What Makes You Choose a Les Paul .....over an SG/335/Flying V/Explorer, etc??

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Metalex, Jul 29, 2018.

  1. Metalex

    Metalex Supporting Member

    Jan 30, 2009
    Delaware County, Pa.
    I have one of all of then, and I dig them all. There are obvious differences, but in all honesty, more similarities than not, when we're talking about the tone of these humbucker'd Gibsons.

    Why a Les Paul?

    It's obviously the most popular among them. It's the name that everyone knows.

    For a player, the weight, the mediocre upper fret access and the constant struggle not be too "woofy" on the neck pickup, or to get great cleans, would make you think the others might be more popular with players.

    For me, I'm starting to wonder if it's the history and iconic nature of the instrument, more than anything else, that makes me want to pick it up.

    Why do YOU choose the Les Paul?

    Just curious.
    stormtrooper likes this.
  2. Lt Dak

    Lt Dak Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2015
    In the trees
    I've been playing for 23 years, and at 15 total, the LP is the one I've owned and played the longest.

    I love strats, prs cu's, sgs, 335s, ibanez RGs, guitars in general. I'll have streaks with all of the above, but I inevitably come back to the LP. It was my main gigging and recording guitar for years. It's responsive, sounds and plays amazing, and I love the way everything about it feels.

    TBH, I've never had any of the issues you mention. I just got a second LP (w p90s), and both are under 9 lbs. I get around on the higher frets just fine, though I dont use the last 3 or 4 too much. I like the cleans using both pickups, adjusting volume to taste. I use fuzzfaces quite a bit too, and that's supposed to be a no-no.

    As far as popularity is concerned though, I think the SG is the top seller for gibson.
    Thumpalumpacus likes this.
  3. Coldacre

    Coldacre Member

    Oct 3, 2010
    because they sound better than any other guitar, period.

    I can get great cleans, no muddiness on the neck... its a comfortable weight for me and I like the shape.
    seward, EtaCarinae, TubeStack and 5 others like this.
  4. DrumBob

    DrumBob Gold Supporting Member

    May 25, 2008
    NW NJ
    The reasons I have a Les Paul Sunburst: Michael Bloomfield, Eric Clapton, John Sebastian, Keith Richards, Paul Kossoff. On top of that, they're beautiful to look at; sensuous, like a woman's body, and if there's flame on the top, that seals the deal.

    The reason I have a Les Paul Junior: Leslie West. He once said to me, "It's a tree with a pickup." Well said. One P90 is sometimes all you need.

    The reason I have a Les Paul Goldtop: I just love the look and the way it plays and sounds.
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2018
  5. cap10kirk

    cap10kirk Member

    May 9, 2015
    Mid-Atlantic US
    I hate how SGs hang on a strap. It's not an issue with neck dive (which seems to be most people's complaint, but I can fix neck dive), it's because of the strap button being on the back of the body by the neck heel and how that makes them want to roll forward constantly. I've tried to get used to it, but I just don't like it. I have the same issue with 335s, although the big body is also an issue for me, especially sitting down. I'm not that big of a guy, and they just feel awkward and huge on me. Explorers are ok. I don't have anything against them really, just not my favorite style. And as much as I like Flying Vs, every time I'm in the mood (and have the money) to buy one, I can't find one with a neck I like. Seems like all of them I can get my hands on have a thin neck, which is a deal breaker for me.
    Les Pauls are just the best fit for me, out of what Gibson has to offer. I really like the Norlin era pancake body Deluxes, so I don't mind the heavy ones, but my favorites are Juniors (can't have a useless muddy neck pickup when there's no neck pickup to start with). I like the balance of them, I like the shape of them. Upper fret access has never been an issue for me, I don't really go any higher than the 17th fret, and it's rare I get that high.
    Thumpalumpacus and Miracle Man like this.
  6. Kostas

    Kostas Member

    Aug 9, 2009
    Athens, GR
    The looks & tone. I like all the guitars of the title but Les Paul was my first love and still my favorite guitar. I like Black Beauties, Gold Tops, Sunbursts and every color burst. It's the most beautiful guitar, IMO. It has a bigger & thicker sound from the other Gibsons because of the thick body. I wouldn't mind a heel access but I don't play too much on the low frets and that's not an issue for me.

    If I had only one guitar it would be a Les Paul.
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2018

    BADHAK Member

    Apr 28, 2012
    For me........

    1. The control layout........everything falls under my fingers intuitively. Even the toggle switch is in the arc of my strumming motion.
    2. The tone.......I find it abit more interesting i.e. vocal and complex.
    3. Punch......into a crunching halfstack, the chunk of a LP Standard is undeniable.
    4. The way they hang on the strap.......the neck angle in relation to where the body sits.
    5. Looks.....a flame top LP is a thing of beauty and my 02 LP Standard + has one of the best tops I've ever seen. Also as a kid staring at posters of Jimmy Page and thinking that low slung LP is about the coolest thing I've ever seen.

