Bright Sounding Les Pauls

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by LKNJ, Feb 16, 2020.

  1. LKNJ

    LKNJ Tele-Meister

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    I recently picked up a 2014 Les Paul Classic, which is an incredibly bright sounding guitar (unplugged as well as plugged in). It came stock with Gibson’s Classic/Super 57 pickups, which are very bright in their own right. I’ve also played a few other LP Classics in the last year or so. All are much brighter sounding than what remember a typical Les Paul being. In fact, all of these sound brighter even than my old SG with an ebony fretboard.

    does anyone know what’s going on with these LPs? Is the “modern” weight relief? Something else about their construction? Also, what’s up with Gibson putting thin sounding pickups into already bright sounding guitars?
     
  2. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

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    Is it heavy like most other LPs? I wonder if it's one of those Classic Lites. I want one.
     
  3. LKNJ

    LKNJ Tele-Meister

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    it weighs about the same as most modern Les Pauls I’ve tried. Lighter than my buddy’s 70s Les Paul.
     
  4. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yeah, I've got a friend with a '70s Les Paul - it feels like it's made of stone. Probably the heaviest guitar I've ever played.

    All Les Pauls now have holes drilled under the maple cap for weight relief. They are lighter. There is a Classic Lite model and it's supposed to have more weight relief. I got rid of my Les Paul because I have back problems. I'd like to hear what people think of the Classic Lite 'cause I miss my LP.
     
  5. LKNJ

    LKNJ Tele-Meister

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    For what it’s worth, the Classic I have is a great guitar, once you change out the pickups. I also have a 60s tribute, which is even lighter and has the most comfortable neck I’ve ever played. The 60s tribute feels lighter than a lot of strats.
     
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  6. modavis99

    modavis99 Tele-Meister

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  7. LKNJ

    LKNJ Tele-Meister

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    it does, but you can disconnect it pretty easily. Or just remove the battery. Either way, the guitar sounds the same.
     
  8. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

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    That's cool. Maybe I'll look at the Tribute. What pickups did your Classic come with?
     
  9. LKNJ

    LKNJ Tele-Meister

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    57 Classic in the neck and a “57 Super” in the bridge.
    The tribute comes in two versions, p90 or humbucker. Not really sure which humbuckers they use, but the p90 are pretty hot/overwound.
     
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  10. Bluego1

    Bluego1 Tele-Afflicted

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    FWIW the 2018 Tribute went back to non-weight relieved. Not sure about the other models that year. Mine is almost twelve pounds and I love it. They returned to weight relief for 2019.
     
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  11. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Common denominator is a bright amp?

    Most likely you've got brighter pots in all the guitars.
    At one time Gibsons were built with 300kohm pots.
    Now more are built with 500kohm pots.

    Get out your ohm meter and measure across the outer lugs of the volume pots. What is the actual kohm reading? If you know what to expect from 250k, 500k, 1Meg pots in a guitar you should have it pretty easy seeing what the pots measure and how that lines up with bright or dark. Pots have a 20% tolerance range. If you want the output darker then sort for lower kohm pots or drop to the next lower common nominal.

    Change tone caps, go higher uF to make a guitar idle darker. Tone caps load the circuit even when dimed.

    As for the wood ... can't help you there. I'm a non-wood-tone disciple. Way more tone shift from mixing pots, caps, and pickups to get hung up with mystical lumber.

    .
     
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  12. LKNJ

    LKNJ Tele-Meister

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    Tried with different amps, so no common denominator there. The pots maybe the culprit when the guitar is plugged in. But, that doesn’t explain how bright it sounds unplugged.
     
  13. Pointmonger

    Pointmonger Tele-Afflicted

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    My 2019 Standard is not weight-relieved and weighs 9 pounds.
     
  14. Geoff738

    Geoff738 Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    A good LP should be bright, IMO.

    But not too bright. I’ve heard described as like a Tele on steroids. Which kinda sorta describes it.

    Cheers,
    Geoff
     
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  15. TeleTex82

    TeleTex82 Friend of Leo's

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    Classics are supposed to harken back to the days of modded LPs popular during the 70s and 80s. They have the slim necks, and hotter pups. The more recent ones with all the push/pull coil split parallel/in series switching. Replace the electronics with a vintage spec harness and the pups with some burstbuckers or similar PAFs and it will sound more like a vintage Paul.
     
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  16. stnmtthw

    stnmtthw Friend of Leo's

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    I have a 2017 Traditional that isn't weight relieved. It weighs close to 10 lbs, and the Burstbucker pickups make it fairly bright.

    Personally, I like that. I have 4 Fenders and 1 Gibson so it makes sense that I'm not looking for a darker sound.

    Maybe the OP can eq the brightness out on his amp, or that may just not be the guitar for him.
     
  17. GeneB

    GeneB TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

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    I too have a 2017 Traditional that isn't weight relieved. Mine weighs 9.5 lbs, and has the Burstbucker 1/2 ALNICO 2 magnet pickups. They aren't overwound and yes, the guitar is bright.
     
  18. bftfender

    bftfender Friend of Leo's

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    bright LP is excellent recorded..I have Orville with the very PAF sounding Gotoh stock pick ups..just s dif sound for a job..try that on top a P bass once in a mix.I run all amps bright on. Sometimes a sound you hate by yourself in a room is the exact sound that is perfect in a bad mix.. 97 Goldie in case (2).jpg
     
  19. LKNJ

    LKNJ Tele-Meister

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    I guess I should clarify that I don’t mind bright guitars, and I like PAF pickups, which are, by definition, pretty bright. What I’m questioning is whether the relatively recent Les Pauls Classic are exceptionally bright due to their construction. I’m also questioning whether the 57+ is the right bridge pickup for an already very bright guitar. To my ear, the combination can get very fizzy.

    For the record, I think the 57 Classic sounds just fine in the neck.
     
  20. Middleman

    Middleman Friend of Leo's

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    When I was trying out dozens of Les Pauls a couple of years ago, prior to purchasing my R8, I heard 3 different tones out of various LP guitars. The first was what I would describe as Muddy, like the guitar was being muffled and there was no stringiness to the sound, almost dull jazz tone. The second was over bright where it seemed the bottom strings had a similar volume to the top strings no bottom end girth I would say. It's what I would call pseudo edgy rock. Almost irritating actually. The other tone, which was rarer by the way, was what would be described as woody sounding with bite and this reminded me of the early 50s LPs a couple of which I had played in high school. This in my humble opinion was the tone which sounded best and the one I liked the most. This was with the Burstbuckers but not on every guitar, it was kind of the best match of wood and pickups. The R8 fell into this last category but I would have preferred an R9 with the same tone. As I couldn't find one I went with the R8 which was a custom shop VOS.
     
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