#1
Hey everyone,

Recently I have been thinking about upgrading my gear. I have been playing electric guitar for about 5 years, and acoustic for a long time before that, so I consider myself to be quite a good player. I have really rubbish gear at the moment, because I'm a student and couldn't really afford anything till now.

My plan was to buy a 2016 Gibson Les Paul Standard HP, along with a Marshal DLS40C, as well a a bunch of pedals.

My question is should I be spending around £2500 on a guitar and getting a £500 - £600 amp? What do you guys think?
#2
If it was me I would considering buying a same price range both guitar and amp.
Why don't you look at a Fender or some thing?
But here's the point. We all want to know what are you really looking for (specs, etc.)
and Do you gigs or not? If you gigs you're gonna need something different then bedroom playing these question could save you some money.
#3
The DSL40C is a solid amp.

However, it might not be the best vehicle for what you're trying to play, and - again, depending on what you're aiming for in sound - there may be better bang for your buck alternatives to the LP.
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#4
Don't be swayed by the "new guitar smell"...You could save 100's of $$$ and end up with a better instrument if you take your time, do some research, and comb the used market for a earlier (and arguably better) Gibson LP (or similar). As far as amps go, that's a personal judgement call based on want/need. Combo, head/cab, 1 X 12, 2 X 12, modeling, 20W or 100 W, Eminence or Celestion, many choices there. IMO that's where the tone is TRULY made and IMO it should be your #1 priority. Valves (aka tubes) bring out the best tone you could possibly hope for. I'm not saying SS equipment 100% sucks, but valve amplification brings out a buttery warm full tone that an SS amp just can't find. Sprinkle in effects as needed, find your happy place and go from there instrument wise.
#5
Thanks for the replies.

I do gig, but not to a great extent, maybe a few shows a year. However I do frequently put on performances with my band at my university, about once a month. I mostly want a setup that will be catered towards more of a rock and metal vibe, but still have at least some versatility. All in all, I will mostly be using it at home in all honesty, because my gigs and performances are very spaced out. So basically gear that will allow me to play in a band environment for small to mid sized shows, as well as for practice. I know I want a LP because my friend has an epi LP and prefer it over my strat. I am also swaying towards valve amps because of the tones they deliver (I have spent many hours in my local guitar store trying to see what gear I want!). The reason I want to buy such an expensive guitar is that it will be a gift for me from somebody, and they don't care spending money on it, so I might as well go all out if that makes sense. But I don't want them to spend too much money of course, so a budget of around £3500.
Last edited by kungfusingh62 at Apr 23, 2016,
#6
The DSL40C is probably not a bad choice, then. It should go loud enough for gigging(though a PA won't hurt for maintaining headroom), and it can be switched down to 20 watts for quieter practice.

Try other guitars than the LP, though. Don't limit yourself to body type, because there are a lot of fantastic guitars that you might miss out on, that would be in your budget.
Quote by Diemon Dave
Don't go ninjerin nobody don't need ninjerin'
#7
I would put your money on a real quality amp .... you can get a solid guitar for under 1000.00 easy that will match the 3000.00 up guitars sound and quality
#8
These days amps count for a lot more than guitars price wise because whilst guitars are now better made than ever, amps however... aren't quite in the same ball park.

However, with what everyone else has said here, if you're spending that much, get whatever will make you happy man. If you want that Les Paul super bad, then hey, go get it. Because if you're buying into a dream you will sound 500x better than just buying something with a budget in mind, or trying to save money. And let's face it, that Les Paul is a life time purchase.

The DSL40C is an excellent choice and to be honest, you're going to struggle to find a better sounding amp for the price to go with what you want from it. Also, as it's a combo, it'll make it easier to transport since you say you don't do many shows in a year. And even if you do start to do a lot of shows, that DSL40C will sure as hell be great for gigs.

