Hi guys!

Well ive been playing acoustic guitar for almost a year now and ive toying with the idea to buy an electric guitar for a while. So now ive made up my mind that im going to buy one, but know i have a problem choising the right electric guitar.

I've narrowed my search to epiphone only and more precisely the Les Paul or SG.
Know i will flood u with links showing the ones that i'm thinking about and i want to hear your opinion and if possible answer a few of my questions.

Les Paul:
Les Paul Standard
Les Paul Standard - Vintage Sunburst
Les Paul Custom
Les Paul Custom - Black Beauty

SG Custom - G400

1)Which one would you choose? (Why? because of it looks or certain elements?)
2)Whats the main difference between a Les Paul and a SG?
3)My most important question -> Whats the difference between 2 or 3 humbuckers and what do you prefer? Because that could narrow the search even more!

(Optional)Also i'm going to buy an amp and I'm thinking about these models:
Peavey Vypyr 30
Spider IV - 75
-> Again which one would you choose? Why?
first off all .. what kind of music do you want to play.. what kind sound do you want to get... you might not even need an epiphone
1. What's your style?
2. What's your budget?
3. Do NOT! get the Spider IV, if you start it it'll be the greatest thing ever, but once you get an ear for tone, you'll realise it sucks donkey balls

In my opinion I'd take the Vypyr as an amp, but wouldn't know which guitar
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Les Pauls and SGs have a very similar sound, usually being built with similar (if not the same) humbuckers and wood. An SG is a bit lighter, and has easier upper fret access. They are both good for someone starting electric guitar because they are easy to restring etc.

Why not try them out if you can? It'd help you make your desicion. Plus, why have you limited your search just to Epiphone? They're pretty nice, but not great value for money.


A third humbucker dosen't make much difference. Typically it just sounds like the middle pickup position on a les paul or SG anyway. It looks nice though.
Last edited by pag_slash_2 at Nov 21, 2009,
I'd take the LesPaul custom if i were you but seriously, man, do not buy the spider IV ! and why do you want a modelling amp anyway ? get some raw power and a serious pedal that suits your style (if you have one)
Quote by hippie_guy
I'd take the LesPaul custom if i were you but seriously, man, do not buy the spider IV ! and why do you want a modelling amp anyway ? get some raw power and a serious pedal that suits your style (if you have one)

Good idea, but he probably wants something all in one package for now.
The valve amps come later, he's got to keep something to look forward to
Any of those Epiphones are a good match for the Spider. Its your money so spend it on what you fancy. Next time you'll know better.
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Thank you very much for your replies.

First of all i'm planning on playing normal rock. I'm not aiming to play death metal and more of that genre. Just looking to play stuff like RHCP, Pearl Jam, The Killers, etc. At max i would do some AC/DC, Metallica or Led Zeppelin.

Well i was told that the the Spider IV 30 had bad tone, but that the Sider IV 75 was made to perfect the other one.

Also it doesnt matter if the amp has a lot of effects, since a friend of mine is going to give me a pedal or two because he rescently bought a GT10.

Any reccomdations for amp?

Also i was told that the thirth humbucker is awesome, but that it takes the space where you usually strum and that it messes up some fingerstyle. Is this true?
Actually if your gonna get some pedals off a mate i would just get a small tube amp like the blackstar HT5 or something along those lines. Then you'll pretty much never have to upgrade the amp, you just need to buy more pedels... A les paul or sg sounds good but if you want a little more versitility then maybe look at a HSS strat or HSH ibanez ...
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Third (middle) humbuckers are generally a bad idea. They can indeed get in the way if you have the pickups raised quite high (for higher output/thicker tone) but their main problems is they hurt the sustain of the instrument and they actually limit your tonal options.
Pickups work by creating a magnetic field; strings vibrate within that field, disturbing it; pickups register these disturbances and turn them into electronic signal. The more pickups you have, the stronger the magnetic field is; the stronger that field is, the less the strings are able to vibrate freely. This means they will vibrate less and for not quite as long, meaning the guitar won't sustain notes quite as well (notes won't last as long).
Having a middle humbucker also limits your tone options as Les Paula nd Sg guitars use 3-way toggle switches to select which pickup to use. On a two pickup guitar you can use the bridge pickup, neck pickup or both together; when you use both together you can mess with both pickups' tone controls to get a very wide variety of tones. When you add in a third pickup, you lose the ability to have the neck and bridge pickups together - you lose all of the tones that they can provide when combined. Instead you replace all those tones with simply the one tone of the middle pickup. You also restrict your controls more; on a two pickup guitar, each pickup has it's own volume and tone control. On a three pickup guitar, what usually happens is some of the controls become shared by two or all three of the pickups, so you can't tweak each pickup by itself as well.

For these reasons, I would advise against a triple humbucker guitar.

