GAS'ing for a Les Paul. Not sure what I want.

Nicki

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So, I bought a Gibson Les Paul Tribute a few weeks ago to give to my son when he turns 10 (he's currently 1 y/o). I've been playing around with it every couple of nights and it's made me really start to like Les Pauls, which is odd because I didn't like them before. So I started looking around at what I would be interested in and thought what the hell, I could afford a Standard or a Classic. I also wanted to look into Heritage guitars and had the chance to go look at an H-150 over the weekend. My thoughts are as follows:

Standard 50s:
Thought i would like the baseball bat neck. Turns out it was really awkward for me to play on. Used are mostly pre-JC (<2019) so they have the weight relief. Not interested.

Standard 60s:
Definitely felt better than the 50s to my hands. Would easily justify the purchase if 1. I didn't just buy my Fender 75th Commemorative strat and 2. If the tops weren't ugly as sin. Don't show up used often. The ones that are currently available used are all <2019 models with the weight relief. Not really interested in anything earlier than 2020.

Classic:
Felt identical to the Standard 60s but a little lighter. Still felt good to play. Show up used all the time in my area. Can't justify new because the tops look like hot garbage. For the price of a used one, I could deal with the weight relief and plain tops.

Heritage H-150
Felt identical to the Standard 60s. Played well. Some fit and finish issues and being handmade in the old Gibson factory meant that not everything would be consistent. Top was nice at certain angles, but looking at it dead on, it looked like a plain top. Only available at 1 shop that's 1.5hr drive away from me and there are exactly zero used ones available. The one I liked had a left over tooling mark on the neck that was clearcoated over. Shame...

All three of those guitars are $3k+ in CAD. All of them had finish issues or ugly & next to plain tops. Quality is incredibly inconsistent across all three. At that price point, I'd expect near flawlessness, especially from the Heritage.

I'm actually thinking I might want to start gigging again. Would I really want to be bringing $3k+ guitars to local gigs where people in downtown Barrie are shitbags? No. I would hate to have a $3000 guitar stolen. So I feel like I should just go with another Tribute at $1600 or a used Studio. Would hurt if it was stolen, but not as bad as $3k+. Also.. not sure how I feel about the gloss neck on all but the Tribute. Additionally, knowing that I've been preferring rounder neck profiles since I've gotten older and my hands get cramps on thin profile necks, I'm thinking I may just stick with the Tribute since the Studio has a modern thin profile.

In writing all this down, I think I've come to the conclusion that the Tribute is what I want. Which is odd because it's the most "affordable" of everything I played.

Anyways... Let's hear your opinions.
 

wheresthefbomb

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Agile LPs are incredible for the price, especially used. I miss mine dearly.

As for gloss necks, don't be afraid to hit it with a scotchbrite pad to knock that gloss down a bit.
 

budda

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I played my custom 22 in barrie, you will be fine. I also borrowed a friends metroplex for what iirc was my last gig there. It was also fine :lol:.

L&m has new standards at $3199 down from $3549 this month. Go play a bunch. Some driving will be involved, but that is part of the fun.

Im surprised the H-150 was similar to a 60’s since the site made me think it’d be fat 50’s.
 

Nicki

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I played my custom 22 in barrie, you will be fine. I also borrowed a friends metroplex for what iirc was my last gig there. It was also fine :lol:.

L&m has new standards at $3199 down from $3549 this month. Go play a bunch. Some driving will be involved, but that is part of the fun.

Im surprised the H-150 was similar to a 60’s since the site made me think it’d be fat 50’s.
I thought so too. But definitely closer to a 60s. Just not 100% exact.

You have more faith in humanity than I do lol.
 

budda

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I thought so too. But definitely closer to a 60s. Just not 100% exact.

You have more faith in humanity than I do lol.
I got the best les paul I’ve ever played because the description was accurate and I liked the way it looked.

Specs are one thing, you gotta play a few.
 

Nicki

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I got the best les paul I’ve ever played because the description was accurate and I liked the way it looked.