It's also worth stating that amp wise once you hit around the 500-600 budget, it's fundamentally going to sound great. And the only people who can tell the difference between a 500-600 amp and a 2000 amp is very, very limited - we're talking amps geeks, your average person, or even player, won't be able to. Especially at gigs.
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#9
If it's a present, get what you want. That said, just be sure a Gibson LP is really what is right for you. I would go to a few guitar shops and try a bunch of different guitars out. Gibson LPs are good instruments, but many people the last few years have reported quality issues while the price keeps going up. For a classy guitar, PRS may be something to also consider.

For the amp, you could get a good used one. Usually pretty big discounts for used amps.
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#10
My suggestion would be to get a good amp, but maximize your guitar.

Here's my thinking: The guitar is the interface between me and the music I want to make. I want to have the playability, level of versatility and quality that will best suit. Like you, I really like the LP feel (and I've had Gibsons since my very first guitar), but I wouldn't recommend you buy a Gibson, necessarily.

The Standard HP has some good points, and some that aren't very well thought out (IMHO) and some that still need to be updated. The Standard HP has a smooth aluminum exterior on the case that's going to look trashed in no time. Perfect for a coddled collector's item, not so good for a working musician. The auto-tuning system is prone to breakage, inaccuracy, "spoofing" if the exterior noise levels are too high and the alternate tunings it provides are quite limited by string tension and (in some cases) not very playable. The nitrocellulose lacquer finish Gibson retains due to what they view as their "traditionalist" customer base offers no benefits, and was dumped by car manufacturers back in the 50's for a reason. It checks, chips, outgasses sulfuric and nitric acid, it gets chalky, it reacts with other materials, it can get cloudy, sticky, etc. You can't get that Standard with stainless frets, nor can you have jumbo frets if you prefer them. The neck is wider than usual (which I don't mind) but the string spacing is the same as their guitars that don't have a wider neck (what?). The neck profile is asymmetric (the highest part of the back, where your thumb would normally rest, is off center) and you don't have a choice of something else if you find you prefer a more normal neck shape. The guitar doesn't have a tummy cut. I'm not a fan of "modern weight relief" (carved out interior). Trems are simply unavailable. And finally, there are no options available. This is an ordinary production guitar at a price where semi-customs can be found.

What I like: Real MOP inlays (most of Gibson's have been plastic, even on the expensive vintage guitars). I like the neck heel carve (though I'm less nervous about it on neck-through guitars). I don't mind the compound radius fretboard (though it plays like a slightly more comfortable 12" radius more than anything else) the zero fret nut. I don't mind the titanium saddles, but they're set into a cheap zamak base. They're finally claiming to use real AAAA wood tops, but they really offer only black, baby blue, gold or brownish bursts as finishes.

Other notes: You may still want to budget $200 for a fret superglue and a PLEK setup (with fret polish) job after you get the guitar. My last new Gibson was a $4K Axcess Custom, and it needed both. That's not unusual for a production line guitar. In the process, you may find that you want the action set lower than what Gibson recommends. That's going to take a nut adjustment, bridge adjustment and VERY level frets (thus the PLEK recommendation). I'd budget for a good Mono gig-bag style soft case for when you actually take the guitar out of the house. You're going to hate what happens to that aluminum case. Budget for a good set of strap locks and have them put in properly. The expensive Gibson straps (the Austin Premium Comfort or Modern Vintage or even the Fatboy) are highly recommended. They have great leather and memory foam, but will add $90-140 to your budget. They'll last forever and make playing an LP a lot more comfortable.
#11
Alternatives to the Gibson LP?

Calvin CS6
This is an LP shaped guitar with a slightly thinner but SOLID body. Since yours would be a one-off, you have an extremely wide choice of options, including body and top woods, a huge range of finishes (UV catalyzed polyester that's impervious to everything but particle weapons), a wide range of fretboard woods (ebony standard), a range of fretboard inlays, a range of fret options (stainless available), choices of headstock shape (no, really?), a choice of 22 or 24-frets, choices of pickups, locking tuners, choices of trems if you want 'em, controls options (you'll want to ask about these over the phone), the ability to have a piezo bridge or a full MIDI-control setup added during construction, a fairly smooth neck heel and much, much more. Carving usually arrive with perfect fretwork and in tune (they come direct from the factory to you).

