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08 Les Paul vs Traditional


vintagegt

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Hi all, new to this forum and thought it would be the place to come to for some advice. Being a lifetime lover of the Les Paul since childhood but a player of Epiphone Les Pauls, I now wish to upgrade to the real deal. In the UK the price difference between an 08 Les Paul and a Les Paul traditional is about 200 pounds in some cases.

 

I understand there is a little difference in tone and see from the specs that the 08 is improved through pick up choice etc though is there anyone on here who has played both and can summarise the pros and cons of both?

 

I'm a huge fan of Zep, Free, Slash etc etc so am in search of the fat, roaring classic rock type of tone and tend to find the 50's neck a little big for me personally, prefer 60's profile that I had on a Les Paul Studio I once had.

 

Thanks for any advice and help guys.

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Studios all have 50s necks matey. The 50s 60s neck thing is trivial as far as I'm concerned.

 

Best thing to do is go in and play all ones you like the look of on the amp which you have at home.

 

Cus remember the amp your using is just as important as the guitar. Plugging a gibson les paul custom into a line6 solid state amp aint gonna get you that tone.

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Common Les Paul Traditional and Les Paul 2008 Standard:

 

* Mahogany body with maple top

* Mahogany neck

* Set-in neck joint

* Plek machine neck setup

* Rosewood fretboard

* 24-3/4" scale

* 22 frets

* 12" fretboard radius

* 1.695" nut width

* 2 volume and 2 tone controls

* 3-way pickup selector

* Lacquer finish

* Black snakeskin hardshell case

 

Les Paul Traditional

 

* Non-chambered, weight-relieved body

* '50s rounded neck profile

* Chrome Nashville Tune-O-Matic bridge

* '57 Classic Plus bridge humbucker

* '57 Classic neck humbucker

* TonePros Kluson-style tuners

* Chrome hardware

* Vintage speed knobs

 

2008 Les Paul Standard

 

* Chambered body

* Asymmetrical neck profile

* TonePros locking Nashville Tune-O-Matic bridge

* BurstBucker Pro with Alnico V bridge humbucker

* BurstBucker Pro with Alnico V neck humbucker

* Locking Grover tuners

* TonePros locking tailpiece

* Dunlop strap locks

* Chrome hardware

* Large neck joint

 

 

 

Some think chambering the body compromises tone, since the weight of the instrument is lessened and its not a solid block. The neck profile is a preference thing. I like the feel of both necks. I am not particular to any one neck yet. Pick ups are also subjective. Depends on what you like the sound of.

Dunlop strap locks on the standard are a big improvement. But you can upgrade those.

 

 

I got the list from above here: http://www.musiciansfriend.com/document/gibson/les_paul_traditional?doc_id=103910

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Studios all have 50s necks matey. The 50s 60s neck thing is trivial as far as I'm concerned.

 

Best thing to do is go in and play all ones you like the look of on the amp which you have at home.

 

Cus remember the amp your using is just as important as the guitar. Plugging a gibson les paul custom into a line6 solid state amp aint gonna get you that tone.

 

Ah, I asked the chappy in my local guitar shop which neck my studio had and he said it had 60's profile, I played a les paul in the shop that had a sticker on the headstock that said '50's neck' and that felt bigger to me.

 

I agree with the amp business, gonna have to play it through the amp I intend to get to replace my current solid state amp.

 

Thanks.

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I think this is how it goes.

 

There is a standard neck, standard slim taper. Which is on your standard Les Paul, Studios. Just a regular neck. This neck is the best for most people, fits my had perfect.

 

A 50's neck from the 1950's and the reissues baseball bat necks. They are thick all the way up the neck.

 

Then there is a bit slimmer then the standard neck, not much slimmer that came on the classics and some Standards. They call it 60's slim taper.

 

To me the 60's slim taper is very close to the standard, and I think the standard neck is far better. It fits the hand better because of the frets being close together.

 

Then there is the new asymmetrical neck. I tried this out, but I didn't like it. To me the standard Les Paul neck is the best.

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I think this is how it goes.

 

There is a standard neck' date=' standard slim taper. Which is on your standard Les Paul, Studios. Just a regular neck. This neck is the best for most people, fits my had perfect.

 

A 50's neck from the 1950's and the reissues baseball bat necks. They are thick all the way up the neck.

 

Then there is a bit slimmer then the standard neck, not much slimmer that came on the classics and some Standards. They call it 60's slim taper.

