Jump to content
Hamer Fan Club Message Center

Les Pauls - The Look


sonic1974

Recommended Posts

Hey maniacs,

I think we could pretty much agree that the Les Paul is one of the most iconic guitar shapes/looks of all. I'd almost say THE most iconic, but you could make an argument for one of the Fender styles as well. 

But still, nothing seems to encourage as much talk about how they look than Les Pauls. I always thought they were the coolest looking guitar ever. These days I go back and forth, a nice Hamer Studio or Sunburst is hard to beat as well. 

I think everyone should own a Les Paul at some point in their lives. My second ever electric was a Norlin (before I knew how to use the internet and didn't even know what a "Norlin" was) 72 Goldtop with mini humbuckers. 

Man! I loved that guitar!! Heavy as hell, but fuck, it stayed in tuned forever, sustained forever, and sounded awesome clean. I had a Mesa 50 caliber at that time, it was a sweet setup. Stupid actions/decisions made me short of cash and eventually I had to sell both. 

I'd honestly have to try them back to back to see for myself which is the "better" guitar, my old LP or my current mohagany Studio. One thing I like better about the Studio, is that it's lighter (even though I'd love it to be a bit lighter) and the tone/volume controls have a more effective range, which to me gives it more versatility.  

Still, there's something about a LP, when I strapped that baby on, I just felt rock you know? 

What does everyone think? Are LPs so popular cause they look so cool? How much does the way a guitar looks matter when you're shopping around? 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 114
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Turdus is the authority on Les Pauls and "The Look"...

Link to post
Share on other sites

Its why I keep buying em. Its why I keep selling em lol. I play strats and longer scale. I cant play a LP in tune and after owning like 10 over a 30 year stretch Ive wised up. But if some cool Zep or ZZ footage surfaces Ill be buying another fuckin lester lol

Link to post
Share on other sites

I too had a Norlin-era LP Standard as my second-ever non-Hondo-II electric, a wine-red beauty that was the guitar that got away (sold it to buy a used car, car was totaled within four months). A couple holiday seasons ago my local shop posted a one-day deal on three used Les Pauls they had in stock, and one of them was a mid-'90s wine-red LP Standard. Close enough for rock and roll, so I bought it. I don't play it much but it's nice to have it around for nostalgia's sake.

Here's a twist on "the look": pickguard or no? I think a Standard looks weird without one, and a Custom looks weird with one.

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, MCChris said:

Here's a twist on "the look": pickguard or no? I think a Standard looks weird without one, and a Custom looks weird with one.

Agree 100%.  I'd also add Customs look good in any color, as long as it's black.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I love them.  I don't know if it is "the look," but I really didn't know what one was until I bought a 1993-94 Guitar Buyer's Guide.  I know I had seen one before because I liked Guns N' Roses, but it didn't register.  All the guitarists I loved played crazy super strats (though I didn't know that's what they were either), and Dad's guitar heroes mostly played strats as well.  That issue had Van Halen on the cover and his guitar collection, and I was just immediately drawn to the Lester on the side of the cover.  I probably was still learning to play on Dad's acoustic at the time, so I probably bought this thing to dream about guitars.  Those were the ones I dreamed about the most.  

It's funny because I think that same thing happens early on and goes a lot of different ways.  Maybe it was a tele, strat, SG, Lester, or something else, but I think we all have that one guitar we see early that becomes basically the ur guitar after which all other guitars come.  

The only guitar I've sold that I wish I still had was my green Hamer Studio, and I've flipped some great stuff in the past few years.  That is to say I hold Hamer in pretty high regard.  But I also know that if you have the jones for a Gibson Les Paul, you might as well get to hunting a good one down.  No amount of rationalization about the superior quality (and often affordability) of other brands will make that go away.  It took buying and dumping quite a few Heritages before I figured that one out. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, LucSulla said:

 No amount of rationalization about the superior quality (and often affordability) of other brands will make that go away.

So true.  im still trying to rationalize les Paul desire away. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

How could I not love 'em? Two of my major early inspirations/idols played 'em- Ace Frehley and Jimmy Page. My first electric guitar was a Hondo LP copy. Didn't matter that I couldn't play it for shit or that it likely sounded crappy. Not that I'd know- I was running it thru our household stereo system for amplification- not long after which, one of the speakers was blown :lol: It didn't matter, it looked badass! So long as I wasn't required to actually play anything on it, I was golden.

I've owned a few since but never really got jazzed about them due to the super Strat infection/epidemic. Once Gibson slapped a Floyd on there, it was a no brainer; Had to revisit the timeless classic!

