#1
Electric guitar upgrade time

So I've been playing guitar for 7 years, playing electric for 4. And I'm way overdue for an upgrade of my cheap, beginner guitar.(Tanglewood Les Paul I got for $250). I would like to stick to les pauls so I'm looking at the ESP Eclipse, and Gibson les pauls. I play in a few metal bands, so naturally I would go for the ESP, but I also play in jazz band at school and for the school syllabus there's a lot of jazz stuff. So I need a really versatile guitar. The gibson les paul is perfect for this thing. But which one? I don't have a lot of cash to spend, would like it new, colour doesn't really matter right now and I would much prefer an older les paul from the 80's, 90's or 70's. I know, not a lot of info, help would be appreciated.

Rest of rig: Laney Ironheart 60W head and matching 212 cab, with a small board of effects.
#2
I would consider the ESP/LTD over the Gibson as they tend to be better made in my opinion. As for the versatility I'd get one of the Eclipses that has Seymour Duncans rather then EMGs although either could be used in any genre.
Bassist/Vocalist-Visceral Violation
Mesa-Boogie Big Block 750/SWR Megoliath
Warwick Corvette
#3
I'd stay away from new Gibson Les Pauls under $1000. Better guitars from the Asian builders in that range. Budget becomes important, here.

My current favorite LP type guitar in the $600-700 range is the AL-3200 Agile from Rondo Music. Neck-through construction (!), shaved neck heel like the Axcess, tummy cut. Upper fret access is excellent, ebony fretboard, real shell inlays, triple binding on body and headstock, single binding on the fretboard, 14" radius, jumbo frets that have been hand-filed, a set of good Alnico 5 pickups. Build quality far exceeds anything from Gibson anywhere near that price. Full thickness *solid* body, enormous sustain.

If you've got a bit more money (and some time to wait for completion), order up from Rondo's Custom Order page. Wide range of choices, including 24-fret guitars, Floyd Rose trems, different scales (25.5", 27", 28.65", etc.), stainless frets, finishes, maple caps, wide (at the nut) or slim (depth) neck profiles, etc.

More money yet? Talk to Carvin about one of their California Single Cuts (24 fret versions available). Smoothed (but not carved away) neck heels, slightly thinner body than the standard LP, extremely fast necks, ebony f/b, HUGE array of options, finishes, woods. Stunning guitars.
Last edited by dspellman at Apr 9, 2014,
#4
Between the two you mention and your probable budget, I would also say the LTD. Get one with passive pickups and it will do other genres just fine.
I will second the Agile suggestion. Very overlooked, but some very solid guitars.
Harmony: Stratocaster
Alvarez: F-200
Schecter: Omen 6
Fender: BXR-60
Dean: Metalman Z Bass (Betty)
Egnator: Tweaker 15
Pearl: Maximum
ESP/LTD: EXP-300
Custom: Harley Quinn Bass
Custom: TK-421 Explorer
A steadily growing supply of pedals
#5
Be careful buying a vintage LP as some of their builds were terrible in certain years. Worth it to do some research online. I also believe there's a great documentary out there about Gibson vs. Fender where they cover which years were terrible builds