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  • Les Paul vs SG

    I have a question for you Les Paul and SG players out there.

    If all else is equal,will the bodies effect the tone and if so how?

  • #2
    Well, the standard configuration of a Les Paul has a maple cap on a mahogany body, while the SG is solid mahogany. So there's that.

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    • #3
      SOme people will say the LP has a deeper bottom end. I might agree with that, owning both types. The body is thicker/deeper and with a maple cap it will give it a slightly brighter sound as well. The difference isn't that significant, but it's there. I find the SG more of a midrange focused guitar, whereas the LP with a deeper and higher end, doesn't seem to have quite as a mid focused.



      And some people will probably say this is all hocus pocus. Both great guitars though, I love having both, and wouldn't want to sacrifice one for the other.

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      • #4






        Quote Originally Posted by IRG
        View Post

        SOme people will say the LP has a deeper bottom end. I might agree with that, owning both types. The body is thicker/deeper and with a maple cap it will give it a slightly brighter sound as well. The difference isn't that significant, but it's there. I find the SG more of a midrange focused guitar, whereas the LP with a deeper and higher end, doesn't seem to have quite as a mid focused.



        And some people will probably say this is all hocus pocus. Both great guitars though, I love having both, and wouldn't want to sacrifice one for the other.




        Thanks this is exactly what I want to know

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        • #5






          Quote Originally Posted by IRG
          View Post

          SOme people will say the LP has a deeper bottom end. The body is thicker/deeper and with a maple cap it will give it a slightly brighter sound as well. ...the SG more of a midrange focused guitar, whereas the LP with a deeper and higher end, doesn't seem to have quite as a mid focused.




          Agreed.
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          • #6
            nothing is equal so its all speculation.
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            • #7
              The SG is better for lead work. Those high notes just ring out beautifully. Pure clarity.



              The LP is better for outright sonic might. Good, strong rhythm player. Lead work becomes subdued, buried, but still audible. Just not violin-like as the SG.
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              • #8
                A Les Paul any day of the week.



                I've owned enough SG's to know that they're not the guitar for me.
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                • #9
                  Unless you're a pro the difference will be so slight you will notice very little difference if any so you should get the style you like best.
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                  • #10
                    I personally prefer SG's...the thing with LP's for me is, depending on which one they can sound very different even among other LP's. I had a Standard Faded 2008 that was phenomenal. but much brighter than most LP's out there.
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                    • #11






                      Quote Originally Posted by gardo
                      View Post

                      I have a question for you Les Paul and SG players out there.

                      If all else is equal, will the bodies effect the tone and if so how?




                      Well, I own several of each, so let me first start off by saying the tones can vary dramatically even within the categories of "SG" or "Les Paul". Not only due to the pickups used, but also because they vary a lot on densities, weight relieving and chambering - also hardware, neck and fretboard materials can have some affect.



                      But in general think of the SG as the Fender of the Gibson line.



                      The thinner body creates a more vibey tone with a bit more spank to its tone. The thicker body of a Les Paul creates a fundamentally deeper darker tone. The maple cap really only adds some overtones of "maple snap" to the fundamentally deeper tone.



                      The Les Paul voice can also be describe as being more guttural, whereas the SG is a bit more of a mid vocal tone.



                      But do remember that if you take the darker extremes of SG against the brighter lighter sounding extremes of some LPs and compare them, then some of the generalities I mention above may not be as defining.



                      I like them both, but I gravitate more towards SGs. Especially when it comes to a P-90 Gibson, I generally prefer a P-90 SG over a P-90 LP or P-90 LP Special. Since P-90s are generally considered "middy" anyway, the SG preserves a bit more of the highs that are there from that type of pickup whereas the LPs and LP Specials tend to soak up more of those tones. YMMV
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                      • #12






                        Quote Originally Posted by GAS Man
                        View Post

                        Well, I own several of each, so let me first start off by saying the tones can vary dramatically even within the categories of "SG" or "Les Paul". Not only due to the pickups used, but also because they vary a lot on densities, weight relieving and chambering - also hardware, neck and fretboard materials can have some affect.



                        But in general think of the SG as the Fender of the Gibson line.



                        The thinner body creates a more vibey tone with a bit more spank to its tone. The thicker body of a Les Paul creates a fundamentally deeper darker tone. The maple cap really only adds some overtones of "maple snap" to the fundamentally deeper tone.



                        The Les Paul voice can also be describe as being more guttural, whereas the SG is a bit more of a mid vocal tone.



                        But do remember that if you take the darker extremes of SG against the brighter lighter sounding extremes of some LPs and compare them, then some of the generalities I mention above may not be as defining.



                        I like them both, but I gravitate more towards SGs. Especially when it comes to a P-90 Gibson, I generally prefer a P-90 SG over a P-90 LP or P-90 LP Special. Since P-90s are generally considered "middy" anyway, the SG preserves a bit more of the highs that are there from that type of pickup whereas the LPs and LP Specials tend to soak up more of those tones. YMMV




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                        • #13
                          Lots of variables at play, but SGs do sound different.



                          And feel different. I love the sound of a good LP...but I prefer the lighter SG (though they feel a bit too thin to me, so that + set neck = me nervous).



                          I'm not sure the two SGs I owned were quite as sweet sounding, not quite as thick sounding, and had more mids (pickups or something else could have played into that). Same scale length though, which really counts for playability / the general feel.





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                          • #14
                            Yeah, some excellent summaries already.



                            I guess I'd further emphasize that they feel completely different, at least to me.



                            I was certain I'd love an SG, I'd been loving its sound for decades, but when I finally got to play one it was immediately obvious that it's not the guitar for me.



                            I get along well enough with LPs, but haven't shelled out for one yet because I really like a bellycut. Even the recent price drops couldn't persuade me - maybe a mistake, but I hate to get all excited bringing aboard a new axe (don't do it often) and end up having to turn it loose again due to a "feature" I knew about and attempted to surmount.



                            Anyway, you'll definitely want to try before you buy if at all possible. If only LP copies are available for that it should be OK, many are reasonably close. But SGs are kind of their own thing, I haven't come across many convincing copies of that style, I'd search for the real deal for a test drive if you can.



                            Good luck!
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                            • #15






                              Quote Originally Posted by dparr
                              View Post

                              A Les Paul any day of the week.



                              I've owned enough SG's to know that they're not the guitar for me.




                              I don't have any desire to play my les Paul or PRS single cut, since I bought my 2 SG's last month.....that is the guitar for me
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