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Old 04-16-2024, 05:34 PM
Dirk Hofman's Avatar
Dirk Hofman Dirk Hofman is offline
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Default I kinda want a Les Paul

Hey folks, I have a Telecaster Deluxe, and for no particular reason, I want a Les Paul. Just want to plug it straight into a Marshall amp and crank out Malcolm Young riffs (I know, it's a Gretsch Jet) and classic rock stuff. The tele is fine. I really like the neck and the control layout. Just want, not need.

Questions in my head:
  • necks are really different. Is one generally preferred for lead work?
  • Anyone get the 50's humbuckers and wish they'd have gotten the slightly hotter 60s? Is that even correct?
  • P-90? Might make a good contrast to the Tele, but I may or may not keep the tele and I want that core rock sound. Not into hum or noise.
  • There are SO MANY OF THEM! FFS. Where to start?
  • Does the chambering affect sound in a MEANINGFUL way for someone who isn't deep down the electric tone rabbit hole?
  • Would you say screw the LP, get a PRS singlecut? Why or why not?
  • Other thoughts?

Thanks so much you GAS enablers!
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Old 04-16-2024, 05:50 PM
BillyH BillyH is offline
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Hello Dirk,

I've got a 2003 Les Paul Standard 59 profile in immaculate condition for sale for $2500. Maple top. Heritage Cherry sunburst. Burstbucker pro humbucking pickups with Alnico V magnets.

Billy
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  #3  
Old 04-16-2024, 06:54 PM
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Bob Womack Bob Womack is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirk Hofman View Post
Hey folks, I have a Telecaster Deluxe, and for no particular reason, I want a Les Paul. Just want to plug it straight into a Marshall amp and crank out Malcolm Young riffs (I know, it's a Gretsch Jet) and classic rock stuff. The tele is fine. I really like the neck and the control layout. Just want, not need.

Questions in my head:
  • necks are really different. Is one generally preferred for lead work?
  • Anyone get the 50's humbuckers and wish they'd have gotten the slightly hotter 60s? Is that even correct?
  • P-90? Might make a good contrast to the Tele, but I may or may not keep the tele and I want that core rock sound. Not into hum or noise.
  • There are SO MANY OF THEM! FFS. Where to start?
  • Does the chambering affect sound in a MEANINGFUL way for someone who isn't deep down the electric tone rabbit hole?
  • Would you say screw the LP, get a PRS singlecut? Why or why not?
  • Other thoughts?

Thanks so much you GAS enablers!
Necks are personal preference only. Some consider the slimmer necks, front to back, to be "faster." One of mine has the '60s slim taper, is asymmetrical, and has a compound radius*, the other has the early 1970s slim at the nut and slightly chunkier at the heel neck. My ES-335 with a '60s slim taper neck makes me play the best of all my guitars. The '60s slim taper neck on my '61 SG Standard Reissue is like that as well. If it were me today I'd go with the '60s taper.

A P-90 is closer to a Tele but P-90s are the noisiest pickups on the planet! The standard full size humbucker, aka the '57 Classic or '60s Burstbucker or Bursybucker 1 & 2 will give you the classic sound. The Burstbucker Pro has a carved out midrange and pronounced high end. Mine with BB Pros is like a Tele on steroids. For a first LP Id start with other ones for the standard sound.

Get a Standard, because it is, well, standard. The whole basic experience.

One of my LPs is weight-relieved. That means that the mahogany back is routed like this:


A newcomer won't know the difference in sound. At the guitar store I didn't know it was weight-relieved, just that it was very "sweet" sounding.

No, I wouldn't say screw it. An LP sounds like an LP. The others have nice sounds but don't sound like an LP. Find a nice one and live long and prosper.

Mine:


1974 Kalamzoo LP Standard, 2016 SG Reissue Limited Edition, 2005 Memphis ES-335 Dot, 2018 LP Standard

Most folks I hear who come over to LPs from Strats or Teles seem to expect them to behave like a Fender. They just don't. Embrace them for what they are. I just did a review of a Marshall amp and included the following video for reference. Listen to it for the difference between a Tele and a n LP type that has a mahogany back and maple cap and humbuckers. Note that he talks about that AC/DC sound and demonstrates it with the humbucker guitar. A good LP will be a little more brilliant than his Ernie Ball, by the way:



I'd be glad to take any more questions.


