Decent copies of Gibson Les Paul

Discussion about guitar playing from a diverse group of people with different tastes and levels of experience.
Vladimir2007
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Decent copies of Gibson Les Paul

Post by Vladimir2007 » April 12th, 2014, 3:39 pm

Hey people.

Just a simple question - I've been hankering after a Gibson LP looking thing for many a year.

So what are the decent options out there for a brilliant Gibson Les Paul copy?

Epiphone comes to mind as the obvious choice, but the epihphone guitars get slated so much and are so overpriced that I'm not certain they're for me.

I vaguely remember playing a red-burst Tokai Love Rock some years ago, and I was rather smitten with it. Not sure if they're still in production.

Anyway, fire away people, all anecdotes, comparisons, etc are very welcome, especially if you have one! :)

Cheers

Vlad

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Re: Decent copies of Gibson Les Paul

Post by hbriem » April 14th, 2014, 4:30 am

Slated by whom?

Epiphone guitars have a good reputation and lots and lots of people love them.
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Re: Decent copies of Gibson Les Paul

Post by Rocket Dog » April 15th, 2014, 11:06 pm

I played a few Epiphone Les Pauls recently and found them to be really good. This will depend on your budget, but have you considered a Gibson Les Paul Junior?

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Re: Decent copies of Gibson Les Paul

Post by rparker » April 19th, 2014, 8:00 pm

hbriem wrote:Slated by whom?

Epiphone guitars have a good reputation and lots and lots of people love them.

In my experience, they've became a disaster.

I was one of Epi's biggest fans on this site, and was so for a very long time. My 2005 LP custom is still great. Multiple subsequent issues with a 339 Ultra III (IIRC the ultra itteration correctly), an LP Ultra II and an absolute disaster with at east one batch of those Rivieras. (the neck was set a an angle so poorly that the strings nearly touched the pickup.....without fretting.

The worst experience, though, was with the 339 Ultra. (The one before the "Pro" name got added.) Gibby/USA got involved after much prodding, totally ignored instructions on how to replicate the problem, made recordings of them playing in a style I told them would not cause issues and sent the guitar back to me. It went bad on every USB hookup in my house with incredible ease. a talk with the store manager and was told that there was no way they were going to admit an issue existed because of the number of guitars with the electronics in it. Soooo, it became a trade-in and not my problem any more.

Anyhow, caveat emptor on them. make sure it is dead perfect during your free window to return the guitar. I've had many. I am down to two. One is a 2005 LP Custom that is really sweet. I still run stock pickups in it, but could easily (I'm sure) get the classic Gibby tone with some gibby p/ups. My other one is a properly built P-93 Riviera. It took me years to find one. The strings are a good way from the pickups. Actually sounds like p90's rather than a muffled HBs.

Sorry for the Epi rant. I blew their horn for too long right here on this very forum and wasted too much time and money to stay quiet forever. And hey, maybe the downturn in quality has reversed. I hope so. I like their product line-ups aside from bad personal experience with 4 of their guitars.

Anyhow, other copies getting good reviews are the ESPs and PRS single-cut SE models. I've played a little bit on the SE. I *think* they gear their p-ups towards more modern tones. I could be wrong with this particular one.

For cheaper, look at Rondo Music's Agile Line-up. for even cheaper, look at Guitar Fetishes Xaviere guitars. I had a couple - a hollow body LP shaped thing and a strat copy. Both seemed OK. A friend of mine has the white custom looking LP over one night and I got It set up well and playing well.
Roy

"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin

Vladimir2007
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Re: Decent copies of Gibson Les Paul

Post by Vladimir2007 » April 20th, 2014, 1:26 am

Thanks for the replies guys.

I've been considering the Epi Les Pauls after reading some of these posts.

I watched a youtube demo of this Epi (Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plus Top Pro - Heritage Cherry Sunburst): http://www.nevadamusic.co.uk/p/ENLPHSNH ... y-sunburst

And to be honest, it seems amazing value for money. I like the idea of the versatility of the coil taps and all the different sounds I can get out of it.