Happier than a pig in poop as I have my iconic ax (and in all fairness, not a bad looking version, at that) and my whammy bar.  And while I've slowly been coming around to being able to work with it's short scale, I just need to figure out how to get two extra frets on there - :rolleyes:

9kA

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, sonic1974 said:

What does everyone think? Are LPs so popular cause they look so cool? How much does the way a guitar looks matter when you're shopping around? 

In the past when collecting them was as much a hobby as playing them, looks mattered when I was looking for artsie/collectible; these days not so much into collecting, but playing, so looks are secondary; sound and playability are what is most important to me these days. 

As for the popularity of Lesters, I'm certain for many it is both looks and/or sound; for me, if the wood is right, and if it is done right, it is the sound all the way.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've had a Les Paul in the stable since 1982 (my first electric was a really crappy Hondo II Strat-I'm sensing a theme here) when I bought a new tobaccoburst Custom with my McDonald's money.

I sold my R4 goldtop (killer guitar) and my 3-pickup Historic Custom was traded with a couple others for my Corvette. I can't say that I miss them, because I rarely played them, but I do always get drawn back eventually.  The only guitar I still want to pick up is a Norlin black or Sunburst (not cherry sb, but sunburst or tobacco) LP Standard.  That was the first guitar I ever really wanted badly (the Ace LP) and I've just never snagged one out of the 200-250 guitars I've owned over the years.

I might be without a Gibson LP for now, but I do have this:

 

image.jpeg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Les Pauls - the quintessential rock guitar. No question.

I have only owned one - a honey burst standard.  Loved the look and the sound, hated the playability.

Every time I see a nice one I think "Hmmm..." before passing and moving on.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Every good "arsenal" needs a good Lester.....I finally my the last one (having a G on the headstock, that is) go, but only after convincing myself that a remaining pair (without any Gs) have the look, feel and sound of the best (IMO, at least). I got my first in 1969.....Reckon I have had at least one hanging around ever since.

While not as wise a tool as a Tele for a certain job, that first heavy old Goldtop proved to be up to the task in '73 when a drink-inspired lead singer decided it would be a good idea to physically attack me. Yeah, it WAS the last straw for that particular band. I always had trouble keeping the G string in tune.....Not sure if it was better or worse after that evening. ;)

I guess we all did some stupid things along the way. But somehow the weight never bothered me.

A Les Paul def sets the "tone" for a player, even before he hits the first note.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I like the look, but I bought for the neck join at the 16th fret, after playing set-neck double cutaway guitars for years, and having 'neck-flex' on those drive me nuts tuning-wise every time I shifted position.  Plus, that maple top on a mahogany body is an essential part of the tone (not just looks) recipe...I've played and had LP Specials before, and there is DEFINITELY a sonic difference between having that maple top on a mahogany body, and not having it.  My LP's are early-mid '90's Studios (two black, one white), nuttin' fancy, not much to look at, but for me they get the sound.  B)

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, serial said:

I've had a Les Paul in the stable since 1982 (my first electric was a really crappy Hondo II Strat-I'm sensing a theme here) when I bought a new tobaccoburst Custom with my McDonald's money.

I sold my R4 goldtop (killer guitar) and my 3-pickup Historic Custom was traded with a couple others for my Corvette. I can't say that I miss them, because I rarely played them, but I do always get drawn back eventually.  The only guitar I still want to pick up is a Norlin black or Sunburst (not cherry sb, but sunburst or tobacco) LP Standard.  That was the first guitar I ever really wanted badly (the Ace LP) and I've just never snagged one out of the 200-250 guitars I've owned over the years.

I might be without a Gibson LP for now, but I do have this:

 

image.jpeg

Not blingey enough for me.  :ph34r:  :D

Link to post
Share on other sites

My cheap-ass broken-neck LP Studio may not have THE Lester thing happening, as I'm no expert. But I've played a few and recorded a couple songs using the studio's '69 LP and I really dig mine. I find mine comfortable to play. It has mad-low action without clattering or buzzing and I feel like a rock star when I play it. Stays in tune great. Maybe I am lucky.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Cherry sunburst Les Paul Standards with a pickguard look cool.  Les Paul Customs look cool.  Three pickup Les Pauls look really cool.  They can be really great guitars, too. 

At this point my preference is a flat top guitar in the double cutaway Les Paul Special or Junior shape.  Too many years of playing those while my Les Paul Custom has remained in a case is the reason for that preference now.  When the Les Paul comes out it is always nice, though. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've had a bunch of great Les Pauls over the years, from a '53 Goldtop as the oldest, to an early 2000's LE.  Honestly, all but one (a 40th Anniversary LP) were fantastic, and I would buy any of them back - well, I couldn't afford to buy the '53 back now, but...

I still have my first Les Paul, an '81 Custom that has been heavily "personalized" over the years since I bought it new (also with my hard-earned McD's money in High School!).  It doesn't get played much lately, but I can't really justify selling it.

