Les Paul Vintage Mahoganey vs. Epi Elitist LP Standard Plus

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by morphthecat, May 15, 2008.

  1. morphthecat

    morphthecat Member

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    Help me decide. I am torn - I've heard great things about the LP VM and Elitist. I can get a really good deal on both, I've played the LP VM and it felt really good, I haven't been able to find the Elitist anywhere to play (but have read really good reviews).

    Here's the conundrum - i can get the Elitist for about $150 more than the LP VM - of course, i would have to order over the net to get the deal. I've heard the QC on the LP VM is spotty vs. much more consistent qc of the elitist.

    Which would you buy?
     
  2. biggreen

    biggreen Member

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    No question, I would buy the elitist. If it is a classic Les Paul sound you want then that one will fill the part better as it actually has the carved maple top, it looks way better IMO, plus I am not a fan of the vintage finish on the neck of the VM. I think the VM is a decent guitar for the price but if you are looking for a classic LP, a flat topped unfinished version likely won't fill that void.
     
  3. gkoelling

    gkoelling Member

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    The VM is not a flat top.

    It's all mahogany but it is a carved top.
     
  4. biggreen

    biggreen Member

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    Ah, true enough. Looks like a really good deal at $850 , but I would still personally prefer the Elitist.
     
  5. Mike9

    Mike9 Supporting Member

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    The Elitist's are more consistent in terms of build quality and are excellent guitars - very well crafted. That said the VM to get is an early model. I was told the first batch was made in the custom shop - can't verify that, but I had an early one and it was solid mahogany not chambered and it was a really nice Lester.

    The Elitist's have a slim taper neck vs the chunky '59 round back on the VM and the burst bucker pro's sound killer in an all mahogany guitar. The Elitist's have a bone nut vs Gibson's usual plastic one. Overall fit and finish is better on the Elitist too.
     
  6. echale3

    echale3 Member

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    It depends on what you want.

    The VM has a little darker tone than a regular maple capped LP with the same pickups, so if that appeals to you, go with the VM. It's basically a Black Beauty without the binding and full nitro finish. You get a killer set of pickups--Gibson BB Pros--in the VM, too.

    If you are looking for regular LP tones, then an LP with a maple top and Gibson pickups is what you should go for, and the Elitist would fill that bill a bit better, or a LP Studio would be perfect. The pickups in the Elitist are the 50SR/60ST. I've heard it said that they sound similar to the Gibson 490R/498T set you get in the LP Studio and LP Custom.

    I've played quite a few VMs and I've not found any QC problems with any of them, the lone exception being the pickup switch on a couple (mine included)--it just needs a tweak to the contacts with a screwdriver blade to fix it.

    The ultra-thin finish feels better to me than a full nitro finish, especially on the neck.

    BTW, Biggreen, the VM is a carved top LP, not a flat top--I'd say you are confusing it with the Faded Specials....
     
  7. biggreen

    biggreen Member

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    Ya, I was. Thanks
     
  8. oldrock

    oldrock Member

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    I had the VM and liked it alot. Only problem with it was mine was heavy. The newer ones are now chambered and alot lighter. Id suggest the VM since they are great guitars and have the added perk of great resale value. Especially if you catch them on sale.
     
  9. dave19er

    dave19er Member

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    I bought mine right when they came out several years back (August of 2004), and love it. I know a lot of people got heavy ones, but mine weighs in at 7.5 lbs, which makes it one of the lightest LPs I've ever come across, and I don't believe it's chambered (although that's certainly a possibility). I'd never heard that part about the first batch possibly being built by the custom shop - I'd love to find out more about that (and whether mine counts as the first batch - it was the first one that my Guitar Center had - they didn't even know they had it until I asked about whether they had any in stock. They didn't know what I was talking about, but turned out they had just received two.). I will say, though, that I played the two that Guitar Center had in stock at the time, and the fretwork was really sloppy on the one I didn't buy (which was why I bought mine - it's fretwork is really nice).
     
  10. Johnnytone

    Johnnytone Supporting Member

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    My local shop has a great, brand new VM for $699.

    I owned one for awhile and loved it, but the neck was juuust a little thin for my taste. So when the same shop got a 95 Studio in on trade, I was all over it.

    But I LOVED the VM sound, especially when distorted. Very "gritchy," for lack of a better term.
     
  11. frankencat

    frankencat Guitarded Gold Supporting Member

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    The VM is a very nice guitar. I had one and really liked it but I ended up selling it and getting a Reverend Roundhouse HB FM and I am WAY happy with it. :)
     
  12. echale3

    echale3 Member

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    Mine's pretty heavy, too. Something like 9.5-10 lbs on the bathroom scale, which may or may not be particularly accurate. It's certainly a lot heavier than the other VMs I've played recently. They were obviously chambered, I get a "thwock" noise when I tap the top, not the "thump" noise like I get from a non-chambered guitar.
     

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