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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-31-2007, 11:55 PM Thread Starter
 
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Looking to get my first Les Paul

As I was browsing through my collection today, I noticed that I don't have a single hard-tail in the bunch! I've been getting a lot more into 'bluesy bendsy' stuff lately, so I figured a Les Paul would be a good axe to have around for that sort of thing.

Thing is, I see some serious diversity in the Les Paul world, and I have no idea where to start! I don't mind paying $1k for a guitar, but how nice are the $500 Epi's? And why are they so cheap? Does the "cheap=crap" rule apply here? Crappy wood? Cheap pickups?

At any rate, it's not like I'm looking for another main. Just something to complement my current lineup. Something I'll be able to pick up when I'm in a jazz or blues mood.

So pretend you are me. You aren't looking to spend a lot of money, but you still want a decent Les Paul at a good VALUE. Where would you start?

Thanks in advance.

KM
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-01-2007, 12:06 AM
 
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Re: Looking to get my first Les Paul

Funny you just mentioned this, because I just got back from Nashville, and they have a store there that is slam full of Les Pauls.

I checked out just about every single one, and I couldn't believe the price these things are going for. They had probably 100 + models, a lot high end, and I didn't see a single one that blew me away (for the price).

Probably the biggest guitar disappointment.

I can tell you this: The Zakk Wylde LP weighs a ton. It's probably one of the heaviest guitars I've ever picked up.

I saw one (1) out of probably 50 that would barely make the possibility list, and it was around $2500 bucks (give or take, at this point I wasn't even looking anymore). The top on it didn't even look all that good. I'll try to look up the model, but as far as getting an LP that's worth it, you're better off going with Epiphone, because they make some pretty good guitars for the buck.

After seeing the offerings they had, I have come to the conclusion that Les Pauls are the biggest waste of money I have ever experienced. PRS has gone down hill, but not this bad. They had some $7000-$8000 LPs there that were a shame.

If you want a decent fixed bridge guitar, for the price I would suggest something from ESP along the lines of the Eclipse series. Something in the EC-1000 series. I've played a few of these and they are not bad at all.

That would be my first bet, and then I'd go Epiphone if I were you.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-01-2007, 12:13 AM
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Re: Looking to get my first Les Paul

Les Paul Studio Vintage Mahagony

You can pick one up for around $800
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-01-2007, 01:29 AM
 
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Re: Looking to get my first Les Paul

Check out Heritage Guitars H150CMs...
http://www.heritageguitar.com/
http://www.heritageguitar.com/models/H150CM.htm

Built in the old Gibson plant in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-01-2007, 01:49 AM
 
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Talking Re: Looking to get my first Les Paul

Quote:
Originally Posted by elcid View Post
Les Paul Studio Vintage Mahagony

You can pick one up for around $800
Notice that you are one true Gibson fan.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-01-2007, 02:20 AM
 
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Re: Looking to get my first Les Paul

For the money you'd pay for an Epi Les Paul, I'd far more seriously look at the PRS Custom SE (hardtail, not trem) - they come from Korea, just like Epis, but from all the examples I have picked up, PRS just seem to take far more care of the quality control - great hardware, good pickups, nice flamed tops under a nice finish, and the very slightly longer scale length seems to make them a little more stable tuning wise.

Oh, yeah, I'm a PRS fan by the way, so I am biased, but they really are well worth checking out - both the SE Custom and the SE Singlecut, if you are looking at H-H hardtails.

Cheers

David
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-01-2007, 04:59 AM
 
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Re: Looking to get my first Les Paul

I definitely wouldn't go Gibson, thats for sure. Not a recent made one anyway. The QC on them are just rediculous. My local shop has alot of Gibsons, its what they deal in most, and most of them are awful guitars. Just lifeless, and duds. The biggest waste of money I have ever experienced.

If you want a good Les Paul, thats new, there are other brands out there. Edwards are great, Tokai make some nice ones, Heritage, some of the Epiphones are meant to be pretty cool too. There are loads to look for.

Don't get me wrong, Gibsons are nice. And not all of the new models are duds, but you definitely have to find a nice one. You have to go out there and try alot of them first in-person. Anything made before 1980 is usually pretty damn good. But the secondhand prices that they go for is just rediculous.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-01-2007, 05:19 AM
 
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Re: Looking to get my first Les Paul

Quote:
Originally Posted by the.godfather View Post
I definitely wouldn't go Gibson, thats for sure. Not a recent made one anyway. The QC on them are just rediculous. My local shop has alot of Gibsons, its what they deal in most, and most of them are awful guitars. Just lifeless, and duds. The biggest waste of money I have ever experienced.

If you want a good Les Paul, thats new, there are other brands out there. Edwards are great, Tokai make some nice ones, Heritage, some of the Epiphones are meant to be pretty cool too. There are loads to look for.

