Jump to content
Gibson Brands Forums
Sign in to follow this  
Big Red One

Help! My new Les Paul doesn't sound like I expected.....

Recommended Posts

I've always wanted a Gibson Les Paul but never could afford one. So for years I've played an Epiphone LP. That Epi was and is a great guitar. I finally got some xmas bonus money and bought a genuine Gibson LP standard (a used 2005 model per the serial number) from Guitar Center yesterday. I was expecting the sound to be smooth, creamy, mellow and warm like my Epi LP. To my surprise the sound is thin and tinny, like my Telecaster. I play a lot and I put down my Tele and Strat because I thought they sounded to thin and tinny. My Epi LP is much warmer and mellower. I was expecting the Gibson LP to be even more so but it's not. What gives? Are they all this way? It has the stock pups (I think). If you own both an Epi and a Gibby LP have you noticed this? I'm thrilled to have a genuine LP but the sound is not what I'm after. I do have a 30 day satisfaction guarantee so I may take it back for another. I need advice. Tell me how I should proceed. Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've always wanted a Gibson Les Paul but never could afford one. So for years I've played an Epiphone LP. That Epi was and is a great guitar. I finally got some xmas bonus money and bought a genuine Gibson LP standard (a used 2005 model per the serial number) from Guitar Center yesterday. I was expecting the sound to be smooth, creamy, mellow and warm like my Epi LP. To my surprise the sound is thin and tinny, like my Telecaster. I play a lot and I put down my Tele and Strat because I thought they sounded to thin and tinny. My Epi LP is much warmer and mellower. I was expecting the Gibson LP to be even more so but it's not. What gives? Are they all this way? It has the stock pups (I think). If you own both an Epi and a Gibby LP have you noticed this? I'm thrilled to have a genuine LP but the sound is not what I'm after. I do have a 30 day satisfaction guarantee so I may take it back for another. I need advice. Tell me how I should proceed. Thanks.

Give yourself some time to get use to it. (at least 30 days)

This symptom happened with something like 60% of my guitars.

It's like dating a girl you knew before in a different way. It still can be very surprising. But if you stay focused on her and not on what you expect, it can only be good, at least, for 30 days. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dude, i've tried a lot of gibsons, I dont have one but i'm getting it in a few weeks, and all of them has that sweet tone that you're looking for... At first, check the cable, the plug of the amplifier, and the pedal if you have one... Then, check the pickups,take them of the guitar and make sure that everything it's okey... Move all the knobs of the guitar, push them down (not to hard) and check the sound again... if it doesn't work like you want, call the gibson repair & restoration department... they will check it... it'll be good if you upload a picture of the guitar to check that it's an original gibson... l..L

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Big Red One. I have a Gibson Les Paul Classic Antique with '57 Classic in the neck and '57 Classic+ in the bridge. My son has an Epi LP Standard. His sound is more muddy and my sound is more biting "clean distortion" and it even breaks up on the clean channel of my Peavey classic amp. Th '57 Classic pu's are hotter than his. Your's may be also, compared to your Epi. I think it will just take some getting used to with your Gibby. Work with your equalization a little to adjust to the sound you want. In the end, the Gibson pickups and wiring is much better than the Epi. You just need to get accustomed to the new sound.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dude, i've tried a lot of gibsons, I dont have one but i'm getting it in a few weeks, and all of them has that sweet tone that you're looking for... At first, check the cable, the plug of the amplifier, and the pedal if you have one... Then, check the pickups,take them of the guitar and make sure that everything it's okey... Move all the knobs of the guitar, push them down (not to hard) and check the sound again... if it doesn't work like you want, call the gibson repair & restoration department... they will check it... it'll be good if you upload a picture of the guitar to check that it's an original gibson... l..L

 

 

Hey Luis, Is that your Classic Antique in your Avatar? It is my exact guitar, in fact that looks like a picture I got of mine from First Quality Music before they shipped mine to me. Pretty cool if you've got one of the 400 made of that finish too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Try playing more than one guitar before buying is my suggestion.