I'm sure when I was in my teens I would have just bought a cheap les paul shaped thing, for the novelty of the new shape, but that's no longer the case. Along with my new shape guitar I want it to be a versatile machine that sounds good, and so far this appears to fit the bill.

Anyone played one of these?

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Re: Decent copies of Gibson Les Paul

Post by s1120 » April 20th, 2014, 3:27 am

I remember your issues with that Ultra Roy, I did not know you had so much more issues. Ive been very happy with mine, but its also just a Standard, without all the toys. Only issues I had is with the buzzing bridge after about a year or so of playing, and a issue with it getting caught in a damp basement after a dehumidifier failure that warped the neck bad. After that was fixed its played better then ever!! Im always leery of all the extra toys, and features they put on guitars. More so on the more bargin offerings.
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Re: Decent copies of Gibson Les Paul

Post by rparker » April 22nd, 2014, 6:20 pm

s1120 wrote:I remember your issues with that Ultra Roy, I did not know you had so much more issues. Ive been very happy with mine, but its also just a Standard, without all the toys. Only issues I had is with the buzzing bridge after about a year or so of playing, and a issue with it getting caught in a damp basement after a dehumidifier failure that warped the neck bad. After that was fixed its played better then ever!! Im always leery of all the extra toys, and features they put on guitars. More so on the more bargin offerings.
I think buzzing bridge is standard issue feature. :mrgreen: That honey-burst I had for a while got it too. That, the 339 and a good bit of cash became a Gibby LP Traditional Pro. The tone just drips out of that thing.

I've got a 9 year old Epi LP Custom, which is a dressed up Standard as you know, and it's still a great guitar. A bridge and toggle switch. A slight set up with weather switches is about it. Very nice. Still my favorite.
Vladimir2007 wrote:And to be honest, it seems amazing value for money. I like the idea of the versatility of the coil taps and all the different sounds I can get out of it.
As I spoke of earlier, I got a Gibson LP Traditional Pro. It's got the two push-pulls that kill half the humbuckers. I have not messed around with that feature a whole lot. I'm fortunate enough to have a Strat and a Tele along with the Epi Riviera rounding out a nice single-coil trio to choose from. I can say that the pickups in the up position do provide that less thick tone needed to cut through mixes or otherwise provides that single coil bite when needed. I've got no reason to think the Epi would be different. One other thing. If there is an epi that has the added circuit that's activated by a push-push neck tone knob, it's pretty nifty. I'm probably not too swift by getting it considering my recent run of luck with that company's electronics, but if it ever goes bad, I can rip it out, replace the POTs and be done and still have my HBs. That's where I spend 95% of the time with that guitar anyhow.
Roy

"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin

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Re: Decent copies of Gibson Les Paul

Post by TRGuitar » April 25th, 2014, 5:28 am

Roy! You got a real Gibson Les Paul? Congrats! I have 4 Gibbys, all lower end. 22 year old Les Paul Studio (one of the better years for them I have read) black with ebony board and gold hardware. Les Paul Special, Les Paul Junior Special and an SGJ.
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Re: Decent copies of Gibson Les Paul

Post by rparker » April 25th, 2014, 3:16 pm

TRGuitar wrote:Roy! You got a real Gibson Les Paul? Congrats! I have 4 Gibbys, all lower end. 22 year old Les Paul Studio (one of the better years for them I have read) black with ebony board and gold hardware. Les Paul Special, Les Paul Junior Special and an SGJ.
Yeah, I bit the bullet and got one. I'm not sure where this one will stand in the hierarchy of Gibbys when it's all said and done, but low end is the range. It's a made for MF and GC only A Les Paul Traditional Pro ('59 neck) with the two push/pulls splits and an active little tone boost circuit board run off the Neck P/U Tone knob. I can go anywhere from classic LP tones to some screaming, thick saturated modern day like tones and then the mostly unexplored single coils via splits.

It sets up well, but I haven't found that perfect sweet spot yet where it looks perfect and plays better. Sometimes it takes me a time or two to get there. My only gripe on this one is that it'ssuseptible to my house electrical system. Not like a Tele ot Strat, but not great. I took the battery out, but that helped very little. I'll probably shield what I can, but my Izotope RX3 de-noiser get's 99% out, and that's beyond what the noise pedal and gate got out when recording.

