many questions about Les Paul Customs and their ilk

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by rorschah, Aug 16, 2006.

  1. rorschah

    rorschah Member

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    It wasn't really on the radar before, but lately I'm leaning towards Les Paul Customs, for piano-like cleans and singing, long sustain-yness. There was an absurdly expensive vintage one in partiuclar that I dug. I liked it for having the clarity of tone that I normally associate with a good semihollow, but a super-long sustaining, singing, vocal, slightly nasal tone. Seems good for non-traditional jazz, and seems good for the kind of slow-motion noise. (After I starting getting into one at the store, I poked around and figured out that a lot of the noise-players I like - Boris' Wata, Sonny Sharrock - played Customs. I'd always assumed they were standards).

    I can't afford an old Gibby, so I'm probably going Japanese - Greco or Burny. Any tips? What makes a good Custom? Anything I should beware of?

    Also - any Custom-esque guitars? I don't need exact dead-on gibby replica, just something in this direction.

    -thi
     
  2. riffpowers

    riffpowers Member

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    I would say the main factor that sets a custom apart from a standard is the weight and the ebony board.
     
  3. rorschah

    rorschah Member

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    The Customs I played (I'm talking about the all-mahogany ones - are they all all-mahogany? The ones I played were. Maybe I'm using the wrong terminology?) seemed pretty distinct from the mahog-and-maple ones.

    Am I just screwed up on the terms?

    -thi
     
  4. whitehall

    whitehall Member

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    Orville,OBG,Greco,Burny, and were all made in the same place, of the same wood, by the same people. I've owned all of them and then some. They are all pretty similar to each other except the OBG- (Orville by Gibson) will have Gibson USA pups and their RI's tend to be more the weight I like- 8.8lbs. Some of the others can be real whoppers at 10 + lbs. They are all great guitars for the money. Prices seem to have leveled and in some cases dropped since I started buying them in 2001. If you want to be real savvy, go to Yahoo Japan. There's no shortage of them and the prices are much lower that the ebay dealers.
     
  5. Allthumbs56

    Allthumbs56 Member

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    I've got an 82' Tokai Love Rock Custom in wine red that is an absolutely fantastic guitar.
     
  6. michaelprice83

    michaelprice83 Member

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    Its always been my understanding that LP customs, because of their heavier bodies and ebony boards, are favored for really high gain applicatiosn
     
  7. WordMan

    WordMan Member

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    Are we talking humbuckers or P-90 + Alnico V? The AV sounds amazing clean - rich and 3D. Could do jazz nicely. The all mahogany body lends itself to a rich, mellow tone...

    Don't know if there are Japanese replicas of '54 BB's but assume there are - you might consider one of those...
     
  8. Miles

    Miles Member

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    I love Burnys, just utterlly fantastic guitars. Gibson customs are overrated and overpriced guitars in my opinion. If you can find one for cheap, congratulations. Otherwise, check out burny or tokai on ebay. I love Gibson, don't get me wrong, it's just not worth the $$ to spend on a custom to me.
     
  9. rorschah

    rorschah Member

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    We're talking humbuckers here. (I have p90's in a heavily chambered Guild Blues 90.)

    Wait - are Customs heavier or are they lighter?

    -thi
     
  10. michaelprice83

    michaelprice83 Member

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  11. mrfjones

    mrfjones Member

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    I am having a custom made guitar based on the 54 Custom but I am putting 2 p90's in there. I know just the sound you are looking for. I have considered getting another with humbuckers for just that reason but if you are looking for something under 2.5K i would go with a tokia. the ones i played felt really nice and had some decent pickups in there to start with. I would change the pickups anyway but they felt, played and sounded pretty good stock.
     
  12. jgyn

    jgyn Member

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    I like my LPC for jazz, of the early McLaughlin type.
     
  13. Catfish

    Catfish Member

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    The original Les Paul Customs (1954-1960) had all-mahogany bodies (mahogany top, instead of maple). They were intended to be the most upscale LP model, and were marketed as jazz guitars. As you noted, the mahogany top was intended to make the guitar more refined-sounding. Of course, this is largely a farce in retrospect- jazz guys rarely go for solidbodies- no matter what is done to "refine" them (i.e. also Fender's Jazzmaster, funny in retrospect, but not to Leo).

    Once reintroduced in 1968, the Les Paul Custom had a maple top, like other Les Pauls. This has been the case since, with the exception of small batches of reissues of the 1950s all-mahogany Les Paul Custom (there were a very small amount made in 1972-73 and they now make Historics of this type of guitar).

    Note: the all-mahogany Les Paul Customs are very different sounding than the maple-top LP Customs. I have a 1970 LP Custom (maple top) and a 1972 reissue of the 1954 LP Custom (mahogany top). The two guitars sound very different (and no, it's not just that the former has humbuckers and the latter has single coils).
     
  14. Fireball XL5

    Fireball XL5 Supporting Member

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    Regarding the weight issue...

    I'm talking Historics here.... but I think the only reason that most Les Paul Customs weigh on the heavier side is due to the fact that Gibson... for the most part, simply chooses to use the lighter weight mahogany for use on their more popular (and expensive) flametop Les Pauls like the R9's. Otherwise, no reason a Custom should weigh any more than a Les Paul with a maple top. My Tom Murphy aged Black Beauty Historic Custom weighs 8.8 lbs. which is light for a Custom and right in line with the average weight of an R9. So lighter Customs do exist but are a rarity as most weigh in excess of 10 + lbs.

    Tonally, the difference I hear between an all mahogany bodied/ebony board Les Paul Custom and a Les Paul Standard with a maple top/rosewood board is that.... the Custom has a stronger fundamental and a more midrange focused tone whereas the Standard has more highs and lows with less midrange focus. I also find that when played at high volumes a Custom has a more immediate attack to the note whereas a Standard has more give and compression to the attack. Very different... but both very cool IMO. :dude
     
  15. villager

    villager Member

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    orville by gibson do a all mahogany custom with an ebony board ...its the 93/94 model with fret edge binding...hard to find ..but lovely guitar
     
  16. deluxemeat

    deluxemeat Member

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    the japanese lps are really great and in a stack of great ones you will find plenty of gems at a fantastic pricepoint. i agree pricing is getting realistic now for the demand.
    not as low as it used to be and not pumped like only a yr ago.
    hunt around. too many folks wanna upcharge for being the middle man that brought the japanese guitar to the states.
    i also say dont be afraid to spend 125 for shipping from japan.

    for me- i'd rather spend the shipping costs from a japanese guitar seller who gets to play and buy plenty and sell good ones
    than buy one from an american who hasn't had their hands on many and may not have the best piece but is charging for the obscurity.

    a contact in japan doesn't hurt either.
    i see LOTS of ppl who sell a guitar on yahoo japan auctions for $115 usd and that same guitar gets sold on ebay in us for $800.
    it's kinda sick.
     
  17. sears

    sears Member

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    Most of the Japanese LP Custom copies come with rosewood and not ebony fingerboards.
     
  18. gassyndrome

    gassyndrome Member

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    Edwards;

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Tokai;
    [​IMG]
    Burny
    [​IMG]
     

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