That Les Paul tone.....

gtrdave

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I’ve put this elsewhere on the forum, but I thought it might be of interest-


Okay, I'm not a cork sniffer, but the difference between the sound of those two is pretty dramatic to me. First of all, the PRS is out of tune...flat compared to the LP...and second, the overall tone is more muddy and boxy on the PRS. The SE is not a bad sounding guitar on its own, but it is not the same. A few minutes w/ a tuner and a pickup change could make a drastic difference, though, and close the gap between the two.
 

Alnus Rubra

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Okay, I'm not a cork sniffer, but the difference between the sound of those two is pretty dramatic to me. First of all, the PRS is out of tune...flat compared to the LP...and second, the overall tone is more muddy and boxy on the PRS. The SE is not a bad sounding guitar on its own, but it is not the same. A few minutes w/ a tuner and a pickup change could make a drastic difference, though, and close the gap between the two.
Probably best take up the tuning issue with Mr M!

The sound I heard was via iPhone and to my untrained ears the tones weren’t similar, but certainly in the ball park!

I can’t imagine that Bernie has SE pickups in his guitar, however he obviously likes it ‘cos there is significant wear on the lacquer below the bridge, I presume from lots of playing.
 

AP515

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Probably best take up the tuning issue with Mr M!

The sound I heard was via iPhone and to my untrained ears the tones weren’t similar, but certainly in the ball park!

I can’t imagine that Bernie has SE pickups in his guitar, however he obviously likes it ‘cos there is significant wear on the lacquer below the bridge, I presume from lots of playing.
Bernie has said that the ones he plays are stock. Just like the ones in the stores, so he does have SE pups in them.

I too heard very similar tones from each guitar. Mostly because of the player I believe. "Tone is in the fingers" after all.
 

gtrdave

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Probably best take up the tuning issue with Mr M!

The sound I heard was via iPhone and to my untrained ears the tones weren’t similar, but certainly in the ball park!

I can’t imagine that Bernie has SE pickups in his guitar, however he obviously likes it ‘cos there is significant wear on the lacquer below the bridge, I presume from lots of playing.

My desktop monitors are a set of Altec Lansing 2.1 speakers that I've owned for nearly 20 years and they do sound really stinking good. Also, I used to be a mastering engineer, so my ears are a little more tuned than others to hear nuances and such.
Again, both guitars sounded good, but difference. Neither was worse than the other and considering the value of the LP vs. SE, it's a whole lot of guitar for not a whole lot of money. I wonder if the monthly insurance premium on the LP cost more than the SE...
 

bodia

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Okay, I'm not a cork sniffer, but the difference between the sound of those two is pretty dramatic to me. First of all, the PRS is out of tune...flat compared to the LP...and second, the overall tone is more muddy and boxy on the PRS. The SE is not a bad sounding guitar on its own, but it is not the same. A few minutes w/ a tuner and a pickup change could make a drastic difference, though, and close the gap between the two.

The Bernie sounds awesome with a set of BK Abraxas in it. At least mine does! The core nut and tuners help, too.
 

Alnus Rubra

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Bernie has said that the ones he plays are stock. Just like the ones in the stores, so he does have SE pups in them.

I too heard very similar tones from each guitar. Mostly because of the player I believe. "Tone is in the fingers" after all.

I hope they are SE pups, makes it even better!

Yes I agree, Bernie has a beautiful style and has a nice tone in his chops!
 

Alnus Rubra

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My desktop monitors are a set of Altec Lansing 2.1 speakers that I've owned for nearly 20 years and they do sound really stinking good. Also, I used to be a mastering engineer, so my ears are a little more tuned than others to hear nuances and such.
Again, both guitars sounded good, but difference. Neither was worse than the other and considering the value of the LP vs. SE, it's a whole lot of guitar for not a whole lot of money. I wonder if the monthly insurance premium on the LP cost more than the SE...

The tonal difference isn’t £499,300’s worth! As you quite rightly say!

I believe we all hear tones differently as we see colours differently. For any guitarist, wanting their first guitar, the Bernie would be a lot of tones to play with!
 

gtrdave

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I tend to agree based on the various books I've read (and most especially the various accounts in Robb Lawrence's "The Early Years of the Les Paul Legacy 1915-1963" and A.R. Duchossoir's two books "Gibson Electrics, Volume 1" and "Gibson Electrics, The Classic Years") that Ted McCarty was (most likely) more responsible for the Les Paul guitar than Les Paul. That said Les' account differs from Ted's, so you have to make a judgement.

Yeah, no disrespect meant to Les. His contributions to all-things-music speak for themselves and he deserves honor for all that he did. Plus, the guy was a killer player. That said, the classic Gibson Les Paul guitar w/ humbuckers, stop tailpiece and tune-o-matic was more heavily influenced by the engineer Ted than the inventor Lester. I think Ted inspired the carved maple top on the LP, too. Les has admitted to preferring flat top guitars.
 