I had a Standard in my hand and was playing it on a slow day at GC in a small room off their acoustic room with a copy of one of my amps, the 'Twin. I so wanted to get it, but the tone coming through was talking to me. Both were set up well, from what I recall.

Next Dream Guitar:
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/G6122-62/ I saw one in Daytona last week and even got to hold it. New roof prevails and could not afford it. Otherwise I would have played it. It had this zero-fret thing and the strings were just perfectly low with no buzzing from a couple of test plucks. Drool-city. Maybe next year for my 50th. :mrgreen:
Roy

"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin

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Re: Decent copies of Gibson Les Paul

Post by TRGuitar » April 26th, 2014, 1:02 am

Have to check the link when I'm home. It is filtered out here at work. I am partial to my Les Paul Junior Special. Slab mahogony body, mahogony 60's slim taper neck (found I prefer this neck, 2 of my Gibbys have it, 2 have the 50's neck) open face 490R and 498T pickups. Bound fingerboard with dot inlays and green key tuners. It is light for a Les Paul and very fast. It sounds amazing.
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Re: Decent copies of Gibson Les Paul

Post by s1120 » April 26th, 2014, 3:43 am

I fell for a LP Traditional studio that they came out with a few years ago. It was the faded Gold top with the P90's. It realy wasn't that much money either. It was about 700 bucks. It was out of my range though, so I didn't buy it. MAN it felt, played and sounded great!!! Maybe one year Ill find one when I have the cash to spend. I love me some P90's!! :D
Paul B

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Re: Decent copies of Gibson Les Paul

Post by rparker » April 27th, 2014, 5:55 pm

I've had a few guitars with P-90s in it. I've considered getting an Epi LP a time or two and putting some in there. I love the Guitar-Fetish after-market P90s that I've got in a different guitar.

For a bit warmer tone, the Riviera P93 Black Royale with the proper construction brings it in droves.

Regarding my mini-anti-epi rant earlier in the thread, I am very pleased to announce that this guitar, purchased second half of last year, survived a later-winter set-up and many subsequent hot to cold and dry to humid air changes including nights with a window left open and has still needed only tuning. I won't say it yet, but perhaps there's a chance that previous years' issues have been finally rectified? I certainly had a frustrating run. Maybe one day I might be able to get a ES-339. Talk about a guitar with tonal range....
Roy

"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin

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Re: Decent copies of Gibson Les Paul

Post by TRGuitar » April 28th, 2014, 11:40 am

I generally do not like modern electronics in my guitars. I do not like active pickups, boost circuits and God forbid USB output. (I'd take your Les Paul with the boost circuit if you gave it to me though Roy). I like passive pickups, like my electronics in my pedals, processors and amps. That's just me though. I know that USB output was important for Roy's recording projects and he has the gear to utilize it. I think the potential for problems is what scares me on that stuff. I have an Epi with active pickups and they do work fine but the guitar as a whole is very good too.
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Re: Decent copies of Gibson Les Paul

Post by s1120 » April 29th, 2014, 10:36 am

TRGuitar wrote:I generally do not like modern electronics in my guitars. I do not like active pickups, boost circuits and God forbid USB output. (I'd take your Les Paul with the boost circuit if you gave it to me though Roy). I like passive pickups, like my electronics in my pedals, processors and amps. That's just me though. I know that USB output was important for Roy's recording projects and he has the gear to utilize it. I think the potential for problems is what scares me on that stuff. I have an Epi with active pickups and they do work fine but the guitar as a whole is very good too.
I gotta admit that im the same. I don't even care for all the bells and whistles in the amps
Paul B

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Re: Decent copies of Gibson Les Paul

Post by rparker » April 29th, 2014, 5:40 pm

I'd like to say that I learned my lesson..... but I didn't. I bought the one I did. It is fun to give it that extra boost now and then. Not a traditional tone, but still fun. I don't have any other active guitar. Perhaps I will someday.

Like I said earlier, I'll yank it out and replace the POTS if it gives me any grief.
Roy

"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin

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