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Ack!! I WANT to LOVE LP's, but man, I must be finding the duds!

David Garner

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
6,993
They're not for me, either. I have owned a bunch of different ones at various times over the last 30 years. I sold the last one about 18 months ago, and honestly haven't missed it.

If you're looking for something else to try, may I humbly suggest a PRS 408 Maple Top. Just try it out. If you don't like the "bling" of a flame-top PRS, they can also be had in black, white, or goldtop. Since you like "not-so-thick" necks, see if you can find one with the "Pattern Thin" neck carve.
I didn't mention it earlier, but when I was looking for a Les Paul the 1st time (about 6 years ago) I got a PRS DGT instead. I still love that guitar, but the Les Paul I ended up with has eclipsed it.

Having said that, PRS has a lot of nice offerings in the "I want a Les Paul but I don't like Les Pauls" mold. I haven't tried a 408, but I did look at a McCarty when I bought the DGT, and it was a nice instrument as well. Ultimately, I really wanted a Les Paul. For someone who wants that same basic tone and vibe, but doesn't like the way a Les Paul feels or plays, PRS has a lot of good options. Great suggestion.
 

yuominae

Member
Messages
50
Saw this gorgeous Seafoam Green LP in an email from GC.



Went out there and low and behold they had one on the shelf. It's really a sharp looking guitar!



I picked it up, and went through 6 different amps, and not a single one of them could make this guitar sound good. NO position, no tone or volume pot adjustments, nothing.



Tried 2 others, and simply couldn't find one that sounded full and warm. THEN the LAST one I tried, a LP Standard in Natural Wood finish (all of them had 57 pups) sounded good. NOT great, but good.



Absolutely drives me NUTS - I want to love these guitars dearly, simply because they have the look, that timeless and great look, but simply put I haven't found one I've liked.

I've tried from $399 EPI to a $8999 LP in the Platinum room.





I understand if I switched out the caps, or had different pots, pups, wiring, shielding, setups, strings, wood conditioning, ect....that they'd be IN - but in my head at $2k and up I'd expect the thing to be good to go. Maybe put a new set of strings and make sure that the setup didn't change during transit, but man.....







Of course - any of you have times where NO GUITAR sounds or feels good? Then the likewise EVERYTHING you pick up feels nice?





It'd be great to get some specific recommendations on models and series. I like NOT so thick necks, so I've been looking for 60's style necks.....



Any thoughts?

Have you tried a Heritage H150?
A lot cheaper and usually better made and sounding than Gibbys.
 

JDouglee

Member
Messages
1,959
Finding a good Les Paul takes ALOT of time. Going into a GC "I'd like a Les Paul please" is not a thing.

There are so many duds.

As far as smaller necks, a used R0 would be a good choice. But even then, not all of them are great.
 

=JL=

Member
Messages
984
There simply aren't that many duds. You just don't like Les Pauls. Standards, Trads and Historics are all variations on a similar theme - some are better than others, a tiny number are exceptionally bad and a tiny number are exceptionally good.

If you can't make any LP work for you at all out of a random sample of half a dozen or so it's utterly pointless spending twice as much on an R9 or similar, the difference is way too subtle to give you some kind of cloud-parting revelation.

Congratulations, you just saved a fortune!
 

Coldacre

Senior Member
Messages
9,839
none of us can tell whether ''its you'' or its ''the guitars''. but to completely rule out option number #1, try playing a friends Les Paul, one that you know is setup correctly and is already sounding good. `

if you go into a music store hoping to be blown away by the USA models, it can be a very disappointing experience. I was on the hunt for a new Les Paul 12 months ago. I went into it knowing that with the guitars I grabbed off the wall the intonation would be terrible and that they wouldn't hold tuning very well. that's the nature of the beast. but those things can be fixed.

you've got to add $500 to your budget. whatever USA Les Paul you buy, factor in new (unpotted) pickups, new wiring harness (500k CTS pots & braided wire), nickel (Faber) hardware, a bone nut and a professional setup. this investment will improve your Les Paul ten-fold and elevate it to the performance level of the Historics.
 

