SG or Les Paul ?

Discussion in 'Epiphone Guitars' started by Lee Waite, Jan 5, 2020.

  1. Lee Waite

    Lee Waite New Member

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    Hi everyone, I’m a beginner looking to buy my first electric guitar and I’ve narrowed it down to the SG or the Les Paul, both with coil tapping.
    My question is why choose one over the other ?
     
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  2. BGood

    BGood Well-Known Member

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    Hmmm ... so many answer to that one. Here are my observations.
    Oh, and welcome here.

    LP:
    - heavy guitar
    - tonality is rich and deep (depending on pups)
    - kind of boxy body if you come from a Strat background

    SG:
    - light guitar
    - tonality as rich but more "aggressive"
    - more "organic" body that is easier to wear
    - front strap positioned button further back, so neck seem longer even though both have same scale
    - many have commented that once you adopt the SG shape, you want more of it.

    Both can be made to sound exactly the same in a blind test.
     
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  3. Lee Waite

    Lee Waite New Member

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    Thanks for reply, I’m trying to learn on an acoustic and it’s just hard work.
    I would like to play rock and blues so that why I’ve ended up looking at these two
     
  4. Cozmik Cowboy

    Cozmik Cowboy Active Member

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    Don't rule out a Sheraton; between those two in weight, more sonicly versatile than either, and prettier than both.
     
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  5. BGood

    BGood Well-Known Member

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    Or the 339 which has a body size close to a LP.
     
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  6. Lee Waite

    Lee Waite New Member

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    Are the Sheraton and 339 as versatile as the SG and LP with their coil tapping though ?
     
  7. Tangyman

    Tangyman New Member

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    My first ever decent guitar was an Epi SG, and since then I have played Epi Les Pauls and a couple of Gibson Les Pauls (not mine) but I have always preferred the SG, so much so I bought the current G-400 SG Pro and, I must say it is the best guitar I have played.

    BGood points out the main important differences between the two, and I would say that if you're a gigging musician then the weight of the guitar will be a factor, and the LPs are much heavier over the course of a 1-2 hour set (and worse if you're drinking too).

    I suggest trying out both guitars using the same amp settings and seeing which you like the sound of best. You can obviously change the pickups to get the sound you want, but the general sound should give you and idea as to what tone you will get out of them.

    The other main factor is playability and the position of the pickup selector. The LPs have the toggle at the top of the body (nearest to your chest) and the SG has it at the bottom of the body, so this may be a factor if you switch pickups during a song (I personally don't, but I find the SG is more convenient to switch).

    Test them out and see what you think. I personally prefer SGs due to the weight and raw tone they give you but you'll only know when you test them which feels right for you
     
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  8. Bonzo21

    Bonzo21 Active Member

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    This^

    But I would suggest you get the store clerk to play a few things on both guitars. Or bring a friend who can play. As a beginner, if you are worried about how you sound or focusing on what you are playing, it's harder to focus on the tone differences. You should also play them yourself for feel though. That's just my two cents. If they have a 339 or Dot 335 try it out. If you have to order online, just buy the one that makes you most excited. All three are fantastic guitars.

    The newer ones have coil splits and yes it is just as versatile as the other two in my opinion--I just personally wouldn't play metal on it (though there is no rule saying you can't, it just feels wrong to me). The LP, SG, and 339 (or Dot 335) are all rock and blues machines... You can't really go wrong. I, as I suspect many people here, have one of each AHAHAHA

    Side note, in my opinion, the epiphone 339 or dot are the best value for money guitars on the market. I have never played one that disappointed me and I have been in awe of how much I get for the price every time I pick one up. I don't feel that when I pickup other budget semi-hollows...
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2020
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  9. Davis Sharp

    Davis Sharp Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to Epi-Talk.

    There are a lot of options. The LP Special is lighter than the more expensive LPs, but it doesn't come with coil splitting. I'm in the camp that says play them and see which one feels best in your hands and is most comfortable to play. If it's not comfortable, you will be disinclined to play it no matter what it sounds like. And if you don't play, you won't learn.

    If you want to play standing up, try that in the store. Some guitars have neck dive (i.e. are unbalanced), but a good leather strap usually solves that problem.

    If you hang around here long enough, you'll end up with two or three or twelve guitars, which will cover all the tones you can think of.
     
