What is the lowdown on these Edwards Les Paul guitars ?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by BryanMatthews, Feb 24, 2007.


  1. BryanMatthews

    BryanMatthews Member

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    Ive read posts with information about Edwards Les Paul guitars over at the Harmony Central forum and I see that requests for details about those guitars are becoming more prevalent here also.

    There are many cheap and cheerful LP knockoffs to be had , Hondo II etc etc , but do these guitars actually offer a reasonable equivalent to the genuine article, albeit at a fraction of the cost ?

    Bryan
     
  2. billstets

    billstets Member

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    I don't have any firsthand experience with Edwards. I'll give you my opinion, which is base don the fact that I have never played any LP copies but I've played and owned a lot of Japanese copies of stratocasters.

    I suspect that the Edwards LPs are good for the money. In my experience as you spend more and more money for a guitar, there is a diminishing return in terms of the extra quality you get. This is the same with many products, like high end stereo equipment. Is a $100 5-disc CD player good? Hell yeah. For the money, it's amazing. Is a $1,000 CD player better? Yes. 10 times better? That's questionable. In this context, I guess the Edwards LPs are great.

    However, there is a contingent on this board that so strongly hates Gibson that I'm sure you'll hear how the Edwards are vastly superior to Gibsons because Gibsons are just so bad....blah blah. I'm surprised they haven't jumped in to this thread yet, for the mere mention of the words "Gibson" or "Les Paul" is usually enough to have them descending like flies. Maybe they haven't had their coffee yet. Personally I think they're all full of crap, and have probably never played a real LP, or they'll never be able to afford one or maybe they're just stirring the pot. After all this is just an anonymous internet forum. Again, this is just my opinion.
     
  3. BryanMatthews

    BryanMatthews Member

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    I can hear what you are saying Bill, personally I own some Les Pauls and a few stratocasters , all US made, but tell ya what, Ive played higher end Japanese guitars such as Tokai LP120 or some MIJ 57 RI Stratocasters, and found them to be lacking in no way at all. The Korean Tokai LP`s id take a pass on , but once you step into the realms of LP85 and upwards, the value for money aspect just comes leaping into the picture.

    I wonder how an Edwards Les Paul fares alongside say Tokai LP85 Loverock ?

    Bryan
     
  4. kherman

    kherman Member

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    Edwards are made by ESP.
    www.espguitars.co.jp

    They are a very nice alternative to a Gibby Production guitar.

    If you want to get into the Gibby Historic range, you
    have to go with ESPs Navigator series.

    Most Edwards I've seen
    have been
    1 piece african mahogany back (sometimes 2piece)
    1 piece mahogany neck (Medium C shape)
    Tightly fit long neck tenon
    Indian rosewood fretboard (Ebony on the LPC replicas)
    Carved 2 piece plain maple tops (figured tops are a figured veneer over the plain maple carved top)
    Gotoh bridge and tuners.
    Real Duncan pickups.
    Synthetic mop inlays. (I actually like them more then the Gibby MOT inlays)
    Medium jumbo frets.
    Poly finishes (Lacquer Taste series have a lacquer final coat over a poly finish)

    I have the Edwards E-LP85CD- John Sykes Custom replica.

    I'm very impressed with the fit and finish of the guitar.
    Frets were perfect.
    Plays and feels great.
    Tone is more agressive because of the Duncan Distortions.
    So, it's more geared towards metal.
    Classic rock, you want to look at the regular 85CD or 90LTC series.

    The Edwards are very competative against the Epiphone Elitist or Tokai LP85 and and again a very good alternative to the Gibby Production guitars.

    They are made on the same assembly line as the ESP Standard series.
    Final dressing and setup are done on line.
    Where as the ESP Standards are done by another group.
    But, as I said, my frets were perfect on my Edwards.

    For me, I'm not a fan of nitro finishes.
    They just get too sticky and grimey feeling on me too quickly.
    So, the Edwards was the perfect alternative for me with it's poly finish.
     
  5. DWB1960

    DWB1960 Senior Member

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    Have owned and played many a LP thru the years. That being said I LOVE my Edwards. Not only cause it's an amazing "bang for the buck" guitar, but also cause it's an amazing guitar!

