I HAVE to have a Les Paul - Help me choose!

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by electronpirate, Sep 12, 2005.

  1. electronpirate

    electronpirate Member

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    After years of d!cking around with knockoffs, I'm finally going to get a Les Paul. Can't do without that thick sound.

    Some questions for the experienced in here:

    1. What is the difference between the burstbuckers and the 496/500 combination?
    2. I'm confused on why some seemingly similar Lesters are $1000 more than say, a regular model ($1899 vs. $2799). I understand that some finishes are more valuable....but.
    3. What's a reasonable price for one used?

    Or if there's a website that contains this information, all the better.

    This is a guitar that I'll be buried with, so I'm choosing carefully.

    EP
     
  2. olectric

    olectric Supporting Member

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    Anderson Atom. IMO, the consummate LP. Some may disagree about its looks, but it's got the sweetest short-scale, stop tailpiece, maple on mahogany sound of anything I've ever played (and I've played a few Pauls). A plethora of available pickups to choose from. Go to andersonforum.com and post what you're looking for. Tom himself will respond same day.
     
  3. fin

    fin Guest

    I'll put in my two cents here, at the risk of getting slammed...


    These guys can tell you about folks that are making better LP's than Gibson is, but if you are SET on an actual Gibby LP...used customs are still a pretty good deal IMHO...

    BUT..you gotta play them. Sometimes even Gibson made a few sweet gems even in the "Undesireable" years, (late 70's, etc)..

    Search for the right Lester and when you play it, you will know...

    my '79 "Norlin" custom with a big old ugly volute is about the most un-collectable Lester on the planet (esp with the coil-tap switch and the finish sanded off the neck :D ) but something must have gone wrong at Norlin that day, 'cause she is a PLAYA!!:dude
     
  4. Zuma

    Zuma Member

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    here is the place to go, use the search engine and you will find all your answers

    http://www.lespaulforum.com/forum/index.php?

    If you can do without a flametop, I would suggest a 57 goldtop reissue, used can be reasonably priced.
     
  5. Killa-B

    Killa-B Member

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    You can land a used Hamer Special FM for about $650, and it will be a great guitar, unbeatable for the money!
     
  6. sanhozay

    sanhozay klon free since 2009

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    Historic R4, R6, R7, R8, R9.

    Seminal stuff.

    If you can tolerate the clubby necks there's no substitute. Pricey but used deals surface all the time.
     
  7. electronpirate

    electronpirate Member

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    FIN:
    You are EXACTLY right. I think that I've balked over the years because I play four that just plain suck, and one that I don't want to put down. I'm sure that a competent luthier can do a setup and make it right...but I don't really want to try that hard.

    Yeah, I'm into the 60's neck.

    I think I'm pretty set on the Gibson. I've had modified LP Double Cut copies that I'm presently using (upgrade electronics, etc). But I think there is something about a Les Paul. Very eviceral for me.

    I was pretty impressed with some of Dean USA's stuff too, and always listen to suggestions, but if I'm paying over $2k, I really need to feel confident about my purchase.

    EP.
     
  8. sabbath90

    sabbath90 Member

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    the newer les paul classics are pretty decent. i've got a '91 that i swapped the pups on and it slays. i've also got a '79 custom silverburst that had some kind of super distortions in it when i got it. i replaced those with a set of darkbursts, tone pros hardware and an RS electronics kit and it's the greatest guitar i've ever played.

    sooooo...i'm going to recommend an early-90's classic or a 70's custom of some kind. they sound quite different so you may want to compare some rosewood board pauls to some ebony board pauls and see what you prefer.

    also, its often cheaper to buy a lester thats had it's pickups swapped out or whatever and then get a set of WCR's or bareknuckles or whichever pickups you like best.

    there are many good options to explore when getting a les paul.
     
