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chrisdove

The question I know you all hate to see

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I have been wanting to learn to play the guitar for a long time but never took the opportunity to start. Well the worst thing that could have happened happened; my doctor made me quit drinking, the wife decided to give up sex, so I have to have some kind of vice. I know it is a late start at 41 years old but I am ready to start learning.

 

In my business I am always running across deals. A guy needed to get out of a bind and needed $250.00 and gave me a Marshall DSL50 tube head with a 1960A cabinet in excellent condition. My cousin who has played the guitar for 25+ years checked it out for me and said I was crazy if I didn't jump on it. He tried it out with his PRS and it sounded good.

 

I'll get to the point.............

 

My decision to start playing has brought up a decision to make. I have been looking at the Epi LP Special II and like the guitar as an entry level guitar. I can get into one for little money and not really be upset if I do not like playing. I also like the Epi LP Studio for a little more money. I don't mind spending more but am just worried that if it is not my thing I would be out more money. Whatever direction I go I know it will be an Epiphone, one of the two listed or something else.

 

I know it is more a decision of personal preference, but I have searched the forums and read posts related to these two guitars but would like to ask for pros and cons of what I listed above.

 

Thanks in advance for any and all help given.

 

Chris

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hi there , and welcome [biggrin] you have a decent enough amp and if i was in youre shoes i would try and pick up an epi lp standard , more bang for youre buck , i haven't tried the 2 models you mentioned though , but in the end it all boils down to you and what feels / sounds good to you , hth

Alan

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They say it's never too late to learn - welcome aboard!

 

This cousin of yours with the PRS - is there any chance he has another guitar he might be willing to loan out to you for a couple of weeks, long enough for you to get familiar with the instrument, learn a couple of chords? At least this way, you could get some perspective on whether or not it's something you really want to continue with.

 

Learning to play guitar can be awkward, frustrating and yes, painful at first - be prepared for that. But also know that if you have patience, dedication, and perseverance, you'll get through the hard part. I would recommend that you seriously consider signing up for lessons from a good instructor as well. Don't expect to be playing "Eruption" anytime soon, either. [wink]

 

That all being said - once you've decided that you really want to continue with the guitar and keep it up as an ongoing hobby, I would agree with Alanssaab and go for a Standard over the Special. Take your cousin (or another guitar-playing buddy) with you so he can try a few out and help you avoid any potential lemons, since he should know what to watch out for - sharp fret ends, bad setups, poor intonation, high action... all these things can make an otherwise decent guitar play & feel like crap, which will make learning even more awkward, frustrating, and yes, painful.

 

There's lots of support out there and on this forum - most of us here have played for years and remember what it's like being a beginner, so don't be afraid to drop in and vent on us.

 

Good luck, and let us know how it turns out!

 

 

 

PS - Always, always, ALWAYS keep an extra set of strings in your case!

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FWIW, and as I understand it, the Studio is pretty much the same guitar as the Std, without the fancy "wrapping." Of course the Stds are nice, but the Studio is gonna be of the same quality (pups, hardware, set neck, etc). I really like the minimalist look of the Studios (although, with that said, I do own a Std +top.....the honeyburst won me over [wink] ) I'd stay away from the Special II unless no other option is available (have you considered buying used? Good deals are out there)

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Thanks for the replies so far.

 

@alanssaab - Have not even looked at the standard. I will look into it and do a little reading.

 

@pennyman - Unfortunately the PRS's all cost more than my first car did. He offered to let me borrow one for a few months but I just can't bring myself to borrowing something that expensive. He has offered to look over whatever I choose. He will be giving me lessons, he has been giving lessons for side money for the past 15 years.

 

@ new to strats - That would end up costing more than any guitar I would ever want.

 

@ rsdx - That is pretty much what I thought through my own research. I have not considered used as I was thinking of going the cheap route. If I step up to a more expensive guitar I will most likely go used for the value.

 

@ the_buffalo - Have not even considered it.

 

To all.....since I have not researched any used deals out there let me ask a couple of questions about them.

