Help t-rey pick a Les Paul.



Re: Help t-rey pick a Les Paul.

Postby sunnamp33 » Wed Jul 01, 2015 4:26 pm

For $1500 just buy a used Gibson. They are everywhere. Check pawn shops, guitar center, etc....
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Re: Help t-rey pick a Les Paul.

Postby waltdogg » Wed Jul 01, 2015 4:43 pm

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Re: Help t-rey pick a Les Paul.

Postby grindonomicon » Wed Jul 01, 2015 4:48 pm

Enlighten me here... Are these Japanese LP's really way more quality and awesome than a modern Epiphone, or just more cool factor? Cuz the best of the Epiphones are always sweet enough for me for project guitars, or are more available and in my price range at least. The Electra LP I once had was a piece of crap, though it wasn't a 70's one. Didn't sound good, neck was thin in a bad way. When I was shielding the control cavity I found out it was plywood. Finished shielding it and sold it the next week!

I haven't seen any Japanese LP's locally, but there are a couple 70's Yamaha Strats in the area that look to be serious quality, and pretty affordable. Is the quality on those better than current Japanese Strats or Japanese Fenders in general?
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Re: Help t-rey pick a Les Paul.

Postby Disarm D'arcy » Wed Jul 01, 2015 4:56 pm

Basically, a nice Japanese copy with a couple upgrades will be just as good if not better as US made high end stuff.

I have this Japanese '62 Tele and I can't really tell the difference in terms of general quality with my AVRI '72. The '72 sounded better stock, but once both had upgraded pick ups and saddles, they were playing in the same category.
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Re: Help t-rey pick a Les Paul.

Postby braaandooon » Wed Jul 01, 2015 8:36 pm

I know I'm a big fan of the japanese Yamahas. Guy I play with has two Yamaha SG's, a lord player, and a studio lord. He also owns a few Gibby LP's, a standard and a classic. The Gibson's never get any play.

I play around with all of them at practice, and the Yamaha Lord Player is like pure sex, love that one. All of them are great guitars though but can't speak for some of the other copies as I haven't tried alot of em'.

My buddies Yamaha Lord Player 800 looks like the one below, don't see too many of these around...
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Re: Help t-rey pick a Les Paul.

Postby t-rey » Wed Jul 01, 2015 8:38 pm

sunnamp33 wrote:For $1500 just buy a used Gibson. They are everywhere. Check pawn shops, guitar center, etc....


Not in the pawn shops around here, I'm afraid. I wanted a custom, which is why I started checking out the MIJ guitars. I'm definitely not opposed to a Gibson if the right one pops up for the right price though.



Saw that one earlier today - very snazzy, but I'm not sure how I feel about an agathis body.

grindonomicon wrote:Enlighten me here... Are these Japanese LP's really way more quality and awesome than a modern Epiphone, or just more cool factor? Cuz the best of the Epiphones are always sweet enough for me for project guitars, or are more available and in my price range at least. The Electra LP I once had was a piece of crap, though it wasn't a 70's one. Didn't sound good, neck was thin in a bad way. When I was shielding the control cavity I found out it was plywood. Finished shielding it and sold it the next week!

I haven't seen any Japanese LP's locally, but there are a couple 70's Yamaha Strats in the area that look to be serious quality, and pretty affordable. Is the quality on those better than current Japanese Strats or Japanese Fenders in general?


Part of it is the reputation most of these guitars have for being as good as a Murican Gibson that costs two or three times as much. For me, part of it is snobbery and wanting a LP custom with the 'right' headstock shape. There are definitely lots of copies that look pretty, but are pancaked plywood on the inside - the good ones seem to be rising in price, so the other aspect for me is getting in before the prices get too out of hand.

braaandooon wrote:I know I'm a big fan of the japanese Yamahas. Guy I play with has two Yamaha SG's, a lord player, and a studio lord. He also owns a few Gibby LP's, a standard and a classic. The Gibson's never get any play.

I play around with all of them at practice, and the Yamaha Lord Player is like pure sex, love that one. All of them are great guitars though but can't speak for some of the other copies as I haven't tried alot of em'.

My buddies Yamaha Lord Player 800 looks like the one below, don't see too many of these around...


Damn, that's snazzy. I've found quite a few of the Lord Studios, but not many of the Lord Players. I love my Yamaha acoustic, so these are definitely on my radar.
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Re: Help t-rey pick a Les Paul.

Postby braaandooon » Wed Jul 01, 2015 8:56 pm

The Yamaha LP/SL 800's were top notch, those were made in Matsumoku’s custom shop. Everthing out of that shop are probably some of the best guitars ever made. I've also played a few Yairi acoustics out of that shop and I can also honestly say fuck a Martin, or a Taylor.

