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Please help me choose my first Les Paul


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Hello all, i’ve been browsing this forum a bit... looks like a really great thing going on here!


i’m a long time Strat player and last year i got myself an ES-339. I found myself playing it more and more and i’m just loving that big sweet tone, but lately i’ve been thinking about getting a Les Paul. So much of my favourite music is 70’s rock and much of it comes from Les Pauls. Anyway, i’m not really sure where to start. I picked up an Epi LP Classic a few days ago and it sounds pretty good, but it won’t stay in tune for more than 30 seconds and while top end is sweet, the bottom is just not there. So i’m going to return it and try my luck with a real Gibson. I’d like to keep it the 2K area, but that’s a bit flexible as i’d rather dish out now for a long term guitar. I was looking at the LP Traditional Goldtop. Looks pretty good, but then again, i know nothing about LP’s. I’m not really into flamed tops and a lot of bling.. more just about a good player and good tone. I do however like the binding on the neck.. the LP special i tried didn’t move me any.


Anyway sorry for the long winded question... what should i look at? Any suggestions, recommendations? Tones i really like (don’t laugh) 70’s era Kiss and Aerosmith.

Any help is much appreciated.

Cheers Chris.

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Chris, I'm not laughing.

Those are my favorite tones as well.


The Traditional is a great piece.

If I was buying a new Les Paul I would seriously consider it.

57 Classic/Classic Plus is the perfect Les Paul pickup combo in my opinion.


The BurtsBucker 1, 2 and 3 in some others are not potted and may eventually go microphonic on you.


Save a little money and get a new LP Classic, still lots of them around. Mine was made in 2000.

They are sort of a half-assed 1960 reissue with the slim neck.

Beware, some had "aged" inlays that look snot green, and the ceramic pickups can be a bit hot.

I removed mine and put BurstBucker Pro's in it.


Spend a little more and get a Custom.

You already have a 339, so I know you appreciate fine guitars.


If you have the patience to shop, look at the reissues. Incredible guitars there, and some are priced decently.

Personally, I hate the VOS fake aging baloney on many of them now but the guitars are stellar.


Play all of them you can, and good luck!

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Maple, any Gibson guitar from a $700 SG Faded to a $5,000 + '59 reissue can have tuning issues...but the thing is, it's not really an issue. It's just an improperly cut nut. You can have it filed or you can just place powdered graphite or a product called Big Bendz nut sauce in the groves. Even pencil shavings do the trick.


Kiss and Aerosmith? Last I checked, those guys played solid bodies...+:-@

Any Gibson USA guitar has some sort of weight reduced body. Historic reissues do not.


1958 Les Paul reissue VOS. Click here.


If you don't like the aged VOS finish, you can dish out an additional $300 for a shiny one.

$3,100 is the advertised list price. I got mine for $2,500 US last July and you can also find them on eBay for as little as $1,800. Best thing is the mahogany is completely solid and yet the guitar does not weigh more than a LP Traditional that has 9 holes drilled out of the body.

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Maple, the only advice I can give is you get the guitar that "speaks" to you. You might try several before you choose, but that's half the fun, and it pisses off the kid workin' guitars to have to get the Les Paul that's hanging about 20 feet from the floor, and requires a rickety stepladder to get. Try a few, you'll find the "one".

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I agree with the last post but if I may add as well, assuming you have a decent amount of money, maybe consider buying a Les Paul made privately by an independant Luthier.


Some of the nicest quality Les Paul's and many other models I have really been taken with have been made independantly. Of course they come at a price sometimes too.



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thanks for the advice all. i went to the music store and played a bunch. they had a 2007 model that was nice and a 50's neck, and then there was another one, not sure the model. it was pretty close but in the end i selected a traditional goldtop. it just felt a great! and it had the "Neck Plek'd on Gibson Plek Machine" so that was a plus over the other one. the historic was very nice as well.. but it costs a bit more than i wanted to spend. They all cost a bit more in Canada.


so i'll try it out with my amp and effects (Princeton Reverb RI, Crunch Box and OCD) only way to really tell. The music store out here, Long and McQuade have a 30 day return so if it's not the right one i'll take it back and try again.

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Fulltone OCD?I've been seriously thinking about buying one.

Since I have absolutely no pedals at all' date=' I'm thinking that's a good place to start.[/quote']


It's a winner, Neo. It doesn't drastically change your tone the way some pedals do (the Big Muff springs to mind). It is very smooth and sounds great with a nice tube amp. I find it works better with a pretty clean amp setting. If I have some gain already cranked on my Marshall, the OCD is overkill - even with the gain down pretty low. But if I have a nice warm clean(ish) tube tone - say Wind Cries Mary type non-master volume type tone - the OCD is the shizzle!

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NeoConMan, ya it's the Fulltone OCD V4 i've got. it's a pretty good sounding box. not a bedroom unit.. likes some volume to sound good imo. i alternate between 4 OD/Dist boxes. I use the OCD, FullDrive II, MI Audio Crunch Box and MI Audio Blues Pro. i went a bit pedal crazy last year, sold off the 2 i had, and got those 4. i only use 2 at a time. sound ironic but i'm not a big pedal guy.. well i wasn't. i just like having various gain stages at hand with my amp set pretty clean. that's been my set up for my strat. i'm still getting use to humbuckers, they push the amp alot faster than single coils... so i've still got lots to learn there.

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I've wanted a Deja Vibe for years, I was looking at their other products and kept coming back to the OCD.


Let me get one thing straight, using sound samples from the internet to make gear buying decisions is stupid.

You need to KNOW what you're buying, not just go on some vague reference and associated hype.


Then I saw this;




One sample is with single coils, the other with humbuckers.

Very clearly explained, very well done.

Pretty much put the icing on the cake for me.


I just have to make myself un-*** the money, but I fear I'll get the bug I've resisted for thirty years and go ape-sh!t.

I tend to get into stuff big time, and there's a lot of pedals I would like to have just to experiment.


I've never been happy with my amp-switching set up, even after I heavily modified a couple good switches.

So, one of these days I'll find a switch that I really like - well, I'll pay for a switch I really like.


Had a Crybaby wah, never got comfortable with it.

Spent all my time looking at my foot, so I gave it to our boy

He pawned it along with all his guitars for money to party on, so it's gone for good....



Thought about a flanger, Tube Screamer, Roto-Vibe, and all the other pedals my friends have had over the years.

Problem is, they will probably wind up in a drawer with all my other guitar accessory stuff I never use.


Oh well, they will always be worth something and someday maybe even be collector pieces.

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