Poll: Best Les Paul for Under $500
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View poll results: Best Les Paul for Under $500
Epiphone Les Paul Prophecy
6 17%
Epiphone Les Paul Custom
10 28%
Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plustop Pro
8 22%
Agile AL-3010
12 33%
Voters: 36.
Page 1 of 3
#1
Hey Guys!

I am new here and I just wanted to know: What is the best Les Paul/Les Paul Style guitar that you could get, for around $500.

Currently the only electric I have is a Epiphone Les Paul Special II, not the best guitar, but I make do. I only plan on spending $500 because I am, as the username states, too poor for a Gibson.

1. Epiphone Les Paul Prophecy
http://www.epiphone.com/Products/Les-Paul/Prophecy-Les-Paul-Custom-Plus-EX.aspx

2. Epiphone Les Paul Standard
http://www.epiphone.com/Products/Les-Paul/Les-Paul-Standard-Plustop-PRO.aspx

3. Epiphone Les Paul Custom
http://www.epiphone.com/Products/Les-Paul/Les-Paul-Custom-Silverburst.aspx

4. Agile AL-3010
http://www.rondomusic.com/cgi-rondomusic/sb/ss_mb.cgi?storeid=*0c1421a8d614cc26&ss_parm=Ab8df35b5dc5d745f139cfa7b748e230d


Clearly, I like the Les Paul Custom's. They just feel good to me and they look beautiful. But I also know the Standard is good. But which guitar out of these is the best?

Feel free to leave other suggestions. Thanks!
#2
If you really want a Les Paul you might be able to find one used for around $500. If you don't want to go used I would say go for the agile. Other than that we might need to know why you are after the Les Paul, what sound you're after, what amp you currently have. If you want one just for the sake of wanting one then you might short change yourself.
Gibson LP traditional and DC standard, PRS S2 Custom 24, Schecter Banshee 7
EVH 5153, Mesa DR Tremoverb combo 2-2x12's
Line 6 M13
#3
Quote by bobafettacheese
If you really want a Les Paul you might be able to find one used for around $500. If you don't want to go used I would say go for the agile. Other than that we might need to know why you are after the Les Paul, what sound you're after, what amp you currently have. If you want one just for the sake of wanting one then you might short change yourself.


I'm going after the "Slash" sound. I like deep rock sounds and blues'ish sounds. I personally like the sound of humbucker pickups better than single coils.

The amp I currently have is a Marshall MG30CFX
#4
Agile Al-3100 is a great guitar. Better than an epi standard in my opinion.
Gear:

Fender Strat
PRS SE Custom 24
Agile AL-3100

Jet City JCA50H
Randall 2x12 wV30s
#5
This will probably turn into a new amp thread real quick, but Agile are solid guitars. I still think that if you truly want a Gibson just save up and buy a used Les Paul. They can be had for fairly decent on the used market. Make sure to check out GC used.
Gibson LP traditional and DC standard, PRS S2 Custom 24, Schecter Banshee 7
EVH 5153, Mesa DR Tremoverb combo 2-2x12's
Line 6 M13
#6
Quote by bobafettacheese
This will probably turn into a new amp thread real quick, but Agile are solid guitars. I still think that if you truly want a Gibson just save up and buy a used Les Paul. They can be had for fairly decent on the used market. Make sure to check out GC used.


So you're saying that if I'm looking to invest in a Les Paul, might as well just save for a Gibson?
#7
Quote by 2Poor4Gibson
I'm going after the "Slash" sound. I like deep rock sounds and blues'ish sounds. I personally like the sound of humbucker pickups better than single coils.

