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Inform me as a potential Les Paul buyer.

Discussion in 'Other Guitar Discussion' started by AfroBill, Nov 10, 2018.

  1. AfroBill

    AfroBill Strat-Talker

    Apr 7, 2017
    I own six Strats, so I’m keeping this here instead of delving into whatever Les Paul forums are out there. I love my Strats. Especially my thicker neck reissues.

    I don’t know much about Les Pauls other than I think if I got one, I would get a Standard or Traditional. Are there any Les Paul experts here? What should I look for to potentially purchase. Are any years better than others? Do they have different neck profiles? Different factory pickups between models? These are just the questions I can think of right now. If you can share any other info to a potential LP owner, please do. Thanks.
    abnormaltoy, Bcorig and circles like this.
  2. Paperback Rocker

    Paperback Rocker Nitro-mancer Strat-Talk Supporter

    Sep 18, 2014
    Lewisville, TX
    My recommendation would be to consider a 335. Very similar sound, but lighter. Easier to play sitting down.

    Traditional Pros are extremely heavy. I had one, and it was just too much.

    60s neck profile is slimmer, but still beefy. 50s neck profile is huge feeling to me, and I like a beefy neck on a Strat.

    57 Classic pickups are more articulate than Burstbuckers in my opinion.
    Stratoman10, abnormaltoy and Jamie_H like this.
  3. 3bolt79

    3bolt79 Strat-O-Master

    Oct 16, 2018
    Tacoma in two weeks
    I would say just don’t get one with the G Force tuners, and make sure that the frets aren’t crowned flat. With the flat frets, once the neck moves a little due to changes in temperature/humidity, the string can make contact with the back edge of the fret, and not the front, like it is supposed to, and you won’t be able to play your D chord in tune. I had one that the neck required constant adjusting of the truss rod. It was a total PIA.
  4. Silvercrow

    Silvercrow Senior Stratmaster

    Nov 6, 2014
    Bucks County, Pa.
    Good info already posted above ^

    The 335 is a semi-hollow body. Sweet sounding but everything comes with a price / compromise. I'm no semi- hollow aficionado though.

    Les Paul: Standard is the "flagship" model; asymmetrical neck, usually heavy weight. Having said that they do vary- you'd have to hoist a few- preferably play with it for a while on a strap. 10 lbs.+ can get very heavy.

    There are varying types of weight relief. Some more effective than others.

    Besides the Standard, there is the Vintage, Classic, Historic, Custom, Deluxe, Supreme, Elite, plus a plethora of lesser grade models (still good-not knocking them) Studio; Tribute et. al.

    I did not read this entire article but it may get you going / headed in the right direction:

    ALSO peruse the Gibson website- lots of good reading there too:

    I'm not an expert- having become a "LP" guy within the past five years or so. But I have a Classic and a Studio, both of which I absolutely love!

    Best wishes and have fun on your "quest". It'll be worth it, IMO.

    PS- IMO- I agree with @3bolt79 ; I had a G-Force tuner equipped guitar for a few weeks. I didn't like those tuners at all.

  5. joebloggs

    joebloggs Strat-Talker

    Jun 18, 2017
    The backyard
    The 2016 models are high quality and very well liked/reviewed. The 2016 Studio that I own has a 59 neck profile, which is very comfortable for me. I believe that the 2019 models have a slimmer neck....same as the bet would be to try one of the new ones and go from there.
  6. Tom Cat Strat

    Tom Cat Strat Strat-Talker

    Jun 3, 2018
    New York
    Get an SG.

    Seriously, the SG is the better guitar. Better tone, better looks, it's a hell of a lot cheaper. LP Standards or Traditionals will cost you three thousand dollars. The Gibson Standard SG costs half of that ($1,400 right now) and it is a legendary, fantastic guitar.

    Can you explain why it must be a Les Paul? If there's a deep personal reason, then fine. But you must know that the SG is everything the Les Paul half the price! And don't worry about the dreaded Gibson quality control that is the talk on guitar forums. Gibson makes a superb guitar.

    Here's mine. Great guitar and I sure am no Gibson guy (Rickenbackers and Fenders are my thing).

  7. Namelyguitar

    Namelyguitar Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jun 3, 2009
    Mobile Bay
    There's quite a few Les Paul players, and owners on ST. Some of them have similar shaped guitars made by a variety of manufacturers, too.

    Enjoy your search!
    abnormaltoy likes this.
  8. Smylight

    Smylight Strat-Talk Member

    Dec 2, 2017
    I beg to differ, Rocker. Les Pauls sing whereas 335s scream. That's the best way I can describe it. IMHO, SGs are closer to LPs than 335.
    abnormaltoy and Paperback Rocker like this.
  9. Ebidis

    Ebidis Providing the world with flat bends since 1985 Strat-Talk Supporter

    Nov 14, 2013
    "Seriously, the SG is the better guitar." -No, it's not.

    "Better tone, better looks," -Nope

    "the SG is everything the Les Paul is" -No, it's not

    "at half the price!" -Used Classic and Studio models are cheaper than an SG Standard.

