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This stuff about seventies and eighties Les Pauls is nonsense - I worked for several years in a shop here in Sydney which sells more CS Gibsons than any other shop in Australia, along with being the biggest "vintage" guitar shop in Australia - the new LP Standard (from 2004 onwards) with the nitro finish, burstbuckers and flamed tops are the best "new" guitar Gibson have done in ages - they are a vast improvement over just about anything that came from Gibson in the seventies, eighties, and for that part I might as well throw in the nineties as well - generally they are hefty but not heavy, they have a one piece Mahogany back, a one piece Mahogany neck with the correct nut break angle of 14 degrees (which makes a HUGE difference to the tone of the guitar), a good, figured two piece top, and the Burstbuckers are really nice pickups. The '50s profile neck is big and comfortable in the hand and the frets are fine.

Quibbles? - occasional poor fret dressing, signs of hastily finished fretboards - these problems plague almost all brands today as the demand for guitars is higher now than ever, and most brands are churning 'em out as quickly as possible - the quibbles, while I suppose not what you should have to tolerate from a new, expensive instrument are fixable for a few pounds of fret crowning and polishing.

Personally (IMHO) I wouldn't touch anything that came from Gibson in the seventies or eighties (sorry everyone) - pancake bodies made up of up to six, even eight bits of wood, flat carved tops which look and feel totally wrong, crap pickups, 7 degree headstocks held on by volutes so massive that you could carve another guitar out of them, weight? Talk about weight! (and LPs shouldn't be super heavy - myth!), and to add the final insult, in the late seventies, Gibson/Norlin were so cheap that they made the necks out of Maple rather than Mahogany - poor Maple at that - I've seen forward bows, backward bows, twists everywhere and even one Deluxe which had a visibly noticeable sideways bow!

The new Les Paul Standards are great, really, and at least when they first appeared here in Oz, that was reflected in an RRP of $5295 (!!!!!) - now you can pick them up in Sydney new for $3199, so I assume that you can do likewise in London. The Custom is currently only a Custom Shop order (figures I suppose), and you will pay a LOT more for a guitar which in some ways is a lesser instrument (ie: solid Mahogany body, no Maple cap, as per '50s spec).

There are plenty around, generally - play as many as you can - choose the one that feels right to you, but a a word of warning, my medium weight CS '57 reissue resulted in six months or so of physiotherapy after cutting off the blood flow to my left arm - not really fun!

Cheers

David
 

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Algiman said:
My theory is that Gibsons (and PRS, but they're similar markets) have been highly fashionable for the last 10 years. These things are cyclic (noticed the increase in strats in music videos recently?) so Gibson need to ring every $ out of the product that they can now.

Who knows, the super strat may become cool again in 5 years or so!
Need someone to start playing them and revive them like Slash did to the Les Paul...
 

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David,
Nice sales pitch but I have to bring up a couple of points. First of all, the Burstbuckers. I'm not a fan, never have been. Give me the old 490 and 498 combo anyday over the BB's. It's all opinion...

A few pounds on fret polishing? What about badly seated frets? What about gouged fretboards? What about improperly cut nuts? If you've seen alot of new LP's you have to have seen some with those problems, Lord knows, I have. What about the fact that it's costing you $3199 and your cool with adding more money after that to make it right? Wow...

Not all 70's Les Pauls had Maple necks. Most did but some didn't. I've owned a couple that were Mahogany, albiet sandwiched necks...

You must not have a problem with weight relief holes drilled into the body? That bugs me greatly. Which brings me to the weight issue. No, Les Pauls don't have to be heavy. I'm a firm believer that heavy guitars have a distict tone, if they can resonate right. A darker tone. A heavier tone than a lighter piece of mahogany. Back to opinion. But to drill 13 holes to force them to be lighter is a cop out. Period. I don't want wood missing from my Les Paul, unless it's an Elegant or something like that...

You bring up some points but it's all Ice Cream. I won't dismiss any guitar untill I pick it up and nail out an E...
 

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Hi,

as you're in the UK I suggest you take a look at

http://www.blackmachine.co.uk/

Les Paul tone with strat playability, or so I'm told. Clive (Earthman) who hangs round here occasionally has one and loves it.

