#1
Hey guys!
So I grew up on my dad's '81 LP custom (which I'm about 99/9% certain is neither chambered nor weight-relieved). For years I protected it in a case and played a Les Paul studio faded I got later which DON'T GET ME WRONG is a GREAT guitar, but now that I'm back to doing this kinda for a living I got out the custom again and the tone difference is HUGE to me. I thought about just dropping in different pickups to try to get a tone closer to the '81 (both LP's have the standard 498T and 490R setup, granted one has aged obviously), but I don't think any pickup is really going to take away the "hollow overtone" feel of the chambered studio. I play with a good deal of gain (Marshall JCM 900 and 200), so the sheer mass of the '81 really makes a difference in the "depth" of the tone.
All that said, what would you guys recommend to be the cheapest fully-solid alternative to my studio? I've been scouring the Gibson site but there are, of course, so many to choose from and they're not always super clear on what's chambered/weight relieved and what's not. Thanks for any help guys!
#2
An older used studio would be my guess for cheapest. I think they made some in the early nineties with ebony fingerboards as well, which should get you even closer to a Les Paul Custom.
#3
AFAIK, the only recent LP with no weight relief is the Traditional.

I got mine for a little under £900 used, but they tend to be just over £1k second hand on ebay.

Personally I'd avoid the 2015 version though, it had a couple of features like the autotune & zero fret nut that aren't consistent with the philosophy of it being "traditional".
Gibson LP Traditional, LP GT, LP Studio, SG Standard x2
Barber Tone Press > EHX Worm >TC Polytune > MXR Custom Badass 78 > EXH Glove > EHX East River Drive > Zoom G3 > TC Spark Mini Booster
Laney VC30
Marshall TSL602
Jet City JCA22H
.
My SoundCloud
#4
Ah right. Thanks guys! I heard ofthe older studios but I hear people tend to hang onto those. The traditional is nice but I get sooooo annoyed with the damn minitune of the new ones. Thanks guys! The search continues
#5
Mines a few years older, so it doesn't have the autotune - set up a search on ebay, you'll find one eventually.

The other thing to note is that the Traditionals have a 50s profile neck. If your Dad's LP has the slimmer 60s neck, you may find that you don't get on with the fatter 50s profile.
Gibson LP Traditional, LP GT, LP Studio, SG Standard x2
Barber Tone Press > EHX Worm >TC Polytune > MXR Custom Badass 78 > EXH Glove > EHX East River Drive > Zoom G3 > TC Spark Mini Booster
Laney VC30
Marshall TSL602
Jet City JCA22H
.
My SoundCloud
#6
Traditional's are nice guitars indeed. I had one and it was great, I just had no use for it. A Les Paul Classic 1960 might be a good option as well if you're into the slimmer neck. I didn't gel with it, but it sounded decent. It has the same pickups as the custom and studio you have do.
#7
Quote by daqpowell
I don't think any pickup is really going to take away the "hollow overtone" feel of the chambered studio.


try tim shaw pups if you want to sound like an '81 gibson. a couple guys make clones of them if an original set is too pricey for you.
I wondered why the frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.
#8
If you aren't arsed about it saying Gibson on the headstock, then every single Epiphone out there is solid body.

Try the Epiphone Les Paul Tribute+ or an Epiphone Les Paul Custom Pro, I have one and I think it is great.
My Gear:
Ibanez Jet King 2
Ibanez RGDIX7 MPB
Ibanez GRG 7221
OLP John Petrucci
Epiphone Les Paul Custom Pro
Squier Stratocaster (modified)
Harley Benton CLD-41S (Acoustic)

Peavey Vypyr 30.

Boss CH-1 Super Chorus
Boss DD-3 Digital Delay
Boss FRV-1 '63 Fender Reverb
#9
+1 on the Epiphone 1960 Tribute Plus. It has been my go to guitar for gigs for about three years now. Last year I sold my 1973 Gibson LP that I bought in 1977. After two years of playing gigs with the Epiphone Tribute I just thought (for me personally) the Epiphone played and sounded better than the Gibson (and it gave me cash to buy some other gear that I wanted).
Yes I am guitarded also, nice to meet you.
#11
The least expensive LP (ish) guitars I have are a B-Stock Agile AL-2000 and a used Agile AL-3100. Both are SOLID body guitars with the same kind of response that your dad's '81 solid body LP had. I'm guessing these aren't going to be readily available where you're at (this is why identifying your location is so important), but I'm thinking that you may have to look beyond Gibson/Epiphone to find what you're looking for in an inexpensive guitar.
#12
The '90's studio's are weight relieved as well (I have a '93 and yes it has an ebony board too). Not chambered, but holes drilled in it, they've been doing some sort of weight relief since around '83-84 if I remember right.


