What is "it" for you....?

DBDM

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2020
Messages
532
Reaction score
576
I likely should have been more specific. It is a feel and playability thing. NOT a tone thing. The tone is great on both. The feel on the Tangerine Burst is good and previously I was thrilled with it, but after getting my Trans Black one, I find myself wanting SOMETHING more from the Tangerine Burst--I just can't articulate what that is. As far as looks, as some have mentioned, the Trans Black is really a head turner--BUT the Tangerine Burst simply does not photograph well. She is also a stunner--just in a different way. The Trans Black is like a woman who walks into a bar and every guy there snaps his neck, not noticing her friend--but by the end of the evening everyone is staring at the friend (the Tangerine burst). Remarkable 3 D flame that changes color at every angle. The color representation on the photo above is far more "burnt orange" than she is in real life. More of a lemon-orange burst. Again, the 3D nature of the finish is one of the reasons she is SO remarkable.
 
Last edited:

Shelkonnery

Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2021
Messages
434
Reaction score
1,007
I likely should have been more specific. It is a feel and playability thing. NOT a tone thing. The tone is great on both. The feel on the Tangerine Burst is good and previously I was thrilled with it, but after getting my Trans Black one, I find myself wanting SOMETHING more from the Tangerine Burst--I just can't articulate what that is. As far as looks, as some have mentioned, the Trans Black is really a head turner--BUT the Tangerine Burst simply does not photograph well. She is also a stunner--just in a different way. The Trans Black is like a woman who walks into a bar and every guy there snaps his neck, not noticing her friend--but by the end of the evening everyone is staring at the friend (the Tangerine burst). Remarkable 3 D flame that changes color at every angle. The color representation on the photo above is far more "burnt orange" than she is in real life. More of a lemon-orange burst. Again, the 3D nature of the finish is one of the reasons she is SO remarkable.

Leaving all cosmetic and mystical reasons aside, I think we’re only left with minor adjustments and details. Like different levels of fret polish/finish, a small difference in neck angle and of course the setup.

Were these guitars equally setup at any point? Like bridge height and neck relief?
Maybe one has a superb setup and the other just a mediocre one?

I noticed they sport different truss rod covers.
Are they really the exact same guitar or is it possible they have slightly different neck carves?

Going a bit CSI here trying to pin all the diversion points between the two, given it's a feel and playbilty thing, not the tone. :hmm:
 

DBDM

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2020
Messages
532
Reaction score
576
Should be the same necks (according to specs and me measuring). Truss rod cover on the orange one was a gift from my family. It says Big Daddy Custom Shop (Big Daddy is what the kids call me) which is the BD in the middle of my username. (I am 6'6" and 230 lbs. "big" by all definions). The original truss rod covers were identical (and blank). (yes I have the original in the case.) Both have been set up professionally. The orange one twice. Once by a guy well known locally (Nashville) and the second time at Gruhn Guitars. The frets were JUST polished (by me) and were featured in my epic and now famous fret polishing thread, which I am sure had you spellbound! I think I may now be a fret polishing hero to some?
https://www.mylespaul.com/threads/setting-up-my-1-lp-custom-shop-standard.456146/

Since the setup I did that day (actually this thread is WHY I was doing it), I took it to Gruhn's for another professional setup. I am in there a lot and they are always very kind to me.
 

DBDM

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2020
Messages
532
Reaction score
576
Going a bit CSI here trying to pin all the diversion points between the two, given it's a feel and playbilty thing, not the tone. :hmm:
PLEASE keep firing questions at me. It has to be something? I went as far as digital calipers on the measurements and heights. I cant seem to figure it out?
 

DBDM

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2020
Messages
532
Reaction score
576
The only thing done at Gruhns was about 1/6 of a turn on the thumb wheel on the low E side of the bridge. I did see that needed to be done but did not seem to fix "it".
 

