#1
Hi everyone. Sorry if this should be in the Newbie Forum but I noticed it says 'No Guitar questions' so here I am. Thanks for your help.

I'm new to guitars and would like to purchase my first one and get learning. I know that a significant factor in sticking with learning any instrument is that the instrument itself needs to inspire you. Meaning, your more likely to stick with an instrument that you love and don't want to put down. In that context even though I want to learn guitar if the one I have doesn't have the look or feel that I like it will not inspire me to play it.

I'm a drummer and some early advice I was given was that even though a beginner drummer at the time I was ill advised to buy a cheap, beginners drum kit because it will not only not inspire you to play it but it will be difficult to tune, get decent sound out of and be difficult to sell once 'inevitably' you quickly grow out of it and want to buy what you should have bought in the first place. I that advice was spot on.

With that in mind, I am most inspired by the look and sound of a Gibson Les Paul (geez, who isn't ). Luckily Epiphone makes several less inexpensive Gibson LP clones from sub $100 on up. After reading a gazillion posts/articles and videos on the apparently never ending Epiphone LP vs Gibson LP debate I have enveloped a dilemma of sorts.

I know what I like in terms of looks and sound but I'm a beginner looking for his 'first' guitar. I have the funds but realistically it seems to make no sense to buy an expensive Gib LP when there are inexpensive Epi LP's available. But, will I be setting myself up for an inevitable buyers remorse and wish I had just bought what really inspires me to begin with? Browsing CraigsList I noticed there a ton of used Epiphone LP's for sale but much fewer Gibson LP's for sale. Does that mean there are a ton of guitarists that have out grown their Epi LP's but very few Gibson LP owners that part with theirs? Also, the re-sale values of Epi LP's are much lower than Gib LP's that seem to hold their value. So does that mean investing in the more expensive Gibson LP is wiser than buying an Epiphone LP and taking a loss later if I outgrow it?

I want an instrument that inspires me, that I can grow into and not quickly grow out of.

Does it make sense to you guys for me to even consider buying a Gibson Les Paul at this early stage? My neighbor owns both an Epi and Gib and there seems to be a difference to me (maybe psychologically) in the way the Gib feels and sounds more to my liking. His advice is to invest in a Gib that I can easily get my money out of if need be.

I'm in no way meaning to put down Epiphone owners and I apologize if I come across that way. After all, I'm new to guitars and realistically have very little knowledge and experience to base my newbie opinions on but I would appreciate your advice.

Thanks again.
#2
The advice your friends gave you about buying drums applies to guitars as well...and for the same reasons.

The wildcard, though, is that the quality of electric guitars is pretty impressive these days, even at fairly low prices, and even top-end makers can make utter clunkers. So, while price is important and can be a decent guage of quality, it isn't always so. You should look for a guitar that feels good in your hands moreso than the name on the headstock. All that said, Gibson is still the standard by which all other LPs are measured.

High-end Epis can be quite good, but the newer low-end ones have been getting a bad rep. Depending on your tastes in music and where you are, I'd also look at LP style guitars from Fernandes, ESP/LTD, Reverend, Electra, Malden, Godin, and some of the Japanese companies like Tokai, Edwards, and so forth.

It sounds like you have a budget big enough to afford pretty much whatever you want. Tell us more about what you want to play, what kind of aesthetics you want, whether you want new only or are willing to buy used, whether you are willing to buy online, etc.
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!
#3
Thanks Danny.

When I play the drums I enjoy Funk/Blues but strangely when it comes to electric guitar I wanna hear Led Zep, Metallica, Rush. I love the shape and feel of a LP, and the beauty of a black LP. I have no problem buying used but prefer to stay away from eBay. I want to see and hear it before I buy it so CraigsList or Guitar Center Used would be better.

Also, though I'm a newb to guitars I'm not a newb at learning an instrument. I know from playing the drums that realistically it takes allot of time, practice and dedication and even then you may never reach your level of expectation. I know you really have to love the instrument your playing and that's why I know if an instrument inspires you, and you want to turn others on to it and if even after a long session you don't want to stop playing it, then the more likely you are to continue to practice and grow with it.
Last edited by TenSeven at Mar 7, 2014,
#4
pretty much what danny said

only thing i'd say about lp types is that they can be a bit clunky- they can be heavy and upper fret access isn't that great. now, if you like them enough that you don't care about them that's not going to matter, but it's worth pointing out in case you didn't realise that.

it's hard to advise which exact model to go for. maybe the epi les paul standard is the happy medium option, i.e. good enough that it won't hold you back but where you don't feel like you're spending your life savings when you're just starting out. but it's pretty subjective as to what's "good enough" and only you know whether it'd inspire you as much as a gibson or whether you'd be constantly wishing you had a gibson.

just to check, you realise you need an amp as well?
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#5
Hi Dave, thanks, yes, I'll need an amp too, which I realize important. I don't want to buy a nice sounding guitar and plug into a crappy sounding amp. I'll probably be researching and bugging you guys about that also.
#6
Besides Gibson and Epiphone, there are several LP clones worth considering. Which LP works best for you depends on how much you want to spend, aesthetics, etc.

