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Which do you think are the most important tonal qualities of a good Les Paul?

RossL

Member
Joined
Dec 11, 2021
Messages
68
Here’s an excerpt I found…,

Alex Lifeson of RUSH describes his first guitar purchase bought on the advance money from Mercury Records.

'the day we signed our American record deal with them is a day I'll never forget. We got an advance and went out and did some shopping at Long & McQuade Music [459 Bloor St. W., Toronto, Canada M551X9]. We went crazy Saying, "I'll take that guitar and those amps. He'll take those drums." It's something you dream about for years and years, and we actually got to do it. I bought a Marshall 50-watt amp and a 74 Les Paul Deluxe. About that guitar, I bought it right off the shelf; and I must not have been thinking clearly because when I got it home and started to play it, it was a mess. I had it in a heat press on three different occasions, and its neck was just really screwed. That guitar didn't sound right, the intonation was never right, and it would never stay in tune. Eventually I traded the Deluxe in for a '74 cherry sunburst Les Paul Standard in Atlanta, which I still have at home. '
 
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Wizard1183

Guest
You’ve been given proof over and over again, you just refuse to accept it.

EVH: “...the rest of the guys just looked at me and said, "Hey, that thing sounds like hell!" [Laughs.] You know, single-coil pickups, they sound real buzzy, thin. It wasn't enough sound to fill it up.”

That is exactly an example of being dissatisfied with tone.

You seem to think it’s one or the other but not possible to be both (ie, that changes are made because people are both dissatisfied with some things AND they want to make it their own). It’s not an either or thing.

You’re just flat wrong.
No I’m not wrong! He wanted a humbucker in a Strat style guitar with a flat faced vibrato. Gibson didn’t produce it and Fender didn’t produce it. The ONLY thing in the guitar that created tone he wanted? Was the humbucker and the body (which I believe Charvel told him was better than ash? I forget what the article stated) Everything else was swapped. And not for tone. That’s where you’re not understanding. He swapped bridges necks etc. like it was going out of style. I posted a link with ALL the changes from start to finish.

To clear the air you’re probably right about changing things because of dissatisfaction? But it wasn’t to get burst tone. Now A days? They do swaps to attempt to get burst tone. 1970s? No. Dissatisfaction and originality.
 
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Wizard1183

Guest
Here’s an excerpt I found…,

Alex Lifeson of RUSH describes his first guitar purchase bought on the advance money from Mercury Records.

'the day we signed our American record deal with them is a day I'll never forget. We got an advance and went out and did some shopping at Long & McQuade Music [459 Bloor St. W., Toronto, Canada M551X9]. We went crazy Saying, "I'll take that guitar and those amps. He'll take those drums." It's something you dream about for years and years, and we actually got to do it. I bought a Marshall 50-watt amp and a 74 Les Paul Deluxe. About that guitar, I bought it right off the shelf; and I must not have been thinking clearly because when I got it home and started to play it, it was a mess. I had it in a heat press on three different occasions, and its neck was just really screwed. That guitar didn't sound right, the intonation was never right, and it would never stay in tune. Eventually I traded the Deluxe in for a '74 cherry sunburst Les Paul Standard in Atlanta, which I still have at home. '
I saw I think wiki stated a 74LP bought in 70s
 

Wilko

All Access/Backstage Pass
Joined
Mar 11, 2002
Messages
20,932
Exactly. changed it because wanted to. To be comfortable. Had nothing to do with tone.
Bullshit. It had everything to do with tone. Listen to him say it himself in the interview with new member Jas O. If you don't know who he is, you don't know guitars. EVH had a strat and "sounded like shit" so he put a Gibson pickup in it. Not a contemporary one either--a PAF.
 
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Wizard1183

Guest
Bullshit. It had everything to do with tone. Listen to him say it himself in the interview with new member Jas O. If you don't know who he is, you don't know guitars. EVH had a strat and "sounded like shit" so he put a Gibson pickup in it. Not a contemporary one either--a PAF.
He started off with a PAF in the bridge from the ES-335. That is correct. It was then switched to Zebra, double white, then black during those yrs. Double whites were dimarzio SD. So no he didn’t stay with a PAF in the bridge. His only tonal character he wanted was to ensure the guitar had a humbucker in the bridge and flat faced vibrato. Look at that article I posted with the evolution of his Frankenstein and you’ll see EVERYTHING was changed over the yrs BUT the body and maybe the pots.
 
