Well it's hard to beat Tom's guitars in terms of wood choice, fit, finish, playability, tone, attention to detail, etc., etc., etc. In these areas I think Tom's guitars would surpass all but the finest Custom Shop guitars. That said, Tom's guitars tend to have a more modern tone than a vintage tone, not that it's a bad tone, not at all, but his guitars would not be my first choice if I was looking for a traditional/vintage tone. I'm not sure how close the Bobcat, or for that matter the older Bulldog grok the Les Paul tone.
Also look into a Collings CL. I was on the hunt for a LP but wound up with a Collings, couldnt be more happy with my decision.
Look into a Nik Huber Orca '59. It is a closer take on vintage Les Paul tones.
I've owned a couple Les Pauls (one Gibson, one Heritage) and I've got an Anderson Hollow Atom CT (which is, tonally, close to identical to a Bobcat or Bulldog according to the company).
I will say that the Atom gets all the way to the LP tone for me... with maybe a little more "zing" on top. There might be a thickness and heaviness to the tone that you can only get with the LP, but for me, the versatility of the Atom more than makes up for it, and frankly, I can get where I need to be with amp adjustments easily.
Les Pauls are crazy. If you have to have one, you have to have one. It's that simple. But I don't. I'd rather have versatility and amazing playability.
Thanks. I've only got the chance to play a couple of Andersons (classic and ht cobra) and I will say their playability was amazing. I was also amazed at how the Andersons rang out acoustically. Lots of projection.
Gibsons do have that classic tone but there is something so intriguing to me on these Anderson guitars especially the Bobcat (as well as the drop top).
I'm going to go ahead and buy one and hopefully get a good enough deal that if I don't gel with it I can sell it and hopefully not lose my arse. Not sure how Andersons hold resale value?
Considering the degree of minutiae typically considered 'essential', I'm surprised a bolt-on is being considered as having equivalency with a set-neck.
I think they are amazing guitars, but like so many boutique brands, they don't hold resale the way you are thinking. You are going to easily lose a grand if you buy one and resell it later.
Unless, of course, you can find a used one. I currently have 3 Andersons. 2 of them were bought used. 1 was new, but I suspected I was going to own it for many years, and so far that's true, as I've used it as my main guitar for over 10 years.
Bolt-on vs. Set neck is a real red herring imho.
I don't think the difference in tone between a LP and a Tele, for instance has NEARLY enough to do with a bunch of hide glue vs. metal bolts as it does with neck angle, pickup complements, arched top and bridge style.
Tom has stated repeatedly that he'll never do a set neck. It's not his thing and if you have to have that, he recommends you go elsewhere for it. but ever since I got a chance to play and hear some bolt on acoustic guitars (Taylor anybody) and then after I owned this Atom CT, I determined that the bolt-on vs. set neck is not the issue.
I use it in a fancy two-voice rig with Helix. I should make a better video, but here's the one I made. Mine has a factory-installed PowerBridge (that is NOT an option available, btw. Tom did me a favor for all the Crowdsters I've helped him sell over the past 10 years.
Can't wait to seeJust pulled the trigger on a used Tom Anderson Bobcat!
It was just too tempting to try the unknown (Anderson).
I'll post some pics when I get it!
Thanks to all who chimed in