Favourite Boutique Les Paul Style Guitars?

Jazzandmore

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
10,217
I know what you mean. Last week I had a Ruokangas Supersonic in my living room, and I loved everything about it. But the frets were jumbo and a bit too big for what I like, so I returned it to the dealer. Moral of of the story is for the prices that all of the guitars mentioned in this thread sell for, they should be perfect for you. Wrong neck profile, fret size, etc, some things you just can’t compromise.
Totally agree, especially with the neck, everything has to be right. Tom hit the neck profile for the ‘59 on the head I’m sure. Problem is I didn’t figure out first if I like that neck profile, so mistake was totally on me.
 
Last edited:

bbaug14

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,474
Yep a Bartlett. The lines on the guitar are so beautiful! First time I saw one I almost fell over. Just an amazing guitar. Cliff over at Destroy All Guitars handles these.

I had one and Tom makes an amazing. He hits all the ‘59 LP marks. My only problem was that neck shape is not what I prefer. It was with heavy heart that I let it go.

I bought direct from Tom, which you can do. That way it’s built to your specs. He had me give him detailed measurements and photos for the neck profile I wanted. Turned out perfect.
 

Jazzandmore

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
10,217
I bought direct from Tom, which you can do. That way it’s built to your specs. He had me give him detailed measurements and photos for the neck profile I wanted. Turned out perfect.
Yep you can do that too. Price is same from what I recall. I had worked with Cliff on two other guitars, and found out about about Bartlett through him. Same as you were saying, I was able to define neck specs on other guitars when working through Cliff. Plus Cliff and Patty are such good people that I go through them when I can.

With the Bartlett I didn’t want to mess with the “recipe” that Tom has in terms of it having the LP feel, etc. On other guitars I often go with the neck specs from my Robben Ford Sig. I should have done that for the Bartlett, but it felt weird to me to mess with things...I know my explanation doesn’t make sense.
 

Jazzandmore

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
10,217
Probably because I initially asked based on what is “currently made”, and not sure if he is really making them anymore. And if he was, I wouldn’t spend that much anyway.
Yeah I just assumed he was still around, but honestly don’t know.

You definitely leaning towards a few builders yet?
 

71strat

Member
Messages
9,053
The guys at Vintage Relic did a limited run of 59 burst replicas 6 years ago. They used all era correct wood ect. My guitar came in at 8.1lbs
They used the averages from the Beauty of the Burst, and Bartlett plans for the build. Royalite Binding ect. I got to choose frets, and necks size. I used small vintage 6230 type frets, and a fat .92-1.02 neck. LP had small frets until mid 59. Custom kept using the small frets.

Used Historic Makeovers plastic. Got it made as new, and had to wait an extra month on it. They gave me a 15% discount of next order for the wait.
Mojoaxe Guard/Backplates
Throbak M69 Rings
Gotoh SD510 Kluson/Mag Lok gears. Gotohs best Kluson Gears.
Tom Holmes H450/H455 Pickups A2. Reverse Neck magnet-50s wiring. NOS .015-.022 Bumblebees
Pigtail Bridge Assembly

They actually wanted to buy it back from me after it was built, and were going to give more than 1/3 than I had in it, but I assumed if they wanted to buy it back, it had to be a great guitar, so I said no. I supplied many of the parts. Pickups, Mojoaxe/Historic Makeovers, Gotoh Gears, Pigtail Bridge. I waited 20 months on the pickups. Tom was sick and almost died 6-7 years ago and didnt wind very many sets, but did get them to me 4 months early. Original wait time was 24 months.
It took them only 8 months to complete the guitar. They also had as good of customer service as you can get. Sent all kinds of photos on every step of the build. Showed me the wood before it was cut. Estimated the weight would be 8.2lbs, and came in at 8.1lbs.


 

El Rey

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
946
McInturff Carolina for many, many, many reasons. Check out this thread on my Carolina Custom build - there were more than 21,000 views. Many TGP members have called it one of the (if not THE) best build threads ever on TGP:

https://www.thegearpage.net/board/i...urff-carolina-to-my-specs-it-arrived.1912779/

Here is a more recent thread about the CC, where I discuss many of the nuances of my build:

https://www.thegearpage.net/board/index.php?threads/show-your-mcinturff-carolina.2151723/

Both threads are well worth the read. I know of at least three TGP members that have placed orders based solely on those threads, with another waiting in the wings.