DBDM

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2020
Messages
532
Reaction score
576
Just in case anyone is wondering if I xrayed them both--yep. For the record, this is what 'Ultra Modern" weight relief looks like. Every other thread and schematic on the internet is wrong about this style of weight relief. They have some absurd descriptions about "17 hole" relief. It looks like this...

2002 Les Paul Custom Class 5 xray.jpg


The xrays are the same. I was messing with the software which is why the colors are different.
 

Attachments

joedonner2001

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2011
Messages
4,734
Reaction score
4,504
For me it is the guitar I pick up in the evening with the intention of playing for maybe 10 or 20 minutes and the next thing I know it's already 3am in the morning and I'm supposed to work tomorrow.
 

mrblooze

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2012
Messages
104
Reaction score
99
Black one has "it", Tangerine burst seemingly lacking "it".

View attachment 545274
If the neck relief, string height, pick up height (which may be different for each to be correct... Not all magnets are created equal), saddle pieces and fret wear is all more or less the same, check the neck set angle and bridge position.

Tiny differences can make for noticeable differences in feel...
 

NotScott

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2012
Messages
3,743
Reaction score
9,337
If it's a feel thing you are talking about, I would say it's two things, based solely upon my experience.

The first thing I want are proper frets. I have several Les Pauls, several Strats and several Teles. They all sound great and play great but one thing that makes me gravitate to one over the others is always frets. I like high, stainless steel frets. It just works best for my style of play. I just had my old #1 Strat refretted with tall SS frets. It had slowly become my 3rd choice in my Strat arsenal due to the nickel frets getting lower and lower, making it not as easy to play as my SS fretted Strats. Now that it's back, although it is not as hot as my other Strats, it immediately made me remember why it was my #1.

I had a similar issue with my Beck Les Paul. I LOVE the guitar and love how it sounds and love the feel of its huge-ass neck, but those ground-to-China fret jobs that Gibson has been doing since the acquisition of their PLEK just makes the guitar more difficult to play than it should be. So now that guitar is at the shop for some tall, medium jumbo SS frets.

The other thing I like about SS frets is how smooth they feel. Strings glide over them. Bends are effortless with SS but require more work with nickel frets, even if they are the same height and size. My overall touch improves with SS frets since I don't have to muscle the notes out of the guitar any longer.

The second thing that makes me gravitate to certain guitars in my lineup is how it resonates. Some of my guitars just have this feel or vibration thing to them that makes them fun to play. It feels like they give back some of the energy I put into them. They almost feel alive when everything is happening right on stage.

Musical instruments are like people. They are all individuals and often defy logical analysis.
 

grimmchaos

Junior Member
Joined
Jun 10, 2015
Messages
27
Reaction score
44
For me it's hard to quantify. Guitars can have the same specs, same setups, same electronics, same fretwire, but the sum of all the parts for one will resonant more with me than another. It's something about the combination of it all in your hands.

I bought an '87 LPC in November of last year - it sounded great and very resonant. It wasn't the best playing guitar because the frets were low and I was spoiled by the stainless jumbos on my '94. I finally got it refretted a month ago with the same stainless jumbos and now it has it all for me... the sound, the sustain, and the playability. All while clocking in around 9 lbs. Down the road it may get knocked off as my #1, but who knows.

An SG I bought last year was on the chopping block until I decided to tune it down to C# to play some Sabbath on... all of a sudden that guitar came alive. The setup didn't change, but the combo of thicker strings and low tuning just brought the thing to life.

The instrument either speaks to you or it doesn't, and what speaks to one person doesn't to another. And that doesn't mean it's a bad instrument... it may just not be the best one for you.
 

dnabbet2

Member
Joined
May 18, 2018
Messages
33
Reaction score
37
We're answering our own question: they're not identical 'cause there're too many variables ... some of them minute, as others have already posted -- tiny differences that together make for a very different experience.