Agile Semi-Custom
I have one and a second on order. My first was a neck-through with an Axcess-style neck heel, one piece back (mine doesn't have "wings" as do most neck-throughs; the neck is laid into a channel cut into the back. Really! Made the Koreans nuts). Full-thickness solid (SOLID) body guitar, full thickness figured maple cap with multi-layer binding (like a Gibson Custom) on body and headstock, single layer binding on the fretboard, 16" radius ebony fretboard with jumbo frets, a wide/thin neck profile (1 3/4" nut width, 17mm deep at the first fret, 20.5mm at the 12th) with wider string spacing, real abalone block inlays (a bit over the top), an original Floyd Rose. With hard case, delivered to my door, it was $1160. But it took about three months to get here after ordering. I took it directly to Gary Brawer in San Francisco (he was doing extensive modifications including installation of a Sustainer), and he fed it to the PLEK machine and superglued the frets, and it's been an absolutely superb player ever since. Current semi-customs offer the Axcess neck heel on neck-through guitars with a tummy cut. Not only can you get whatever I had (the single piece back, however, is off the table) done, but you can also get extended range guitars (seven and eight string versions) and other scales (25.5", 27", etc.) and 24-fret necks.

Line6 Variax JTV 59
You have your choice of a Korean-sourced version or a US-built version. In both cases, the guitar has a rosewood fretboard, several available finishes (the US-built version can be had with more choices), medium jumbo frets, dot inlays, mahogany body and neck, smooth neck heel, polyester UV-catalyzed finish, etc., etc. Pickups are very good James Tyler-designs. All versions have LR Baggs piezos built into the bridge that run the Variax modeling electronics built in (check out the Line 6 site for details). In addition to the ability to model something like 25 other guitars (including 12-strings and acoustics!), the Variax electronics will allow you to set almost any alternate tuning for each string varying about an octave in each direction. Yup, you can play bass on the thing or, if you like, play it as a Baritone or in Drop D, or simply down a few steps -- with no change in string tension. You're actually playing with the string set in standard, but what's coming out of the amp is completely different. The Korean version runs about $1000 and is very very good, and the US version runs about three times that, adding a set of Hipshot tuners, extra batteries, a G&G hard case (the Korean comes with a good gig bag) and some different finishes. I came very close to buying the JTV59, but it was the JTV-89F that came with a Graphtech Floyd Rose, wide/thin neck, 16" radius, jumbo frets and 24 frets (can you tell where my preferences lie?), and while I had no problem buying the US version, I ended up with TWO of the Koreans. They're that good. I've actually got four Variax guitars at this point. If you're interested in versatility, these represent the definition of that.

Come to think of it, for the price of the Gibson Standard HP, you can have one each of the custom-build Carvin CS6 and a Variax JTV59!
#12
Amps

I own 15 tube amps and a few all-tube preamps and all-tube power amps. For years, tubes have been what the traditional guitar player swore by. But you'll always hear the question asked, "What's the best amp for this or that specific genre?" In order to find real versatility, you had to have more than one. Bruce Egnater invented amps and preamps that had plug-in "personality" modules (I have an old M4 preamp), and you could switch between these modules for a lot of options. Randall licensed the technology from Bruce and produced their own modular amps.

