Jump to content

les paul vs. sg

Recommended Posts

I've been reading *whoever you are, cant remember* but someone said something about the SG was first originally called the Les Paul 2 SG or something until Les Paul took his business elsewhere.

Anyways, what I want to know is if taking an SG and a Les Paul with the same specs, would the sound be different between the two? For example take the Epiphone SG Goth and the Epiphone Les Paul Goth, or the Gibson SG Voodoo, and the Epiphone Les Paul Voodoo. Thanks for all the help.

-Jamie :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't think Les Paul would have hated the design of the SG as much if they had done two things: 1. Made it a neck-through design and 2. Made the horns softer. I think he liked the flat-top design because he has said that he never really liked the arched top on the original guitar and had Gibson make several guitars for him that were flat-topped. I also think he assumed the SG would be a neck-through design.

Les Paul was a connoiseur of neck-through guitars. He had proven to himself, and the rest of the world, that one solid chunk of wood would increase sustain over any other design out there. Les actually still uses his original Log guitar from time to time.

At the time of the great Les Paul/Gibson schism, Les' star was fading fast. He was becoming viewed as an "old man" by the new rockers and his popularity with the old crowd was fading because of his divorce from Mary Ford. He pushed Gibson to be innovative and Ted McCarty shut him down at every turn. When they came out with the second-generation Les Paul, with an unstable, half-ass designed, glued-on neck, that was the last straw for Les. So he broke his endorsement deal and demanded they take his name off the guitar.

When Gibson brought back the original Les Paul model, the Les Paul Recording was also introduced a couple years later. I personally think this was a compromise with Les Paul to get his blessing to reintroduce the original. Not a neck-through design, but it did at least incorporate advanced electronics onboard and low-z pickups for going direct into the board. Les is all about the clean tone and innovation, after all.

The SG is most definitely a different animal than the original Les Paul. The SG plays faster and in stock form has more powerful pickups. BUT, because of weakenesses in the design, the original LP has a bit more sustain. When you put two radical cutaways on either side of the neck and remove so much wood mass from other areas of the body, you'll lose sustain. The benefit to the SG is playability and lighter weight.

Keep in mind, the two guitars in modern form are almost totally different than when they first came out. The '52 LP was so bad that nobody wanted it, that's why there's almost none out there from that year. P-90s and a trapeze tail, I'm surprised Les even played it. It was like the original Corvette until Zora Duntov came and put a V8 in it. Seth Lover saved the original Les Paul with the PAF humbucker.

The '61 SG had a neck joint that wanted to fall apart and a cheesy tremelo system that didn't even come close to Fender's quality or stability.

Today, the two guitars are excellent instruments and have benefited from 50 years of research and evolution, especially the SG. I would gladly add either to my collection now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here is what they say at this site:



Why Did Les Paul want his name off the SG?

A friend of mine saw Les Paul play at the Iridium in New York and asked him that very question.

There where 3 technical factors.. and 1 funny one…

When he did fast runs up the neck, the bottom horn always got in his way.

He hated the neck.  He thought they were flimsy and not as stable from a tuning stand point.

He liked the Mahogany body – maple cap construction of the les Paul better from a tone standpoint. In fact that’s the same thing he didn't like about the old Les Paul Customs.

He didn’t want to do anything until Mary was out of the picture ( so she couldn’t get part of the contract money).

And now you know !

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That sounds like what I read in Guitar Player a couple years ago in their Les Paul 50th Anniversary issue.

I wonder how he'd like the ESP Viper since it's an asymmetrical cutaway and neck-through design? In my opinion, that's what the SG should have looked like and been constructed like the whole time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the help everyone. I'm gonna be checking out that ESP viper actually. I'm looking for a guitar that has incredilble lows - so far the LP Goth is in the lead but now I have to try the SG Goth. I will also be trying out the LP and SG Voodoo but judgeing from the price of those, one will have to be so amazing that it makes me want to keep it over my girlfriend of 2 years haha.

-Jamie :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...