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Which Les Paul to get?


DrBo42

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Hey chaps,

 

So you might have seen my thread of Ultra 339 disasters, I've decided to give up on that model for now and maybe revisit it later. As I need a functioning guitar some time this month I come to you gentle folk for your Epiphone knowledge. Looking to just settle down with a Les Paul (unless you guys recommend another route). I need versatile tone, it's a must. I'm someone that's all over the place in terms of what genres I like to play. Blues, classic rock, metal, alternative, "indie" if that's even a genre now etc. I might be playing something from Explosions in the Sky (ethereal guitar wankery) to The Who and then back to Radiohead (which I love) in the span of a session. Any ideas on a Les Paul model (or other) that would be suitable for me? Neck profile really isn't a big deal by the way. No midget hands here. Thanks gents.

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Get one with coil splitters like the traditional pro and you will have a plethora of tonal options.

 

Cheers for that. We're on the same wavelength with the coil splitters. I was actually eyeing the 60's Tribute Plus for that feature but I'm not sure if the Gibson 57's are exactly what I need. I'm not up on the sound characteristics of alnicos vs probuckers/burstbuckers vs 57 classics vs p 90s etc.

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If youre even thinking about p90s i would say go for those. You may not have the tonal variety of splitting humbuckers, but p90s are NASTY!! they will suit any style of music and just sound awesome! By far my favorite pickup

 

:-k You don't exactly seem like an unbiased judge. Hah. Are there any specific LP models that include p90s by default?

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Maybe the guy demoing it in the video I watched just wasn't going for it. Would you agree on the p90 choice considering what I wrote above, RaS?

Probably not, I'd probably vote for the trad pro too, coil split buckers, really nice guitar for the money.

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If you have the cash, Tribute/ new Prophecy GX is a no brainer IMO. The '57 Classics might not take to the REALLY heavy metal stuff well (I'm talking Death/Doom/Progressive etc.), but if it's classic metal (Maiden, Priest, Iced Earth) they should do the trick - the amplification is more important anyway. If you're still unsure and can take it up a notch, the prophecies are the current top of the epi line, they're beautiful like a sin, and the GX is equipped with the standard Gibby set that I know for sure has been used to record a plethora of metal tracks - and it also has coil splits. That's my 2 cents as a metal player who likes versatility.

 

Otherwise, you'll want to go with something that carries ProBuckers. I use the pups for fairly heavy stuff (Dark Tranquillity, Eternal tears of Sorrow and others), and they sound immensely rich to my ears. Definitely great pups, a shame that Epi doesn't put them out for independant purchase.

 

Too bad the Ultra line didn't work out for you, I'm loving mine :-({|=

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I would say go with any alnico humbuckers with coil splitting options. That gives you 8 switch permutations involving twin and single coils. On a 2xP90 guitar you get 4 permutations.

 

All the humbuckers you mention have alnico magnets. Unless you are going to play absolutely clean, the differences between the models are so subtle they either get lost in your amp settings, or you can tweak your amp/fx to get whatever you need.

 

P90s have a very versatile tone in between humbucker and single coil, which makes them a passable substitute for both if you set your amp right. You'll probably find the single coil sound on most split humbuckers to be slightly disappointing if you're going to compare with a Tele/Strat, but it's still useful especially with just one out of 2 humbuckers split.

 

If you buy an old secondhand Epi, the quality of pots and caps can be hit and miss, so I'd replace them. If you can use a soldering iron, it's not expensive. With the newer Epis (around 2009 on) the quality of components and pickups seems good to me, ready to go.

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+1. P-90's sound nothing like little Fender single coils. Think of 1970 era Tony Iommi, Leslie West, Carlos Santana, and Pete Townsend (Live at Leeds). Those P-90's roared.

 

I say go for the Tribute or the new Prophecy as well.....( I just don't like the 490/496 PUs )....P-90s ar great PUs though.............

 

A question for the Blueman335; I've come across some P-90s with alnico lls in them....Any thoughts ???

 

Also, on the Tribute and Prophecy GXs, with the price being 599.00 now, with a coupon, well..........[thumbup] ...

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A question for the Blueman335; I've come across some P-90s with alnico lls in them....Any thoughts ???

 

Yeah. Duncan Phat Cats (HB-sized P-90's) have A2's; OMG, is it the wrong magnet! The neck is very dark, almost zero treble, and the bridge is weak and thin, and overpowered by the neck Phat Cat. I've got a bunch of Phat Cats, and have taken the A2's out of all of them.

 

In my bridge P-90's I use: A8/A4, A8/A5, UOA5/UOA5, and A4/A4. All of these are warmer than the twin A5's that come stock in most P-90's. And all have more output than a bridge Phat Cat.

 

In my neck P-90's I use: A5/A5, A5/A4, and A5/A3. All have more treble and clarity than a neck Phat Cat.

 

For an A2 to work in a neck HB or P-90, it has to be very underwound; that'll offset the magnet's warmth and keep the clarity (and prevent it from being muffled and muddy). A2's can be tricky in the bridge slot too, as they can have a dull, rounded high end, and if you like some bite and cut, it can be frustrating. UOA5's (unoriented A5) are very similar to an A2 (both have lots of vinatge dynamics) but have more treble. It's getting to be a very popular magnet on the Duncan forum.

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Thank you Blueman....I really have to spend more time on the Duncan site......

 

The P-90s with alnico lls I found are "Wolftone" PUs....I loved the sound clips....I want to put them in a "Wildkat"......

 

Sure, soundclips aren't like testing them live, but, as a studio player, I have a good ear.....

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Probably not, I'd probably vote for the trad pro too, coil split buckers, really nice guitar for the money.

 

Cheers mate.

 

Thanks to all who've given me feedback in here, really appreciate it guys! I'm going to try out the traditional and maybe throw some new pups in there. We shall see.

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What Lazerface said-the Trad Pro is probably the most verastile guitar in Epiphone's lineup.With the single coil mode engaged you can get the snap of single coils somewhere between a Fender Mustang and Jaguar.In the humbucker mode you get tones that are so close to the original PAFs that it's uncanny-you can't beat specs like that.

 

The G-400 Custom is also a very versatile guitar with its 3 humbucker it has a very wide tonal range and also is a dream to play.

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So I ended up pulling the trigger on the Les Paul Traditional Pro AND a Fender Strat HSS. I figure they're the most versatile options on each brand for about the same amount. Time for them to battle when they arrive. Only 1 can stay.

 

I don't even need to play them to know which one I would chose [rolleyes]

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