Heavy Lesters

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by telewacker, Mar 16, 2008.

  1. telewacker

    telewacker Supporting Member

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    Fender guy here, but I'm interested in checking out some Les Pauls. Everyone seems to want the light ones...do they always sound better or are they just easier on the shoulder? I've had or played light and heavy strats that sounded good or not so good regardless of their weight. I did have an Edwards Lester for a bit that was pretty light but it sounded really dull and lifeless, and changing pups, electronics didn't cure it so I have to believe it was the wood. So can heavy Lesters sound good?
     
  2. Shnook

    Shnook Supporting Member

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    They can sound good, but it's a different good. I own an 8 lb 12 oz Historic R9 and a good ole 11lb '74 Standard. The R9 sounds far more organic, woody, and with a pleasant nasal honk and very nice mids. The '74 Standard sounds compressed, thick/smooth, with less note definition. Which do I prefer? Well, I've only gotten my '74 Standard out once since I got my R9 in Jan. I'm just holding on to the Standard until the market gets a little better and then I'm selling it. It's a good guitar, but the R9 has the tones I enjoy. And my shoulder thanks me at the end of a 3 hour band session. I've never fallen for the heavy is better idea. A general average for the 50's LP's was around 9 pounds.

    If you your a Tele/Strat player, I'd suggest some of the Historic LP's.
     
  3. trisonic

    trisonic Member

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    You can find good ones at any weight.
    With Les Pauls I would always try before you buy - if one plays good, sounds good, feels good then consider the weight last. Mine is 11lbs and sounds like Mick Taylor's off Crusade. I put up with the weight for that.

    Best, Pete.
     
  4. cottoneyedjoe

    cottoneyedjoe Member

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    Try many before you buy. To me, a diehard Fender guy, I bought my first LP last year. P-90s were the way to go for me...

    I love the sound though. It is truly a great guitar. Just make sure that the one you pick immediately set it up or have a setup done. They really need nut work on many of them, but that is the same with every company I have bought from lately....
     
  5. Guitar Josh

    Guitar Josh Resident Curmudgeon Silver Supporting Member

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    Heavy lesters are the ONLY lesters that sound good. WR, chambered, all crap. None of the dark, heavy, sustaining tone my good one pre 2002 standards have. Just got another 10 lb. LPS and it's one amazing guitar. The new models don't hold a candle to it.
     
  6. Lawn Jockey

    Lawn Jockey Member

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    The best one I've ever owned was an original '68 Custom (repaired headstock) that weighed in at a whopping 12.9 lbs. The thing was an absolute tone monster.

    Second to that would be any of the three Historics I bought in 2003. R4,
    R6, R7....each were in the mid eight pound range and had that unmistakable unplugged resonance.

    The '68 Custom would have still slaughtered them.
     
  7. FLICKOFLASH

    FLICKOFLASH Member

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    I had a 25/50 th anniversary model that weighed in at 13 lbs but than again I have had a 11 lb 79 strat as well
     
  8. Blue Fin

    Blue Fin Member

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    Don't worry about the weight...just the sound. If your shoulder hurts, get a nice wide strap.
     
  9. buddastrat

    buddastrat Member

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    10lbs. ain't heavy for an LP. I like a little weight to an LP too. Seems to give it some balls. But the really heavy ones I had sounded like shi#. Very compressed and plinky. It seemed like the wood was so solid the string's energy couldn't make the wood vibrate. So all you'd hear is this "plink" to the note.
     
  10. franksguitar

    franksguitar Member

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    I've owned a number of Les Pauls (Specials, Deluxes, Standards, & Custom) over the years and prefer lighter ones if you are doing 4 sets and if you need a chiropractor or wind up with curvature of the spine after the gig you know the axe is too heavy!
     
  11. AlexF

    AlexF Member

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    just like all the others, weight age and construction are all irrelevant to the sound. Of the dozens I've owned down the years, the best ever was a 74 Deluxe - sandwich body, shallow headstock, over 10lb goldtop which had been routed for buckers. I can only describe it as sounding like a black guy singing, compared with all the others - deep, fat singing tone. I gigged it solidly for over 12 years and only gave up with age when the weight just stopped it being fun anymore.
    Al
     
  12. GuitarsFromMars

    GuitarsFromMars Member

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    I have a 2003 R7 Stinger/60 neck that weighs in at 8lbs,9oz...it has exactly what I need sonicly.I have heard many cool stories about 11-14lb norlins that bring them into a weightlifters/young man's realm.Not me.
     
  13. alvagoldbook

    alvagoldbook Member

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    I have to agree with the previous poster. Play a bunch of them until you find one that connects with you.
     
  14. Guitar Josh

    Guitar Josh Resident Curmudgeon Silver Supporting Member

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    True, I just sort of use 7 and 10 as general weights for strats and LPs. Tends to be pretty close for either.

    I always say, sometimes, it's ain't the guitar, it's the player. I can make my LPs sing just fine. :D
     
  15. paintguy

    paintguy Long Hair Hippy Freak Silver Supporting Member

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    I have played Les Paul's for almost 30 years now. Base each guitar on it's own merits.

    I will say there is something about the 70's models that I have always loved. I think it's the neck carve. Mine were usually in the 10-11lb range

    The heavier ones just sounded thicker and had more sustain to me.

    I also like my Historics that are in the 8-1/2lb range too. They are easier on the shoulder and have a more open tone to me.

    I can happy with the heavier or lighter ones...
     
  16. indytruckboy

    indytruckboy Member

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    I prefer heavy. 11 pounders. If I want light, I'll play a SG.
     
  17. Nick Greer

    Nick Greer Member

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    Les Pauls should be judged based on sound, if it sounds like you want it to--buy it! The weight doesn't matter to me, but for some folks it does...all I want to know is how does it sound...Here are my observations based on my two 58 Reissues:

    My washed cherry R8 is a decently heavy guitar. It hung in a store for quite a while, fading lightly in the window because folks would pick it up and think it was too heavy, or play it acoustically and think that it wouldn't sound great amplified (it's not the most resonant Lester ever), so I bought it...the thing is FREAKIN AWESOME!!! Plug it in and the thing SINGS FOR DAYS! It's a heavy guitar, so I have a wide strap. My tobacco burst R8 is a bit lighter and more acoustically resonant and to be honest with you--when they're plugged into an amp, they sound about the same...many people have offered me GREAT money for the guitars, but they ain't goin nowhere...the washed cherry even made Big Mike take a step back!

    Nick G
     
  18. guitarfish

    guitarfish Member

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    Weight is overrated. SO many things contribute to the tone.
     
  19. buddastrat

    buddastrat Member

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    I agree it should be judged for sound BUT, I sit a lot while I play and I can't stand bottom or top heavy guitars that want to pull off your lap. One of the biggest, baddest sounding historics I played was like that. It had a big, bold sustaining tone. But it constantly wanted to fall as so much of that weight was concentrated down on the bottom of the guitar. It was awful. I finally found a nice medium or lightweight one that gets the kind've tone I want, and it's balanced.
     
  20. Nick Greer

    Nick Greer Member

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    That's strange that it was that bottom heavy, I guess the wood varies greatly from one Lester to the next...even on my heaviest R8, the guitar seems balanced as I sit or stand to play...For me, it's all about the sound though, so I don't mind uber-heavy guitars...

    Ng
     

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