Best value Les Paul copy?

Talk about guitars, amplifiers, effects and other gear
User avatar
Blackhorse
Posts: 186
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2010 3:32 pm

Best value Les Paul copy?

Post by Blackhorse »

I don't know about you, but when I get a free moment at work I usually look at guitars and think about my next purchase - however far away that may be! I have a MIM Strat and a Fernandes Revolver superstrat as my main electric guitars, and I'm thinking of selling the Fernandes to buy a Les Paul. I won't be able to afford a Gibson, except maybe a LP Studio faded that sell for around €650, and I'd really hope to spend less than that.

The ones that look good to me are the Vintage V100 (either the Lemon Drop or the AFD Paradise), the Tokai Love Rocks and maybe a Hagstrom. I've played a 1980s Gibson Les Paul custom ( I think it was a custom) and it was beautiful, best guitar I've ever played, and I want something affordable that will at least get close in feel and sound. Any suggestions?

I'm hoping to start a discussion here :lol: What's the best les Paul copy you own, or ever played? Which ones are not up scratch? I'm mainly thinking of the tone, playability and the ability to stay in tune, which some cheaper guitars lack :wall:

So, what have you got, and how good is it?
:snacks:

User avatar
12bar
Site Admin
Posts: 3154
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 12:05 pm

Re: Best value Les Paul copy?

Post by 12bar »

Epiphone has a wide range of Paulas, they get good critics and don't cost that much. If you take one in the 500 $ range it should be OK. And you have Les Paul on the headstock!

User avatar
VikingBlues
Posts: 4361
Joined: Sat Apr 03, 2010 7:44 pm

Re: Best value Les Paul copy?

Post by VikingBlues »

I will make some attempt at a reply. Just with reference to a couple of guitars I used to have - I ended up with "issues" on not finding that "Les Paul" sort of tone suitable for my old ears.
STONE THE HERETIC!!! :yikes:

I have had a Vintage V100BB - I used it after I had to sell my Gibson SG Standard for unexpected and hefty vet fees. It did pretty damn well for me and came pretty close to being as good to play and not far short on tone either. It was pretty well made though I will admit that after some time the gold harware where it was in regular contact with the hands had gone rather silvery - not unusual though at the price level. Very good value for money - the hardware is designed by Trev Wilkinson who has a good repuatation for squeezing as much vale as possible out of a low budget. If I'd had the funds when I bought it I'd have probably opted for the Lemon Drop for the out of phase tone though I wasn't so keen on the relic'd finish - I do see that this model has some reasonably highish profile pro players endorsing it. One thing I would say - if you do go for one of these and you order on-line go for somewhere that does decent set-ups, as the quality of ex Factory set-up of Vintage guitars does seem to attract some adverse comments. I got mine form GuitarBitz who specify a free of charge detailed setup procedure they follow - it was very playable out of the box due to this - better set up than any shop bought guitar I've had.
http://www.guitarbitz.com/guitar-check-i48

I have also had a made in Japan (MIJ) Tokai Les Paul Custom copy - bought when funds became available again to relace that Gibson SG Standard sold some time earlier. The Tokai was the best set up guitar I've ever had, the best quality of build I've ever had - and an action that made it so easy to play. I heard a good player (manager of my favourite store) play it like a Les Paul should be played when I was in checking out amps - and it sounded magnificent in his hands. Same price level as the Gibson Les Paul Studio, but with a spec closer to the Standard (other than the nitro finish of the Gibson). If you are considering Tokai bear in mind the MIJ are significantly better than their lowr priced models built elsewhere. Also it might be wise to research a bit on the Tokai forum. It is not always easy to identify a Tokai for whether it is MIJ or MIC, or even what model it is in the range. Tokai give their guitars a name like LS70 - the number part of this is based on the Yen selling price. So in a couple of years time when the catalogue is redone and prices revised the LS70 can become as LS80 and what used to be an LS65 can now be a LS70!! So a LS70 from twenty years ago will be super-spec compared to an LS70 made today. There are also fake Tokais out there ("Fakais").

I would say both guitars were great value for their price level and left a lot of the competition that is more normally sold in the local shops at the same price levels trailing some distance behind. I enjoyed both of them a great deal. Though if I'd done my research when I'd first got the SG Standard and realised most of the players I admired that played them used SG Specials with P90 pups I'd probably have saved a lot of time and money and not had these humbucker "Les Pauls" or SG Standards in my collection. :wall:
An improv a day keeps the demons at bay!

User avatar
tytlblues
Posts: 1285
Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2011 3:34 am

Re: Best value Les Paul copy?

Post by tytlblues »

I have a Epi Les Paul, real nice, but I have not played a real Paul, so can not compare. Here is a crappy pic....sorry. About $500 plus upgraded PUP's.

