I'm sure that if you actually played a Les Paul, you'd probably like it better than the Variax (modeling guitars...yecchh *cringes*). Although, what kind of tone are you looking for? Can you name any artists/songs that have the kind of tone you're looking for? My basswood 1527 is vicious, and alder guitars are even nastier. If you tune below C, my advice would be to go with something other than mahogany. It's not the best at reproducing the fundamental of the low notes, so it sounds "squishy." I used to use my RG 520 for low-tuned metal, but gave up, because it always had way too many harmonics with high-gain.