    My 06 Faded LP Special with Pearly Gates solves any weight issues at about 7 pounds and has absolutely no issues with woofy neck pickup tone. And at 9 pounds, my 02 Standard is manageable with a wide, padded strap.

    Upper fret access is not as good but I honestly don't think about it much.
    HERSCHEL and Thumpalumpacus like this.
  8. Serenity

    Serenity Member

    Dec 15, 2012
    United Kingdom
    And this is the only major problem i have with Les Pauls, the damn switch is always getting in the way.
    stormtrooper and RyanPitch like this.
  9. Krausewitz

    Krausewitz Member

    Oct 27, 2010
    As a non-LP fan I’ll offer an opposing viewpoint: I’m mostly a clean player, so a LP never quite made sense for me. Fenders all day long, and a 335, but the LPs that’s I’ve tried always struggled clean.

    I have an SG for rock. It also doesn’t sound great clean, but at least it isn’t so thick sounding and is way cheaper than a Les Paul.
    msquared likes this.
  10. Oinkus

    Oinkus Member

    Nov 14, 2014
    Yorktown VA
    Had my LPC for 37 years never had a problem with cleans ? Mostly because it is a fantastic guitar that can do anything. A good part of the is how it is put together with long inserts and bushings in the tailpiece etc.
  11. wetordry

    wetordry Member

    Mar 8, 2015
    virginia mountains
    Have owned alot of les paul, firebird, sg in the past, but really converted fully to strats.
    In '15 when the features and pricing went loco, I decided I wanted a quality gibson again, if just to have one. Bought a 16 standard. Likely the last one I buy and the only one I need.
    It's a great guitar, and the only thing I've been playing for a few weeks, but still like my fenders.
  12. Buck Woodson

    Buck Woodson Supporting Member

    Jul 6, 2018
    The current Les Paul Standard has better high fret access. Jimmy Page's body of work has always made me want one.

    I think they are at their best paired with a Marshall amp and 1960 cab; but then I could say that about every other kind of guitar.
  13. bettset

    bettset Member

    May 17, 2007
    downtown UBFE
    the tone and how it sits on my shoulder. growing up it was the kinks with dave's one for the road tone. skynyrd with the 87 reunion tour. 38 special too. rossington's parts suited me perfect. that sustain/feedback. just a good full tone. a big part is that both of them used peavey's with their tones. i picked up a triumph.......got the tones pretty close :munch
  14. GuitarsFromMars

    GuitarsFromMars Member

    Jun 7, 2004
    playing in traffic...
    I have been a single cut guy for most of my life: Telecasters/T partscasters and Les Pauls since 1973. I finally brought some S partcasters into the fold for tonal variation, but mostly I love those singlecuts. I wobble on any given day, but I do like both.
  15. enharmonic

    enharmonic Old Growth Gold Supporting Member

    May 10, 2004
    Northern MD
    The 335 is my overall favorite Gibson, but I choose Les Paul’s because I like the way they feel and look. They can also take higher gain a bit better than a 335, though I’ve dialed that back considerably over the years.
  16. Mike Duncan

    Mike Duncan Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 11, 2002
    LOCO, NoVA, US
    Les Pauls look cool. The others don’t.

    *Look at my apostrophe usage. That’s how it’s done.
    smallbutmighty and HERSCHEL like this.
  17. Christopher Ramirez

    Christopher Ramirez Member

    Oct 27, 2017
    Kenosha Wisconsin
    I choose les pauls over other gibson guitars because they look amazing (to me). You have to play to its strengths though... you can't play one expecting it to do what other guitars do. For me I just crank whatever amp I have and work the volume and tone pots to get the sounds I want. Usually on my strats I hardly ever touch the pots but on my les paul I get so much out of the guitar without touching the amp ever.
  18. joeshmoe69

    joeshmoe69 Member

    May 13, 2017
    I wanted a LP because of Jimmy Page.

    But once I played/bought one I discovered for myself
    that its the perfect electric guitar.

    The tone, feel, playability, and great look is what sold me.

    They stay in tune great too.

    rauchman and cheetah77 like this.
  19. Benz2112

    Benz2112 Supporting Member

    Jul 11, 2017
    Utica, NY
    For my needs, I'd rather have a 335
  20. 27sauce

    27sauce Member

    Mar 3, 2010
    San Antonio
    Actually, the SG is the most popular of the group.

    Why do I choose a Les Paul? My first real guitar was one and I got used to the shape/layout. The toggle switch is in the “right” spot for me.
    rauchman, BADHAK and nomadh like this.

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