Killing your idol. (Feeling philosophical...)

Discussion in 'Gibson Les Pauls' started by XpensiveWino, Jan 2, 2018.

  1. XpensiveWino

    XpensiveWino Senior Member

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    I had an experience here on MLP with another member, @1all's Pub, that really made me rethink my perspective on at least two of my guitars. Here's the backstory: two of the Les Pauls I own have been splitting playing time. Nothing wrong with that. Both happen to have neck repairs that I did myself. I sort of see them both as 'rescues' that I brought back to life.
    • one is a 2004 Standard plus (60's neck) Honeyburst with nice wide tiger stripe flames, random grain, and flecks. Nicely worn with honest playing wear. A guitarist's guitar. I completely customized this one from top to bottom. Made it 'Perfect for me' Grovers, Zhangbuckers, MSSC Holy Grail harness and switch, Graphtech bridge, bigsby. This is (was) IT in my mind. A really solid player that is beautiful. Super responsive, nasty to sweet all in one from those pickups and harness combo.
    • The other is a 2016 Traditional plus (50's neck). STELLAR player. So much so that I sold my R8 in favor of this guitar. Frets and board are pristine, the PLEK setup on frets and the nut is just perfect, it plays like a dream. The body has no nicks or dings. The top is a Light Burst finish with really tight thin perfectly parallel flames on a quarter sawn top. No flecks. The top seems almost computer generated. I put in a Fralin PAF and a 57 classic neck pup that paired really well for sweet, warm tones. I also put grovers on it, some Russian PIO's and a graph tech bridge. The pots on that one were nice as they were.
    Truth is I love 50's necks. I could really PLAY on the 2016 traditional, but I really LOVED the 2004 Standard.

    The reality was that I loved the idea of the 2004, and found reasons not to like the 2016 (the top has no soul, it's 'too perfect' looking, the sound is not as versatile as the 2004, I don't like light bursts, blah blah blah)... I'd been keeping an eye out for another 2016 Traditional as if every one of them are all these magical unicorns like the one I already had.

    And then, one day, @1all's Pub had a 2016 Traditional in Iced Tea (my favorite!!!), and he might want to trade for a Light Burst (his favorite!!!!). Holy smokes!! We traded pics and specs on the guitars. he had made killer mods to his, and the top has some real personality from what I could see over the web. I had to honestly disclose to him the neck repair and that I had reamed the tuner holes for the grovers on mine. It was a day or two before I heard back.

    In the meantime came this epiphany, here I was trying to swap out a guitar that I was in the process of making my very own for another one that someone else had made their very own. Meanwhile, the guitar I was able to truly play the very best of any Les Paul I have ever touched (I sold my R8 because of this guitar, remember!) is what I was considering shipping off for a sight unseen trade. It was that vision of supposed perfection of the 2004 Standard with a 60's neck that was blinding me. I decided right then and there it was time to kill that idol.

    I stripped both guitars down to their husks and left the tuners in place. I took everything I loved off of that 60's neck Standard and put it in the Traditional. I have yet to rebuild the Standard. Slim necks just aren't my thing. It'll get re-assembled and moved along out of the collection...

    The Traditional is still a killer player, now with all of the top notch harness, caps, and Zhangbuckers on it. Set and nasty all in one, and a neck to die for. I'll get over the top, or learn to love it, or I won't. Either way, while I'm playing it, I won't see the top. I'm not saying I won't buy another LP if one suits my fancy in the future, but I am glad I didn't;t trade it, and I also needed to give myself a good kick in the as to move on from this nonsense pedestal I had put a great guitar upon that I couldn't play nearly as well as any 50's necked guitar.

    I know, pics or it didn't happen. Here's both of them prior to any conversation regarding trading.

    IMG_20170914_223300144~2.jpg IMG_20171117_225145657~2.jpg
     
  2. XpensiveWino

    XpensiveWino Senior Member

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    Pre - op shot:
    IMG_20171229_220518355~4.jpg
     
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  3. XpensiveWino

    XpensiveWino Senior Member

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    Husks:
    IMG_20171229_230646902~2.jpg
     
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  4. XpensiveWino

    XpensiveWino Senior Member

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    My final idol killer!
    IMG_20171231_231515877~2.jpg
     
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  5. gibsonguitar1988

    gibsonguitar1988 Senior Member

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    We'd probably do good trading guitars in the future! :D We tend to like different things.

    I love slim necks. I'll always grab an R0 over a R8 or R9. I have huge hands, and I find I just can wrap my thumb over the top better. More of a baseball bat kind of grip. I had a 50s neck Trad for awhile but moved it right along as it was just too big. My first LP was a Classic though, so I started that way.
     