Specs are one thing, you gotta play a few.
I'm definitely going to be trying out a few more before I pull the trigger. I used my lunch hour today to head over to Music Pro up here in Barrie to try out a studio and another Tribute. I definitely gelled with the satin neck on the Tribute more so I'm 90% certain I'll end up with one for myself. I dig the Iced Tea burst but on Thursday when I go for my guitar lesson, I gotta see if The Arts has one in stock like their site says they do.

Just gotta offload my PRS SE SVN to help fund the purchase so the wife doesn't get TOO mad at me for buying another guitar this year lol.

I'm still amazed that Music Pro still has another 75th Commemorative Strat in stock. I also noticed that L&M has a limited Iced Tea burst Classic for $2199 that has the old PCB controls. Maybe I should take another trip down to the Steeles location and try it out as well.
 

budda

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Give the arts a call, you’ll know quick lol. If you like a satin neck you can take a brillo pad to the studio. I know Mike Sullivan of Russian Circles talks about doing it to his lpc’s in an old rig rundown.
 

Kosthrash

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You may try an Epi Prophecy (the ones without the pickguard & with the Fishman Fluence pickups) for using to local gigs, I believe they have great vfm...

 

Nicki

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You may try an Epi Prophecy (the ones without the pickguard & with the Fishman Fluence pickups) for using to local gigs, I believe they have great vfm...

I'm gonna be a little snobbish and avoid Epiphone though I know they're rock solid. I also do not want active pickups.
 

Nicki

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I avoid epiphone because they are all D shaped necks.
I don't like the general feel of Epiphones. All of them that I've tried have had the acrylic finish and the plastic feeling just screamed "cheap" to me and really made me not enjoy the experience. Like I said, I know they're well built. There's just the plastic feeling to them that I don't enjoy. I bought an Epiphone Custom Les Paul 4 or 5 years ago and sold it within a week because I really didn't like how it felt.
 

Robslalaina

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You play them all until you find the one that needs to come home with you. Sometimes it's a Studio, sometimes it's a Custom.

That's pretty much how I've wound up with every LP I've ever owned.
This is the best possible advice for anyone getting into Les Pauls, or Teles, or any guitar for that matter. The idea is to forget about the specs and what they mean on paper and to play as many as possible until you find the one.

For example I hate the idea of a Les Paul without binding, yet the best I have played so far is a friend's 2008 Studio... That thing is so easy to play, sounds thick but not overly so, and for some reason I don't even mind the carved top even though on every guitar that would numb my forearm within 5 minutes - the high ass TOM I can rest my hand on probably helps. I don't even know what neck profile it has, or what exact pickups. It's just a great guitar.
 

zw470

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I don't like the general feel of Epiphones. All of them that I've tried have had the acrylic finish and the plastic feeling just screamed "cheap" to me and really made me not enjoy the experience. Like I said, I know they're well built. There's just the plastic feeling to them that I don't enjoy. I bought an Epiphone Custom Les Paul 4 or 5 years ago and sold it within a week because I really didn't like how it felt.

I was looking at a couple new Epi Les Pauls yesterday and they all felt, fake, somehow? Like the finish and binding and everything was just printed onto a piece of wood :scratch:
 

primitiverebelworld

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From my quite limited experience Epi LP Classic Worn is different from the other bunch - it has open pore(ish) satin finish and full weight. Own one myself.
Poly finished Epis do feel cheap though in comparison.
 

sell2792

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I briefly owned a tobacco burst Standard Premium Plus and shortly thereafter got my hands on an Edwards in the same finish. Within about a week I sold the Gibson - the Edwards played just as good and sounded better for about a quarter of the price.
 

cardinal

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If buying without playing first, my pick would be an E-II Eclipse FT. I've had a few and they are consistent and play very well. More comfortable than a typical LP.

But Gibsons IMHO are very nice, particularly within the last few years. They should be easy to find and if you're not super picky on what it looks like, you can just be patient and find one locally that is a good price and plays well.
 


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