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No. 8 Wire

Les Paul copy recommends?

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I'm not much of a guitar player, but I've got a slight hankering for a budget Les Paul, just for mucking about on at home and eventually for my son to learn on.

I don't want to spend more than £200, preferably less.

What's my chances of getting a decent Les Paul - any recommendations?

So far I've got my eye on these two:

An MIJ Harmony Les Paul, which I can't get a lot of info on: https://soundgas.com/products/harmony-les-paul-replica

Or the more widely available Vintage Paradise: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Vintage-V100-Paradise-Electric-Guitar-Les-Paul-Copy-Slash-/272626198812?hash=item3f79c9a91c:g:8qEAAOSwnF9Y69Z6

Any left field candidates? I have a weird aversion to Rosewood boards, but I'm probably not going to get ebony on my budget. But any strange and interesting alternatives using ebanol or even maple?

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Look out for an Epiphone - there are so many different models so do your research, as some apparently have tuning pegs that are less than decent from what I`ve read. Then evilbay will be your friend. I picked up an Epi SG for my God-daughter, cost me about £50 I think and it`s a really decent guitar. Again I read up on them at the time so had an idea of which to look out for or avoid.

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[quote name='Lozz196' timestamp='1492122254' post='3278194']
Look out for an Epiphone - there are so many different models so do your research, as some apparently have tuning pegs that are less than decent from what I`ve read. Then evilbay will be your friend. I picked up an Epi SG for my God-daughter, cost me about £50 I think and it`s a really decent guitar. Again I read up on them at the time so had an idea of which to look out for or avoid.
[/quote]

Thanks Lozz, i see the really cheap epis get good reviews but don't have carved tops. I have trouble thinking of them as Les Paul's without the shake in the top.

Certainly keeping them in my sights though. Hoping one comes up locally.

There is an Epiphone Zac Wylde local to me but the bulleye finish is a bit niche for me.

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I'd have a look for a used Tokai or maybe a Vintage.
In my experience the quality of Epiphones is way too variable.

Just seen your link to that Vintage on Ebay - I'd take that over an Epiphone any day of thevweek.

Edited by RhysP

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I've worked on a few Epiphone's and haven't yet encountered a bad one. A bit of fret levelling seems to be required, other than that a decent set up and they are very playable.

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[quote name='RhysP' timestamp='1492168999' post='3278425']
I'd have a look for a used Tokai or maybe a Vintage.
In my experience the quality of Epiphones is way too variable.

Just seen your link to that Vintage on Ebay - I'd take that over an Epiphone any day of thevweek.
[/quote]

Thanks Rhys, I like the look (and price) of the Vintage. Is the maple top just a veneer though?

By Tokai, do you mean the newer Chinese ones? Not so fussed on those.

Always wanted an Ibanez or MIJ Tokai but the prices are obscene on those right now.

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[quote name='gary mac' timestamp='1492187734' post='3278598']
I've worked on a few Epiphone's and haven't yet encountered a bad one. A bit of fret levelling seems to be required, other than that a decent set up and they are very playable.
[/quote]

Gary, thanks, that's very reassuring. I think an Epiphone is likely as they come up often close to me, just haven't sussed all the different spec levels yet.

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[quote name='No. 8 Wire' timestamp='1492192457' post='3278634']


Thanks Rhys, I like the look (and price) of the Vintage. Is the maple top just a veneer though?

By Tokai, do you mean the newer Chinese ones? Not so fussed on those.

Always wanted an Ibanez or MIJ Tokai but the prices are obscene on those right now.
[/quote]

I might well be a veneer, but the maple cap on a "proper" Les Paul isn't very thick.
Looking at the Vintage website the woods seem to vary from model to model. Some of them have a maple cap with an additional layer of flame veneer, some of them just have the veneer.
Korean Tokais are good guitars, the MIJ ones will be out of your price range.

Edited by RhysP

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[quote name='No. 8 Wire' timestamp='1492192535' post='3278635']
Gary, thanks, that's very reassuring. I think an Epiphone is likely as they come up often close to me, just haven't sussed all the different spec levels yet.
[/quote]

Just check the fret ends and also look out for high frets.

Meant to say earlier, the electrics are where they make some obvious cost cutting, the selector switch being particularly prone to failure. Not a difficult job to replace but none the less, something to be aware of.