 

To me the 60's slim taper is very close to the standard, and I think the standard neck is far better. It fits the hand better because of the frets being close together.

 

Then there is the new asymmetrical neck. I tried this out, but I didn't like it. To me the standard Les Paul neck is the best.

 

[/quote']

Yeah, I agree, the neck on my Studio was ideal for me and I'd like a similar neck, same if poss, on any new les paul I get.

 

The Traditional I'm looking at is listed as having a 50's rounded neck, Im not sure where that will compare to my studio. Ive recently trawled about 10 local guitar shops, all of which had 2 Les Pauls between the whole lot, around here it seems impossible to find anywhere that has any new les pauls and a range of more than one or two so actually playing them and comparing is proving very difficult.

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I played them both recently in my "seemingly endless" quest to decide which LP I have to have and the Traditional won hands down. The problem is though that it is all so subjective that you really have to play them both, preferably multiple versions of both and then eventually you'll find that ONE that speaks to you.

 

The 2008 Standard I played was chambered with a 60s profile neck with BBs where the Traditional was modern solid [weight relieved] with a 50s neck and 57 Classic/Classic+ combo.

 

I found the Standard to be brighter but thinner where the Traditional to me was darker but warmer.

 

The Traditional is stiill on my shortlist and the Standard is not. The Traditional was probably at least a pound perhaps two heavier it seemed. The only thing I liked better about the Standard was the lighter weight [though not a big deal for me] and its balance was better. Also, since I have the Lifeson ES-355 with the 60s neck, the neck on the Standard was initially "more familiar" to me but that Traditional 50s neck is not the baseball bat 50s neck from the earlier 50s. I got used to it pretty quickly. To me, it's all about the tone and the Traditional simply had the better tone.

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Unless you live within travelling distance of London things can be pretty tough for auditioning Gibsons as you've found out.

When I got my standard I got lucky and could compare my studio against 2 50's necks and a 60's. Although all the neck profiles were very similar, I took a liking to the 60's necked one and the guitar as a whole sounded and felt right to me so thats what I went for. The more I play it, the more I notice the difference between it and the thicker neck on my studio.

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I played them both recently in my "seemingly endless" quest to decide which LP I have to have and the Traditional won hands down. The problem is though that it is all so subjective that you really have to play them both' date=' preferably multiple versions of both and then eventually you'll find that ONE that speaks to you.

 

The 2008 Standard I played was chambered with a 60s profile neck with BBs where the Traditional was modern solid [weight relieved'] with a 50s neck and 57 Classic/Classic+ combo.

 

I found the Standard to be brighter but thinner where the Traditional to me was darker but warmer.

 

The Traditional is stiill on my shortlist and the Standard is not. The Traditional was probably at least a pound perhaps two heavier it seemed. The only thing I liked better about the Standard was the lighter weight [though not a big deal for me] and its balance was better. Also, since I have the Lifeson ES-355 with the 60s neck, the neck on the Standard was initially "more familiar" to me but that Traditional 50s neck is not the baseball bat 50s neck from the earlier 50s. I got used to it pretty quickly. To me, it's all about the tone and the Traditional simply had the better tone.

 

I wanted to also add that the type of music you play ways heavily on this decision. I play blues and classic rock. Shredders might well prefer the chambered body and the hotter pups of the Standard or Classic too.

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The neck profiles are:

 

'50s or '50s rounded

'59 rounded

'60s sim taper neck

Assymetrical

 

The Traditional is what a Standard used to be, they are modeled after the late '80s-mid '90s LP Standard. They sound very nice with the weight releived body and '57 classic pups. IMHO. The new Standard is nice too, but it's got a slightly different sound and character to it.

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I have both. They do not sound the same. They do not play the same. The neck of my traditional is very comfortable and the neck of my 2008 standard is a little odd. It's thicker behind the top of the fretboard and thinner on the bottom. The traditional sounds more hollow and a little, less lower mids, harsher highs, tighter. The standard is looser, more lower mids & bass, smoother highs.

 

I have to be honest and say that the traditional is just as good but I think I like the standard a little better. First because of the tone, second because of the pickups, third because of the locking tuners and fourth just because the tops are nicer.

 

What matters is that you buy the one that inspires you.

