When choosing a new Les Paul?

MePapa

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When you choose a new Les Paul, do you use the weight as a judge?
Do you choose heavy or light?
 

tamasakura

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If I need it to go on the stage I'll choose a light one. If not, I'll choose a heavy one because it makes me feel safe just by holding that guitar, it's kind of weird but it's true.
 

Thundermtn

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Weight is a consideration, however for the most part if it's under 10 pounds I don't worry about it too much.

My opinion on order of importance in choosing any guitar.

First the neck should feel like it was made for my hand, then resonance, sustain, stiff neck, fret work, hardware is right and normal. If it passes those then i move it onto an amp and see how it sounds. No mud, clear, open, and loud sounding.

I'm sure other guys will chip in with stuff I may have forgotten. Enjoy your search!
 

CB91710

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My first decent guitar was a '78 Strat that was pushing 12lbs.
My '19 Standard is dead-on 10lbs.
Weight does not really factor in... it is secondary to neck feel and tone, both amplified tone and unplugged resonance.
My '19 Flying V has a beautiful resonance that I can feel in my neck coming through the strap!
I know the unplugged tone doesn't impact the amplified tone, but it just FEELS so much better to play than something that is acoustically dead.
 

DrBGood

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Weight on a guitar is a feel preference, not so much for tone. I have nothing over 7 pounds and they all sound glorious.
 

naveed211

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As long as it’s not a boat anchor I can make it work. I had a ‘14 Classic that had to be over 10 pounds , that was a bit much though it did sound great. I guess the most comfortable LPs I’ve had have been just over 8.
 

MePapa

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I ask in curiosity just to have some input from everyone. And to kill some time during the shutin period because of the corona virus .
My LP is 9 lbs 14oz.
My Strat Elite is 8 lbs. 6 oz.
I've often heard that the LP's weight is what gives it its sustain.
Now I am old, but I swear that my Strat Elite has just as much substain as my LP.
Does weight really have an affect on substain?
Thoughts?
 
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Thundermtn

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Sustain has a lot to to with stiffness. A stiff piece of wood will absorb the enrergy from a vibrating string slower than a more floppy piece. Weight and stiffness are not always proportional.
 

MePapa

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Sustain has a lot to to with stiffness. A stiff piece of wood will absorb the enrergy from a vibrating string slower than a more floppy piece. Weight and stiffness are not always proportional.
So you feel that a well built guitar made of hard wood, should substain longer, regardless of weight?
Interesting.
 

CB91710

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Weight on a guitar is a feel preference, not so much for tone. I have nothing over 7 pounds and they all sound glorious.
And a big part of the feel is the balance.
My Epiphone SG neck-dives badly, a heavier body would help with that.
 

DrBGood

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Does weight really have an affect on substain?
Thoughts?
Nope. Wood density might.

But sustain is such an overated feature on an electric guitar. When do you actually need it with a clean sound, for more than 2 or 3 seconds ?

Thundermtn mentionned stifness, I'd say it has more to do with density. I am NOT a tonewood disciple, never believed it existed. Then when I bought 2 identical SG's, I found out that it might be a thing. Their weight was the same. One had a real darker tone than the other, plugged in or not. I switched all electronics from one to the next, same results. The darker sounding one had also darker and more figured wood. The other lighter with real tight grain sounded more open, brighter. I kept that last one.



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MooCheng

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have always liked the lightweights, not just Les Pauls, any guitar

light guitars tend to have the voice and liveliness I'm looking for. There maybe a bit of a trade off in sustain the heavy's have but for the stuff I play its never a problem

its great we all have a choice and can choose what works for us
 

LOSTVENTURE

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I'm with Thundermtn in that the weight is not generally a concern. That is unless the thing is really heavy, in which I might have to re-evaluate the other qualities. Over 10 pounds, it had better sound pretty incredible.
 

MePapa

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My Les Paul has a pretty dark tone.
But it's weight tires me out quickly.
Nope. Wood density might.

But sustain is such an overated feature on an electric guitar. When do you actually need it with a clean sound, for more than 2 or 3 seconds ?

Thundermtn mentionned stifness, I'd say it has more to do with density. I am NOT a tonewood disciple, never believed it existed. Then when I bought 2 identical SG's, I found out that it might be a thing. Their weight was the same. One had a real darker tone than the other, plugged in or not. I switched all electronics from one to the next, same results. The darker sounding one had also darker and more figured wood. The other lighter with real tight grain sounded more open, brighter. I kept that last one.

I see what you are talking about.
The second one sounded sorta non responsive, and thick.
I have never tried that before.
I think I will go knock on my guitars to see the results.
Thanks for the reply and demo video.
It has certainly given me something to think about.
 

Strat God

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I believe that the tone of any instrument comes from a combination of wood and electronics. The job of wood in an electric guitar is to transfer the energy of the string efficiently to the electronics. The efficiency differs due to density, humidity and minerals in the wood.

Most focus is on body wood but the neck is just as important - the goal is to have the neck AND the body vibrating in harmony. That’s why you can have 5 guitars - all built exactly the same - sound different.

I have a degree in piano restoration and the science of wood tone is pretty intense.
 

GibPhone

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I believe density also has to do with the hydration of the wood, for example, driftwood is a lot lighter and dryer than your basic solid piece of maple. And generally, the heavier the wood of the tree, the denser the wood of the tree is.

So yes, a thick, dense piece of wood (like your basic solid-body LP standard) will resonate and sustain better because it is so thick, the same way that it is harder to break a thick log or stick, then a thin tree branch. But when it is a matter of a pound and a couple of ounces, I don't really think it matters, unless it is a very thick and heavy guitar, and not weight relieved... Etc.
 

GibPhone

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I believe density also has to do with the hydration of the wood, for example, driftwood is a lot lighter and dryer than your basic solid piece of maple. And generally, the heavier the wood of the tree, the denser the wood of the tree is.

So yes, a thick, dense piece of wood (like your basic solid-body LP standard) will resonate and sustain better because it is so thick, the same way that it is harder to break a thick log or stick, then a thin tree branch. But when it is a matter of a pound and a couple of ounces, I don't really think it matters, unless it is a very thick and heavy guitar, and not weight relieved... Etc.
Thundermtn mentionned stifness, I'd say it has more to do with density. I am NOT a tonewood disciple, never believed it existed. Then when I bought 2 identical SG's, I found out that it might be a thing. Their weight was the same. One had a real darker tone than the other, plugged in or not. I switched all electronics from one to the next, same results. The darker sounding one had also darker and more figured wood. The other lighter with real tight grain sounded more open, brighter. I kept that last one.

I mean it will matter, just not a HUGE difference, though two of the same guitar (one lighter, one darker) can sound different, as Dr. B Good mentioned.
 


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