Is the guitar shop in Ventnor still in business?

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[quote name='gary mac' timestamp='1492195132' post='3278668']
Just check the fret ends and also look out for high frets.

Meant to say earlier, the electrics are where they make some obvious cost cutting, the selector switch being particularly prone to failure. Not a difficult job to replace but none the less, something to be aware of.

Is the guitar shop in Ventnor still in business?
[/quote]

Gary, thanks for the advice.

The Guitar shop in Ventnor moved to Shanklin - I have bought the odd thing off them, strings, stands, that kind of thing. I do take a look in there every now and then, when they were in Ventnor they always had some interesting stuff, but now just a load of Chinese strats. Will stop in though just in case.

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[quote name='RhysP' timestamp='1492194603' post='3278656']
I might well be a veneer, but the maple cap on a "proper" Les Paul isn't very thick.
Looking at the Vintage website the woods seem to vary from model to model. Some of them have a maple cap with an additional layer of flame veneer, some of them just have the veneer.
Korean Tokais are good guitars, the MIJ ones will be out of your price range.
[/quote]

Thanks Rhys, I didn't know there were Korean Tokai's as well, will keep a look out.

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There's possibly an old Columbus MIJ Les Paul close to me for 150 quid. Doesn't look in bad shape.

Are these worth looking at?

Edit: Actually these look pretty nasty - https://justinguitarcommunity.com/index.php?topic=17796.0

Edited by No. 8 Wire

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hmmmm... I may have a problem here.

The Wahine has just given me a dissapproving look. She's run her eye over my 4 basses, 1 double bass, 2 acoustics and 1 electric and somehow come to the conclusion that I have too many 'guitars' already. The fact that 1 bass and two of the actual 'guitars' are worth almost nothing (one was salvaged from a skip) cuts no ice. I'm also meant to be downsizing due to an impending move to NZ, to the uninitiated it does look like I am currently doing the opposite.

I think I might only get away with this if I find an absolute bargain and give away my yamaha ERG121 (rubbish skip special) simultaneously, so the numbers remain the same.....

Also I just picked up a Darkglass VMT locally for a good price (ok a good price for a darkglass but a load of money for a small box to the casual observer). So that will reduce my bargaining power still further.

On the plus side, I quite like the look of these - Ibanez ART 120. Seem to have all the right specs, although not sure an active circuit that takes 2 AA batteries can be much use. They seem to get good reviews and there are black magic internet rumours that some were made in Korea rather than China as the sticker says (can't find any hard evidence for that). Still, can't go too far wrong with an Ibanez.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Ibanez-ART120-Samick-2009-Trans-cherry-red-/182526595462?hash=item2a7f6ed186:g:VyUAAOSw4CFY7T4s

Quite like the white one but they seem to be rarer:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Ibanez-art120-Guitar-Cream-Very-Good-Condition-/132158887048?hash=item1ec5489488:g:ya0AAOSwsW9YzsoJ

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Some interesting guitars cropping up today.

Some PRS singlecut SE's crop up broadly on budget:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/PRS-SE-Singlecut-6-String-Sunburst-Electric-Guitar-/262934212111?hash=item3d3819ae0f:g:dI0AAOSwpP9Y7ku~

These Harley Benton's must be too good to be true - surely?

https://www.thomann.de/gb/harley_benton_sc_550_paradise_amber_flame.htm?ref=search_rslt_paradise+flame_363193_3

https://www.thomann.de/gb/harley_benton_sc_450plus_ld_vintage_series.htm?ref=search_rslt_harley+benton+sc_362631_17

https://www.thomann.de/gb/harley_benton_sc_custom_lemon_flame.htm?ref=search_rslt_harley+benton+sc_365573_16

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The PRS SE models I've played have all been excellent quality, really good guitars.

The Harley Benton basses get a lot of favourable comments on here.

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Another +1 for the PRS SEs. I had one of the singlecut, LP-alikes and it was marvellous. I tried upgrading the pickups with a set of Seymour Duncans and a set of Bareknuckles but ending up putting the originals back in, as the 'upgrades' were no better. Top quality guitars that punch way higher than their sticker price.

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Back to your original request, the Les Paul style models that hit way, way above their weight are Harley Benton, Epiphone and Vintage. I would happily play those alongside many Gibsons, and definitely against some of the budget Gibsons I've owned and tried.