TDJMB

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
3,636
Years ago, I tried a Les Paul in the store and it was meh. But the LP type can be a thing of wonder. As with all guitar types, I just keep searching for the right one. For me, it's the Ronin Palus Mourn.
 

custom53

Member
Messages
4,746
It took me a very long time to find some that felt right.. But they are out there.. Like suggested above try out a Historic.. My 2010 R9 is perfect.. The neck isn't "baseball bat" fat like the '50s type neck but it isn't slim like the '60s type neck.. It is right in between.. To me it is just right..
 

Deed_Poll

Member
Messages
3,088
What do you usually play? I'm mostly a Fender player and had a similar experience with LPs until I played one with P90s.

Try the '14 Melody Maker. They are awesome and have "slug" P90s with magnetic polepieces like a Fender pickup.
 

vrdyer

Member
Messages
675
I have a 2013 Les Paul Standard. I also own an Edwards LP copy. The Edwards is just made better, sounds better, and a better cheaper choice. For me when I buy any new guitar, it needs to be set up. Check action, string choice, nut and saddles, that frets are level and don't have any rough edges. Check neck relief. Those things require minor set up. http://www.guitarjapan.com/edwards/elp108lts.html


 

pattste

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,816
I have a 2013 Les Paul Standard. I also own an Edwards LP copy. The Edwards is just made better, sounds better, and a better cheaper choice.
If that's the case, I'd be curious to know why you decided to buy the 2013 Les Paul Standard?
 

vrdyer

Member
Messages
675
I wanted to own a Gibson. GC was blowing them out at a ridiculous price. So, I got one. I own more than one guitar. Just another choice to add to the flock.
 

peskypesky

Member
Messages
5,615
I have a 2013 Les Paul Standard. I also own an Edwards LP copy. The Edwards is just made better, sounds better, and a better cheaper choice. For me when I buy any new guitar, it needs to be set up. Check action, string choice, nut and saddles, that frets are level and don't have any rough edges. Check neck relief. Those things require minor set up. http://www.guitarjapan.com/edwards/elp108lts.html


those Edwards guitars look sweet as all get out.
 

Guinness Lad

Senior Member
Messages
15,853
I understand if I switched out the caps, or had different pots, pups, wiring, shielding, setups, strings, wood conditioning, ect....that they'd be IN
Any thoughts?
None of this is true, the guitar should stand on it's own merits, if your sticking your lip out over wiring or caps you're pursuing the wrong hobby/profession.

Every guitar I purchased was great from the start I haven't changed a thing, I think adjusted the pu's is all. On the LP I own I changed the pickup location as the Neck pu was hotter than the bridge, they put them in backwards apparently. Not much though like 8.7 on one and 8.3 on the other.
 

IceTre

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
874
Were you playing through a good amp at the guitar store? Was it turned up enough to get a good tone? I think humbucker pickups have to be at a certain volume before they sound good. And a crappy amp will make the best guitar sound mediocre.

I bought a 2011 Les Paul Standard 3 years ago and it's still my favorite guitar. While others think it was heresy for Gibson to chamber the bodies, I think it improved the tone. I love both the clean tone with both pickups on, as well as the distorted tone. I haven't played the latest models so I don't know if they're as good.

Like others have said, maybe it's just not your sound. If so, that's good, you saved yourself some money. :) Rock on with what you like.
 

nateco

Member
Messages
3,556
That's a pretty small sample size for Les Pauls these days.

My ratio seems to be 20 to 1 for finding a good gibson...and that's just going from the unplugged feel and finish....plugging them in thins the heard even more.


Mind you, all the historic I've tried have been good...haven't played a total dud yet.
 

kiwicanuck

Member
Messages
1,532
I don't think there's ever been a "crap" LP that's left the factory, so I'd never suggest that. It's the pricing and the advertising that opens them up to extra scrutiny. IMO guitars in that price bracket deserve extra scrutiny too.

I rarely hear complaints about Epiphone LPs. Why not? Are they better than Gibsons? No - they're better value for money in their grade.
 

Coldacre

Senior Member
Messages
9,839
Every guitar I purchased was great from the start I haven't changed a thing, I think adjusted the pu's is all. On the LP I own I changed the pickup location as the Neck pu was hotter than the bridge, they put them in backwards apparently.
I'm curious as to why people think that when a neck is hotter than a bridge, it is 'wrong'.

a lot of bursts from 58-60 had a hotter neck.... Jimmy Page's #1 for example.
 






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