 

once again, tim hits the nail on the head. if it sound bads, why'd you buy it? take it back.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Try playing more than one guitar before buying is my suggestion.

 

 

Good advice.

 

I'm wondering, since you're posting this today having bought it yesterday, I'm assuming you bought it in person, not through the mail, and played it before you bought it.. Right?

I know playing through a store amp may not be exactly what it will sound like at home, but it should give you some indication of it's tone.

In my opinion, if you're gonna spend your money buying the guitar you've always wanted, you know what tone your looking for, and don't intend to modify it to get that tone, then there should be no reason that you should have to "Get used to it".

You should walk out of the store happy with your purchase.

It's a used guitar, so modifications may have been made.

Maybe you could take it back and play through a number of different amps to see if the guitar is capable of achieving the sound you're looking for.

 

At least you have 30 days to decide.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would definitely return it rather than try to figure out why it has a thin sound... Go back to playing your epiphone for now until you find the Gibson Les Paul with the sound you are looking for... I would go for any LP with 490R/498T or 57 Classics...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

/shrug

 

 

My 2007 is not thin like the recent Strats I've played. Where are your tone pots? What are you playing into? Have you tried various EQ settings?

 

 

BTW, I'm giving you credit for having acutally played it before it came home with you.... if not, then take it back and try some others.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mine sounded EXACTLY like a Tele for 3 years........because I had "dead tapped" the top half of the bridge p'up.

I did it on purpose, for lack of a "proper" Tele........perhaps the previous owner of yours did something similar?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mine sounded EXACTLY like a Tele for 3 years........because I had "dead tapped" the top half of the bridge p'up.

I did it on purpose, for lack of a "proper" Tele........perhaps the previous owner of yours did something similar?

 

 

Interesting!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Might be as simple as amp settings (it's a very different guitar than your Epi after all, and may well require different settings).

 

Might have been modified. Who knows? I'd try other settings on the amp, and quite possibly take it back to the store, and compare sound side by side with other Gibson Les Pauls that should have the same electronics (this should give you an indication of whether it's been altered).

 

In the end, If it matches others of it's kind in tone, I'd suggest a short adjustment period of playing and experimenting with amp settings. If you're not happy well before 30 days (say, 20 or 25), or if it doesn't match similarly equipped Les Pauls, take it back. It would SUCK to be stuck with a guitar you are unhappy with!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It might be that you're just used to the sound of your Epi (which is cool), and possibly expected too much too quick from the Standard.

What kind of p'ups are in your new LP? Most of the time those will be the deciding factor on how you want your guitar to sound.

Also make sure your guitar is set up properly, and change the strings.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've never heard any guitar even with a cheap humbucker that sounded anything like a tele (unless it was coil tapped). That's a clue to me that something is probably not wired right somewhere or there is an unknown coil tap or half the pick-up is dead. Could be wired out of phase or possibly magnetically out of phase as well. I would do the the following as a quick check.

 

First one is easy slightly pull up on all of your knobs to make sure one of them hasn't been wired as a coil tap when pushed down and full humbucker when pulled up. If you pull the knobs off then most likely not :)

Next plug it in and take a screw driver and tap on the pole pieces of each coil of the bridge pickup. Do both of them sound about the same volume? If one is way louder than the other or no sound out of one then most likely it is a wiring issue.

Does the Tone control work?

Does the neck pick-up sound thin too? What about when you have them both selected?

 

Sorry but that slab of wood won't sound thin like a tele. It's gotta be wiring or some extremely crappy pick ups?

 

 

My opinion....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mine sounded EXACTLY like a Tele for 3 years........because I had "dead tapped" the top half of the bridge p'up.

I did it on purpose, for lack of a "proper" Tele........perhaps the previous owner of yours did something similar?

 

 

Interesting!

