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#1
Hey guys,

I'm looking at Epiphone Les Pauls at the moment, all within the same kind of price range which is between AU$900-1300. Basically I have been researching a lot, reading the sticky thread in this forum as well, and have narrowed it down to 3 different LPs. I have also read the reviews on UG ... and well... I suppose it comes down to how users rate, because atm the cheapest LP is reviewed as the better of the three, which is hard to see the logic moneywise, but of course I think it comes down to user preference.

So the three in question are Les Paul Classic, Les Paul Standard Plus, and Les Paul Ultra. The three reviews on UG are linked below:
LP Ultra
LP Classic
LP Standard

So the Classic is is $1300, the Standard is $950, and the Ultra is $1000.

So I was just asking if you could give me maybe your personal preference or what you think would be better and why?

What I play would mostly consist of Hard Rock, Some classic, Grunge, Garage, Alternative, Metal.

Thanks a lot guys
#2
Ultra, just cause it looks HOT!!!!
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#3
Quote by invisiblekid123
Ultra, just cause it looks HOT!!!!

+1, but its the better guitar as well.
#5
Go and play them.

The Ultra's apparently smaller. I'd go for the Standard, but I'd probably save up for an Elitist LP.
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#6
Maybe look into the elitest series, you'd be able to pick one up for around 1000 used. But out of the guitars you mentioned go with the ultra.
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#8
sorry to go against the grain but i have a standard and it rules. its cheaper too which is a bonus. but the best thing to do is take enough money for the expensive one to the shop and try all three extensively until one of them chooses you.
#9
Quote by ateo15

What I play would mostly consist of Hard Rock, Some classic, Grunge, Garage, Alternative, Metal.
This right here is the key part.

Normally, the Ultra is the best pick. However, the way it's made gives it almost a slight hollowbody-like resonance and tone - this isn't good for hard rock, metal or grunge. It's not a full-on hollowbody sound obviously, but it is a touch in that direction and really is meant for blues, blues rock and classic rock; anything harder, and it won't be suitable.

Also, Epiphone no longer make the Classic. In fact they've not made that for quite a while now. They make the Custom though, which is roughly along the same lines (i.e. the next step up from a Standard).

The Standard is okay, but it's nothing special. Really it's the bottom end LP (Studios, Juniors, Special-II's and 100's are below it, and simply so bad they shouldn't even be considered, so they don't count). It'll do what you need, but you won't be blown away by it.
The Standard Plus specifically, is now the exact same as the Standard just with a flame maple top if you want it. There used to be bigger differences between that and the regular Standard, but since about a year ago, when Epiphone shifted around the pickups they use on all their models and upgraded to use only the proper woods on everything, the flame maple cap is the only difference now.


Personally, I've got an Epi LP Custom, and after putting some Gibson Burstbuckers in (a #2 and a #3), it does in fact beat one of my Gibsons and comes pretty close to the second. It'll handle anything I want it to, from blues to rock to punk to metal, but of course this is after a pickup change, and I cherry-picked the best one I could find (note on that later). Right off the shelf, it was just somewhat above average and not all that special, and that's the Custom - you really, really don't want to go any lower than this then.


As far as buying it goes, as I mentioned just above, cherry-pick the best one you can find and make sure you play all of them properly and really test them out. Do not - I repeat, DO NOT - order one online or simply go with whatever a store has in first. Epis have weird quality control, and buying one like that can be a huge gamble. Some Epis are superbly made, most are average, and some are utterly awful. Obviously, you want to get one of the particularly well made ones. There's no way of telling how good a particular Epi is until you get it actually in your hands and are playing it, so make sure you actually do this. Even if you have to go to every store in fifty miles and try out every LP they have sitting there, it'll be much better than ordering one in and just hoping it's a good one.

The exceptions to this are the lower-end Epis I mentioned earlier (Special-II, Junior, Studio, 100) which are always awful no matter what, and also the top-end Epis (the Elitist series, and the Joe Perry and Zakk Wylde signature LPs) which are almost always good (ranging from 'very good' to 'basically a Gibson' to 'this is better than a Gibson, oh my god I must marry this guitar').



I suggest, go for a Custom and look into upgrading the pickups, or try and find a second hand Elitist series. Everything else is either not suitable for what you want to play, or will just be sub-par without heavy upgrading.
#10
try a GIBSON studio LP?
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#11
Quote by Ferrarone
try a GIBSON studio LP?
Just as bad as the Epi ones, only with slightly better stock pickups.

