#1
I’m a beginner (been playing an acoustic for about 6 months) and I really want an electric. I generally play a lot of 80’s & 90’s grunge and metal. A guy near me is selling an Epiphone Les Paul Standard for $250 on Craigslist. It’s pretty nice looking and it sounds like he has taken good care of it. What are your thoughts? Is this a good guitar for a beginner, or am I just going to want to upgrade in a year or so? What I really want is a PRS SE Custom 24, but that may be a bit pricey for me right now. Suggestions? I’m torn. Buy the Epi or save up for the PRS?
Last edited by Mr.Koozie at Jun 18, 2014,
#2
I started playing about a year ago.
My first guitar was an Epi Les Paul Std. My second guitar - a PRS SE. (Mine is a Paul Allender signature model but still...)

So after listing similarities - I like my PRS better. The Epiphone has a lotta heft and a bit of the distinctive Les Paul tone. It's a classic guitar - i paid 200 for it - i'm not sorry that i bought it. But the PRS is better. It's made better, it feels better. Holds tune better. It's just better.
I've heard from a bunch of people here that the more recent Epis are not so good. I would say it makes more sense to get the PRS and maybe get a real Gibson Les Paul later if you feel the itch.
#3
The Epi is about 3 years old. If I got a PRS it would likely be new. Sure a Gibson Les Paul would be nice but those are way out of my price range. Out of curiosity what are you using for an amp? I'm leaning towards a Peavey Vypyr as they seem to get some love around here, especially for beginners. I have no problem getting the Epi, I just wonder if I will be saying "I wish I had bought that PRS" after I get it. I've never even played a PRS but for some reason they are the coolest guitars on the planet, in my opinion of course.
#4
Never buy a guitar based on assumptions you've made about a guitar brand. Elevating a Gibson Les Paul or a PRS to "coolest guitars on the planet" as a beginner can be a real mistake, and an expensive one. Other oft-repeated mistakes include buying a guitar because it looks nice, because your favorite guitar hero plays one, because a bunch of people in an internet forum like them or because it's black and that's the color you need to be playing if you're going to be playing _______ metal.

That said, we all make those very mistakes on a daily basis.

Before you can make a decision on the Epiphone, you want to know how well it plays. You'll want to take someone along with you whose job is to look the guitar over, find high frets, check the electronics for proper function, and make a decision about the action and the general setup. That's going to be someone who's not only a decent player, but also very knowledgeable about guitar setup and playability. If someone has set it up with 13 gauge strings because he plays downtuned metal all the time, things are going to change drastically if you put 9's or 10's on the guitar (what most of these come with when new). Otherwise, we're going to go through a new thread titled (as so many are), "Why is my guitar playing weird?"

The Epi might be just fine. You *may* find that it actually lasts you a lifetime. There are pros who play them every day.
#5
A guy on Craigslist in my area is selling like-new PRS SE 24 for $300 obo.

If you really want the PRS, just wait for it or save a few $ extra. They do pop up often on CL.
Last edited by DrRus at Jun 18, 2014,
#6
dspellman you made some excellent points that maybe I didn't want to hear but I'm very grateful you did. Thanks for bringing me back to reality. I will try to keep a level head about it. I think the problem is I forget that I'm a total beginner, and like every beginner, I don't want to be. Advice like this is why I read these forums.

DrRus, finding a PRS on Craiglist in my area is uncommon. There isn't much of a used guitar market here.
#7
Quote by Mr.Koozie
The Epi is about 3 years old. If I got a PRS it would likely be new. Sure a Gibson Les Paul would be nice but those are way out of my price range. Out of curiosity what are you using for an amp? I'm leaning towards a Peavey Vypyr as they seem to get some love around here, especially for beginners. I have no problem getting the Epi, I just wonder if I will be saying "I wish I had bought that PRS" after I get it. I've never even played a PRS but for some reason they are the coolest guitars on the planet, in my opinion of course.