Bob
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Old 04-16-2024, 08:22 PM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirk Hofman View Post
Hey folks, I have a Telecaster Deluxe, and for no particular reason, I want a Les Paul. Just want to plug it straight into a Marshall amp and crank out Malcolm Young riffs (I know, it's a Gretsch Jet) and classic rock stuff...
An early-2010's Gibson LP 60's tribute might float your boat - the 2011 limited-edition goldtops currently command a premium for their PRS-style revealed-edge "binding" and under-the-bed '56 cosmetics (FWIW I've seen them as high as $2000+ for a primo example) but the solid and burst finishes can be had in the $800-1200 range depending on condition, and they all have the Slim-Taper neck that both Bob and I favor:



On the other hand, why not just go full-on Malcolm and save yourself a bunch of bucks in the bargain:



https://gretschguitars.com/gear/fami...ail/2509310521

- and if you're getting a hefty tax refund this year, you could the only one in the neighborhood (if not the whole state) with one of these:



https://gretschguitars.com/gear/fami...jet/2410106821
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Old 04-16-2024, 08:37 PM
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Les Pauls are great and they make different models for different price points. It really depends on what your budget is, whether you prefer thicker or thinner necks, and if weight is a big concern to you. Typically a weight relieved Les Paul is less desirable than a solid wood model. Pickups can be swapped to whatever you want and there are gazillion independent pickup makers and models to choose from.
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Old 04-16-2024, 08:52 PM
ghostnote ghostnote is offline
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I have two of the cheaper but American made Les Paul models: an LP Junior Special with the 490/491 humbuckers, and a ‘60s Tribute with two P90s. Both are lots of fun to play when I put down my Fenders for awhile.
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Old 04-16-2024, 08:57 PM
RussL30 RussL30 is offline
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Used classics are a great value. I demoed some Les Pauls last year and will buy one some day. The classics have several different iterations based on the year.

I really preferred the 60s style necks as I found the 50s a bit of a handful, but many seem to prefer the 50s style necks.
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Old 04-16-2024, 09:57 PM
FrankHudson FrankHudson is offline
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There can be more similarity between a Les Paul and a Tele than some might imagine,* with the right pickups they can overlap somewhat. But they feel and operate differently. I think I know where you're coming from: you want to experience a different guitar as you play it.

An LP neck will feel different from most Teles. Lead or rhythm carves are just guesses or conventions. My low-end Gibson Les Paul has the slightly asymmetrical carve and I really like the feel of it in my hand. I'm mostly a lead player. I rarely "thumb wrap"--other players can't play unless they can fret low strings with their thumb.

I don't think weigh-relief is all that determinative of the sound. My body doesn't like heavy guitars, so even if there was a slight difference in sound, I take my body's advice.

Luckily for my budget I'm not into the electric guitars as fine furniture thing. I'm perfectly happy with opaque finishes, satin finishes, Studio models with no binding, etc. Yes, I can look at a picture of a plus top 'burst and say "Nice guitar" but it's not where I live.

I happen to love P90s, but if you don't have a humbucker guitar and you're seeking some variety, go with the regular humbuckers. My LP has 57 Classics, but I've heard some nice sounds from Burstbuckers. I'm not a huge fan of hotter pickups: I can get the crunch sounds from pedals or amp settings and the hotter pickups can't do the same kind of clean sound.

*For example: the 1st Led Zepplin LP is all Tele. Folks used to think of the later Zep on stage and heard a Les Paul on the record back in the day.
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Old 04-16-2024, 11:40 PM
Glennwillow Glennwillow is offline
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I kind of think that if you want a Les Paul, other guitars will not do it for you.

However, as Bob has noted, the Les Paul is very different from something like a Telecaster (and also a Strat). In fact, a Les Paul is quite a bit different from an ES-335. I have one of each of these guitars.

I'm still learning how to use my Les Paul, but I am liking it more every day. It's awfully heavy but it really has quite a sound. It took me a while to figure out how important the tone controls are and the value of the bridge pickup.

I have a 2002 Les Paul Standard with a 60s neck and 490/491 pickups, which I like a lot. Mine has a flamed maple heritage cherry top. I have played Les Pauls with various burstbucker pickups as well as 57 classic humbuckers and to me they all sound good.

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Old 04-17-2024, 08:03 AM
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Dirk Hofman Dirk Hofman is offline
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Wow, so many great replies, thank you ALL!

@bob, thanks for all the details. I think in my dream I'm plugging it straight into a great Marshall amp, not that I'm sure what that would be. I've been eyeballing the DSL40 and 20 combos. I have seen comparisons to the Origin series, and those sound pretty different to me. Warmer? Thicker? Maybe a bit too much? I've also gone down the speaker rabbit hole a bit. I tend to think DSL40 but maybe it's too much. I don't gig. DSL20 with creamback replacement?

I like your advice to stick with the Les Paul. I'm going to do that until the GAS passes, and make sure it's still what I want. And I'm gonna abuse Guitar Center down the hill until I'm sure.

@steve, yeah, I'd thought of getting the Jet. It WOULD save me a lot of money. Which is rad, but I'd still want a Les Paul. I think. I'll always love Malcolm's playing, but there are other things I want to do as I get better. I dunno. It's a tough one.

Have you seen this one BTW?



Kind of a cool take, and not 10 grand!

