1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Les Paul / SG bodies...?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by noise, Apr 2, 2001.

  1. noise

    noise Guest

    Oct 23, 2000
    Berkeley, CA
    I see very few basses with the Les Paul or (Gibson?) SG body shape. Why is that? Are they copyrighted? Or do luthiers and players generally dislike them? Are they harder to play (I.E., uncomfortable)?


  2. rllefebv


    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    I guess it's kind of a personal preference, but I've never really liked those body types for bass. Gibson has basses with both body styles, and neither of 'em really feel good to me. Guess I'll always be a Fender-slut :D

  3. I think there aren't many Les Paul or SG style basses for two reasons:

    1) L.P. and SG body styles are a Gibson creation.
    Gibson basses were never nearly as popular over the years for the possible reason that a lot of their designs were shortscale w humbucking pickups.
    (I recently read this in "The Ultimate Guitar Book"
    by Tony Bacon, so I'll give credit where credit is due.) I tend to agree. Early Gibsons tended to have more of a *thuddy* sound compared with Fenders, which were bright and lively by comparison. So, I think that when a lot of bass players just saw that Gibson shape they subconciously thought of a boomy sound, and sales suffered. When Gibson went to long scale basses, and started to fool around with the pickups, Man! I love the sound of a Ripper, and as I've said in an earlier thread, their RD Artist was one of the BEST sounding basses I ever heard. Now I'm out of my mind over the Epi Jack Casady, which essentially is a Gibson bass.
    It's a shame, but after the 70s people mostly just wrote a Gibson bass off, and all the smaller bass companies that are still with us today started to bloom. I like a lot of them too, and yes, I am an Ibanez fan, but I think Gibson's biggest problem with not catching on in later years is that they'd introduce some dynamite basses, then discontinue them when some accountant said they weren't profitable. I know you can't run at a loss, but, I also know that a quitter never wins. My suggestion? Have limited runs of certain basses every year. This way you keep your foot in the door without making people head for the custom shop, which I believe is very expensive. Look at the rumors with the Casady now?

    Gibson, you make excellent products, but will you ever learn to market them correctly?

    Just my pair o'pennies,
    Mike J.
  4. Sorry, I forgot reason #2.

    They're neck heavy.

    Mike J.
  5. MJB


    Mar 17, 2000
    I own a 65 EB-O, the SG style body. It is an incredibly easy bass to play, feels like a guitar. The tone is quite muddy, but sometimes I want that, particularly if playing with a distortion pedal as the pedal simply can't kill the bottom on this bass. I think the muddy tone comes from the mahogany body and humbucker (hot!) positioned right up at the end of the neck. Now, the SG syle body has the strap pin on the back, right behind the neck joint. I use a good suede Levy's strap to keep it from neck diving. This strap pin placement also causes the top to want to dive toward the floor so you need to keep some forearm pressure on it. It's a fun bass but I wouldn't have it as my one and only.
  6. noise

    noise Guest

    Oct 23, 2000
    Berkeley, CA
    Is the fact that they're neck heavy from the lack of horn on the upper half? I.E., the neck strap is closer to the body which changes the placement of the center of gravity relative to your own body?

    While I love the small-horn design, I will never buy a Gibson product (not after what they did to Oberheim and OpCode). I rather wish that smaller luthiers would make basses with that body. I suppose if I were wealthy I could get one custom made... :p perhaps a graphite neck (ala Zon) would even out the weight distribution?

  7. MJB


    Mar 17, 2000
    Well the neck strap button is actually ON the body, just right of the neck joint. So, yeah, you have a lot more weight to left of the strap support. I suppose you could strap it like an acoustic guitar, shoelace around the headstock thing, tho that would look pretty dorky and I personally wouldn't want to stress the headstock.
  8. the guitarist of a band I was in had an strange Eko bass from the 70's which had a Les Paul shaped body with a bolt-on short scale maple neck (very slim) like that on their violin basses.
    it had two humbuckers and mini versions of elephant ear machineheads, and the weird thing was it balanced perfectly on a strap. it got the Paul McCartney sound pretty well too.
  9. old_skool


    Aug 17, 2000
    Milwaukee, WI
    ive seen washburns like that before ( les paul ) . super slim neck.
  10. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    Ibanez used to make short scale basses with an EB style body. Played one for several months at a church I went to years ago.

    But all of them that I have ever seen have no name on them at all.
  11. i love gibson basses. again a matter of taste. but i love them.

    the ripper
    the thunderbird
    the sg
    the les paul
    the rd

    and i have never had a neck dive problem
    the guy at gibson must have had big sholders, as opposed to leo who looks like a small guy.
  12. I love Gibson basses too.
    My main bass is a Ripper and I just picked up
    an Epiphone Les Paul Standard 5 string.
    I just use a wide leather strap to deal with the
    minor neck-dive problem.

Share This Page