I priced one up a while ago, around £1500 so not much more than a STD.

Unless you got to have the Les Paul look which I can totally understand. For me, they are the coolest looking guitars ever.

I have had 2 and sold them both as I find them not comfortable to play. There are alternatives which offer better playability and a similar sound. Just not the look.

But I still want another one !!. The probelm is I think I have the JEM to fall back on. I should buy one and lock the other guitars away for 6 months
 

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Discussion Starter · #46 ·
rrhea said:
Why don't you just spend the $3000 + on THIS, instead:

RR
5 reasons really:
Because:
1. I want a fixed bridge.
2. I don't like to control layout.
3. The ones worth having are a hell of a lot more than $3k in the UK.
4. To my eye there is something not quite right about the shape.
5. I want a Gison Les Paul.
 

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The controls vary with different models, and I am sure you could find something to suit you. And PRS, of course, makes fixed bridge instruments as well.

However, I can't argue with points 3-5. :D If it isn't right for you, then it just isn't. Guitars are very subjective, aren't they. ;)

RR
 

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Discussion Starter · #48 ·
5 was tongue in cheek.

I like them, just not as much. I have specific and private reasons for the Les Paul search which I'll share once I find one.
 

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David McCarroll said:
This stuff about seventies and eighties Les Pauls is nonsense - I worked for several years in a shop here in Sydney which sells more CS Gibsons than any other shop in Australia, along with being the biggest "vintage" guitar shop in Australia - the new LP Standard (from 2004 onwards) with the nitro finish, burstbuckers and flamed tops are the best "new" guitar Gibson have done in ages - they are a vast improvement over just about anything that came from Gibson in the seventies, eighties, and for that part I might as well throw in the nineties as well
I must agree the late 70s models and early 80s models are trash. They got better for a while in the late 80s to the later portion of the 90s, but back then about one in three or more non custom shop Les Pauls would have a straight neck after setup. That is a ratio that is about 100 times higher than the Les Pauls Gibson is producing today. Additionally, the smaller stuff was done better as well - the neck binding was usually a hackjob but still much better than on any of the current Gibsons I have seen. The LP standards in the late 90s sometime had Grover tuners? (or something like them) which were a bit of an improvement over the Klusons.

I know a guy who owned a 1970 thinline Les Paul and loved it but needed money and sold it. He bought a '79 and hated it and sold it. I played a '79 thinline LP that was probably the same one from his description of its condition - a typical late 70s Les Paul, and despite the bad rep that their low quality of the later 70s Les Pauls to today got them, it was much better than anything Gibson is putting out today.

On the plus side, every now and then you will find a good non custom shop Les Paul and it will be better than a late 70s model. They have also done other stuff right. The BurstbuckerV and T pickups are great sounding CLEAN pickups and capture the classic Les Paul sound, but the 498/490s gained up much better and their cleans were not bad. They replaced the narrow bridge on the LP Classic, a mod that many classic owners had to perform themselves (thankfully I have not had intonation problems on the thin bridge piece on mine). They also stopped using the small, poorly sized (in relation to each other) frets that they used on Classics until the late 90s which never made sense to me as the classic comes with fairly loud ceramic magnet pickups designed to target the hard rock community, many of whom like to play hard and the frets were designed for playing light jazz.

The custom shop models I have played were all very good, and the '58 or '60 are worth the extra $300-$400 but the '59 is way overpriced to get the neck that is inbetween. One '58 reissue stood out above the rest and was near perfect - even the little things like the binding being aligned to the fretboard. There is a guy I see around at local stores who both collects vintage gear and buys, repairs and sells it. He played the guitar too and he said that it might be the best Gibson from the 50s until now that he has ever played. However, I picked up a few LP Standards and Classics after that and could not believe the price tag was over $400. There was absolutely no comparison between the two even despite the fact that the '58 neck is way too fat for my liking.
 

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Algiman said:
5 reasons really:
Because:
1. I want a fixed bridge.
Understood.

