Looking for a New Guitar

Stigs

Well-Known Member
#1
So I'll be graduating college in a few months, and I'm looking to get a new guitar as a (kinda) gift to myself. I've been looking at a bunch of different guitars from Gibson, PRS, and a few other companies. I've basically played Les Paul style guitars my whole life, and I have been gravitating towards getting a Gibson, but I really only want to spend about $1500.

I really want a nice Les Paul (can be used), with humbuckers. Doesn't need coil-splitting or any other fancy electronic bells or whistles. I don't want a guitar that is too heavy though. I tried a 2004 Les Paul Classic and loved how it sounded, but it was WAY too damn heavy and the neck was too thin. I prefer a medium neck profile (nothing too thin or too much like a baseball bat).

If anyone has any suggestions for Les Pauls to try, I would greatly appreciate it! Thanks!!
 

mirage2101

Well-Known Member
#2
I was mightily impressed by PRS in the sub 1000 euro category. I liked them better then gibson or epiphone in that range.

The 2015 les paul standard got dumped at low prices. Most people selling them are trying to get a higher price for them. Despite their bad rep they're really nice guitars. You might get lucky finding a well priced second hand one. (I'd offer you mine but I think shipping would be prohibitive) I'm not sure if the weight is better then the 2004 model.

schecter is getting good press lately. They're on my list to try the next time I'm in a store.
 
#3
So for used you’re gonna want to know whether you prefer 50s or 60s necks.

It’s not so much neck Thickness that differs. It’s mostly the perception of it because of the more bulky shoulders.

That said, weight is a thing that differs from Lester to Lester. I’m not quite sure whether my Standard (effectively a 2007 model, pre the Traditional’s introduction) has weight relieving. If my info is correct then any Standard before the Standard 2008 model didn’t have weight relieving. It’s certainly nowhere near as much as the examples since the Standard 2008 model. My Standard is around 3,5 KGs.

I also have a 93 Studio Lite. It has a centerblock cut out of the body which is then replaced by some lightweight wood type that should reduce it’s weight. After my adding of a Bigsby I measured it at a solid 4,0 KGs, which is hardly lightweight compared to my Standard.

Long story short, play them as much as possible. I prefer my Standard 50s neck over my Studio Lite’s 60s neck and the lower weight of the Standard is welcome but certainly not a necessity to me. The 0,5 KGs doesn’t put my back out.

If you have any specific model in mind I might be able to help gather some more intell. ;)
 
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AngusWolfe

Likes red things.
#4
How about a PRS S2 Singlecut? They're about $1599 at Sweetwater, so you can probably find one within budget if you look around. I'm a Gibson man through and through and I get the GAS from them big time. For $1500 from Gibson you're looking at a Studio or Tribute, and I'd be going for the PRS over either of them.
 

Stigs

Well-Known Member
#6
So for used you’re gonna want to know whether you prefer 50s or 60s necks.

It’s not so much neck Thickness that differs. It’s mostly the perception of it because of the more bulky shoulders.

That said, weight is a thing that differs from Lester to Lester. I’m not quite sure whether my Standard (effectively a 2007 model, pre the Traditional’s introduction) has weight relieving. If my info is correct then any Standard before the Standard 2008 model didn’t have weight relieving. It’s certainly nowhere near as much as the examples since the Standard 2008 model. My Standard is around 3,5 KGs.

I also have a 93 Studio Lite. It has a centerblock cut out of the body which is then replaced by some lightweight wood type that should reduce it’s weight. After my adding of a Bigsby I measured it at a solid 4,0 KGs, which is hardly lightweight compared to my Standard.

Long story short, play them as much as possible. I prefer my Standard 50s neck over my Studio Lite’s 60s neck and the lower weight of the Standard is welcome but certainly not a necessity to me. The 0,5 KGs doesn’t put my back out.

If you have any specific model in mind I might be able to help gather some more intell. ;)
I don't necessarily have a specific model in mind. I own a Les Paul Jr and I've played my Dad's 97 Les Paul Custom a lot. They're completely different animals that I gravitate to for different things (when I have the chance to play either that is). I',m looking for something a little better (looks wise) than a studio, but nothing as over the top as a custom (and my budget wouldn't allow for that anyway), so I'm probably looking at a mid-late 2000s or early 2010s Standard. Weight isn't a huge issue, but after getting used to the lightness of the Jr, and my Dad's Custom isn't that heavy either surprisingly (can't be much more than 8lbs (3.6 kgs)), I didn't want to look at a 10+ pound (4.5+ kg) guitar. I seem to prefer the 50's style neck roundness, but I've gotten along with a bunch of 60s style necks too, so I'll just have to try a bunch. There are several guitar shops by my home and my university, so I'll just have to find the time to visit them.
 
