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#1
Well - the title pretty much tells all. I've been saving for the last few years, and now I finally have enough dough to buy a decent guitar. I currently play an Epiphone Les Paul Custom (my second guitar, after my starter kit). I love the beefy tone of an LP, but at the same time I feel attracted to the strat for it’s cleans, tremolo bar (fun! ), better fret access, etc. I have about 1400 dollars to spend, and if I really need to I can get my dad to loan me some money to make this purchase, until I find someone to buy my Epi.

I've done A LOT of homework on this, because I've never spent this much money on ANYTHING before, and have now basically narrowed my search down to two guitars:

*The Fender American Special Mahogany HSS Stratocaster Electric Guitar: http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Fender-American-Special-Mahogany-HSS-Stratocaster-Electric-Guitar?sku=511165

PROS: This strat seems to give me the best of both worlds. It has a mahogany body, therefore (supposedly) allowing me to get the deeper, smoother tone I’m looking for. It has a humbucker in the bridge position, so I can rock out on when I need to, but still has single-coils in the middle and neck position, for those nice, sweet cleans. I like that it has a double synchronized bridge and the LSR roller nuts and locking tuners - seems like the perfect system for a great, steady tremolo. Also has strap locks already installed (would have to do that sometime later on the LP). Last, but not least, this guitar is half the price of the LP! And I’m not convinced the LP’s quality is really superior to this strat (from what I’ve read in numerous user reviews on both guitars).

CONS: From what I've read, the humbucker on this guitar is considerably weak, and if I bought this guitar I would assume that I would have to at least replace the bridge PU (if I had to replace them all, it would set me back another $200 approx). Also, I'm afraid that, although this guitar has a mahogany body, it will sound harsher like an SG, rather than warm like an LP, since a lot of the LP's tone is attributed to its massive weight.

*The Gibson Les Paul Classic Antique: http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Gibson-Les-Paul-Classic-Antique-Electric-Guitar?sku=512599

PROS: Well…it’s an LP. What can I say? It has that amazing, thick distorted tone I know and love. The great majority of my favorite guitarists have wielded this axe, and that’s basically what drew me to it in the first place. It has all the appointments I could want on an LP - slim-taper neck, ’57 classic PUs (a plus in the bridge), an awesome set of finishes to select from (AA flame maple top), as well as full body and headstock binding.

CONS: It’s heavy, I sometimes have trouble reaching the higher frets, I am not overly impressed with an LP's clean capabilities (although I’m not sure if this particular model fairs any differently than the LPs I’ve tried), and it’s twice the price of the Fender! Is it really worth it?? (Keep in mind though, that the Fender would catch up $200 with a PU exchange.)


**BTW: My music style ranges from clean, acoustic material to hard rock (ala Velvet Revolver), but mostly I play classic rock (think Guns n' Roses, Aerosmith, AC/DC, etc.).
Also, I am currently living in Lisbon, and no shops here have these guitars in stock, so I can’t try them out. I will order the guitar I decide on via APO.


TO SUM IT UP: I know I can rely on a Gibson LP’s fantastic, fat tone, but I also really want to give the strat a chance, because it seems so versatile. Most importantly: I don’t want to waste my hard earned money! It has to be one or the other, so: Strat or LP?

All advice/suggestions/criticism are welcome! Thank you for your time! (I know I wrote A LOT up there, but it’s important!)
"I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world, because they'd never expect it."
#2
I'd go with a Strat and just change the bridge pickup for a Seymour Duncan Pearly Gates.

Now that will give you some sweet tone.
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#3
idk, they both are pretty sweet
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#4
Les Paul
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#5
Quote by JOEYPWNSU
idk, they both are pretty sweet


haha, exactly my predicament.
"I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world, because they'd never expect it."
#6
LP with a coil split...
or a Strat with S/C Humbuckers with a tap.
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Needless to say, I lol'ed.

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#7
Quote by MrCarrot
I'd go with a Strat and just change the bridge pickup for a Seymour Duncan Pearly Gates.

Now that will give you some sweet tone.


Do you think that would give me a sound that is similar to the LP classic antique in bridge position?
"I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world, because they'd never expect it."
#8
erm....what kinda amp you got?
if you got a good one, ill sat the S-S-S Strat!.you already have a guitar with humbuckers, that will do for yer dist. sounds. also, the sss pickups are fantastic for dist. in my opinion, simply not to your styles very much.

id say SSS strat.maybe a good american.
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#9
Quote by Kingyem0c0re
LP with a coil split...
or a Strat with S/C Humbuckers with a tap.


Seems like a good idea. About how much do you reckon it would cost me to have both humbuckers coil split by a guitar tech? And can you coil split any humbucker?
"I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world, because they'd never expect it."
#10
Buy a Les Paul Double Cut, you get the Les Paul tone with the easy access of a double cut guitar!!! oh and they are lighter to! (I own one and it is great.)



