Gibson finally listened and made an affordable solid body Les Paul again.
I knew that I never wanted to own a hollow body Les Paul, so I was looking for an older used model in the range of 1977 (post pancake body design) to 1982 (pre hollow body design). I've seen quite a bit of talk on Les Paul owner web sites about the abomination of a hollow body Les Paul, and why won't Gibson listen to what people want, and produce a solid body Les Paul again, that doesn't cost upwards of $4000+. Just as I was about to drop $$$ on a used 1982 custom, I saw the 2013 models being introduced. The first thing that jumped out at me was that the newest version of the "Traditional" Les Paul was being advertised as non-weight relieved and non-chambered. I was extatic to hear this news, and I immediately began my search. The way that Sweetwater displays their guitars online was the deciding factor in purchasing one from them. It allowed me to not only see the guitar before buying it, but I was also able to pick the weight of the guitar (9 lbs. 14 oz.) and especailly see the serial number. I found the only Les Paul Traditional that I've seen so far on their web site that had a serial number indicating the guitar was made on April 9 of this year, which happens to be my birthday (10993xxxx). When I got the guitar home and plugged it into my new Marshall JVM205c, I was immediately blown away by the sound, the feel, and of course, the iconic look of a Les Paul burst. I soon removed the pickguard to show off the flamed maple top in its entirety, and I haven't touched my American Standard SG or American Standard Stratocaster since, though I will get them out again some day soon. I had to get used to the 50's style neck, but that didn't take long at all. And the sound is pure Les Paul, with the incredible sustain that you can only get from a true solid body Les Paul. So thank you to Gibson for hearing our "cries in the wilderness," and finally making an affordable solid body Les Paul again. I'm glad I waited until 2013 to buy mine, and I'm glad I shop with Sweetwater for the above named reasons.