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That "Les Paul" tone...

Tim Plains

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In a very general sense, and only because these are the two widely sited guitar amp platforms, consider this. Also bear in mind that I'm talking ALL tube, high end units from both and not the solid state stuff.


Having said that, a Marshall isn't going to do Fender cleans and a Fender isn't going to do the Marshall crunch. Granted, you can slam the front end of a Deluxe or Twin with your favorite over drive pedal and that will work, but it won't be the "dime it and go" type gain that you get from a Marshall and it won't have the "roll back the guitars volume for reduced gain", or touch sensitivity on gain like a Marshall either. Conversely, the Marshall clean may be good enough for some players (it is for me), but that's largely dependent on the type of music you're playing. My style of playing is usually in the Betts/Haynes realm, so a classic Plexi type amp does it for me.


The other reality is... There really isn't an amp that does both of those things. It's always a compromise, IMHO. While I agree that pedals and/or modelers are a viable alternative, and I've gigged at times with nothing more than my guitar and a Korg AX-1500, I would say, if you truly want the best of both worlds, then you need a Marshall, a Fender and an A/B-Y box.


Again... Just my $0.02...

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As can be seen from other answers, other than rough generalisations, there seems to be a tacit agreement that no-one can say that there exists one true 'Les Paul' sound. Jimmy Page himself, more often than not, uses several very different 'voices' within a single track.


There are, of course, tones which seem to me, personally speaking, as being somehow more definitive; Clapton with the Bluesbreakers playing "Steppin' Out", Kossoff on 'Free Live' playing "The Hunter" etc., but even someone who is widely regarded as having about the purest example of the Les Paul tone, Peter Green, had (accidentally, whilst repairing a pickup, it seems!) flipped the Alnico in his neck p-up, so trying to emulate some of his his truly beautiful sound is pretty much impossible without recourse to the soldering iron...


As far as amps go; before 1980 I used a mid '60's 2x10 Marshall combo but when I bought my '64 Strat it didn't sound too good and I swapped over to a 2x12 MusicMan combo. I still use that with my guitar ('95 Historic Division '60 re-issue with '57 Classics') and can get pretty close =D> to getting any "Vintage Les Paul" sound :-k I choose to find; it just takes a bit of time to work out how and where to put the knobs! (as in so much else in life...)


Effects-wise (My tuppence-worth); If you like it then good for you and why-ever not, for goodness sake! As mentioned already Les Paul is a great fan and inventor of them himself!! The style of music I choose to play means all I need is my guitar and amp but, then again, the amp has Volume Gain, Reverb and Tremolo which are all, obviously, effects................

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For curiosity' sake; please enlighten me on the absolutely gorgeous LP Standard in your avatar photo.


That's one of the best flame-tops I've seen in a long time...pardon my drooling...you must be very proud.


I'd assume if gigging with her, she's never out of eyesight correct?





Thank you Rand.


Thats my VOS 1959 reissue...or R9 as the guys like to call them.

No, I dont gig with her. I enjoy her alone, or with small jams with good friends.


I got a great offer from the dealer. He sent me 8 or 9 pictures and let me choose the one that really grabbed me.

So the one in my avatar is the pick of the litter. She also plays and feels as nice a she looks.

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