#1
I have played the Les Paul for many years (many!). As long as I have been playing however, I have never gravitated towards any guitar with a Floyd. All of my guitars have fixed bridges.

Lately I have been looking at guitars equipped with Floyds and am considering a first purchase. One guitar I am interested in is a Gibson Les Paul with modern weight relief, 490R and 498T humbuckers and a floyd rose.

There are many guitars out there with floyd roses, and I realize that the addition of the floyd to the les paul line is relatively recent. Any thoughts on this guitar?
#2
Ummmm... That it's a Les Paul with a Floyd Rose?

Really the guitar is pretty self-explanatory.
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#3
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There are many guitars out there with floyd roses, and I realize that the addition of the floyd to the les paul line is relatively recent. Any thoughts on this guitar?


The addition of a Floyd to a Les Paul took place with the second one -- Neal Schon had his right after Eddy got his, and Neal put it on a Les Paul. They've been available (quietly) ever since.

The current lineup includes the Axcess (I have an Axcess Custom), which has been out for at least 7 or 8 years. It's a thinner-bodied LP with weight relief (production models), a smoothed, cutaway neck heel (thanks to Neal Schon and his signature guitar). Some of the Axcess Customs are actually chambered (mine is). Standard 12" radius fretboard (rosewood with the usual plastic inlays on the production models, mine is ebony with MOP inlays) and standard Gibson frets. There is a version of the Axcess (the Lifeson model) which is solid body with no weight relief (it's still thinner than standard LPs).

A couple of years ago, Gibson put out the Studio Shred, a studio model with a couple of choices of finish and a Floyd. Standard everything else, including neck heel (yuck!). Not very shreddy, but that's Gibson Marketing for you.

Two years ago Gibson introduced a Traditional Pro Floyd (don't recall the exact model designation), which is essentially the Traditional spec guitar with a Floyd. Everything else is pretty much standard (neck heel, fretboard, etc.). These are around $2300 street price on the walls at my local Guitar Denter and three or four finish choices are available.

If you're used to playing a Gibson LP and have never wished for anything more, that Trad with the Floyd may be your guitar, depending on how you like your neck profile. I think you'll find the Axcess maybe a bit light. I highly recommend adding an upgraded (larger, denser) sustain block to the Floyd on any LP.

I've got two suggestions, however. One is to look at the Carvin CS-6 or CS-624. This is a slightly thinner-bodied LP shape with either a standard 22 or an optional 24-fret neck. It's a solid-bodied guitar, and it has a smoothed set neck, amazing woods, ebony f/b with MOP inlays standard and is customizable to an astounding degree with a 6-8 week wait. It will be a better guitar than the Traditional by some distance, and would still be slightly less expensive. The options include neck profiles, wood choices, stainless frets, a litany of finish options and more. Quality of build is outstanding.

Another is to look at an Agile AL-3200 "custom build." This is a full-thickness solid body (you can order it with the upper bout chambered) neck-through construction single-cut guitar with the Axcess-style neck heel, a tummy cut, the same Floyd as what Gibson puts on theirs, an ebony fretboard with real MOP inlays, jumbo frets (stainless available), and more, all standard. Lots of finish options (twenty or so) and other choices, including scale (25.5" available), frets (24-fret available), radius (I have a 16" radius on mine), neck width (I have a 1 3/4" width at the nut), neck thickness (thinner available, thicker not). I paid $1160 for mine, with case, shipped. I've spec'd out another and it will be in the $1200 range all up. It takes about a quarter (3 months, give or take) to get your guitar. I suspect that the "custom shop" is actually the prototyping shop at the Korean factory where Kurt (this is essentially a one-man company) has most of his Agile line built. Quality and playability on mine are easily the equal of any of my Gibsons.

My personal feeling is that if you're going to have a Floyd on the guitar, you're going to want increased playability and better access to the upper frets. Your personal feeling may not run that direction. But if that IS the case, it's going to be the Axcess or one of the other two brands. Unfortunately, the rest of the Gibson choices still come with the clunky neck heel and lack of tummy cut, and their frets are being *reduced* in height beginning in 2015. Not my cuppa. I currently have a number of Floyded "LPs", including three Agiles (ordering up a fourth) and the Axcess, and the Agile custom is the best of the bunch (mine isn't weight relieved, IS heavy, and just sings).
#4
Thanks dspellman. That was an awesome post. I was looking at this guitar: http://www.zzounds.com/item--GIBLPSDA but thanks to your post I am going to look around much more and consider the alternatives you presented. Thanks for taking the time to write that.
#5
One other thing -- the Gibson Lifeson/Axcess comes with a Graphtech LB163, which is a Floyd (FRO, near as I can tell) with a set of Graphtech piezo saddles. These are connected to a Graphtech preamp, and the result in that guitar is a pseudo-acoustic sound that can be used alone or blended into the magnetic pickups' output. This is sorta cool in and of itself.

