Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

NGD: Epiphone '56 Les Paul Pro Ebony P-90s (or, I buy $300 guitars)

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by theprofessor, Sep 5, 2017.

  1. theprofessor

    theprofessor Friend of Leo's

    Aug 8, 2016
    Chattanooga, TN
    Just this evening I went out to Guitar Center to pick up my new (used) Epiphone '56 Les Paul Pro with P-90s. It is from 2014. I am astounded. It is not very heavy (I think it's lighter than my Strat). The neck is marvelous. The pickups sound great. Other than some very light scratches on the back and a tiny bit of fret wear, it looks and feels new. I'm really excited. I think it offers the kind of sound through my SF DR that I've had in my head for blues for some time now. I love the beefiness and the simultaneous clarity of the P-90s. Clear and not harsh. Just right.

    Apparently, I buy guitars for about $300. I have a Fender FSR BSB Telecaster from 2011 or thereabouts that I bought used from GC, sight-unseen. I think it was $349. It was in great shape, and it included compensated saddles and Seymour Duncan Antiquities pickups. Then I bought a 1996 Fender Tex-Mex Strat off of Reverb for $350, including shipping. Also sight-unseen, and also in fantastic shape. And now I've got an Epiphone '56 Les Paul from Guitar Center, sight-unseen (again!). $348 with shipping. And it's in fantastic shape. Of those three guitars, my guess is that I'll do the least to it of all. Provided that my initial feeling about this guitar holds within GC's 45-day return period, I'll probably just put a new switch and output jack on it and call it a day. In addition, I recently picked up a 1991 Epiphone PR775S acoustic guitar for... $300. And it sounds fantastic (of the four guitars, that's the only one I played before purchasing!). Have I just lucked out, or what?

    I haven't yet had an opportunity to take a picture yet [EDIT: I have now posted a pic of mine in post #20 below]. It's one of these:


    Anyway, maybe I'm low-brow, but given my experience, I'm having a hard time thinking anyone really has to spend more than about $400-500 to get a great solid-body electric guitar these days. Maybe even much less. And with generous return policies like the one at Guitar Center, one can purchase sight-unseen without too much risk. If you return the guitar, all you're out is shipping. But I'm pretty sure this one's not going back...
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2017

  2. cntry666

    cntry666 Tele-Afflicted

    Aug 16, 2010
    decatur, ga
    I have the gold top version, it's a fantastic guitar. Congrats!

  3. Controller

    Controller Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Jun 11, 2010
    My experience as well. Amazing guitars for little money these days.

    When I was younger, the cheap guitars were awful, almost unplayable.
    Minimalist518 likes this.

  4. John O

    John O TDPRI Member

    May 22, 2016
    i scored this one for $146 recently, and what a nice guitar! it set up beautifully with a little work on my part, nice and light, a looker, made in china, epi 'buckers sound very good, better than my previous experiences with them, no desire to change them out.
    i'm going to Jamaica in the winter and i wanted a gtr to take along that would be relatively low risk for replacement if something bad happens. found it!

    image epi lp special.jpg
    Minimalist518 likes this.

  5. studio1087

    studio1087 Telefied Ad Free Member

    May 10, 2003
    Near Milwaukee
    Black and cream are classy together. That's a really nice looking guitar.

    I'm the most amazed when I look at $199 acoustic guitars now compared to $199 acoustics that I sold in 1982. It sounds a bit corny when people proclaim that we are living in the golden age of luthery but it's true. It's a good time to be a guitar enthusiast.
    Flaneur, JayFreddy and xafinity like this.

  6. tfarny

    tfarny Tele-Afflicted

    Sep 4, 2008
    Hudson Valley, NY
    Nice guitar! I agree there are some really nice guitars coming out of the Asian factories nowadays. I have seen Epis that were better QC'd than the Gibsons they were modeled after and selling for triple the price.
    Rospo likes this.

  7. Obsessed

    Obsessed Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Nov 21, 2012
    Congrats. Yup, I agree the $300-$400 range buys a lot and half of mine fall into that category.

    Of course I jumped off the cliff when I bought my latest. :eek::rolleyes:

  8. Jamie_h

    Jamie_h TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

    Jun 6, 2017

  9. Bristlehound

    Bristlehound Tele-Afflicted

    Jan 4, 2017
    Nice one.

    I've just ordered a new guitar for £210... so there'll be a NGD from me after the lovely Mrs Hound passes it over on my up-coming birthday. I haven't spent over £300 on a guitar for ~20 years.

