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Stunning Les Paul Classic Premium Plus, weighs 9.07 lbs / 4115 grams. Almost mint condition apart from very minor and shallow buckle rash which is impossible to photograph. The rest of the guitars is in collectors grade condition. Completely original, comes in it's original case.
A lot has been written about the history of the Les Paul Classic model in Tony Bacon’s books on the Les Paul model. As history goes, J.T. Riboloff of the Custom Shop had been approached by a lot of players who asked him to build special one-off Les Pauls with slimmer profile necks as found on the 1960 Standard. After consultation with Henry Juszkiewicz, Gibson’s CEO, a production version appeared in 1990. Classics had many features of reissue Les Pauls, including a smaller headstock, nickel hardware, ABR-1 bridge, Kluson style tuners, and vintage style knobs. For the first few years they did have the thin binding in the cutaway, but that changed by approximately 1993. To meet the demands of modern musicians seeking a high output sound, the Classics were equipped with hot 496R and 500T ceramic magnet pickups.
The original Classics had the decal inscription “Les Paul Model” on the headstock, but later (approximately 1993) were switched to “Les Paul Classic” because of the confusion between these guitars and the 1960 Reissue Les Paul (to become a Historic Division model in 1993). The original intention for the Classic model was to have rather plain tops, but given player demand for figured tops, the Classic Plus (with “AA” grade flame tops) and Classic Premium Plus models (with “AAA” grade flame tops) were introduced in 1992/93. The “AAA” tops were supposed to be the most highly figured, with flame going from edge to edge, although there are some Classic Plus models with outstanding flame tops that rival their Classic Premium Plus brethren.
Accounts vary on the exact start and end years, but the Les Paul Classic Premium Plus was introduced in the 1993 time frame, discontinued in 1997, and reintroduced from 1999 through 2001. Colors varied over time, but Heritage Cherry Sunburst and Honey Burst were available through both periods of the model’s availability, with Translucent Amber during the first period and Light Burst and Vintage Sunburst available during the second period of production.Because the grading of tops between “AA” and “AAA” figure is somewhat subjective, the only definitive way for Les Paul Classic Premium Plus owners to identify their guitars is through Gibson serial number records and/or by looking in the pickup cavities. The Premium Plus models have the letters “LPPP” penciled or stamped in one of the pickup cavities, with lacquer covering this inscription. A Gibson USA 1994 Les Paul Classic Premium Plus model in cherry sunburst is pictured below. The USA Classic Premium Plus models weights varied, but most are in the low 9 pound range.