Les Pauls...you know?

Mark V Guitars

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Back when I first changed out the pickups in my Les Paul, I began to enjoy it, and that was cool. After about 6 or 8 other pickup changes, wiring upgrades etc, I find that my awesome personal strat style guitar that I built in 2008 to be missing the mojo it once had.

I used to really enjoy the damn thing. Now, I find myself even doing basic clean stuff with my Les Paul...things that used to fall in strat territory. I've changed pickups and gone back and forth between EJ wiring, tone shaper controls but end up putting the guitar back in its case until I end up feeling guilty and pull the thing out to play it a little, only to be semi disgusted that my ears must be playing tricks on me, and that the doggone guitar does still sound and play great, but my mind is screwing with me.

Anyway, just a bit of public inflection on another semi sleepless night. But hey, learned how to play the theme song for Star Trek: Enterprise, and leveled/polished the frets on 2 necks.

Cheers
 

Phil47uk

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Back when I first changed out the pickups in my Les Paul, I began to enjoy it, and that was cool. After about 6 or 8 other pickup changes, wiring upgrades etc, I find that my awesome personal strat style guitar that I built in 2008 to be missing the mojo it once had.

I used to really enjoy the damn thing. Now, I find myself even doing basic clean stuff with my Les Paul...things that used to fall in strat territory. I've changed pickups and gone back and forth between EJ wiring, tone shaper controls but end up putting the guitar back in its case until I end up feeling guilty and pull the thing out to play it a little, only to be semi disgusted that my ears must be playing tricks on me, and that the doggone guitar does still sound and play great, but my mind is screwing with me.

Anyway, just a bit of public inflection on another semi sleepless night. But hey, learned how to play the theme song for Star Trek: Enterprise, and leveled/polished the frets on 2 necks.

Cheers
Well there's the answer...:laugh2:
I don't fiddle around changing things on guitars like some people do. If I buy a four grand guitar I expect it to sound and play well straight out the case. If it doesn't then I simply don't buy it.
Some people buy a four grand Historic and spend the same amount of money again adding this and changing that ad infinitum.
Perhaps it's because I am from the old school and it's merely a legacy from when I first started gigging in the early 60's when a Strat was a Strat and a Les Paul was a Les Paul and that was it. I often find it quite amusing reading all the hype out there about Holy Grail Les Paul's and magic fairy wood, when in fact like today there were simply good ones , bad ones and a whole grey area of mediocre ones in between.
Back then, you tried a whole bunch of them just like today and picked one that sounded and felt good to you, plugged it into an amp and away you went for the simple reason there was no alternative.

Today however it seems some people spend more time replacing this and replacing that without even having ever gigged the thing and that's quite sad in one way because all this guitar specs paranoia can often take over from what the instrument was designed for in the first place..Making music and many people it seems can lose sight of the woods for the trees.
But hey ho, it's a different world out there now and I'm obviously just an out dated old fart these days..:laugh2:


But then again I suppose it's all according to where one wants to use all this stuff and in a bedroom situation it can sound marvellous whereas in a live gigging situation even the same gear on the same settings will sound completely different every time and adjustments are constantly having to be made to accommodate venue size, carpeting or non carpeting, walls audience size etc etc and in fact even playing the exact same gig with the exact same gear on different nights of the week with varying audience capacity will sound totally different on each occasion.
Changing minor things on guitars is fine in moderation as long as it does not become the obsessive be and end all of owning an instrument.
 

THDNUT

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:applause:Amen brother.

Well said Phil. :thumb:
 

DavGrape

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^Amen, twice.
 

Tim Fezziwig

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What guitar does not matter to me. I was once a Les Paul man only, I bought an Sg and I thought that was a fraud. LP or bust. Then the years went by and the Rock just died. I got married and mainly played my cheapo Gemini Fender acoustic ;wooing the new wife with jazz covers of Engelbert+Beatles+Bowie..........

I needed distortion in my life. I started buying FUZZ pedals+tube amps+GUITARS---Yammy+Esp+Dano+Fender++++++GIBSON! I plugged in the amp;grabbed whatever guitar fit my "mood."All sounded "mean" to me. The Gibbys got play-some days I needed BLACK tone or Tobacco tone. My band guitar is my 2004 Fender Strat DX. It is orange; I'm hooked on orange tone of late. I never change pups. My 1986 Sg<the "wimpy" one:shock: has an Iommi in the bridge which I added because I needed "Tony" tone. I was a kid=35 when I did that. Now, I only want FEZZ tone.
 

Jimmi

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I have a 6 guitar rack...PAF LP, p90 LP, SGLP, Strat, Ibanez Jem and an accoustic. Colors for the picture you want to paint.
 

sonar1

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I have different guitars for different genres, though about anything will get me through.

For yesterday's noon to 5PM job I took my off the shelf ES-335 (came with Burstbuckers, so that's the one I chose of several on the day I bought it, based on sound), and my off the shelf '87 Les Paul Custom Lite.

