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I Love the Ergonomics of a Strat....but the Tone of a LP. What Do You Recommend?

pcutt

Member
Messages
1,751
After years of playing and owning various guitars, including SGs, LPs, 335s, Superstrats and Fender Strats, I've come to the conclusion that I like the ergonomics of a Strat but the tone of an LP. I like the way the Strat feels, the way it is balanced, where the controls are, how the neck feels, where the bridge is relative to the curves and straps, where the curves are relative to my arm. In general, this is the physical layout for me.

What Strat/pickup combination would get me closest to an LP from a tonal perspective?

Thanks and Happy New Year!
 

silentbob

Member
Messages
1,419
Custom strat, mahogany body/neck, rosewood fretboard and a pair of PAF style pickups. I'd probably go hardtail on it too since you'll be calling the shots. I don't know of anything off the shelf that will work. I'm in the same boat and have been looking into something similar.
 

plan-x

Member
Messages
2,356
+1 on the custom strat. The strat's feel is unique and PRS's don't cop it. The strat's neck is different in radius and scale.
 

tnvol

Ufologist
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,929
I'd slap together a nice Warmoth with some beefy humbuckers. That should get you in the ballpark. You might have to experiment with pups but that is a step in the right direction in my opinion.
 

Spider-Man

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,793
If you want "authentic" Les Paul tone, I suggest buying a LP and learning to live with the Ergonomics of the LP. It definitely takes some getting use to for a Strat guy, but in the end nothing sounds like a LP except for a LP... There are many other things that sound close, but whether it is close enough for you is a matter of personal preference.

PRS makes guitars just for you.
I like the CE22 with a tremolo and 3-way switching when it comes to a PRS. The bolt on maple neck and the ergonomics feel right at home to a Strat guy like me. The 3-way switch and the humbuckers give it a bigger tone, closer to a LP than a Strat. With the intermediate scale length and the bolt on neck, low notes with the neck pickup retain the clarity and a bit of the snap that you get from a Strat or Tele.

The Swamp Ash Special is another popular choice for Strat guys looking to a PRS for beefier tones.

IMO, the PRS closest to a LP is the SC245. But I would never buy a PRS chasing LP tone. It's not there. Buy a PRS because you like it and want the tones it delivers. A PRS sounds like a PRS (which is a good thing).

How about a Tele-Paul of some sort? Mahogany body Tele with two humbuckers?
 

JimLamme

Member
Messages
121
Tom Anderson Cobra S comes to mind. Mahogany body with maple top. Mahogany neck with rosewood fretboard (i think). 2 hubmbuckers. Fixed bridge or vintage trem. Short scale.
 

David Garner

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
7,120
IMO, the PRS closest to a LP is the SC245. But I would never buy a PRS chasing LP tone. It's not there. Buy a PRS because you like it and want the tones it delivers. A PRS sounds like a PRS (which is a good thing).
I think it may be the closest in feel to a LP, but to my ears, the DGT (color me biased) sounds more like a good LP than any PRS out there. The control layout on the DGT is more LP than Strat, but it's more Strat than the SC245 or any other PRS SC, and it is a doublecut.

Having said that, I tend to agree with the rest of your post. You won't really get a Strat to sound like an LP, so the best bet is to find an LP (or an LP-esque guitar) you like and play it until you get used to it. I have no trouble switching between the PRS and a Tele as far as control layout, feel, etc., but that's because I play both of them a lot.
 

epluribus

Member
Messages
9,170
Agreed that you need an LP to nail LP sound. But if you're happy getting really close in order to get the ergonomics...an old Westone Spectrum or Concorde, esp the later models with the lighter tail on the body. Yank the stock pups out and experiment with some good HBs top and bottom--remarkable. Soundwise, it beats a PRS IMHO.

--Ray
 

Spider-Man

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,793
I think it may be the closest in feel to a LP, but to my ears, the DGT (color me biased) sounds more like a good LP than any PRS out there. The control layout on the DGT is more LP than Strat, but it's more Strat than the SC245 or any other PRS SC, and it is a doublecut.
We'll have to disagree on that. I had an SC245 for about a year, and I compared it to a couple different Historic Les Pauls on a few occasions. There's something in the 24.5" scale length that the longer scale length PRS (and Fender) guitars cannot duplicate. A low end "growl" that is not there in the other PRSi.

I have played a friends DGT a few times side by side with a McCarty and an couple different LPs. I didn't think the DGT was very LP like, but I was a little biased against it because I did not like the neck size, the frets, the control layout, or the pickups. YMMV.....
 

David Garner

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
7,120
We'll have to disagree on that. I had an SC245 for about a year, and I compared it to a couple different Historic Les Pauls on a few occasions. There's something in the 24.5" scale length that the longer scale length PRS (and Fender) guitars cannot duplicate. A low end "growl" that is not there in the other PRSi.

I have played a friends DGT a few times side by side with a McCarty and an couple different LPs. I didn't think the DGT was very LP like, but I was a little biased against it because I did not like the neck size, the frets, the control layout, or the pickups. YMMV.....
....and the things you mention primarily (excepting only the pickups) have to do with the way the guitar feels, not sounds.....

But tone is definitely subjective, so I do agree to disagree. The SC245 is certainly a fine instrument.
 

buddastrat

Member
Messages
14,689
Been down that road many, many times. I too find the strat the ultimate in comfort and for feel. I like the shape, scale, balance etc.. But I've found nothing sounds like a good LP. Guitars I tried, as I was trying to find that combination were Brian Moores with mahogany bodies, Ernie Balls, PRS McCartys and regulars. None sounded as rich as the LP historics I compared.

I haven't tried these newer PRS styles, but the original styles don't sound like an LP. Never tried the Cobra either, that sounds interesting.
 

Garygtr

Almost as good!
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
7,440
Hamer Talledaga Pro, although the controls are laid out like a Gibson:

 

treeofpain

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
7,330
I have a Thorn R/S. It is a strat with a hum in the bridge. Very fine guitar, but the hb does NOT sound like a Les Paul. I have owned other strat-style guitars with hums in the bridge position, and they NEVER sound like a LP.

I think you would do better to find a LP type guitar with refinements for ergonomics rather than a strat with a hum.
 

Jack Dotson

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,157
Nothing sounds like a LP but a LP. I bought one of the now discontinued Tele's with the mahogany body with maple cap, ebony FB and two HB's hoping for a LP sound, but with the Tele ergonomics (these also had the contoured body). Didn't sound a thing like a LP no matter what PU's I used. I've also owned several PRS' and have played just about all of them; none sound like a LP.
 

bluesking55

Member
Messages
1,598
bolt on neck compared to set neck. tried for over 40 years, had every combinnation,, get a chambered les paul, scale lenght has alot to with it
TA Cobra,yes it awesome but too rich for my blood
 

Pablo

Member
Messages
432
A massive part of the Les Paul sound is the combination of a fixed bridge and the 24,75" scale length. If you have an unused Strat laying about, you might consider buying a conversion neck from Warmoth and adding a pair of PAFs.
 




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