The amp I currently have is a Marshall MG30CFX


Slash tone n cheap don't go hand in hand. just having a "Les Paul" won't get you that kind of tone and your amp certainly won't. for that $500 you can get a used Epi LP and something like a used Peavey Valveking which will get you closer to a decent blues rock tone (won't nail Slash but will sound way better than your current setup can)
#8
Not even that. Just that if you have your heart set on the Gibson logo then nothing will suffice until you get it. Now if the sound trumps the logo then Agiles are very good guitars. That being said I love my Gibson, I have owned several Agiles and Gibsons prior to though. I still think your biggest draw back now is your amp.
Gibson LP traditional and DC standard, PRS S2 Custom 24, Schecter Banshee 7
EVH 5153, Mesa DR Tremoverb combo 2-2x12's
Line 6 M13
#9
Quote by monwobobbo
Slash tone n cheap don't go hand in hand. just having a "Les Paul" won't get you that kind of tone and your amp certainly won't. for that $500 you can get a used Epi LP and something like a used Peavey Valveking which will get you closer to a decent blues rock tone (won't nail Slash but will sound way better than your current setup can)


Thanks for the tips
Clearly, I'm going to need a lot more money.
#10
Yes...with a caveat.

Quite often, the only thing that will satisfy is the tat which you really, really want. In the 1970s, for my Dad, it was Bose 901 speakers for his stereo system. First, he bought other pricey- but not so pricey as 901s- speakers. And then, after only a few years, he bought the 901s. After they became high-tech end tables for a while, I took the other speakers off his hands.

However, the dream of owning a thing doesn't always match the reality. Some people say that Gibsons are the bomb, some say they're not as good as their rep. A lot of people say their quality control is not as good as it should be, given their prices.

My advice? If you decide to save up for your dream Gibson, use that time to try out other, LP-style guitars, as well as other guitars in the same price range.

In the end, what matters is that the guitar makes you happy to play it, for whatever reason. I have a buddy who only buys Fender Strats. It doesn't matter what you show him about Carvins, G&Ls or other high-end Strat clones, he wants Fenders.

OTOH, I don't care what name is on the headstock. I own 4 LP style guitars: a Dean, a Malden, a Reverend and an Electra. The Gibson name hasn't proven itself to be worth my money...but it may prove to be worth yours.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Dec 28, 2013,
#11
Quote by bobafettacheese
Not even that. Just that if you have your heart set on the Gibson logo then nothing will suffice until you get it. Now if the sound trumps the logo then Agiles are very good guitars. That being said I love my Gibson, I have owned several Agiles and Gibsons prior to though. I still think your biggest draw back now is your amp.

My amp is setting me back more than my guitar? Because isn't the Lp Special 2 like the lowest of all Les Pails?
And to a point yes, my heart is set on a Gibson and I definitely want one. But on the other hand, they're just way out of my budget. And I dont really know, is a $2000 Gibson a huge difference between a $300 Agile or is it all cosmetics?
#12
Quote by dannyalcatraz
Yes...with a caveat.

Quite often, the only thing that will satisfy is the tat which you really, really want. In the 1970s, for my Dad, it was Bose 901 speakers for his stereo system. First, he bought other pricey- but not so pricey as 901s- speakers. And then, after only a few years, he bought the 901s. After they became high-tech end tables for a while, I took the other speakers off his hands.

However, the dream of owning a thing doesn't always match the reality. Some people say that Gibsons are the bomb, some say they're not as good as their rep. A lot of people say their quality control is not as good as it should be, given their prices.

My advice? If you decide to save up for your dream Gibson, use that time to try out other, LP-style guitars, as well as other guitars in the same price range.


Thanks for the reply and your help! I will definitely look into other guitars
#13
Quote by dannyalcatraz
Yes...with a caveat.

Quite often, the only thing that will satisfy is the tat which you really, really want. In the 1970s, for my Dad, it was Bose 901 speakers for his stereo system. First, he bought other pricey- but not so pricey as 901s- speakers. And then, after only a few years, he bought the 901s. After they became high-tech end tables for a while, I took the other speakers off his hands.

However, the dream of owning a thing doesn't always match the reality. Some people say that Gibsons are the bomb, some say they're not as good as their rep. A lot of people say their quality control is not as good as it should be, given their prices.

