Les Paul flame tops

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I'm on the verge of pulling the trigger on a new 60's Standard from Peach. They've just got a new batch in, each photographed individually. I'm looking at the Bourbon Bursts and Iced Tea, the lighter ones that come in around 9 lb's. Now there is quite a variation in the tops, some with very obvious flaming, other more subtle, others less clear almost quilt like. The flames on some are angled forwards, some angled back, some flatly horizontal. For instance, see the difference between 132790156 and 132790120:

https://www.peachguitars.com/brands/gibson-are-back/gibson-2019-les-paul-standard-60s-bourbon-burst.htm

Or check out the flame on 132690142, it's extreme, too flashy for some maybe?

https://www.peachguitars.com/brands/gibson-usa/gibson-2019-les-paul-standard-60s-iced-tea.htm

Just want to ask more about this 'flaming' business, it's hell of a job deciding which I prefer (I'm indecisive at the best of times), or perhaps to give me a sense or perspective and to stop being so undecisive...…...I realise it's 100% personal preference, it would be interest to know if you flame big or subtle. Or out of interest, which tops of Peach do you prefer?

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  • crunchmancrunchman Frets: 5787
    Neither of those are particularly over the top.

    The ones I don't like are where it's very narrow and regular like pinstripes.

    I prefer both of those you linked to over something like this:


    One other thing to bear in mind is that it will look different from different angles, and in different lighting conditions.



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  • TTBZTTBZ Frets: 1171
    Not usually a fan of figured wood tops but that first one looks cool - quite unique and more interesting than the usual straight flametop.
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  • I'd say the Iced Tea one out of those two! Flame tops can look great subtle or intense, but I always think the really crazy flame tops that you see on some super high-end guitars can look a bit much, when the contrast between light/dark elements is so high it starts to look 'fake', almost? Don't know, might just be me.

    Those two both look gorgeous though!
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  • MagicPigDetectiveMagicPigDetective Frets: 1224
    edited January 31
    crunchman said:
    Neither of those are particularly over the top.

    The ones I don't like are where it's very narrow and regular like pinstripes.

    I prefer both of those you linked to over something like this:


    One other thing to bear in mind is that it will look different from different angles, and in different lighting conditions.




     I agree with the narrow flaming, not a good look. I think I'm preferring the wider or less defined flame.

    Right now I'm leaning towards the more subtle Bourbon Burst 132790120.

    The Iced Tea 132690142 does look striking, but perhaps too extravagant, tiger like for me.

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  • andy_kandy_k Frets: 89
    edited January 31
    The problem with flame, is that it is REALLY hard to capture in a photograph, it moves around, and is absolutely addictive.
    I have owned a couple of flamey things, and still do, but find less extravagant things work better for daily drivers.
    Get 'Beauty of the Burst' to get a grip on how the originals looked, and you might be surprised how over the top some of the modern stuff looks-compared to the old ones, but there are still a few amazing examples of flame on the real thing, they were very rare indeed.
    The ones in the OP are all nice, very authentic, and good for a 2K instrument, the custom shop one at over 5k, looks a bit too 'Barbeque' to me, 'BOTB' is the bible for this stuff.
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  • tony99tony99 Frets: 3125
    which dealer had the bourbons in at £1650 recently? one of them did
    Bollocks you don't know Bono !!
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  • johnljohnl Frets: 818
    Definitely the first one for me - a bit less regular and more interesting but both are great looking tops. 
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  •   :tony99 said:
    which dealer had the bourbons in at £1650 recently? one of them did

    Might have been. To be honest, as I'm unable to visit a store I'd rather pay more from a site where I can see the finish and weight; Peach also have 24 months interest free credit :)
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  • crunchmancrunchman Frets: 5787
    Here is a gratuitous shot of the guitar in my avatar:

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  • fretfinderfretfinder Frets: 2789
    edited January 31
    Never mind the flame, are you seriously buying one with a slim neck?!  o

    Seriously though, if you’re spending £2k or thereabouts, have you thought about getting a used R8 for not a lot more? They come up on here from time to time, although the neck will be bigger than a 60s slim taper profile!
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 44763
    edited January 31
    You may thank me for this later, if not now...

