Why don't Les Pauls usually have 24 frets or floyd roses?

Discussion in 'Standard Guitars' started by olsonuf, Aug 17, 2012.

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  1. olsonuf

    olsonuf Fretaholic

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    I've always been a floating tremolo user and required 24-frets so I just never happened to own a LP style guitar over the 20 years that I've played guitar.

    In fact, it seems that every guitar and bass I currently own or have ever owned has had a superstrat-style body, with only 3 exceptions ever.

    Here's what I don't understand:
    • Why do LP's so often have 22 frets and no trem except maybe an occasional bixby?
    • Is there something about the aesthetic of Les Paul-style guitars that doesn't work well with these features? I don't have any personal basis to gauge the overall aesthetic, but it seems there is a certain "purist" or "classic" or "conservative" type of appeal (not meant to criticize this view in any way, just in the way an admirer of one style appreciates "perfection")
    • Was Gibson just already offering the Les Paul and it was awesome enough and just mostly didn't bother to embrace the higher-frets/floating trem as they were introduced or didn't feel the need to improve on a classic?
    • Is a whammy bar on a Les Paul just "wrong" somehow?

    Plus, I want to understand why ESP didn't offer a floyd rose option on their EC-407 "LP" style 7-string, and understand how the aesthetics of a LP body/build/tone style affect the demand for one.




    For example, since I own so many strat-style guitars, for me:

    I like that a strat-style body is "orderly" and neat around the rounded portion at the bottom, even somewhat reserved and conservative, while the contours are graceful and slick. Yet there are two giant horns up there. Some are rounded, like Fenders, and give that classic original "wild" look, while on other guitars the points get sharper in all sorts of inventive and unique ways and become more threatening and/or demonic. :metal:

    Also, in a way, a strat style body is like a flame; a rounded bottom with two lapping flames coming to a point at the top; the neck is almost like a 3rd, especially w/ a nice pointy headstock of some sort.

    Add 24 (or more) frets, whichever specific electronics configuration suits whatever I'm going for, and a floating trem - holy crap, a theme park just opened on my guitar, and at least on any GOOD strat/superstrat, the cutaway gives me access to the whole range of it.





    So anyway, if any of you Les Paul guys would like to share your perspective I'd love to hear these kinds of things that draw you toward playing Les Paul style body shapes/builds. I'm really starting to want one (a 7-string one) but I'd really like it to have a floating trem.
     
  2. ZEBOV

    ZEBOV Banned

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    Because Henry Juszkiewicz would rather make atrocities like the Firebird X instead of something that makes sense.
     
  3. 3074326

    3074326 Local Astronaut

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    They don't sell. They've tried and are trying again. The Shred Les Paul is a Studio model, but they just aren't popular. Guys who play Les Pauls just don't want Floyds on them most of the time.
     
  4. NickS

    NickS Rocket Surgeon

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    You can get Floyd Rose trems on Carvin Les Paul style guitars, both the 22 and 24 fret versions. I highly recommend you check them out, I have a 22 fret TOM bridge version.
     
  5. Demiurge

    Demiurge Intrepid Jackass

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    Personally, I love the LP shape- it's comfortable and aesthetically-pleasing. I'm not really a trem user at all, and I have never in my near two decades of playing have composed or played anything requiring more than 22 frets and am probably not alone in those regards.

    Perhaps the LP is one of those shapes a little bit more ingrained in tradition and seen as less of a platform for innovation. There was a "super strat" movement in guitar design in the past few decades that somehow didn't quite translate to the LP; maybe it's the bolt-on design of a strat that makes it more friendly to the concept of Frankensteining and modding- you can swap-out necks, reroute slab-bodies easier, etc. to accommodate those performance-based changes like necks with more frets and aftermarket trems.
     
  6. mcd

    mcd stuff and thangs

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    The axcess is the only decently sold FR version, and if Alex Lifeson didn't have a lot to do with it's popularity it probably wouldn't be. Keep the LP bodies with OFR to the ESP/LTD realm.
     