My advice? If you decide to save up for your dream Gibson, use that time to try out other, LP-style guitars, as well as other guitars in the same price range.


great advice. one of the things that new players always seem to do is assume that just because (fill in guitar hero here) uses a certain guitar (or other gear) that this what they have to have. while a LP might work great for slash it might not for you. finding the gear that is right for you is the ticket for sure. I've never really bonded with LPs for instance (owned 2 gibsons) but I love my BC Rich Eagle which gives me a similar tone to a gibby LP but suites me better.
#14
Quote by monwobobbo
great advice. one of the things that new players always seem to do is assume that just because (fill in guitar hero here) uses a certain guitar (or other gear) that this what they have to have. while a LP might work great for slash it might not for you. finding the gear that is right for you is the ticket for sure. I've never really bonded with LPs for instance (owned 2 gibsons) but I love my BC Rich Eagle which gives me a similar tone to a gibby LP but suites me better.

Yes that is true. Thanks for your reply
#15
Quote by 2Poor4Gibson
My amp is setting me back more than my guitar? Because isn't the Lp Special 2 like the lowest of all Les Pails?
And to a point yes, my heart is set on a Gibson and I definitely want one. But on the other hand, they're just way out of my budget. And I dont really know, is a $2000 Gibson a huge difference between a $300 Agile or is it all cosmetics?

Yes your epi is a beginner guitar that you eventually want to upgrade. We could debate this next point, but your amp will make a greater difference in your overall sound than your guitar. You can upgrade to whatever guitar you want but playing through the MG will hold it back.
Gibson LP traditional and DC standard, PRS S2 Custom 24, Schecter Banshee 7
EVH 5153, Mesa DR Tremoverb combo 2-2x12's
Line 6 M13
#16
one of the things that new players always seem to do is assume that just because (fill in guitar hero here) uses a certain guitar (or other gear) that this what they have to have.


And in fact, that was me in early 2003, shopping for my first electric (after owning an acoustic for a while). I had no idea what it was, but I knew what it looked like. When I figured out what it was, I had to special order it.

I still own that Dean Cadillac today, and do not regret it at all.

(Even though I love his stuff, I play NOTHING like Steve Stevens. )
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#17
My amp is setting me back more than my guitar?


Yep. There are pros who play Epiphones and sound great. Now, some of those players are using some of the best Epis ever made, but others are using guitars anyone can go into GC and buy today.

In many ways, the guitar is the least important part of the equipment for making good music. You make Eric Johnson play his #1 axe through a crappy amp, and it will sound...well...better than most people playing through that amp, but still crappy. The amp is the biggest factor in your overall tonal quality.

Next would be your pedals.

Then there is you, the player.

THEN comes the guitar.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#18
Quote by monwobobbo
great advice. one of the things that new players always seem to do is assume that just because (fill in guitar hero here) uses a certain guitar (or other gear) that this what they have to have. while a LP might work great for slash it might not for you. finding the gear that is right for you is the ticket for sure. I've never really bonded with LPs for instance (owned 2 gibsons) but I love my BC Rich Eagle which gives me a similar tone to a gibby LP but suites me better.


Slash also used BC Rich Mockingbirds.



One on Ebay for $529:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/BC-RICH-Mockingbird-STQ-Hardtail-electric-GUITAR-new-Trans-Red-/400631684017?pt=Guitar&hash=item5d47825bb1
[..BLACKFIRE..]
Last edited by Blackfire. at Dec 28, 2013,
#19
Quote by dannyalcatraz
Yep. There are pros who play Epiphones and sound great. Now, some of those players are using some of the best Epis ever made, but others are using guitars anyone can go into GC and buy today.

In many ways, the guitar is the least important part of the equipment for making good music. You make Eric Johnson play his #1 axe through a crappy amp, and it will sound...well...better than most people playing through that amp, but still crappy. The amp is the biggest factor in your overall tonal quality.

Next would be your pedals.

Then there is you, the player.

THEN comes the guitar.