Oh and yea, its flamed maple!!!
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#11
Quote by FlamingYouth
Do you think that would give me a sound that is similar to the LP classic antique in bridge position?

It'd get it closer, I just generally like the Pearly Gates as a pickup. Seymour Duncan say of it:

Application: Warm, slightly-hotter-than-vintage humbucker. Great for blues, classic rock, southern rock, jam, and hard rock.
Description: Originally designed as a recreation of the pickups in the ’59 Les Paul® Standard that defined the raw, rebellious sound of Texas blues-rock. The Pearly Gates is sweet, but slightly rude, with great sustain and a bright top end that make harmonics jump out of the guitar. Comes with four-conductor hookup cable.
Complete setup: Often used in both neck and bridge positions. Can
be used in the bridge with an APH-1n Alnico II Pro in the neck for smoother tones; or, a Pearly Gates in the neck with an SH-11 Custom Custom for heavier rock sounds from the bridge position.
Guitars: For brighter toned instruments. Works especially well with maple and ebony fingerboards. Also works great with hollow and semi-hollow body guitars.

Seeing as the Strat is Mahogany although with a Maple neck and the pickup is warm and a bit overwound, I'd say it'd definitely get you closer to LP tone while retaining the Strattyness of the other pickups..
The Laney Thread are big and clever. No exceptions.
#12
Quote by Joey-Tribiani
erm....what kinda amp you got?
if you got a good one, ill sat the S-S-S Strat!.you already have a guitar with humbuckers, that will do for yer dist. sounds. also, the sss pickups are fantastic for dist. in my opinion, simply not to your styles very much.

id say SSS strat.maybe a good american.


I currently play a Fender Blues Jr. NOS (with Jensen speaker), using either a VOX Tonelab or Marshall Guv'nor 2 distortion pedal (sounds pretty kick a**). After this purchase though, I'm saving up for a Marshall TSL 100 head and 1960 AV cab (or a very similar set-up), so assume I'll be playing with that.

Oh, and I'll be selling my Epi LP soon.
"I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world, because they'd never expect it."
#13
Quote by FlamingYouth
I currently play a Fender Blues Jr. NOS (with Jensen speaker), using either a VOX Tonelab or Marshall Guv'nor 2 distortion pedal (sounds pretty kick a**). After this purchase though, I'm saving up for a Marshall TSL 100 head and 1960 AV cab (or a very similar set-up), so assume I'll be playing with that.

Oh, and I'll be selling my Epi LP soon.
I'd advise against the TSL and steer you towards something like an Orange Rocker 30 combo.
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#14
If you're considering an HSS Strat with a mahogany body the answer's quite simple: Get the Les Paul (maybe one with a Bigsby). The fact is the HSS is a Stratocaster that tries to be a Les Paul; while it doesn't do it badly and certainly retains some of its Fender character, the Les Paul does the Les Paul thing better.
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#15
Quote by MrCarrot
It'd get it closer, I just generally like the Pearly Gates as a pickup. Seymour Duncan say of it:

Application: Warm, slightly-hotter-than-vintage humbucker. Great for blues, classic rock, southern rock, jam, and hard rock.
Description: Originally designed as a recreation of the pickups in the ’59 Les Paul® Standard that defined the raw, rebellious sound of Texas blues-rock. The Pearly Gates is sweet, but slightly rude, with great sustain and a bright top end that make harmonics jump out of the guitar. Comes with four-conductor hookup cable.
Complete setup: Often used in both neck and bridge positions. Can
be used in the bridge with an APH-1n Alnico II Pro in the neck for smoother tones; or, a Pearly Gates in the neck with an SH-11 Custom Custom for heavier rock sounds from the bridge position.
Guitars: For brighter toned instruments. Works especially well with maple and ebony fingerboards. Also works great with hollow and semi-hollow body guitars.

Seeing as the Strat is Mahogany although with a Maple neck and the pickup is warm and a bit overwound, I'd say it'd definitely get you closer to LP tone while retaining the Strattyness of the other pickups..


Sounds great. Bet it'd do wonders in an LP. Unfortunately I don't know if ANY PU in this strat would make it sound at all like an LP.

ANYONE HERE EVER PLAYED A MAHOGANY STRAT BEFORE??
"I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world, because they'd never expect it."
#16
Quote by Me2NiK
If you're considering an HSS Strat with a mahogany body the answer's quite simple: Get the Les Paul (maybe one with a Bigsby). The fact is the HSS is a Stratocaster that tries to be a Les Paul; while it doesn't do it badly and certainly retains some of its Fender character, the Les Paul does the Les Paul thing better.


I don't expect it to nail the LP tone, but although I prefer the LP tone, I think the strat is more versatile. GAH. So many things to consider in choosing between these.
"I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world, because they'd never expect it."
#17
Quote by MrCarrot
I'd advise against the TSL and steer you towards something like an Orange Rocker 30 combo.