    [​IMG]
     
  6. ethomas1013

    ethomas1013 Supporting Member

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    Sure, there's Gibson bashers on this board just like there are Fender bashers, and PRS bashers, etc... I'm not one of them. I'm just looking for a good LP and I can't justify putting $4000 in a Historic R9. I bought and sold three USA LP Standards looking for the right one before trying my Edwards. IMO, the Edwards holds it's own against the USA Made Gibsons regardless of the price. The tone and playabilty is definitly there. In some regards it's better than a USA Gibson LP Standard due to the long neck tenon construction and non-weight relieved body. I don't want to start the long-neck tenon effect on tone argument yet again, but I don't think anyone would argue that its not a better construction technique than the method used for the USA Standards.

    Last week, I took my Edwards for a direct comparison to a friend's Gibson Historic 59 Reissue. We consider that guitar the standard by which we judge all other Les Pauls (he also has a '96 USA Standard and an Epiphone LP). For all we know his R9 is a dog comparred to other Historics because that's the only one either one of us has played. We played both guitars through an Alessandro Redbone, a Komet Concorde, and a Germino Club 40 into a 4x12 Marshall cab loaded with greenbacks.

    The Edwards held up better vs the R9 that both of us expected. The R9 was harmonically richer with more overtones and slightly more sustain. The R9 also had a touch more girth and definition in the low notes. The most significant thing we discovered was that the differences between the guitars were not evident when you listened to the other person play each guitar. It was something that you could "feel" when playing the guitar more than you can hear when listening. Overall, we decided that the R9 had some extra mojo that the Edwards does not have. There's no question that I would rather have his R9, but is that extra mojo worth another $3000? Only the individual buyer can decide. The audience sure can't tell the difference.

    I should also note that my Edwards has a WCR Goodwood in the bridge and Crossroads in the neck. Everyhing else is stock. The R9 has classic 57's in it.

    YMMV
     
  7. 56_Special

    56_Special Member

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    You have to judge every guitar on its merits. You can't just say that every Gibson is better than every Edwards. Some Gibsons (even Historics) are dogs. I'm sure some Edwards are too. I've never played a bad Edwards, but then again I've only ever played one! But based on my limited experience, I'd say that they aren't just good guitars for the money. They are just good guitars period.
     
  8. 56_Special

    56_Special Member

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    Thanks for that report! Very interesting. At the risk of repeating myself, every guitar is unique, so it would be a mistake to generalize too confidently from this experiement. For all we know, you have a terrible R9 and an exceptional Edwards. Then again, last week I played an old Tokai that blew away an R7. You just never know until you play them. That said, Japanese guitar makers (and all other Japanese manufactuers) are known for their quality control.
     
  9. ethomas1013

    ethomas1013 Supporting Member

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    I agree 100%. Each guitar is unique our comparison should be taken for what it is, not as a statement that applies to all R9's and Edwards models.

    I have used this same R9 as the measuring stick for every Les Paul that I have purchased. Out of the three USA LP Standards that went up against it, two of them were clearly outclassed. The third was very close in terms of tone, and I would have kept that one (which was a Faded Standard with WCR Filmore/Crossroads pickups) except I could not keep that guitar in tune and I grew to hate the bright yellow color of the stain on that one.

    Despite that fact that my Edwards came out very good in comparison to his R9, I am now debating whether to get an R7 or R8. There's no way I would look at another USA Standard instead of the Edwards, but I would be willing to pay the price of an R7 or R8 to gain the extra "mojo" that the R9 has. Unfortunately, there's no guarantee that I'll get an R7 or R8 that's better. GAS is a terrible thing....
     
  10. bigroy

    bigroy Member

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    I'm about 60 days into owning an Edwards LP Custom copy. Real Duncan pups, etc. My only complaint is the fret ends being pretty sharp (an easy fix) and a loose toggle switch. Outside of those two minor issues, a very well made, nice sounding guitar. Great value for the money, IMO.
     