Check out this thread for some info

http://www.harmonycentral.com/forum/forum/guitar/acapella-41/1150256-
'93 Gibson LP Studio (498T/490R)-Ebony
'14 Gibson LP Standard (JB/Jazz)-Ocean Water Perimeter
Epi MKH LP Custom-7 (SD Custom Shop JB-7)-Ebony
+More

Maxon od808|Boss NS-2|Boss CE-5|
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Last edited by RCA1186 at Mar 30, 2016,
#13
Quote by dspellman
this is why identifying your location is so important.

He put a Union Flag in the title, so I'm guessing he's in Great Britain.
Quote by N1ghtmar3C1n3ma
If you aren't arsed about it saying Gibson on the headstock, then every single Epiphone out there is solid body.

I've only ever tried a few in shops so take it FWIW, but I've never known an Epiphone that gets anywhere close to the weight of my LP Traditional.

Its also pretty rare that an Epiphone has that same "it" factor that decent Gibsons have, so if OP is used to an 80s LP Custom it's unlikely an Epiphone will match up.
Gibson LP Traditional, LP GT, LP Studio, SG Standard x2
Barber Tone Press > EHX Worm >TC Polytune > MXR Custom Badass 78 > EXH Glove > EHX East River Drive > Zoom G3 > TC Spark Mini Booster
Laney VC30
Marshall TSL602
Jet City JCA22H
.
My SoundCloud
#14
Early 80s tokais, burnys, grecos, orvilles. I personally have a 1981 Burny LP, which is extraordinary. Stomps every Gibson I ever had and/or played. But I put some money and work in it. Just a thought.
"I came here to chew bubblegum and kick ass... and i'm all out of bubblegum"
#15
Quote by dspellman
Not even close. Probably as many Epiphones are chambered as are Les Pauls. Check out the Epiphone Les Paul Ultra Pro, for example, and note "chambered mahogany body." :

http://www.epiphone.com/Products/Les-Paul/Les-Paul-Ultra-PRO.aspx



Ok so you found one, hardly not even close.
There is also the Florentine but that is a semi hollow.

Chambering/weight relief is a manufacturing process that adds cost, Epiphones are all about keeping it as cheap as possible, logically, they wouldn't add weight relief and chambering unless it is a specific feature they are wanting to advertise and charge more for.
My Gear:
Ibanez Jet King 2
Ibanez RGDIX7 MPB
Ibanez GRG 7221
OLP John Petrucci
Epiphone Les Paul Custom Pro
Squier Stratocaster (modified)
Harley Benton CLD-41S (Acoustic)

Peavey Vypyr 30.

Boss CH-1 Super Chorus
Boss DD-3 Digital Delay
Boss FRV-1 '63 Fender Reverb
#16
all he needs is a set of tim shaws guys.


weight relieving doesn't effect the tone.

chambering may, but i think the jury is still out since it's probably impossible to prove either way.

if you want an 11 pound epi or agile have at it.
I wondered why the frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.
#17
Quote by N1ghtmar3C1n3ma
Ok so you found one, hardly not even close.
There is also the Florentine but that is a semi hollow.

Chambering/weight relief is a manufacturing process that adds cost, Epiphones are all about keeping it as cheap as possible, logically, they wouldn't add weight relief and chambering unless it is a specific feature they are wanting to advertise and charge more for.


There are others. Which is why offering "Just buy an Epiphone, they're all solid" wasn't correct. While chambering/weight relief might cost more, it's not as significant an amount as you'd expect, given modern CNC machines that do the work, and high-volume manufacturers (affiliated with Gibson) are sensitive to weight issues.

There are other weight-saving measures employed by a lot of manufacturers, such as shaving the bodies to a smaller thickness (Gibson does weight relief on the Axcess, for example, *and* produces them with a thinner body, and while the CS series Carvins are solid body guitars, they are slightly thinner in the body than your basic Les Paul).

Agiles have traditionally been solid body (though there are occasional runs of chambered guitars and some guitars have measured an eighth inch thinner than others). They also offer some neck-through construction models (rather than the traditional set-neck), some with carved/shaped neck heels, a few with tummy cuts, etc, and these may vary in weight both up and down from the published averages.

All four of my Agiles are solid body and full thickness and very much resemble the '81 Custom in sonic character.
#18
Quote by gregs1020
all he needs is a set of tim shaws guys.


weight relieving doesn't effect the tone.

chambering may, but i think the jury is still out since it's probably impossible to prove either way.



