (with hard case) in 1952 was apparently $261.50. According a website I looked at that is the equivalent (an inexact science, I know) of $2,432.68 in today's dollars. A 2019 LP standard is listed as $3,399.00. Scarcity might make the materials more expensive and skilled labour costs way more but automation should have a reducing effect. Is a 2019 standard eqivelent to 1952 standard (when new)? Is this right? Are they gouging? Anybody have any thoughts?

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Street price is about $2800 at guitar center and all the big online shops match their prices.

Wood is definitely more scarce and there is more paperwork to importing it as well. There is also far more regulation around the various chemicals used for things like paint, finish, and glue. Employees are way, way, WAY more expensive now if for no other reason than benefits like healthcare.

The automation thing is hit or miss. The plek machine is supposed to automate fret leveling but there's no way it's cheaper than having someone do it by hand. CNC machines are faster, but do you have to pay a CNC operator more? Dunno.

I really don't complain about it though because you can buy one for half that price used. I got a Gibson Les Paul Faded for $450 off Craigslist a few months ago. If you don't want to pay it? Don't.
 

Wade Garrett

I am the projectionist.
#7
I love Gibson, their legacy in rock is second to none and I gas harder for their guitars than any other brand. I'd love a white Led Paul Custom but there's no way on earth I'm paying over £3,000 for one!

I'm lucky I like their faded models and that I tend to buy second hand.
 
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Lonestar

SC Relics Guitars
#8
@metromusic youll find a massive amount of differences in Gibson’s from 52 and now. The standard is now used to show innovation and new ideas. If you want a good old les Paul from the modern factory you’d want a Traditional model.

In 52 you’ll see the les Paul had p90s, trapeze tail piece etc...

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Into 54 and they changed to the stop tail piece to help with tuning stability.

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In 56 they started using the tuneomatic bridge

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And it was only in 57 that the humbucker came about and that gives us what we think of when we say les paul

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#9
@Lonestar
While the above is certainly true, Gibson realized that they fucked up when they changed to the Les Paul being the SG-Shape. They stopped production until the late 60s and ever since then Standard has mostly been just what the word standard means, continuity.

If they want to experiment with improvements then in my honest opinion they’ve got a perfect named for that in the so called Deluxe. Afficionados of the older&vintage deluxe will certainly not agree with me on that, but they’re a small market anyway! ;)

It really doesn’t help that they have polluded their model naming so much through the years
 
#10
@Lonestar
While the above is certainly true, Gibson realized that they fucked up when they changed to the Les Paul being the SG-Shape. They stopped production until the late 60s and ever since then Standard has mostly been just what the word standard means, continuity.

If they want to experiment with improvements then in my honest opinion they’ve got a perfect named for that in the so called Deluxe. Afficionados of the older&vintage deluxe will certainly not agree with me on that, but they’re a small market anyway! ;)

It really doesn’t help that they have polluded their model naming so much through the years
Yes I believe th decline in the Les Paul sales will have had something to do with fenders success. Gibson’s were seen as the old mans guitar back then and if you wanted a solid body set neck rock guitar then the answer was Gretsch. Of course, I’m more fond of Fenders evolution during the 50s than Gibson’s. Although both were doing amazing things that changed music as we know it.
 

Sustainerplayer

On the edge of breakup
#11
Well - all guitars are old men and women guitars :eek: ... present company excluded cause you all look smashing youthful good ;).

I'm not really into Gibson-scaled guitars ... but I wish I was ... cause they look and sound awesome.

And if the odd white or Gold Top Les Paul should emerge "at the right price" ... :ninja:

But no - I don't mind their actual prices or price increases.
 

Chu

Well-Known Member
#12
There's also a much greater effort put into creating a range of products at various price points. The Standards are now aimed at being at the top end, not custom shop but still the stuff that people with disposable income can save up for, designed to stir loins and create desire. All the successful brands deliberately create steps, ways to get into the brand but which still leave you wanting another. In the 50s, it was about making a new fangled guitar that would sell in a very fickle market.
 
#13
My SG standard was £799 In 1998. Retail today is £1199. I wouldn't get nowhere near that if I sold it. Granted twenty years of chips and dents!
I also think Gibson have diluted the value of SGs by releasing a million variants some with questionable quality control.
 
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mirage2101

Well-Known Member
#14
There's also a much greater effort put into creating a range of products at various price points. The Standards are now aimed at being at the top end, not custom shop but still the stuff that people with disposable income can save up for, designed to stir loins and create desire. All the successful brands deliberately create steps, ways to get into the brand but which still leave you wanting another. In the 50s, it was about making a new fangled guitar that would sell in a very fickle market.
I think this is spot on.
There's a LOT more alternatives both in Gibson's own line as well from other brands. You're not just talking about inflation but other factors too, like a changed market. Guitar being on a "decline" Maybe Gibson needs to change up things after years of quality control woes (either imagined by the internet or real)

And then there's price elasticity. At some point a pen is a pen, but if you buy a pilot custom heritage of over $100 you're also buying status. So the price actually is what makes people buy it. The les paul standard beyond doubt has status value. So can be priced for it. And it's working. They are actually selling. Not that I'd personally spend 3000+ euro on a guitar but that's a discussion about what you're willing to spend, not about the correctness of a price.
 

Felix

Addicted to Grunge
#16
I’ve never been the biggest fan of the modern versions of the standard/trad, as they change too often.

I’ve always loved the twin bucker Custom, which I think most people on here know anyway.

Personally the problem Gibson and Fender have is it’s very hard to them to make anything completely new, and when they do make changes there can be some brutal backlash.

I wonder what cooperate tax rates a like for them between now and then?
 

Magnus Pym

Grudges rot the soul
#17
Most of the new LP's use expensive and rare figured maple tops. Maybe a 2019 classic is a better comparison as it doesn't specify figured maple tops. $2,299.00 seems more comparable too.
 
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