GIBSON Les Paul: Classic Series

The Gibson Les Paul Classic series began in 1990 with the Les Paul Classic, a reissue based on the 1960 Les Paul. The key feature of the Les Paul Classic was it's slim neck profile. The Les Paul Classic also had some other features true to the 1960 original: a narrow headstock, thin cutaway binding, aged yellowish fingerboard inlays, inked-on serial number, nickel hardware, vintage-style logo and aged binding on body and neck. Some differences were the Les Paul Classic's truss rod cover with "Classic" and pickguard engraved "1960." The pickups came with no covers so the coils were exposed, another characteristic to differentiate it from other Les Pauls, though this was fairly realistic given that many players removed the covers to get a better tone on their old Pauls.

The Classic was introduced with a retail price of $1,529 more expensive than Les Paul Standards at the time. The Classic's higher price was justified by its reissue-yet-modern vibe and was further enhanced by availability in several sunburst finishes, and in bullion gold on the top, sides, back and neck. Although most of the tops on sunburst Classic models were plain and special effort was made to find figured maple wood. The Les Paul Classic specifications were adjusted during the early 1990s. The first change was the addition of a curly or "Plus" top in April 1991 - for the Les Paul Classic Plus model which cost $2,099.

In many respects the Les Paul Classic was a more accurate reissue than the '59 Les Paul of the early 1990s. By swapping a few easily found parts: a blank truss rod cover, pickup covers, and a new pick guard, a pre 1993 Classic Plus with a nicely flamed top would look just as nice as a '59 reissue but over $2,000 cheaper.

In 1993 the Classic line was extended again with the introduction of the Premium Plus model. Dealers were unhappy with the variability of the figure in the Classic Plus models So the Classic Premium Plus guitars had tops which were better than "plus" tops but not usually as fancy as the '59 reissue tops. The Classic Premium Plus came without a pickguard fitted (it was supplied in the case) but cost $500 more than the Classic Plus when the only real difference between the Plus and Premium Plus was the top.

At the start of 1993 both these models were still almost like '59 reissues for a lot less money. Gibson fixed this in mid 1993 when the decal on the headstock of all Classics was changed from "Les Paul Model" to "Les Paul Classic" and they widened the binding in the cutaway. This stopped a Classic with swapped truss rod cover and pickguard being passed off as a '59 reissue.

Source: Eric Shoaf. Vintage Guitar magazine, May 1998.

GIBSON LES PAUL CLASSIC (LPCS)

The Gibson Les Paul Classic was introduced in 1990 as a reissue based on the 1960 Les Paul. The key feature of the Classic was it's slim neck profile. The Les Paul Classic also had some other features true tp the 1960 original: a narrow headstock, thin cutaway binding, aged yellowish fingerboard inlays, inked-on serial number, nickel hardware, vintage-style logo and aged binding on body and neck.

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GIBSON Les Paul Classic Bird's-eye

The Les Paul Classic Bird's-eye was introduced in 1994

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GIBSON Les Paul Classic Plus

The Gibson Les Paul Classic was introduced in 1990 as a reissue based on the 1960 Les Paul. The Les Paul Classic specifications were adjusted during the early 1990s. The first change was the addition of the Les Paul Classic Plus model which had a figured, curly or "Plus" top in April 1991 - which cost $2,099 at the time. In many respects the Les Paul Classic Plus was a more accurate reissue than the '59 Les Paul of the early 1990s.

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GIBSON Les Paul Classic Premium Bird's-eye

The first Les Paul Classic Premium Bird's-eye was produced by GIBSON in 1994

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GIBSON Les Paul Classic Premium Plus (LPPP)

The Gibson Les Paul Classic was introduced in 1990 as a reissue based on the 1960 Les Paul. The in 1991 came the figured top Classic Plus version In 1993 the Classic line was extended again with the introduction of the Premium Plus model. Dealers were unhappy with the variability of the figure in the Classic Plus models So the Classic Premium Plus guitars had tops which were better than "plus" tops but not usually as fancy as the '59 reissue tops.