@BillyH, I'll reach out in PM. Thanks!

@Frank, thanks for the thoughts on the neck, the weight, and the P90s. Helpful.

@Glenwillow "I kind of think that if you want a Les Paul, other guitars will not do it for you."

This is what I'm thinking. To Steve's point, I can grab the Gretsch later if I still want one.

Again, thanks all. Appreciate all the help! Wish I could buy us all a round of beers!
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Old 04-17-2024, 08:09 AM
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Dirk Hofman Dirk Hofman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RussL30 View Post
Used classics are a great value. I demoed some Les Pauls last year and will buy one some day. The classics have several different iterations based on the year.

I really preferred the 60s style necks as I found the 50s a bit of a handful, but many seem to prefer the 50s style necks.
This is one things that's troubling me a bit. I like the 50s necks, but I think that's a lot because I like a bigger, rounder neck on an acoustic. But I wonder as I get better at lead playing (kinda the point of all this) if I'm going to want that flatter neck.

I'm taking some lessons, and I wonder if maybe she'll have me adjust my technique (self taught) to speed up my playing. Kind of think I'll wait a bit until I'm more sure what I'll want. Maybe a few months of dedicated practice first, then make a call. But right now the 50's feels really good.
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Old 04-17-2024, 08:31 AM
Draft Guitar Draft Guitar is offline
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I've owned many Gibson Les Pauls in different configurations, Standard, Classic, Junior, 50s necks, 60s necks, and on and on.

I've come to prefer the Heritage H 150 to the Gibsons. I've also really like the Heritage H 535. The quality control is very good and the prices are a little better (used prices can be great). Plus, I enjoy the history behind them.

Someone mentioned the Gibson Les Paul Classic. I owned one many years ago and have always regretted selling that guitar. It had the 60s neck. I sold it to buy a highly figured Standard in Desert Burst and it didn't outshine the Classic.
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Old 04-17-2024, 08:32 AM
GCWaters GCWaters is offline
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Les Pauls are really nice, especially through a good tube amp. Mine had the 50's neck, and I really liked it. They are truly iconic guitars, and if you want one, you want one (I wanted one!)...there are other, similar guitars out there, though, that you might want to take a look at, too. I'm currently playing a PRS S2 McCarty 594 Singlecut....rewired with Duncans, has a great tone, great weight, great playability, and the workmanship is impeccable...Used prices are really good, too.....just a thought!
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Old 04-17-2024, 08:43 AM
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I have two Gibson USA Pauls and one Heritage H-150 (it belongs to a good friend who hadn't played it in 20 years. he wanted "someone" playing it so I'm only happy to oblige)

I have a 95 Standard that weighs close over 11 lbs,
The Heritage is close to 11lbs

These are HEAVY guitars, a wide padded strap is really mandatory for standup playing.

my 2002 Standard isn't as heavy but it's not exactly light either 9.8lbs

IMHO, there is NOTHING that compares to one of these bad boys plugged into a Marshall

I have three Marshalls, JVM 50w head with 2 2x12 cabs. (Beastly!)
and two combos. JTM-60 2x12 w/2x12 cab and DSL40 1x12 combo

The sound, well it's heavenly really.

I wouldn't hesitate to own a third one.

Infact, I've been considering adding a Goldtop standard back to the fray
My FIRST lp was a 74 Deluxe Gold Top I got in highschool

I'm retiring soon, and I've toyed with gifting me one as a retirement gift

probably wont happen, cuz I don't NEED it

but like you said NEED? Pfffffffffft!

My advice?

DO IT!
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Old 04-17-2024, 08:45 AM
imwjl imwjl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirk Hofman View Post
Hey folks, I have a Telecaster Deluxe, and for no particular reason, I want a Les Paul. Just want to plug it straight into a Marshall amp and crank out Malcolm Young riffs (I know, it's a Gretsch Jet) and classic rock stuff. The tele is fine. I really like the neck and the control layout. Just want, not need.

Questions in my head:
  • necks are really different. Is one generally preferred for lead work?
  • Anyone get the 50's humbuckers and wish they'd have gotten the slightly hotter 60s? Is that even correct?
  • P-90? Might make a good contrast to the Tele, but I may or may not keep the tele and I want that core rock sound. Not into hum or noise.
  • There are SO MANY OF THEM! FFS. Where to start?
  • Does the chambering affect sound in a MEANINGFUL way for someone who isn't deep down the electric tone rabbit hole?
  • Would you say screw the LP, get a PRS singlecut? Why or why not?
  • Other thoughts?

Thanks so much you GAS enablers!
What's your budget comes to mind? Start with my standard advice for guitars, bikes, and skis - delay gratification and try stuff.

If you're not brand or logo focused be aware that like many acoustic makers have their version of a Martin or Gibson iconic model, same is true for electrics.
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