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Ultimate Guitar Thunderdome: Stratocaster vs. Les Paul

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Strat or Les Paul

the Fender Stratocaster
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50%
the Gibson Les Paul
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Total votes : 125

Ultimate Guitar Thunderdome: Stratocaster vs. Les Paul

Postby projectMalamute on Sun Mar 09, 2008 4:09 pm

The most iconic of electric guitars.

Two guitars enter. One guitar leaves.

I can't imagine I'm not going to get kerbled but a search didn't find this question.
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Postby tarandfeathers on Sun Mar 09, 2008 4:32 pm

Gotta be the Les Paul. Fripp, Gibbons, Pinhas. That's enough to swing it for me. Plus Strat's have that 80's electric blues sound built in. You have to work hard to get something that shit out of a Les Paul.
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Postby Marsupialized on Sun Mar 09, 2008 5:36 pm

Personally I don't really get the boner for either, I'm an SG or Jaguar man. Big boners for them, not so much the Strat or Les Paul. Just kinda 'eh'

The strat, my only problem with...it's boring looking. Aside from that it's a solid guitar...feels good, sounds good. The Les Paul is too heavy, can't play one without feeling all off kilter.
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Postby AnthonyVillalobos on Sun Mar 09, 2008 7:00 pm

American Strat beats a Les Paul anyday.


Strat for sure.
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Postby johnnyshape on Sun Mar 09, 2008 7:25 pm

I wouldn't swap my Les Paul Custom (or any of my guitars) for a Strat. It's probably the best built solid object I own. Yes, it's heavy. It's not for everyone.

For every nice Strat I've ever picked up and tried I've picked up a clunky, honking, thin Crapocaster.

Les Paul.
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Postby lemur68 on Sun Mar 09, 2008 7:28 pm

tarandfeathers wrote:Gotta be the Les Paul. Fripp, Gibbons, Pinhas. That's enough to swing it for me. Plus Strat's have that 80's electric blues sound built in. You have to work hard to get something that shit out of a Les Paul.


A guitar that's been around for 50 years has a 20-year-old tone built into it?
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Postby Heliotropic on Sun Mar 09, 2008 7:38 pm

My experience with Strats has been fairly good. They feel great, they never go out of tune, and the pickups can easily be changed to just about anything you want.

Les Pauls sound good (for the most part), but they're too heavy and the neck is too uncomfortable for me. Low end Les Pauls also seem to have a terrible tendency to go out of tune very quickly.
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Postby AnthonyVillalobos on Sun Mar 09, 2008 10:40 pm

Marsupialized wrote:Personally I don't really get the boner for either, I'm an SG or Jaguar man. Big boners for them, not so much the Strat or Les Paul. Just kinda 'eh'

The strat, my only problem with...it's boring looking. Aside from that it's a solid guitar...feels good, sounds good. The Les Paul is too heavy, can't play one without feeling all off kilter.


I called up Fender a couple years ago to see if I could get a jaguar. I'm a lefty and when I told them that they made it sound like they had to build me a rocket ship. They told me it would take a year and run me $7000.

Of course I don't have that kind of money, so I told 'em "Whatever. Forget it".

I love Fender but those dudes seem lazy as fuck. I got an American Strat instead and I'm extremely happy with it.
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Postby Marsupialized on Sun Mar 09, 2008 10:46 pm

They have a lefty jag at the guitar center in Chicago for $550 right now, just saw it the other day when I had to get some cords.
Maybe you can get it transferred over to yours.
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Postby a. james on Mon Mar 10, 2008 2:13 am

on just sound alone: i always found it difficult to get an awesome sound out of a good strat. i found it much easier to do with the LP. though, the strat did have a lot of useable tones in it, the les paul had maybe as many but better sounding and easier attained.

the strat has the fact that it's completely modular on the LP. anything you don't like you can replace.

the LP has fragility working against it. headstock breaks aren't uncommon on most gibsons.

i remember the strat being easier to set up once you blocked the bridge. why are so few of them hardtail?

the strat is lighter, but weight isn't a concern for me if the guitar balances and both of these do. (at least as i recall them doing.)

les paul's have a shorter scale. which makes it a little thunky sounding and playing. i prefer the longer scale of the strat but prefer the LP's neck shape.

aesthetically i prefer the LP. from body shape, to finish, to the pickup layout, and hardware.

in reality though, had i unlimited means i'd pick neither guitar. i'd have a long scaled, neck through design with two single coils at the bridge and neck positions.

if i'm telling someone what to buy, and they like both guitars already, i'd say the strat...or the les paul.

i don't know, i can't choose.
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Postby 242sumner on Mon Mar 10, 2008 2:27 am

Heliotropic wrote:My experience with Strats has been fairly good. They feel great, they never go out of tune, and the pickups can easily be changed to just about anything you want.



