Guitarsite Forums Guitar Discussion Guitar Buying a Gibson Les Paul Classic, Please Help!

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  • #21481
    Megadeth45
    Participant

    Hey,

    I went to guitar center and wanted to buy a gib LP classic (much better than standards in my opinion haha) anyway, they dont have any in stock and told me that i would have to pay in full, then they would ship one to my house. i wanted vintage sunburst but all tehy have is lightburst. Two questions…one more important than the other.. first is this safe to do, buying a guitar in full, with no refund ability, without playing it at all? i know it sounds crazy but it seems the only option. Can factory set up be that bad that I might get a lemon? And second, how do you owners of lightburst gibsons like the looks of them? Its hard to get a good feel for it in pictures. how do they look as they fade over time? Thanks for your guys help!

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    • #57172
      enash
      Participant

      Sounds like we we get the second best Marshalls in Australia – and I refer to Amps made in the last 10 years – it is unforntuanately a fact that there are many returns / breakdowns relative to oher amps in the same range. However, the Marshall warranty is good – and it needs to be. Outside warranty there are a number of repair guys I know who are very happy with Marshall quality as opposed to the owners – who are angry because some of the faults are so basic and preventable.

      I know they build in the far east and there is nothing wrong with China/Korea/Taiwan – but not as cheap as Malaysia / Indonesia. I think Marshall are trading on their name a bit in terms of quality – the sound is better than ever.

    • #57168
      lee_UK
      Participant

      Vox valve stuff is no longer made in the UK, went to China last year, although we have yet to see the quality of the new AC30 /15 range, they used to be made in the Marshall Milton Keynes factory in the UK and were a very good amp, i myself have owned a few korg models, we dont produce anything in this country anymore, it all seems to be going to Asia, even Japan seem to be losing out to China / Indonesia, how ironic.
      if you want some prices then have a look at http:www.gak.co.uk thats probably the largest UK online music website and often the cheapest, i disagree with your views on Marshall, i find most of thier range extremely good and very high quality and would recomend them to anyone.

    • #57170
      enash
      Participant

      not that desparate for coil splitting – nothing wrong with Ducans. On another note – how expensive are Marshall/Vox amps in the UK. How do they compare in price to eg Mesa boogie. In Australia Marshall are at the top of the “quality” mainsteam range and Vox are up there with Mesa Boogie the exception at nearly twice the price. I’m talking about tube amps only and not including any boutique stuff. Marshall also have some quality control issues – big name but lots of lemons and some design faults – but they have the sound like no one else.

    • #57166
      lee_UK
      Participant

      just bite the bullet and get the seymour duncan catalogue out!! Seth Lovers are very nice this time of year.

    • #57163
      1bassleft
      Participant

      Hmmm, AFAIK, four-conductor is needed to do a SC/HB switch. I’m not familiar with the pups and I wouldn’t fancy a dis-assemble, for sure. It must be do-able, but I’m not sure how much more complicated. Presumably, the ‘hot’ wire is both coils, in parallel, combined. I’m on the outer limits so I won’t suggest more – maybe some proper solder-monkeys will chime in? Otherwise, your luthier techy is worth asking for a quote.

    • #57167
      enash
      Participant

      Thanks – I have been told that the Ceramic 496R and 500T pickups have two conductor wiring on the factory fitted classics which I believe means no easy way of Coil tapping – any thoughts out there.

      Also, on changing set up. I have tried bringing the strings over the top of the stop bar rather than through which required lowering the stop bar to get enough fall from the bridge to hold the strings in place. I have no other reason to do this other than to try it. Some folks have claimed that this creates smoother/ less fall and longer length from bridge to stopbars which lead to lower string tension. I can’t see any logic in this – but I do feel there is less tension (easier bending) and a slightly brighter tone. Am I deceiving myself?.

    • #57165
      1bassleft
      Participant

      enash, far be it for me…, don’t shoot me, I’m only the bass player…

      In other words, ignore this stuff if you like. The push-pull coil tap makes sense because it’s reversible and leaves no extra holes. A good solder-monkey can do it, if luthier man wants silly money. Specify that the original work is de-soldered, not snipped, and have the original pot bagged and given back to you. These things are important if you sell on.

      Assuming you’re thinking of the bridge pup, but have a look at http://www.guitar-electronics.com for any conceivable.

    • #57164
      enash
      Participant

      Good luck to you. You will not be sorry.

      Anybody got an opinion / experience with after market coil splitting on a les paul. I am thinking of the push / pull volume knob type not the horrible swithces on the pickup. I know a luthier I trust to do it but I am unsure. I currently use a tele (86 Jap Fender with EMG active pickups and strat style saddles) which is very nice but I get sick of swapping. Especially when the singer changes the set list on a whim I start to look very indecisive. My theory so far is the right tool for the job and don’t fix what aint broke.

    • #57161
      lee_UK
      Participant

      you are probably only the 10 millionth happy customer with a Les Paul, Gibson?? you cant go wrong, can you?

    • #57160
      Megadeth45
      Participant

      Hey, well guitarcenter called, they had a classic in lightburst that just came in, beautiful guitar. so now im a happy owenr, thanks for your help.

