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Old 11-08-2012, 07:08 AM   #1
JuJuRam
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Explain choices in LP guitars to mum of 11 year old

Hi, My son is guitar crazy...he's 11 and plays acoustics so far. I want to get him an electric guitar for Christmas. He's talked about Gibson and Epiphone Les Pauls and there just seem to be so many choices and a wide range of price-points.

Although my son is only a beginner, he is very musical (also plays violin pretty well) and is daft about music. He's having some lessons but also picks things up himself - range of 'musical influences' ACDC, Nirvana, Beatles, Bon Jovi, Stones, Elvis...all sorts really. I want to get him something that is reasonable..but bearing in mind he is only 11 and he will be playing in his bedroom...rather than gigging for a while yet!

What are my options and what do you recommend? Thanks!!
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Old 11-08-2012, 07:27 AM   #2
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He sounds like me when I was that age!!!!

If someone is serious about music then there's no point in taking shortcuts as I feel that you'd want to encourage and nuture his talent and enthusiasm. Especially as he has a track record of being dedicated to music.

Saying that, he is 11 and I'm not sure I would have trusted myself with a Gibson at that age. My Mother chose wisely and got me a Squire Strat, (20 years ago) which is a decent starter guitar. Not only is it an issue of trust and respect for the instrument but whether or not I would have carried it on. I did, and now I have lots of guitars. Yay!

Gibsons are a very high quality, expensive brand of guitar. I myself have one, although not the most expensive kind. I have a no frills version which provides very very similar tone and feel (if not the same) but without gold hardware and binding etc.

I would recommend this Gibson if you will willing to spend £600 (Unsure of the prices where you live)

http://www.gear4music.com/Guitar-an...Worn-Cherry/AUD

If you are willing to spend more and he does want the Les Paul shape then you'll be going for a Standard which costs upwards of £1000.

If you are not willing to spend that kind of cash and want a good alternative, you can get an Epiphone Les Paul Standard.

Epiphone is a subsidary of Gibson and are regarded in good steed, but their products aren't as good as Gibsons. (In my opinion) You can however get some Epiphones that sound as good as Gibsons with some upgraded hardware.

I myself had one. I had this model.

http://www.reidys.com/index.pl?subm...CFSnJtAod0jwA3g

I would recommend this product for your Son as a starter electric guitar with the Les Paul shape.

It all depends on price and whether or not you think your son will continue to play the guitar.

So how much do you want to spend. He will require an amp which is equally as important as the guitar, if not more if you are spending a little on the guitar. Where abouts are you located?
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Last edited by Mephaphil : 11-08-2012 at 07:30 AM.
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Old 11-08-2012, 07:30 AM   #3
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Since you didn't give a price point. I would most-likely go with this http://www.musiciansfriend.com/guit...423561000018000

It has woods similar to the gibson les paul, pickups modeled after a les paul and most important of all, it not only looks like a gibson, but is a les paul!
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Old 11-08-2012, 07:43 AM   #4
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One of the best things you can do, if possible, is take him to a music store and get him to try as many guitars in your price range as possible. Ultimately, while we can recommend things based on preferences, price range etc... The deciding factor is which instrument he likes the feel and sound of the best.
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Old 11-08-2012, 08:17 AM   #5
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Hi - thanks v much for your help so far! I was thinking about £300/350 as a max price really. I reckon he will stick at it because he's taking to it like a duck to water and he really is music daft. But again...he is 11 and although he's usually careful...erm...he is sometimes accident prone in the way that most boys that age are! lol.
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Old 11-08-2012, 08:24 AM   #6
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I'm in Scotland
Have spent a bit of time in GuitarGuitar...but mainly Kenny's Music in Glasgow.
They know us quite well in there and hopefully we'll get a deal with an amp too.
But my son blows my mind with his technical knowledge of guitars and models of guitars and I struggle to keep up and really know what are the important features!
He keeps changing his fave every time we go in...but keeps coming back to wanting a Les Paul of some description.
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Old 11-08-2012, 08:29 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JuJuRam
Hi - thanks v much for your help so far! I was thinking about £300/350 as a max price really. I reckon he will stick at it because he's taking to it like a duck to water and he really is music daft. But again...he is 11 and although he's usually careful...erm...he is sometimes accident prone in the way that most boys that age are! lol.


For the guitar I would go for the Epiphone Led Paul Standard. But you'll need to get a decent amp.

A good guitar will sound rubbish through a poor amp but a poor/mediocre guitar will sound good through a good amp. The amp is very important.

So does the price you give include the price for an amp?

