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Poor Man's Goldtop

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by nicknklv, May 31, 2020.

  1. nicknklv

    nicknklv Tele-Holic

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    So I've been developing a GAS for a Les Paul Goldtop with P-90's recently. I've never had an LP, never had P-90's, the closest I've ever got is my Epi SG G-400, which I have no access to due to global conditions.

    I've been thinking: What is the most resource-effective way to get a goldtop Les Paul with P-90s?

    The Gibson Traditional 50's retails for $2,200-$2,500 depending on where I look, so let's consider that our baseline Goldtop. However, you could get an Epi 50's Standard for $600 in Metallic Gold and make your choice of humbucker-sized P-90's, even splurge on them and get some top-notch ones. Heck, you could even switch out all the electronics and hardware if you felt you needed to, and you'd still end up at a lower price point.

    So my question is: Can you get the Epi to sound as good as the Gibson Goldtop? If so, what would you need to do to get it there?

    I realize there are the obvious differences such as the finish being a different shade, rosewood vs laurel board, nitro vs poly, and I acknowledge that they matter, but I am really curious regarding the sonic qualities. I also know that Epiphone did that 1956 Goldtop with the P-90's, but since that's off the market and the cheapest one on Reverb is $500 right now, I'm disregarding that.

    Really looking forward to reading your thoughts.
     
  2. PCollen

    PCollen Friend of Leo's

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    Are you saying that $500 is above your budget ?

    Just for tonal comparison of pickups on the same instrument:
     
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  3. Musekatcher

    Musekatcher Friend of Leo's

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    How about a 50's Tribute? I think I see them under $1000? edit: actually, hard to find one with P90s and a gold top. You can find it in an Epi as indicated by the OP. They are fine guitars, but I never felt like the Epi sounded like the Gibson it emulates. It should, it could, but just doesn't. I think Epi's tend to have much hotter pickups, and electronics for more aggressive tones.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2020
  4. naveed211

    naveed211 Friend of Leo's

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    It’ll sound really close with the same pickups. Some better quality electronics would be an improvement for pretty cheap, too.

    You could also look for a used Edwards which typically come with Duncans and their quality will be better than most off the rack Epiphones. After buying the Epiphone, buying the pickups and getting them installed (unless you can do that) the cost is about the same.
     
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  5. AJBaker

    AJBaker Friend of Leo's

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    I scored a Tokai goldtop with bare knuckle P90s for 600$ recently, and it's as good as most Gibsons.

    I would keep an eye out for deals that pop up, anything between Gibson, Japanese manufacturers and Epiphone should be fine. I think there should be plenty of Epiphone 56 Les Pauls out there.
    In the low end you've got Harley Benton, which they say is ok.
     
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  6. tele12

    tele12 Friend of Leo's

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    You would need to wait but Agile gets great reviews.

    https://www.rondomusic.com/al3100mccgoldp90.html
     
  7. Nick-O

    Nick-O Tele-Meister

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    2020 Epiphone 'Inspired by Gibson" series are a breath of fresh air. If there is a P90 Goldtop in the series I would recommend looking at those for sure.
     
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  8. tele12

    tele12 Friend of Leo's

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  9. DOC DYA

    DOC DYA Tele-Meister

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    You should give a look at Tokai. I don't know if they are available in Sweden though. Japan made Tokai might be out of your price range, but there is a China made Goldtop with P90 Tokai that could be interesting to you. (I have a China made ALS 55 Tokai -Les Paul type with humbuckers- that I love!).
     
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  10. stnmtthw

    stnmtthw Friend of Leo's

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    I would just go with the Epiphone and do upgrades as you like and save some money.

    Guitars only sound as good as the player anyway.
     
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  11. Si G X

    Si G X Tele-Afflicted

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  12. koolaide

    koolaide Tele-Afflicted

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    Not a P-90, but I have a JB Goldtop sig LTD Epi. Has Gibson burstbucker Pickups. Huge neck. I really like. I see one for sale in Sweden on reverb now. Happy Hunting.
     
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  13. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Doctor of Teleocity

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    This last sentence should be printed out and put on EVERYBODY'S bathroom mirror as the FIRST thing they see every morning. It's all in your hands and head! ;)
     
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  14. Christof73

    Christof73 TDPRI Member

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    IMO
    Epiphone ..... hmmmm often lack QC ,frets not level, etc ,... so work to do, or to pay for... will cost you: 500-600 guitar, 200 Pickups , pots ,and other expenses .... well at the end ... close to a 1000 for a guitar you eventualy didn’t wanted.
    have seen very nice epi’s , but also some real stove ‘fuel’
    Been there.... done that.

    Gibson.... expensive and you often don’t get Q/$. Maybe a 2nd hand??
    Tributes.... pfff , .... I don’t know.

    Tokai ... Japan made.... Nice!

    I never had my hands on the not MIJ... don’t know.
     
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  15. nicknklv

    nicknklv Tele-Holic

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    Exactly my experience, which is why I thought, if you take care of that, then you should have a much better sounding guitar.

    That is an amazing price! If I were actually in the market for one right now, I'd be tempted to pull the trigger. I'm more curious at this point, luckily for my wallet. :)

    Hmm, haven't had any experience with Tokai's. I've heard a lot of good things about them, but I haven't seen anybody carry them here. The MIJ ones are quite expensive, though I expect the quality to be head-and-shoulders above the Epi. I'll look into the MIC one, but I'd really prefer to be able to try a guitar before I buy it.

    You, sir, are absolutely right, and I should probably be playing instead of threading. But with all the guitars being so darn pretty... :D
     
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  16. drf64

    drf64 Poster Extraordinaire

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    totally agree. I just picked up an Epi LP modern and I can’t believe how much I like it. I really couldn’t see myself liking a Gibson modern enough to pay 3-4 times more for it.
     
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  17. Piggy Stu

    Piggy Stu Friend of Leo's

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    I got the epi 56 goldtop and it is fantastic. Search on here and dozens of people rate them

    I was so enamoured with it I sought out a Gibson R4 to take the next logical step. It was gbp 5000, but I preferred the epi, believe it or not

    I think the 56 thing I am speaking of has Gibson standard pups. I lent it to 2 people: both people got one right away
     
  18. 62 Jazzmaster

    62 Jazzmaster Friend of Leo's

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    Perhaps a Harley Benton L 450 GT P90
     
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  19. 63 vibroverb

    63 vibroverb Tele-Afflicted

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