I play a Stiked-out LP Jr. and my killer Baker LP "Monster", and those are typically the "go to" guitars as backup or alternate tuning gig guitars - they weigh nothing ans sound totally bad-assed.  Lately, while I'm waiting on a Shishkov that will likely quench my G.A.S. for a while, I've been strongly considering moving my '80s PRS for a nice R8 or R9...just waiting for the right deal to come along.

WayCoolJunior_zps801f8d70.jpg

BakerLP91412.jpg

MyBlueFlakeLPCustomtoggle.jpg

BlueLPLEincase.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

To my shame, I've never played a real Gibson Les Paul.  I'm sure one is out there in my future, but the last time I had a hankering for one, $250 guitars were what I was chasing around.

I have a lawsuit Nelsonic import that, honestly, looks the part, weighs the part, and was higher quality than a fairly nice Epi Paul I picked up here and moved on through craigslist a few years back.

This thing was $150 at the local, oh, a decade ago. I play it once in a while, then put it away.

P3249863.jpg

...and it's a bolt-on neck. :blink:  I should drop my SD Alnico2 in the neck and something monstrous in the bridge.

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

recently owned a newer R8,  not super flamey but huge neck, sounded absolutely killer...  

the only problem I had is I preferred not to have too much money into one guitar.... was

able to take the $3k ish... and spread it to 3 decent guitars, and am pretty happy....

but man, what a guitar...  

Link to post
Share on other sites

I had a VOS R8 hand picked by Eric at Willcutts. Under 9 pounds played well sounded great! Alas there was orange peel on the neck and had a hard time reconciling the poor quality( relative to Hamer). Eric said the vast majority of the Gibby's(Custom Shop) that came through  the door were 2 out out of three re fit finish sound and playability. He would have gladly sent me another one to try, but I took a Talladega instead. Not sure if that one is staying forever either!

ArnieZ

Link to post
Share on other sites

For me, it's not so much the look of the guitar as much as the associations I have with the iconic players who made the Les Paul cool: Jimmy Page, Ace, Slash and even Bob Marley.   Truth be told, when I got my first studio archtop custom, I liked the way it sounded better than the LPs I could try out.  I didn't care who endorsed the guitar, but I admit the LPs  looked so good.  I went with the Hamer anyway.  

In the end, the Hamer double cuts, and the Gibson Les Paul have great silhouettes.  I liken them to:

Hamer double cut

4554a6578fba42ac7e5fec89531bf77e.jpg

 

 

Gibson Les Paul

different-body-types_hour-glass-figure_h

 

Can't go wrong.  :)

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi everyone,

 

I think there are a couple of good reasons why threads like this or  "which Hamer sounds like a LP?"

are regularly being posted here.

As far as the looks are concerned:

Yes, I am fond of the LP aesthetics,

though less so of the limitations (upper fret access, weight , balance).

Sound-wise, my "lowly" Hamer 25th Anniversary Artist works better for me than my 1990 LP Standard,

But the important parts are:

1. If I keep thinking about Les Pauls, doesn't it mean I want another one? Or is it just nostalgia?

In reality , I hardly ever play a LP that I feel like buying (cost is always on my mind, though.)

2. Some members of this board had some Baker/LP abominations created. They (the guitars, not the responsible/guilty ones) look impressive.

3. Stike is a willing accomplice in a lot of guitar-related misdemeanors. Take that flakey stuff away from him.

Unless you secretly (or openly) like that stuff. (I do, occasionally.... Seriously, great stuff.)

 

Regards,

Tobias

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

My first electric was an Ibanez LP copy, at that stage it was for the looks and tone. Same color as Randy played with Ozzy. My first Gibson LP was earlier this month, strictly for the tone that I couldn't find with any others guitars that I tried but damn if it doesn't also look good too. I'll take mine with no pick guard, for that matter no pickup covers too would be my preference. Also have a Hamer Studio that I picked up trying to cop the LP tone but didn't quite work out and will be up for sale in the coming months along with a few others.

front.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, jettster said:

My first electric was an Ibanez LP copy, at that stage it was for the looks and tone. Same color as Randy played with Ozzy. My first Gibson LP was earlier this month, strictly for the tone that I couldn't find with any others guitars that I tried but damn if it doesn't also look good too. I'll take mine with no pick guard, for that matter no pickup covers too would be my preference. Also have a Hamer Studio that I picked up trying to cop the LP tone but didn't quite work out and will be up for sale in the coming months along with a few others.

front.jpg

Well,

I'm usually more one for the black/black top Les Pauls,

but that's a nice looking one.

Is lemon burst the official name of the finish?

 

Regards,

Tobias

Link to post
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.


×
×
  • Create New...