1

1allspub

Guest
He started off with a PAF in the bridge from the ES-335. That is correct. It was then switched to Zebra, double white, then black during those yrs. Double whites were dimarzio SD. So no he didn’t stay with a PAF in the bridge. His only tonal character he wanted was to ensure the guitar had a humbucker in the bridge and flat faced vibrato. Look at that article I posted with the evolution of his Frankenstein and you’ll see EVERYTHING was changed over the yrs BUT the body and maybe the pots.
Soooo… he wanted the humbucker for what reason exactly???

It was because a humbucker (whether a PAF or any other humbucker) has different tone than a single coil! Sheesh! This isn’t hard. He didn’t want the (various) humbuckers because of how they looked… he wanted them because of how they sounded… he was after their tone! Period! He was, by his own admission, a “tone chaser” his whole life!
 
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Wizard1183

Guest
Soooo… he wanted the humbucker for what reason exactly??? It was because a humbucker (whether a PAF or any other humbucker) has different tone than a single coil! Sheesh! This isn’t hard. He didn’t want the (various) humbuckers because of how they looked… he wanted them because of how they sounded… he was after their tone! Period! He was, by his own admission, a “tone chaser” his whole
He wanted a humbucker cause his idol Clapton used one but wanted on a strat. Secondly by you stating what you’ve stated? ALL of his tone came from the pickup and not the rest of the guitar correct? You said it! Because he swapped out everything else so in your eyes the most important tonal aspect of a Les paul is simply the pickup. That’s where ALL his tone came from other than his hands. Gotcha

His yr make model amp and a Gibson pup in a Strat and you’re at least 80% there on eddys tone.
 
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Jethro Rocker

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 6, 2022
Messages
287
I think dude @1allspub is getting at that pickups etc on guitars are indeed changed because people aren't hapoy with the sound. Sometimes just to try sure, but often because they are not happy.
EVH was not happy with the sound of a Strat. So he changed the pickup to an HB. No one said a pickup is the only tonal aspect of an LP. You were on about EVH never being unhappy with any guitar parts. Obviously a HB is going to sound miles different from a single coil.
 
1

1allspub

Guest
"Nah nah na nah nah!! You admit it! I told you so! "
Jeez anything to "win" I guess.
You win the internet.

https://getyarn.io/yarn-clip/0d751a13-9cfb-42f6-9c7f-38c8e7cb1643
Yes, exactly!

He wanted a humbucker cause his idol Clapton used one but wanted on a strat. Secondly by you stating what you’ve stated? ALL of his tone came from the pickup and not the rest of the guitar correct? You said it! Because he swapped out everything else so in your eyes the most important tonal aspect of a Les paul is simply the pickup. That’s where ALL his tone came from other than his hands. Gotcha

His yr make model amp and a Gibson pup in a Strat and you’re at least 80% there on eddys tone.
Geez, what are you… are 3rd grader? Seriously, you’ve got to be a troll!

But on the off chance that just maybe you’re not… quit putting worlds in people’s mouths. You know damn well what we are saying. You’ve lost the argument and are now resulting to parsing people’s words and reading into them meanings no one intended. It’s called building a straw man and is a tactic of someone who’s lost the argument.
 
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Wizard1183

Guest
Wizard just said the pickup and amp is 80% of eddie's tone.
That’s exactly what I said. People put too much stock into a guitar for tone. I had a laney supergroup and with a Dallas range master pedal attached through an SG with P-90s? The tone was exact. Shit even with my les paul it was on point. But you had to be cranked. And speakers were not fane or Goodman whatever he used. They were scum backs.

Eddie proved it. His tone never changed and he swapped out necks bridges pickups.

Like I said, ppl can change things to try to be more original to a burst? Or whatever reason they want? If they’re happy great. But when someone says they’re guitar is the cats meow they tried 200 guitars and this one is leaps and bounds above? I gotta question if it even is and not placebo? Because it doesn’t matter if you’re not using correct amp for a certain tone.
 