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The Traditional is a proper LP. I wouldn't play the new "experimental" for free. I played one in the studio a couple of weeks ago and if someone had told me it was a Chinese knockoff I would have believed them. With the exception of the nice top and locking tuners (which I like) the whole thing just felt like a cheap toy. I would venture to guess in that in a couple years time the "experimental" will be phased out for the more "Traditional" style Standard ...

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08 Les Paul vs Traditional = chambered vs swiss cheesed.

 

If you like the traditional non-chambered Les Paul tone, go

for the Traditional.

 

If you like the newer chambering thing, go for the Standard.

 

To each his own.

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I played them both recently in my "seemingly endless" quest to decide which LP I have to have and the Traditional won hands down. The problem is though that it is all so subjective that you really have to play them both' date=' preferably multiple versions of both and then eventually you'll find that ONE that speaks to you.

 

The 2008 Standard I played was chambered with a 60s profile neck with BBs where the Traditional was modern solid [weight relieved'] with a 50s neck and 57 Classic/Classic+ combo.

 

I found the Standard to be brighter but thinner where the Traditional to me was darker but warmer.

 

The Traditional is stiill on my shortlist and the Standard is not. The Traditional was probably at least a pound perhaps two heavier it seemed. The only thing I liked better about the Standard was the lighter weight [though not a big deal for me] and its balance was better. Also, since I have the Lifeson ES-355 with the 60s neck, the neck on the Standard was initially "more familiar" to me but that Traditional 50s neck is not the baseball bat 50s neck from the earlier 50s. I got used to it pretty quickly. To me, it's all about the tone and the Traditional simply had the better tone.

 

Gotta admit, in my very similar 'seemingly endless quest' I have noticed that of all the reviews I have read most people who auditioned standards and traditionals, more often than not, preferred the traditional in sound and feel. Darker and warmer is certainly preferable to me than bright and thin.

 

Guess Im gonna have to make a fairly long journey to try some, Im in the North East so Manchester may be my best bet.

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I wanted to also add that the type of music you play ways heavily on this decision. I play blues and classic rock. Shredders might well prefer the chambered body and the hotter pups of the Standard or Classic too.

 

Blues and classic rock is my bag too, thats what Im looking for.

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The neck profiles are:

 

'50s or '50s rounded

'59 rounded

'60s sim taper neck

Assymetrical

 

The Traditional is what a Standard used to be' date=' they are modeled after the late '80s-mid '90s LP Standard. They sound very nice with the weight releived body and '57 classic pups. IMHO. The new Standard is nice too, but it's got a slightly different sound and character to it.[/quote']

 

I think the traditional is getting my vote at the moment, haven't heard any real negatives yet and from what Im hearing about the neck, feel and tone of the traditional it sounds good to me, just need to find one I can try!!

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I mainly play blues' date=' country and classic rock. I do prefer the 57 pickups in the traditional, like someone said before, they do sound thicker and warmer. Just my opinion and thoughts. When I played the standard and the classic, I thought the pickups were to 'hot' for my taste.

 

Good Luck[/quote']

 

Yeah, that seems to be the opinion of a lot of folk I've spoken to, sounds like the traditional could be the one for me!

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Well, Burstbuckers are a nice fit for most chambered Les Pauls, while '57 Classics might be a better fit for the non-chambered Les Pauls.

 

There's so much more coming into play than 'pickups'.

 

In the end it's the Les Paul itself that sounds thick and warm and not the pickups. Pickups are meant to make a guitar sound balanced with the right eq, whether that's with the '57 classics or Burstbuckers...doesn't matter. It depends on

the individual guitar.

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Well' date=' Burstbuckers are a nice fit for most chambered Les Pauls, while '57 Classics might be a better fit for the non-chambered Les Pauls.

 

There's so much more coming into play than 'pickups'.

 

In the end it's the Les Paul itself that sounds thick and warm and not the pickups. Pickups are meant to make a guitar sound balanced with the right eq, whether that's with the '57 classics or Burstbuckers...doesn't matter. It depends on

the individual guitar.[/quote']

 

I agree, there are some bare knuckle pups on the market that sound better than some Gibson pick ups in a les paul so thats not really what would sway it, thats why I wanna try before I buy as I get more 'good vibes' from a guitar just by playing it unplugged to get a feel of the neck and hear its natural resonance, thats whats most important to me, pick ups can be changed as can amps etc to tweak the sound of a guitar that has a great natural resonance though that same natural resonance, and the neck for that matter, are almost impossible to manipulate or alter.

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