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A Real Les Paul: What Am I Missing Out On?

Discussion in 'Guitars' started by GuitarIV, Dec 11, 2019.

  1. tce63

    tce63 Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    My Traditional -19 and my R5

    2019-09-11 14-21-23.jpg
     
  2. Matthews Guitars

    Matthews Guitars Well-Known Member

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    To me, the attraction of a real Gibson is just the same as the attraction of having a real Marshall Superlead rather than any of a great many clones made by many companies and individuals. The clone Plexi may really sound just as good and may be identical in almost every detail. But there's something about having the real thing. There's something about owning the legend rather than a copy of it.

    In my own case, my LP is one that I made with my own two hands, just one of maybe 25 guitars I've built over the years. It's not a precise LP replica,
    but I can't make and sell them to others as that would put me on shaky legal ground. But mine is customized exactly the way I'd ask Gibson's custom shop to customize one for me if I were to decide to spend that much money to have someone else make what I'm fully capable of making.

    My LP is an instrument that I'll stand up against any Gibson LP for a tonal comparison. It sounds RIGHT and better than most real LPs I've tried, with a neck
    that is truly perfect for my tastes. And why shouldn't it be? I made it.

    But i still want to add a very good genuine Gibson LP to my collection. I want to own the legend there, too. Given that I prefer slimmer necks, I'm always on the lookout for the right R0.

    I had a PRS singlecut, it was an employee guitar, made at PRS for an employee, and it was a fantastic guitar in its own right, and it was beautiful and its workmanship was absolutely faultless. But I eventually sold it because it didn't actually light my fire. It was a guitar I appreciated for its quality, but as a tone machine it wasn't quite a match for its price tag. I suspect that changing to better pickups would have helped but I didn't bother.
     
  3. jmp45

    jmp45 Well-Known Member

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    Very cool Mitch. I have stock pups in the 2012 Traditional, 59 and JB in the other. Really like the stock pups in that Traditional. No need change them.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Mitchell Pearrow

    Mitchell Pearrow Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    True on that, I too love the way they sound..
     
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  5. Deep Purple fan

    Deep Purple fan Well-Known Member Platinum Supporting Member

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    I definitely don’t see the connection of a heavy guitar and sustain or quality at all. When I shop for a Les Paul or strat, especially a vintage one, I run like hell from the really heavy guitars. I’ve own several fantastic Les Paul guitars and the sweet spot for me is in the 8 pound area for a standard. The wood used when the guitar is manufactured is really the issue.

    To the OP’s question, from personal experience, there are several factors that go into a great Les Paul for me:

    1. The feel of the instrument in your hands is key. The shape of the neck is important. The weight of the guitar. My best Les Pauls are about 8 1/2 pounds. Any thing approaching 10 pounds I usually don’t bond with. All my Les Pauls are a bit different but there is a commonality that makes Les Paul’s unique. Before I first plug any guitar it has to feel right when holding it. I then play it unplugged and I found the really resonate guitars usually sound great when plugged in. My observations are heavy weight, you know the 10, 11, 12, 13 pound guitars, are not necessarily resonate.

    2. Tone - let’s face it..... rock n roll sounds great when a Les Paul is plugged into a good tube amp. From time to time I play Hendrix or Blackmore tunes, that is tunes that the original artist used a strat. Playing tunes like Purple Haze with a LP is a boatload of fun. I will say, of the three criteria, tone is the one area other brands can match.

    3. Last in line is appearance. I love how a Les Paul looks.

    Other brand “single cut” Les Paul style guitars are something different. I’m not saying they don’t look, sound or feel great. I almost bought a Carvin Custom Shop SC. It was a work of art but it was something different. I bought R8 instead. I have a PRS USA 58 single cut guitar that tries to be as close to a Les Paul as possible. It plays and sounds great but it ain’t a Les Paul. PRS even went so far as to buy a Gibson 58 burst era guitar and used the tone of the pickups and the shape of the neck as the base line. The craftsmanship is magnificent and I enjoy the guitar but it does not rival Les Paul’s.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2019
  6. G the wildman

    G the wildman Well-Known Member

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    So, I am pretty much a strat player. I have two good models and they are both so different. One sounds awesome to me! The other plays easy.

    I also have a Gibson pro junior this is not your average studio and I am told it sounds as good as any Standard. BUT it is not a standard and I wish I had bought a standard but because I am drawn to strats that is not going to happen.

    My pal just offered me a PRS Santana sort of thing. Cost £4000 ish new. It is unplayed and leaves my LP standing he said I could have it for £2200. But isn't it a LP in drag. Anyway I declined. I think I prefer the chime of a less Paul.

    G
     
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  7. Dean Swindell

    Dean Swindell Well-Known Member

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    Some random thoughts; I had a wonderful Les Paul When I got my S.G. They can fill the same slot musically but for the player they are very different. Go try some Les Pauls in the stores to see how they make you feel. Try any kind they have, Custom, Special, junior. I've seen Blues played beautifully on every kind of guitar. Recently I've been interested in some ESP's. Your setup looks really great. Sweet guitar.
     