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Re: Help t-rey pick a Les Paul.

Postby t-rey » Thu Jul 02, 2015 8:25 am

Thanks for the info. I spent quite a bit of time yesterday reading up on the Orvilles/Epis out of the Fujigen factory as well as Edwards stuff. Looks like I'll be looking into the Yamaha and Greco stuff today :doom:
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Re: Help t-rey pick a Les Paul.

Postby t-rey » Thu Jul 02, 2015 10:51 am

Been reading up on Grecos this morning - seems like the eg-800s and under are referred to as having 'pancake bodies.' Now does this mean that they are plywood with veneers, or is it people being shitty about them having a 2-3 piece body?

Currently (and this will absolutely change) it's down to an Orville Custom, which I could pick up and fully upgrade to my liking if necessary, or a mid 80's Gibson Standard (birth year and all that), which is a bit more than I'd like to spend.

Anybody know about how good or terrible things were for Gibson in the mid 80s?
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Re: Help t-rey pick a Les Paul.

Postby Jäke » Thu Jul 02, 2015 12:11 pm

Those were still the Norlin years at Gibson. They are usually a bit heavier (my mid-70s Custom is 13 pounds), are predominantly pancake bodies (not necessarily a bad thing), and have slightly larger headstocks with more pronounced points. It's hard to recommend either for or against them, because I think there were fairly wide variances in quality.

For example, have you ever seen those really wide "harmonica" style bridges on that era of SGs? I've been told that those came to be because the building processes had become so loose that they couldn't get the guitars to intonate with a regular-sized bridge, and needed the extra travel for the saddles.

EDIT: Uhhh...nevermind I guess. It seems that the Norlin era wrapped up in 1983, so YMMV.
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Re: Help t-rey pick a Les Paul.

Postby Corey Y » Thu Jul 02, 2015 12:47 pm

If you're going for a black and gold custom style, there are tons of options from Japanese seller on ebay right now. I've been combing listings for the past week before I decided on the Greco I just bought and I've seen a lot of Greco, Orville and Burny models under or around $1k before shipping. Just depends on what little details you're looking for, what kind of condition is acceptable like small dings/scratches, minor repairs, level of fret wear and all that. I've seen more of the regular Orville than Orville By Gibson, which I guess are slightly nicer. Usually the more affordable ones I saw had dark rosewood boards instead of ebony.

The '78 Greco I just bought was $635 shipped. I'll find out if I end up having to pay any tax or duties on it when it arrives, but I think worst case scenario it would end up being around $700 with those. I shopped around exhaustively for a week before I found just the right deal though. Some of the stuff I found came up in some searches, but not others, so that's tricky. If I saw anything decent, I just started searching through the seller's store, since they usually had a bunch of similar guitars of different brands and scrutinizing every pic and every word of their description. The one I bought was the one where the buyer answered my questions about the truss rod and neck with close up pictures (which he answered FAST). A couple sellers responded with "whatever the ad says is all I know" and I avoided them. The guy I bought from could actually answer specific guitar tech related questions competently.
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Re: Help t-rey pick a Les Paul.

Postby t-rey » Thu Jul 02, 2015 1:04 pm

Jake - the standard in question is listed as an 86, but the serial number dates it to 85, so it's right after that era. Doesn't have the norlin headstock, but does have a three piece top. Never knew that about the SGs with the big bridges.

Thanks for the info, Corey. If you don't mind, sharing what seller did you use?

I hadn't actually thought about searching through the individual stores yet. Gives me a new way to browse.
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Re: Help t-rey pick a Les Paul.

Postby Corey Y » Thu Jul 02, 2015 1:09 pm

t-rey wrote:Jake - the standard in question is listed as an 86, but the serial number dates it to 85, so it's right after that era. Doesn't have the norlin headstock, but does have a three piece top. Never knew that about the SGs with the big bridges.

Thanks for the info, Corey. If you don't mind, sharing what seller did you use?

I hadn't actually thought about searching through the individual stores yet. Gives me a new way to browse.


I sent you a PM with a link to his store. Searching seller's stores yielded WAY more results when I was looking. I found stuff that for some reason didn't show up in my regular ebay search. There's something really inconsistent about what Japanese listings show up for some reason.
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Re: Help t-rey pick a Les Paul.

Postby t-rey » Thu Jul 02, 2015 1:12 pm

Good to know. Thanks for the link :thumb:
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Re: Help t-rey pick a Les Paul.

Postby t-rey » Fri Jul 03, 2015 8:24 pm

Current plan: pick up an Orville custom, leaving plenty of money to swap out electronics if I don't like them, and probably pick up a pedal or two as well.

Or maybe a Burny, but I'll be damned if I can figure out which ones are the 'good' ones since a bunch of them don't have serial numbers.
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