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  6. XpensiveWino

    XpensiveWino Senior Member

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    Because it's a guitar forum. The same reason you'd read the whole thing and comment on it... Why not?
     
  7. 1all's Pub

    1all's Pub Senior Member

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    Life lessons learned through the fine art of Les Paul unicorn chasing! :laugh2:

    Even if SlyStrat doesn't get it, I totally do... I probably haven’t learned the lesson yet that you have though. ;)

    I can see why you loved the look of your 2004 (very vintagey), but I do have to say that while your 2016’s top is very “symmetrical” and maybe not as vintage looking, it’s still a very nice looking top too. And if it plays and sounds as good as you say (and as good as you want), then you’ve definitely done it right. :D However, if I ever decide to sell my Iced Tea I’ll be sure to give you a holler... just in case you might think you need another after all. ;)

    BTW, what’s the back color on your 2004?
     
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  8. XpensiveWino

    XpensiveWino Senior Member

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    @1all's Pub Thanks! The standard has a cherry back and neck.
     
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  9. mudface

    mudface Senior Member

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    I think icon chasing is similar to a dog chasing his tail.......

    .......what's he gonna do when he catches it?!


    Answer: Put a Bigsby on it. :cheers:
     
  10. Who

    Who I'm back. Back in the New York groove.

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    I think I understand what you've posted about.

    My love of Les Pauls started more from the love of the idea of owning a "real" Les Paul, than from playing them and realizing I love the way they play/sound.

    I went through several (Epi and Gibson), but the look was at least as important to me as any other feature. Which is not the ideal way to choose.


    The dream came almost completely from these two guitars:
    upload_2018-1-2_10-19-25.png


    At first, I had a Maestro (Baldwin/Gibson)
    upload_2018-1-2_10-22-31.png

    Then an Epiphone:
    upload_2018-1-2_10-23-25.png

    A few Gibsons.... even a Custom came my way:
    upload_2018-1-2_10-26-8.png


    But none were "right". None were a black Standard or Custom.

    I did get a black Studio. It got the #5 as well.

    upload_2018-1-2_10-29-50.png

    All the while, I dreamed of "the idol". The "right" guitar. All the while, having fantastic guitars at my fingertips.






    I finally landed it. THE guitar. It is perfect.

    upload_2018-1-2_10-32-49.png






    Here is where the "idol" died..... the Custom is great. Great. But the Studio no longer needed to be a tool for a particular "look", and kept getting modded.


    I have a beautiful all-original Les Paul Custom. Yet my go-to Les Paul is my Studio, that I have modded to "make my own". There is nothing left original except the husk. It's "mine". The "idea of the dream" got replaced by this humble 90's Studio. A Craigslist guitar, bought for $400, with a repaired headstock. And parts from MLP classifieds (Tuners, Bigsby, Rewind pickups). The search is over.

    upload_2018-1-2_10-39-52.png
     
  11. AKL

    AKL Junior Member

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    I know for me growing up and learning to play in the mid 70's had a big impact on the desire to have a Les Paul. I went through several copies before finally buying my first one. Between Frampton, Lifeson, Felder, Walsh and many others, it was the ubiquitous rock guitar....and it was inevitable I would get the bug!!!!!!
     
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  12. kmasters68

    kmasters68 Senior Member

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    We'll just assume we caught you in a bad mood and you're not really an a@@hole.
     
  13. IndyLP

    IndyLP Senior Member

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    Dammit @Who every time I see the stripped back on that Studio...it gets me wanting to do mine lol
     
  14. Who

    Who I'm back. Back in the New York groove.

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    You know what to do.....











    You know what to do.....








    [​IMG]
     
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  15. mudface

    mudface Senior Member

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    I like how it's ready for the dumpster in case it goes bad............:laugh2:
     
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  16. XpensiveWino

    XpensiveWino Senior Member

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    @Who

    Precisely.

    ALTHOUGH, the score you made on that custom (as I recall) would excuse anyone from any 'idol chasing' type behavior!!
     
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  17. XpensiveWino

    XpensiveWino Senior Member

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    @kmasters68

    I thought it, you said it. Almost like we made music.
     
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  18. Christosterone

    Christosterone Premium Member

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    If you ever want to sell it, DONT!!!!
    That thing is bananas...

    -Chris
     
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  19. XpensiveWino

    XpensiveWino Senior Member

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    @Who this is my Dad's black deluxe. Just occurred to me that this is probably pretty high on your list! ; )
    IMG_20171020_224202309~2.jpg
     

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