But among dozens of guitar purchases, there were two that I bought twice and sold twice. Clearly when I bought them, I thought they worked for me, and when I sold them, I didn't. THEY didn't change but my skills and musical tastes and projects did ... I changed. So your headspace is a huge determinant separate from the physical instrument.

I have a TH '54 LP Custom and a Robbie Krieger and even though the latter's neck FEELS bigger ... it mic's out smaller. Subjective. By the way, I love them both, and I'm surprised more contributors aren't saying that.
 

Attachments

Last edited:

dumeril7

Junior Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2021
Messages
26
Reaction score
83
Several thoughts. Because of the relatively tight tolerances, seemingly identical guitars are usually quite a bit different from each other. First, manufacturing variances make guitars feel very different. Your hands are quite sensitive to the differences. That's why the difference between a "fat" neck and a "thin" neck is actually just a few millimeters.

Then there's setup. 1/32 of an inch difference in, say, relief can make two guitars feel very different. Same with action, nut height, etc. When I was in high school and starting to play the guitar better, I took my Tele in for a setup and the guy said, "You're a good enough player, you should know how to do this." I took his advice and learned how. He was so right. Nobody knows better than you how your guitar should feel. Knowing how to do your own setups ensures that you get it exactly right and that you can keep it that way.

And of course, the sound. I've had great-playing, mediocre-sounding guitars before and they tend to not get played as much.

For me, the "it" factor is a combination of everything - the sound, setup, and guitar dimensions/geometry, weight. I'd even include how a guitar looks in there because cool-looking guitars are more inspiring to play.
 

the_lawyer

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 8, 2009
Messages
420
Reaction score
482
It's the story behind the guitar that makes all the difference. If you bought one in fine circumstances, if you remember how you feel, you will likely like it for a long time. For example: I'm in love with my Gibson Hummingbird because my wife insisted on buying it in the store. That only happens once every hundred years.
 
Last edited:

dnabbet2

Member
Joined
May 18, 2018
Messages
33
Reaction score
37
'That's why the difference between a "fat" neck and a "thin" neck is actually just a few millimeters.'


The differences among my TH, Standard 80, and Robbie Krieger necks are mostly LESS than a millimetre.

The Standard 80 has a very shallow neck profile and it's about two millimetres less than the other two at the first fret but by the twelfth fret it's about the same as the other two. The widths are less than a millimetre different on all of them.

And bear in mind the Standard 80 was made thirty-five years before the others. Pretty consistent!
 
Last edited:

dumeril7

Junior Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2021
Messages
26
Reaction score
83
'That's why the difference between a "fat" neck and a "thin" neck is actually just a few millimeters.'


The differences among my TH, Standard 80, and Robbie Krieger necks are mostly LESS than a millimetre.

The Standard 80 has a very shallow neck profile and it's about two millimetres less than the other two at the first fret but by the twelfth fret it's about the same as the other two. The widths are less than a millimetre different on all of them.

And bear in mind the Standard 80 was made thirty-five years before the others. Pretty consistent!
I don't think you understood. My point wasn't about consistency. It was about how small changes make big differences in the feel of an instrument. A neck that Gibson calls "fat" is only a few millimeters thicker than one they call "thin". You can feel even a millimeter or two of difference. I can, anyway.

D7
 

dnabbet2

Member
Joined
May 18, 2018
Messages
33
Reaction score
37
Smaller than a millimetre sometimes.

That was my point.

(Let me add after the fact? The necks of the guitars I cited earlier all FEEL very different though they mic very closely, often LESS than a millimetre difference, as I say: the Standard 80 feels broad and shallow; the Robbie Krieger feels like a real club; and the True Historic feels small ... even though it is actually larger than the Robbie Krieger. I may not have remained clear following my early post with the photograph. I apologise.)
 
Last edited:

zdoggie

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2015
Messages
581
Reaction score
212
like dbdm says some got it and some dontI can't think of any of my gibsons that really sounded with stock pickups

zdog
 

Latest Threads



Top