 

At one time in my "circle of friends and aquaintances" this was a common mod, once it's done just max the bridge tone pot for "instant Tele" or select both p'ups and wind the bridge tone down to about 4 to "thicken it up" like a LP should sound.

I considered adding a "tap toggle" but decided against butchering my LP.

 

It was super easy for ME to do this mod because mine has the "Lawrence "Circuit-board" p'ups".

GarysCam109.jpg

GarysCam112.jpg

 

But as i'm sure you know, it's easy to do with ANY 4 conductor p'up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Give yourself some time to get use to it. (at least 30 days)

This symptom happened with something like 60% of my guitars.

It's like dating a girl you knew before in a different way. It still can be very surprising. But if you stay focused on her and not on what you expect, it can only be good, at least, for 30 days. :D

 

This.

 

Also, did you get a setup?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If the guitar has Burstbucker pickups, you might find that they sound thin. Classic 57 pickups are smooth sounding, but the Burstbuckers are more "edgy", and sometimes that sounds thin. You can pull the pickups out and look at the backs of them and see what model you have. Maybe a switch to 57's would help.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It can't hurt to check the wiring. It is possible to wire the humbuckers "out of phase". In which case each pickup (unlike single coils) cancels out certain frequencies of the other pickup. The result is a thin sound. Some people do this on purpose. I owned a Tokai Love Rock that was wired this way. Didn't do anything for me, so I fixed it asap.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've always wanted a Gibson Les Paul but never could afford one. So for years I've played an Epiphone LP. That Epi was and is a great guitar. I finally got some xmas bonus money and bought a genuine Gibson LP standard (a used 2005 model per the serial number) from Guitar Center yesterday. I was expecting the sound to be smooth, creamy, mellow and warm like my Epi LP. To my surprise the sound is thin and tinny, like my Telecaster. I play a lot and I put down my Tele and Strat because I thought they sounded to thin and tinny. My Epi LP is much warmer and mellower. I was expecting the Gibson LP to be even more so but it's not. What gives? Are they all this way? It has the stock pups (I think). If you own both an Epi and a Gibby LP have you noticed this? I'm thrilled to have a genuine LP but the sound is not what I'm after. I do have a 30 day satisfaction guarantee so I may take it back for another. I need advice. Tell me how I should proceed. Thanks.

 

I have just bought a 2008 Standard running it through a Fender HRD I find at very low volumes on clean channel it does sound like a single coil. When its turned up though its a monster. It is still clearer than my ES 335 with 57's

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would look at the pickup heights. Rule of thumb (Bill Lawrence recommendation) is two nickels width under the low E and a single nickel width under the high E. Of course, you need to fret the highest fret to do the adjustment. If they are too low, they will sound crappy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Each person's ears are different, and you are probably used to the Epiphone. Not that I am ragging on your Epi, but the "smooth" and "mellowness" you described in you Epi was probably actually "muddiness". The tinny-ness you describe in the Gibson may not actually be tinny-ness, but rather there could be more definition or clarity in the notes (especially in chords). Also, and probably the biggest difference, you may have had to have your amp set way too bright sounding to compensate for the Epi, and that could be why even your strat and tele seem too bright for you! I am willing to bet that if you tweak on your amp EQ a bit, you will become a happy and proud owner of a GREAT guitar.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Or here is a possibility that some people might not want to hear......Maybe the higher end Epiphone is actually going to outperform your entry level gibson for less money......Yeah a $700 Epiphone, mid-upper range, might sound as good or BETER than a $799 Gibson. Dollar for dollar, you get better sound out of Epiphone, and MUCH better dollar/quality ratio from a Schecter G-1 Hellraiser, compared to entry level Gibsons in the same price range....Also, the Gibsons in that price range are going to look like a cheap piece of wood dipped in pen ink. The Schecters in that price range are going to look like they belong in a museum with mother of pearl and abalone paua shell inlays and the most beautiful finish and superior sound to the entry level Gibsons that cost $100 more.

