The Gibson equivalent to "Leo got it right the first time"?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by RoscoeElegante, Jan 27, 2019.

  1. RoscoeElegante

    RoscoeElegante Friend of Leo's

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    So, with all the corporate and quality problems Gibson has been having, yet with all the great Gibsons around, I'm wondering:

    What design and manufacturing choices has Gibson made over the years that have been really good--Leo's strokes of genius good?

    One reason I ask this is that yesterday I spent about 10 hours with my Epiphone Les Paul. No, not a Gibson, but it seems to me one of those lucky Epi's that couldn't be better if it were. I hadn't played it in a couple of months, and was newly thrilled by how beautifully it plays and sounds. Not only is it much its own thing, but it offers such a great take on stuff I play on Teles, Strats, acoustics, even nylon stringers. So much chewy character there, and the four-knob controls are genuinely useful as you switch between pickups. I can also see why people love 335's. I've much liked the five or so I've played (though I find them physically clumsy). But I've played only a few SG's (two good, several yech), and never a Firebird, etc.

    So...what did Gibby get just right, and how so?
     
  2. Ydwen Jones

    Ydwen Jones Tele-Meister

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    Les Paul, for sure, imo.
     
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  3. 6stringcowboy

    6stringcowboy Tele-Afflicted

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    LP jr. Double cut
     
  4. corliss1

    corliss1 Friend of Leo's Platinum Supporter

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    I'm sure someone will say it anyway, so I'll be the first; nothing, because of the string angle at the headstock.

    That being said, before I switched to Telecaster I had an Epi LP that was my only guitar for 7 years and I completely wore it out. It's semi-retired as the work bench guitar, but I love it. Turned down many a Gibson "upgrade" because that was just "the one." This also the reason I only do short scale guitars now...and that is a curse, but keeps me away from a lot of the vintage Fender stuff so that's probably good.

    I don't like how high the stop bar has to sit one some models (with a tune-o-matic setup) as I like it down as low as possible so it doesn't interfere with my picking hand, but then the strings did into the back of the tune-o-matic. So....I don't know. They also aren't super comfortable to play seated because I feel like they are very small - the waist area being smaller than the strat/tele so I often end up hunched over.

    But I'll never *not* have a Les Paul in the stable for sure.
     
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  5. bftfender

    bftfender Friend of Leo's

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    every one i own,,that's for sure,,Lp SG Firebird,,,i love their pickups,,i buy stock Gibson for the particular pickup version..so i can slam my Marshall and just change guitars for songs..haven't needed a pedal in a long time except maybe a clean boost..also have Epi..Iommi Sg- & 1966 Custom SG with Gibson 57 pups and LP with SD 59's,great guitars and customized for certain jobs and they are pretty close to my Gibby's
     
  6. bsman

    bsman Tele-Afflicted

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    I have always said that the Les Paul Special with two P90s is Gibson’s equivalent to the Telecaster. It’s basically a mahogany plank with twopickups screwed on and a neck glued in. Other than the potential for headstock breakage, it’s pretty much bulletproof, it sounds like nothing else, and even looks mean. I love mine.
     
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  7. Grant Austin

    Grant Austin Tele-Meister

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    The thing with Gibson is that the instigating genius was out of the company long before any real mass market success. Long, long before the height of their success. I am not sure if any of Orville’s innovations made it into the popular instruments. Been a while since I read that history.

    There was never a Leo to organize the entire force of the company on a single world/market view.
     
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  8. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

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    I'm not exactly certain Leo got it right the first time. He kept innovating right up until G&L and those guitars are killer.
     
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  9. Milspec

    Milspec Friend of Leo's

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    The headstock angle has already been mentioned, but it is a true statement...they never did perfect it. The Les Paul was not viewed as a serious instrument by Gibson when it was created, just something to take advantage of the lower end market which Fender was doing so well with at the time. Gibson didn't really put a serious effort into a hard body guitar until the SG which is a hell of a guitar if you can tolerate the twin horn shape.

    For me, Gibson perfected the semi-hollow guitars only with the ES-339 being my favorite of all of them. Even the low end ES-125 was a great instrument. That is how I view the various companies: Fender makes the best solid body designs; Gibson the best semi's; Martin the best acoustics; and everyone else is chasing their designs.
     
  10. backporchmusic

    backporchmusic Friend of Leo's

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    SG.
     
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  11. stinkey

    stinkey Tele-Afflicted

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    Les Paul Jr, single cut.
     
  12. Modernelove

    Modernelove TDPRI Member

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    Do Loyd Loar F5 mandolins count? Those are held in pretty high regard.
     
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  13. jimmyv723

    jimmyv723 Tele-Meister

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  14. LOSTVENTURE

    LOSTVENTURE Tele-Afflicted

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    Gibson's greatest gift to the guitarist was the P90. It was developed in 1946, six years earlier than the Gold Top. It even breathed new life into their hollow body lineup.
     
  15. stnmtthw

    stnmtthw Friend of Leo's

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    J-45.
     
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  16. hrstrat57

    hrstrat57 Tele-Afflicted

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    P90

    PAF

    Post tuneamatic bridge Les Paul is pretty perfect too except for the G string issue. But it was intended as a jazz guitar so heavy string bending was not in the design parameter likely. Odd that Gibson never truly fixed it. I find it equally fantastic with either PAF or P90, I guess you can't claim it was orig perfect tho because orig bridge models were not the best.

    I fix it with a 16 in place of a 17 on a 10-46 strung guitar. On some guitars a 12 has replaced the 13 in the B slot. No graphite, never.
     
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  17. Rayf_Brogan

    Rayf_Brogan Tele-Meister

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    This. The TV yellow special, single cut away without the belly but is a total work horse.
     
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  18. Mellencaster

    Mellencaster Friend of Leo's

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    Es 335
     
  19. vokeyz

    vokeyz TDPRI Member

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    I mean the les Paul is one of the ultimates- but it wasnt right the first time.
    The SG (les Paul) however was, in my mind.
     
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  20. Believer

    Believer Tele-Meister

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    I'd say it depends on your application. I'm playing mostly vintage rock, and I have several Melody Makers that fill that bill perfectly! Simple, light weight, practical. MMs can be had with single coils, humbuckers, and of course Gibson's wonderful P-90s. My Les Pauls are nice, but heavy; my SGs are really fun to play and pretty light weight, but they are so ugly. I've never owned a Gibson hollowbody, so I'd vote for my MMs...
     
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