Really I don't know why they bother making Studios at all. The whole point of them is to have a stripped down LP that doesn't have to look good or be flashy, but is more playable and sounds better than anything else. In reality, Studios look kind of nice, but they play and sound like crap.
#12
Quote by Ferrarone
try a GIBSON studio LP?


no, they look terible tbh, i got the standerd, and im very very very happy with it, i have no probs wat so ever, the 1 thing il have to do with it wen i get enough money is to change the p'ups, which u could do with the spare cash you will have from buying the standerd.


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#13
honestly, save up and get a used gibson. its worth it, and its a guitar you will have forever.
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#14
Honestly, you should check out the Michael Kelly Patriots.

Very well built, very comfortable, good pickups, coil splitting, and very sexy looking.

Build quality far superior to Epiphones and lower end Gibsons, in my experience; you get a lot more guitar for your money. AU$1300 for an Epi LP? That's ridiculous.
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Quote by utsapp89
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#16
Who said the Studio isn't even worth considering? It's the EXACT same guitar as the custom and Standard, but without binding or fancy finishes. Anyway, the Ultra's a bit more woody, but it also sounds more like a real Gibson because of this and the real maple top...

If you can replace the pickups in the Ultra (all mid-range Epi pickups are crap) then that's a nice guitar. I speak from true experience.
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#17
bokuho knows his stuff.

But the thing about them is, the Ultra may have too much a 'hollow' tone as it's been said.
The main difference between the standard and the classic is that the classic has a thinner neck.
I'd suggest you try them out if possible, because some people find the Les Paul Standard neck too thick.
#18
IF YOU'RE GOING TO SPEND THAT MUCH MONEY

Get a Used Gibson Les paul.

Trust me, nothing is like the REAL thing.

I played epi les pauls, the only thing they have in common with the gibson, is the shape and name, actually the shape is a little different, it has a bigger rounder belly (maple top)

I have a Gibson Les paul in my house, and I'll never play an epi LP ever again.

the quality is a HUGE diference.

If you don't want to buy a used Les paul for around 1100-1300, I suggest getting a Gibson Explorer, SG, or V new for around 1000.

They're great guitars, trust me.
#19
Quote by nan0
If you don't want to buy a used Les paul for around 1100-1300, I suggest getting a Gibson Explorer, SG, or V new for around 1000.


Don't forget he's from Australia...
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Quote by utsapp89
^I'd let a pro look at it. Once you get into the technicalities of screws...well, it's just a place you don't want to be, friend.
#20
Still, if he's going to spend that much money, he should go for a gibson.

I'm sure store down there have a few gibsons.
#21
I like my LP Custom, but of those three I'd go with the Classic as the best sound - Ultra might be of higher quality craftmanship but the partially hollow body puts me off.
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#22
Quote by nan0
Still, if he's going to spend that much money, he should go for a gibson.

I'm sure store down there have a few gibsons.

They are out of his price range, I mean .

In any event... MK Patriot, ftw.

Competes with the Gibsons at a fraction of the price .
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Quote by utsapp89
^I'd let a pro look at it. Once you get into the technicalities of screws...well, it's just a place you don't want to be, friend.
#23
Thanks a lot guys for all the ideas. And thanks bokuho, that broke it down well for me.

Of course I do plan to be trying these guitars out. I won't even be buying it for a while. I'm just doing my preliminary research.

Yeah I'm going for the LP, so don't bother trying to sell me other guitars (SGs, etc). I already have a strat which does me well for the classic and blues. And I am in love with the LP and all my mates have SGs so...

Well at the moment it looks like I'm resting on the Custom with Gibson pickups and a used Gibson LP. Of course I'm not totally disregarding the first guitars I mentioned, I'll be testing them all out.

How much you reckon the pickups will cost me? I've heard around $100 each. Is this a ripoff or cheap? I would have no idea... lol
#24
Quote by ateo15
How much you reckon the pickups will cost me? I've heard around $100 each. Is this a ripoff or cheap? I would have no idea... lol

Depends on the exact tone you want - as I said in my earlier post, I use a Gibson Burstbucker 2 in the neck and a #3 in the bridge and that covers everything well enough for me, but I like my tone to be a touch smoother than what most people use, which might not be to your tastes, especially if you do play harder rock/metal quite often.

If you want a quick idea of how they sound, I know the Joe Perry signature Epi LP comes with them as standard, though the neck pickup on that is wired in a weird way. It should give you some idea what the combination sounds like anyway.

