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Thread: Do you love playing your Les Paul? I'm torn

  1. #1
    Forum Member ch willie's Avatar
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    Do you love playing your Les Paul? I'm torn

    I love the sound of my Les Paul; I love it's looks. It is in every way my dream Les Paul. I went through 4 before I got this one, and it's really something.

    I admit that its bulk makes me grab for other guitars first. No wonder Clapton said he was trying to get a great vintage Strat sound, but also the sound of a Gibson.

    I wouldn't mind having a Les Paul Jr or some other less bulky model, but I wouldn't trade the sound I already get with any other guitar.
    If we'd known we were going to be the Beatles, we'd have tried harder.--George Harrison

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    Forum Member DanTheBluesMan's Avatar
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    Re: Do you love playing your Les Paul? I'm torn

    I love my Les Pauls and I get what people mean about their ergonomics. Probably why Gibson went to the SG model as a replacement to try to get sales share back from the insanely comfortable Stratocaster.

    Now I have an SG and my LP. I won't want to part with either of them.
    "Live and learn and flip the burns"

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    Forum Member gibsonjunkie's Avatar
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    Re: Do you love playing your Les Paul? I'm torn

    Quote Originally Posted by DanTheBluesMan View Post
    I love my Les Pauls and I get what people mean about their ergonomics. Probably why Gibson went to the SG model as a replacement to try to get sales share back from the insanely comfortable Stratocaster.

    Now I have an SG and my LP. I won't want to part with either of them.
    I found this at a Guitar Center - they were a special run guitar... the lightest electric guitar I own (tied with a Double-cut LP special faded) at 7.2 pounds.

    My favorite is the Goldtop w/P-90's, though - that one weighs 9.4#



    "We catched fish and talked, and we took a swim now and then to keep off sleepiness." Mark Twain

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    Forum Member Sérgio's Avatar
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    Re: Do you love playing your Les Paul? I'm torn

    I did love mine when I played one.

    Actually, being a small guy and having short arms and small hands, it's curious how a strat is entirely non-ergonomic to me. It's actually an uncomfortable guitar, while the Les Paul was the most comfortable and steady guitar I've ever played.

    Thing is, since I first played a strat I figured that that was the sound I was pursuing. no other guitar gives me what a strat gives, perfect balance between elegance and boldness, light and shade, crystal and steel. The Gibsons are a bit too brute, too thick and blunt to my ears.

    But no doubt, a standard Les Paul is a state of the art guitar.

  5. #5
    Forum Member Don's Avatar
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    Re: Do you love playing your Les Paul? I'm torn

    I love the look and feel of my Les Paul, but the tone is a little flat. I think the one that I have is just a bit of a dull sounding guitar.

    I’ve experimented with pickups (it’s got Duncan Seths with A4 mags in it), wiring (‘50s wiring with VIPots and PIO caps), hardware (Faber bridge with their BSWKIT studs and an RS aluminum tailpiece and steel studs. It’s been set up various ways to no avail.

    I hate to move on because playability, look and weight are great, but sometimes the guitar and player just aren’t a match.

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    Forum Member jrgtr42's Avatar
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    Re: Do you love playing your Les Paul? I'm torn

    Quote Originally Posted by gibsonjunkie View Post
    I found this at a Guitar Center - they were a special run guitar... the lightest electric guitar I own (tied with a Double-cut LP special faded) at 7.2 pounds.


    I saw those when they came out - 2010, or thereabout, maybe?
    I really liked it, but my GC only got one that I ever saw - it was on my mind for a while, and when I figured out financial logistics of possibly getting one, they were gone, I haven't seen that one since. There was a CST shop version that was $2500+ a couple years later, that wasn't going to be an option without turning a lot of other gear around.