LPclones of note that are available in black:

MALDEN
Bad Karma
http://maldenguitars.com/badkarma.htm
http://maldenguitars.com/storeBadKarma.htm


GODIN
xtSA
http://godinguitars.com/godinxtsap.htm

Core
http://godinguitars.com/godincoreemgp.htm

Icon
http://godinguitars.com/godinicon2fatblackp.htm
http://godinguitars.com/godinicon2convertiblep.htm
http://godinguitars.com/godinicon3p.htm

Lgxt
http://godinguitars.com/godinlgxtp.htm

Empire
http://www.richmondguitarscanada.com/empire.html


FERNANDES
Monterey
http://www.fernandesguitars.com/products/guitars/monterey.html
http://www.fernandesguitarshop.com/29-monterey

Ravelle
http://www.fernandesguitars.com/products/guitars/ravelle.html
http://www.fernandesguitarshop.com/33-ravelle

Note: Ravelle guitars are aimed more at harder genres of rock- very popular with metal artists.


ELECTRA
Omega
http://www.electraguitar.com/guitars/electra-omega-guitar-gloss-black/

Omega Prime
http://www.electraguitar.com/guitars/electra-omega-guitar-gloss-black-gold-hardware/
http://www.electraguitar.com/guitars/electra-guitars-omega-prime-ceruse-with-hardshell-logo-case/


REVEREND
Rick Vito
https://reverb.com/item/12366-reverend-rick-vito-signature-midnight-black-with-original-hardshell-case
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Reverend-Rick-Vito-signature-electric-guitar-BEAUTIFUL-/251461194934?pt=Guitar&hash=item3a8c4154b6

Roundhouse
http://gear-vault.com/reverend-roundhouse-rt-guitar/

Note: the Roundhouse has been discontinued for some time, and as of 2014, the Rick Vito is no longer produced as a hardtail, and only hardtails were made in black.


CARVIN
California 22 series
http://www.carvinguitars.com/catalog/guitars/cs6
http://www.carvinguitars.com/catalog/guitars/cs4
http://www.carvinguitars.com/catalog/guitars/cs3

California 24 series
http://www.carvinguitars.com/catalog/guitars/cs624
http://www.carvinguitars.com/catalog/guitars/cs424
http://www.carvinguitars.com/catalog/guitars/cs32

500 series
http://www.carvinguitars.com/catalog/guitars/sh550
http://www.carvinguitars.com/catalog/guitars/sh550ce
http://www.carvinguitars.com/catalog/guitars/sh575
http://www.carvinguitars.com/catalog/guitars/sh575ce


ESP & LTD
Eclipse series
http://www.espguitars.com/products?categories=eclipse-series-guitars

EC series
http://www.espguitars.com/products?categories=ec-series

Note: ESP and LTD are roughly analogous to Gibson and Epiphone. Their guitars are aimed more at harder genres of rock- very popular with metal artists.


PRS
S2
http://www.prsguitars.com/s2series/guitars/index.php#singlecut

Starla
http://www.prsguitars.com/s2series/guitars/index.php#starla

SE Marty Friedman
http://www.prsguitars.com/semartyfriedman/

SE Zach Myers
http://www.prsguitars.com/sezachmyers/
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 Mar 7, 2014,
#8
The short of it is, guitars have become very good in the under $1000 category. Fact is, here in the US I can point you at guitars that are in the $300-500 bracket that will sound amazing, play great and last you a lifetime.

Most of those guitars are not US-made. Gibson has some entries in that realm, but compared to the offshore brands, Gibsons at that price level are cheaply done, and Gibson really doesn't compete, other than that there are people who think the logo is important. Gibson lives in the over-$1500 bracket most comfortably and, honestly, they come closest to the guitars that made them legendary when the pricetags are over $3K. Understand that I'm not bashing them, that I have a nice stack of Gibsons, and that all but one of them was built prior to 1980 (nothing implied in that -- it just worked out that way) except for one that was over $4K and purchased within the last few years.