Has a super low action, and had decent sound with the stock PUP's also. I have no issues with the build quality, and the tuners seem pretty good also!
Tytlblues

" A blues guitarist plays 3 chords in front of thousands of people.......a Jazz guitarist plays thousands of chords in front of 3 people"

User avatar
tytlblues
Posts: 1285
Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2011 3:34 am

Re: Best value Les Paul copy?

Post by tytlblues »

oops
Last edited by tytlblues on Tue Feb 21, 2012 5:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Tytlblues

" A blues guitarist plays 3 chords in front of thousands of people.......a Jazz guitarist plays thousands of chords in front of 3 people"

User avatar
tytlblues
Posts: 1285
Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2011 3:34 am

Re: Best value Les Paul copy?

Post by tytlblues »

IMG_0144.JPG
Tytlblues

" A blues guitarist plays 3 chords in front of thousands of people.......a Jazz guitarist plays thousands of chords in front of 3 people"

User avatar
Blackhorse
Posts: 186
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2010 3:32 pm

Re: Best value Les Paul copy?

Post by Blackhorse »

I'm not ABSOLUTELY tied to the idea of a Les Paul type guitar, but I'm pretty set on wanting something with a sweet humbucker tone as an alternative to my strat. I think the Epi LPs are good guitars, and for this price range they are what I would compare other guitars to, but that doesn't mean there aren't better! If I don't find something better, my fall-back position would be either an Epi or if I can stretch the budget a cheap Gibson studio. Or, for something completely different, an Epiphone Sheraton :think:

VB, I'm glad you had a good experience with a Vintage, I'm kinda leaning that direction myself. But I haven't found anywhere local that stocks them, so I would have to buy online, and that's not ideal. Good point about the setup, I might look into Guitar Bitz when the time comes. The old Japanese Tokais were superb, but the new cheaper Chinese ones don't look as good.

I'm about to pull the trigger on some much-needed recording gear, a condensor mike, cable and usb interface. Oh, and a cajon thrown in for fun :dance: Then I can start saving for a new guit. And then a new bass... it never ends :wall:

But we love it :lol:

User avatar
12bar
Site Admin
Posts: 3154
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 12:05 pm

Re: Best value Les Paul copy?

Post by 12bar »

Blackhorse wrote:Or, for something completely different, an Epiphone Sheraton :think:
Gooooooooooooooooood idea! :dance:

tradrrr
Posts: 103
Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2010 7:07 pm

Re: Best value Les Paul copy?

Post by tradrrr »

I know all too well about spending time at work looking for new guitars. Gives me something to look forward to in the mornings...

I've really enjoyed my Epi Goldtop with p-90s. It may not be a Gibson, but it really does sound and feel great. I'd recommend it.

Although now I've been eyeing Tytlblues Epi above. You're a bad influence!
Let me tell you what the blues is....

User avatar
VikingBlues
Posts: 4361
Joined: Sat Apr 03, 2010 7:44 pm

Re: Best value Les Paul copy?

Post by VikingBlues »

Blackhorse wrote:VB, I'm glad you had a good experience with a Vintage, I'm kinda leaning that direction myself. But I haven't found anywhere local that stocks them, so I would have to buy online, and that's not ideal. Good point about the setup, I might look into Guitar Bitz when the time comes. The old Japanese Tokais were superb, but the new cheaper Chinese ones don't look as good.
I know just what you mean on not being able to get to see / try locally. My local stores are VERY conservative and narrow in their choice of brands. One of them lists Vintage brand guitars on their web-site but it's invariably got "contact for details" rather than "in stock". One other does have a few. And that's it. I've only ever seen one Tokai "Les Paul" of any description in any of the local shops. I just had a quick look on line and it seems as if there's no one selling MIJ Tokais in the UK - Richtone used to have a very good selection (I got the Custom copy from there) and a very good service but they don't list Tokai any more. I ended up looking at Vintage because I'd used Wilkinson hardware on self-builds and been impressed - when I realised Trev Wilkinson was involved in the design process as well as the hardware it made an on-line buy seem less risky. I've wondered about his Fret-King range - a step up in quality from Vintage - but none of the local shops stock them.
Blackhorse wrote:Then I can start saving for a new guit. And then a new bass... it never ends :wall:
........... :lol: :thumbsup: :lol: ...........
tradrrr wrote:I've really enjoyed my Epi Goldtop with p-90s.
Goldtop with P90s ...... mmmmmm ........ :drool:
An improv a day keeps the demons at bay!

User avatar
Bluesmole
Posts: 98
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2010 8:59 am

Re: Best value Les Paul copy?

