Sub $700 Paul tone

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by lanesmat, Feb 28, 2006.


  1. lanesmat

    lanesmat Member

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    I would like some opinions on a how to spend fewer than 7 bills to get some classic Paul tone. I'm a Strat player, but I need some additional tone options that I can't get with my current stock of gits.

    I would prefer to keep within the maple cap, mahogany body, set neck, humbucker configuration. I know that many folks can get close to a Les Paul sound out of various axes depending on amp/effects, etc., but I want the guitar to get me there if you know what I mean. I like Paul tones ala Allman, Toy Caldwell, Barry Bailey. You know, that beautiful PAF clean/overdrive sound.

    PLEASE, let's keep this civil. I don't have any issues regarding cheap/expensive Les Pauls, copies, and imports. I would like opinions from Les Paul players on what low cost alternatives are out there that give the Paul "vibe". Low cost Gibbys, Epiphones, Tokais, Hamers, etc..

    Thanks much.
    Scott L.
     
  2. gls500

    gls500 Supporting Member

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    I got my Robin Avalon for $700, but good luck finding another one at that price! Amazing guitar for more than twice that.

    How about a Yamaha AES620? Epiphone Elitist Les Paul?

    The Washburn WI66 is a really nice guitar as well.
     
  3. SFW

    SFW Member

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    ESP LTD EC. I use on as a backup to my LP. Great guitars.
     
  4. discountsounds

    discountsounds Member

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    In my opinion, you can't do better for $700 than a USA made Hamer. When I saw your post, I immediately thought of the Special FM that was listed for sale here and on the Hamer Fan Club. Made in the USA, mahoghany body, Hamer's three piece set neck with rosewood fretboard, Duncan humbuckers, maple cap, strap locks, Schaller tuners and T-O-M bridge. Best of all, it's in a very cool trans green finish. The only difference between this guitar and a Les Paul is that the maple cap is flat, not carved. I doubt you'd find any Gibson this nice at that price and I'm surprised nobody's jumped on it yet.

    You can see the original posts on the HFC and here on TGP, but it's now listed on eBay. For what it's worth, the seller received some positive feedback from fellow forum-ites on the HFC.
     
  5. bluesbreaker59

    bluesbreaker59 Silver Supporting Member

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    1. Look for used Heritage 150CM's that are medium to light weight
    2. Used Gibson Les Paul Studio (you can find these with neck cracks for killer prices)
    3. Used Hamers
    4. Epiphones - but you need to do a lot of upgrades and play alot of them to find the right one.
     
  6. lanesmat

    lanesmat Member

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    Thanks for the suggestions. The most important thing is that does it have that Paul "vibe" and tone? I've played Hamers and they're one of the most comfortable playing guitars on the market, but they seem to have their own tone. Please correct me if I'm wrong on this.

    Thanks again.
    Scott L.
     
  7. discountsounds

    discountsounds Member

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    I guess the one other major difference I didn't mention was that the Hamer is a double cut whereas LPs are traditionally single cuts. Every guitar has its own tone (even among LPs), but I don't think the tone one gets from a Special FM is radically different from the tone one gets from a (decent) LP.

    As far as 'vibe' goes, that's very subjective. My definition of vibe may be different from yours, so I guess that's hard to answer. If you're looking for more of a cosmetic similarity, then you'd probably be better off looking for a knockoff from Epiphone or someone like that. If you're looking for tonal similarity, you cannot go wrong with Hamer.
     
  8. teestone

    teestone Mostly Regular Member Silver Supporting Member

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    Hey Scott...

    I recently picked up a 1992 Gibson Les Paul Studio...only payed $700 for it too. Sounds and plays like a Les Paul should....wonderfully! I know it's not sub $700 but it might be worth it to have the real deal. Food for thought....
     
  9. lanesmat

    lanesmat Member

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    Well, it's not an issue of cosmetics; Using the term "vibe", I was trying to make the distinction between humbucker guitars which are built similar to LPs that have their own sound as opposed to a guitar that sounds like a LP. Forget I used the word "vibe", that's my bad.

    I have thought about Studios, Hamer Specials, Love Rocks, Epi Elitists, etc.. guitars along these lines. To be quite frank, I've owned a Gibson Explorer, mahogany LP special, and a Tele with 'buckers, which I've traded or sold because they disappointed me when played clean. There's gotta be something out there that has a good clean LP tone with HBs.

    Scott L.
     
  10. gtrplayer23

    gtrplayer23 Member

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    Yamaha AES620. i love mine.
     
  11. Sparky6string

    Sparky6string Member

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    Every suggestion made so far is excellent. If you have the opportunity to get out and try these do it. Remember that you can always change out the pickups after your purchase. I recently changed the pickups in my Elitist for some Seth Lovers since I usually tend towards the classic sounds. Those are some sweet sounding pickups clean or dirty.

    Grecos and Burnys are very nice as well. I'd definitely check out some of the guitars suggested here that may not immediately come to mind when thinking of LPs, like the ESPs and the Yamahas. In reviews those guitars are praised quite a bit.

    I recently went for an Elitist though and I couldn't be more satisfied.
     
  12. RL in Fla

    RL in Fla Member

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    Also think about an Ibanez AR250 , although you didn't mention a particular neck profile . Ibby's are thinner (reeally close to a '60's profile) .
     
  13. CitizenCain

    CitizenCain Member

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    Les Paul Studio is the way to go. I bought a '92 a couple years ago for $650 with a case, exc condition. The early '90s models have an ebony fretboard, give you a little of the LP Custom vibe.
     
  14. jpage

    jpage Silver Supporting Member

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    Used Gibson Les Paul Studio. I really really tried to like the Hamers I've owned but they didn't do it for me at all. Definitely nothing like a Les Paul regardless. Smaller, completely different neck, different scale, etc.

    Remember--just because it has two humbuckers doesn't mean it can sound like a Les Paul.
     
  15. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Member

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    There are lots of Epi LP's in most stores, try a few.
    I have a 2002 and it sounds good, 100% stock.
    I don't actually use it for much but it was such a good deal.....GAS
     
  16. Disco Scottie

    Disco Scottie Member

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    Edwards Les Paul. They're easy to find on eBay, you should be able to get one shipped for just over your target price... probably around $775. They come stock with Seymour Duncan JB/59 pups, so you can hit the ground with good tone. I was lucky enough to pick one up slightly used for a steal at $600. Much, much, much better quality than any Epi I've ever played, and is as good or better than any number of Gibby LP Standards I've auditioned recently. Mine is a cherry sunburst. I like it so much, I'm thinking about getting a black Custom as well. It will definitely fill your LP needs!
     
  17. Gary Ladd

    Gary Ladd Member

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    I think for me the question is more like Sub Custom Shop/Historic tone...

    Everything else is a crap-shoot at best ;)
     
  18. EunosFD

    EunosFD Member

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    I 2nd that vote. In fact there's an Edwards LP Custom up for grabs in the For Sale section right now that should be right in your range.
     
  19. Riscchip

    Riscchip Member

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    Greco. The one I had was pretty much dead-on to a Les Paul in both tone and feel.
     
  20. jordanL

    jordanL Member

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    If you want something that sounds exactly like a Les Paul, save to buy a Les Paul. A guitars voice is the sum total of every aspect of its design: Pickup placement, neck angle, wood, scale etc. Anything else will sound similar, but not identical. For Me A Hamer FM fit the bill. Your Mileage may vary.
     

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