    As to the OP's question, I do love and play my Les Paul, though mine is a bit lighter weight than the average - 8.5, give or take, I think. I do also have a Heritage H150, (for all intents and purposes the same thing) that is pushing 11 pounds. I like that one a lot too, but playing for a long time is tough on the back. I do have a wide, padded strap for it that helps a lot.
    I have a lot of guitars and I do swap around all the time - sometimes in a given session, sometimes not.
    So if I play the Heritage, it's probably not for all night, where my LP, SG, Strat etc I can.
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    Forum Member gibsonjunkie's Avatar
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    Re: Do you love playing your Les Paul? I'm torn

    Quote Originally Posted by jrgtr42 View Post
    I saw those when they came out - 2010, or thereabout, maybe?
    I really liked it, but my GC only got one that I ever saw - it was on my mind for a while, and when I figured out financial logistics of possibly getting one, they were gone, I haven't seen that one since. There was a CST shop version that was $2500+ a couple years later, that wasn't going to be an option without turning a lot of other gear around.


    As to the OP's question, I do love and play my Les Paul, though mine is a bit lighter weight than the average - 8.5, give or take, I think. I do also have a Heritage H150, (for all intents and purposes the same thing) that is pushing 11 pounds. I like that one a lot too, but playing for a long time is tough on the back. I do have a wide, padded strap for it that helps a lot.
    I have a lot of guitars and I do swap around all the time - sometimes in a given session, sometimes not.
    So if I play the Heritage, it's probably not for all night, where my LP, SG, Strat etc I can.
    I got one of the last ones. I stopped at the local store and they had one - long after they were introduced. Since it was my birthday, my wife gave me the go-ahead. I think I paid $800 for it. The tuners are pretty cheap but other than that it's a nice guitar.
    "We catched fish and talked, and we took a swim now and then to keep off sleepiness." Mark Twain

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    Forum Member ch willie's Avatar
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    Re: Do you love playing your Les Paul? I'm torn

    I'm sure I'd get used to it if I left the Fenders on the wall for a while. I mean seriously, my Les Paul has gorgeous tone. I've even thought about selling it, and then I play it for 3 minutes and realize how stupid it would be to do so.
    If we'd known we were going to be the Beatles, we'd have tried harder.--George Harrison

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    Forum Member Don's Avatar
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    Re: Do you love playing your Les Paul? I'm torn

    I'm pretty close to selling my Les Paul. The pics have been taken!

    The Guild Blues 90 has a sound that's more to my liking and the neck is even bigger (better).

    I hesitate to sell the LP because the look, weight and playability suit me so well. I'm afraid that I didn't try enough to improve its tone. On the other hand, I've found that things that you do to improve a guitar's tone can only make a guitar that you like sound a few percent better (or different in a way that suits you). You can seldom make a guitar that you don't care for and make it great.

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    Forum Member ch willie's Avatar
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    Re: Do you love playing your Les Paul? I'm torn

    I agree, Don. I’ve had a few that just couldn’t suit me no matter what was done to it.
    If we'd known we were going to be the Beatles, we'd have tried harder.--George Harrison

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    Forum Member OldStrummer's Avatar
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    Re: Do you love playing your Les Paul? I'm torn

    I have two Les Pauls and two SGs. I haven't played any of them in nearly/over a year. I'm planning on selling the SGs and one of the LPs.

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    Re: Do you love playing your Les Paul? I'm torn

    I've had several and sold several, but I always keep one on hand. My current favorite is one of the latest "Original" series. I know the LP stuff can be debated endlessly, just like the Fender stuff, and I don't pretend to be an expert, but I feel like the non-weight-relieved body does make a difference in the sonic impact. However, even the weight-relieved LPs are heavy compared to many Strats, so this thing is HEAVY.

    Playing live, especially north of 50-years-old, a four-hour gig goes a lot easier for me with a Strat slung on my shoulder. All of my Strats have a single-coil-sized humbucker in the bridge position, so I feel like I can coax a WIDE variety of sounds out of it for the cover material that we do. I love Strats (and Teles).