    That's the wrong way to choose a Les Paul.

    Go to the shop, play all of them. They will vary in weight, probably neck angle, probably slightly in neck profile, and sound. Some of them will feel and sound better than others. They will also look different up close in person than in pics, as andy_k said.

    It may not be very convenient to go to the shop, I know. But this is a pretty major purchase, presumably - one you'll probably keep a long time. Make sure you get the right one.

    [/old fart lecture]

    Never mind the flame, are you seriously buying one with a slim neck?!  o

    Seriously though, if you’re spending £2k or thereabouts, have you thought about getting a used R8 for not a lot more? They come up on here from time to time, although the neck will be bigger than a 60s slim taper profile!
    Personally I would always buy one with a slim neck - I detest 'fat' necks.

    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone." - Walt Kowalski

    "Just because I don't care, doesn't mean I don't understand." - Homer Simpson

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  • tony99tony99 Frets: 3125
      :tony99 said:
    which dealer had the bourbons in at £1650 recently? one of them did

    Might have been. To be honest, as I'm unable to visit a store I'd rather pay more from a site where I can see the finish and weight; Peach also have 24 months interest free credit :)
    oh no worries mate that's fair enough, some of the big ones though have got them cheaper, GAK for example have them at £1889 and free delivery, maybe they do finance too...
    Bollocks you don't know Bono !!
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  • clarkefanclarkefan Frets: 640
    Everything ICBM said above is mint.
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  • tony99tony99 Frets: 3125
    solid colours only for me on lezzas anyway, blacks, goldies, yellows, whites
    Bollocks you don't know Bono !!
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  • crunchmancrunchman Frets: 5787
    clarkefan said:
    Everything ICBM said above is mint.

    Apart from the bit about slim necks.
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  • tony99tony99 Frets: 3125
    slim necks for the win, that's why 60s music was so much better than 50s dirge
    Bollocks you don't know Bono !!
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  • darhartdarhart Frets: 29
    I'd consider a new old stock one  from thomann and save £800, send it back if it's no good, you could buy an SG with the change :-D

    https://www.thomann.de/gb/gibson_les_paul_traditional_hb_2016.htm
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  • johnljohnl Frets: 818
    Would have to agree - if you're spending £2kish that'll get you a second hand custom shop R7, R8, Custom or SG.
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  • tony99tony99 Frets: 3125
    crunchman said:
    Here is a gratuitous shot of the guitar in my avatar:

    r8?
    Bollocks you don't know Bono !!
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  • crunchmancrunchman Frets: 5787
    edited January 31
    tony99 said:

    r8?
    R9

    Depending on the light and angle, it can look more vivid than that.

    That's just a phone camera.  I'm sure that Peach photography would make it pop a bit.
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  • I know I know,  it would ideal to try first, but unfortunately I really can't spare the time to visit a store, they are hours/hundreds of miles away. Then again a lot of Fretboarders bought R8's from Peach without trying or seeing them in person! As for second hand, I'll have to use credit for this purchase and I want a brand new spangly guitar. You know that feeling when you've got your heart set on something and you just can't shake it off?

    Neck, I prefer a slim neck. I tried an R8 at last years Bristol Jam, it was too thick for me.

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  • rlwrlw Frets: 2164
    Those two are so subtle I really can't see the issue tbh.

    Me, I like a fat neck and lary flame and the best LP I've ever had was bought online :)
    Save a cow.  Eat a vegetarian.
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  • SkippedSkipped Frets: 2219
    edited January 31
    I have just looked at the dealers in your neck of the woods and I can see the problem.

    If I were you I would chat with Peach and tell them that you want the best playing 60's Standard currently in the shop. This is the next best option after asking forum members to go into Peach and play every guitar for you.

