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My daughter's step-sister was over this past weekend (ironically, I spent Mother's Day with both of my ex-wife's kids) and she is interested in learning guitar as she is already into voice and piano.

 

I set her up with my late-70s Cort Les Paul copy, a black beauty knock-off just as beautiful as the real deal. It has SD JB and Jazz pickups and was completely rewired. Anyway, it's been in a case for the past two years so I tuned it up and forgot how gritty it sounded and how well it played (doesn't complete with the Gibbys though). She was as happy as can be.

 

Now comes the question. What new toy should replace it? I don't want to get anything I already have.

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Ain't voting because nothing's there that trips my trigger.

 

The idea of a cutaway AE is good but... never cared for Taylors. Bolt on necks for an AE? Really? And I think the sound kinda reflects it the way that some old inexpensive flattops with bolt-on necks sounded.

 

No kidding, the way I play, I get more what I want out of a silly little inexpensive plywood topped Epi PR5e that isn't all that wonderful acoustic, but run through the board, I've had some Brit pro sound guys say it sounds as good as anything they've heard, period. And it plays very, very nice.

 

Gibson has some nice AE cutaways. Back in the '50s they made an early Florentine cutaway just about the same size/shape as that PR5e, but with a mag pup. I'd love to see a Gibson quality version of that little Epi, 'cuz I find the size/shape really nice to play, and far more comfortable than my dread-size, much more expensive boxes.

 

Yes, I would NOT swap my cheapie Epi set up nicely for what I do for a Taylor, regardless of price tag. Silly? Mebbe. But if it feels "just right" and sounds good on stage... why not feel that way?

 

The 335 studio ... I dunno. I've a hunch it'd be a decent choice but I've never heard one. I think you'd find it "large" compared to what you're playing now. The advantage is a semihollow sound that's not quite a hollow but not quite a board guitar. Me, I'd miss the pick guard largely 'cuz I brace fingers on mine but... think of this: Add a pickguard and a floating neck pup and pickguard controls as on some doggone decent high end archtops. There even are kits that put that all together for you. Of course, you've gotta put some screws into the box... and I'm not sure I'd wanna do that to a Gibson regardless.

 

As for the LP custom, I can see the logic of "the real thing," but on the other hand, since you had a really nice and well setup Cort, the fact that it's been in the case two years indicates to me that the shape/balance/whatever aren't "you."

 

I guess my bottom line would be to encourage you toward a semi or 16-inch body full hollow or a similar size AE flattop. None really are, IMHO, good for beating on. If you want that, yeah, maybe an SG or a dreadnaught or something with a bolt on neck like a Fender or whatever.

 

The semi or full hollow or AE flattop are very different from what you're playing and could offer some new country to explore a bit.

 

m

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