Gibson Les Paul DC Standard - 1998 Reviews
I purchased this guitar from a vintage dealer in Wantaugh, NY called Music Services. I paid $1125 for it in March, 2003. I know 1998 is hardly "vintage" but the store had a lot of great old stuff too. And just to give the store a plug, they pride themselves on service - even if you just bring your guitar in for a new nut or whatever. The owner told me that he only takes in stuff that is in excellent condition, although he allowed that the standard is somewhat stricter for newer instruments than 30-40 year old ones. At the time they had another '98 DC Standard in trans amber (gold) that was priced $100 higher than the one I bought. Mine is trans red (red with see the flame transluscence). I prefered the red color and would have paid the extra $100 if the prices had been swapped - I don't know why the price difference and wish I had asked. I probably didn't want the owner to up the price on me - I shopped around a LOT and $1125 was a very good price. My best guess for the price break on mine is either 1) mine was on a lower consignment price limit or 2) the flame was easier to see through the lighter gold finish. Enough on that.
I have played guitar since 1967, for a while in bar bands and now for my own enjoyment. I own several guitars now, both as players and investments, and I'm in the market for more (my reason for visiting here). The 98 DC is the newest, and I will compare it only to guitars I own currently. I believe it takes about 1 minute to see & hear a new guitars strengths, but at least 2 hours to find out its weaknesses. The comparison guitars are '65 Melody Maker, 58 Gretsch Duo Jet, 63 Firebird V and a '68 SG Standard, and i use a 2003 Rivera Quiana Studio 1 X 12" combo. Strengths: fit and finish, neck, case and hardware are all excellent. Dual Hunbuckers are equal to any I have (except the Duo Jets). They share vol and tone knobs- my preferenence, but not everyones. Hardware is gold plated and not showing and wear so far. Sound and sustain are good at various volumes and playing styles. Guitar works fairly well as a stand-in acoustic, or for Rory Gallagher type stops plucking.
Guitar seems heavy to me, but my others are all fairly light instruments. Besides the Gibson set neck/humbucker design that I obviously prefer, I choose to buy the DC because of 3 features: 24 frets, full access to high registers and the "tummy carve" on the back. The first two are fine. The tummy carve is ok for standing, but while playing sitting the carve doesn't extend toward the headstock quite far enough. After 2-3 hours, the old rib cage can get a little sore. The only other nit I can find is the fret fire is pretty high. Of course that can and will be corrected with dressing them to my preference.
It's a Gibson. And except for a few in the 1970's, Gibson always builds a great guitar. The fretboard binding is good and the "Gibson" on the headstock is done in a really nice mother of pearl look. Tuners are top of the line Grovers (non-locking), and the case is excellent.
Its a great player guitar and I also predict it will be a good monetary investment. My final comment is that my 21 year old daughter thinks it is the best looking of the guitars I own.Larry Anvik
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