    In theory....we all have different opinions on which guitar is best out of 10 identical guitars.
    However.....if someone that I trust (trust is the key) tells me that one particular guitar rings like a bell, and is hard to put down, it is very likely that I would also have picked out that same  guitar from a bunch of slim neck Les Paul Standards.
    If the guitar looks OK (a picture of the guitar), and the weight is reasonable......buy that one.
    Talk to Peach and trust Peach to find the best playing LPS for you and don't worry about subtle differences in appearance.

    ICBM was right. This is Gibson we are talking about  But this strategy is the next  best option in your circumstances.


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  • tony99tony99 Frets: 3125
    edited January 31
    although there is the theory that the thinner the flame stripes, the higher the resonance frequency of that particular piece of wood's tone

    and before anyone tries to poo-poo it, ask yourself this, why do you think they shout "timbre" when chopping down trees???
    Bollocks you don't know Bono !!
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  • ModellistaModellista Frets: 1609

    Right now I'm leaning towards the more subtle Bourbon Burst 132790120.

    The Iced Tea 132690142 does look striking, but perhaps too extravagant, tiger like for me.

    I know flames can be over the top, but 120 is very dowdy in my opinion. Patchy and asymmetrical. I’d prefer a full plain top over that. 

    142 is nice, relatively subtle, although quite tiger-like so if you don’t like that, don’t buy it. 

    233 is the pick of the Iced Teas for me. A lot of those tops scream “R8 reject” to me. Sorry for being a top snob. 

    Of the Bourbons, 152 is interesting and not too over the top, I like the streaks. Not so keen on the bow tie either side of the bridge. 211’s the most attractive to me, and if you want subtle flame without obvious flaws, it’s 156. 

    I feel like the Cilla Black of the maple world. 

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  • RockerRocker Frets: 3643
    edited January 31
    Someone has to say it, but why drool over the pictures?  Take a day and go to the shop and try them there.  You may like what they have or you may not.  At least if you do buy, it will be an instrument that speaks your language to you.

    Edit:  @ICBM said much the same thing but better above.  Heed his advice.
    Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. [Albert Einstein]

    Nil Satis Nisi Optimum

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  • KittyfriskKittyfrisk Frets: 2275
    tony99 said:
    although there is the theory that the thinner the flame stripes, the higher the resonance frequency of that particular piece of wood's tone

    and before anyone tries to poo-poo it, ask yourself this, why do you think they shout "timbre" when chopping down trees???
    You owe me a mouthful of wine & the costs of cleaning my laptop screen.
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  • MagicPigDetectiveMagicPigDetective Frets: 1224
    edited January 31
    Rocker said:
    Someone has to say it, but why drool over the pictures?  Take a day and go to the shop and try them there.  You may like what they have or you may not.  At least if you do buy, it will be an instrument that speaks your language to you.

    Edit:  @ICBM said much the same thing but better above.  Heed his advice.
     No need to say it as I agree and I am fully self aware that visiting a shop is the best course of action and knew when I wrote my OP that someone would be pointing this out, as I have seen done many many times on guitar forums. However for me to visit one of the shops that stock a few of this model would involve a 600 mile, twelve hour round journey, which for various reasons which I don’t want to bore you guys with, I won’t and can’t do. Fair enough if you can make such journeys just to buy a guitar but not it’s not for everyone. I’ve so far bought three electric guitars online and they’ve all been great. It is a gamble with risks though, I know. 

    And anyway, it was a good excuse to ogle and talk about nice guitars wasn’t it?  

    @skipped has given very sensible advice on making online purchases given the circumstances (thanks),
     perhaps I’ll call Peach next week.
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  • MagicPigDetectiveMagicPigDetective Frets: 1224
    edited February 1
    Back to the ogling, have a look at the photos on Richtone’s site:

    https://www.richtonemusic.co.uk/product/gibson-les-paul-standard-and-60s-bourbon-burst/130290190/

    They show a red tinge to the burst that you don’t see on Peach’s photos, Perhaps it’s the light and angle that shows this up, as mentioned by @Andy_k , it’s difficult  to capture?  This one looks pretty stunning to me


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