#1
I know the Les Paul vs Stratocaster has been debated over and over in for years. I know the differences in sound, design, and style of music, but I'm wondering how do they compare in terms of quality? When comparing a lower end Gibson Les Paul such as the Studio to an upper end Fender Stratocaster American Standard which one comes out on top regarding quality and finish? If you totally take sound and style out of the picture then does a equally priced American Standard come out on top over the Gibson LP Studio due to finish, fit, and feel? Again, I'm not wanting to start a debate on apples vs oranges because I know these are two total different animals. Thanks for your opinions.
#2
There's so many differences I'm not sure you could answer very well even in that narrow context. An American Strat, personal preference regarding neck shapes and joints, and body contours, etc. aside, should feel about as nice as a guitar can, with rolled fret ends and the like. A Gibson LP Studio should too, but people have been questioning Gibby's QC lately.

Ultimately, both companies' cheapest stuff should be about 90% of the way there already (maybe 70% or 80% with the Chinese Modern Player Fenders, but my percentages are pretty arbitrary anyway so I'm not sure the distinction's worth making; I digress). It's like how if you buy an average car, say a Honda Civic or whatever, you know it won't be as lush as a Ferrari, but you'd still expect everything to look and feel like it was put together right.

I'm sure anybody who knows me knows I'd take the Fender any day (or even a Mexican one, if I could get vintage styling/features), but that's just me
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#4
I think the general consensus is that anything Fender USA has been safe as houses since the 80's, and until 2012 gibson were pretty much bullet proof - but of late they seem to have dropped the ball even in gibson fanboy circles. Japanese Fenders have always had a pretty great reputation, and the mexican models have been on the up since the early 2000's. I've no experience with the chinese fender's on the other hand, and although i've never had a bad mexican in the past, i've been buying exclusively american for the last few years. I'm a fender guy myself, so i'm weighted in that direction. Can't go wrong with a good gibson though, if you can get one.
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#5
Quote by Idlewild294
Again, I'm not wanting to start a debate on apples vs oranges because I know these are two total different animals.

So what is the purpose of this thread?

You've just admitted that the question is nonsensical.
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#6
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
So what is the purpose of this thread?

You've just admitted that the question is nonsensical.


The purpose is to see how a top end Strat compares to a lower end Gibson LP in regards to finish and quality. They are indeed totally different guitars, but it's still possible to compare the quality and finish of equally priced guitars. One would assume that the finish and quality of a top end American Strat would be top notch (in relation to other Strats), and a LP Studio's finish obviously wouldn't be top notch in regards to a LP Standard. However, is the Studio's basic finish about equal in comparison to an American Strat which would mean that an LP Standard's finish and quality is well above and beyond an American Strat? Look at it this way, which guitar would hold up and look better after 25 years?
#7
Quote by Idlewild294
The purpose is to see how a top end Strat compares to a lower end Gibson LP in regards to finish and quality. They are indeed totally different guitars, but it's still possible to compare the quality and finish of equally priced guitars. One would assume that the finish and quality of a top end American Strat would be top notch (in relation to other Strats), and a LP Studio's finish obviously wouldn't be top notch in regards to a LP Standard. However, is the Studio's basic finish about equal in comparison to an American Strat which would mean that an LP Standard's finish and quality is well above and beyond an American Strat? Look at it this way, which guitar would hold up and look better after 25 years?

A Les Paul Studio costs a little under 2/3 what an American Standard Strat costs, though.
#8
Quote by Idlewild294
However, is the Studio's basic finish about equal in comparison to an American Strat

Probably similar.

Quote by Idlewild294
which would mean that an LP Standard's finish and quality is well above and beyond an American Strat?

I'd say no to that.

Quote by Idlewild294
Look at it this way, which guitar would hold up and look better after 25 years?

The Strat any time against any Gibson (even adjusting for the fact that Strats look better in the first place ), since poly finishes last much better than nitro. Really, it's hard to see nitro as anything other than an expensive affectation these days, but guitars are instruments and certain things inspire us regardless of their practicality so we all have those. I'll always want my Teles to have 3 saddle bridges even though I know they won't intonate so well, so that's one of mine
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#9
Quote by slapsymcdougal
A Les Paul Studio costs a little under 2/3 what an American Standard Strat costs, though.


$1299 for Strat and $1499 for Studio at GC
#11
Quote by dspellman
It's just a paint job.

I prefer modern paints over nitrocellulose lacquer.


blasphemy how dare you say that . actually i agree and so does at least a couple of the big name builders at the Fender custom shop. modern poly finishes if applied properly look good and keep the guitar looking good. the whole relic thing is a waste if you ask me.
#12
my money is on the fender.
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#13
Quote by Idlewild294
$1299 for Strat and $1499 for Studio at GC

There is no GC in the civilised world.

