What is the fascination with Les Paul's?


Senior Member
I don't understand why people like Les Paul's. Can you people tell me what you like about les Paul's? To me they hold back the full potential of my playing, what are they for rock???? They necks are not comfortable to me and the fret wire size is just too small. I owned a gibson M3 which was ok, but sold it, it was gibson's try at a "shred" guitar the neck was real fat and the fret wire was super tiny. It looked and seemed high quality but it's natural tone was very thin and loose.
Vanilla vs Chocolate.  If it dont work for you, use something else. 

Gibson uses a medium jumbo wire, close to the 6105 wire.  Fender uses similar, except on vintage ri models, that have the thinner, slightly lower wire.  Neck profiles on LP's are available in at least three contours.  Thin, 59 and an intermediate 60 contour.  Pickups vary from EMG's to their rather meaty 490 set to the punchy Burst Bucker Pro set, to the Tak Matsumoto set, to the very sweet 57 Classic set.  Body thickness varys from the thinner Studio models, to the middle of the road Standard models, to the slightly thicker Historic models.  They have been known to vary the fret size on "some" models (fretless wonder Customs, or metal specific models).  So when you say "Les Pauls", you have to say which one, as they only share basic body shape.  Hell, some are even made with chambers (all the new ones are, some older models too).

Having said that, it doesn't seem to effect me too badly - that is, some things work and sound great on a specific guitar, and for some reason you never can quite do everything on one guitar.  A harem is the best way!~
Your opinion is your opinion. I personally love my Les Paul, The 60s style neck is the perfect size for my hands and feels natural, the pickups produce a thick, warm sound that drives my Peavey valve amp beautifully. I love the balance of the guitar, how I can set the volumes for individual pickups. I play in a fairly heavy rock band, a strat or tele just doesn't give me that thick powerful sound I need for riffs and solos. I suppose guitarist wise my main influence is Adam Jones of Tool but I solo a lot.

Guitarists are very picky individuals with a wide spread of opinions, I guess people should just like what they want too like. I know plenty of guitarists who don't like Les Pauls for various reasons: Clean tone, weight, etc.

Personally I wouldn't be seen dead with anything classed as a "shred" guitar. No disrespect to you, its just really not my thing.  
Les Pauls are wicked. I personally love the neck and frets, they are most comfortable for me.  Love the sound, the sustain, the look too. Saying 'les paul's are no good' is kind of like trying to tell someone that the chocolate-sprinkled donut is a bad design, and that maple bars are clearly a superior product.
I think this is a clear cut case of "if you have to ask, you won't understand".  I also have to agree with what was said previously, that there isn't just a single Les Paul.  In addition to there being many models of Les Paul, each one that I have ever touched was different from every other one. 
If it works for slash, zakk wylde or randy rhoads, it works for me. Its just a beefy guitar that looks good when you wear it low.  chicks dig it.  :guitaristgif:
I'm trying to imagine The Allman Bros. "Live At Fillmore East" played on two Superstrats. Ain't gonna happen.
I used to be the same way, I couldn't really understand the fascination with the Paul until I sat down for an hour or so with a couple different models at guitar center.  Damn that changed my mind really quick.  Something about that guitar works on so many levels.  You get a sound you just don't get with any other guitar I've played.  I realized that what I don't like is flame maple tops with sunburst.  I hate that look!  If you're into the whole has to be like vintage thing, you are more than welcome to it.  I'm 26 and don't give a shit.  I would say try it before you knock it.  If you don't like it play the guitar you like, but there is definitely something there that warrants the obsession by so many for so long.
I dont get the whole "shredding" thing...ive seen kids on youtube with a total blank stare and playing really fast but no real structure or feeling to what they are playing...they also never slow down. I think these are the guys who don't get the whole LP thing. sorry if i sound like an ass.

The only reason they're not playing LPs is because of marketing. Most shredders didn't use LPs. What they're thinking is if you get the same gear as your idols you'll play and sound like them.

If you ask me you can play much faster and sound much better on the right LP than on a cheap superstrat. These kids should start listening to Doug Aldrich, Gary Moore, Zakk Wylde so they can give LPs a bad name. :laughing7:

Guitars are like everything else, food, women, cars, beer, what you do in the shower...whatever, it's "horses for courses". Remember  that the Les Paul was brought out 50somethin' years ago when most guitar music as we now know it didn't exist. Make a list of your idea of the top ten "icon" guitars, how many guys wouldn't have a Les Paul in their top 4? Mine would probably go :- strat, tele, p.bass, 'paul....etc. The point is that it has lasted, and that has to mean something.
I love the sound of les pauls, many many of my idols play them, like most guitars theres a way to use them in any kind of music. But when I pick one up, it just isn't me. So while I don't own one, and don't really feel the need, I can completely understand why people adore them.
I understand where you're coming from(warmoth rules).  When I was young I was amazed w/ shredders and floyd rose tremelos.  Hell, Eddie Van Halen was my idol.  For me, there is nothing more comfortable than a stratocastor.  As I got older and steered away from shredders and started getting into blues and classic rock, I started hearing "tone".  The tone that struck me the most was by players using Les Pauls.  My best friend sells has been selling Les Pauls for years out of a boutique in Hawaii and I've personally been escorted through the Gibson Custom Shop in Tennessee by former Valley Arts guitar owner Mike Maguire who also works there in the shop.  I still have yet to aquire one though for the mere reason that the Les Paul just doesn't have it all for me, but that "tone" is pretty amazing.  I've always thought that the PRS was a more modern aproach to the Gibson Les Paul and the new single-cut PRS is amazing....pricey too.  

