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Talk me into or out of buying a Les Paul

readymade

Member
Messages
1,198
I have had ridiculous and inexplicable Les Paul GAS lately. It's a guitar I've never really bothered with for whatever reason (a reason that really kind of eludes me at this point). I mostly know about them and have very little direct experience with them; they've simply never been on my radar, and none of my guitar player friends have ever owned one. I know what you're going to say: "go play some and decide for yourself." And I will, of course. But I'd like to establish a thread that consolidates the pros and cons of Les Pauls (and yes, I'm familiar with the search function here :p).

For the record, I'm primarily a Tele player. I have a great K-Line Tele and an Elitist Casino, both of which I love dearly. I'm a huge fan of 60's soul, 60's garage/Brit Invasion/freakbeat/etc, and 70's punk. AC30's are my favorite amps. Link Wray, Steve Cropper, Townshend, Keith Richards, Chuck Berry, and Dave Davies are, among many others, my guitar heroes.

So what say you, TGPers?

(Oh, and thanks, of course!)
 

dspellman

Senior Member
Messages
8,308
Depends on what you want.
I've overdone my guitar buying recently and I still have to buy a Tyler/Variax 59 (*sort* of an LP type). But if I were forced to buy an LP tomorrow, it would not have "Gibson" on the headstock unless it were over $3K or older than 30 years. Even then it would have a Floyd, a tummy cut and an Axcess type neck heel (and probably a slimmed-down neck and a slightly wider fretboard.

That said...If you want a very traditional LP type guitar, I'd suggest checking out the Edwards and Tokai versions; in the under-$3000 category, they produce a better guitar than Gibson for the money. Woods are better, build quality is better, frets are better and I think the sound quality is better. Over $3000, Gibson has their *real* Custom shop paying attention and producing some nice guitars.

If you want something a bit different, with a softer neck heel, a slightly thinner body, a 25" scale and some really fancy woods, check out the Carvin CS series. Extremely wide options list and your guitar will be YOUR guitar and in your hands within a few days after completion, with better fretwork than any Gibson under $3K.

From there (and still under the $3K mark) there are a long ton of custom builders (including some who post here) who can build you a guitar that will knock your socks off and sound amazing and which will still produce a very identifiable LP sound.

If you're not caring about the Gibson headstock, you have a very wide range of options. I spec'd out a guitar with neck-through construction, no neck heel, a tummy cut, a tight quilt 3/4" maple top, binding on body, headstock and neck, ebony fretboard, 16" radius, a thin/wide neck, abalone block inlays, a Floyd, a Fernandes Sustainer, a Chandler Tone-X, a master volume control moved to near the bridge and bridge pickup live, a master tone control, a kill switch, a pickup selector poker chip that says "Bitch/Moan", a carved-down neck/body join, a DiMarzio Fast Track II in the neck and a modified 9+KOhm '57 in the bridge. Came in under (but not a LOT under) the $3K mark. If I'd wanted "Gibson" on the headstock, I'd be paying well over $6500.
 

tnt365

Member
Messages
3,044
I just bought a heritage les paul and its the only guitar I've ever truly felt I want to keep forever.
 

Phil M

Shapeshifting Member
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
11,704
Whatever you do, DO NOT buy a Les Paul. You've been warned...
 

Phil M

Shapeshifting Member
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
11,704
...there, did I talk you out of it?

Sorry, they are my favorite guitar on earth. I think you should get one at all costs, just try before you buy.
 

stratzrus

Philadelphia Jazz, Funk, and R&B
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
22,900
I think a LP would provide a nice contrast to your Tele.

I'm traditionally a Strat player and I bought my first LP to provide some contrast when multitracking. I don't play it much but I love it for what it does.

If you do decide to get a Gibson I'd get a used one but be sure to play it first, the non-custom shop ones are very inconsistent.
 

Goldstrat

Member
Messages
1,165
Play many and you will know when you found the right one. I had like 4 or 5 historics and they were all different. I finally got by buds R7 Goldtop by trading him a nice Super Reverb. It is the one! The others were bright, dark, heavy, light and all sounded different.
 

FennRx

Member
Messages
1,450
the gibson les paul is my favorite of all guitar designs, even with the weight and poor fret access. My 58 reissue is the best sounding guitar i have ever played. i've owned strats, teles, jacksons, and SGs, but all of then went eventually to fund my Historics. :JAM

and with the used market bottoming out, there are KILLER deals to be had on custom shop guitars.....R9s under $3k....forgetaboutit.

 

Ding_Zai

Member
Messages
138
Les pauls are overhyped marketing tools of Gibson which charge crazy prices to lure TGPers. It's a heavy ass, poor upper fret access guitar of inconsistent quality. Do not buy it at all cost!
 

indravayu

Senior Member
Messages
1,715
I used to avoid LP's for years - was mainly a Strat & Tele guy, occasionally dipping into SG and 335 territory. A couple years ago I bought my first LP-style guitars - a Tokai and Edwards LP - which I liked, but had to sell for various reasons. The LP bug hit me, though, and by this past Sept. I sold off all of my electric guitars, with the exception of an Eastwood 12 str., and purchased two Gibson Les Paul's (Traditional Plus and a 50's Tribute). I having a blast playing them!
 

custom53

Member
Messages
4,746
Life is too short to never experience a Les Paul.
^

Yep... From your current lineup and music you like, you are not describing any reason to go the way of a Les Paul.... But you really should play a few before deciding... (quite a few)...

Completely different sound than what you play. Most (at least all of mine) are way heavier than your Fenders...
 

schundog

Member
Messages
227
I have a 1994 Gibson Les Paul Classic that I bought used several years ago; Cool guitar, great example of an LP, true Rock and Roll. That said, I reach for my Heritage H-155 more often, an LP-like guitar, but chambered Maple, with Seth Lover pickups. Not really a fair comparison, but you owe it to yourself to check out a Heritage H-150 when you are looking for LP types. If only Gibson will do on the Headstock for you (not judging, I HAD to have one, too) then just get a Gibson Les Paul Standard or above and be done with it. Epiphone, Agile, etc, will NOT scratch the itch if you are set on a Gibson. Ask me how I know.....
 

bynapkinart

Member
Messages
378
I'm probably going to be burned at the stake for this, but I do not and have never enjoyed playing a carved top Les Paul of any variety...I've played the Supremes, R9, R8, R0, Standard, Traditional....basically every single one, trying to find one that spoke to me in some way. The closest I got was an R4 I played once that sounded killer, even though it felt shady.

That being said, I LOOOOOOVE Les Paul Juniors and Specials. It is probably the fact that both come stock with P90s, but they are fantastic guitars and feel like they were built to be played, not looked at. I still have nightmares about a Les Paul Doublecut Faded I passed on about 3 months ago because I didn't have the money. I cannot find a guitar that just sounds as cool and fun as that one was to play. It was almost as fun as my Casino!

I currently have my eyes on an SG Classic, which leads me to the conclusion that the reasons I don't like Les Pauls are the bling, the weight, and the humbuckers.
 




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