Here are some pics:









Here are a couple pics of the incredible woods under the Steinway Concert Grand opaque black finish (true old growth figured Honduran Mahogany; true pattern grade old growth Honduran Mahogany neck [pattern grade old growth hog ... good luck finding it]; true old growth Easter Red Flame Maple top):




The guitar is 8 pounds 4 ounces - non-weight relieved. Think of the best Les Paul you've ever heard/played ... and then add total clarity in the lower register, a guitar that always stays in tune, and a neck that is so strong and stable you could stand on it.

Spend some time in the threads to which I provided links. It'll be a learning experience.
That is off the hook!!

Thanks for posting that. I'm definitely considering something like this.

I've always wanted to get another LP type guitar....just not Gibson.
 

Teleplayer

Moder8er
Staff member
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
19,711
That is off the hook!!

Thanks for posting that. I'm definitely considering something like this.

I've always wanted to get another LP type guitar....just not Gibson.
Yeah; Terry’s work is simply ‘nother level.
 

alk-3

Member
Messages
68
Hey All, Thank you all for the kind remarks about my Bartlett Retrospec model. Quick clarification that Cliff no longer reps my guitars at the moment.
 
Last edited:

theRagman

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
1,365
I have gone through an embarrassing number of LP variations, and the Ruokangas Duke Classic is everything I want a Les Paul to be. It doesn't look like one, but it nails the sound as well as any LP variant I've ever tried, and the playability is off the charts good.

I've also played a Unicorn, which had a simply incredible bridge pickup sound. I doubt you could go wrong with a Unicorn. In the end, though, when it came time to get my "ultimate Les Paul," I went with a Duke Classic.
 

JKjr

Member
Messages
929
I have no doubt that Teleplayer's Carolina is an off the hook custom build. My Carolina is the opposite end of Terry's spectrum, the lowest tier "production" model. No frills, wood faux binding, plain top, I'm guessing around 9lbs. A few observations? Well, the fit and finish/attention to detail are flawless, as should be expected on any McInturff. The standard top could pass as a PRS 10 top. I understand Terry matches the pickups to each guitar. At any rate, the Peter Florance VooDoos were just the thing. Being old enough to have been exposed to the real deal, I had an idea of what I was chasing. It and an R6 with Fralins have cured my LP jones. I don't know how close to the bone the details are, I don't know or care what a proper poker chip looks like. What I need is the best tool to compensate for my lack of ability, and this is one great tool. Plug it in and it's "that sound". No talent required.
My R6 is a very good example of it's kind, one of those random happy accidents. Perhaps the most exceptional thing about the Carolina is that it is so typical of it's kind. I've yet to play a McInturff that wasn't exceptional. That's rarified air for a luthier, and every one of the guys breathing it makes exceptional guitars all day long. Exceptional is the baseline. Can you really go wrong within that group of builders? So who among them offers standard features that check all my personal boxes? None of these guys make cheap guitars, so customization is the name of the game, but I'm guessing if I want eleven pickups or 240 million year old fossilized fern inlays I may incur upcharges. My older McInturffs have an unusual scale length that suits my short fat fingers (please don't go there). Flawless build. And eye candy to boot. Boom, three more purchased. So I wasn't surprised that the Carolina was a finalist in my extended LP search. It wasn't the best sounding of the bunch, there was an R9 that sang with the Angels, one of those freaks. But it had a hump in the fretboard and quite frankly was out of my price range. The others? All top tier builders individual take on a classic. All top tier instruments in every way. Who wudda thunk? I chose the Carolina based on brand experience. But all of them were better instruments than someone like me deserves.
 

jmc7581

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
59
. . . . Perhaps the most exceptional thing about the Carolina is that it is so typical of its kind. I've yet to play a McInturff that wasn't exceptional. That's rarified air for a luthier, and every one of the guys breathing it makes exceptional guitars all day long. Exceptional is the baseline. . . .
Well said, sir.
 




Trending Topics

Top