    • #57158
      lee_UK
      Participant

      i agree, valves sing when they break, the distortion is harmonious and a joy to listen to, the hotter they get the hotter the tone gets, transistor amps ‘clip’ and sound awful, the 2 sounds just dont compare.
      Sorry cant help you with the TAB software.

    • #57159
      enash
      Participant

      Point taken Mr Lee

      I should have qualified my comment on Tube vs Solid State. In clean sound they are comparable. In overdriven sound a valve transitions into overdrive in an “analogue way”. Transitors “peak” and “cut off” in a “digital” way. I lack a better technical descritpion – but lsiten to the two. You can drive a 50 watt Tube amp real hard and it will still “sing”. Drive a 50 watt transistor amp hard and it will hurt your ears.

      In technically measurable terms a watt is a watt. In terms of sound percieved there is a big diference – at least to my ears. But if there was one right answer we could all have one guitar and amp soviet style and where would the fun be in that.

      Can any body recommend a windows based software for reading guitar / bass tab / midi files. I have looked at music time but I am totallly confused by the enourmous number of things available. I am looking for the commonly used application.

      Cheers

    • #57162
      lee_UK
      Participant

      good post enash, one thing i would say is that you get a bit more ‘headroom’ on a 100watt amp, if you need a cleaner sound then the higher output amp will definatly help there.
      i would have to disagree on the comparision between tranistor amp and valve amp loudness, 100watts is 100watts whether it is coming out of a tranny amp or a valve amp, you will get the same decibels out of each.

    • #57155
      enash
      Participant

      Another way of looking at it in practical terms. If you want to know what is value for money, go to a 2nd hand store. Look at the stock an see what holds it’s value. Ask the staff as to what turns over and what gathers dust. I’m willing to stand corrected but my experience is that Gibson / Fender always hold value and always sell.

      Agree previous . Nothing screams with more tone than a cranked EL34 Tube Amp or is cleaner/brighter than a 6L6 amp. The Amp is as important as the guitar as are the speakers – try using the amp with a different cabinet. I acquired a 16 ohm 12 inch 30 watt late 60’s Rola speaker in its own cabinet. I used it with my 60 watt marshall JCM TSL. Being careful not to overdrive – it was an entirely different and beautiful sound.

      One thing I do not understand is the guys with 100watt plus amps and 4×12 cabinets etc working pubs and small / medium venues. I have never needed more than arround a 50 watt combo (and yes I do play loud some times). If the venue is bigger mike or DI to the P.A. (if comparing Tube to Solid State multiply SS output by arround 150% to get equivalent). Most Tube combo’s arround this size weigh about 25kgs/ 55 lbs. This is as much as you will want to carry – much heavier at the end of the night. However, hats off to those sucessful enough to play bigger venues

    • #57153
      docrichards
      Participant

      Well, Megadeth, you’re on your own with this question. Gibson’s quality has improved over the last few years, so whatever product you get, you’re likely to get an excellent product. I ordered my ’57 reissue black beauty on New Years Eve through an online dealer, and was very pleased. As some of folks who’ve replied have indicated, hearing the instrument is very important…particularly on a Les Paul. Prior to this one, I’ve owned two other LP customs I bought new…one from Guitar Center, which I was not happy with. There are a lot of different dealers, and you probably should check around and see if one will let you make a deposit before your drop the entire price of the instrument. Otherwise find a dealer that has a no fault return policy if you are not happy with the instrument.

    • #57156
      guitarhand2
      Participant

      Lee, you got me wondering about my les being a “standard” or just a “les paul” from the mass prodcued era, 68++++. It is one from the mass produced “no name” era and I’m checking on it’s real heritage. I think the most amazing part of guitar playing is that the intsrument is only half the sound. The lead guitarist in our band can’t stand my favorite guitar and I loathe his strat just about as much. Its got wimpy strings that never seem in tune, yet he makes every note sound great, like wise he can’t stand the mediums I put on my mine. Play a certain set up long enough and the ears tell you what to do. Digitally recording the band has done a lot for each of us to fine tune our parts. There are so many tricks of the trade but probably the most important one regarding any guitar is it has to sound great played clean through a good amp. In tune everywhere along the fretboard. I took a tip from the lead guitarist of Blink 182, can’t remember his name (sorry), but he pointed out it was a sin to put too many sound affects between the guitar and the amp. A pure overdriven tube amp can be better than all the foot pedals lined up. A great Les Paul only sounds better with the right strings suited to the playing style of the guitarist through an amp that is also selected for it’s ability to reproduce and enhance the style of music played. I’m not a big fan of the 1000 sound digital amps that have come out. Try plugging one into a good tube amp at 3/4 level and let the guitar sound come through. Off the thread a bit, but a good guitar deserves a good amp and only subtle sound modeling. I write way too much.

