Name a Les Paul maker better than Gibson

Blues_Verne

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There are so many, many wannabees with G printed on their forehead, especially in the great United States of Armory, people whose personality depends on labels they wear and show on things they carry like those Gucci or Louis V. handbags, so popular with demi sublevel starlets, most of them chinese fakes anyway.

I personally like the single cut Les Paul type guitar more than any other form since I played a 59 for a couple months back in 1967. But in my collection of, ahhm, 171 guitars you'll find only four Gib LPs, extensively modified until they delivered and could stand with my other 29 LPs.
No, a certain label sure doesn't do it, so why buy an overpriced Gibson guitar and start correcting the mistakes they genuinely built in since over 60 years? Or even live with them because you don't know better and buy their marketing bully?

I presume it's that 'I want to belong to the crowd, be one of 'em.'
Be someone.
 

LeftyF2003

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GIl Yaron

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jamhandy

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These days I am very partial to the new Gibson/Epiphone management decision to revamp some of Epiphone's models under a new "Inspired by Gibson" (IBG) marketing label. I have owned or still own several Epiphone models in this series... the Firebird, the ES-339 (much better built than their previous ES-339 PRO... definite quality upgrade with the IBG), the Les Paul Modern Figured as well as an SG Modern Figured... and the very cool '59 Les Paul Standard... so I have some experience with this series.

My story is this... and I can't change this... I am disabled and I live on $800/mo. disability, and the idea of paying $4,999 for a Gibson LP Custom... versus an Epiphone LPC at $729... see... Gib/Epi upped their quality in this series, most also have CTS pots... some with Gibson USA pups... ebony fretboards, not Henry J's idea of richlite (compressed paper) FB's on their version certain year very expensive Les Paul Custom... and let's not mention the tuner doo-dad on the back of the headstock idea in 2015... forced on the public, no option off option... main line series of Gibbo's... LOL... weeeee

The same year Epiphone LPC had real ebony FBs... LOL...

I can;t really get in to the ESP/LTD thing... for one, it's kind of confusing, is it ESP or is it LTD... I just call them LTD's... kind of like PRS SE's... or G&L Tributes... and every guitarmaker has their versions.

I started all over in May at a new apartment that I can afford, and I have extra money at the end of the check (remarkably)... I have figured out ways to buy on layaway over time for pedals, guitars, and most anything guitar-wise. If you search, you can find some stores will offer you a longer term layaway. I know more than one tht will do a 6 month term.

Then there is zZounds and American Musical Supply... (I do not work for either of these companies, just adding helpful to you links)

zZounds

American Muscial Supply

(Both companies offer very patient and knowledgeable custom service folks who can explain their payments plans in detail)

Both offer a very cool type of payment plan... it works regardless if you have credit or not, their are different levels and tiers of business/customer relationships, but to start it, buying gear couldn't be easier... and for me living on a fixed income, this works great. It goes like this...
'
1) search their web for an item you want, let's say for around $300 for a first time buy. I bought Hartke HD-75 bass combo my first purchase

2) It went just like this... went on their web page, saw the Hartke amp and the payment plan idea... put the amp in my shopping cart, choose a payment plan of either 6 months or 3 months (for a first time buy... as you develop a business relationship with them your buying power gets upgraded to eventually a $3,000 limit and a 12 month payment stretch)

Clicking "BUY" (or whatever it was)... no credit check... no asking for a social security number... entered in my bank debit card... had the amp in 2 days... with 5 more payments to make

PLay as you Pay

It's an honor system these two online retailers offer to stimulate sales.

- you buy something around $300-ish
- you agree online to a 6 month payment plan
- you make payment #1 tonight when you order
- item is (most times) shipped free second day
-every 30 days for the mext 5 months you make an equal, no interest payment, and you're done
- no credit check
- no social security number
- got the Hartke HD-75 in 2 days...

I don't generally show family photos of my guitars, but I have accumulated these guys all this year (except for the Epi LP Modern Figured)...... having paid off some extra long term layaways on 2 of them last year, I had to cough up $159 in shipping to get them home after moving to Michigan...

Well, anyways, I don't do Gibsons, or most any guitar much over $1,000. (on down to about $219-ish new) depending on the model, and if it is adjustable intonation wise, setup height wise and all...

