What Is It About The Les Paul That Makes It Special?

chevron335

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Course, there are huge variations between LP models in themselves - possibly more so than any other guitars with all the weight relief, differences in electronics, appearance and construction etc.

What is it that makes a Les Paul 'special' though, enough that it ends up with its own forum? :cool:
 
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chevron335

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I would say it has a lot to do with image. In rock music the Les Paul shape is just as iconic as a Strat and a Tele.
I was thinking that is part of it - I mean I am conditioned by all the great players that I admire to be drawn to Les Pauls - but if they were not good to play and sound great, the interest wouldn't carry.

I love Strats, but for the most part I am drawn to playing a Les Paul more. I have my own ideas why, but curious how other folks quantify it...
 

diskotekno

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I was thinking that is part of it - I mean I am conditioned by all the great players that I admire to be drawn to Les Pauls - but if they were not good to play and sound great, the interest wouldn't carry.

I love Strats, but for the most part I am drawn to playing a Les Paul more. I have my own ideas why, but curious how other folks quantify it...
The sound and feel play a big part also if your an experienced player. I always wanted to play like Van Halen when I was a kid so my first guitar was some off brand strat knockoff. Once I actually learned how to play I gravitated towards LPs as they seemed to suit my play style better. (It's worth noting my main player is a DC melody maker now but I still love my LP and Tele too).
 

chevron335

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The sound and feel play a big part also if your an experienced player. I always wanted to play like Van Halen when I was a kid so my first guitar was some off brand strat knockoff. Once I actually learned how to play I gravitated towards LPs as they seemed to suit my play style better. (It's worth noting my main player is a DC melody maker now but I still love my LP and Tele too).
Tell me about it, I went through the Ibanez years with Wizard necks! I really don't like those guitars now :D

Something about the meatier tone and sustain of an LP is more appealing to me - as a teenager I wasn't ready for a man's guitar like a Les Paul :naughty:
 

Dark Horse

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I would say it has a lot to do with image. In rock music the Les Paul shape is just as iconic as a Strat and a Tele.
So many iconic and not so iconic players used them which plays a big part in it.

I think though and of course I am biased here given the site, but unlike the Stratocaster (and I own one proper Strat and a cheap kit version) the Les Paul looks like and sounds like a serious bad ass guitar. Gibson guitars in general just have the look and sound that Fender kind of lacks.

Fender's tend to look and sound tame, "Oh little Johnny wants to play guitar, here's a Strat" it looks polite and inoffensive to parents. Even looking at Super Strats which were common in the 80's metal and hard rock I love, they still don't have that nasty look despite what was played on them and the image the bands that used them represented.

A LP just looks like trouble and is a serious heavy guitar.

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chevron335

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@Dark Horse agreed Les Pauls look bad ass in a timeless way. Not sure I can say the same about strats...

Even my super good custom shop strat sounds thin compared any LP, course it does the twangy single-coil thing, Hendrix, SRV etc I will always have one for that style,
 

Phil W

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The same thing that first attracted the 60s & 70s players: power handling.
The Les Paul handles high power; i.e a cranked up amp, like few other guitars and delivers a mean tone without feedback.
Add to that the association with so many classic performers and recordings and there you have it.
 

InTheEvening

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1) Jimmy Page!

2) Love the Shorter Gibson scale, i feel much more comfortable with the feel of Gibsons over longer scale Fenders

3) Humbuckers! I love single coils, especially on my tele. BUT, if I had to choose just one, humbucker wins each time. More power and more girth to the sound.

4) SG felt weird to me, but Les Paul just felt right in my hands, not sure if it’s the position of the bridge on the body but it’s more familiar for me

5) It looks beautiful, I also tend to prefer single cut guitars in terms of looks. Plus all the beautiful finishes LPs come in, and variation between models. There’s a lot to choose from.

6) I had an Epiphone LP as my main guitar for 7 years in my younger days, it’s the longest I’ve kept any guitar as my number 1, and it was my first proper “nice” guitar too. I’ve got other guitars now but the Les Paul is always gonna be special and have a nostalgic appeal for me and it’s where I feel most at home in terms of looks, playability, and tone.

7) I’ll say it again, Jimmy Page!!!
 
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sonar1

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I came to the Les Paul party very late, after 50 years of playing lots of other guitars.

It was after I got hearing aids, and could actually appreciate the tones.

Gibson neck and frets are a bonus too.
 


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