Well dang. Might as well throw my guitars away. Lol jk.
#20
Quote by Blackfire.


that(in pic) Mockingbird goes for way more than $529 it's a US made one. yes Slash played one but his signature tone is LP.

now I can't say I agree that the guitar is the least important part of the chain however a decent amp is the key to good tone. your guitar does have to be up to the task. you can find lower end Gibson LPs for well under $1000 that will do the trick you don't need to spend 2 grand. won't look as nice as the 2 grand one and probably won't sound quit as good but will still be a good guitar with a nice sound. point is that if you want a good tone (similar to Slash) you won't get it with just one piece of the puzzle. the $2000 gibby won't sound any better than the $500 epi through your current amp.
#21
Used Gibson LP Studio can be had for $400+
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
#22
the best lp for $500 imo is a used Gibson lp. Usually for a Gibson lp studio, used, in good condition they go around $600-700, but you can always haggle a little and its still pretty close to your budget. I wanted an lp for years before I finally got one, and in all honesty, it's been worth the wait.

I agree that your amp is the biggest contributor to your overall tone, but its the guitar that you actually physically connect with. Its much easier to make that connection with the guitar that you really want. I'd get the guitar, then start saving for a better amp... my 2 cents anyways.
#23
I agree with everyone used Gibson is the way to go for roughly $600 you can get a lp studio then another $150 and you can put new pickups on it and that will get you closer to slashes tone then anything else in the Gibson line up.

If your going to upgrade it yourself look for 2007 or older to avoid the pcb board on the pots.
#25
I have a Les Paul 60s Tribute (714.00 with minEtune) and a LPJ (549.00) and love them,they just fit me,play great and sound to me as good as a 3000.00 LP.They were on end of 2013 sale so they are gone but were a very good buy.
#26
Quote by evmac
Agile Al-3100 is a great guitar. Better than an epi standard in my opinion.

I agree with this fully. Ive played all of these guitars and the epi custom was really nice and the plus top looked great. But the agile was better overall in my own opinion.
#27
Quote by dannyalcatraz

In many ways, the guitar is the least important part of the equipment for making good music. You make Eric Johnson play his #1 axe through a crappy amp, and it will sound...well...better than most people playing through that amp, but still crappy. The amp is the biggest factor in your overall tonal quality.

Next would be your pedals.

Then there is you, the player.

THEN comes the guitar.


And see, I'm just the opposite. I think the guitar is your instrument. I think it's why some musicians become identified with a particular guitar. I've got a ton of guitars, but I've been most comfortable with LP style guitars over the years. I can put my hands down by my sides, bring them up and be exactly where I need to be without ever looking. It's muscle memory. I've recently picked up a JTV-89F (maybe two months old now). Everything's different -- it hangs differently, the scale is longer, the fretboard is in a different place relative to my hands, etc. Certainly there aren't issues playing it, but the level of familiarity, of being an extension of my nervous system, just hasn't yet developed. It's going to take a bit of time.

Amps and pedals come and go. I've got two big flap-top bins of pedals that I've used over the years ("Dude -- Whoa! Vintage!"), about fifteen tube amps lying around and a few assorted ancient SS things. These days I'm working mostly with modelers, and I think we're going to see much the same thing with guitar that we've seen with keyboards, where we have the familiarity of a keyboard and muscle memory as the extension of the brain interface, but what it controls downstream can vary wildly.
#28
My take on Epiphone <-> Agile <-> Gibson...

I've got a stack of Gibsons, and the most recent was over $4K new. I'm still dickering on a 2006 Supreme that will end up being significantly under $2K. But every other Gibson I own was built prior to 1980. That's not by design; it just worked out that way. I mostly buy used if I'm buying higher end Gibson. It takes a lot of the "air" out of Gibson pricing and with some hunting, you can usually find a pristine original guitar. Owners often treat them as "precious."
I don't buy cheap Gibsons, new or used.