  10. radiocaster

    radiocaster Friend of Leo's

    Aug 18, 2015
    Yeah, I think I like it better than gold on that model.

  11. hemingway

    hemingway Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 14, 2012
    London, UK
    Most of my guitars are in the affordable category, too. But sometimes something a little special comes along.

    My Korean Guild 175 archtop is one such guitar. I cannot imagine those pickups being available on a much cheaper guitar. And it's not a guitar you can easily mod. So I was happy to pay the extra.

    If I ever get another guitar its's going to be a Korean Guild Aristocrat. That will be my one guitar to rule them all. But at about £850 ($1050) it's not crazy you're-paying-for-the-finish money
    xafinity and Minimalist518 like this.

  12. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Telefied Ad Free Member

    Nov 15, 2009
    Austin, Tx

  13. Kerberos

    Kerberos Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

    Nov 27, 2016
    Long Island
    Excellent! Nothing wrong with $300 guitars, there are plenty really nice ones out there. Guitar Center has some great deals on used gear, and their return policy is excellent. I bought a used Classic 60's Strat from them, tried it for a month, decided it wasn't for me, packed it up, returned it without question. Enjoy your new/used Les Paul!

  14. CK Dexter Haven

    CK Dexter Haven Friend of Leo's

    Jun 7, 2017
    I have a few in that range, and many more that were much less.
    I'm apparently a 114.26 dollar man.
    Quinn23 and HdCornerCarver like this.

  15. Minimalist518

    Minimalist518 Tele-Afflicted

    Mar 5, 2017
    Awesome score! Our bass player plays guitar as well and he has an Epi Paul that’s just killer. His bass is a Squier Jazz Bass.
    My two electrics are cheap Squier partscasters. My Esquire cost me $200 as she sat and I put maybe $160 additional into her. I traded a bunch of unused pedals and abandoned project guitar parts plus $50 for my pine Telecaster.
    My acoustics are where I spent my money.
    I agree that cheap electrics are every bit as good as mid to even higher end versions of the same model. It doesn’t even matter much if it’s ply vs. solid wood; honestly, it’s just a plank to bolt (or glue) the neck to and mount the pickups. IMHO, you have to get way up into the heady realm of handmade instruments for the increase in price to be justified.
    I think mostly what you’re paying for on a mid to high end electric is the name on the headstock and maybe a fancier finish. I've always held that if a cheaper guitar has a great neck and feels/fits right then everything else is replaceable over time as budget allows.

  16. theprofessor

    theprofessor Friend of Leo's

    Aug 8, 2016
    Chattanooga, TN
    I agree with that line of thinking. I'd tend to spend bigger money on acoustics--much bigger--than anything that has electronics on board.
    Minimalist518 likes this.

  17. Minimalist518

    Minimalist518 Tele-Afflicted

    Mar 5, 2017
    Me too. Acoustics are different. I don’t think I’m alone in the opinion that there is a vast difference between solid wood construction and laminated ply in an acoustic.
    If all a person needs an acoustic for is to plug the internal pickup in at the open mic and chop away, then a cheaper acoustic will definitely work for you. It did for me for years.
    P Thought likes this.

  18. theprofessor

    theprofessor Friend of Leo's

    Aug 8, 2016
    Chattanooga, TN
    And even with acoustics, one could perhaps debate about how much, say, laminated ply sides versus solid wood sides contribute to the tone of a guitar when it has a great top and back. Of course I'm not saying that laminate is the same, but that one can perhaps get away with laminates on some parts of acoustics better than others. Do I recall correctly that Antonio de Torres made a guitar out of a solid spruce top with papier
    mâché back and sides to prove the primacy of a guitar's top? At any rate, I still agree that if one is looking for a guitar simply to sit with that sounds gorgeous in the room, that's where one typically has to spend the coin.
    Minimalist518 likes this.

  19. HdCornerCarver

    HdCornerCarver TDPRI Member

    Mar 18, 2017
    Lake George, NY
    Nice score! I only have cheap guitars right now and couldn't see me needing anything with a higher price tag. New shop is advertising a PRS you could win, valued at $5400. All I could think is if I were to win it I'd rather trade that in on a few cheap guitars, a killer amp, and the remainder in cash. Guitar worth more than my car would just end up spending it's days locked away in a case, and maybe a vault! Unless you're a professional touring musician with money to burn I can't see the point in it.
    Minimalist518 likes this.

  20. theprofessor

    theprofessor Friend of Leo's

    Aug 8, 2016
    Chattanooga, TN
    I'm "supposed" to have a picture, so here you go:

    Epiphone 56 Les Paul Pro.jpg

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