  7. HeHasTheJazzHands

    HeHasTheJazzHands greg rulz ok

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  8. MstrH

    MstrH Arrogantly Average

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    Les Pauls are cool guitars. I have owned one and may yet own another.
    BUT, I think that they were originally designed using construction techniques they naturally borrowed from acoustics and semi-hollows: chunky set neck, not the best upper fret access, less than 24 frets. Before amplification, guitars were more of an accompaniment type of instrument, they didn't need a full two octave range. As time went on, people became fond of the vintage vibe and have a hard time associating anything very "modern" with LPs. (Yes, there is the Robot and the Axxess, but they don't sell worth sh#t) Another poster mentioned the mod-friendly nature of bolt necks, and I think there's something to that as well. Still, I can't believe how Fender and Gibson can thrive by continually photo copying their past ad nauseum.
     
  9. snowblind56

    snowblind56 SS.org Regular

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    I can't get up to the 24th fret on my guitars but what it does do is move frets 20-22 to a more reachable point further out from the body.
     
  10. HeHasTheJazzHands

    HeHasTheJazzHands greg rulz ok

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    I also wouldnt mind a 25.5in LP with a Floyd and 24 frets. :D
     
  11. olsonuf

    olsonuf Fretaholic

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    With strat users I've always heard complaints about running into the lower point w/ your hand while doing wide stretches, but I've only recently started experiencing this myself.

    The ESP LTD EC-407 would be perfect if it had a floyd rose on it. I actually contacted them asking them to make one, and started a poll/thread here to try to garner support for it. (here's the link if you'd want an LP 24-fret 7-string w/ a floyd if they made one, please vote whether you'd buy one if you have a second: http://www.sevenstring.org/forum/se...u-buy-ec-407-floyd-rose-if-they-made-one.html).

    It seems like the LP's single cutaway usually stays pretty well out of the way, near the 22nd fret, so a LP 7-string just like that but w/ a Floyd would solve all my problems. :)
     
  12. Laxdude67

    Laxdude67 SS.org Regular

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    i never understood why on earth a 22 fret fretboard was chosen over a 24...

    seems to kinda overlook...you know...the whole math thing with an octave...
     
  13. olsonuf

    olsonuf Fretaholic

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    I've heard the reasoning "you can always bend up to the octave from 22." Which is fine....but what if I want to bend a whole step FROM 24? It's the same reason they offer 88-key keyboards, so you can access a wider range.

    Stopping at 22 never made any sense to me either.
     
  14. ittoa666

    ittoa666 /)'3'(\

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    Just wanted to post this.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. olsonuf

    olsonuf Fretaholic

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    That is a pretty sweet guitar....even though it's missing a couple frets. :)

    But of course they'll build one for him! :) I'd be looking for more of a stock model though; I'm not really into getting somebody's signature series guitar.
     
  16. -42-

    -42- Nothing to see here

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    It's about the neck pickup sound. There's a difference between 22 and 24 that people notice and care about.

    Besides, let's be honest, most guitarists out there don't need 24 frets.
     
  17. ittoa666

    ittoa666 /)'3'(\

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    I would personally love 24, but an FR on an actual les paul sounds a bit wrong. I imagine it would rob a bit of tone.
     
  18. Thep

    Thep Blast & Sweep

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    Why doesn't Rolls Royce make dune buggies?
     
  19. Trespass

    Trespass AEADGBEA

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    This is not how the phyisics work. Frets 23 and 24 are always going to extend out further from fret 22.

    Heel design and where it meets the body is an issue independent of 22 vs. 24 frets.


    Pianos do not complete the octave in either direction. The lowest note is an A, the highest note is a C, stopping mid octave at both ends.

    The easiest answer guys, is that the music of it's time didn't demand or think highly of the sonic properties of that range of the guitar, especially noticeable because string gauges as low as .010 were not invented yet.

    What was being performed in the 50s was jazz, en which you rarely go above the 15th fret of the high E string anyways, R&B -> accompaniment, and early rock -> accompaniment and simple melody.
     
  20. Don Vito

    Don Vito SS.org Regular

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    Eh, it depends. If I'm playing in E standard tuning, I might as well just use a 22 fret guitar, because I find the high E on the 24th fret to be far to shrill. Anything below E tuning and I will use a 24 fret guitar.

    I understand what you are saying though.

    edit: guy above me nailed it. different needs for different times.
     
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