#7
There was a special run of Standards around 2005-2007 called the Standard Faded. They have sparked my interest long ago because of their finish but also because they offered both 50s and 60s on that:

http://archive.gibson.com/Files/USA_pdfs/data_lp_faded.pdf

Obviously not as readily available but definitely worth to keep a search mention for.

Otherwise I’d suggest the 2000-2006 LP Classic or a 2008 and onwards LP Traditional.

Also @Felix has the Custom-ish LP, I thought it was called LP Classic Custom (basically Traditional/Standard spec, Custom looks). Either that or he has the thinner version, which is called LP Custom Classic Light if I’m not mistaken.
 

Tankman

Subtly not giving a F*ck
#10
I wish I got along with strats. I really don't though :(
I was just joking of course, but you can get used to anything. I used to hate everything Fender related for a long time. Now my 3 main guitars are a strat, a tele-based and a strat-based guitar. You can get used to everything.
 

Felix

Addicted to Grunge
#11
There was a special run of Standards around 2005-2007 called the Standard Faded. They have sparked my interest long ago because of their finish but also because they offered both 50s and 60s on that:

http://archive.gibson.com/Files/USA_pdfs/data_lp_faded.pdf

Obviously not as readily available but definitely worth to keep a search mention for.

Otherwise I’d suggest the 2000-2006 LP Classic or a 2008 and onwards LP Traditional.

Also @Felix has the Custom-ish LP, I thought it was called LP Classic Custom (basically Traditional/Standard spec, Custom looks). Either that or he has the thinner version, which is called LP Custom Classic Light if I’m not mistaken.

I have the Les Paul Classic Custom (the slim custom's were the LP Custom Classic Lite) , which was only made during 2011/2012. It's is a custom from the main production line. The fretboard is baked maple, which gets really dark once you start putting oil on. It lacks the binding on the rear of the guitar body, everything else is exactly the same as the Custom Shop LP Custom's. Like the CS LP Custom's, mine has the 60's neck profile, which I think it a nicer feel when playing. They are pretty heavy weight wise, as mine is about 10.4lbs , but it's so well balanced that I don't have back problems when I play it. The baked maple board feels exactly like ebony and with my own guitar, it's now as dark as an ebony board.

The Classic Custom originally were done with chrome hardware and used the PAF vintage humbuckers( I can't remember the name, but I think they were the vintage named ones). I changed all the hardware to gold and had the 490T/498R humbuckers put in, which is what the normal LP Custom's have. Thankfully the guitar does not have all the coil split and tapping that you get with the LP Classic and Trad. I have played my LP Classic Custom side by side with a £3200 LP Custom and they felt and sounded pretty much the same. I've gotten through 10+ guitars for my number 2 guitar and I can not find anything that beats my LP Custom.


I will argue till the cows come home in saying that the LP Custom's are very different compared to an LP Standard/Classic. I got very lucky with my LP Custom and even with my amp still broken, I pick it up and have a play for a wee while. When I made all the changes with my Custom, I just changed it to match the specs of the normal LP Custom's. I paid about £1200 for the guitar and spent about £400 on parts and labour. You can pick up an older LP Custom before they went to the Custom Shop, for pretty decent money. I think a late 90's to early 00's for around £2000-£2600. Gibson

Gibson have been pretty good at not changing too much on the Custom and I like the more basic wiring, when compared to a standard. I've owned 5 or 6 Gibson Les Paul's since I joined the forum and I never held on to them for that long, until I got my LP Classic Custom. As I mentioned earlier, mine has the 60's profile neck (which all Classic Customs in 2011-2012 had), but it's much slimmer than what I have come across with my other Les Paul's.


I don't know what the current Gibson Les Paul's are like build wise, but with my LP Custom, I have managed to get one of the really good ones. Personally, I would go for a LP Custom from the 70's to the 80's, as they are some massively underrated guitars and price wise, pretty darn cheap. The cherry burst and wine red LP Custom's always blow me away. Sorry for the really long post, but as Rick mentioned my guitar, I thought it only fair to make the effort to explain why it's an oddity and my thinking behind all the changes I made.
 

Stigs

Well-Known Member
#12
I have the Les Paul Classic Custom (the slim custom's were the LP Custom Classic Lite) , which was only made during 2011/2012. It's is a custom from the main production line. The fretboard is baked maple, which gets really dark once you start putting oil on. It lacks the binding on the rear of the guitar body, everything else is exactly the same as the Custom Shop LP Custom's. Like the CS LP Custom's, mine has the 60's neck profile, which I think it a nicer feel when playing. They are pretty heavy weight wise, as mine is about 10.4lbs , but it's so well balanced that I don't have back problems when I play it. The baked maple board feels exactly like ebony and with my own guitar, it's now as dark as an ebony board.