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[quote name='No. 8 Wire' timestamp='1492266691' post='3279103']
Some interesting guitars cropping up today.

Some PRS singlecut SE's crop up broadly on budget:

[url="http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/PRS-SE-Singlecut-6-String-Sunburst-Electric-Guitar-/262934212111?hash=item3d3819ae0f:g:dI0AAOSwpP9Y7ku~"]http://www.ebay.co.u...I0AAOSwpP9Y7ku~[/url]

These Harley Benton's must be too good to be true - surely?

[url="https://www.thomann.de/gb/harley_benton_sc_550_paradise_amber_flame.htm?ref=search_rslt_paradise+flame_363193_3"]https://www.thomann....+flame_363193_3[/url]

[url="https://www.thomann.de/gb/harley_benton_sc_450plus_ld_vintage_series.htm?ref=search_rslt_harley+benton+sc_362631_17"]https://www.thomann....on+sc_362631_17[/url]

[url="https://www.thomann.de/gb/harley_benton_sc_custom_lemon_flame.htm?ref=search_rslt_harley+benton+sc_365573_16"]https://www.thomann....on+sc_365573_16[/url]
[/quote]The price of that 450 is just amazing and the 550 isn't exactly expensive either. :o

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We supported Midge Ure a few years back and I was surprised to see he was using a Vintage branded guitar, ok, it was his signature model but still a Vintage branded guitar, I said" I assumed it was some custom shop version" but no, Midge just said "it is straight out of the box straight off the production line" He said "as far as he was concerned it played and sounded absolutely spot on and if it got broken or stolen he wasn't losing a hugely expensive antique guitar"

For me that is some kinda recommendation!

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All great recommends guys. I've certainly learnt a lot about Les Paul copies.

I can't say I've made up my mind, but I've got a better idea what to bother looking at if it comes up locally. I quite like the look of the PRS SE but on the other hand its [i]not really[/i] a Les Paul. From the reviews I've seen it's a much cleaner, crisper modern sounding guitar. MIght not be a bad thing and if one comes up below £200 I may look at it. Being a bit slimmer and lighter than a Les Paul it might be easier for my son to play too.

So I'm really looking for Vintage or Epi's that come up locally - I don't think I'll buy one without playing it though, I don't know enough about what I want to buy blind (like I would with a bass).

However the Harley Benton's look good too with the advantage of being to try and send it back if it doesn't suit. I have bought and sent back a HB Bass from Thomann before so I have confidence in that. Plus 450 or 550 looks like a lot of guitar for the money. albeit with not major resale value (but I could be wrong).

First though I need to get my house in order and get rid of some guitars I don't really use or don't like that much to make room.

Cheers for all your help! Dan

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[quote name='bassbora' timestamp='1492517202' post='3280845']
What about Hohner? They make decent ones or at least did make.
[/quote]

Thanks for that tip. They lok like a really good bet, however I've had some luck locally.....

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New Guitar Day~!

So armed with my newfound knowledge of all thing faux les paul, an Epiphone came up today locally that I went to have a look at and bought.

It's a Korean Epiphone of reportably 1989 vintage. Nothing on it to indicate either of those things, its all in the shape of teh headstock apparently. Although I'm not worried as it looks beautiful and plays superb, just how I imagined an LP to play and sound. Needs some trussrod tweaking and action adjusting, but plays just fine as it is. Its got about 30 years or tobacco stains on the plastic parts so the dating looks right to me, gives it bags of mojo and it smells a bit like Winston Churchills armchair.

Oh and it has a bigsby, which when used just seems to put it out of tune but it looks good!

Anyway, pictures tell a thousand words, from teh sellers FB listing, hope he don't mind.

[attachment=243612:17992056_1493865213978875_7043310394742002468_n.jpg][attachment=243613:18033023_1493865293978867_5183037506901681390_n.jpg][attachment=243614:18033321_1493865377312192_7759013745367476570_n.jpg]

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[quote name='SH73' timestamp='1492811958' post='3283487']
Very nice. I've picked up a Korean Epiphone gold top. Plays and feels superb.
[/quote]

Thanks mate. It's got a really nice piece of rosewood on the fretboard too, very dark but still with some nice grain highlights. Set neck too rather than bolt on.

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