I once had an Ibanez GIO with an HSS config, and a Strat-type trem... Not sure about the factory bridge placement, but it did finally scrape-to intonation wise, just barely. One of the bridge saddle springs was pressed up tight and couldn't possibly move any more... but it was actually intonated, LOL That's what you get for $200... new anyways...

Then for a used item, I found a guy that had a dead mint 2008 Epiphone Nighthawk Custom Reissue. It was a direct knock-off of the Gibson version of the same back then. It had the LP Custom kind of binding around the edges, and had 3 pickups, all three different... the bridge humbucker was a slanted HB... in the middle was a sort of Strat SC pup, and in the neck was a mini humbucker, which had a 4-conducted setup coming out of it, which allowed for a push/pull on the master tone which put both the bridge and the neck pickups in coil split at the same time. It also had a 5-way switch and you could catch the coil splits on or off in the 2nd and 4th positions for some cool tones. -- I got this guitar mint-used for $200

I just have no idea why I would break my piggy bank for one single guitar at (like )$5,000... when for the same money, I could have SEVEN $700 (new) Epiphones. And if I was thrifty and bought used/mint... maybe a couple more for that same 5 grand

Economically Gibson has priced itself logo on the headstock out of my permanent means. But I am still their customer, as the photo will show, LOL...

The clan so far... (and you should see my wish list, LOL)
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jamhandy

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Stretched out and laying on the couch is a 2018 Epiphone Joe Pass Emperor-II Pro Archtop,, hen left to right...
- 2022 Squier Classic Vibe 60s Jazzmaster
- 2022 Epiphone SG Modern Figured (in unique Trans Red)
- 2020 Epiphone Les Paul Modern Figured
- 2011 Ibanez GA35TCE Thinline Classical Acoustic-Electric
- Unknown year Alavarez RD4102C Acoustic-Electric

On stand:
- 2011 Epiphone Traditional Pro
--- I got this one at a bargain price of $150 cash for the guitar and the Epiphone hard case...
- it had no pickguard
- had no strap buttons
- dings galore since 2011... a big gouge in the top of the case
- one of the amber top hat knobs was cracked and in the case
- one of the two volume pot push/pulls (for coil split) was broken and didn't work...

GUTTED all the electronics, and replaced with wiring from TheArtOIfTone guy online, decent prices and a good guy to deal with after several purchases

Replaced
- the pickguard (with one from GreasyGroove in Canada, took a while t get to the US...)
- replaced all the Chinese wiring including the braided wire, and used black & white cloth push back wires... Switchcraft jack and 3-way toggle,used all USA pots, and a mallory orange drop on each, wired 50s style for the tones...
- replaced the pups with Dimarzio John Petrucci Rainmaker (N) and Dreamcatcher (B)... same pickups MusicMan now uses in the Jphn Petrucci Majesty guitars...

Because of the story behind, and the sweat poured in, and sentiment all rolled into one guitar, I would take this sort of beater hot-rod guitar over most any brand or similar single cut.

Not in the picture... my 1980 Gibson Les Paul Artisan that I've owned since new in 1980... full of Gibson foib;es and problems twice sent back to the Kalamazoo factory for fretboard meets the body issues... Gibson never did get it right. Found a real luthier when I moved to L.A. and he fixed it permanently.

My bean since then has been... this is the kind of crap quality those cats in Kalamazoo were doing back then... at the time this was a top line Les Paul Custom with a few more bells and whistles for a few dollars more than a regular LPC... And now these same cats are making Heritage guitars...

So I don't do Heritage anything ever... plsu they have priced themselves out of my economical reality... I really don't need a Heritage for anything, but they need to keep employed for job security, and sell more guitars... I'll never pay their price, and II sort of have an anti-Kalamazoo story with my Artisan anyways...

Gear.,.. LOL
 

Duane_the_tub

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This Ronin Palus Mourn is of higher quality than any Gibson that I've owned - and I've climbed the ladder about as high as it goes.

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That said, I wouldn't trade my favorite R9 for anything made by someone else. This guitar is magical. When Gibson hits the mark, they're as good as it gets.

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GGG1GO

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I currently own a bunch of Gibson Les Pauls (around 15) and have had many more. I love them all (obviously) but the only single cut Les Paul style guitar I've ever owned that gave them a run for their money is a Godin Summit Classic Carved Top HB in Creme Brule finish.

I thought I'd be the only one w/ this answer ha ha. Well I see Bluerocker you already named it (and some others "liked" that comment).