These days, however, the better modelers provide pretty much bang-on emulations of a wide range of tube AND solid state amps as well as emulations of various cabinet and speaker types and a ton of the most-used FX as well. They offer quiet practice with headphones, and the ability to plug into an extremely wide range of output devices, from powered recording monitors to powered PA-style speakers to arena systems. They're a lot lighter than carrying even a 1x12 combo around, and most provide editing software that will extend them even further. And they allow you to record under almost any conditions with no mikes, background noise considerations or bulky DI hardware involved. They improve and expand their range on an almost daily basis.
#13
Another thought if you really want a Gibson LP is get a used Custom Shop Re-Issue. The Gold Top 57 (R7) and solid colour or less figured tops of R8s (1958 models) go used for considerably less than any new USA Standard in the 2000-2500 range. These guitars represent what Gibson can really produce when they try and won't lose any more $$$ value unless you trash them. Yes nitro needs some care (cleaning/buffing and occasional polishing) but I find it allows the guitar to feel more lively and sound more lively than the generally heavy coats of plastic poly found on most guitars. I currently have two an R7 and R8 purchased new in 2010 and 2012, both cost less than what a USA Standard costs today. I don't gig (but would use them if I did) but have taken them out to friends and while they live in cases when not being played they've had hundreds or hours a year playing and still look great. I guess it depends on whether or not you're the type of person who takes care of their gear or simply abuses it. These guitas are meant to be played after all.
If you're a "green"guy both finishes have issues. Liquid Nitro can flash when exposed to flame and the non-water based poly (still used by most and the most durable finish) is toxic and the fumes are bad as well. There is a water based poly (not so durable) but I don't think it's used by many manufacturers at all if any. In the end my ideal finish would be a water based lacquer which would have all the good sonic qualities of traditional finishes but be enviro-friendly. That's not really happening yet either to any degree and it would still need care.
I've been playing for over 40 years now, owned some big name guitars and many mid-level ones, even a few low end models. Not everyone appreciates what Gibson can bring to the table but I can tell you no production copy or knockoff "feels" the same as a top quality Gibson LP and I've tried many.
If you're looking at Gibson and haven't actually tried one it's likely the name is doing it for you but don't make up your mind one way or the other until you've tried some. You may be in the group that doesn't care for the feel of them and you'll be happier with another single cut.
Moving on.....
Last edited by KenG at Apr 23, 2016,
#14
Quote by dspellman
Amps

I own 15 tube amps and a few all-tube preamps and all-tube power amps. For years, tubes have been what the traditional guitar player swore by. But you'll always hear the question asked, "What's the best amp for this or that specific genre?" In order to find real versatility, you had to have more than one. Bruce Egnater invented amps and preamps that had plug-in "personality" modules (I have an old M4 preamp), and you could switch between these modules for a lot of options. Randall licensed the technology from Bruce and produced their own modular amps.

These days, however, the better modelers provide pretty much bang-on emulations of a wide range of tube AND solid state amps as well as emulations of various cabinet and speaker types and a ton of the most-used FX as well. They offer quiet practice with headphones, and the ability to plug into an extremely wide range of output devices, from powered recording monitors to powered PA-style speakers to arena systems. They're a lot lighter than carrying even a 1x12 combo around, and most provide editing software that will extend them even further. And they allow you to record under almost any conditions with no mikes, background noise considerations or bulky DI hardware involved. They improve and expand their range on an almost daily basis.


15 Tube amps? jesus
#15
Quote by dspellman
Amps

I own 15 tube amps and a few all-tube preamps and all-tube power amps. For years, tubes have been what the traditional guitar player swore by. But you'll always hear the question asked, "What's the best amp for this or that specific genre?" In order to find real versatility, you had to have more than one. Bruce Egnater invented amps and preamps that had plug-in "personality" modules (I have an old M4 preamp), and you could switch between these modules for a lot of options. Randall licensed the technology from Bruce and produced their own modular amps.

These days, however, the better modelers provide pretty much bang-on emulations of a wide range of tube AND solid state amps as well as emulations of various cabinet and speaker types and a ton of the most-used FX as well. They offer quiet practice with headphones, and the ability to plug into an extremely wide range of output devices, from powered recording monitors to powered PA-style speakers to arena systems. They're a lot lighter than carrying even a 1x12 combo around, and most provide editing software that will extend them even further. And they allow you to record under almost any conditions with no mikes, background noise considerations or bulky DI hardware involved. They improve and expand their range on an almost daily basis.