Thanks for the advice. That's about another year down the road though. I'll probably set up a forum similar to this one for my amp choosing escapade as well, when it comes around. lol.
"I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world, because they'd never expect it."
#19
Quote by Georgeyhal
Buy a Les Paul Double Cut, you get the Les Paul tone with the easy access of a double cut guitar!!! oh and they are lighter to! (I own one and it is great.)



Oh and yea, its flamed maple!!!


Thanks for the pointer. At what fret does the neck join with the body? And how much did you pay for yours? Does it sound exactly like an LP??
"I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world, because they'd never expect it."
#20
Quote by FlamingYouth
I don't expect it to nail the LP tone, but although I prefer the LP tone, I think the strat is more versatile. GAH. So many things to consider in choosing between these.

The strat *is* versatile, but it makes more sense to have a guitar that nails the tone you want as opposed to one that can adequately perform a lot that you don't. And besides, the Les Paul is an incredibly versatile guitar in its own right. The neck pickups are often not great but they're managable and a replacement isn't overly expensive.

I say be prepared to spend more money now so you don't have to spend even more later.
People writing songs that voices never shared
No one dared
Disturb the Sound of Silence
#21
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5I97IdsctCM

That vid shows a guy with a LP with coil splits. I don't know if that'll help you decide as personally I have no idea if a LP with coil splits will sound anything like a 'true' single coil?

IMO you should get the Strat but keep your Epi LP (its a decent guitar!) and spend the excess on either upgrading your Strat with anything it needs - a new humbucker for example - or upgrading your amp.
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#22
Quote by mustaine34
You CAN NOT go wrong with a Les Paul.


Perhaps not, but I can still later bemoan the fact that I paid twice as much for an LP than what could be an equally good strat!
"I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world, because they'd never expect it."
#23
Quote by Highbinder
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5I97IdsctCM

That vid shows a guy with a LP with coil splits. I don't know if that'll help you decide as personally I have no idea if a LP with coil splits will sound anything like a 'true' single coil?

IMO you should get the Strat but keep your Epi LP (its a decent guitar!) and spend the excess on either upgrading your Strat with anything it needs - a new humbucker for example - or upgrading your amp.


Thnx for the vid. Those cleans did seem crisper/clearer than your standard LP's. And your advice is well taken...I HAVE thought about keeping my Epi LP and then dropping sum nicer PUs into it. But if I am going to afford a decent tube amp head in this life time, I'm afraid I'm going to have to part with the Epi to help fund my amp project. I want one amazing guitar and one amazing amp (it's all I can afford, and I prefer quality to quantity).
"I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world, because they'd never expect it."
#24
I happen to own a Gibson LP Classic Antique, and... don't buy it, go for the Fender.

I love my Classic A, and it's the best guitar I own, but to get it to that stage I've had to swap the pickups for Gibson Burstbuckers (huge price tag), and I had to order four in (at £200 order price a pop, oww) before finding one with a decent flame on it.

Generally speaking, it's not worth the money it cost, it wasn't really worth the effort either. It's a gorgeous, gorgeous instrument, but looking back I know I would have been much better off in the long run buying something a bit different.
#25
I would like the LP, if it weren't so damn heavy. That makes me want to chose the strat.

One thing though; has no one mentioned the LP is twice the price of the strat? Get the strat, spend some of your spare cash on upgrading it and an amp and pedals.

Advice given to me by a great player; A **** guitar will sound stunning through a $2000 amp, yet a $2000 guitar played through a **** amp will sound, well, ****. Not sure if he's right, I'm too poor to find out.
#26
^He's right.

I say strat. Because I don't really like LPs, especially the price tag. The coil-splits will not get the true single coil sound. However, the strat's humbucker (if you upgrade it to a really good one, which you'll be able to do with all the cash you've saved) can get a great sound.

However, if you really like the tone of the LP more, then get that, despite the lack of versatility. If you're not going to use the other tones and you'll be unsatisfied with the tones from the Fender, then get the LP.
#27
You should have both. It's just a matter of which one to buy first. Go with the Les Paul and start saving for a good Strat.
#28
we all know fender is a bigger bang for the buck than gibson.
i'd say a strat because you can simulate a LP with it but not the other way around.
#29
Quote by Joey-Tribiani
erm....what kinda amp you got?
if you got a good one, ill sat the S-S-S Strat!.you already have a guitar with humbuckers, that will do for yer dist. sounds. also, the sss pickups are fantastic for dist. in my opinion, simply not to your styles very much.

id say SSS strat.maybe a good american.