I think that last statement is probably the most accurate; there's no repeatable tonal information here, though on an anecdotal basis, I can tell you that there's very definitely a difference in the sound of my Axcess Custom and my custom Agile neck-through (even though both have identical hardware). And it turns out that the project coordinator for which the Axcess and Agile were prepared (originally the Agile was supposed to back up the Axcess) decided that the very solid and fairly heavy Agile sounded better to his ears (and the Axcess is now the backup). I'm good either way.
#19
Late to the discussion, but...

As gregs1020 suggests, all you may need is a pickup swap. I'll recommend The Creamery, Vintage Vibe and Rio Grande Pickups as three companies to consider in trying to mimic those in the 81 custom.

http://www.creamery-pickups.co.uk
http://vintagevibeguitars.com/
http://www.riograndepickups.com/


If, OTOH, you want to keep your LP Studio as-is, I'll add the Electra Omega and Omega Prime to the list of guitars to consider. These were introduced in the 1970s and played by guys like Frampton, but went under in the late 80s. The brand got resurrected a few years ago, and the Omegas were among their first new products...based heavily on the originals.

http://www.electraguitar.com/pages/electra-omega
http://www.electraguitar.com/pages/electra-omega-prime
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

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Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Mar 30, 2016,
#20
LTD has a full thickness LP style guitar, I think its the EC-1000CTM. I love ESP/Ltd Eclipse guitars though so I always recommend them.
#21
Quote by Rickholly74
+1 on the Epiphone 1960 Tribute Plus. It has been my go to guitar for gigs for about three years now. Last year I sold my 1973 Gibson LP that I bought in 1977. After two years of playing gigs with the Epiphone Tribute I just thought (for me personally) the Epiphone played and sounded better than the Gibson (and it gave me cash to buy some other gear that I wanted).

+2 on the Tribute +. I chose the Epi Tribute over a Gibson Studio and have not had a day of regret. It boggles the mind (seeing as how Gibson is a for-profit entity and the "big brother" of Epiphone) that the brain trust at Gibson would allow the Epi Tribute + to be manufactured. IMO from a tone/appearance standpoint it's a Gibson Standard at half the price.
#22
Agree about the Epi Tribute. It's a Gibson with an the Epiphone name on the headstock. That just goes to show how overpriced Gibson Les Paul's have become. There are minor differences in hardware like the bridge and stop tailpiece which are made a little cheaper but nothing that can't easily be changed. The real Gibson Classic 57 pickups, the Switchcraft three way, the real Grover locking tuners, CTS pots and Mallory caps etc. I can't speak for any other Tributes since mine is the only one I've ever played but the neck on mine and the finish is beautiful.

There was an earlier post about the Ultra being chambered. I have an Ultra II that weighs 7.5 lbs. and is chambered but it's supposed to be. It has the acoustic pickup in the neck and is chambered to hopefully give it a better acoustic sound on that pickup. I don't think (I may be wrong) that there are any other Epi LP's that are chambered other than the Ultra series and that is intentional for a specific reason.

One last word: I learned about Agile on this forum and bought an AL 2000 early last year and for the money it is awesome. Worth three times what I paid for it.
Yes I am guitarded also, nice to meet you.
Last edited by Rickholly74 at Mar 31, 2016,
#23
i'd say if you can get a Gibson - get one =) Epi might be OK but it's never a Gibson.

Weight relief (9 holes aka "swiss cheese") pretty much doesn't affect sound. chambering though does it greatly.

mid 90's Studio with an ebony fretboard might be a solution.
Another idea is an original Orville By Gibson. a bit rare to find MIJ LPs that are actually great. And early series of Navigator by ESP guitars. those are basically exact replicas of Gibson LPs with sometimes superior build quality. if you're not brand-picky - look for those.
Gibson LP Custom
ESP KH-2
USA Dean Rust From Hell 35/100
Washburn N4 Corina 1/75
Washburn EA20S NB
Squier Hello Kitty
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Randall Warhead (sale!)
Krank Rev Jr Pro
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#24
Quote by dspellman
I think that last statement is probably the most accurate; there's no repeatable tonal information here, though on an anecdotal basis, I can tell you that there's very definitely a difference in the sound of my Axcess Custom and my custom Agile neck-through (even though both have identical hardware). And it turns out that the project coordinator for which the Axcess and Agile were prepared (originally the Agile was supposed to back up the Axcess) decided that the very solid and fairly heavy Agile sounded better to his ears (and the Axcess is now the backup). I'm good either way.


you know if you put shaws in those two guitars they're gonna sound like an '81 custom.
I wondered why the frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.
#25
Quote by gregs1020
you know if you put shaws in those two guitars they're gonna sound like an '81 custom.


Might at that.

At the moment, they have a hot '57 (9.2kohm) in the bridge and a DiMarzio Fast Track II (18kohm) in the neck position. And they don't sound like an '81 Custom.