The amp i'm using is barely worth the 20 bucks i spent on it. It's a kustom kga16r. It has a kinda cool solid state-ish distortion and a real spring reverb. Also has a 10" celestion speaker.
Some people think solid state amps are cool but most people eventually want tubes.

I hope you're not too new to this to follow what i'm saying. There are two types of guitar amp. The transistor amps (solid state) and the vacuum tube amps. Tube amps sound better. Solid state is cheaper, easier to maintain and easier to transport. Even though tubes only have one point in favor it's the most important point. Just keep that in mind.

The first thing you should know about playing electric guitar is that your amp has a much bigger effect on your tone than the brand of your guitar. You should get a guitar that plays well and has good electronics but you should spend at least as much effort on selecting an amp as you do selecting a guitar.

As for guitars - you can find good examples of either guitar. There are other manufacturers that are worth looking into as well.
Speaking generally - it seems that PRS SE guitars are almost always pretty good guitars. Epiphones can be very good but i've found some duds. My own is mediocre. Good enough for a first guitar but it has some issues. I do love me some PRS guitars so you should know that i'm biased, but I think it's worth the effort to track one down. If you love the look and the feel and you'll be happy owning one then by all means hold out for the right guitar.
http://imgur.com/gallery/IkPlJ

That's my PRS btw. I like it.

As for the amp - i have not tried the Vypyr but there are many who seem to like it. It is a solid state modelling amp. The problem with an amp like that is that you're going to outgrow it. Modelling is great for a beginner but tubes are more awesome. You could find an Epiphone Valve Jr. And the appropriate distortion pedal and probably be a lot happier with your sound.

If you want a modeller - the way that i wish that i had gone is to get something like a zoom g3 or line6 pod. They're both pedals that have lots of amp models (and other things) cooked in. They don't amplify your guitar but they have a line for headphones. Later when you purchase your Marshall amplifier you'll still be able to use these pedals.

Or - if you want to get the best compromise between the versatility of a modelling amp and the sound quality of a tube amp - i really like the Fender Super-Champ XD and Vibro Champ XD. They're hybrid modellers. They have tubes but they also have solid state modelling circuitry. They're not quite as nice sounding as a real tube amp but they're quite a bit better (imho) than a solid state modeller.
#8
Quote by paul.housley.7

Some people think solid state amps are cool but most people eventually want tubes.

Tube amps sound better. Solid state is cheaper, easier to maintain and easier to transport. Even though tubes only have one point in favor it's the most important point. It is a solid state modelling amp. The problem with an amp like that is that you're going to outgrow it. Modelling is great for a beginner but tubes are more awesome.

If you want a modeller - the way that i wish that i had gone is to get something like a zoom g3 or line6 pod. They're both pedals that have lots of amp models (and other things) cooked in. They're hybrid modellers. They have tubes but they also have solid state modelling circuitry. They're not quite as nice sounding as a real tube amp but they're quite a bit better (imho) than a solid state modeller.


Meh.

I've had tubes since they were hand-blown, I think. I've got maybe 15 tube amps of all descriptions hanging around. I've got some setups that have a modeler feeding a tube power amp. Got some setups that have a modeler feeding a solid state power amp.

These days you can get good and bad sounding tube amps and you can good and bad sounding modelers -- and the best of each are excellent. There's no truth in the "tubes are better than modelers" blanket statement any more, and it hasn't been true for a while.

I like both. But these days it's the modeler that goes on gigs and the tubes stay home.
#9
I understand what both of you are saying, and I have done some amp shopping. At this point I’m not dead set on any particular amp. Or guitar for that matter.
#10
I would get something like Peavey Vypyr for an amp (also consider Vox VT and Roland Cube). A simple tube amp is not the best first amp. Your practice amp doesn't need to be the best, especially when you are starting out and haven't found your tone yet. Modeling technology has got a lot better. Also, the good thing about modeling amps is that they come with effects. You don't need to spend money on random stomp boxes because they are all built in to the amp. Now you can try different stuff and pick the effects that you like and buy them later.