The Classic Custom originally were done with chrome hardware and used the PAF vintage humbuckers( I can't remember the name, but I think they were the vintage named ones). I changed all the hardware to gold and had the 490T/498R humbuckers put in, which is what the normal LP Custom's have. Thankfully the guitar does not have all the coil split and tapping that you get with the LP Classic and Trad. I have played my LP Classic Custom side by side with a £3200 LP Custom and they felt and sounded pretty much the same. I've gotten through 10+ guitars for my number 2 guitar and I can not find anything that beats my LP Custom.


I will argue till the cows come home in saying that the LP Custom's are very different compared to an LP Standard/Classic. I got very lucky with my LP Custom and even with my amp still broken, I pick it up and have a play for a wee while. When I made all the changes with my Custom, I just changed it to match the specs of the normal LP Custom's. I paid about £1200 for the guitar and spent about £400 on parts and labour. You can pick up an older LP Custom before they went to the Custom Shop, for pretty decent money. I think a late 90's to early 00's for around £2000-£2600. Gibson

Gibson have been pretty good at not changing too much on the Custom and I like the more basic wiring, when compared to a standard. I've owned 5 or 6 Gibson Les Paul's since I joined the forum and I never held on to them for that long, until I got my LP Classic Custom. As I mentioned earlier, mine has the 60's profile neck (which all Classic Customs in 2011-2012 had), but it's much slimmer than what I have come across with my other Les Paul's.


I don't know what the current Gibson Les Paul's are like build wise, but with my LP Custom, I have managed to get one of the really good ones. Personally, I would go for a LP Custom from the 70's to the 80's, as they are some massively underrated guitars and price wise, pretty darn cheap. The cherry burst and wine red LP Custom's always blow me away. Sorry for the really long post, but as Rick mentioned my guitar, I thought it only fair to make the effort to explain why it's an oddity and my thinking behind all the changes I made.
I appreciate your post as it gives me a lot of detail as to what to look for. I don't know if I can swing a custom with my budget, but I'll definitely can an eye out for ones to try if they are in my budget. I like the $1500 range because I wouldn't feel too guilty about changing pickups or hardware if I wasn't 100% happy with it. I feel like if I go too much more budget wise on the guitar, I'd feel like I shouldn't change anything. Y'know?
 

Felix

Addicted to Grunge
#15
A LP and an LP Custom are two different things. I make sure I add "Custom" as I don't want confussion when different model of the Les Paul are being spoken about. Let's face it, there are so many fucking names for a LP, it's too easy to mix them up unless you know the range and/or are clear about which one you are talking about.
 

Stigs

Well-Known Member
#17
A LP and an LP Custom are two different things. I make sure I add "Custom" as I don't want confussion when different model of the Les Paul are being spoken about. Let's face it, there are so many fucking names for a LP, it's too easy to mix them up unless you know the range and/or are clear about which one you are talking about.
You're totally right
 
#19
Then you have people not understanding a LP Custom is not the same as a Custom Shop LP :p

Heck, even I get the trad and classic muddled up. I think one reason why people love the 50's Les Paul's was at least we all knew which one a person was talking about!
Generally it’s pretty clear what Gibson decides to name it’s models albeit strangely inconsequent spec-wise. Customs are generally solidly named, specs aside.

A personal frustration has been their switch since 2013 where they’ve reintroduced the Classic. They did this despite the Traditional model - which was introduced towards the later 2000s as effectively the replacement of the Classic. The Classic should’ve been kept death and not revived with some sort of non-classic on-board boost. That’s without even beginning to mention the polution of the Deluxe.
 

Felix

Addicted to Grunge
#20
Generally it’s pretty clear what Gibson decides to name it’s models albeit strangely inconsequent spec-wise. Customs are generally solidly named, specs aside.

A personal frustration has been their switch since 2013 where they’ve reintroduced the Classic. They did this despite the Traditional model - which was introduced towards the later 2000s as effectively the replacement of the Classic. The Classic should’ve been kept death and not revived with some sort of non-classic on-board boost. That’s without even beginning to mention the polution of the Deluxe.
I thought one (classic/trad) was meant to be done with the proper 50's spec , kinda like the uber pricey Custom Shop (take a shoot) LP's, but part of the normal range. The Standard is basically the current spec of body type (weight reduction) and any new hardware?

Over the years I've been able to try out a few different levels of LP and bar the dog-turd 2015 LP Studio spec , they have always been pretty nice guitars. I've not tried any 2019 spec stuff as I really don't trust Gibson while they are in the situation of being bankrupt. Actually the '79 Deluxe I had really impressed me, even though it's from a bad era for quality and construction.

From the pricepoint @Stigs is talking about, I don't think getting a USA spec PRS is even possible?

I will say some of the mid 80's to 90's LP's are going to be on that $1500 price point and be fucking epic guitars. Sensei/ @doctorpaul , I would guess you've had a lot of experience with this era of Gibson's as it's around your preferred era of guitars typically?
 
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