I just received my Mahogany Warmoth 24 3/4 conversion neck w/ Jumbo Frets, Abalone frets and a Corian Nut.  I'm in love.  Man, I don't need Gibsons Les Pauls and the hefty Custom Shop price tag when I got Warmoth.  Thank You Jesus.  The "Tone" cometh :guitaristgif:

I understand the confusion on the Les Paul being one of  "the" guitars to play.  It's strange how the Les Paul and the Strat are the most common and then the sister guitars such as the Tele and the SG are played quite a bit less.  Like everyone here has said, I guess it's a matter of taste.  But that being said, I think someone else in this thread said there is not just one Les Paul...

One thing I do not like, which you may identify with, is the whole concept of "hey, if I run out and buy a Les Paul Standard and a Marshall Tube amp I can be a legend!"  I think overall, people these days are too into copying others.  I always try to, as much as possible, seek my own voice as far as tone and playing.  Do whatever sounds good to you, but I wouldn't recommend imitating a tried and true tone/gear setup just because a good player made it famous in the past.

I think in this day and age there are thousands of players out there going and buying standard equipment, penciling down their idol's tone controls and effects chains, and they're missing the aspect of innovation.  You have to wonder why many of the players we love got to where they are...they made their own way and found their own voice.
I think Les Pauls are cool but I also think they are way way way overpriced for the quality.  I had one.  The intonation from the factory was so far out I couldn't play higher than the 7th fret without being completely out of tune.  Not a big deal to adjust.  But my $500 Schecter came set up.  I also hate that Gibson keeps turning out obsolete hardware instead of keeping up with the times.  I don't care about having authentic "vintage" tuners.  I want tuners that work.  Why does almost every other *less* expensive guitar have a more solid bridge while expensive Gibsons have flimsy bridges that fall apart when I remove the strings?  Why did glue start oozing out from under my Gibson's frets but not from any of my other guitars?  Why do I have to inspect several Gibsons to find one with smooth frets when the less expensive ESP has them?

I like to buy American but they need to work harder to get my money.
I'm really, really sure that if Ibanez had released the RG in 1955, and Schecter had released the Avenger in in 1957, and Gibson had released the Les Paul in 1990 and Fender had released the Strat in 2001, you'd see a very different world. The 'relic'ing industry that grew out of the vintage market, taking $1000 guitars and turning them into $2000 guitars by scratching them up and burning them and dragging them around behind your truck.... 200-ft Ibanezes on the Hard Rock Cafes!  :eek:

There are a few specific things I dislike about most Les Pauls, besides the price. First off, they don't balance as well as a guitar with an upper horn, secondly most of them (like Duane Allman's, & Clapton's, & Beck's) needed to be refretted with bigger frets, ones that also extended all the way out over the binding, instead of little plastic bumps where the ends of the frets should be. Gibson has obviously corrected that problem on the reissues (except on the reissues that are supposed to be absolutely authentic, thereby including the original design flaws). Gibson's electronic shielding on their early guitars was spotty, because they weren't designed to be used standing in front of 100 watt stacks with three fuzztones plugged into each other....

The necks were all over the place on the originals, as is the case with any hand-shaped guitar - the guy with the woodplane thinks he's getting better and better with each subsequent guitar.... Page's guitar had a reshaped neck, many of the reissues that claim to have "rolled" fingerboard edges to "duplicate wear" actually duplicate some guy sanding off the sharp edges on a 50-year-old guitar, 48 years ago.The great thing about Warmoth (& design evolution) is that we're not stuck with early design problems - who wants a "fretless wonder" refret?  :dontknow:

Don't even get me started on "classic" Stratocasters, there's about a dozen things wrong with them... that's why I'm here, instead of at unofficialstrat.com I guess. :blob7:

I'm trying to imagine The Allman Bros. "Live At Fillmore East" played on two Superstrats.
- you're a mean person & god is going to punish you for it. :evil4:
stubhead said:
I'm really, really sure that if Ibanez had released the RG in 1955, and Schecter had released the Avenger in in 1957, and Gibson had released the Les Paul in 1990 and Fender had released the Strat in 2001, you'd see a very different world. The 'relic'ing industry that grew out of the vintage market, taking $1000 guitars and turning them into $2000 guitars by scratching them up and burning them and dragging them around behind your truck.... 200-ft Ibanezes on the Hard Rock Cafes!  :eek:

Brilliantly put. 

Imagine if the computer world worked like the guitar world.  New for 2007: A reissue of the Commodore Vic 20 that is even more authentic than 2006's reissue of the Vic 20.  A sneak peek at what's coming in 2008:  A Vic 20 reissue complete with a crusty, sticky keyboard.

Oh and one more pet peeve about Les Pauls... Since they haven't found a safe reliable spot for the strap hook yet, can we please have straplocks included so our $2,000 guitar doesn't fall to the floor.

I like the ergonomics of the Les Paul design when I'm standing up.  I want to build a Warmoth LP but I'm hopeing a 25.5" scale won't tip it too much.  I know the Strat design makes more sense but the LP looks so bad-ass.
My experience is just the opposite, I find the tonal characteristics much more complex on a Strat vs. a Paul. Much more happens with pick attack and placement,
subtle nuances that I could not achieve on a Paul, not to mention the comfort while playing.
I do think the Paul has more warmth, but it's not enough to sway me.
Just my opinion, celebrate the differences.  :guitaristgif:
I agree with a lot of you, and i can only restate your opinions at this point, but here it goes.
when i get the cash, im going to assemble a custom les paul, why not a strat, because when i look at guitars and basses, i like them to come with tone.



thats what i like about warmoth, instead of overpaying for something that goes through little to no quality control, with design flaws left over from the 50s, i can get something great with all the frills, bells, and whistles for less than a $2000 lp with half the options and half the quality.