I feel same way that the Godin Summit Classic HB Creme Brûlée is the one. Likewise I wouldn't say a Gibson Les Paul is better or worse than this Godin Summit because each would have its own subtle 'flavors but to me yes, both brands are da best of the best ...as I am sure their are other brands in the same league as being best of the best too. Well thats my .2 anyway.
 

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jadm110

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If the build quality is high enough--it stops being a "copy" and starts being a "replica".
in today's world famous players sign contracts with guitar companies to play their product, this doesn't mean that the player even likes the guitar they play- they are being paid to play that guitar. in contrast look back to their early days when the artist was starting out - at or before their first hit what did they play to become famous ? this is where their sound came from
 

msalama

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Dunno, some boutique builder perhaps. But that said I prefer Norlin-era Gibsons myself, which of course makes me an eejit.
 

alanjohnlew

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Not disagreeing that Heritage guitars are great guitars but I have always wondered why they depreciate when sold used? Perhaps the world has simply not recognized the quality--but that fact has always bugged me. If I wanted one (I don't) I would certainly buy a used one and let someone else take that depreciation!
I have three Heritage guitars, all bought used and all bargains, a 1986 H127 at £500, a 1999 H170 custom order (fancy inlays etc and mint condition) £1245 and an excellent 1988 H535 at £1100. Imagine the cost of Gibson equivelents (substitute a SG for the H127).
 

howlermonkey

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Heritage h170 with symmetrical horns is about as good as les Paul’s get.
There are so good because many of the builders at heritage likely made your favorite les Paul while working as Gibson.
A Marv Lamb built guitar is top quality and he built Pat Travers’ genuine les Paul double cut.
 

portablefrank

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I just bought these, one from Thomann and one from guitarguitar. Both have issues and I’ve sent the gold top back to be swapped, Gibson’s QC is shocking but they still blow my other LPs out of the water.
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Priestyworld

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Is Gibson really the best Les Paul?

So we all know the criticisms... not so reliable QC at the factory, always go out of tune, headstock and necks snap off if you look at them sideways, etc.

Surely, some other manufacturers make Les Pauls every bit as good as Gibson, solved the problems mentioned above, and even sell at a lower $ MSRP, right?

Looking to hear brutal and honest opinions on Gibson and other LP makers.

Excuse the sarcasm, by the way.
The criticisms you mention are a bit out of date now. Even the cheaper modern LPs are a lot better in that regard than they were in the past. My R9 stays in tune and the QC is excellent, although to be honest I've never had the nerve to look at it sideways :)
 

goodguy

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Sorokin in Canada. Intense attention to detail. But unfortunately he doesn’t build to order or sell. It’s a labor of love/hobby.

 
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Tensjeek

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Is Gibson really the best Les Paul?

So we all know the criticisms... not so reliable QC at the factory, always go out of tune, headstock and necks snap off if you look at them sideways, etc.

Surely, some other manufacturers make Les Pauls every bit as good as Gibson, solved the problems mentioned above, and even sell at a lower $ MSRP, right?

Looking to hear brutal and honest opinions on Gibson and other LP makers.

Excuse the sarcasm, by the way.
I have 3 customs 1 Custom shop and 3 Standards…. Love them! But I also have an ESP EC 1000 deluxe with a Piezo….. it never goes out of tune and it is amazing!! Can’t speak for other brands PRS. I have 3 but none are Les Pauls
 

Tensjeek

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If Gibson doesn't make it, it's not a Les Paul. Oh, sure, it could be identical in every way, having no difference that really matters, in fact it could be made to a level of fit and finish that exceeds the best work Gibson ever shipped out its factory doors, but a copy is a copy no matter how true to specs. I guess it's a philosophical matter more than it is a practical matter.

Now with that philosophical matter being set aside, there are a lot of small time luthiers who are fully capable of out-playing Gibson at their own game. While they do take a risk, making guitars that are just too close to Gibson's trademarked Les Paul designs for legal comfort, they also can deliver the goods in style.

I can't think of guitars such as the Godin above, as being Les Pauls. Yes, they're singlecuts and clearly pay homage to the Les Paul. But the changes they had to make to be able to produce and sell them without legal problems put them in the singlecut category, not the Les Paul category. At least that's my perception. Yours may be different.
My 3 Standard never go out of tune. I think because I use wrap around .
 

Jungle

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Somebody told me that Bacchus are great guitars ...


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