Re: Les Paul freaks - your advice please.
Les Paul thread on the Jemsite.....Who'da thunk?? Anyway, since I have owned several of each, I might as well weigh in. The biggest thing with LP's is the inconsistency. Many are very good. Plenty are pretty bad. My '74 Deluxe was a pancake body and 3-piece top but was one of the best I ever played(wish I kept it!). Had a '74 custom(both '74's were cherryburst) that the serial was 50 away from the Deluxe and it was also very good(someone had installed a brass Alembic bridge that was great). My '85 was the heaviest LP I ever played(and sounded like total crap with no sustain). Of course it didn't get any better after I put a Kahler in it! Later I had an early '90's burst custom which was okay. In 2001 I was shopping for an amp and grabbed the first thing off the rack with humbuckers and realized(after about 30 minutes) that I couldn't stop playing the guitar(a new 2001 fadeburst standard) so I had to buy it(still own it today). Later on, I was chatting with a pal that was guitar tech for Neal Schon and mentioned I wanted to try some other pickups. He went in his workbox and pulled out a pair of pickups that Neal has in his LP's(yes, they are freaking killer) and I got the nut recut as Gibson did a poor job and its been pretty much perfect for the past 10 years(really worried about who gets in in my will!!!). I got a call from a local store that had what the sales guy(a good friend) called the "nicest Les Paul we've ever had in the store" so I went to check it out. It was an R9('59 spec) and it was very nice, but not better than my fadeburst. In fact, the only LP I ever played that was better was a real 1960 burst(owned by John McBride). That about made me cry.....for several reasons!
I should also drop a warning for those that have lived in a cave for the last few years; there are hundreds of fakes floating around, so beware(some decent youtube vids on things to look for as most are easy to spot once you know what to look for. I actually own a fake too, but its a black custom with a factory trem. Its a fun guitar after replacing the pickups(Seymour Duncan P'Rails), locking nut and bridge(genuine Floyd Rose) and cost me about $700(and I won't have a heart attack if it gets trashed).
Now if only I had kept my 10th Anniversary Jem...............................