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Newbie Needs a Les Paul Lesson


Mr.Jack55

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Hey guys, please pardon my ignorance, but I just started learning to play (at 38) and I have a few quick questions for you seasoned pros. I've always been in love with the Les Paul, even though I could never play one. Well I'm working on that now, and I'm dieing to get one of my very own. :-#

Stupid question #1. Other than price, how does an Epi LP differ from the modern day Gibson?

Stupid question #2. What makes the Jr. a Jr.

Stupid question #3. Custom vs standard

 

Thanks for any and all learn'n. Just remember, I'm a virgin...so please be gentle.

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You will make fantastic music with your Epi trust that. Also, IMO Epi's use much BETTER tuning keys than Gibsons on their setneck guitars these days. Most everyone I know with a Gibson has swapped out the tuners for Grovers, again which come stock on almost every setneck Epi you buy new today.

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Stupid question #2. What makes the Jr. a Jr.

 

A flat top and one pickup as stated above, AND a wraparound tailpiece (instead of a tune-o-matic bridge and a stop tailpiece). Makes intonation harder and less accurate. A very good model but maybe not the best choice as a first or only guitar.

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Hey guys' date=' please pardon my ignorance, but I just started learning to play (at 38) and I have a few quick questions for you seasoned pros. I've always been in love with the Les Paul, even though I could never play one. Well I'm working on that now, and I'm dieing to get one of my very own. :-#

Stupid question #1. Other than price, how does an Epi LP differ from the modern day Gibson?

Stupid question #2. What makes the Jr. a Jr.

Stupid question #3. Custom vs standard

 

Thanks for any and all learn'n. Just remember, I'm a virgin...so please be gentle.[/quote']

 

First of all, welcome to the Epiphone Electric Forum...

 

I recently purchased an Epiphone Les Paul after going many years without my Gibson LP Custom (had to

sell it a few years back). To answer your questions...

 

#1. The first big difference "is" price. Most Gibson vs Epiphone eqivalent models are 3 to 4 or more times higher

in price than the Epiphone model. The Epiphones LPs are now made in China at the Qingdao Factory,

their Serial number starts with EE...Epiphone Electric. Some were formerly made in Unsung, Korea, Serial

Number starting with U, and some in DeaWon, China, Serial Number starting with DW.

 

The woods may be a bit different, since Gibson is made in the USA they tend to use better woods, so to

speak, than the Asian made Epiphones. However, the Epiphone is a well made guitar and of high quality

for an Asian made instrument. The woods are usually mahogany body and neck with a carved-maple cap

on the body. The pickups vary over the models with the Gibson tending to be better, but the Epiphone

pickups sound good, too. Many of the brothers on the forum tend to mod their Epiphones to Gibson

or OEM Pickups of their choice, but some of us like the stock pup sound on the Epiphone's just as well.

It's up to you.

 

#2 It's more of a stripped down model with one pick up, no binding or other frills and tends to have a flat-top

as opposed to curved maple like the higher end model LPs (except the Studio).

 

#3 In the Gibson LP, the Custom has an Ebony fingerboard as opposed to Rosewood on the Epiphone model.

Both models in the Custom have fancier inlay in the headstock, and binding on the body, neck, and headstock.

The trusrod cover says Les Paul Custom.

The Standard model in both have binding just on the top part of the body and neck, but none on the headstock.

The headstock has no binding and has the Les Paul Model signature. The Epiphone trust rod cover says Les Paul

Standard, whereas the Gibson one just says Standard.

Of course both models have the Gibson or Epiphone logo inlaid in the headstock.

Tuning keys may vary on models (Grover vs Klusen). Pick your personal preference.

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IF you are going to play it only, the Epi will be JUST FINE!

IF you want the additional perk of an "investment," then

Gibson is a better bet, that way. The newer production

models (Gibson) will not have the phenomenal investment potential,

that the old "Vintage" ('50's and '60's) guitars do. But they will

increase in value, even so. The "Custom Shop" and/or limited editions,

obviously will appreciate more/faster. But, for a good, solid, well made,

Les Paul, Epi's are hard to beat. The "Elitist" line (from Japan) being the

best. But even the Chinese and Korean ones are really decent! And, as

mentioned, you can "mod" them, to your exact requirements, and still not

be out a "fortune!"

 

Welcome aboard!

 

CB

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But they will increase in value' date=' even so. The "Custom Shop" and/or limited editions,

obviously will appreciate more/faster. [/quote']

 

OT, just out of curiosity and without ill will, what do you base that on? All I can think that would make today's Gibsons increase their value of is inflation... For example, I don't think the '70s or '80s LPs are highly collectible as of yet?

 

Still. I agree with you on Gibsons being an investment, most of all for us Europeans (if bought from the US) now that the USD has almost hit the bottom.

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Hey Mr.J55,

 

I feel much better now. I too am 38 and began playing 3 weeks ago. I chose an Epiphone Elitist LP Standard Plus Faded Cherryburst paired with an Epiphone Valve Junior Half Stack. I'm very satisfied with the performance and quality of both the guitar and amp. Here's a quick pic:

 

IMG_3570%20800x600.JPG

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The woods may be a bit different' date=' since Gibson is made in the USA they tend to use better woods, so to

speak, than the Asian made Epiphones. However, the Epiphone is a well made guitar and of high quality

for an Asian made instrument. The woods are usually mahogany body and neck with a carved-maple cap

on the body.[/quote']

No and no. No mahogany, really, and definitely no maple. You want a true maple cap over genuine mahogany Les Paul, you have to buy either a Gibson or an Elitist Epiphone.