Don't get me wrong, Gibsons are nice. And not all of the new models are duds, but you definitely have to find a nice one. You have to go out there and try alot of them first in-person. Anything made before 1980 is usually pretty damn good. But the secondhand prices that they go for is just rediculous.
To counter this, I just bought a new LP standard and it was perfect in everyway from the shop. No build issues, no set up issues, just took it home and started to play. There were quite a few LPís in the shop and they were all like this. Every Ibanez I have ever bought needed a pro set up before I was happy with it including my JEMís. I am not knocking Ibanez, they are great but donít listen to all the Gibson doom merchants, go and have a play and make up your own mind.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-01-2007, 05:44 AM
 
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Re: Looking to get my first Les Paul

+1 on the Gibson LP Standards and Classics. Also consider original Gothics, and Voodoo's on the used market. Omit anything post Voodoo other than the regular lines (Classic, Standard, Custom, Customshop etc) as it seems Gibson got fruity with all these wierd sub-Classic, quasi-modernistic models. I think the Classic is terrific value for the money. Go to a store, try as many as possible, pick the one that has the sounds, and playability that works for you. Understand that a setup may very well be needed for each guitar to reach it maximum playability. Also be prepared to change the pickups on a Classic to something more flavorful and less shreddy unless you are into the high output ceramic deal. When I could afford my first Les Paul brand new in the store, I happened to still be working in a large music chain. I pulled all the Classics we had regardless of color, (was 11 in stock), and picked the ONE that had the weight, sound, and setup-potential. (I slapped 11's on it, cranked the truss rod accordingly, lowered the TOM a bit, and changed pickups on that guitar to Rio Grande BBQ buckers set, zebra coils.) I was pleased, there is something magical about the "right" LP.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-01-2007, 05:45 AM
 
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Re: Looking to get my first Les Paul

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dazza1004 View Post
To counter this, I just bought a new LP standard and it was perfect in everyway from the shop. No build issues, no set up issues, just took it home and started to play. There were quite a few LPís in the shop and they were all like this. Every Ibanez I have ever bought needed a pro set up before I was happy with it including my JEMís. I am not knocking Ibanez, they are great but donít listen to all the Gibson doom merchants, go and have a play and make up your own mind.
Oh, dont get me wrong, I love Gibson's. A black Gibson Les Paul Custom was the guitar that I lusted over when I was a kid. And still do! lol, I am just yet to find a new one that I like the feel of. I know the guitars they make are quality instruments, but they do have quite alot of duds in between them.

But then again, Im sure you can say that about every company. No-ones perfect I suppose.
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-01-2007, 06:00 AM
 
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Re: Looking to get my first Les Paul

Quote:
Originally Posted by the.godfather View Post
Oh, dont get me wrong, I love Gibson's. A black Gibson Les Paul Custom was the guitar that I lusted over when I was a kid. And still do! lol, I am just yet to find a new one that I like the feel of. I know the guitars they make are quality instruments, but they do have quite alot of duds in between them.

But then again, Im sure you can say that about every company. No-ones perfect I suppose.
I know what you are saying fella and I wasn't having a pop back. It's just that for years I focussed on Gibson bashing posts and it put me off buying a LP. I have one now and am very happy with it. It's never going to be my no. 1 guitar for various reasons but I am very glad I have got one and I really enjoy playing it. It's good to point out potential problems and things to watch out for and I am not doubting your experiences with them, just trying to provide an alternative experience.

I should add that I would not buy a LP mail order because I believe there IS SOME truth to the QC probelms, but I would not buy any expensive guitar mail order.

Take it easy
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-01-2007, 09:11 AM
 
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Re: Looking to get my first Les Paul

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaxadam View Post
Funny you just mentioned this, because I just got back from Nashville, and they have a store there that is slam full of Les Pauls.

I checked out just about every single one, and I couldn't believe the price these things are going for. They had probably 100 + models, a lot high end, and I didn't see a single one that blew me away (for the price).

Probably the biggest guitar disappointment.

I can tell you this: The Zakk Wylde LP weighs a ton. It's probably one of the heaviest guitars I've ever picked up.

I saw one (1) out of probably 50 that would barely make the possibility list, and it was around $2500 bucks (give or take, at this point I wasn't even looking anymore). The top on it didn't even look all that good. I'll try to look up the model, but as far as getting an LP that's worth it, you're better off going with Epiphone, because they make some pretty good guitars for the buck.

After seeing the offerings they had, I have come to the conclusion that Les Pauls are the biggest waste of money I have ever experienced. PRS has gone down hill, but not this bad. They had some $7000-$8000 LPs there that were a shame.

If you want a decent fixed bridge guitar, for the price I would suggest something from ESP along the lines of the Eclipse series. Something in the EC-1000 series. I've played a few of these and they are not bad at all.

That would be my first bet, and then I'd go Epiphone if I were you.
Jaxadam, what store did you go to? Gruhn Guitars?

Anyways, I would probably not get a new Les Paul. As previously stated, the QC is horrible. I think you just need to look around and find one that feels good to you. For me, most Les Pauls feel horrible. However, ever so often, I come upon one that feels great. I forgot where it was, but I came across a 1993 Les Paul custom that felt like a dream. The only NEW Les Paul that I would buy now is a Tom Murphy (one of Gibson's best luthiers) aged Les Paul Reissue. That's it though.
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-01-2007, 09:26 AM
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Re: Looking to get my first Les Paul

Quote:
Originally Posted by the.godfather View Post
If you want a good Les Paul, thats new, there are other brands out there. Edwards are great
Bolded. Some say the Edwards are better than the originals.
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-01-2007, 09:31 AM
 
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Re: Looking to get my first Les Paul

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Originally Posted by rlintz View Post
Check out Heritage Guitars H150CMs...
http://www.heritageguitar.com/
http://www.heritageguitar.com/models/H150CM.htm

Built in the old Gibson plant in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
Without a doubt. You can find some good deals on "that site".
I'm well impressed with my H150CM
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-01-2007, 11:24 AM
 
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Re: Looking to get my first Les Paul

If you're looking for a les paul, don't spend more than 700 buck for a new one. I think musicians friend and gc have one at that price.

Jimmy
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