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What is the best non-Gibson Les Paul?

Wilko

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This thread is a legitimate question. There many choices available for a guitars that use the the "Les Paul" format. Solid body, singlecut, carved top, two humbuckers, etc.

Heritage are very nice, PRS makes some similar instruments, on and on. Replicas? some are quite good. I have a handmade Nunis that sounds and feels better tham most of the many Gibson Les Pauls that I have owned in my 57 years.
 
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Jan 12, 2003
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I don't quite understand your question. Are you talking about copies or knockoffs of Les Pauls or talking about current brands that are obviously influenced by the Les Paul? If the latter, the Eastman SB series has been getting a lot of raves though I have not played one personally.
Deviser/ Bacchus and Momose Japan. Eastman use wood they call Mahogany.. and their prices are idiotic.
 
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sanhozay

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Feb 14, 2003
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there are many double humbucker guitars clearly inspired from the Les Paul guitar. the price categories and origins of manufacture are too broad to conflate into a single discussion.

there's a lot of rubber under the road and the options are daunting for a player adding their last guitar or buying their first guitar.
 

Big Al

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Apr 24, 2002
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Did you even read his question. It's fairly straightforward.
And so was his post. The question is too broad and needs to be better defined. Posts all over the place as a result. Wish the rest of us shared your superhuman comprehension.
 

Wound_Up

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Apr 5, 2020
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Did you even read his question. It's fairly straightforward.
In that case there's only legitimately 1. The Epiphone Les Paul. Everything else is either counterfeit or not an actual Les Paul. Only Gibson & Epiphone make Les Pauls. Everything else is "a replica of" or counterfeit. Being "a replica of" means it can't be a Les Paul.

So the discussion should've been pretty short and straightforward and done with by now if you're gonna be like that.
 

bursty

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Dec 25, 2012
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What is the best non-Gibson Les Paul? I understand preference comes into it but would be good to know if anyone’s bought any bad ones.

_______________________________________
Complete Acoustic Guitar String Comparison Guide
There are sooooooo many great options; they are just too numerous to list & besides, this is all subjective, at best.
Over the decades I have owned many MIJ LP copies; Bacchus, Burny, Combat, Crews, Deviser, Edwards, Epiphone Japan, Fernandes, Greco, History, Momose, Orville, Orville by Gibson, Tokai, etc.
Then there are the 'replicas' that are made to order by folks like MAX, Bartlett, and every other maker.
The choices are endless.
My top few come down to my very early (circa 2004-2006) Momose MLS-STD/J, my Combat Custom Guitars LP Model, my 2000 Tokai LS-320, and a hand full of Bacchus BLS examples.
The great thing about not being hitched to one brand is you get to roam the Les Paul landscape, and learn what many different brands have to offer. It's like being in a candy store.
 
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JeffBlue

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Lars Andreassen

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Can I answer this question a different way?

A 1970s/1980s Hamer Sunburst is the best non-Gibson "Les Paul": the early ones had a sunburst flame maple top; one-piece mahogany body; one-piece mahogany neck; rosewood board; Grover tuners; and two humbuckers. Later ones had a three-piece neck, fingerboard biding, and LP-style inlays. They all had early (maybe the first?) "matched" pickups with tone controls that actually helped produce a range of useful sounds.

You can say a lot of guitars fit that description nowadays, but it wasn't true in the 1970s/1980s, and creator Jol Dantzig apparently aimed specifically at players who wanted a Les Paul but didn't want to pay the Les Paul prices that were rising at the time. They're light, versatile, and attractive with a nice clubby neck -- loads of well-known players used them. And they're still very affordable if all you want is a "player" grade.
I agree that early Hamer Sunburst´s are often great guitars. I feel they are generally much closer to the feel and sound of fifties Gibsons, than late seventies Gibsons are. Hamer Specials from the same period, are pretty much the same guitar, except that the body is not bound.
The fancy inlays were optional on the Sunburst already on the early ones, and they remained optional for the entire original production (I´ve had a 1982 unbound/dot Sunburst). When Hamer reissued the Sunburst (But with a carved top) in the nineties the fancy inlays/binding became standart. I do not agree on the neck size though. I generally prefer big necks, and I´ve always wished that the Sunburst´s I´ve tried had slightly bigger necks. Some of the also had a slightly weird shape. My 1982 Sunburst had an oddly D-shaped neck. When I had played a Gibson, it alwas took me some minutes to adjust to the Hamer, and the same when I went back to one of my Gibsons. It was not a bad thing in any way, it was actually a very nice playing guitar, but it was slightly odd. Most early Sunburst´s I´ve tried have however felt very much like one of Gibson´s better efforts.
 

renderit

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Jan 19, 2009
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Collings City Limits Deluxe
I call this one 'Vlad, the Impaler'


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bursty

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Dec 25, 2012
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Seventy Seven guitars are pure awesome.
Just about anything MIJ made by Deviser (Headway, Bagtone, Sonix, Bacchus, Momose, Riverhead, Seventy Seven, etc.) is gonna be da bomb. :cool:

I have owned right about 60 Deviser examples over the years (even have another on the way), most but not all MIJ, and they are exceptional in quality & workmanship.

Let's look at just the Bacchus BEX models I have owned:
I have owned Mahogany (Khaya), Korina, and Mango lumber examples; the Mango is actually MIP, not MIJ.
I ended up selling all of my MIJ BEX examples & I kept the Mango BEX that is MIP.
That is saying a lot about how well I regard the attempt by Deviser to set-up the Philippines production facility, and to produce excellent quality guitars that actually rival the Bacchus MIJ guitars. That is a great accomplishment by Deviser, IMO.
 
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