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  #1  
Old 02-13-2018, 01:07 PM
Mark L Mark L is offline
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Default Loar LH301T vs. Vintage Gibson ES125(T)

I’m thinking about an ES 125 type w p90 for mostly amplified blues/swing in an ensemble setting ie bass/drums/keyboard/horn(s). I love and understand the sound of vintage, but the chances one takes on a 50-60 yo archtop can be daunting.

So, what about that thinline laminate Loar? Do they need fretwork or a pu change, for example. Less feedback potential, I’d think, thank the 2.5” hollow solid top.

I’ve heard good things, what do y’all think? Discussion and experiences appreciated.

Oh, btw, I have a line on a (birth year!) 125 that looks great and original, asking $2k and also about 2k miles away. The Loars go new fro 550 ish and used for 100-150 less.

Thanks for your thoughts. And PS, I do not NEED a new guitar ��
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  #2  
Old 02-13-2018, 01:33 PM
mr. beaumont mr. beaumont is offline
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Awful instruments.

The Loar 6-700 series are great, but the lower end ones are really rough, and the P-90 is an insult to P-90''s everywhere.

Full bodied ES-125 vibe, Godin Kingpin. Thinline, try the Epiphone Century reissue.
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  #3  
Old 02-13-2018, 01:40 PM
Ibnrushd Ibnrushd is offline
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In both cases you should play before you buy, but Loar is less risky because it's newer and it's cheap. The Loar is a good deal if you like how it plays (I don't like it). Companies like Loar and Eastman are making it very difficult for most working musicians to justify spendy archtops, IMO. But, I would change pickups on a lot of the ones I've played. Fretwork/necks don't seem great to me on Loars, but again, try it and see.

I would be hesitant to spend $2k on an ES125T unless I loved it and knew I would use it frequently, especially if you're not specifically attracted to the vintage/Gibson aspect. I've recently seen good ones listed for $1400 locally.

I tend to prefer the full depth 125, but that's a matter of personal preference and intended use. I have played some thinlines that had surprisingly strong acoustic voice and bass response, so I don't write them off. They are very comfortable as well.

You may also want to check out similar options from Guild (both vintage and new models) and Heritage (H525).

Best of luck in your search.

Last edited by Ibnrushd; 02-13-2018 at 01:46 PM.
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Old 02-13-2018, 02:20 PM
Mark L Mark L is offline
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Thanks guys. Good comments and good advice on trying first. Easier with the Loar than with a distant 125. Good to think it all over with advice from y’all.
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  #5  
Old 02-13-2018, 06:18 PM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
...Full bodied ES-125 vibe, Godin Kingpin. Thinline, try the Epiphone Century reissue.
What Jeff said...
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Old 02-14-2018, 10:02 AM
Prof_Stack Prof_Stack is offline
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I never met a Loar that I liked. The Godin models might be what you are looking for.
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Old 02-14-2018, 11:24 AM
Mark L Mark L is offline
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Thank you all.
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Old 02-17-2018, 06:59 AM
Pnewsom Pnewsom is offline
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I'd take my time and find a nice Gibson ES125!
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  #9  
Old 02-17-2018, 10:44 AM
Alex W Alex W is offline
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All I can add is I love my vintage ES 125T and it wasn't terribly e pensive. Less than $2000. I think I paid 1400-1500 ish. Been a few years. It records beautifully. I had been under the impression it had a laminate top. If it's a solid top that's news to me.

GC has this 1965 example with non original tuners. Test price.

http://www.guitarcenter.com/pdp/prod...site5113869123

Last edited by Alex W; 02-17-2018 at 10:55 AM.
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Old 02-18-2018, 08:57 AM
MC5C MC5C is offline
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I had two ES-125's, one with two P90's and one with one P90 in the central position. Both were totally student Gibsons - and I have a 1962 Melody Maker that has the exact same vibe. I paid $350 for each, in the 1980's. I also paid $350 for a 1968 SG in around 1976. Oh for the good old days. $350 was a full two weeks pay for me then, and I thought nothing of dropping that cash on a whim. Now I can't afford the one week's pay, the $2K, to spend on a guitar... Anyway, my advice is that an ES125 is a legit investment, a great guitar, while a Loar or a Godin is a straight depreciating purchase that will not be worth what you paid for it the day you buy it.
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  #11  
Old 02-18-2018, 11:30 PM
Mark L Mark L is offline
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Yes, I remember the “student level” Gibsons going for 350 and even less. And who knows where it goes from here, up down or sideways?

Anyway, I couldn’t resist trying a Loar when I found one pretty cheap on GC used, and nearby to boot. So I paid for it and had it shipped for pickup at my local store. Got it yesterday pm.

I played it for about and hour, acoustic and plugged in. Returned it to the store todayfor the full refund, which was given no questions asked. Nuff said.

And, too bad. With just a bit more care they could have made it so much better. To me it was unacceptable.

I’m going on a search for the right 125 or 125T.

Thanks again for all your comments! Will report back with news if/when such occurs. Mark.
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  #12  
Old 03-08-2018, 02:36 PM
jbraun002 jbraun002 is offline
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Thought I'd add (as Ibnrushd already suggested), take a look at the 60s Guilds (particularly the CE-100). I've got one (not for sale!), and it's just an amazing jazz box - the equal of any 175 I've handled. You can generally still find some below 1k.

Otherwise, if you're set on Gibson, that's cool too - 125s are pretty cool imho.
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Old 03-10-2018, 04:59 AM
jwguitar jwguitar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
Awful instruments.

The Loar 6-700 series are great, but the lower end ones are really rough, and the P-90 is an insult to P-90''s everywhere.

Full bodied ES-125 vibe, Godin Kingpin. Thinline, try the Epiphone Century reissue.
I agree with you. The Loar guitars are not very good quality. I remember when they first came out I was pretty excited to try one. They were a huge letdown. Even some of the upper end ones Ive played just weren't really all that great. The fit and finish just isn't there. If you want something with a P-90 that's full hollow I would try the new Epiphone Century that would by my choice as well.
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Old 03-10-2018, 06:49 AM
mr. beaumont mr. beaumont is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwguitar View Post
I agree with you. The Loar guitars are not very good quality. I remember when they first came out I was pretty excited to try one. They were a huge letdown. Even some of the upper end ones Ive played just weren't really all that great. The fit and finish just isn't there. If you want something with a P-90 that's full hollow I would try the new Epiphone Century that would by my choice as well.
The upper end Loars are great "raw materials" guitars. They might need a heck of a setup fix, but once their together, they can be outstanding.

The lower model Loars, the materials aren't any good, either.

I agree on the Century. Wish they made a deep bodied one, but the shallow bodied model I tried was a winner, good P-90, nice fat neck. Felt like an "old" guitar, in a good way.
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  #15  
Old 03-11-2018, 06:28 AM
terryj47 terryj47 is offline
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My first "real" guitar was an ES-125T. My parents bought it for me around 1958. I think it cost less than $200! Enjoyed it for several years until we traded it in towards a Jaguar. Surf music. What can I say?. Put in a second P90 in the bridge position with switches on the pick guard. Today if that guitar is around its value is probably less than a stock one due to the mods. Wish I still had the jag. So one same vintage at GC for $4K+. My parents paid $399 less trade. After that I bought my own guitars and basses. Oh for the good old days.
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