For price, just looking at the first couple of Aus sites, prices seem to be about $140, give or take, for each pickup.


At that price, I think you may be happier looking into Seymour Duncan pickups. They're about the same quality as Gibson's pickups, but they make many more variations and will be cheaper for you probably - so you should definately be able to find something from them perfect for what you want and save yourself some cash at the same time. I recently began modding a friend's crappy Epi LP Junior and didn't want to waste the more expensive Gibson Burstbucker 3 on it so I used the slightly cheaper Seymour Duncan Custom Custom (why they call it Custom twice, I have no idea) in it instead, and it's turned out sounding just as good as if I'd used the Gibson BB, just with a bit more bite too.
SD have a lot of audio samples on their site, and lots of famous players use them (most famously, Slash), so it's easy enough to hear roughly how they'll sound.
#25
Quote by nan0


If you don't want to buy a used Les paul for around 1100-1300, I suggest getting a Gibson Explorer, SG, or V new for around 1000.

They're great guitars, trust me.



well gibson les paul standerds are like brand new AUD$4000


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#26
Quote by Stingz.
well gibson les paul standerds are like brand new AUD$4000

umm...try $2200 AUD buddy, im in aus, my frend bought one last august, so unless he got it ridiculously cheap, then its $2200.
#27
Thanks a lot again bokuho. You're a massive help. Atm I'm trying to find a place which will sell a LP custom in heritage sunburst, :P just cause that's how I like my LP, not ebony which seems to be the main design.

But yeah I think it sounds like a good idea to change the pickups to what you were suggesting, especially as Slash is like, my hero :P

And Standard Gibson LPs, from the small selection of companys I've looked at (although large companys) have all been $4000+. So maybe you friend got it 2nd hand, or maybe he did get it ridiculously cheap
#28
Oh also, I have no idea about pickups and changing them, etc. With my inferior knowledge base, would you think it'd be better for me to get them upgraded and put in professionally or is it easy enough to do yourself, no matter how much of a noob you are?
#29
Why limit yourself to Gibson/Epi? There are a bunch of other companies that make LPs.
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#30
The Ultra has like a more hollowed out body, I've never played it don't know how it effects the tone but I would go with the Standard.
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#31
Quote by ateo15
Thanks a lot again bokuho. You're a massive help. Atm I'm trying to find a place which will sell a LP custom in heritage sunburst, :P just cause that's how I like my LP, not ebony which seems to be the main design.

But yeah I think it sounds like a good idea to change the pickups to what you were suggesting, especially as Slash is like, my hero :P

And Standard Gibson LPs, from the small selection of companys I've looked at (although large companys) have all been $4000+. So maybe you friend got it 2nd hand, or maybe he did get it ridiculously cheap

yeah he must have because it was brand new and 2200, and ive seen other LP's for this as well.
#32
Quote by ateo15
Oh also, I have no idea about pickups and changing them, etc. With my inferior knowledge base, would you think it'd be better for me to get them upgraded and put in professionally or is it easy enough to do yourself, no matter how much of a noob you are?

Changing pickups is simple enough in theory, but if you've never soldered anything before, it can be easy to mess up and permanently screw up an important part - so it might be better for you to take it to a store and have them fit the pickups for you. They'll probably charge you quite a lot for it considering what a simple job it is, but if you have any doubts about your ability, it'll be better you pay someone to do it than try yourself.

It might be a good idea to get hold of a cheap guitar to practise this kind of thing on (you can get poor no-name Strat copies for about £40 here which are fine for this, I always try out any potentially risky mods on one before doing it to one of my proper guitars, I'm sure you must have access to something similar), then you'll be able to do it yourself in future once you've gotten better.

Have a look on the guitar building and customising forum for more info, the stickied threads there cover just about everything you need to know.


Quote by sg-rocker173
Why limit yourself to Gibson/Epi? There are a bunch of other companies that make LPs.
Because no other company makes actual Les Pauls. Some companies make guitars similar to Les Pauls, but none of them replicate it properly, and not everyone is content with 'well it looks roughly the same and it sounds pretty close but not quite'. Some (many) of us want the exact real thing.
#33
I'd say with that much cash get your ass on ebay & search up Edwards =]
They are bloody amazing, I have a custom made one & a normal production one they both kick ass!!
& they are about the same price as an Epi for the production one anyway (custom shops cost a wee bit more)

Oh & if you've never heard of them they are the Japanese equivelent of ESP's (seeing as there owned by esp and such..)
#34
^ +1, just what I was going to say. I believe there are actually edwards dealers in australia (i think i saw billy hyde was considering getting them? one of the big aussie stores at any rate), and assuming they fall under budget, unless you find a smoking deal somewhere, edwards is the way to go if you ask me.
EDIT: and if they're aren't any aussie dealers, i do believe you could import one for under your budget.
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#35
Studios are great here, I guess it's because Scandinavia have more check ups?
#36
I'm not sure why this hasn't occured to anyone in this thread but for what you're playing the classic kills both the standard and the plus. Go to the store, find a good classic, and be merry.
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#37
Quote by R_H_C_P
Go and play them. ...