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Specifications:

ModelImageBindingFinish colorsFinish effectsMade inNumber of stringsScale length
GIBSON LES PAUL CLASSIC (LPCS)
1990 to 2006
body binding, neck bindingamber finish, ebony finish, honey finish, red finishsunburst finish, transparent finishUSA6 strings24.75 inches scale-length
GIBSON Les Paul Classic Bird's-eye
1994
No image yet------
GIBSON Les Paul Classic Plus
1991 to 1995
1999 to 2001
-amber finish, honey finish, purple finish, red finishsunburst finish, transparent finishUSA6 strings24.75 inches scale-length
GIBSON Les Paul Classic Premium Bird's-eye
1994
No image yet------
GIBSON Les Paul Classic Premium Plus (LPPP)
1993 to 1997
1999 to 2001
-amber finish, honey finish, purple finish, red finishsunburst finish, transparent finishUSA6 strings24.75 inches scale-length
ModelBody materialBody shape featuresBody styleBody top materialPickguard material
GIBSON LES PAUL CLASSIC (LPCS)
1990 to 2006
mahogany bodycarved top, single cutawayLes Paul-style bodymaple body topcream pickguard
GIBSON Les Paul Classic Bird's-eye
1994
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GIBSON Les Paul Classic Plus
1991 to 1995
1999 to 2001
mahogany bodycarved top, single cutawayLes Paul-style bodyfigured maple body topcream pickguard
GIBSON Les Paul Classic Premium Bird's-eye
1994
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GIBSON Les Paul Classic Premium Plus (LPPP)
1993 to 1997
1999 to 2001
mahogany bodycarved top, single cutaway-figured maple body topcream pickguard
ModelBridgeHardware colorTailpieceTuners
GIBSON LES PAUL CLASSIC (LPCS)
1990 to 2006
ABR-1 bridgenickel hardwarestop tailpiecepearloid button tuners
GIBSON Les Paul Classic Bird's-eye
1994
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GIBSON Les Paul Classic Plus
1991 to 1995
1999 to 2001
tune-o-matic bridgenickel hardwarestop tailpiecepearloid button tuners
GIBSON Les Paul Classic Premium Bird's-eye
1994
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GIBSON Les Paul Classic Premium Plus (LPPP)
1993 to 1997
1999 to 2001
tune-o-matic bridgenickel hardwarestop tailpiecepearloid button tuners
ModelFingerboard materialFingerboard position markers
GIBSON LES PAUL CLASSIC (LPCS)
1990 to 2006
rosewood fingerboardtrapezoid fingerboard position markers
GIBSON Les Paul Classic Bird's-eye
1994
--
GIBSON Les Paul Classic Plus
1991 to 1995
1999 to 2001
rosewood fingerboardtrapezoid fingerboard position markers
GIBSON Les Paul Classic Premium Bird's-eye
1994
--
GIBSON Les Paul Classic Premium Plus (LPPP)
1993 to 1997
1999 to 2001
rosewood fingerboardtrapezoid fingerboard position markers
ModelHeadstock inlays or logosNeck profileNumber of fretsPeghead (headstock)
GIBSON LES PAUL CLASSIC (LPCS)
1990 to 2006
pearl headstock inlay/logoslim D neck profile22 fretblack face headstock
GIBSON Les Paul Classic Bird's-eye
1994
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GIBSON Les Paul Classic Plus
1991 to 1995
1999 to 2001
pearl headstock inlay/logo--black face headstock
GIBSON Les Paul Classic Premium Bird's-eye
1994
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GIBSON Les Paul Classic Premium Plus (LPPP)
1993 to 1997
1999 to 2001
pearl headstock inlay/logo--black face headstock
ModelPickups brand and modelPickups configuration
GIBSON LES PAUL CLASSIC (LPCS)
1990 to 2006
Gibson 496R pickup(s), Gibson 500T pickup(s)2 humbucker pickups
GIBSON Les Paul Classic Bird's-eye
1994
--
GIBSON Les Paul Classic Plus
1991 to 1995
1999 to 2001
Gibson 496R pickup(s), Gibson 500T pickup(s)2 humbucker pickups
GIBSON Les Paul Classic Premium Bird's-eye
1994
--
GIBSON Les Paul Classic Premium Plus (LPPP)
1993 to 1997
1999 to 2001
Gibson 496R pickup(s), Gibson 500T pickup(s)2 humbucker pickups
ModelTone controlsVolume controls
GIBSON LES PAUL CLASSIC (LPCS)
1990 to 2006
2 tone controls2 volume controls
GIBSON Les Paul Classic Bird's-eye
1994
--
GIBSON Les Paul Classic Plus
1991 to 1995
1999 to 2001
2 tone controls2 volume controls
GIBSON Les Paul Classic Premium Bird's-eye
1994
--
GIBSON Les Paul Classic Premium Plus (LPPP)
1993 to 1997
1999 to 2001
2 tone controls2 volume controls

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Les Paul Classic MIII

1991-92 Les Paul Classic MIII HSH pickups, 5 way switch