The LP sounded better, after I played the first couple sets with the 335. So I stayed with that one until we were done (two more sets).

I never alter guitars anymore, though I tried a couple times over the years.

I just find the ones that sound and play alright as-is, and buy those.

On another day the 335 could be the preference for wherever we happen to be playing. I also adjust the amp until it sounds right, though each guitar sounds a bit different.

I used to use Fenders, but now prefer a shorter scalelength neck for my arthritic hands sake.
 

Tim Fezziwig

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and that's the thing :hmm:
would you be able to trim your collection down ( ? ) to one acoustic , and one electric ?
a, no problem= Fender Gemini acoustic +74 Lp Custom. I'm a songwriter/guitarist I can create with very little. When I read Poetry I brought down the walls with just a microphone.
 

Mark V Guitars

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Well there's the answer...:laugh2:
I don't fiddle around changing things on guitars like some people do. If I buy a four grand guitar I expect it to sound and play well straight out the case. If it doesn't then I simply don't buy it.
Some people buy a four grand Historic and spend the same amount of money again adding this and changing that ad infinitum.
Perhaps it's because I am from the old school and it's merely a legacy from when I first started gigging in the early 60's when a Strat was a Strat and a Les Paul was a Les Paul and that was it. I often find it quite amusing reading all the hype out there about Holy Grail Les Paul's and magic fairy wood, when in fact like today there were simply good ones , bad ones and a whole grey area of mediocre ones in between.
Back then, you tried a whole bunch of them just like today and picked one that sounded and felt good to you, plugged it into an amp and away you went for the simple reason there was no alternative.

Today however it seems some people spend more time replacing this and replacing that without even having ever gigged the thing and that's quite sad in one way because all this guitar specs paranoia can often take over from what the instrument was designed for in the first place..Making music and many people it seems can lose sight of the woods for the trees.
But hey ho, it's a different world out there now and I'm obviously just an out dated old fart these days..:laugh2:


But then again I suppose it's all according to where one wants to use all this stuff and in a bedroom situation it can sound marvellous whereas in a live gigging situation even the same gear on the same settings will sound completely different every time and adjustments are constantly having to be made to accommodate venue size, carpeting or non carpeting, walls audience size etc etc and in fact even playing the exact same gig with the exact same gear on different nights of the week with varying audience capacity will sound totally different on each occasion.
Changing minor things on guitars is fine in moderation as long as it does not become the obsessive be and end all of owning an instrument.
I agree to a point, but where does "minor things" start and stop. I guess pickups be considered one small part of the picture, and if you can sell what you bought if it doesn't work, then not so much is lost.

But I understand the philosophy of "make do with whatcha got." It's just unfortunate that our tastes change, our understanding of what constitutes good tone changes, and sometimes it's hard to find an all encompassing instrument....one that covers all the bases. But once you have a guitar that fits you bill, you can take it to a gig, a show or your garage studio and adjust for the different locations. Gotta have a good platform to start from. My humble opinion.

But I sure do wish I could be happy with a guitar and what it came with. Ultimately I guess, that is why I started building...so me and others could have something great to start with.

Thanks for all the responses.
 

Phil47uk

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I agree to a point, but where does "minor things" start and stop. I guess pickups be considered one small part of the picture, and if you can sell what you bought if it doesn't work, then not so much is lost.

But I understand the philosophy of "make do with whatcha got." It's just unfortunate that our tastes change, our understanding of what constitutes good tone changes, and sometimes it's hard to find an all encompassing instrument....one that covers all the bases. But once you have a guitar that fits you bill, you can take it to a gig, a show or your garage studio and adjust for the different locations. Gotta have a good platform to start from. My humble opinion.

But I sure do wish I could be happy with a guitar and what it came with. Ultimately I guess, that is why I started building...so me and others could have something great to start with.

Thanks for all the responses.
Well of course that is the problem..Where do minor things stop?
With some people it's maybe one change of pickups, with others it's twenty sets of pickups and a complete refinish so it matches a guitar they've seen in 'Beauty of the burst'...Even down to having the neck taken off to use a different type of glue..:laugh2:
But of course in the final analysis there is nothing wrong with that as it's the persons personal choice and seeing as they are paying for it who can argue.

But! it can also become an obsession with some where they become so fixated that the sound they are getting is nothing to do with them but the fault of their choice of gear that they end up getting hold of completely the wrong end of the stick which I find a pity because it often hinders their creativity and playing skills, They can't let go and are constantly fiddling with this and that trying to seek out their elusive 'Holy Grail tone ' that their music becomes secondary.
I always tell pupils, "stop trying to sound exactly like so and so. Sure emulate their playing styles if you so wish but concentrate on sounding like 'you', because believe me their gear will sound different every time they play it but you'll still be able to tell who's playing whatever they use..