But there are other uses for those piezos if you have one of these Floyds installed on a guitar.
I have a pair of Line 6 JTV-89F's (F = Floyd) and these output into the Variax firmware, which reproduces about 25 different guitars that have been modeled. It also allows you to change tunings on the output of the guitar, up to an octave in each direction.

But wait, there's more. The output of these piezos can be directed to MIDI processors, which will allow you to do some amazing things with the guitar. The Axon AX 100 is a typical (and maybe one of the best) MIDI processors.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8ESf-0iGQE
#8
Yeah, dspellman I've watched Lifeson use that guitar live. He has used so many different guitars throughout his career. His gradual return to Gibson from PRS has been interesting to watch. I wonder if he will stay or move to something else as he has over the years. Gibson has probably been "home" for him though based upon a review of his early years.

dspellman, that Axcess is an expensive guitar. Now that does not mean it is out of the question, but the link I posted above to the LP studio with the Floyd comes in a good deal less I think (but certainly not cheap!). You do make great points about the Axcess though. I had forgotten about the other additional features in the Axcess, certainly because of the high price point. When the price gets to that level there are so many options, including of course Jackson.

Thanks, still researching based upon your posts. I own a 92 Les Paul Standard and a new Traditional Pro II, so my interest here really is on the addition of the Floyd. I think I am addicted to guitars....
#9
Quote by Vampire_State
It's like Les Paul but with half the sustain.


What, with the Floyd?
I'd agree with you IF that were the case. I guarantee you wouldn't say that if you tried mine.

My benchmarks for sustain, by the way, are a 1982 Ibanez Artist AR-300 and an early 80's Yamaha SG-2000. Both are *heavy* solid bodies. Both have big, heavy bridges mounted into 10.5 ounce brass sustain blocks sunken into (and bolted to) the guitar bodies and heavy tailpieces backing that up. The SG-2000 takes that a bit farther with neck-through construction.

A big brass sustain block on the Floyd goes a long way, but it's still a big, thick solid mahogany (and maple) body that keeps the energy in the string.

My neck-through Agile has a checkerboard of cover plates on the back, BTW. In addition to the standard control cavity and pickup selector switch cover, there's the Floyd spring cavity cover, an extra control cavity rout (I moved the Master Volume), a sustainer PC board cover and a 9V battery box cover. You'd think all those chunks taken out of the guitar wood would affect sustain, but it doesn't seem to have.
#11
Quote by AJ6stringsting
I like this, a Floyd Rose for a Les Paul with out carving up the body .....

http://youtu.be/4CVd8MxdcFI


That's been showing up at NAMM shows for almost five years. They're finally putting it out this year. I don't think you'd like it as much if you tried it. Worth noting that this is FR's second attempt at a non-invasive LP-specific Floyd, and the first one is rare for a reason.

And you really don't want to *add* a real Floyd to an existing LP if you can help it. I know someone who did that; that particular LP's neck angle forces the Floyd to stick up pretty high off the body, and it forces him to mash down the case on top of it. The thing has begun to work its way through the case. And it's a mess to play as well.
#12
Quote by dspellman
That's been showing up at NAMM shows for almost five years. They're finally putting it out this year. I don't think you'd like it as much if you tried it. Worth noting that this is FR's second attempt at a non-invasive LP-specific Floyd, and the first one is rare for a reason.

And you really don't want to *add* a real Floyd to an existing LP if you can help it. I know someone who did that; that particular LP's neck angle forces the Floyd to stick up pretty high off the body, and it forces him to mash down the case on top of it. The thing has begun to work its way through the case. And it's a mess to play as well.


True, one has to modify ones technique to play with even the classic Original Floyd Rose, likw when you do triplet bends, the other string goes flat.
Personally, I'd rather keep my Les Pauls stock, if I want a LP with a Floyd Rose, I'll get an Xavier or Agile guitar Les Paul copy.
#13
Put simply, I think Floyds on Les Pauls are a bad idea. It means you have to take even more wood out near the nut, which = a really good chance for headstock breaks.
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