    But, for me, there's something I can't describe about playing crunchy rhythm, and/or lead on a Les Paul. With my Strat, maybe I can get 90% of the way to some well-known Les Paul sound in any given cover tune, but that last 10% you can only get from a LP... man, it just knocks me sideways. There have been many times that I think, if it weren't for the comfort issue, I'd probably only gig LPs. YMMV, but that's me.

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    Forum Member melody's Avatar
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    Re: Do you love playing your Les Paul? I'm torn

    I started playing on a LP I love the crunch of a good Lester. I play mine a lot but I also love my 339, I don't even own a strat ATM although I am looking around for one. I agree with Pete nothing gets that LP tone some come close..

  14. #14
    Forum Member Don's Avatar
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    Re: Do you love playing your Les Paul? I'm torn

    Here's the one that I can't seem to coax the tone that I want out of! It weighs just over 8 pounds and is fine on my shoulder all night.



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    Re: Do you love playing your Les Paul? I'm torn

    Weight has never been an issue for me. My '87 AVRI Telecaster is no lightweight, for starters.

    Hell, I own/play a Peavey T-60. Although I got a solid color one (which are often, as is mine, poplar, and thus lighter than the natural finish Northern Ash ones), so still not as heavy as many LPs. Then again, I have a T-40 bass too, and it IS natural/Northern Ash, and probably 12 pounds!

    That said, many of my Les Pauls are slab body Specials (and thus lighter than maple-capped arch-tops), and some are double-cuts, and thus lighter than singlecuts.

    So: am I "torn?"

    Not one damn bit! I loves me some Pauls.


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    Forum Member OldStrummer's Avatar
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    Re: Do you love playing your Les Paul? I'm torn

    I love the fact that some long-time members are making themselves known again! Thanks for posting, and love yer pics!

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    Re: Do you love playing your Les Paul? I'm torn

    Just a weird combo of feel and sounds could hit you at the right time.

    I have always been more Gibsonish than Fenderish, however I have always loved both Strats and Teles.

    I bought this one I have shown before that hits me just right when I feel the need for a set neck and smaller body but need the Fender single coil sounds.

    Yeah, it's ugly. But it grows on you.

    Yeah, it don't sound exactly like either, but is is one of the best sounding guitars I have had the pleasure of playing.

    It has a set neck, lpish carved top, Fender scale, Fender shaped back, the most beautiful shaped soft v neck, whammy bar.

    It is ALWAYS in tune.

    I think it is the best, most original beast Collings makes.

    And at 7 pounds 9 ounces it don't kill me.

    Not easy to find though...several used on Reverb...

    https://www.collingsguitars.com/elec...uitars/360-st/







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    Re: Do you love playing your Les Paul? I'm torn

    Several years ago, I had a Les Paul Traditional that I really didn't like. I had paid $1,200 for it and someone offered me a 2007 American Limited Edition Deluxe Strat and $600 for the Les Paul so I made the trade. I love the Strat. In 2018, I purchased a Gretsch prototype for $465. I traded it for an American Strat with Lace Sensor pickups. Five days later, I traded the Strat for an American Telecaster. In November, I traded the Telecaster for a 2018 Gibson Les Paul Gold Top with P90 pickups. Its a little on the heavy side since it has a non weight relief body but I can't put it down. I am playing constantly. I love the sound and how it plays. The funny thing is that I'm primarily a bass player but am playing the Les Paul almost daily. One issue with the Les Paul is that it won't stay in tune. From everything I've read, this is a fairly common issue.

    UPDATE 1/23/2021: I finally got tired of the tuning issues with the Les Paul and traded it for a PRS CE24. I can't believe how much better the PRS plays and sounds and it STAYS IN TUNE! I can bend strings, push and pull the whammy bar and it won't go out of tune.
    Last edited by Kmonk; 01-23-2021 at 05:54 AM.

  19. #19
    Forum Member ch willie's Avatar
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    Re: Do you love playing your Les Paul? I'm torn

    Mine is a 2012 Traditional too, but with no weight relief. I don't even think it's got cheese holes.