    Not tryin' to bust your balls, but this is all subjective opinion. :thumb:
  10. Bluestrat83

    Bluestrat83 Strat-O-Master

    Jan 17, 2016
    If you can afford it you can’t go wrong with a custom shop. If your budget can stretch to a standard you can get a CS.
    60 RI for a slim neck and 57 to 59 are beefier. You won’t regret it. Used also is a good option.
    Everything that is not custom shop is hit or miss in my experience but I would try a few traditionals if you are on the market for that because those don’t have weight relief. Those have burstbucker pups which are vintage sounding.
    nigelr and abnormaltoy like this.
  11. Percy

    Percy Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

  12. Tom Cat Strat

    Tom Cat Strat Strat-Talker

    Jun 3, 2018
    New York
    Not subjective opinion.

    The SG is cheaper than the Les Paul Standard and the Les Paul Traditional.

    The SG is cooler looking than the Les Paul. Devil's horns, you know.

    The SG is the better sounding guitar. SG, no mud; Les Paul known for mud.

    The SG is everything the Les Paul is....
    Oh, OK, you are right, that one is not true. The SG is not everything the Les Paul is because the SG is not three thousand dollars!
    Loudstrat likes this.
  13. circles

    circles Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    An LP is a sweet guitar! Weight can be an issue, play a few. I find it is not on stage, but it is during 4 hour rehearsals for me. Mine is 'average heavy'.

    Electronic and tone; Standard 'as is' works great for me.

    Looks are up to each person, but I think they are beautiful, especially once that useless pick guard comes off.
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2018
  14. unionjack515

    unionjack515 Senior Stratmaster

    Apr 3, 2011
    Batavia, Illinois
    I’ve gone about LP ownership from a few different angles, and (hopefully by design and not just coincidence) have ended up at nearly the same destination each time. First, I purchased a new R8 (‘58 Reissue) in 2013—I love it, but spending that much on a guitar and needing a setup, some cleanup of sloppy glue work, and some minor fretwork right away seems silly. I bought a 2010 Traditional Plus as a project guitar and it has turned out largely every bit the guitar the R8 is. Nearly the same money into it after all the upgrades as the R8. Lastly, I own a boutique shop’s version of the LP. Makes it very clear that Gibson’s quality control is crap even at the CS/Historic level. But, perhaps a case of you get what you pay for as that was a 25% premium over the R8. I’ve not had any experience with the Standards or Studios, but as I’ve come to find out, LPs can be great guitars and my choices would have been determined, retrospectively, by how much work I wanted to put into the guitar to make it “right.” Many many LP “experts” on the LP forums will admit that Gibson’s quality control leaves a lot to be desired.
    garyhoos1 and abnormaltoy like this.
  15. fezz parka

    fezz parka Do you Reach? Strat-Talk Supporter

    Apr 21, 2011
    Right behind you...
    A good Les Paul is a wonderful thing.
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2018
    nadzab, smithstrato, Neil.C and 9 others like this.
  16. Bcorig

    Bcorig Strat-Talker

    Feb 17, 2018
    Chino Hills CA
    Buy a Tele.
    abnormaltoy likes this.
  17. BobbyS

    BobbyS Strat-O-Master

    Dec 11, 2011
    Los Lunas, NM
  18. LPTyler

    LPTyler Strat-Talk Member

    Dec 2, 2016
    Huffman, TX
    I have a 16 traditional and it’s great. I prefer the trad to the standard but like them both. I don’t mind the weight relief, I don’t think it matters much and light is nice. I like the 57 classics, they sound amazing but some prefer the burst buckers.
    2015 will have the really wide neck, so be aware of that. The robot tuners are really easy to change out, so don’t let that scare you off.
    abnormaltoy likes this.
  19. abnormaltoy

    abnormaltoy BushBaby Strat-Talk Supporter

    Apr 28, 2013
    I suggest the Classic 60's series (older/used models came in 50s or 60s series) or a newer model. They have the slim profile neck.

    I don't have a mountain of data to confirm this, but the difference between a Les Paul and a Strat on average is a pound, pound and a half, two pounds :) that's like maybe a 6 pack or a couple of big burgers. It's not like you have a stack of bricks strapped over your shoulder. Some older guitar are heavier...ranging 10-12 pounds. Randy Rhoads was a mere wisp of a lad, but he played a Les Paul Custom...a fairly hefty guitar for one so small.

    I'm not one for a guitar festooned with gimcrackery and doodads. My personal 1st choice would be a Traditional.

    For '19 Gibson has a Les Paul Junior double cut...I want one.
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2018
  20. ido1957

    ido1957 Senior Stratmaster

    Oct 13, 2014
    I have a '14 LPC. I prefer it's feel (specifically the neck) compared to the Trads and Stds.
    It was a pain, with a nut I eventually replaced and now it plays like it should - basically no distractions.
    To each his own, hope you find one that "speaks to you" and sings like a bird :thumb:
    Dmac73 and abnormaltoy like this.