For a while in the late 2000's I had an '89 (or maybe 88, I'm getting old) cherry burst standard. You know how the post-norlin standards were made until the introduction of weight relief so I won't bore you with details.
I wanted to love this guitar, but it had some classic LP flaws. For starters, there was a rise at the heel that made her tough to set up. Next, she would not hold tune when I was doing a lot of bending on the B string. Classic Gibson. Adding to my set-up woes, the bridge was bending in the middle because the previous owner had player her with 11s and 12s ("they call em regular strings for a reason, regular guys use em," you shoulda seen what this guy did to this 61 SG reissue he won in a raffle at GC... took me forever to take the twist out of the neck so he could sell it!). Also, the stock electronics sounded kinda boxy and blah even through an ac30 or a Plexi.
That said, I made everything work and got her playing well without investing more dough into her and took her on the road for a while. Months of chiropractor sessions later I decided she was too heavy and sold her back to my friend (he missed her anyway). This LP clocked in just shy of 10lbs. SO heavy. TOO heavy.
It occurs to me now as I write this review that this guitar was kinda boxy and sterile unplugged and didn't have the vibrancy I now expect from a carve top. Maybe the pickups were okay and the guitar's weight was to blame. I find the LPs under 9lbs without weight relief or chambering truly sound the best. At approximately 10, this LP was at a serious disadvantage. The strings just couldn't drive the body to resonate nicely. What reached the stock pickups just wasn't special. Even a set of real PAFs with magic winding patterns achieved by rube goldburg (read: leesona) machines, alnico cast using forgotten lore and fairy dust judiciously sprinkled in the adamantium covers by the wee folk who inhabited the old kalamazoo MI shop (which vintage enthusiasts imply must look a lot like that tree the Keebler elves inhabit, though now its the Heritage factory and its manned by mortal men) probably couldn't have made this guitar good.
This guitar taught me a lot about weeding through a lot of Gibsons before buying and also not getting too attached to one until you've played a lot of shows with it. Gibson from any affordable era is a crap shoot, even custom shop stuff. I let my ears and hands decide these days because in this instance I was blinded by the looks of this les paul and a little jealousy of the new rhythm guitarist's standard. Not that his paul was really special, it just looked special...
So I chanced my LP Platinum just for the flash looks, but next time out I will weed through a stack of well worn Gibbies or just get a Greco or Tokai with proper 59 specs. Those bad boys are fairly light from old-growth wood and all that. And the craftsmanship is more consistent than anything Gibson has done since '60? Well, anything they've done LP-wise. The irony is that I am not a big LP guy. I like 2 cutaways on an electric. But I always feel obligated to own at least 1 singlecut carve top. Its like a requirement to bring the rock.