Mark Knopfler for instance is instantly recognisable whether he's playing a Strat or an old MIJ Squire for that matter. The main sound you are hearing is Mark Knopfler not the pickups in his guitar.
By all means change a set of pickups. I do that in my old MIJ Fenders as the Japanese ones can sometimes sound a bit too ice picky and perhaps exchange the pots for American ones but that's where it ends. I don't buy set after set after set of pickups because quite frankly by the time I'd got to set three I would have forgotten what set one sounded like anyway and drive myself crazy...:laugh2:

Yes, of course it's nice to be spoilt for choice these days unlike say the 60's where a Strat was a Strat and you either liked it or didn't. But in one way it was all much more simpler and you just did what you had to do with what you'd got whereas today you could spend a month of Sundays worrying about does this sound better than that and one day it does and the next day it doesn't.
Guitars to me are merely tools and if a Strat is needed then I'll use that but if a Les Paul is needed I might use that.. A bit like a car mechanic with screwdrivers and spanners.The right tools for the job. Nothing more , nothing less..
OK, this might sound slightly mercenary but believe me , it certainly frees up your head to start concentrating on your music.
 

crossroadsnyc

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Some of my favorite threads for a laugh are NGD's where someone is expecting a brand new Custom Shop LP, and are looking for suggestions on what to modify before they even receive the guitar. Good laughs :laugh2:
 

Kamen_Kaiju

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True! /\/\/\/\

I just ordered a Custom Shop LP now I'm ordering new pickups, new plastics, a wiring harness with PIO caps, new knobs, new tuners, a new bridge made out of my metal of choice, and I'm thinking about sending it to Historic Makeovers to have the fretboard and inlays replaced.

:shock:
:laugh2:

Haven't even held the guitar in person but yet,..everything must go! :laugh2:
 

Phil47uk

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True! /\/\/\/\

I just ordered a Custom Shop LP now I'm ordering new pickups, new plastics, a wiring harness with PIO caps, new knobs, new tuners, a new bridge made out of my metal of choice, and I'm thinking about sending it to Historic Makeovers to have the fretboard and inlays replaced.

:shock:
:laugh2:

Haven't even held the guitar in person but yet,..everything must go! :laugh2:
That does my head in merely thinking about it..

I once tried a test with a nerd I know comparing his original Strat with an early MIJ Strat I had.. He didn't look and he got me to play his Strat and another guy we know to play mine.. On the first track we did just that then unbeknown to him swapped guitars on various tracks and noted them down..
We then got him to tell who was who on each track.. Yep, he got every one correct.. The player that is but not the guitar.. In the final analysis all he picked out was who was playing and not what guitar they were playing...:laugh2:
And this is the guy who spent fifteen grand on a Strat which I may add still hangs on his wall today except for when he takes it down and puts it through a 100 watt Marshall stack with a power soak in his kitchen....:facepalm:
 

Mark V Guitars

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True! /\/\/\/\

I just ordered a Custom Shop LP now I'm ordering new pickups, new plastics, a wiring harness with PIO caps, new knobs, new tuners, a new bridge made out of my metal of choice, and I'm thinking about sending it to Historic Makeovers to have the fretboard and inlays replaced.

:shock:
:laugh2:

Haven't even held the guitar in person but yet,..everything must go! :laugh2:
:laugh2: Yeah, I've read some of those threads.

Funny sometimes, but not really where I was headin to with this. Just ridiculous how much our taste in guitars and tone changes, or what constitutes good tone to our ears as time goes on. In retrospect, it seems quite a big difference from where we were at in the beginning to 2, 3 or even 8 years later. Not that it's a bad thing to acquire a different tonal palette.
 

Kamen_Kaiju

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then there's when the circle comes back around and the sound you outgrew starts sounding really good again. :dunno:
 

crossroadsnyc

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True! /\/\/\/\

I just ordered a Custom Shop LP now I'm ordering new pickups, new plastics, a wiring harness with PIO caps, new knobs, new tuners, a new bridge made out of my metal of choice, and I'm thinking about sending it to Historic Makeovers to have the fretboard and inlays replaced.

:shock:
:laugh2:

Haven't even held the guitar in person but yet,..everything must go! :laugh2:
Exactly :laugh2:
 

TheX

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Some of my favorite threads for a laugh are NGD's where someone is expecting a brand new Custom Shop LP, and are looking for suggestions on what to modify before they even receive the guitar. Good laughs :laugh2:
And of course people that change tone caps for an expensive cap of the same value and suddenly the guitar SINGS. If people spent the same energy learning to play that they do modding they would be much better players.
 

Texsunburst59

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True! /\/\/\/\

I just ordered a Custom Shop LP now I'm ordering new pickups, new plastics, a wiring harness with PIO caps, new knobs, new tuners, a new bridge made out of my metal of choice, and I'm thinking about sending it to Historic Makeovers to have the fretboard and inlays replaced.

:shock:
:laugh2:

Haven't even held the guitar in person but yet,..everything must go! :laugh2:
 

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