Collywobbles

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Yeah, no disrespect meant to Les. His contributions to all-things-music speak for themselves and he deserves honor for all that he did. Plus, the guy was a killer player. That said, the classic Gibson Les Paul guitar w/ humbuckers, stop tailpiece and tune-o-matic was more heavily influenced by the engineer Ted than the inventor Lester. I think Ted inspired the carved maple top on the LP, too. Les has admitted to preferring flat top guitars.

Oh - I thought I'd deleted that! I didn't think you meant any disrespect to Les:)

I agree with you too - I think the classic Gibson Les Paul guitar w/ humbuckers, stop tailpiece and tune-o-matic was more heavily influenced by the engineer Ted than the inventor Lester.

It's funny to me reading accounts of how this or that guitar came about how the various people involved all seem to remember the same thing in so many different ways. The various accounts of the birth of the Stratocaster seem even more at odds than those relating to the birth of the Les Paul :eek:
 

DreamTheaterRules

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I own a BUNCH of (non chambered) R9s that are 8.5 lbs and under.

Huh??? I can only make a joke here, since I've never played one under 8.5lbs So

Is that the balsa wood series? :)

Ok, now that that's done... I mean, I believe you, but... I'm surprised. And, if they aren't chambered and are that light, how do they sound?
 

Collywobbles

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Huh??? I can only make a joke here, since I've never played one under 8.5lbs So

Is that the balsa wood series? :)

Ok, now that that's done... I mean, I believe you, but... I'm surprised. And, if they aren't chambered and are that light, how do they sound?

It's pretty clear reading Robb Lawrence's second book on Les and the Les Paul guitar "The Modern Era of the Les Paul Legacy: 1968-2007" that the weight of current production Les Pauls is a function of price. Robb quotes Mike McGuire from the Gibson Custom Shop (P273) as saying the top and back spec for R9s is 9 lbs and under as these are their 'top model'. Anything over becomes something else - such as a Goldtop. By extension I think that means anything not Custom Shop is going to weigh more too. I think the 9lbs spec relates to top and backs in the raw state prior to machining.
 

DreamTheaterRules

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Sure didn't know that. I've picked up some that were over $4K that HAD to be over 9lbs. I mean in the last couple years. Never weighed them of course, but they sure seemed chunky. My Les Paul Custom was over 10 for sure. Sounded great. Played "well" on part of the neck, not so well in other parts. When I had only that and my Ibanez Artist (79 model) the Ibanez outplayed the LP hands down. But it sure didn't sound as good.
 

Collywobbles

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Sure didn't know that. I've picked up some that were over $4K that HAD to be over 9lbs. I mean in the last couple years. Never weighed them of course, but they sure seemed chunky. My Les Paul Custom was over 10 for sure. Sounded great. Played "well" on part of the neck, not so well in other parts. When I had only that and my Ibanez Artist (79 model) the Ibanez outplayed the LP hands down. But it sure didn't sound as good.

Just weighed my '87 LP Standard and it's 9lb 10oz so quite heavy but not too bad. It's almost certainly been weight relieved too as drilling holes in them like a Swiss Cheese was standard back then. My PRS Custom is quite a heavy one and comes in at 8lbs 11oz and my all mahogany PRS Guitar is just under 8 lbs.

I like them all although my PRS are both noticeably better built and finished than the Gibson to my eyes. None of them sound the same acoustically or through an amp, although the two PRS have a fairly similar sound. I like most guitars so accept the LP for what it is - heavy, a bit cumbersome but with a sound that sounds like a Les Paul.

As an aside probably the nicest guitar I ever played was an original LP Junior from 1959. It remains the only guitar I truly wish I'd bought that I didn't - sadly it was too much money for me when I saw it. Over the years I've played several other '50s Les Pauls (all early gold tops, so no sunbursts, yet anyway...) but the little Junior remains the best of the bunch and the one I wish I'd bought.

Thinking of the Junior, the Les Paul name was applied to so many very different guitars in the '50s and '60s and I think we're all replying to the OP thinking about how our beloved PRS compare to the classic humbucker version rather than a Junior, Special, or Les Paul SG. They even applied Les' name to the Melody Maker in their early publicity.

Now that'd be a question - just how close does your PRS come to matching the sound of a '59 Les Paul Melody Maker... Not very is my guess;)
 

DCDetector

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Just like the Fender Strat the Gibson LP has its own sound as does the PRS. I own all three and love each one. In comparing I'd say the PRS has a better feel when playing, The Fender Strat is smooth playing and clean sounding, and the Gibson LP has the better solid feel and sound.
 

Steve's addiction

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I have no long term experience with the LP nor the Strat but when I decided to drop some serious bucks on a guitar I was drawn to the PRS because it didn't sound like the other 2. And I haven't looked back!
 
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