From Vintage Guitar magazine, May 1998, Eric Shoaf's definitive article on the evolution of the Les Paul Classic -
"Late in the (1980s) decade, Gibson's head of research and development, J.T. Riboloff, designed a reissue Les Paul based on the popular and collectible 1960 model. The key difference between this guitar and other Les Pauls in production at the time was the slim neck profile. In addition, Riboloff added other features to make the instrument faithful to the original such as a narrow headstock, thin cutaway binding, aged fingerboard inlays, inked-on serial number, nickel hardware, vintage-style logo and aged binding on body and neck.”
The Classic was introduced in 1990 with a retail price of US$1,529. The Les Paul Standard at the time cost US$1,169. The Classic's higher price was justified by its reissue-yet-modern vibe and superior figured maple tops.
Les Paul Classic Features –
Top: Carved AAA top in sunburst gloss lacquer finish
Body: One piece mahogany.
Neck Profile: '60 Slim C
Scale length: 24-3/4"
Fingerboard: Bound Rosewood
Frets: 22 medium jumbo
Nut width: 1.69"
Bridge: ABR bridge with stopbar tailpiece
Tuners: Gibson Deluxe vintage style tuners
Pickups: 2 x Gibson humbucking pickups – we think 496 & 500T ?
Electronics: 2 volume 2 tone; 3-way toggle pickup selector
Knobs: Gold Gibson speed knobs x 4
Pickguard: Period correct cream
Weight: 9.2 lbs
This Classic has a very nice, almost iridescent Vintage Sunburst finish, and incorporates the features desirable in these guitars including the narrow headstock, thin binding in the cutaway, the non-green inlays and vintage cream pickguard. This example also has the original "Les Paul Model" printed on the headstock veneer as opposed to "Les Paul Classic" in later years.
This instrument has some expected small dings & scratches on the body but overall is in fine shape. The frets appear to be original and are still in good condition with relatively little wear and an excellent recent fret dress.
The back of this guitar shows some overall buckle rash but nothing through the lacquer. All wear is pretty normal for a guitar that has been played and loved since the early 1990’s.
Some changes on this guitar –
Replacement G tuner – correct vintage Gibson part
Non original caps replaced with correct spec units
Shielding plate inside control cavity
All of this work was carried out by a very experienced local guitar tech.
And all the original parts are in the case.
This 92 LP Classic is in great shape, especially for a 28 year old guitar. It plays beautifully & sounds like a great Les Paul should – thick and meaty yet subtle and textured when dialled back a little.
It features a super nice 60s neck profile which is more true to the original 1960s neck, and not as tapered as later Classic necks. The slimmer neck is well suited to you guys & girls who don’t have huge hands.
Coming from the desirable “good wood” years of the early 90s, this one is starting to feel like a vintage instrument with some natural subtle lacquer checking and the factory nickel hardware which has developed some nice age patina that gives it a killer look.
Overall, an excellent LP Classic with some distinctive features at way less than vintage or Custom Shop prices.
Comes in its original Canadian made Gibson brown case with internal blanket in good condition.