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Hey Mr.J55' date='

 

I feel much better now. I too am 38 and began playing 3 weeks ago. I chose an Epiphone Elitist LP Standard Plus Faded Cherryburst paired with an Epiphone Valve Junior Half Stack. I'm very satisfied with the performance and quality of both the guitar and amp.[/quote']

Welcome to the Elitist club. You've made a very wise purchase, and I'm sure you'll have a great time with that combination.

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OT' date=' just out of curiosity and without ill will, what do you base that on? All I can think that would make today's Gibsons increase their value of is inflation... For example, I don't think the '70s or '80s LPs are highly collectible as of yet?

 

Still. I agree with you on Gibsons being an investment, most of all for us Europeans (if bought from the US) now that the USD has almost hit the bottom.

[/quote']

 

Well, based on my own experience, with Gibson (old and newer) guitars! My "Lucille" for example, when I

bought it (just 4 years ago), it was 1000 dollars cheaper, than now. Even by the wildest inflation figures, that's a pretty sizable jump. Also, on the lower end of the Gibson scale, I purchased a "Faded" double cut, Les Paul, for

1/2 (new) what it's selling for now, and that was a mere 2 years ago. So...yeah, I think Gibson's are still

a decent investment. I wasn't, however, trying to raise any false hopes, or saying one should buy Gibson

for the "investment" reason, alone. But, it never hurts to take all things in consideration, before making a

purchase. That's all... I LOVE "Epi's!" And, all things considered, they are great guitars! But, as we have

all agreed, here, they are NOT "Gibsons,"...for better or worse. LOL!

 

CB

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Matic, Paul_P, Biff, Midgetfist, Rotcanx, Charlie B:

Thanks for your help boys. I got some think'n to do.

Matiac: Keep on rock'n

Paul: That's a lot of great detailed info. Thanks

RotcanX: "Just remember, no mater where you go...there you are."

Midgetfist: Nice looking set up. Keep the faith!

Charlie Brown: Elitist..I can see the light!

Biff: The Gibson would be a better investment, no doubt.

 

All of your thoughts and opinions are much appreciated my new friends.

J

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My Gibby LP Studio was purchased new in 1992 for $525. Now the street price for that guitar is $1100 and change. I could "make" money based on the dollar difference and could probably break even in the currency adjustment.

 

If you read the ads and specs, the standard Epi has and alder top and the Custom and above have a maple cap, however thin. The gibson has a 1/4" maple cap. The epi is thinner. Whether the mahogany used in offshore instruments is real mahogany is up for discussion. Gibson uses exotic woods and Epi uses commonly available asian woods. Lots of debate has occurred on the subject of sound obtained using both woods. IMHO, I'm getting much more sound at a lower price than I should! My Epi is modded and has SD pickups, but sounds like my Gibson in all aspects.

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OT' date=' just out of curiosity and without ill will, what do you base that on? All I can think that would make today's Gibsons increase their value of is inflation... For example, I don't think the '70s or '80s LPs are highly collectible as of yet?

 

Still. I agree with you on Gibsons being an investment, most of all for us Europeans (if bought from the US) now that the USD has almost hit the bottom.

[/quote']

 

Collectible, no...but even Norlin-era LPs are commanding ridiculous prices. Even misbegotten models like the Sonex and the Marauder are going up in value.

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The gibson has a 1/4" maple cap. The epi is thinner. Whether the mahogany used in offshore instruments is real mahogany is up for discussion.

 

Actually' date=' the maple cap used on Gibsons starts out as a 1/2" piece of wood; it only gets down to 1/4" at the edges due to the carving of the top. If you remove the bridge pickup you'll see 1/2" of maple.

 

[img']http://www.marantatech.com/Graphix/half inch cap.jpg[/img]

 

The Epi caps have 1/32" of maple veneer over 'mahogany'. This is a 'maple cap' in only the smallest technical sense; a veneered piece of wood can legally be referred to by the veneer material only.

 

Secondly, the real mahogany issue is not 'up for discussion' IMO:

 

"Mahoganies may refer to the wider group of all the timbers yielded by the three related genera Swietenia, Khaya and Entandrophragma. In addition, the timber trade deals with various FTC defined 'mahoganies', under a variety of different names, most notably "Philippine mahogany"."

 

...i.e. the FTC may call these woods 'mahogany', but regardless they are not of the three species recognized as 'genuine'. Now, that's just the way I see it; but then again I tend to set high standards in this kind of thing. I think it's interesting that Epiphone finds it necessary to apply a veneer of African mahogany over the Philippine wood they use on their LPs and G-400s... is this merely for cosmetic reasons, or are they simply doing another veneer trick so that they can legally refer to the wood as 'mahogany'?

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Boy oh boy, I'm both glad and sorry I started this.

I guess it's all a moot point for now. I can only play a few cords, and poorly at that!

Whether is mahogany, Maple, korina, oak, walnut or balsa it would all sound the same in my hands. ;)

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Oh, it can get pretty intense in here. Sometimes a simple question can open up an immense can of worms. But nonetheless it's a learning experience for all of us; no-one here knows it all. As long as you're having fun, it's all good.

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