As far as which of those guitars is the ''best'', they're actually all the same. Epiphone Les Paul Standards and above and G-400s and above are all made to the same standard; it's not like they take more care over their Sgs and none of their Les Pauls or anything like that. Additionally, Standard and Custom models are actually all the same. The only difference between them is the finish - Customs get gold-coloured hardware (which is quite cheap and will rub off to the bare brass and zinc fairly quickly) and that's all you're paying for. Plus/Plain tops are the same deal, it's the same guitar only it costs a bit more because the finish is a bit prettier. If you want the best value, a basic LP Standard or G-400 is the best way to go. It will sound and play the same but you'll save money because of the more basic finish.

In terms of SG vs LP, with Gibson versions the differences can be quite large but with the Epiphone models the differences aren't so obvious. The LP will sustain slightly longer and has it's weight balanced better; SGs have thinner bodies and different neck joints which don't sustain notes so well and the placement of the strap buttons and the lighter body vs the same size neck means SGs often suffer from ''neck dive'' (where the guitar will tilt downwards with the headstock and neck pointing towards the floor whenever you stop holding the guitar).
However, the SG's balance issues can often be solved by simply moving the location of the front strap button (as standard it's behind the neck; if you move it to the tip of the upper ''horn'', this is often enough to stop the Sg from slipping downwards) and the thinner body and lighter weight can be nice for many people who find Les Pauls too heavy. SGs also have much better high fret access; lots of people find it hard to reach the highest notes on a Les Paul while anyone can reach the highest notes on an SG very eaisly.
Lastly, the neck pickup on each guitar is in a slightly different position. On an SG the neck pickup is moved further back, slightly closer to the bridge pickup than it is on a Les Paul. This gives the neck pickup of an SG a slightly brighter and clearer tone. Some people like this, some people prefer the ''thicker'' tone of the Les Paul neck pickup. Some people say they can't hear the difference anyway...

Really, a lot of the difference between SGs and LPs just comes down to personal preference and you may not know which you prefer until you've actually sat down and played each for a fair while. Personally, I started off with an Epiphone LP and loved it, it's still my second main guitar. I did own an Epiphone G-400 for a while a few years ago but I had to sell it as I found the weight to be too poorly balanced and it dove to the floor so much I found it unplayable. Other people have completely the opposite experience. You've really got to just play them for yourself and see what feels best in your hands. Both sound very similar, both have the same necks; the main issue will be the weight, whether you can cope with the heavier Les Paul or whether you can cope with the neck dive of the SG.

EDIT: as far as the amp goes, the Vyper is the best pick of the three you've provided, in my opinion. However if you are going to be using pedals, the best thing is, as Tatsumaru says, to get a small all-valve amp. Something like that Blackstar would indeed be fine, as would a Blackheart Little Giant or a Fender Champ 600. They're all nice 5w combo amps that offer good clean tones and will work nicely with pedals.
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Last edited by MrFlibble at Nov 21, 2009,
Thanks a lot for your replies!
Especially MrFlibble, thanks for the trouble.

I've tried both guitars like you guys said and i have to say my prefernce goes to the Les Paul.
The SG was easier on the higher frets, but i just had to adjust my hand to do the same on a Les Paul and the Les Paul was just more balanced on my lap and i could really enjoy playing on the neck.

I didnt really think much about the SG falling down when you have it around your neck, but asked the customer helper instead and he proposed for me to try it out. Luckily he asked me this and indeed the SG was slightly pointing towards the neck when i had my hands loose. At first this did not bother me, but after a while the grip on the Les Paul was better than the one i could get on the SG.

The customer helper also stated that the 3th humbucker isnt really necessary and is actually bad in some situations, but also said that it looks ****ing awesome (the black beauty one).

This leaves my choice between an Epiphone Les Paul Standard or Custom.
I didnt really ask about prices there and the difference between a Standard or Custom.
So as a final request could you give me an idea about the pricing?
Epiphone Les Paul Standard Black
Epiphone Les Paul (Standard/Custom??) Vintage Sunburst
Epiphone Les Paul Custom (Black/White??)

Also i've noticed that the Les Paul Standards in the shop have the brons colored switches, but i saw some pictures of it with black/white switches. What option is that?

And again thanks for your replies!
an epiphone ls standard you're looking at about 299 with the basic pickups silver hardware dotted inlays and a bolt on neck if im not mistaken the lowest priced ls ive seen with a set neck was about $429 a custom like a zak wylde would be like 799 black beauty about 699-799 i have to admit the more i see those caramel colored ls's the more they grow on me. myself i have a new sg-400 which i love but my dream was the aspen white custom with vintage bindings like the guitarist from silverstein uses i just find it an absolutely beautiful guitar in my opinion don't get bolt on neck its what makes a les paul a les paul theres nothing wrong with a bolt on as every fender ive seen is a bolt on but as for ls's dont do it and a shocker for soem of you guys I got it with the gator brown sg case with the pink interior lol and it looks sweet whe ni put my baby to bed lol
Last edited by cleanassvdubb at Dec 10, 2009,