I like Epiphones, but the only one I own dates to 1939, when they were building guitars that matched and exceeded Gibson's best. These days Gibson nails Epiphone's foot to the floor and is careful to ensure that their quality isn't obviously better than Gibson's own. Epiphone's factory is fully capable of producing far better quality than it's allowed to. And I'd have to agree that the Tribute Plus, a few posts back, is an excellent choice. Fact is, I'd have to rate that guitar far and away above the lesser studios and any of the LPJ's that Gibson is hawking. Gibson's Marketing department has to work very hard to spin those things as "stripped-down no-nonsense rock and roll machines" to make the "we left everything out that we could and cheaped this guitar up so that you'll still buy something that has the Gibson logo on it" guitars sell. I know there are folks who own them who like them. de gustibus est non disputandum.

The $400 Agiles (the AL-3XXX series) are stunning value for the money. But they're also very good guitars regardless of price. My initial reaction to them, about six years ago, was "This costs HOW much?" Understand that I'm not slavishly traditional when it comes to Les Paul and their ilk. I don't like '50's baseball bat necks. I have really big hands and the traditional cutaway point forces me to rotate my hand to get to higher frets. I think the neck heels are clunky (even on most of the Agiles). And I put Floyds on them (oh the horror!). I will never prefer rosewood and plastic inlays over ebony and real MOP or abalone inlays. I don't mind heavy guitars. And as an owner of a bunch of guitars with nitrocellulose lacquer finishes, I think it's an inferior finish and a PIA.

Agiles come with jumbo frets, a 13.7" radius, a reasonable basic neck profile (with OPTIONS, oh my gawd, for thinner and wider neck profiles). The smaller, nubby cutaway horn doesn't force me to rotate my hand. The frets are done very well -- compare that to the unfinished hand slicers on some of the cheapo Gibsons. Pickups are good, electronics are good (I'd suggest swapping out the pickup selector switch earlier rather than later). The tusq-type nut and the Graphtech bridge with string saver saddles are both upgrades compared to what Gibson puts on the R9. You have a TON more finish options beyond a something-burst, black and (maybe) white.

I have three (all with Floyds). I've PLEK'd all three, and all three are amazing players because of it. Highly recommended. Only one has a full thickness figured maple cap (no veneer), but that's another thing that doesn't really make or break an LP to me. The other two are, like Gibson's original Customs, black paint over a solid mahogany body. Only one has a standard neck heel (the other two have some variant of the Axcess smooth neck heel). Two are 24-fret guitars.

If I were saving up money, it would not be for a Gibson. It would be for an Agile custom build. And assuming I was going hog wild with the specs on that custom build, picking things that you can't get on any Gibson, including a custom build, I'd still only have to save the equivalent of a used Gibson Studio. Lessee -- maybe a 24-fret 25.5" or even 27" scale, stainless steel frets, ebony fretboard, NO inlays, neck-through construction with an Axcess-style smoothed neck heel and a tummy cut, a Floyd, a wider-at-the-nut ( 1 3/4") neck with a thin profile, full-thickness figured maple cap, binding everywhere...
#30
Quote by JustRooster
G&l Asat Hb.


The best Les Paul under $500?

Some modifications to the LP specs seem evident.
Bolt neck
25.5" scale
Tele body
Basswood body
Floyd Rose
Inline headstock

And it's $599, so not under $500 <G>.
#31
Quote by dspellman
And see, I'm just the opposite. I think the guitar is your instrument. I think it's why some musicians become identified with a particular guitar. I've got a ton of guitars, but I've been most comfortable with LP style guitars over the years. I can put my hands down by my sides, bring them up and be exactly where I need to be without ever looking. It's muscle memory. I've recently picked up a JTV-89F (maybe two months old now). Everything's different -- it hangs differently, the scale is longer, the fretboard is in a different place relative to my hands, etc. Certainly there aren't issues playing it, but the level of familiarity, of being an extension of my nervous system, just hasn't yet developed. It's going to take a bit of time.


I agree with the premise that the instrument is important. It is the start of the whole process of getting the notes out of your head and into the heads of your audience. Its scale, fret access, etc. all matter to how you, the musician, apply your techniques. And I know from personal experience that some songs can't be played on certain guitars, simply because of their physical attributes.