 

- Do Epi's hold there value? I have an approval from my financial advisor (wife) of up to $500. I am not planning on spending that unless it is something I can't pass up. I would like to spend as little as possible but have no problem spending my limit if I know I can get most of it back by selling if I do not want to continue. And in the same sentence if I decide I want to stay with this I would rather not have to 'upgrade' next year just due to the purchase of a cheap guitar.

- Where is the best place to look? I really do not want to do e-bay as there are so many unknowns in ordering off pictures. Craigslist about the best place?

 

Once again thanks for the help so far.......off to read more.

 

Chris

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I'd say:

second hand Epiphone Les Paul Standard OR new Epihpone Les Paul studio. Should cost around £200-250. Second hand studio would cost less than £200.

 

I'd say you're better off buying a second hand guitar than a new Special. Guitars don't really sound much worse over time to the same rate as they lose value, so for the same price as the special you could get a Studio or Standard that will sound better, but potentially have some (usually superficial) damage.

 

If you really want to buy new, I'd go for a les paul studio as a first guitar if your budget can stretch to it.

 

I started on a nasty Squier Stratocaster that sounded messy and wasn't very well built. The main reason was it cost £160 as a bundle with amplifier, strings, strap, plectrums, books etc. My thinking was exactly like you, that if I don't continue to play it, I've not lost much. It was OK to learn how to play, but the neck was twisted so the action's higher on one side than the other (but so's my Epiphone according to my local guitar guy) and the worst thing was that the bridge wasn't in the right place, so I couldn't innotate it, as far back as I could put the saddles wasn't far enough for 1 string. That's the thing that made me chose to replace it with an Epiphone, it was never going to sound right when one string can't be innotated.

 

I've got nothing but good things to say about my Epi Les Paul Standard, I'm pretty sure it's solid wood and it sustains well, so it doesn't sound too cheap and nasty. I wouldn't say it's a first guitar because it cost me £300, RRP was £350 when I bought it and for the finish I got seems to have gone up to £400 now. But the studio should be just as good to play and as good sounding, just cosmetically not as pretty.

 

Getting the special's more likely to put you off playing because it most likely won't really sound musical, just noisy. It's really false economy to get a guitar that might put you off playing and if you do keep playing, may have flaws in it that mean it never really can sounds good. I'd say the important thing in a guitar is the wood it's made of and the quality of construction. It's just never worth buying a plywood guitar with the bridge in the wrong place, even as a first guitar.

 

Also when it comes to the time when you're ready to move on from your first guitar, the special you'd probably want to completely replace. A studio or standard would probably go a lot longer before you outgrow it and if you do, you can upgrade it with new electronics because the actual construction of the wood's pretty good. I'm in the process of upgrading my Standard and I can't see myself actually buying a new guitar again before I'm ready for an expensive Gibson, which is just about as far as you can go in terms of trading up. If you do end up trying to sell it, second hand Epiphones below a studio or standard wouldn't really get much; but with a standard you have a chance of selling it for at least more than half what you paid for it.

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Typically the more you pay, the higher the percentage (of it's original value) you'll get when you sell.

 

If you want to lose the least, have a better guitar to play and listen to, spend more money - get a standard.

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Chris, budget for a professional tech (or a skilled amateur buddy if you have one) to set it up for you. It will make learning a lot easier if the guitar plays easily. Don't expect a new guitar to play well off the shelf just because it's new, although you might be lucky. Even second hand ones may never have had a proper set-up.

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Chris' date=' budget for a professional tech (or a skilled amateur buddy if you have one) to set it up for you. It will make learning a lot easier if the guitar plays easily. [/quote']

 

Absolutely true. A guitar that feels very hard to play and just makes you think you will never learn to even do baseic chirds will feel a lot better and easier with a proper setup. It is worth the money to have it done properly.

 

Going for a standard I think was the correct decision. If you decide you don't like to play, you will get more second hand and all in all not loose all that much more.- And if you DO enjoy it and keep playing, you wont grow out of the guitar as fast, and that way you may even save money. Quality has a way of paying for itself in the long run.

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Here is a standard in another thread that you might be able to pick up for less than the allotted $500. You can use the rest of the cash for peripheral matters, such as picks, straps, etc.

 

Being 17yo, it has some mojo built in already to help you along.