    • #57157
      Zeater
      Member

      Only Gibson is good Enough! No Fade Problem, I have an 81 LP Custom! It’s like fine wine it gets better over time. I don’t know about you all, I find that Gtr Ctr hires people that only fog mirrors! I live near Chuck Levin’s largest independent on the East Coast. Go online Washington Music.com I would contact someone there. Even if just for info!
      I believe you can’t miss with any Gibson! The Custom is King…depends on budget, I also would ask more questions I would not feel comfy paying 500 up front also, although when I bought my SG Supreme from Chuck’s it took about 4 mos, came brand new in the box and I only put $100 down on it. They called me, no one played it, I opened right there in the store & it is a BEAST! Love IT! Gibson is pretty hot at setup out of Nashville…I wouldn’t worry. With a name like megadeth aren’t you interested in Mustaine’s Jackson V?

    • #57154
      lee_UK
      Participant

      I agree you have to go by your ears, and there is nothing wrong with those ceramic magnet pickups, i prefer the sound of the alnico’s my self but that is my taste, my friend has a 1960 classic, with the bullion gold top and he loves it, he sold his standard to buy it, the neck is a 60’s tapered one which he loves and he loves those pickups, one word of advice, if i were going to buy one i would get a used one, they go for less than the standards, i think if you buy one new then you would pay about the same price as a standard, but used they are cheaper than standards, standards hold there money a bit more than the classics.

    • #57152
      enash
      Participant

      You have to play it. I have a LP Classic Premium Plus. Yes I fell in love with it at 1st sight (cherry sunburst etc). But it was plugged in that sold me. I played std’s new 2nd hand – all kinds of pick ups before I purchased.. But when I played the LP Classic I purchased it was the sound /feel that made me want it. Don’t listen to all the technojerks – the gibson ceramic magnet pickups offer a range of sound and tone I have not heard from Alnico or after market units – but it is up to the individual. Many retail style guitar shop sales people try to be intimidating – remember this – they are feeling pain being close to the commission on a high priced unit – make them work for it!.

    • #57148
      guitarhand2
      Participant

      I would have to check my guitar book on the history but I believe 68 was the first year of re-introduction of the les paul. You are right about Gibson discontinuing production from the Kalamazoo plant but after the mid 60’s success of the heavier rock sound Gibson brought them back and started building them out of the new Nashville plant after National Music bought the company. I thought 68 was the first year. You can tell the mass produced standards of that era because they lack the nice matching maple tops and are slabs of mahogany with either unfigured maple or alder tops. Mine is a tobacco finish with a yellow to dark brown sunburst. What I love about it is the tone. Silky smooth with lots of woodsy sustain in the midrange. What amazes me about this guitar is it never goes out of tune. I like Markley blue steel mediums on it. I really abuse it however. It hardly ever goes into a case except for gigs and living in So CAl along the beach it gets humid to dry conditions year round and stays in tune. I play alot, perhaps 40 or more hours a week in practice or gigs so it gets tuned regularly, but I never need to adjust on stage much. The band also has a newer les paul black beauty and several strats and all have there place. The black beauty sounds dull though, less harmonics and a more trebly sound. It also doesn’t hold tune as well but does have a faster neck and lower action. I would find as many les paul’s as you can and play em all before buying one. Intonation seems off on most new ones I have picked up, even the 8k-10k top of the lines, but every once in awhile you pick up one that plays itself, with thick rich overtones and harmonics. I watch the strings to see if they start moving on their own with the slightest notes or chords to see if they are picking up harmonics or octaves. In any case find a good guitar doctor when you get one to go over the intonation and frets with strings you plan on using all the time, the extra 200-300 bucks can bring out the magic in a guitar.

    • #57150
      lee_UK
      Participant

      Are you sure you have a Les Paul standard 68′ ??
      i thought they stopped making them in 60′ and moved production to the Les Paul SG?
      Lee.

    • #57151
      Gibsongaz
      Participant

      I would strongly recommend that you insist on trying it before paying top whack. I work in a music store and Gibsons quality control varies drastically at the moment! If your paying a substantial amount of money for a guitar, then the shop should bend over backwards for you! If they won’t, go to one that will! Have you tried Hertitage Les Pauls? Made in the old Gibson factory by old Gibsons workers-they are head over heals better than Gibsons themselves at the mo!!! Its a shame as Gibson Les Pauls are the best guitars ever!

    • #57149
      guitarhand2
      Participant

      I own a 68 Les Paul Standard, not one of the top years, but I prefer it over a recent Custom Black Beauty. I think the new Les Paul’s still need some set up work to play well. Straight from the factory they play fine but little intonation tweaks with strings you like will go a long way. Like any guitar the more they are played with the same type of strings and the more adjustments from a good set up doctor the better they sound. I like medium electrics with a wound “g” for a good bottom end. I play Rhythm and Zep style leads and absolutely feel that a used Les is better than a new one if it is in good shape.

    • #57144
      lee_UK
      Participant

      Why dont you ask him to order one so that you pick it up from the shop? When i order my guitars they go to the shop i just pay a 10% deposit, i would want the dealer to set it up for me before i take it, surely there must be a guitar shop in your area where you can play before you pay?
      Vintage burst and light burst are very nice, honey burst is great too but i dont think they do that on the classic.
      Good luck with it.
      Lee

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