I usually say SSS strat, but if he's getting the Mahogony, a bucker will sound like it should.
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#30
Quote by Me2NiK
The strat *is* versatile, but it makes more sense to have a guitar that nails the tone you want as opposed to one that can adequately perform a lot that you don't. And besides, the Les Paul is an incredibly versatile guitar in its own right. The neck pickups are often not great but they're managable and a replacement isn't overly expensive.

I say be prepared to spend more money now so you don't have to spend even more later.

Yeah, but maybe he likes the sound of true singles in mahogony body? He needs to try and decide for himself.
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#31
Quote by bokuho
I happen to own a Gibson LP Classic Antique, and... don't buy it, go for the Fender.

I love my Classic A, and it's the best guitar I own, but to get it to that stage I've had to swap the pickups for Gibson Burstbuckers (huge price tag), and I had to order four in (at £200 order price a pop, oww) before finding one with a decent flame on it.

Generally speaking, it's not worth the money it cost, it wasn't really worth the effort either. It's a gorgeous, gorgeous instrument, but looking back I know I would have been much better off in the long run buying something a bit different.


Wow, that comes as a surprise to me, because I've only heard people RAVING about how unbelieveable these '57 classic PUs are - how much better they are than Burstbuckers! Thanks for sharing that information - this will definitely influence my decision. Right now, after taking all this feedback into consideration, I'm leaning towards the strat... Even if i still do end up buying the LP, I would now at least buy it from sweetwater*, where you can see the ACTUAL guitar you're buying, so that you know exactly what you're getting - that way I could pick out one with a nice flame top(*wasn't trying to advertise).
"I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world, because they'd never expect it."
#32
Quote by jakecko17
Advice given to me by a great player; A **** guitar will sound stunning through a $2000 amp, yet a $2000 guitar played through a **** amp will sound, well, ****. Not sure if he's right, I'm too poor to find out.


Very true advice. I've given it to others myself. But at this point I really can't use a powerful tube amp head, so I'd prefer to get the nice guitar first and settle for my Blues Jr. (which I am quite content with for the moment). In another year, I'll be able to afford the amp and be able to put it to some serious use (I'll be moving back to the U.S. to my guitar/bass/drum playing friends).
"I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world, because they'd never expect it."
#33
Quote by gibsonpenguin
^He's right.

I say strat. Because I don't really like LPs, especially the price tag. The coil-splits will not get the true single coil sound. However, the strat's humbucker (if you upgrade it to a really good one, which you'll be able to do with all the cash you've saved) can get a great sound.

However, if you really like the tone of the LP more, then get that, despite the lack of versatility. If you're not going to use the other tones and you'll be unsatisfied with the tones from the Fender, then get the LP.


I also don't like the LP price tags either. That's what's worrying me most about this purchase. If they were the same price, I'd probably jump on the LP, but the "bang-for-your-buck" factor of the strat really makes it a contender here. I prefer the tone of the LP, BUT I also desire the versatility of the strat - probably moreso than an exact LP tone, since I can still get great tone from a strat. Hmmm...strat is still in the lead.
"I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world, because they'd never expect it."
#34
You want "bang for buck?" Get an Edwards Les Paul. They're cheaper than MIA Strats and damn-near as good as a Gibby.
#35
Quote by teegee420
You should have both. It's just a matter of which one to buy first. Go with the Les Paul and start saving for a good Strat.


Absolutely correct. That makes me want to have the strat even more though, lol, since it is a limited run model, and I have no idea if I'll ever see a mahogany strat again in the near future (unless it's from the custom shop)! I think I'll do exactly what you just suggested, except the other way around! Strat, then LP. That seems like the best option at this point.
"I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world, because they'd never expect it."
#36
Quote by teegee420
You want "bang for buck?" Get an Edwards Les Paul. They're cheaper than MIA Strats and damn-near as good as a Gibby.


Edwards? Never heard of 'em. I'll google it.
"I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world, because they'd never expect it."
#37
Quote by CORT noob
I usually say SSS strat, but if he's getting the Mahogony, a bucker will sound like it should.


Yea, i figured a bucker in this mahogany HSS strat would sound better than the same bucker in an alder HSS strat...i just dunno how much better, lol.
"I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world, because they'd never expect it."
#38
can you save up a little more?

if you're willing to order from japan, you could get an edwards strat + les paul for around $1800.

that's what i'd do. or else keep your eye on the used market and ebay for second hand versions, and also japanese tokais, burny, grecos etc.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

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Et tu, br00tz?
#39
Quote by teegee420
You want "bang for buck?" Get an Edwards Les Paul. They're cheaper than MIA Strats and damn-near as good as a Gibby.


beaten to it.

excellent call, my good man.



also, i don't think a strat with a mahogany body will sound anything like a les paul. the neck will play most of the part in the sound, most likely, because it has a trem, and that strat still has a bolt-on maple neck, unless i'm mistaken. So, er, yeah. It'll probably sound like a slightly warmer strat, not a les paul.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
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