Guitar "Bonding" is Real

Pancreas

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So, I've been playing for 30 plus years, on a budget. I scrimped and saved to buy my "Perfect" guitar. A 2019 Gibson Les Paul Traditional, Tobacco Burst. The guitar looked fantastic, played great, sounded great. It was heavy, how I like them. But I just couldn't "bond" with it. I can't put my finger on it.. a few days ago I stopped by a new Guitar Center in the Cleveland area and bought this Epiphone Les Paul Custom, Blackback. As soon as I plugged it in I connected with it. I brought it home and sold my Gibson. Am I crazy?
 

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brianbzed

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So, I've been playing for 30 plus years, on a budget. I scrimped and saved to buy my "Perfect" guitar. A 2019 Gibson Les Paul Traditional, Tobacco Burst. The guitar looked fantastic, played great, sounded great. It was heavy, how I like them. But I just couldn't "bond" with it. I can't put my finger on it.. a few days ago I stopped by a new Guitar Center in the Cleveland area and bought this Epiphone Les Paul Custom, Blackback. As soon as I plugged it in I connected with it. I brought it home and sold my Gibson. Am I crazy?
yes.
 

Phylodog

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Guitar bonding is absolutely real, at least for some players. It is completely subjective however so you'll get a wide range of responses. I've moved through a lot of guitars in the past few years to find what I want and now I know, sounds like you may also.
 

mdubya

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Sometimes all it takes is a slight bridge height adjustment (nice that you can do it on the fly with most Gibsons) or maybe a tweak of the truss rod (again, pretty easy on a Gibson, usually).

I rotate through my guitars almost daily. They all feel different and I am always fine tuning. A good winter setup can go to $h!t pretty easily in the summer and vice versa. Some are more sensitive than others, too, requiring more frequent tweaks.

Point being, I think almost any guitar can be adjusted to being in the zone and bonded with. JMHO.
 

rjwilson37

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Glad you found that one guitar that makes you truly happy to pick up and play. I have a few guitars like that, it just feels really good to pick it up and play, whether it is plugged in or not. I can play them for an hour unplugged, it is just a joy to play them. It does not matter if it's an Epiphone or a Gibson, the only real difference is probably where the wood is sourced and cheaper labor/facility costs with a little bit less hands on at Epiphone compared to Gibson.
 

Musha Ring

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So, I've been playing for 30 plus years, on a budget. I scrimped and saved to buy my "Perfect" guitar. A 2019 Gibson Les Paul Traditional, Tobacco Burst. The guitar looked fantastic, played great, sounded great. It was heavy, how I like them. But I just couldn't "bond" with it. I can't put my finger on it.. a few days ago I stopped by a new Guitar Center in the Cleveland area and bought this Epiphone Les Paul Custom, Blackback. As soon as I plugged it in I connected with it. I brought it home and sold my Gibson. Am I crazy?
I've been feeling the same way about my 2020 Gibson Classic. It's flawless and heavy, but it's not my favorite guitar to pick up. I recently brought home a new Epiphone LP Custom that I bonded with instantly and vastly prefer over the Gibson Classic.
 

BadPenguin

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I have a 73 SG, and a 2000 Epiphone "Les Paul Custom" re: SG with 3 pickups. I play the Epiphone a LOT more then my Gibson. If it's right in your hands, ears and heart, it's right. Period.
 

LuthierVandross

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Nah man, you’re not crazy. Like you I’ve been playing off and on for 30+ years. For a few years I worked on guitars, for a few years I flipped em. Up until about a year ago, I never found a Les Paul that I really liked. At one point I had 12 of them and not one I felt anything more than it was just a guitar. The one I have now, she’s just like a ratty old dog. I mean I wanted the front to look like it matched the aged and character it already had, (the headstock veneer was already cracking and the finish bubbling a little, light checking on the neck, worming on the body, ding on the neck near the 5th fret binding dot that looks way worse that it is, but I don’t thumb wrap so it doesn’t bother me) but I got a little carried away. I love it as is.
I have found two close contenders both Epiphones. But I’ll never let go of my Classic.
Congrats on finding the guitar that was made for you, regardless what the headstock says!
 

JMP

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Whatever makes you happy and inspires you to keep playing and having fun. Congratulations on the Custom!
 

xland

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I don't think you are crazy at all. For me personally, I have bought and sold more than few guitars and the only ones I still have in my stable are the ones I have bonded with, that inspire me to play them. And I rotate between them often. They range in price from $2000-350. All great guitars.

Right now my two favorite guitars to play are my '20 Gibson LP Classic and my '18 Fender Player Tele HH. And to be totally honest, if I had to pick between the two I would take the '18 Fender Player Tele HH.
 

afireinside

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I think im going through the same thing. I was bummed about a 2021 50s Standard that had alot of QC issues so i sent it back (and sounded muddy/dark).

In frustration i found a used near mint 2019 50s standard on GCs site. Why i bought it i have no idea.

Its a cherry burst (least favorite color) and a plain top (i love crazy tight heavy flame tops) and heavy for me (9.8lbs)

But as soon as i tuned it up, plugged in and hit a chord i couldent believe how good it sounded. Ive played about 6 2019-2021 Standard 50s and a handful of 2013-14 and 2017-18 Traditionals (no weight relief/similar specs) And this one sounds so clear and punchy is crazy!
 

mvenuti1980

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Not crazy. I had a 2020 60s Standard that I liked, but not loved. Traded it to someone for a PRS Silver Sky…instant bond!

I am surprised it was an Epiphone that you bonded with, but hey, whatever works for you!
 

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