You could probably get the Epi LP Standard on eBay for £200ish and then with another £200 you could get a decent amp. Maybe a Fender blues junior if you're really lucky and patient. A Valvetronix is a decent starter amp too.
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Last edited by Mephaphil : 11-08-2012 at 08:37 AM.
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Old 11-08-2012, 08:47 AM   #8
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Buying him a Gibson now is a big risk. He might realize it's the wrong guitar for him or will just grow tired of it little later down the road and wants another one. My recommendation is always go step by step until he has learned his own preferences toward electric guitars.

There are a number of brands that make good Les Paul style guitars here in EU.

http://www.tanglewoodguitars.co.uk/...rics/tsb58.html
I have a sub 300 euro acoustic from them that rivals any guitar at much higher price.I do believe they make good electric guitar, too.

http://www.bachmusik.com/en/music-i...ctric-guitar-pl
I have seen quite a lot of praise on these guitars. They do look nice and close to the Les Paul shape.

http://www.jhs.co.uk/vintageelectric.html
Their V100 series is very nice for the price. Feels very much like an Epiphone Les Paul

http://www.indieguitars.ca/product.cfm
Canadian company but a lot of European shop stock these.

http://www.ibanez.co.jp/products/eg...=1&series_id=80
Good company. Good guitar. Can't fault this.

There are a lot more to choose from but these are my recommendations. You can try to take a look a few online stores and see if they have anything else more interesting yourself. These are the ones I have used

http://www.dv247.com
http://www.andertons.co.uk
http://www.richtonemusic.co.uk/
http://www.guitarguitar.co.uk
http://www.thomann.de
http://www.guitarbitz.com
http://www.dolphinmusic.co.uk
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Last edited by hminh87 : 11-08-2012 at 08:50 AM.
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Old 11-08-2012, 09:18 AM   #9
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I'd definitely go with Epiphone. Basically Gibson sells it's guitars made outside the US under the Epiphone name, these are not copies or rip-offs or anything.

If you are on a budget you could consider the LP100 by Epiphone. This is a starter guitar, and if he's serious he might want to upgrade soon, though.

http://www.guitarcenter.com/Epiphon...XGP&cagpspn=pla

Also don't forget you're going to need an amp! Hope you have budgeted for this as well.

The cheapest Epiphone made is the Special II. This is actually Epiphone's best-selling guitar, but if he's as serious as you say he may not want this. Ask your son if there are any specific models he has in mind.

http://www.guitarcenter.com/Epiphon...340-i1149983.gc
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Old 11-08-2012, 09:38 AM   #10
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Thanks again for additional helpful information...Huge Guy - yes he does have specific models in mind...a lot of them....and he talks very fast about these in a language I don't understand...lol. I can hardly get a look in on my laptop cos he's always looking at guitars online.
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Old 11-08-2012, 09:46 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JuJuRam
Thanks again for additional helpful information...Huge Guy - yes he does have specific models in mind...a lot of them....and he talks very fast about these in a language I don't understand...lol. I can hardly get a look in on my laptop cos he's always looking at guitars online.


You'd better buy one quickly or get yourself another laptop!

Let us know what you decide on!

Be aware that most shops price match to UK sellers, and will probably price match to EU stores too.
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Old 11-08-2012, 10:00 AM   #12
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Hi! I can help you with my experience, I've started playing with an Epiphone Les Paul Special II, which is the less expensive Epiphone Guitar. I think is a nice guitar except for the neck which is not as fast as a Squier one. I love it especially the shape. I'm sure your son will like it but if he so addicted to music as you have described he will ask you soon to buy him a new better guitar. So I tell you it's better to buy him a better guitar now and not waste your money on little things.

Good luck to your son!
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Old 11-08-2012, 10:02 AM   #13
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Make sure you check online classifieds because you may be able to find a great deal for something used.
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Old 11-08-2012, 12:22 PM   #14
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I started on cello myself at around that age...

For peace & quiet in the house, I would not buy him an amp to go with his electric unless he will actually be playing with others right away. Instead, get him some nice, over the ear headphones and one of these:

Boss Micro-BR 4 track
http://www.guitarcenter.com/-i1169092.gc

Pocket POD
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Line-6-...875-i1173933.gc

Tascam GT-R1
http://www.guitarcenter.com/TASCAM-...306-i1401677.gc
http://www.guitarcenter.com/TASCAM-...473-i1402140.gc

Korg Pandora Mini
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Korg-Pa...754-i1746466.gc

Korg Px4
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Korg-Pa...554-i1124641.gc

Korg Px5
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Korg-Pa...715-i1387080.gc

They're all perfect for practice: portable, with features including tuners, metronomes, amp/pedal simulation programs and various other features like acoustic microphones, direct connections for computers or integrated removable storage drives.

And most importantly, he can pretend to be live at Wembly stadium without causing a ruckus in the house.
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Old 11-08-2012, 01:00 PM   #15
Mephaphil
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dannyalcatraz
I started on cello myself at around that age...