  11. ford

    ford Member

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    That is a very nice looking guitar!
     
  12. LaXu

    LaXu Member

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    Does anyone else find the whole "real thing" stuff a bit silly? It's widely accepted that brands like G&L (Yes I know it's Leo Fender's brand but anyway), Suhr, Melancon etc. etc. produce quality strats and teles that are as good or better than anything from Fender, but at the same time high end Tokai, ESP Navigator and such are somehow not as good as Gibsons and the midrange ESP/Edwards, Tokai and so on guitars are not even worthy of competing with the Gibson LP Studios. To me that makes no sense whatsoever.

    My experience with Gibson, based on the examples in various stores here in Finland, has been that for guitars that mostly cost about 2000€ and up (Historics can go as far as 5500€ for a R9, that kind of money will easily buy you a Mad Professor amp plus tons of beer) they are inconsistently manufactured with flaws not found even in much cheaper guitars. Wrong neck angles, poor fretwork, poorly cut nuts, finish flaws ranging from binding overspray to orange peel effect...I had to go all the way to Japan to play my first GOOD Gibson (and it was a nice guitar). So I guess I'm a "Gibson basher" but I feel that it is not unjust. I'm just appalled how they can try to be a high end guitar manufacturer when their quality is often comparable to a cheap Korean axe. What I want to say is that if someone wants to buy a Gibson then by all means do, but don't be blinded by the brand name, don't buy one without trying if at all possible and also try the alternatives - you might find something similar but more suited to your needs. So there, that's my rant of the night.

    Personally I'd love to get an ESP/Edwards. I've already got an LP copy I'm rather happy with but wouldn't mind a lighter guitar. The ones I tried in Japan were a comfortable weight as well as being really good quality. Loved some of the more unique colors too. The ESP/Edwards are IMO the best LP copies you can buy as far as the quality-price ratio goes.
     
  13. vroom

    vroom Member

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    Grr... I'd love to make an Edwards my first LP, but don't want to spend the high shipping prices. How often does one go for under $500 total?
     
  14. kimonostereo

    kimonostereo Member

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    I've had a lot of Les Pauls throughout the years. To me, if it sounds good it is good. Doesn't matter whats on the headstock. The Edwards is my favorite Les Paul yet! It sounds good and it won't hurt my back playing it.
     
  15. fierce_carrot

    fierce_carrot Member

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    Gibson is the ONLY company that makes Les Pauls....

    Fender is the only company that makes Stratocasters...
     
  16. ethomas1013

    ethomas1013 Supporting Member

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    I don't think any one would argue that. Both companies are the only ones that own the right to put the name "Les Paul" and "Stratocaster" on the headstock. Everything else is a copy. Of course many would argue that the only "real" fenders were made before Leo sold the company to CBS, and the only "real" Gibsons were made in Kalamazoo Michigan, or that the only "real" PRS guitars were made in the old factory....

    The point is that there are copies that are as good as, and in some cases better than what Fender and Gibson is producing. If you must have the name Fender or Gibson on the headstock, then go get one. The only thing you have assured yourself of is better resale value and name recognition. The name alone does not guarantee a better guitar. Fender and Gibson make some fantastic guitars, and some real duds. I'm sure ESP/Edwards makes some real duds too. Just grab your axe and rock on! If it sounds good, it is good :dude
     
  17. TimH

    TimH Supporting Member

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    I bought my Edward LP about a month ago and would never look at a Gibson LP again. Is it as good as a historic LP? No. Is it as good or better than any production LP I've played? You bet your ass. For any dollar amount it's a GOOD guitar. For $600 USD used it's a flat out amazing deal.
     
  18. blueroommusic

    blueroommusic Supporting Member

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    Where can you buy an Edwards LP? And don't tell me ebay!
     
  19. BryanMatthews

    BryanMatthews Member

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    Do the Edwards Les Pauls have a volute on the back of the headstock or are they finished like regular gibsons ?

    Bryan
     
  20. ethomas1013

    ethomas1013 Supporting Member

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    No volute on the ESP Edwards line. It is my understanding that there is a volute on the lower budget Grassroots line.
     

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