OTOH, Bill Bailey:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H8dZwXnMrRU
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#32
Get a Tanglewood 58, I got mine for $500 and I feel it is a LOT better than a more expensive Epiphone
Tanglewood 85 Les Paul <3
Vox V847 <3
Orange Pix Crush
#33
Quote by dspellman
The best Les Paul under $500?

Some modifications to the LP specs seem evident.
Bolt neck
25.5" scale
Tele body
Basswood body
Floyd Rose
Inline headstock

And it's $599, so not under $500 <G>.


http://www.ebay.com/itm/G-L-TRIBUTE-ASAT-DELUXE-CARVED-TOP-HB-BLACK-ROSEWOOD-/190735041419?pt=Guitar&var=&hash=item2c68b1c38b

I still hold that this will be a better Les Paul than any chinese made Epiphone.
OBEY THE MIGHTY SHITKICKER
#34
To be honest, you can basically just pick any of the LP style guitars you want, and it won't make a much of a difference.

Why not just rock into a music shop and play around, if you find one that's the same LP shape, and it feel good to play, then get it and you can mess with the pickups and other stuff later.

The actual guitar means about nothing to the sound, it's basically all player/pick/pickups/pedals/amp.

The actual guitar itself is the least important and least influential part of the sound, it's literally the very last thing to consider when trying to get the tone you want.

What you should do, is just pick any guitar that is the LP shape and feels good, and then use the rest of your money to try hunt down a nice amp that will suit what you want, then save up some money for some nice pickups.
#35
Quote by JustRooster



why, because its Indonesian made by a OEM factory ?

How can you tell ? you said more than once you don't know much about Epis ???

Folks reading your posts already know you hate Epis.....
#37
You could always try Samick. They're a bit cheaper but I've had incredible luck with a couple of their LP copies.
#38
I know I'm just one person saying this but I STRONGLY recommend that you stay away from the Agile guitars. I had a bad experience with their customer service and being double billed. Long story short, I sent the guitar back at a loss.

The guitar also gave me a fingernail fungus. I can't prove it came from that, but I began developing it almost immediately after playing on the guitar. I'm no medical expert but my hypothesis is that some South Korean sneezed on the neck or something... my immune system wasn't equipped for South Korean contaminants and wah-lah... a fungus that cost more than the guitar to get rid of.

If a deal seems too good to be true, it really is. For all the talk about the Agile guitars, I had one hell of an experience with mine. Thankfully, I was able to buy a Gibson SG Standard after returning the P.O.S. and I could not be happier with it. This is a real guitar, not a toy.

But... in your case... definitely go with an Epi. The one somebody linked above, with the 57s, that's the one I'd be checking into.
Last edited by dyingturtle at Feb 26, 2014,
#39
Quote by dyingturtle

The guitar also gave me a fingernail fungus. I can't prove it came from that, but I began developing it almost immediately after playing on the guitar. I'm no medical expert but my hypothesis is that some South Korean sneezed on the neck or something... my immune system wasn't equipped for South Korean contaminants and wah-lah... a fungus that cost more than the guitar to get rid of.

That's actually a pretty hilarious story.
Quote by Axelfox
Reeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
#40
Quote by paruwi
why, because its Indonesian made by a OEM factory ?

How can you tell ? you said more than once you don't know much about Epis ???

Folks reading your posts already know you hate Epis.....



Tributes are made in the Cor-Tek factory. The same place the old Hellraisers were made. Solid stuff. It's pretty apparent the Epi's aren't, since everybody is immediately voting for the Agile. I was giving another option.

If someone asks "which of these shoddy Chinese made guitars should I buy?" I don't see what wrong with saying "None" and presenting another option.


Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Because that's totally what TS asked for.


I read the thread. He wants something that'll give him that Slash style tone. Sounds like a generic HH thick solidbody to me.
OBEY THE MIGHTY SHITKICKER
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