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How to evaluate a Les Paul?


ckfoley

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I'm looking at purchasing a '57 Les Paul reissue. There are very few in my area - one 30 miles to the east, another 50 miles to the west. I will play them to evaluate tone and feel. But, what else do you look at when checking one of these out? After seeing the thread with cracks developing in the body and binding I want to be sure to check the condition of the binding, fit of the neck, frets, etc. Any other tips?

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Play the guitar unplugged first. It will give you a better idea of the tonal qualities of the wood. While it is still hanging on the wall at the store, strum it and put your hand on the body to feel for vibration in the wood. If you feel something, even just a little, the wood is transmitting the vibration of the notes.

 

Also check the feel of the frets and the straightness of the neck.

 

Play a few harmonics to hear that aspect of the tone. Most of all how does it feel in your hands. If it is comfortable then you might have a winner.

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