Forums > Personal > Fender Stratocaster/Gibson Les Paul

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Daz85 user not visiting

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Posted: 18 Mar 04, 06:27 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I've got this asignment to do in music tech at college, which is basically comparing the said guitars, however the information on the net is not proving usful.

I was wondering if anyone knew of any sites that could help, or have personal knowlege on the subject? Would be greatly appreciated.

1) The construction/electrics

2) The sound (how much is it affected by the amplifier?), ease of playing etc.

3) The style/appearance – why they’re the shape they are – has it changed much?

4) Their historical origins – which one came first?

5) The setup and repair procedure including intonation, action etc.

6) Music styles they are particularly suited to and specific guitarists who use them

Togg user is on
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Posted: 18 Mar 04, 07:17 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Are you kidding there must be a tone of stuff on the net, if not I would suggest buying a couple of guitarist mags.

Basically you are talking about to totally different animals and folks generally have strict alliances to one or other.

The Strat is from 1954 and was an updated version of the Telecaster, the Start first in the UK was owned by Hank Marvin of the shadows. They are a great alround playing guitar with a lighter tone to a Gibson Les Paul, with thinner frets and an easy neck, great for country, Rock and everything in between.

The Les Paul is a really heavy beast, with a different pick up style, effectively a double version of what the strat has, giving a much more dense tone, great for rock and blues but less comfortable for styles that require more twang. The Les Paul is I believe slightly earlier than the Strat and has been in and out of favour with guitarist for years, but remains one of the best guitars around.

The Gibson has stayed pretty ture to the original design over the years where as the Strat has gone through many re-workings to become more flexible, however the basic model is still the best, like most things they should be viewed as use the right tool for the job, but most guitarists will only use the one they prefer, and feel wise they do play very differently so if you are used to one the other will not be easy for you if you have never tried it.

The one big disadvantage with the Les Paul is the weight, they are heavy beasts and worn around your neck for two hours they will make you feel shattered. The Strat however kinda just hangs well and feels great but you do lose out on power a little.

That being said, it all depends on the Amp you use, a good Valve Amp is the best way to get a true tone, but each one will alter the tone a lot so again you must get the right one for your style of music.

"It is better to sit in silence and have people think you're a fool, then to open your mouth and remove all doubt"
Mr.Jingles user not visiting
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Posted: 18 Mar 04, 09:05 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

The Les Paul has more of a bluesy sound. It's not commonly used by hard rock guitarists, although it's the one used by Slash from Guns N' Roses. Somehow Slash has been able to provide a trademark sound with his Les Paul.

[QUOTE][QUOTENAME]Brandon wrote: [/QUOTENAME]... and now the "best you can offer is Mr. Jingles? HA! He's... just pathetic.[/QUOTE]
David Jones user not visiting
David Jones
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Posted: 18 Mar 04, 13:57 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Its easy to spot the differances tonally between the two. I would so though that the two can both sound bluesy!

The difference in sound is due to the pickups - the humbuckers of the LP and the single coils of the Strat.

Simply listen to the stereotypical users of each axe:


Jimi Hendrix
Eric Clapton (although he has used a Les Paul among others!)
Jeff Beck (can also be added to the LP list!)
John Fruciante
Iron Maiden
to name but a few...

Les Paul-

Jimmy Page
Saul Hudson (aka Slash)
Joe Perry
Peter Green
Zakk Wylde
to name a few more...

And then theres the sound of Brian May :-)

Strats generally have thinner necks than LPs and are easier to set up (imo). I find that Strats (and Teles) are more workhouse guitars whilst LPs are more delicate items.

Me and my brother are always discussing which is best - I'm naturally in the Strat camp!

"Freddie would have loved it" - Brian May