Hi people.

I own a ESP LTD MH1000, and wanted a second guitar-and I walked into a pawn shop, and they had a Dean les paul copy, that I bought as I really liked it.

I bought some new tuners for it, as the ones it come with were crap, installed them last night, and played it properly.

My partner come in and asked if that was me playing, I said yes, she said you sound better on that guitar.

I did not believe her, but its true-I have 10 gauge strings on both guitars, and on the Dean it is a lot more easy to fret, due to the strings being so much easier to press down, and it seems it just fits my hands better. I can stretch my hand far-but I can just play easier on this. I also have small hands due to a hormone issue.

So, I am not sure what to do now. The dean is a MUCH cheaper guitar, but with some new tuners on, as it was going out of tune with the cheap tuners it come with, now has some wilkinson locking tuners I installed (Had to drill out the headstock).

Now-my question is, do I carry on with my main guitar, and maybe go down to 9 gauge strings, or keep using the dean-that is much cheaper, but even on my new amplifier, the cheapo dean pickups sound better than my seymour duncans! (I know that is subjective, but I qualified at the British academy of new music in London on a music production-studio engineer course).

What would you do here?

The only thing is, the dean has a bolt on neck, and the ESP has a lovely carve, so playing up top of the fretboard is really nice on the ESP, not so nice on the Dean.

I am thinking of saving up for a different Les paul copy-I am not bothered of the name on the headstock, but it seems this scale length suits me better.

So, what would your advice be? Not worry about what it cost, and use it as my main guitar, use the better guitar as my main guitar with thinner strings, or save up for a Third Les paul style guitar?

I don't have any friends that play, they are all into electronic music, so I never realised that scale length made this much difference.

One thing I must say though-is the dean pickups are MUCH higher than my Seymour duncans, and the action is much lower-maybe if I give my ESP LTD a full setup again I can get it sounding like the dean, and just cope with the scale length difference-but I have had the ESP for more than 5 years, I had never tried a Les paul style guitar until this.

So-a bit confused what to do. I am playing both, and will continue to do so, but think it might be worth getting a better Les paul style guitar.

I apologise if I have repeated myself at all, I sustained brain damage in April 2014 and am not always very easy to understand.

Thank you all for your help, Conan.
Last edited by Warrior2014 at Jan 21, 2016,
I believe your main issue is that you've switched from an ESP LTD MH-1000NT (25.5 inch scale) to a Les Paul copy (Most likely a 24.75 inch scale). That's most likely why it's so much easier to press the same gauge strings down. (Assuming you have them both tuned to the same notes and pitch and such.) You might have just found out you prefer a shorter scale length. Or at least a lighter string gauge or lower tuning to relieve the tension. A floating tremolo will also relieve some tension. Do you have the exact model of Dean so you can check specs?
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Style is in the hands. Taste is in the hands. But tone? Tone is in the gear.
Yeah, could be the scale length.
Don't get insulted, but when was the last time the ESP was given a proper set-up? The Dean could have a better set-up done to it right now.
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It the Dean short scale? Many Gibson copies aren't.

I could be related to set up, but forget the price tag and trust your instincts. My favourite electric is a very cheap hock shop special, I like it way better than my Gibson that cost almost thirty times as much, and I was lucky, I haven't yet had to spend anything on it.
OK-I have completely set up the ESP again, the last time I done it was over 2 years ago when I still had a drink problem.

The action was about 4MM-on the Dean it was around 2MM, and I have managed to get it to around there with minimal fret buzz.

Now-I CAN play it just the same as the Dean! It is like a brand new guitar.

I am amazed a simple set up can do this. It feels so much easier to fret notes now, and it actually feels like the strings are looser. (That might just be in my head though, same tuning)

I gathered the Dean had a shorter scale length, but it might not-I will measure it, it has 22 frets vs the ESP's 24-but, I am VERY happy.

Two great guitars now, one that cost a lot less, and can play both about the same now-I thought it was the scale length, but it was obviously me being out of my head last time I set it up, and only really getting back into the guitar recently after recovering from my alcoholism, made me think it was the scale length.

I haven't tried the ESP through my amp since the fresh setup, I used my ZOOM G5 with some headphones for some quiet practive, but it feels and plays so much better.

Thank you for offering me advice on the guitars-it was a set up that was needed. Feel free to slap me lol.
Last edited by Warrior2014 at Jan 21, 2016,
If you liked the Dean guitar, you can retain it and the main guitar, you can sell at nearby pawn shop. In my case I followed the procedure of exchange of my guitar with new conditioned one from pawnutah.com.
Play the one that feels best!Why does price matter if it feels and sounds better?That's the important thing.

I'm mainly playing my MIK Epiphone Sheraton with '59's in atm.I prefer it to my Gibson LP.
Anyway i've been gassing an ES 335 lately so i went to try a couple.
I tried two.A standard one and a 1963 VOS.
I was pretty unimpressed tbh with the standard ES 335.My Sheraton feels so much better to me and i think it possibly sounds better(that's subjective).
Really not worth me spending the money on when my Sheraton(to me) is much better.
I've decided that if i'm gonna get an ES 335 it's gonna be a high end one because yeah,That '63 VOS was a beauty.That one sounded and felt special.
So,Don't worry about price if the Dean is a better guitar.
Sorry to hear about your injury man. Glad you're able to still play guitar!

If you like the Dean the best, there's nothing wrong with that. And now that you have your other guitar set up well, you seem to enjoy both. As for wanting to buy another guitar, that depends on if you feel you really need to. If you're happy with the two you have, I don't see the purpose unless you enjoy collecting guitars, want an even higher quality guitar, or want one in another tuning.

If you do decide to buy another guitar, If you can, I recommend saving up for a MIA or MIJ guitar, something with astounding quality. Kiesel, Ibanez Prestige, even PRS maybe, especially since they have a 25" scale. You'll be surprised how much better they play than you're already good playing guitars.
In 11995 I paid $750 for a new Jackson King V Professional MIJ w/case it was a great guitar fast forward one year and I found what seemed to be the identical twin a 1993 also w/case for $350 in a pawn shop that had an EMG 81 swapped for the factory Jackson bridge pup.

The difference was night and day in the way the two played I could never get the brand new guitar set up to play as good as the pawn shop find not even close even though technically they were identical models. The new on must have been a Friday guitar and the PS find a Wednesday guitar.

Fast forward another year and I traded the new one up for a different guitar the pawn shop find is still in my collection!
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Speaking of fast-forwarding a year, this thread was headed for its 1 year anniversary of repose...

I'm glad to hear someone else enjoying a Dean guitar, but let's let this one sleep again.
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