Les Paul Project Guitar Becomes Keeper

Les Paul Project Guitar

Les Paul Project Guitar Becomes Keeper

Over the years I’ve had a few Les Pauls that were fairly heavy (in the 9.5 to 10 lb range) but they never gave me any grief like I hear some dudes talking about. You know, back problems, hip problems etc. from playing a Les Paul. I couldn’t relate because lately I’ve been playing weight relieved models (7.5 to 8.0 lb) Until last week. Now I know what those dudes are talking about.

refinish 1 and 2I started looking for an Epiphone Les Paul that I could mod and refinish just for a project and i found a decent 1993 Korean made Epi L.P. for a decent price. It had been de-glossed so a refinish was in order and most Epi LPs have questionable electronics which need replacing, perfect for my needs. I bought it based on the picture in the ad figuring anything that could be wrong with it won’t matter since it was going to get a total rebuild. It has a nice vintage burst on a flame maple top that begged for a glossy finish. However, after putting it all back together I had another idea: what if I changed the yellow part of the burst to a translucent red? So I tore it all back down and without any sanding I used Dupli-color anodized red spray paint. The same stuff I used on some pedal builds. Laid on 4 coats of the Dupli-color and 4 coats of Urethane over that. Worked better than I could have wanted. I’ve now gone through the electrics and rewired the whole thing (the pickups are Duncan 59’s so I left them alone. Well, I may have swapped the magnet in the bridge pickup from an alnicoV to an alnico4 just to see what it would do), and added new Gibson/Grover tuners  and replaced the bridge and stop tailpiece with new ones. Got all the work done and it came out great. Up to this point I hadn’t put a strap on it nor slung it over my shoulder. I did so the other day and played for about half an hour. Holy shit! This thing is freakin’ heavy! It weighs in at 11.5 lbs. By

Les Paul Project Guitar

Les Paul Project Guitar

the end of the half hour my shoulder and back were starting to feel it. There are two factors that affect weight which are obvious on this axe: It’s non weight relieved or chambered (like the newer ones) and it has this fantastically fat neck. I mean FAT! Baseball bat fat! Never knew Epi made them this way. Add it all up and you get 11.5 lbs of great tone and sustain which I didn’t expect from an Epiphone. Seriously, this one is better than my Gibson (whoa! did I say that out loud?). I’ve heard that some of the Korean made units were good players and I reckon it’s true. The neck is taking some getting used. Not because it’s fat, I like that, but because it has a 15″ radius fretboard which is pretty damn flat compared to the 12″ radius I’m used to. As for the weight, I’ll live with it.  Counting the materials used and the price of the guitar I have less than $375 in the whole thing. All-in-all it turned out to be a great purchase. The only thing left to do is figure out my next guitar project. Maybe an exotic wood 2×12 speaker cabinet for my new Blackstar  HT-1RH tube amp head. (which will be the subject of my next post, but you already figured that, right?) Right now I’m gonna go play.

Russ

Dean Leslie West Peace Sign Signature Soltero, Dean Leslie West Flame Maple Tobacco Burst Signature Soltero, Gibson Les Paul Studio, Hamer Studio,, Epiphone Les Paul (Korean), Ovation Celebrity, Laney Cub 12R, Blackstar, HT-1R, Jet City JCA20H, Jet City JCA22H, Orange OR15, and a lot of dirt pedals, some store bought some DIY.

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