As usual we disagree on Nitro but on this topic of amps I am in total agreement with you having experienced it for myself the last several years. The only difference is I no longer own any tube amps (unless the 12AX7A in my VT30 counts!).
Moving on.....
#16
This is UG, home of "what you need is a new amp". However, I suggest going for the guitar that you want. A great feeling guitar is going to facilitate more playing, and more comfortable playing. So I say go for that. You can coax a good sound out of a lot of crappy gear, but a big factor is whether or not you can conjure up some sweet sounds using your fingers. A good guitar goes a long way in my experience. Go after that Les Paul ;D
Gear:
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2012 Tanglewood TW170

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Line 6 HD500
#17
I would spend substantially more on the amp than the guitar in that price range.

It is easy to get beguiled by the fancy lump of wood, but the amplification chain (pickups, pedals, amp, speakers) is what, holistically, makes the instrument. However, you have to have a guitar that you want to play, and we all have different attitudes and standards for that. - Mine is cheap, plain-looking and made to work well. Most of what you pay big $ for is mojo.
#18
Quote by joseph24
15 Tube amps? jesus


Accumulation. Amazing what you can sometimes find at those church flea markets.
#19
Quote by KenG
As usual we disagree on Nitro but on this topic of amps I am in total agreement with you having experienced it for myself the last several years. The only difference is I no longer own any tube amps (unless the 12AX7A in my VT30 counts!).


Most are in storage. My spousal unit pointed out that for what I've paid in storage for these things over the years, I could have had a stack of Axe-FX's or a new car.
#20
Quote by KenG

In the end my ideal finish would be a water based lacquer which would have all the good sonic qualities of traditional finishes but be enviro-friendly. That's not really happening yet either to any degree and it would still need care.


Taylor's setup is worth a look. They have a robotic fixture to which the guitar is attached, and a robotic sprayer arm. According to Taylor, they're able to shoot a thinner and more even coating than any human with a spray gun (this is important to them, given their emphasis on acoustic guitars). And since the spray they use is near 100% solids, there's very little solvent of any kind to harm workers or atmosphere during spray or curing. Taylor's guitars take less than 24 hours, dry to dry, in the paint shop, and are ready for finish sanding when they come out.

My oldest guitar is a 1939 Epiphone. It was originally a lacquer guitar, but was stripped in the very early '70's when it underwent a number of repairs, and was then refinished in French Polish. I have a few lacquer guitars that show aging and several more that are in remarkable shape. But I've picked those that have been in great shape when I found them (used). They've already proven to be survivors. None of my polywhatever guitars have issues of any kind.
#21
Quote by dspellman


These days, however, the better modelers provide pretty much bang-on emulations of a wide range of tube AND solid state amps as well as emulations of various cabinet and speaker types and a ton of the most-used FX as well.


Any recommendations of some cheaper modelers? Looking to replace my ios Bios FX setup for something clearer and better
We're just a battery for hire with the guitar fire
Ready and aimed at you
Pick up your balls and load up your cannon
For a twenty one gun salute
For those about to rock, FIRE!
We salute you
#22
Based on your situation, I would definitely go with the guitar. A Gibson LP standard is a quality guitar that you will own for your lifetime. It is very versatile and perfect for rock/metal.

Amps are important, but IMO - tonal preferences often change over time. You could easily find yourself looking at different amps in 2 years, where the LP will more likely be the constant.

Lastly, the DSL 40c would be great with the LP for rock/metal. Certainly would be good for your example and a good amp for the money (whether you stick with it or choose something else down the road).
#23
Quote by MAChiefs
Amps are important, but IMO - tonal preferences often change over time. You could easily find yourself looking at different amps in 2 years, where the LP will more likely be the constant.

This 100%. But if I was in TC's position, I would get a Traditional T rather than the Standard HP. You'll save about £700 to spend on the amp and get the same quality guitar.