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Old 01-21-2016, 11:42 AM   #1
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Pawn shop cheap guitar, bought for downtuning, but am better on that first guitar.

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 : 01-21-2016 at 11:45 AM.
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Old 01-21-2016, 11:59 AM   #2
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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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Old 01-21-2016, 04:59 PM   #3
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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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Old 01-21-2016, 05:26 PM   #4
Tony Done
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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.
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Old 01-21-2016, 05:57 PM   #5
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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 : 01-21-2016 at 06:02 PM.
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