 

http://forums.epiphone.com/default.aspx?g=posts&t=16006

 

I too started playing again in my 40's after 20 some years w/o a guitar. It took a while to get back into the swing of things, but it is a great way to relax (and get ones mind off of s-e-x).

 

Good Luck

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That would end up costing more than any guitar I would ever want.

 

 

 

Not so fast there, fella... Once you get hooked you're going to want a lot of guitars.

 

It's called "GAS." Guitar Acquisition Syndrome. You'll find out... :-

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Chris' date=' budget for a professional tech (or a skilled amateur buddy if you have one) to set it up for you. It will make learning a lot easier if the guitar plays easily. Don't expect a new guitar to play well off the shelf just because it's new, although you might be lucky. Even second hand ones may never have had a proper set-up.[/quote']

 

 

Most stores will offer a free set-up if you buy new from them.

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Welcome to the forum and don't worry about starting at 41 years old. I had always wished I had learned and finally picked it up last year when I was 40. One of the best decisions I've ever made except for my almost constant GAS.

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Thanks for the replies, suggestions and encouragement guys. Looking for the Standard I want. Not in too big of a hurry but hope to have something by next weekend.

 

About the wife, it's kind of like my weight, I have way too much time and money invested to lose it now. All kidding aside she is really a great person supporting all my ideas. Seems like every year I want something new and she lets me run wild. Last year I bought my first motorcycle, a new Triumph. Year before she let me get one of the my dream cars, a '67 GTO Convertible. I am very happy with the wife I have.

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Pick up a used epi LP plus top, and start there.

 

Don't mess with any cheaper variants. Trust me, your not in the same league as the kiddies.

 

 

Change the strings, go plug into that marshall amp, lay you fingers across the second fet and wail on it and hold it there.

 

If that don't get your attention and prod your curiosity as to what you just did...... go find another hobby.

 

I picked up guitar again at 48 after a 35 year break :- ........ markerdown

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Now I don't feel so bad! I'm 53 and got the bug to play again a few months ago. It's been around 30 years since I owned a guitar, a SG copy back then and an acoustic when I was a real young 'un, and I picked up a used but in perfect condition 2008 Epi LP Standard Ebony two weeks ago for $265 Canadian including hard case. I wanted a Cherryburst Plus top but I couldn't resist the price and condition of the Standard. Now comes the hard/fun part of learning to play it! I'm thinking of getting the Learn&Master Guitar course to help me along. At the very least it will give me a decent start at things according to the reviews of it that I've read. Anyone have any opinion on it? I don't know what people here think of modelling amps, but I picked up a Peavey Vypyr to go along with it so that I can experiment with different effects without having to spend a fortune on various effects pedals

 

Anyways, I'm looking forward to the challenge. At the very least it will get me away from the computer a bit and with some luck I'll cut down on my smoking too because my hands will be too busy learning to play again. Hope I don't annoy my neighbours too much though! :-

 

Good luck Chris!

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Now I don't feel so bad! I'm 53 and got the bug to play again a few months ago. It's been around 30 years since I owned a guitar' date=' a SG copy back then and an acoustic when I was a real young 'un, and I picked up a used but in perfect condition 2008 Epi LP Standard Ebony two weeks ago for $265 Canadian including hard case. I wanted a Cherryburst Plus top but I couldn't resist the price and condition of the Standard. Now comes the hard/fun part of learning to play it! I'm thinking of getting the Learn&Master Guitar course to help me along. At the very least it will give me a decent start at things according to the reviews of it that I've read. Anyone have any opinion on it? I don't know what people here think of modelling amps, but I picked up a Peavey Vypyr to go along with it so that I can experiment with different effects without having to spend a fortune on various effects pedals

 

[/quote']

 

 

That was a great deal on the guitar - especially with a case!

 

As for Learn and Master Guitar, it is quite good but I strongly suggest getting lessons from a real teacher. Where in Canada are you? I'm betting there are plenty of good teachers in your area unless, of course, you live in rural Saskatchewan!

 

I was using the Learn and Master system but found I needed some one on one lessons. Still, it is a good system to start with. My teacher even suggested I keep using it to learn to read music so we didn't have to waste time on that while I was paying for his time. If you want any further info about it PM me. Actually, PM me and I can give you some more info on it that I would rather not post here.

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