I would actually spend more money on the guitar than amp (in the beginning). You want a guitar that feels good in your hands. You want to buy a guitar that you like playing and don't want to sell in a year. Tone can be upgraded later. Get a versatile amp just like Peavey Vypyr, Roland Cube or Vox VT. When you have found your tone and feel like you need an amp upgrade, get a new amp.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#12
Quote by dspellman
Never buy a guitar based on assumptions you've made about a guitar brand. Elevating a Gibson Les Paul or a PRS to "coolest guitars on the planet" as a beginner can be a real mistake, and an expensive one. Other oft-repeated mistakes include buying a guitar because it looks nice, because your favorite guitar hero plays one, because a bunch of people in an internet forum like them or because it's black and that's the color you need to be playing if you're going to be playing _______ metal.

That said, we all make those very mistakes on a daily basis.


+1

Quote by MaggaraMarine
I would get something like Peavey Vypyr for an amp (also consider Vox VT and Roland Cube). A simple tube amp is not the best first amp. Your practice amp doesn't need to be the best, especially when you are starting out and haven't found your tone yet. Modeling technology has got a lot better. Also, the good thing about modeling amps is that they come with effects. You don't need to spend money on random stomp boxes because they are all built in to the amp. Now you can try different stuff and pick the effects that you like and buy them later.

I would actually spend more money on the guitar than amp (in the beginning). You want a guitar that feels good in your hands. You want to buy a guitar that you like playing and don't want to sell in a year. Tone can be upgraded later. Get a versatile amp just like Peavey Vypyr, Roland Cube or Vox VT. When you have found your tone and feel like you need an amp upgrade, get a new amp.


+1
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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?
#13
I've played a friend's Epiphone Les Paul and we both agree that my Vintage V100 plays a hell of a lot better, and the Vintage is about half the price, recommend looking at one of those
#14
^ I don't think they're that readily available in the USA. And if they are, they probably aren't as good value.
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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
Ive played some Epiphone Les Pauls that have felt better than some Gibsons. They are fantastic value for money
#16
I got an Epiphone Les Paul Tribute Plus for my graduation about a months ago (visit my profile page for pictures). It has the Gibson Classic 57 pick-ups in it. It's also got the push/pull series/parallel and more (you should google it for specs). I got it new for € 500,-. It plays and sounds awesome. Perhaps you could get one used for a nice price?
#18
^ Ah you went with that one, then? Nice, I like the colour a lot
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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?
#19
Quote by Dave_Mc
^ Ah you went with that one, then? Nice, I like the colour a lot



Haha yeah I did, it looks, plays and feels awesome But the store where I bought the guitar did only have it in the Midnight Sapphire finish so it wasn't that hard for me to choose (I really wanted to get it in a store and not on the internet) and I really love the too Great value for money..
#20
haha that happened me with my first guitar too (ibanez rg470), the local store only had it in one colour- titanium ice (glittery pink/purple), which I thought was lame, but then I saw it in real life and it's actually really nice.

i really like blue guitars, too, especially with a maple top (like yours).
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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?
#21
Quote by Dave_Mc
haha that happened me with my first guitar too (ibanez rg470), the local store only had it in one colour- titanium ice (glittery pink/purple), which I thought was lame, but then I saw it in real life and it's actually really nice.

i really like blue guitars, too, especially with a maple top (like yours).


Yeah I actually think the blue finish looks even better in real life. From the Epiphone site it looked pretty cheap to me, but in real it looks really cool. It's blue but with a hint of grey and green or something like that.. Very nice.
#22
yeah it kind of looks like a darker blue (i suppose the name suggests that )

i also like lighter blues and bluebursts that sort of look like water with a figured maple top.
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?
#23
Quote by Dave_Mc
yeah it kind of looks like a darker blue (i suppose the name suggests that )

i also like lighter blues and bluebursts that sort of look like water with a figured maple top.


Lol yeah especially the backside is almost some kind of purple. I also love those waterlike finishes. Gibson has some nice blue finishes
#24
yeah
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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?