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Why do Les Pauls only sound like Les Pauls?

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  • Why do Les Pauls only sound like Les Pauls?

    Don't get me wrong, I still love my strats but that meaty goodness that a Les Paul produces I've only experienced playing one. PRS's..... no, Thick mahogany tele's... no, etc...

    Does it something to do with the pitch of the neck? Help me undestand as I'm new to owning one
    One MIA Fender Strat, one Gibson Les Paul, one Martin Acoustic, what more do you need?

    http://i1099.photobucket.com/albums/...ps92b32f13.gif

  • #2
    Pitch of the neck, No, its the entire build, wood type, Bridge, pickups etc. that gives it its signature tones.

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    • #3
      If I am going to play my strat I have to go stright to it, and its great.
      If I play my LP first then switch to the strat it just sounds , well, wrong. Until I aclimatise to it.
      Last edited by knotty; 06-11-2014, 05:36 PM.
      Don't pick a fight with an old man,
      If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.


      '' Who, me Officer?''

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      • #4
        Not sure what it is. People say wood, build and pups/etc...but my Epi LP plays great sounds like a LP. It's even a bolt on.


        I guess just enjoy?
        Last edited by Steve2112; 06-11-2014, 06:07 PM.

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        • #5
          No two guitars sound exactly alike.
          **This space for rent. Inquire at office.**

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          • #6
            I'm a firm believer that a guitar, amp, pedal, or any piece of gear should have more than one function. Last week I had an old Harmony guitar that I ended up trading because it was only good for rhythm. It sounded good and got several different tones, but the playability didn't allow for easy lead playing.

            I've had my Les Paul for eight months, and I am more than pleased. It doesn't just sound like a Les Paul, because it gets great jazz, rock, metal, blues, and country tones. Sometimes it's a little too heavy for a mix and I have to record with another guitar, which is unfortunate, but I don't record a song based on what I would like to use.

            You can find LP tones in other guitars, but if you want the full package, you have to get a LP.
            .

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            • #7
              Originally posted by billybilly View Post
              ...but that meaty goodness that a Les Paul produces I've only experienced playing one. PRS's..... no, Thick mahogany tele's... no, etc...

              I'd say the maple cap on top of the mahogany body is the first reason (if you have an LP with a maple cap. like a Standard) followed closely by PAF humbuckers. After that, the TOM bridge screwed into that maple cap is certainly a contributor. The 24.75 scale length has some influence.

              __________________________________________________
              ...one very scary Tele!

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              • #8
                Originally posted by billybilly View Post
                Don't get me wrong, I still love my strats but that meaty goodness that a Les Paul produces I've only experienced playing one. PRS's..... no, Thick mahogany tele's... no, etc...

                Does it something to do with the pitch of the neck? Help me undestand as I'm new to owning one
                I'd have to say that my Hamers can get just as heavy as my Gibson can and they have that same piano wire clarity played clean. Still, I agree that there is something to say for a proper Les Paul. My Gibby (2000 Studio Lite - custom order?) is the only electric I've ever owned that gave me no reason to change out the stock plastic nut. It sustains for days and is just so fun to play legato singing leads on. Mine not only has great note to note balance and clarity but actually gives me the kind of neck position jangle I always associated with Fender. The other thing I've always said about Gibson is that the low end has a characteristic sound like thumping on a hollow log or something.

                Hamer has some pretty special qualities as well - my HB Special is my warmest sounding guitar (no maple cap Honduran mahogany) and my Hamer Mirage II has the heaviest bass. Still, I think I'd rather solo on a Strat than anything - love the way the notes bloom, the glassy bell tones and the trem option. But for that grungy thing, yeah LP alikes all the way. I like the variety.
                "Prayer is when you talk to God. Meditation is when you're listening. Playing the piano ['guitar'] allows you to do both at the same time." -Kelsey Grammer

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                • #9
                  [QUOTE=wankdeplank;n31180085]

                  at the low end has a characteristic sound like thumping on a hollow log or something.
                  /QUOTE]
                  You could probably get away with playing a bass line on a LP.
                  .

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                  • #10
                    True dat Bucks. Good to have you back in the fold amigo. Now if somebody could just track down my old buddy Danhedonia. Dude used to tell the best damn stories about the record industry, plus I dug his musical sensibilities. But seriously, real happy to see everyone coexisting around here, knock on wood.
                    "Prayer is when you talk to God. Meditation is when you're listening. Playing the piano ['guitar'] allows you to do both at the same time." -Kelsey Grammer

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                    • #11
                      Dan was the man. A sexy man.
                      .

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                      • #12
                        At Wankdelplank... I don't differentiate the sound of a Hamer from a Les Paul, at least the ones I've heard. I just hate the head-stock shape. Stupid, I know, but I really hate the head-stock, it looks like a canoe paddle or something.
                        One MIA Fender Strat, one Gibson Les Paul, one Martin Acoustic, what more do you need?

                        http://i1099.photobucket.com/albums/...ps92b32f13.gif

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                        • #13
                          I have a guitar that really sounds like crap but sometimes a crappy sound is actually good.

                          At other times it just sounds like crap.
                          Last edited by Virgman; 06-12-2014, 05:44 AM.
                          **This space for rent. Inquire at office.**

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                          • #14
                            The question is how many Les Pauls are there?

                            1. 54 - P90s and stoptail bridge
                            2. 56 - P90s and TOM
                            3. 57 - Black Beauty with TOM and Seth's new "Humbucker" aka PAF, ebony gingerboard

                            the above 3 are in the main all mahogany

                            4. 58 - PAF with TOM with maple cap and fat neck
                            5. 59 - Al II, II IV and V PAFS and slightly rounder less fat neck
                            6 . 60 Generally Al V slightly hotter PAF and thinnest neck until next iteration
                            7 . 68 Custom Al V PAF maple cap, ebony fingerboard
                            8. 70s LP Deluxes
                            9. 70s-80s LP with T-Top
                            10 80s LPs with Tim Shaw PAFs
                            11. 90s LP with 49xT&R and 500 pickups
                            12. 90s LP with the new Burstbucker
                            13. Chambered LPs

                            And there's numerous variations, in the last 14 years that fit some or none of the above

                            And many non Gibson guitars with the construction that WRGKMC mentions will sound like a LP.
                            Last edited by Ratae Corieltauvorum; 06-12-2014, 06:28 AM.
                            Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything. - Plato

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                            • #15
                              The guitar sounds more unique to the player then the listener. The player not only hears the guitar but he feels the vibration in his hands and chest.

                              If you take away the feel factor, and use a blind listening test between several different Gibson models, and generic Les Pauls, the chances of guessing which is which by just using your ears, especially when the guitars are gained up can be nearly impossible to determine.

                              I do allot of recording and have built several guitars using TOM bridges and Mini Humbuckers. I often switch between those and My Les Paul and If I were asked which guitar was used on a particular recording I would have a hard time knowing by listening. I can make them out a bit better if the tones were cleaner and could hear the overtones, but once they are gained up and the peaks are flattened, you loose all those identifiers.

                              Even run clean, I can model a couple of my builds to sound similar enough to a Paul where you'd likely guess wrong. Its easier to tell a Fender with single coils from a Gibson with HB's and the maple neck does add to the single coils brightness, But again, with the right gain and EQ added you can be fooled into thinking the guitar sounds different then it is. I've often heard Tele's I thought were Strats or vice versa when they are played clean. If you can make out the brand by just listening, you likely have better ears then most.

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