For peace & quiet in the house, I would not buy him an amp to go with his electric unless he will actually be playing with others right away. Instead, get him some nice, over the ear headphones and one of these:

Boss Micro-BR 4 track
http://www.guitarcenter.com/-i1169092.gc

Pocket POD
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Line-6-...875-i1173933.gc

Tascam GT-R1
http://www.guitarcenter.com/TASCAM-...306-i1401677.gc
http://www.guitarcenter.com/TASCAM-...473-i1402140.gc

Korg Pandora Mini
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Korg-Pa...754-i1746466.gc

Korg Px4
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Korg-Pa...554-i1124641.gc

Korg Px5
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Korg-Pa...715-i1387080.gc

They're all perfect for practice: portable, with features including tuners, metronomes, amp/pedal simulation programs and various other features like acoustic microphones, direct connections for computers or integrated removable storage drives.

And most importantly, he can pretend to be live at Wembly stadium without causing a ruckus in the house.


If you do go down this route, make sure he is aware of tinnitus and how it can be easily contracted.

At least with an amp you can control the volume, with headphones the kid can have it as loud as he wants and can cause some real issues. I've had tinnitus because of headphones. If I had these when I was 11 it would have lasted a lot longer than it did and could have been a lot worse. I am very wary of allowing my kids to use headphones, and especially if they play guitar and really get into it.

Just saying it to make you aware if you aren't already. Your kid might be responsible with things like that, but I wasn't :P
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Go ahead and spend your money, I don't care. It won't make you sound better.


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Sure upgrading your gear will make you sound better.


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Old 11-08-2012, 01:22 PM   #16
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I wish my parents were so awesome that they would go out of their way to post on a guitar forum about what sort of guitar i would've wanted when i was 11. Tell you what though, an Epiphone LP Standard is a hell of a lot better than my first guitar, My first was a complete and utter dog.

But yeah, pretty much what everyone else has said is an option to you. If you're going to get the most out of your money, what i would suggest is going to a guitar store, try a few guitars out and if your son likes a particular guitar then go out and buy that guitar used on Ebay. You can get Epiphone Les Paul Standards for about £200 used and they're a great guitar for that amount of money.

The only thing your son may not like about the guitar straight away is the thickness of the neck. At his age, his hands may be tiny and if that's the case, he might find the neck to be too thick. But again, this is why you must try guitars before you buy them. If you want something that has a thinner neck, have a look at Ibanez guitars because those guitars have the thinnest necks you can get. The only problem is that Ibanez RG's are VERY different kinds of guitars compared to Epiphone Les Pauls. But if your son finding the guitar comfortable is your main concern, you may need to consider such an avenue.

Then with the remaining money, you can invest in an amp. The Peavey Vypyr 30 would be a good amp, as would a Roland Cube. If cleans and high gain (metal) distortion are the most important to your son, get the Cube. For everything else, get the Vypyr.
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Old 11-08-2012, 01:46 PM   #17
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I just wanted to say what a great mum you are.
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Old 11-08-2012, 01:52 PM   #18
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i'd have said an HSS superstrat (e.g. yamaha pacifica 112v) would be good for the variety of stuff he likes- but if he has his heart set on a les paul, that would work, too (and having something you want to play is half the battle). Just as long as he realises that they can be heavy and upper fret access isn't amazing.

I guess epiphone (one of the set neck models- you should be easily able to get one with your budget) or maybe vintage would be the way to go. I don't have much experience with them, though.

I assume he's big enough at 11 to get a full-sized instrument? I dunno, I didn't start playing till I was 18 or 19

amp-wise, a modeller is probably the thing- the roland microcube and vox mini 3 are both pretty nice without spending ridiculous amounts of money (and they're useful once he upgrades to a better amp, too, as they're portable). though if he wants to jam with friends etc. the 15/30 watt versions might be a better idea (i'd avoid the sub-30 watt roland cubes, though, as they tend to have very few features).
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Old 11-08-2012, 01:53 PM   #19
Huge Guy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dannyalcatraz
I started on cello myself at around that age...

For peace & quiet in the house, I would not buy him an amp to go with his electric unless he will actually be playing with others right away. Instead, get him some nice, over the ear headphones and one of these:

Boss Micro-BR 4 track
http://www.guitarcenter.com/-i1169092.gc


I have this and it rocks. Use it when the kids and Mrs are sleeping! Got a couple of songs I did with it uploaded to my profile.
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Old 11-08-2012, 01:55 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Mephaphil
If you do go down this route, make sure he is aware of tinnitus and how it can be easily contracted.


Yes I have had issues with this too, but from too-loud band practices and going to gigs in hole-in-the-wall basement clubs. It mostly went away but I still can hear it at night sometimes...

If he starts playing with other people (probably not an issue at his age!) make sure you get him ear plugs, you can get them at the drug store and they are very cheap.
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