Apparently, every Fender guitar has the second and the third frets out of tune.The guitar can be in tune, but if you play there, they are going to be sharp.
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Postby Adam I on Mon Mar 10, 2008 3:13 am

Strat easily. They'll probably always be the least fashionable of guitars (unless a Cobain mkII enters the fray sporting one), but that's surely just symptomatic of their status as 'default electric guitar'? Certainly a strat is a far more si-fi, bonkers shape than a Les Paul.

Strats (for me) are a pencil drawing to a Les Paul's marker pen.

A strat can be dropped from the window of a speeding train and played in anger later that day (often with no repair) a Les Paul would (at best) be in traction for weeks.

Les Paul's look daft on youngsters but dignified and appropriate on elderly blues-rock players.

Strat, easily.
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Postby AnthonyVillalobos on Mon Mar 10, 2008 3:29 am

Marsupialized wrote:They have a lefty jag at the guitar center in Chicago for $550 right now, just saw it the other day when I had to get some cords.
Maybe you can get it transferred over to yours.


Good lookin' Marsupialized, 550 is perfect. That's for the info.

I'm gonna see if the guitar center out here while order it for me.
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Postby tarandfeathers on Mon Mar 10, 2008 4:18 am

lemur68 wrote:
tarandfeathers wrote:Gotta be the Les Paul. Fripp, Gibbons, Pinhas. That's enough to swing it for me. Plus Strat's have that 80's electric blues sound built in. You have to work hard to get something that shit out of a Les Paul.


A guitar that's been around for 50 years has a 20-year-old tone built into it?


The tone existed since the inception of the guitar, I suppose, but that's the period of music it's tied to for me. The presence of THAT sound in that guitar seems fairly independent of player and amplification, maybe that position on the pickup selector just wasn't very popular before that time....
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Postby Benny on Mon Mar 10, 2008 4:47 am

tarandfeathers wrote:
lemur68 wrote:
tarandfeathers wrote:Gotta be the Les Paul. Fripp, Gibbons, Pinhas. That's enough to swing it for me. Plus Strat's have that 80's electric blues sound built in. You have to work hard to get something that shit out of a Les Paul.


A guitar that's been around for 50 years has a 20-year-old tone built into it?


The tone existed since the inception of the guitar, I suppose, but that's the period of music it's tied to for me. The presence of THAT sound in that guitar seems fairly independent of player and amplification, maybe that position on the pickup selector just wasn't very popular before that time....


you're talking about the so-called 'quack' sound on the strat, the notch positions (position 2 and 4 in the 5-way switch). these positions are pretty new, the first strats had only a 3 way switch, but you can still getting some of those tones just forcing the switch into a middle position (mark knopflier did that). so, in some way, those ugly as hell tones weren't very available before.
anyways, strat. the gibson les paul is more of a big rock arena kind of guitar. plus, it's heavy as hell, more expensible, and that big fat sound doesn't do it for me. i heard much better guitar tones out of strats and i'm always surprised when i just heard a song and i think "oh! what a great guitar tone! it shold be a tele or a jazzmaster or gretsch.. " and it's a fucking strat.


Apparently, every Fender guitar has the second and the third frets out of tune.The guitar can be in tune, but if you play there, they are going to be sharp.


that explains why all those billions of G and D chord sounding like shit for the last 50 years.[/url]
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Postby holmes on Mon Mar 10, 2008 5:48 am

both are great guitars. calling them bland takes alot of context away from both of them. i personally like strats as you can slap them about abit with out breaking them.
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Postby mr.arrison on Mon Mar 10, 2008 6:32 am

while 98% of all strats I have played are near total crap, the remaining 2% are solid gold, and they suit my playing style much better than the LP. LP's seem only good for playing standard or drop-D tuning heavy rock. I already have a TB1000 which is really just a brighter LP with more sustain and louder pickups.

Strat wins, although not by much.
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Postby a. james on Mon Mar 10, 2008 6:54 am

Adam I wrote:They'll probably always be the least fashionable of guitars (unless a Cobain mkII enters the fray sporting one...)


does the failure make this any less pertinent?
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Postby Benny on Mon Mar 10, 2008 6:55 am

fly, the arctic monkeys, those guys plays strats. they are a bit more fashionable again.
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Postby D'Piucchstre on Mon Mar 10, 2008 7:33 am

Heliotropic wrote:My experience with Strats has been fairly good. They feel great, they never go out of tune...


The hardtail strats, maybe, all the tremolo strats that I've played would seemingly go out of tune if you looked at them the wrong way.

FWIW, I picked the Les Paul, I like the tone and the sustain better. Also, I never really liked the Strat neck, especially the older style ones with the 7 1/2" fretboard radius. That being said, I did like the 'V' profile that some of their necks had. 70's and early 80's strats are generally the worst as far as I'm concerned, but then again, this was also when the worst Gibsons were made as well.
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