Quote by bokuho
... I suggest, go for a Custom and look into upgrading the pickups, or try and find a second hand Elitist series. Everything else is either not suitable for what you want to play, or will just be sub-par without heavy upgrading.

Would you happen to know about the more obscure Tokai models? Not the SS o Golden Sounds, etc.
Quote by FacingUsAll
They are out of his price range, I mean .

In any event... MK Patriot, ftw.

Competes with the Gibsons at a fraction of the price .
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Quote by Dave_Mc
^ +1, just what I was going to say. I believe there are actually edwards dealers in australia (i think i saw billy hyde was considering getting them? one of the big aussie stores at any rate), and assuming they fall under budget, unless you find a smoking deal somewhere, edwards is the way to go if you ask me.
EDIT: and if they're aren't any aussie dealers, i do believe you could import one for under your budget.

Next to the MIJ Epis (an opinion)

#38
Quote by bokuho
This right here is the key part.

Normally, the Ultra is the best pick. However, the way it's made gives it almost a slight hollowbody-like resonance and tone - this isn't good for hard rock, metal or grunge. It's not a full-on hollowbody sound obviously, but it is a touch in that direction and really is meant for blues, blues rock and classic rock; anything harder, and it won't be suitable.

Also, Epiphone no longer make the Classic. In fact they've not made that for quite a while now. They make the Custom though, which is roughly along the same lines (i.e. the next step up from a Standard).

The Standard is okay, but it's nothing special. Really it's the bottom end LP (Studios, Juniors, Special-II's and 100's are below it, and simply so bad they shouldn't even be considered, so they don't count). It'll do what you need, but you won't be blown away by it.
The Standard Plus specifically, is now the exact same as the Standard just with a flame maple top if you want it. There used to be bigger differences between that and the regular Standard, but since about a year ago, when Epiphone shifted around the pickups they use on all their models and upgraded to use only the proper woods on everything, the flame maple cap is the only difference now.


Personally, I've got an Epi LP Custom, and after putting some Gibson Burstbuckers in (a #2 and a #3), it does in fact beat one of my Gibsons and comes pretty close to the second. It'll handle anything I want it to, from blues to rock to punk to metal, but of course this is after a pickup change, and I cherry-picked the best one I could find (note on that later). Right off the shelf, it was just somewhat above average and not all that special, and that's the Custom - you really, really don't want to go any lower than this then.


As far as buying it goes, as I mentioned just above, cherry-pick the best one you can find and make sure you play all of them properly and really test them out. Do not - I repeat, DO NOT - order one online or simply go with whatever a store has in first. Epis have weird quality control, and buying one like that can be a huge gamble. Some Epis are superbly made, most are average, and some are utterly awful. Obviously, you want to get one of the particularly well made ones. There's no way of telling how good a particular Epi is until you get it actually in your hands and are playing it, so make sure you actually do this. Even if you have to go to every store in fifty miles and try out every LP they have sitting there, it'll be much better than ordering one in and just hoping it's a good one.

The exceptions to this are the lower-end Epis I mentioned earlier (Special-II, Junior, Studio, 100) which are always awful no matter what, and also the top-end Epis (the Elitist series, and the Joe Perry and Zakk Wylde signature LPs) which are almost always good (ranging from 'very good' to 'basically a Gibson' to 'this is better than a Gibson, oh my god I must marry this guitar').



I suggest, go for a Custom and look into upgrading the pickups, or try and find a second hand Elitist series. Everything else is either not suitable for what you want to play, or will just be sub-par without heavy upgrading.


+1. I like the epi custom so much better then the gibson studio and it was 1/2 the price. Really nice guitar.
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#39
Quote by Ippon
Next to the MIJ Epis (an opinion)



that is possible, I haven't tried one; they're hard to come by over here, and they're expensive. You're talking not a million miles off the price of a gibson...



EDIT: dang i just realised I misspelt "there" up above...
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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
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