 

No doubt, the top of the line Gibsons DESTROY the top of the line Epiphone and Schepter. You just cant compare the sound of the best Gibsons to ANYTHING on the market anywhere. They are just unbelievable. Even if you suck, just strum single notes up and down some simple cords and it sounds angelic, or equally wicked with the right distortion. Gibsons make some excellent high end products at a huge premium.

 

Gibsons are not a good value for the dollar though, at least in the lower end models. People want the status of owning a Gibson and the people selling them know this....They put out some models that you can 'sort of' afford, if you spring beyond the mid range quality section of $500-$700......pay an extra hundred and you can own a real Gibson SG or Les Paul!! Except they dont sound quite as good as a similar price Epiphone, marginally but significantly better than the much cheaper 400 specials, but they wont look as nice and you might realize that you just overpaid by at least $200 for the name printed on the guitar instead of for the guitar itself.

 

 

The ceiling is lower on these value models. You can only go so high and still buy Epiphony or Schecter or some of the others in that genre.....Jackson and Ibanez are not really in the same market, imo....Ibanez is more lead metal oriented, while a Gibson is a well rounded harmonic machine that can also do metal if it wants to.

 

 

The weak link in the Epiphones is the pickups and the tunning nobs, and a few other bits of hardware.....Gibson owns Epiphony and has been bringing the standards up, so its a good time to buy epiphony....Gibson still gets the profits.

 

Epiphony IS Gibson, though its made in China. There is more quality control in the last few years and they are trying to raise the bar on the Epiphony models, so its really a sweet spot right now for pricing since the market still doubts the brand but the company is proving itself at exceptional value now offering better tunners and EMG active pickups instead of the old stock pickups which were budget.

 

IMO, Shecter is an even better value than Epiphone, the ceiling is slightly higher, but Gibson still surpasses it at the higher end.

 

If you are spending less than $1400, I question whether a Gibson is really worth it as anything more than a status symbol......Sure, those foreign made guitars might not have the same attention to detail that the USA manufacturers have, but its about the same body style and the standards have gone up.....Superior hardware for the money at some point is going to go farther than extremely fine detail. Get the wood and array you want from an Epiphone or Scheter, upgrade the pots, throw some blackouts in there or Bare Knuckles if you play harder music, change the tunners if its a lower end model, and it will sound better than your entry level Gibson that costs $100 more.

 

Its an illusion. Every time I hear the name fender all I can think of is those crappy Fender Squires that sold for $120 when I was growing up. Bottom of the line, except for the ones you get at Toys are Us and Costco. I guess its playable for classic rock as a practice guitar for leaving at the studio...somebody steals it, GOOD RIDDANCE! Haha.....I know Fender has some good high end guitars for classic rock, not that I play that style, but I wont give them the time of day usually because I have been swarmed with too many sub-par models from that brand......Same with Epiphony. Their entry levels are pretty toys. Entry level Schecters are not very good....You want to stay G-1 and above. You hear enough of these crappy entry level guitars and you want nothing to do with the brand.

 

Gibson doesnt have any crappy guitars. Epiphone does.

 

Highest end Epiphone/shecters still beats entry level Gibson for up to $200 less after all finishing modifications, sounds significantly better and looks way better.

 

 

Besides being over priced in the entry level range, or in general, Gibson makes some amazing Guitars that I wish I could own but are way out of my price range. Id rather judge a guitar on its own merits rather than its brand.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds to me like you got caught up in the moment of buying your first Gibson,

and perhaps didn't give it a real good listen? If you want the warm classic

tone, the Traditional Plus is the way to go with the '57s. I love mine. I

took a month deciding what sound I wanted by taking each LP into their quiet

room to play: trad pro, std., and trad. plus. (No I didn't move into GC). It

was about a once a week visit. Then I waited for the right color - Ice Tea.

 

To me, I look at it like dating.(In my younger days). Don't try to make it into

something you want. Go find one that aready has what you want. Less frustration.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...