My local stores, the ratio holds.
#15
One is finished by robotics the other is hand sprayed in a booth by a human being. The robotic sprayer can do the guitar in a single session (you don't layer poly on, it's a single application) the other takes many spray coats with drying, sanding time in between.
Which one do you think is most likely to be "perfect".
DO you in any way that will be a major factor in the way the instrument plays or feels?
Moving on.....
#16
Last edited by slapsymcdougal at Mar 21, 2016,
#17
#18
Quote by KenG
One is finished by robotics the other is hand sprayed in a booth by a human being. The robotic sprayer can do the guitar in a single session (you don't layer poly on, it's a single application) the other takes many spray coats with drying, sanding time in between.
Which one do you think is most likely to be "perfect".
DO you in any way that will be a major factor in the way the instrument plays or feels?


Taylor claims that their robot fixture and spraying arm can put on a smoother, more even and thinner coat of paint than a human with a spray gun. Moreover, the guitars are dry-to-dry within 24 hours and ready for finish sanding. Nitrocellulose-painted guitars can take 30 days to be ready for shipping.

Taylor's reputation rides, in part, on their instruments' sound and playability, since they manufacture mainly acoustic instruments.
#19
If you care about quality control, the industy consensus for the past 3-5 years is: PRS #1, fender and Ibanez #2, Gibson and some others at #3..and so on. Finishing is impossible to compare as each type of guitar calls for a different finish. I would say Gibson, Fender and PRS work hard in this area.
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#20
Quote by slapsymcdougal
There is no GC in the civilised world.

My local stores, the ratio holds.


Given their financial condition, there may soon be no GC in the uncivilized world, either.
#21
Quote by dspellman
Taylor claims that their robot fixture and spraying arm can put on a smoother, more even and thinner coat of paint than a human with a spray gun. Moreover, the guitars are dry-to-dry within 24 hours and ready for finish sanding. Nitrocellulose-painted guitars can take 30 days to be ready for shipping.

Taylor's reputation rides, in part, on their instruments' sound and playability, since they manufacture mainly acoustic instruments.


Yes I own an inexpensive model Taylor. the finis is quite thin. This is not typical of either Fender or many other manufacturer's using the non-water based plastic poly finish though. Some are down right thick.
My post wasn't trying to say the hand painted finish would be the perfect one BTW, it's pretty obvious the opportunity for error is greater on the old school method. Most people who like the older finish are willing to accept minor "flaws" in the spray coats knowing this.
Moving on.....
#22
Quote by Idlewild294
I know the Les Paul vs Stratocaster has been debated over and over in for years. I know the differences in sound, design, and style of music, but I'm wondering how do they compare in terms of quality? When comparing a lower end Gibson Les Paul such as the Studio to an upper end Fender Stratocaster American Standard which one comes out on top regarding quality and finish? If you totally take sound and style out of the picture then does a equally priced American Standard come out on top over the Gibson LP Studio due to finish, fit, and feel? Again, I'm not wanting to start a debate on apples vs oranges because I know these are two total different animals. Thanks for your opinions.


Based on my experience and what I've read, it seems you get much more for your money with a Strat.

You have less chance of issues with a Strat than you do with an equally priced,or even higher priced, Gibson. The bolt on design of a strat makes them cheaper to make and the design is just better from an ergonomic and physics standpoint.

The Gibson Les Paul has an inherent flaw in its design relating to the headstock angle - my luthier pointed that out to me the other day. The quality control at Gibson is also problematic, leaving even the expensive models with basic major setup and fret issues. In my experience, about half the time I've pick up someone's Les Paul it has had some form of tuning issues - this is a huge issue on the cheaper models but it also plagues the more expensive ones as well.

To me the main difference between the two company's can be summarized as follows : A bare bones American Standard Strat is a top tier professional instrument - there is no need to go beyond it except for esthetic or customization purposes - they sell for about 1299 US - the Gibson Les Paul Standard costs about $3100 US - you're paying over double the price for a professional level Gibson.
#23
I bought a mex strat in 2014, and a Gibson sg special in 2015. The finish and build quality on the strat was definitely a lot better, although the Gibson felt more hand made. Gibson had a few 'hand catch points ' on the neck if u know what I mean, esp the nut when doing open chords. Strat is just smooth all round.
after the first week or so, I found that I wasn't playing the sg at all, so I flogged it on bay. Strat just felt better to play so I just kept going back to it.
It wasn't a bad sg either, I trawled 3 different shops to get the best one.
Couldn't help feeling a bit disappointed tbh, was really hoping that the hallowed Gibson would live up to the hype.

Interestingly enough also, I've played mates USA starts as well of course as my mexi, hard pushed to sense any kind of difference in feel.
I guess that the case is simply that any strat these days is gonna be put together to an exceedingly high standard, due to I) the precision machines used in manufacturing, ii ) fenders buying power to get decent materials and iii ) the sheer number of the fucking things they've churned out over the years.

A strat is basically a clone of any other made around the same time, and what a clone it is!
#24
As to which would look better in 25 years is purely subjective.Alot of people prefer the way that nitro ages.Though the Strat would be more hard wearing and less susceptible to light.I don't really think it's a good comparison.