2. I don't like to control layout.
Me neither. The pickup selector switch is convienently located on a LP!

3. The ones worth having are a hell of a lot more than $3k in the UK.
They are here too. Custom shop Les Pauls I've seen are much better and cost less.

4. To my eye there is something not quite right about the shape.
It does not look right... agreed!

5. I want a Gison Les Paul.
Someone should start a company named Gison and make quality Les Pauls for $1500!

Here's my thought. Instead of having different level models with binding, we have one basic trim, like a LP standard or whatever and different models will vary the neck size from thin to fat (probably skip super fat), give choice of n ebony or rosewood fretboards and quieter cleaner PAF style pickups, louder pickups that will do it all, and really loud pickups.
 

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Algiman said:
My theory is that Gibsons (and PRS, but they're similar markets) have been highly fashionable for the last 10 years. These things are cyclic (noticed the increase in strats in music videos recently?) so Gibson need to ring every $ out of the product that they can now.

Who knows, the super strat may become cool again in 5 years or so!
Teles seem to be the guitar of choice I see lately... anyone else?
 

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I just bought a Tele! It's on order from Fender right now. Teles absolutely rock, and have tons of gain from the bridge single coil (I guess it's all the treble). I think I am going to just leave it stock and play the crap out of it.

This is what I ordered:

American Deluxe - Aged Cherry Burst with binding, maple board, noisless pups and S1 switching system. I can't wait!
 

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jallen said:
Teles seem to be the guitar of choice I see lately... anyone else?
My friend had a tele. He had a Legacy and we both thought it sounded like ass with all of our guitars with humbuckers, but it did sound killer with his telecaster. So he played thrash on a telecaster.
 

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red5 said:
My friend had a tele. He had a Legacy and we both thought it sounded like ass with all of our guitars with humbuckers, but it did sound killer with his telecaster. So he played thrash on a telecaster.
:D That's too cool.
 

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Nice tele but one thing i hate about stratocaster and telecaster, they look dam big, and lp is body is really small, btu the neck joint is really a thorn. Anyway threadstarter already got his lespaul? Im considering over agile les paul, they do look attractive for the specs, and the PRICE!
 

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gibson quality is crap imo.i have looked at many lp's in this last year,and i have seen glue oosed out of the inlay,loose jack,wobbly tuners.when i went shopping for a les paul i was gonna buy a standard or a studio.and after i looked them over(bout 40 or so guitars)then i looked at the epiphones,i could not find anythig wrong on the epi,nothing!so for 2$ less and not a thing wrong yet the high$lp were in bad shape,it made me sick.one guitar was 3300>beautiful top on it and wha????glue ossing out of the inlays.best thin i ever did .so i bought an epi,changed out the pups,tuners,and the control switch at a cost of 150$
\and voila my favorite guitar,2 years later and i will never sell this guitar
 

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Discussion Starter · #59 ·
Jukes, I have to disagree with you. Gibson quality has certainly been crap, but is now no worse than most other major manufacturers.
My thoughts having played loads before I bought mine (pics soon btw):
1. Play loads - they all sound different.
2. Watch out for old stock labelled as new - I found loads of "2005" models in finishes that were discontinued years ago. They were usually the crap ones. Stands to reason that if they have been in the shop that long there is a good reason why!
3. Ignore the 50s/60s neck stuff. Generally 50s are bigger, but not always and both were very variable in profile and size.
4. The new humbuckers are a lot more versatile than I expected. They are surprisingly good at high gain stuff.
5. The factory set up matches Ibanez for crapness.
6. Don't even think about not using some form of strap lock.

I'm sure I think of more stuff after a few gigs!

Right now I'm seriously impressed with the LP I bought.
 

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i am happy that you are happy:0,but..if i am going to spend 2500-3000$(canada)every guitar should be perfect!meaning no flaws.you ever see a prs with noticable flaws?i have looked and i can't find any and i am fairly new to guitar so my eye is not as experienced as others who know guitars inside and out.meaning a new guy to this instrument "would " probably miss some flaws.my epi build quality was excellant.could not find any flaws(cept the cheaper hardware)
cheers
norm
 
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