Gibson VOS Les Paul 54 (P90s) vs Collings 290

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by warren3333, Apr 12, 2015.

  1. warren3333

    warren3333 Gold Supporting Member

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    Just discovered P90s (I know, I know)...

    And it's down to these two. Both play stunningly, with the 54 being very heavy (to me) at just over 9 lbs.

    The Collings is perfectly made, and I little bit more 'modern' than the LP 54.
    Love the colour scheme on the Collings...

    Both the same price to change.

    Thoughts ?

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Sirloin

    Sirloin Supporting Member

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    Hmmm...not a fan of the white headstock or white pickguard on the Collings. But it would be your guitar not mine.

    I tend to prefer p90s in all mahogany guitars versus guitars with maple tops. But that's just me. So the Collings probably would win that round.

    If you ever sell, that Gibson will sell easier and hold better value over the long haul.
     
  3. Gary_

    Gary_ Member

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    I haven't played either so can't give an opinion as to 'which one' - from a looks perspective, I prefer the Goldtop but of course that is a highly personal thing so my colour preference doesn't really amount to much :) My reasons for replying?

    1. I bought a Tokai 165 Goldtop with P90's a couple of weeks ago and it's a stunner.... If you can find one, it's worth considering if a Gibson goldtop is on the radar for you. I'm not saying the Tokai is better because I haven't played the Gibson so I cannot possibly know but generally speaking the high end Tokais seem to get a lot of love from people who have played both.

    2. Before I buy any guitar, I always check out this place over in Ashbourne - I've bought 3 guitars from him over the last couple of years and he's very good. He deals with brand new and second hand Collings amongst others and I noticed you're in the Midlands. Whilst I was browsing there I noticed three P90 guitars including a Cherry 290.... This may not be your colour choice but for sure the price is nice :)

    http://www.guitars4you.co.uk/products.php?category=Collings Guitars

    Good luck whichever you choose - I too love P90's :)
     
  4. DamianL

    DamianL Member

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    That Collings is about as good as a modern guitar gets for me...

    I played an identical one last year...everything about it from fit to finish to sound quality was amazing...


    Damian
     
  5. LanEvo

    LanEvo Member

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    I prefer P90s in slab-top, all-mahogany guitars.

    I would look for a Custom Shop "1960 Les Paul Special VOS" (if you like fat necks) or Hamer Special (if you like them thin).

    The "1960 LPS VOS" is a hybrid of mid-'50s body (single cut) with late-'58 to early-'60 neck (baseball bat). It's perfect IMNSHO.
     
  6. Whitecat

    Whitecat Member

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    The Gibson won't suffer quite the same depreciation, but for me that's the only plus. If you're buying to play with resale-value-be-damned, I think the Collings is a superior instrument by an order of magnitude.

    P90s + straight up hog = monster tone.
     
  7. DoctorBob

    DoctorBob Member

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    Very different animals--the Collings is more like a LP Special. Collings makes great guitars; I had a 290 but shed it when I got a '58 LP Special--actually always thought the 290 was "too polite" ( a descriptor often used in these pages-and I agree). My Collings SoCo LC,however, is a 335 killer. Current Gibson p-90s are great PUPs--they compare in every way to those on my vintage Gold top (yeah, I got one of those, too). I vote for the '54 reissue--the ultimate cool-I think it captures that old school tone moreso than the 290. (And get yerself a tryout on a SoCo and play it next to a 335 and prepare to be amazed. Oh, and BTW, I have a '64 335,too).Am I bragging? Yeah, I think so
     
  8. teleman1

    teleman1 Supporting Member

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    I'd look for a lighter 54ri. If the Collings has the stock p-90, its a nice sounding PU. But, as Dr Bob said, polite. Its polite enough for P-90 lovers to nix it,cause polite is for other PU's. Not P-90's. If you like the Collings sell the PU's and get some Wolfetones, Antiquities, or? Read up on p-90's before you do the jump.
     
  9. lugnut111

    lugnut111 Member

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    First off congrats on discovering P90s. Be careful, they are addictive.

    As far as aesthetics are concerned, I like both guitars. I prefer the look of Les Pauls in solid colors, with Gold Tops being my fave. But, the overall look of that Collings is amazing.

    I love that finish, reminds me of a blue tick hound. It also reminds me of the silver fox finish on some 60's Epiphone Coronets.

    If play-ability & tone are similar, personally, the Collings wins. The average joe might appreciate the LP more but that Collings is unique.

    (Godin makes a Richmond Belmont with a similar finish that I have my eyes on.)
     
  10. warren3333

    warren3333 Gold Supporting Member

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    Gary, thanks for the recommendations. I have visited the shop in Ashbourne, whilst on the hunt for a Strat. Great range and great service !

    My favourite shop, however, is Coda Music; Doug is an amazing guy, with great stock choice, service and patience !
     
  11. XKnight

    XKnight Member

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    In the same price range I'd take the LP. LP is used I take it while the Collings is new. If resale is of no concern and you prefer the Collings for tone and playability then go for it.
     
  12. warren3333

    warren3333 Gold Supporting Member

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    Both are new to be honest, but I have a part ex and there is more discount in the LP....
     
  13. guitarnut_1

    guitarnut_1 Member

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    you can't go wrong with neither of them, but I'd probably pick the R4... lot's of mojo and old school vibe in a guitar like this.
     
  14. Elduderino73

    Elduderino73 Member

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    While I've never played a Collings I always hear about the amazing attention to detail.

    "And it's down to these two. Both play stunningly," Go for the Collings. Be different. Kinda sounds like you're leaning that way anyway.

    Which one speaks to you more, resonates with you more? Go for that one.
     
  15. Spoonful

    Spoonful Member

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    I own a Collings 290 in a different finish and CR54 in a different finish. Only had the LP for a couple of weeks. Both are awesome guitars. They sound great, though slightly different. The build quality on both is excellent. The 290 has a slightly smaller neck and a really nice profile, probably my favorite neck profile. The LP neck is a little fatter but very comfortable.

    Based on what I paid for each, if you can snag the LP for the same price as the 290, thats a pretty attractive deal.

    I will say that the 290 is very fun to play. Can't explain what makes it more fun to play than my others, but I really enjoy it.

    Bottom line, you can't go wrong with either.
     
  16. warren3333

    warren3333 Gold Supporting Member

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    After only a few hours auditioning the two, the 290 seemed a touch more refined, less raw maybe... But in a positive way.

    The LP was one of the few guitars Ive owned and played that gave me an instant "'WOW' this is a bit special feeling..."

    Ive never been so undecided ! It's just a shame that this particular (and my favourite) dealer is a good distance away. Id love to a/b the two side by side on my two Carrs...

    Here was the recent comparison... I tried a used 290...

    [​IMG]
     
  17. XKnight

    XKnight Member

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    In that case the LP R4 is the clear winner in my book, but it's what you prefer that matters.
     
  18. warren3333

    warren3333 Gold Supporting Member

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    I must say, I'm leanin towards the LP 54... It's an incredible dilemna to have !

    My main concern is the weight; I'm used to the lightness of my couple of Fender CS...
     
  19. Gary_

    Gary_ Member

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    For this kind of investment, got to be worth taking the day off and driving down with both your Carrs :)
     
  20. warren3333

    warren3333 Gold Supporting Member

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    I was down there last week Gary. Doug at Coda was as excellent as ever...

    I'm very busy work wise which is the problem right now...
     

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