    And yet, after a couple of weeks of playing it recently, I told my best guitar bud to smack the shit out of me if I ever complain about anything having to do with the LP. It couldn't sound closer to the ideal sound I wanted from a Les Paul. I won't be doing anymore gigs, at least not in my plan, so I don't really give a damn how heavy it is, doesn't matter anymore.
    If we'd known we were going to be the Beatles, we'd have tried harder.--George Harrison

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    Forum Member OldStrummer's Avatar
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    Re: Do you love playing your Les Paul? I'm torn

    I think I've given up on Gibson solid-bodies. They seem too heavy and aren't balanced well for me. I do like their hollow-bodies, though, and if I found myself a nice J45 acoustic, I'd probably give it a chance.
    Striving to be ordinary

  21. #21
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    Re: Do you love playing your Les Paul? I'm torn

    To answer the initial question: Yes I do, and very much so!

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    Forum Member gibsonjunkie's Avatar
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    Re: Do you love playing your Les Paul? I'm torn

    When my wife surprised me with the Gary Moore LP for my birthday, she also got me a Marshall AVT 100 (tube preamp and SS amp). I never liked that amp until I got my LP Goldtop with P-90's. For some reason , the combination of that guitar and that amp are just stellar!
    "We catched fish and talked, and we took a swim now and then to keep off sleepiness." Mark Twain

  23. #23
    Forum Member Don's Avatar
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    Re: Do you love playing your Les Paul? I'm torn

    I've been without a Les Paul for months. You'd think I wouldn't miss it- my Guild Blues 90 is very Les Paul like and my Carvin DC-150 suits me better in almost every way. Still, we're musicians, and don't always make rational choices. I'd like to have another.

    I think OA told another member some time ago that they were in love with the idea of a Les Paul.

    The Blues 90-


    The DC-150-

  24. #24
    Forum Member ch willie's Avatar
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    Re: Do you love playing your Les Paul? I'm torn

    Quote Originally Posted by gibsonjunkie View Post
    When my wife surprised me with the Gary Moore LP for my birthday, she also got me a Marshall AVT 100 (tube preamp and SS amp). I never liked that amp until I got my LP Goldtop with P-90's. For some reason , the combination of that guitar and that amp are just stellar!
    P90s have a richer sound than I had expected when got a geet with them. I'm not surprised that yours can get that across through your setup.

    BTW, if I ever get another LP, it'll be a goldtop with P90s. What a great looking and sounding guitar. I'd love to hear yours if you have any recordings of it.
    If we'd known we were going to be the Beatles, we'd have tried harder.--George Harrison

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    Forum Member DanTheBluesMan's Avatar
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    Re: Do you love playing your Les Paul? I'm torn

    I want something with P-90s and I vacillate between a Goldtop LP like a '56 with a stop tail and a LP Jr with a wraptail, with a tiny bit more towards the latter.

    but the top carve of a goldtop is so damn sexy
    "Live and learn and flip the burns"

  26. #26
    Forum Member gibsonjunkie's Avatar
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    Re: Do you love playing your Les Paul? I'm torn

    Quote Originally Posted by ch willie View Post
    P90s have a richer sound than I had expected when got a geet with them. I'm not surprised that yours can get that across through your setup.

    BTW, if I ever get another LP, it'll be a goldtop with P90s. What a great looking and sounding guitar. I'd love to hear yours if you have any recordings of it.
    I've never recorded with it. It was a Traditional Pro - made for Guitar Center as an exclusive - it is one really well-made guitar. It was Pleked and plays and sounds amazing.
    "We catched fish and talked, and we took a swim now and then to keep off sleepiness." Mark Twain

  27. #27
    Forum Member dirtdog's Avatar
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    Re: Do you love playing your Les Paul? I'm torn

    I once had an Epiphone LP '56 Goldtop that I used for open tuning slide. The P90s were spectacular for that esp when overdriven. I liked it, although I was never confident that it would hold its tuning for long. When that particular project ended, I sold it.