  9. paintguy

    paintguy Long Hair Hippy Freak Silver Supporting Member

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    I have to say I also like those very frowned upon 70's models with voltue and sandwich bodies. The heavier the better. My belief is that the heavier they are, the fatter and thicker they sound. Many people will dis-agree, just my opinion.

    I have 13 guitars, many Prs, Gibson, and a few custom made. I have owned a dozen more Les Pauls. My 73' Les Paul is magic. Like fin said"play a bunch and you will know when the right one comes along"
     
  10. Motorhed

    Motorhed Member

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    whats a volute? i've heard it a few time around but have no idea what it is.


    my bastardized '77 deluxe is still the best lester i've played. and i dont care what people say, i'll take my maple neck over the mahogany any day, i love the extra bite it adds. i'd love to try out one of the maple fretboard ones.

    i also have an '80 sg firebrand, another uncollectable gibby that got recently that i absolutly love.
     
  11. HEY!YOU!

    HEY!YOU! Senior Member

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    I picked up a '86 LP Custom after 6-7 months of searching, it's the sh*t.
    Look around, historics are good too, but ya gotta check em out first.
    Definitely avoid the lespaulforum.
     
  12. jda

    jda Member

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    The price gap is for historics vs. regular production.

    I think you should get a historic.;)

    My personal experience:
    For historics, used gold tops can be had in the sub-2K range. Plain tops usually go in the low 2Ks. Figured top 58s usually go in the hi 2s to low 3s, depending on figure/flame, can go higher. Flame top 59s go for the mid to high 3s, and into the 4s and higher, depending on top, who painted it, etc etc etc

    Brazilian fingerboards add a premium.
     
  13. photoguy

    photoguy Member

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    Gotta agree..my 78 stock deluxe is one fine playing/sounding guitar. I've had it since new...I'd say its a keeper.

    BTW, the volute is that extra wood heel on the back of the neck, just below the headstock.
     
  14. Leonc

    Leonc Wild Gear Hearder Gold Supporting Member

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    Sorry I can't help with your pickup questions...but the best way to buy a Les Paul, IMO, is to play a bunch of them and pick the one that you like most. Unless you need some special/rare feature...just play a bunch of 'em because there's 80,000 different varieties, at least :D.

    I wouldn't worry that much about looks and just concentrate on neck shape, playability, and TONE (and possibly weight, if that's an issue for you). There are plenty of decent deals out there one used Gibsons.
     
  15. Motorhed

    Motorhed Member

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    aaahhhh, ok, thanks(its one of those things that was driving me nuts but i kept forgetting to ask lol). i would think it would strengthen the neck in that area and that would be a good thing with all the broken off headstocks gibson is known for.

    if it ever happened to one of mine, i'd pay ANYTHING it took to get it repaired...after lots of crying of course lol. (sadly though, the crying part isnt a joke)
     
  16. Papajuice

    Papajuice Silver Supporting Member

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    Got a custom shop R8 and it is great. But a +2 for the Tom Anderson ATOM is probably the best all around guitar I have ever owned.
     
  17. jda

    jda Member

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    At the risk of stating the obvious: if what you really want is a Les Paul, then you should buy a Les Paul.
     
  18. Johnnytone

    Johnnytone Supporting Member

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    The most LP for the money (notice I didn't say best) is a used Historic Goldtop which can be found for $1650 ish.

    You really have to be comfortable with a big neck, though. I went from a Classic to a Goldtop and now prefer the bigger profile.

    I only sold it to get into a burst (this R8)

    [​IMG]
     
  19. TNJ

    TNJ Gold Supporting Member

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    I dont know, but I think our own Lou V. is selling a fantastic R7 Goldtop Dark Back.
    Check the emporium...
    S.
    j
     
  20. Hamer95USA

    Hamer95USA Member

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    This is what you want:

    [​IMG]
    A '96 Les Paul Custom
    or this as an alternative:

    [​IMG]

    A '95 Hamer USA Studio

    Guitar George
     

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