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  8. SLA

    SLA Active Member

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    I had the real thing (I thought anyway), several Gibson Les Pauls from the 90-2000 era, and did also a lot of optimising with better pickups, bridge etc to them, to what I grew to understand was the "real" real thing, an 50´s les paul. After I got my hands on an MIJ Burny from mid 80´s everything changed, it was the first LP type guitar where I didnt have to do anything but playing, absolut perfekt. some years later and going thru Orvilles, Grecos and more Burnys I only have old MIJ Burnys and Grecos left, the Gibson standards are all sold and gone..
     
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  9. Derek S

    Derek S Well-Known Member

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    Beauties!! I do like the look of them sans the pickguard (I know that can be a touchy topic among LP purists lol), removed mine day one.
     
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  10. BftGibson

    BftGibson Well-Known Member

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    Been enjoying t-buckers lately. All stock Optimized-PL (4).jpg
     
  11. Lespaul48

    Lespaul48 Member

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    First I want to say...if you are happy with what you have and like what you are playing then that is all that matters. Myself...I am a Gibson fan and pretty much play only my Les Paul. I do bring out my SG often, but end up grabbing the LP back outta the case. But again...its what feels comfortable in my hands. I also played other guitars in the beginning but I was never able to get the thought of owning a true Les Paul out of my head. I guess a lot had to do with the name on the headstock and also the artists that inspired me to play did it on a Les Paul. And regardless of what anyone will tell you, there is this feeling of knowing you are playing a Les Paul that just cant be explained. At least to me anyway. But again...I am sure others have that same feeling when they pick up their Ibanez. So for real...at the end of the day it doesn't matter what you are playing as long as what you are playing brings that magic to you.
     
  12. KISS NATION

    KISS NATION Well-Known Member

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    As much as I kind of agree with you, how can you run like hell from a vintage guitar that is too heavy? OK so there will be some slight weight differences due to the density of the wood, but the majority of vintage guitars are going to be heavier than their modern counterparts as they never bothered with weight relief. Not just because the companies making them wanted their guitars to be heavy, but because it was an extra costly process that isn't really needed.
     
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  13. ssolo8

    ssolo8 Member

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    First of all I have to say, your ESP is beautiful! Secondly I'd like to say, once you play a guitar with Superior design, like ESP has, the only reason to buy a Les Paul is for historical value, or a financial investment. Because of the history of the guitar they retain their value. As far as playability, ESP has better weight, better cutaway, better neck joint, better headstock angle, better electronics, and better cosmetics. All at a FRACTION of the cost of a Gibson. There's really nothing more to say. This of course is merely my own practical view of the situation.
     
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  14. ssolo8

    ssolo8 Member

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    True! When you have a nice flame top they look better without a pickguard. When they're solid colors I like them with the pickguard.
     
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  15. ssolo8

    ssolo8 Member

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    While you may be a big, strong, strapping, young lad, after three decades of strapping on heavy mahogany bitches my spine compressed and started pinching my median nerve which caused my picking hand to blow out for over a year. So, to some it is necessary, and I also run like hell from heavy vintage instruments.
     
  16. ssolo8

    ssolo8 Member

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    So true! The magic from the music flows when you are completely at ease and happy with whatever you're playing. And at the end of the day opinions only really relate to the person giving them.
     
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  17. Mitchell Pearrow

    Mitchell Pearrow Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    Mine have never been on, and I am not going to drill and attach them.
    Cheers
     
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  18. GuitarIV

    GuitarIV Well-Known Member

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    Woah guys, this thread has blown up!

    I gave in and bought an Orville LPC:

    481_97184394.jpg

    Should be here hopefully this week. It certainly delivers the looks and being a Gibson licensed MIJ build I sure hope it won't dissapoint in regards to playability and tone. I'll keep you posted.

    I will still save up for a proper Gibson, but for now this will have to do :)
     
  19. SLA

    SLA Active Member

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    Beautiful! Seems to be an Fujigen made, than it also should have an long tenon (like 50´s Gibsons and customshop), had several of them, cool looking badas custom. Personally I prefer Burnys and Grecos but thous Orvilles are great, and better than the Gibson standard, classics and traditional I had in playability..you might want to change the pickups thou..
    and save up for an american Gibson and get that out of our system..dont sell your other guitars when you do it, after the first months your maybe selling the Gibson again. It took me years of always having an Gibson at hand and searching for a better one, while I at the same time had great MIJ guitars around wich the Gibsons never really could compete with..but hey, I tried..now I'm free of the "name on headstock"-spell

    weight - heavy Gibsons are from the 70's up to weightrelief days and customshop, not the "old" ones (50`s) (all my MIJ are ca 4kg)
    ESP/Gibson - its true that the Les Paul is an old construction and there are better ones for playability, for me..im still under the "LP" - spell

    you get more info about Orville and other MIJ on the forums on MyLesPaul under other singelcuts.

    Trivia:
    Most of the MIJ Les Pauls are blueprinted of an 1958 Gibson Les Paul that Tokai bought in the late 70´s

    Slashs most famous les pauls are not Gibsons, but replicas

    Burny:

    [​IMG]

    Greco:
    [​IMG]

    Burny custom:
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2020
  20. WellBurnTheSky

    WellBurnTheSky Well-Known Member

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    Taking Slash's Derrig as an example of LP replicas is sorta incorrect, as it is a luthier built guitar. It has little in common with Grecos or Burnys. The most comparable current thing I can think of would be Gil Yaron's LPs. Which are WAY pricier than any MIJ LP knockoff (or than most CS Gibbies, too).
     

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