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golfnut

Active member
Joined
Apr 18, 2016
Messages
196
But when someone says they’re guitar is the cats meow they tried 200 guitars and this one is leaps and bounds above? I gotta question if it even is and not placebo? Because it doesn’t matter if you’re not using correct amp for a certain tone.
I'm not saying I agree with a lot of other things you've said but I do agree with what you said about people having to try tons of examples of a particular guitar to find that one that jumps out at them. For the most part all my guitars I bought with out trying to many others. When I was shopping for my D-28 authentic 41 I did try a few. Any one of them would have been fine. I ended up ordering it online from My Favorite guitars. It really isn't about getting "the one". Its just a tool and it sounds as good as I can make it.
When I was shopping for an R8 last year it was going to be my last major guitar purchase before my retirement in 5 years. So I really wanted to get out there and try as many as I could. I visited several Long and McQuade locations and tried about 30 different R8's and R9's. For tone probably anyone of them would have been fine for me. I originally set out to buy an R9 but the neck shape and size of the R8 fit me far better and I found that I was preferring a plain top to flame. The next thing I had to decide was ML or VOS. Found I I preferred VOS. Tone wise any one of them would have done the job. Not enough variation that couldn't be solved with eq on the amp.
 
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Wizard1183

Guest
I'm not saying I agree with a lot of other things you've said but I do agree with what you said about people having to try tons of examples of a particular guitar to find that one that jumps out at them. For the most part all my guitars I bought with out trying to many others. When I was shopping for my D-28 authentic 41 I did try a few. Any one of them would have been fine. I ended up ordering it online from My Favorite guitars. It really isn't about getting "the one". Its just a tool and it sounds as good as I can make it.
When I was shopping for an R8 last year it was going to be my last major guitar purchase before my retirement in 5 years. So I really wanted to get out there and try as many as I could. I visited several Long and McQuade locations and tried about 30 different R8's and R9's. For tone probably any one of them would have been fine for me. I originally set out to buy an R9 but the neck shape and size of the R8 fit me far better and I found that I was preferring a plain top to flame. The next thing I had to decide was ML or VOS. Found I I preferred VOS. Tone wise any one of them would have done the job. Not enough variation that couldn't be solved with eq on the amp.
Thank you for your explanation. I think it’s the snobs that put in so much effort to make anything but an actual burst inferior. And that’s total bs.

Trying out a bunch only equates to the one that’s most comfortable for you. Not like the tone of that guitar is 10x better than any other.

You don’t NEED a 59burst to sound like a 59 burst. Want Proof of that? See Billy Gibbons with his rack that can make a fender Strat and probably an Esteban guitar sound like a 59. ? It’s the amp and effects. Though it probably helps if you’re using humbuckers if they used humbuckers. Doesn’t have to be a PAF….
 
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charliechitlins

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 16, 2021
Messages
1,132
Thank you for your explanation. I think it’s the snobs that put in so much effort to make anything but an actual burst inferior. And that’s total bs.

Trying out a bunch only equates to the one that’s most comfortable for you. Not like the tone of that guitar is 10x better than any other.

You don’t NEED a 59burst to sound like a 59 burst. Want Proof of that? See Billy Gibbons with his rack that can make a fender Strat and probably an Esteban guitar sound like a 59. ? It’s the amp and effects. Though it probably helps if you’re using humbuckers if they used humbuckers. Doesn’t have to be a PAF….
I think there are also some individuals who can wring the nuances out of a great guitar and make a difference.
These are people with ears and a touch that I doubt any of us could even imagine.
Sometimes I feel like all this tone chasing is like trying to make your motorcycle more like a GP motorcycle, so you can be like your favorite GP.
Those people have a talent that is unfathomable to us mortals and they can work and understand the nuances.
When Robben Ford, for instance, finds THAT guitar, he can play it in such a way that you get it...you can hear how he's working the nuances.
It's not an exact analogy, of course, but there are parallels.
My guitar teacher is one of these aliens, and I've recently come closer to understanding the meaning of nuance and dynamics in the hands of a master.
BTW...if a guitar appeals to him, he plays it, and makes it sound heavenly.
If not, he doesn't.
I've never heard him speak about swapping pickups.
 

pdfiddler

Active member
Joined
May 25, 2006
Messages
144
1. weather the guitar stays in tune.
I watch these guys on YouTube and 90 % of them are out of tune and they don't seem to know it.
 

Jethro Rocker

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 6, 2022
Messages
287
For me, the most important is that it sustains well acoustically. Past that it doesn't matter to me. Pickups are not microphonic, they pick up string vibrations so any subtleties of other tonal properties don't mean much when you play higher gain.
I realize there may be some subjective differences when playing clean or slightly crunchy and the terms are subjective as well. Woody, organic, etc... but as I never play this way, I can't care about those little things acoustically. When it is fired up in an amp and pickups get cookin' those little things mean nothing.
Amplifier type and settings mean far more than what an electric guitar sounds like acoustically.
 
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