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  10. Raiyn

    Raiyn Well-Known Member

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  11. Paruwi

    Paruwi Kraut-Rocker Staff Member

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    He speaks the truth
    :thumb:

    and

    Welcome here @ €piTalk
    :wave:
     
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  12. Lee Waite

    Lee Waite New Member

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    Thanks everyone, I’m going to drop by my local guitar store and hopefully try them all.
     
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  13. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    Welcome Lee. I have been playing 53+ years and own both SGs and LPs and a bunch of others. I have coil-tapping on two of my guitars and never, I repeat never use it. I would not worry about that feature on my first electric guitar. On the other factor, I would probably recommend a Les Paul because the SG can be a little difficult to balance on the strap and that throws some folks into a tizzy. Whatever you choose, keep us posted and send pics!
     
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  14. DaveInSoCal

    DaveInSoCal Well-Known Member

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    I prefer the SG to the Les Paul, I never thought I would until I played an SG for the first time. The Les Paul is heavier and I always find myself accidentally hitting the selector switch while playing.
    I do love Les Pauls though, they have a warm aggressive tone that is so sweet.
    I play both but SG more than Les Paul.
     
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  15. Lee Waite

    Lee Waite New Member

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    thanks for the advice, I did wonder if the coil tapping was a bit of a gimmick. To be honest I watched a couple of YouTube reviews and real didn’t notice much difference in sound when people switched them ?
    Anyway, I think I need to pick up both the SG and the LP and see which feels more at home.
    However, I have just noticed the DOT so it now looks like I need to try the three of them out
     
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  16. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    Check out one of these, too.
    er1.jpg
    My Riviera P-93 is becoming my favorite guitar pretty quickly.
     
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  17. Ron

    Ron New Member

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    Welcome.. for me I must actually play with it at a store to see which fits me more. Even the same guitars feel and sound different. I have bought from SW a SG on sale as a demo looks new and absolutely love it. So hard to say.. as I have over 7 guitars and all different sound and feel. To me the SG just feels good in my hands and enjoy the sound.. but hard for me to say what you may like vs feel in your hands.
     
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  18. Bonzo21

    Bonzo21 Active Member

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    Ah man it's so damn good! I traded mine away a little while ago, you're making me regret it! ahahahhah
     
  19. Epitune

    Epitune New Member

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    Cheers Lee!
    If I was you, I've go for the SG.
    Reason is, I've got a fantastic Les Paul, a 2017 Epiphone Standard Pro, Plustop. Looks fantastic, have inspired me to keep on playing.
    The choice of guitar was a personal one related to my uncle, (long story). :-)
    However.. Its a beast!
    The neck is great, thin and easy to play, but that isn't representative for a LP as they come with all sort of necks.
    (You should go to a store and try out different necks, disregard make and model, and use that preference to choose the model you buy).
    But "lessies" are as far away from ergonomic as can be. The SG is a far more comfortable guitar to play.
    They both sound great, and believe me, YOU make much more difference in sound than the guitar does. If you are good, every guitar sounds great.
    (Watch Blues Brothers to see what I mean).
    SG's are more comfortable, find a version with a neck you like, if you spend enough money (which is not much really), you'll find a guitar you'll love easily, and Epiphone makes excellent guitars!

    Thing is see, for one, you should buy a really good guitar, spend some money, because it commits. A cheap guitar, you'll end up thinking "that was just $199, does not matter. Buy a proper guitar, you'll feel bad NOT playing it, thus..you play, get better, enjoy playing, and things start to happen. :-)
    Second thing, if the guitar hurts you, like a LP often do as it digs into your ribs, you don't want to play it, an ergonomic guitar is THAT much easier to pick up and play!

    But most important of all, keep the guitar in your living room, don't hide it! Don't put it in the guitar case, if it's in your sight all the time, you'll pick it up all the time and play!

    And that's what it's all about! :-)

    Last words, I envy you your first purchase! It'ts a magical time, such a big decision, hope you end up happy about it. Just remember, go to a store and try both out! People are different, what fits me you may hate, find YOUR guitar and have FUN!
     
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  20. soulman969

    soulman969 Active Member

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    The ES339 features coil tapping for both pickups and as a semi-hollow body I would call it more versatile that either an SG or a Les Paul. I'm not an SG guy but I do have a '56 LP Gold Top and the Casino in my avatar.

    The 339 I had was one of the nicest guitars I've ever owned. I ended up trading to a good friend whom I owed many favors to and one day soon I'll most likely buy another. I find them to be one of Epi's best models.
     
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