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How Much Does The Colour Of A Guitar Mean To You?

I got a mid 90’s Les Paul Custom in wine red and it’s great. Stays in tune pretty well, feels great to play, intonates well, looks cool, but I wanted an Ebony one and I chose this because I got it very cheap, but now that the novelty has worn off I’m lusting after a black one.

I’m fighting the urge to get one and sell this, especially as used prices are so high, but I do wonder if it’s just a matter of time.

Are you guys like this? Will a X in X colour only do? Or is it the functionality of the guitar over anything else? :)


Silver Supporting Member
Function first, but I have to at least like the colour/finish somewhat. All my guitars are my idealized versions (Olympic White Strat, tobacco burst single cut LP Jr, 59 burst lp, etc) of each type except my Tele build, which is Firemist Gold. I had no intentions of getting that colour, but I picked up a build project and it just works really well so I've kept it and the neck together while changing everything else. I don't love some of the greening treatment that mjt did on it, but I also don't think it's ugly. If I did, I'd probably not keep it.

I don't really care how shallow it is, and I'd certainly never own a guitar only because it looked good, but it's an important factor for sure. If you're spending all that cash, why not make it look nice? I'm also positive that I will play a guitar more if I like the look in addition to the feel.

Tommy Biggs

Gold Supporting Member
I buy the best playing ones. My Tele has been the wrong color for me since 1980.
Les Pauls- I originally lusted after flame bursts, then gold tops, then plain tops. Generally lemon bursts.
I had a great 70s LP Custom in wine red for a long time, and now have a black 90s Studio. I’m happy as hell with that studio, and still love my Tele.
Don’t sweat it, would you play any ‘better’ on another color?


Gold Supporting Member
I would like to say it isn't that important, but there are plenty of colors I have not bought/owned.


Add me to the function first crowd, but there are still enough good guitars out there that I have some preference to color. For example, I absolutely despise the Fender 3-tone sunburst - so I generally won't try them because I'm afraid I'd like it and be stuck with an ugly guitar.

That said, I've never cared for black guitars, but don't hate them - and my black Vela that I bought because it was cheap and I couldn't find one locally to try is my favorite guitar. I bought it figuring it'd be easy to resell if I didn't like it because it was the lowest priced one on Reverb. However, you can't pry this guitar from my hands. I've toyed with the idea of refinishing, but I don't want to take a chance of messing with the mojo, so I stuck a sticker on it and play the heck out of it.

Bottom line, then is that it matters to me a little bit.
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Clouds yell at me
Gold Supporting Member
I like most colors that the guitars I like tend to come in. I might prefer this color or that one, but if I've found one I like to play when I'm buying, color takes a back seat. But again, I'm not in the position of buying a color I don't like more than enough to own. I can't recall being in the position of really liking a guitar but hating the color and having to decide.


I've never bought an LP that wasn't black. In fact, I've never bought a Gibson that wasnt black. Though I very much like gold tops, especially the way they look when they age. But my second favorite finish is plain top lemon burst. No clown clown burst colors at all. Black will always be my favorite Gibson color.


It depends, really. But in your case if you always wanted an ebony LPC, that's the one you want. I am sure you can find an ebony one you like as much as your wine red one. And yeah to me when I think of an LPC I am usually picturing a black one too, so I get it.


I'm such a logical person that I'd love to say that functionality is all that matters and that color is irrelevant.

But I'd be lying big-time if I said that.

I've learned that once I get an idea for a guitar in my head, it's got to be THAT guitar or it will bug me. So, once the idea of an Ocean Turquoise telecaster with an ebony fretboard is in my head - anything different than that won't do. Of course I want a great playing/sounding one as well -

Jon Silberman

10Q Jerry & Dickey
Silver Supporting Member
A couple of years ago, I bought a black Epi LP. I never liked black guitars but this one was the pick of the litter so I bought it anyway. Now I love black guitars! For it's not the color, my friends, that makes the axe.


Silver Supporting Member
Color is important to me. I once bought a Telecaster with a one piece rosewood neck because I loved the neck. However it had a Surf Green body. I didn't like the color of the body and thought I could live with it. Eventually the color started bothering me so I got rid of it.

It probably would not matter if you never play in front of an audience, if you do, then you should only buy a guitar that is a color that you like. The look of the guitar and it's color has to be a good fit for your personality or you will eventually want to get rid of it.

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