    A couple years later I acquired an LP Studio. Pretty decent but I didn't bond with it. It had a painted neck...I never quite got my head around that for some reason. I did a bunch of gigs with it when I was playing rhythm guitar in a classic rock cover band in the mid 2000s I thinned the herd at one point around 2010 and that was one that left the stable.

    About a year and a half ago, I was looking for a shred super strat type guitar for a metal project I got involved in and was fixated on the PRS SE Torero (along with some of the nicer Ibanez shredders plus ESP, Jackson, etc). Had a nice Torero lined up but it sold before I snagged it. But then quickly landed on a PRS SE Singlecut - back in the LP territory, definitely not a shredder! But I've bonded quite a bit with this one. Nothing terribly fancy but I like it. Meat and potatoes rock guitar with a subtlely carved flame maple veneer top. Light tobacco burst.

    I think if I ever went with a proper Gibson LP again, I'd be looking for a Junior. Just something about the simplicity.

  28. #28
    Forum Member ch willie's Avatar
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    Re: Do you love playing your Les Paul? I'm torn

    Quote Originally Posted by gibsonjunkie View Post
    I've never recorded with it. It was a Traditional Pro - made for Guitar Center as an exclusive - it is one really well-made guitar. It was Pleked and plays and sounds amazing.
    Mine is a cherry sunburst, as you probably remember, a 2012 Traditional. That's the year they used sythetic fb material, but mine must have been an early model. It has a rosewood fb. It has Classic 57s, among my fave HBs. It records well too. I suspect yours will too.
    If we'd known we were going to be the Beatles, we'd have tried harder.--George Harrison

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    Re: Do you love playing your Les Paul? I'm torn

    Quote Originally Posted by DanTheBluesMan View Post
    I love my Les Pauls and I get what people mean about their ergonomics. Probably why Gibson went to the SG model as a replacement to try to get sales share back from the insanely comfortable Stratocaster.

    Now I have an SG and my LP. I won't want to part with either of them.
    Couldnt of said it any better. I have a 92 Gibson Les Paul standard wine red. I wouldnt part with it for anything. Picked up a 61 reissue SG back in 2011 to save my back as im getting older and softer. Just recently scored my first real fender American Pro Telecaster HS. Im going to continue to grow old with the 3.

  30. #30
    Forum Member DanTheBluesMan's Avatar
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    Re: Do you love playing your Les Paul? I'm torn

    Quote Originally Posted by reelman955 View Post
    Couldnt of said it any better. I have a 92 Gibson Les Paul standard wine red. I wouldnt part with it for anything. Picked up a 61 reissue SG back in 2011 to save my back as im getting older and softer. Just recently scored my first real fender American Pro Telecaster HS. Im going to continue to grow old with the 3.
    Just 1 more, a sweet Strat. Wouldn't that be nice?

    heh heh, I'm just an enabler
    "Live and learn and flip the burns"

  31. #31
    Forum Member jrgtr42's Avatar
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    Re: Do you love playing your Les Paul? I'm torn

    Quote Originally Posted by reelman955 View Post
    Couldnt of said it any better. I have a 92 Gibson Les Paul standard wine red. I wouldnt part with it for anything. Picked up a 61 reissue SG back in 2011 to save my back as im getting older and softer. Just recently scored my first real fender American Pro Telecaster HS. Im going to continue to grow old with the 3.
    Quote Originally Posted by DanTheBluesMan View Post
    Just 1 more, a sweet Strat. Wouldn't that be nice?

    heh heh, I'm just an enabler
    I don't know - probably need an ES335 to go with, and maybe a Gretsch or jazz box. And a Rickenbacker, and something with mini-humbuckers. And obviously a good acoustic or two...
    ********************************
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  32. #32
    Forum Member DanTheBluesMan's Avatar
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    Re: Do you love playing your Les Paul? I'm torn

    And a Flying V

    i still want one. looking at the stop tail piece (non-string through body) mahogany version out now. very tempting although to me it should be string through to be a V
    "Live and learn and flip the burns"

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