Post by Bluesmole »

I've owned a Gibson Les Paul -Which is not a patch on the original Yamaha 2000 ('78 mine was), but, to come to the point, the best 'budget copy' ,IMHO,
is the Korean made Hohner Professional made in the 80s & 90s. I've always had my doubts about the Gibson/Epiphone quality control, and could not fault Hohner on that. The (british made) pups are much better than standard Epiphone pups and there are still some good used guitars around. One thing - don't confuse with Hohner Rockwood models!! :oldie:
"Big Bill Broonzy, a white boy's inspiration" (1963), and the Blues ever since.

User avatar
VikingBlues
Posts: 4361
Joined: Sat Apr 03, 2010 7:44 pm

Re: Best value Les Paul copy?

Post by VikingBlues »

Hey Blackhorse - since you mentioned not wanting to spend too much and it not needing to be Les Paul - maybe this link might help spark some ideas? :icon_whoknows:

Music Radar 22 Cool Electric Guitars under £300.
http://www.musicradar.com/tuition/guita ... 5701/10#!2
An improv a day keeps the demons at bay!

User avatar
Blackhorse
Posts: 186
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2010 3:32 pm

Re: Best value Les Paul copy?

Post by Blackhorse »

Hi Bluesmole,

I'll certainly keep an eye out for a second-hand Hohner, but I don't think I've ever seen one up for sale in Ireland.

Thanks for the link VB, I'll have a look through those now :cool:

User avatar
ElMano
Posts: 566
Joined: Wed Jul 21, 2010 7:44 am

Re: Best value Les Paul copy?

Post by ElMano »

I don't know if you can get them in your country, but i have a J&D goldtop LP with p90 that is extreme good sounding and looking. And a good price to.

On Internet and you tube are a lot of sound clips and reviews. http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/ar ... 49683.html

I use mine on gigs and practice, for 3 years now and it never let me down.
You can't bend the rule, Every man is some womans fool

User avatar
Golfxzq
Posts: 359
Joined: Sun Apr 04, 2010 3:13 am

Re: Best value Les Paul copy?

Post by Golfxzq »

Hi Blackhorse

I have a LP that I put together from pieces. I have no idea what model it is but it is definitely not a Gibson. $20 at a garage sale... just doesn't happen with a Gibson no matter what shape it's in. One thing that you mentioned is staying in tune. What I wanted to suggest is, no matter what guitar you buy, if staying in tune is important, invest in a set of good Grover tuners if they don't come with the guitar. I bought a new set on eBay for a reasonable price and it's the best thing that I did to my LP. They are easy to replace yourself, just four little screws... not much to screw up (pun).

Good luck with your search.
"Whether you think that you can, or that you can't, you are usually right."
- Henry Ford

User avatar
LeftyCanuck
Posts: 32
Joined: Mon May 09, 2011 5:40 am

Re: Best value Les Paul copy?

Post by LeftyCanuck »

I had an Epiphone LP Standard for years before I bought my Gibson LP Traditional.... and as much as I loved the Epiphone, it certainly didn't sing the way the Gibson does. Never bothered to upgrade the pickups or anything on the Epi which may have had something to do with it.

User avatar
AngelEyesNC
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2012 8:20 pm

Re: Best value Les Paul copy?

Post by AngelEyesNC »

This is the one I have. Bought it from a friend that worked in a music shop for years, and has played the real thing so I totally trust his judgment.

http://www.rondomusic.com/al2000tobacco.html

User avatar
choucas09
Posts: 204
Joined: Sun Dec 11, 2011 4:12 pm

Re: Best value Les Paul copy?

Post by choucas09 »

That's a very nice guitar. I've heard stacks of good things about Agile.

andymac
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Mar 29, 2012 12:46 pm

Re: Best value Les Paul copy?

Post by andymac »

I ve been out and brought a vintage v100 in tobacco sunburst , i didnt actually intend buying another guitar as i'm happy with my vintage v52 tele alike but as it was on sale for a really cheap price £150 and was the shops ex demo one , so its been set up nicely,

User avatar
vancouverois
Posts: 922
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2010 5:55 pm

Re: Best value Les Paul copy?

Post by vancouverois »

My work is close to a guitar store and from time to time at lunch time
I go and try some guitars.
They had a goldtop Les Paul '60s tribute dark-back with P90 that was really
good sounding even on a modelling amp like a Cube 40.

It is chambered, satin finish and it has a torrefied maple fretboard but
despite all these "savings" I really enjoyed playing it and I came back late to
work :nuts:

Lets say it's well worth a try and made in the US for just a bit more than an
Epiphone.
Very nice sounding instrument, I've GAS since I tried it :lol:

Here is a Goldtop, they are also produced in sunburst, honeyburst and black.

Image
Jan 15th 2007

Post Reply