Carvin is an exceptional value in a US-made guitar in part because their workmanship is outstanding and they sell semi-custom guitars factory direct. Most of the rest of the guitars in the long list, above, are Asian-made except for a few Canadian brands.
#9
Thanks for that reminder: the Carvins are USA made, the Godins are made in Canada. Depending on particular model, Fernandes are made in Japan (roughly equivalent to made in USA/Canada/Europe) or South Korea. I think the ESPs are made in Japan. I believe all the rest I listed are made in South Korea.
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!
#10
Quote by TenSeven
Whoa! Thatsa lotta LP's! Thanks

Honestly, just the tip of the iceberg!

The LP, along with the Strat, Tele, SG and V are among the most commonly cloned body styles of all guitars. Perhaps only the Strat is copied more.
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!
#11
Quote by dspellman
The short of it is, guitars have become very good in the under $1000 category. Fact is, here in the US I can point you at guitars that are in the $300-500 bracket that will sound amazing, play great and last you a lifetime.

Most of those guitars are not US-made. Gibson has some entries in that realm, but compared to the offshore brands, Gibsons at that price level are cheaply done, and Gibson really doesn't compete, other than that there are people who think the logo is important. Gibson lives in the over-$1500 bracket most comfortably and, honestly, they come closest to the guitars that made them legendary when the pricetags are over $3K. Understand that I'm not bashing them, that I have a nice stack of Gibsons, and that all but one of them was built prior to 1980 (nothing implied in that -- it just worked out that way) except for one that was over $4K and purchased within the last few years.

Carvin is an exceptional value in a US-made guitar in part because their workmanship is outstanding and they sell semi-custom guitars factory direct. Most of the rest of the guitars in the long list, above, are Asian-made except for a few Canadian brands.


Thanks. If you were serious about doing so would you mind naming a few of the $300-500 bracket guitars you mentioned, I would like to check them out.

I've read that some of the high end Epi LP's are fantastic guitars and to some are indistinguishable sounding from their Gibson counterpart.

Funny you should mention Carver. One of my neighbors prized possessions is his Carver Bass. Carver is located locally for me and I was planning on going over there with him to check out some upgrades to his Bass.
#12
Agile is making some of the best $300-500 LPs in America these days.
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!
#14
Quote by TenSeven
Hi Dave, thanks, yes, I'll need an amp too, which I realize important. I don't want to buy a nice sounding guitar and plug into a crappy sounding amp. I'll probably be researching and bugging you guys about that also.


No worries
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#15
I'd get a high end epiphone and a good amp such as a Marshall tube amp and a few pedals but If you can afford a Gibson with the amp and pedals then go for it
Fender Baja Telecaster
Gretsch G5422tdc
Fender Classic Player Jazzmaster
Vox AC15C1
#16
The guitars in that list that Danny posted all look fantastic to me and I bet I would have a great time learning to play any one of them. Now it's just psychological. Theres no doubt any of those LP lookalikes are plenty of guitar for a newbie. Soon I'll be taking a trip with my buddy to the local Carver factory. Temptation may get the best of me.
#17
The one- and I mean ONLY- knock on Carvins that I routinely hear is that their pickups are kind of vanilla. And usually, that comes from people who are looking for more of a high-output passive tone as opposed to what Carvin actually offers. Most of their humbuckers are voiced more for blues, rock, jazz or country, not metal.
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 dannyalcatraz
The one- and I mean ONLY- knock on Carvins that I routinely hear is that their pickups are kind of vanilla. And usually, that comes from people who are looking for more of a high-output passive tone as opposed to what Carvin actually offers. Most of their humbuckers are voiced more for blues, rock, jazz or country, not metal.


Thanks, good to know, I'll keep that in mind.
#19
Well, unless I come across an Epi LP that I can't stop staring at then it's going to be the 'entry level' Gibson LP Studio for me. I see a few used for $600-$900, not that isn't allot of money to me but that not too far from a top o the line Epi LP so I might as well get the real thing for a little more. A GC near me has a used Gib LP Studio in the gloss black I prefer for $750. Gibs website shows brand new Studios starting at $799 for the satins.
#20
i loved my epiphones ive had les pauls and SG's i like the SG i have the most out of all n ive never seen one like it instead of where it normally says epiphone near the tuning pegs its and E with kinda looks like wings