Greetings, and thanks for reading this monster... but theres a good story to tell.


For the past few months Ive been actively looking for my first "real nice" electric guitar, one that I would keep and really enjoy for a long time ... I have owned/played various beginner strats but nothing that felt "just right." Really, I've just begun to play electic after years of acoustic. After saving enough dough to lay down for a nice american strat or maybe a gretch DaddyGod just decided to blow my mind.


An (amazing) friend from church came to me after choir practice this week and said, "Aaron, when I die I want you to slip a thousand dollar check in the coffin just as they are closing the door and we will call this deal square ok. I cant take these with me when Im gone anyway right?"  Then he hands me his 1976 Gibson Les Paul Custom with a huge smile on his face.  I hadnt told him about my plans to buy a new guitar... He just said he could tell that it would bless my socks off.


As you can guess, Im still reeling from all this... Im just so flabber-gasted that someone would just give something like that away. Im really really blessed with an amazing church family, Ive known that... I just never would have dreamed in a million years... what else can I say?


The guitar itself is beautiful (Ill post pictures soon)... cherry sunburst. Well played and traveled but without any real damage. I plan to have the local luthier have it set up soon, what else should I have him look at when I take it in? I've never had my hands on a vintage guitar and am clueless to what should be done and what shouldnt...  I dont want to take anything away from this guitar by having needless work done, but I do want it to play this beauty... a lot... Are there any electronic things that I should have done/checked? A buddy told me to have the pots and wiring updated with Jimmy Page push-pull-something-or-others so that I can control the sound better.... Youtube had cool vid's on the process, Have any of you seen it done?


Also, what amps/combos should I be looking for leading worship, playing in a medium sized building (150-200 people)... priced at or below $650.  To give you a bit of the church's sound, our music style ranges from Tomlin to Jesus Culture and I love a smooth bluesy Overdrive. Im thinking a TubeAmp but dont know what the upkeep intails, and any advice is really appreciated. I know Ill take your suggestions to the MusicStore and play til it sounds just right... but every time I go to that place I get lost. Ive never shopped for amps and dont want to be there for hours and hours with a salesperson suggesting a big sale item.... I just want a good sounding amp that I can cart from home to the church, play at the house and not blow my wife's ears off yet get good versitile tone for services.  


Again, Im so amazed at what God is doing and I really appreciate your thoughtful, educated, responses.


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HI Aaron


I have an LP w/the gold and sunburst - very beautiful machine.  

You got some good advice, I'll add: 


1.  Get a wide, heavy leather strap.  LPs are heavy; the wide width will relieve your shoulder considerably.  Leather because it grabs better than slippery material like nylon. 


2. Consider a high-end multi-effects box like the POD HD-500.  Outraged purists will stop reading here, but, here's why you might consider this: 


A. No mike/amping equipment.  Less stuff to drag around & setup

B. No side noise.  Going straight into the board gets you the sound you're after without extra ambient noise. 

C. Amount of possibilities.  These multi-processor boards have all sorts of high end options that individually would cost a lot more and be more difficult to ensure are balanced on output when you mix them up. 

D. Tune it up at home, play it at church: using headphones, you can dial in what you're looking for (which can take a long time), and then have it ready when you show up at church. 


I recently picked up an HD-500 and have been working on "tuning" the sound to get what I'm looking for out of it.  It has a mind-blowing number of possibilities, but the interface is easy, relative to that of previous UIs like the Roland GR-88.  I've learned a lot about how various effects work together, and I still have a lot to learn. 


If you go for an amp, you should also get a Line 6 DL4 (delay) and a Boss compressor; you will get much better sound out of the LP with these two effects and an amp.


Good luck!  

Hi Dave,


How do / did you find the HD500 in terms of sound and versatility?. I have a POX XT Live, and I ve heard that Line 6 are doing leaps in making these boards sound more right then they were sounding...


I usa a PRS Custom 24, an XT Live and Laney LC50 Tube Amp...


What are your views?



I'm interested to know how you set your modeler up at home in order to make it sound acceptable in a live context. As well as using valve amps, I've been using processors etc since the early 90s, and have always had to adjust for an acceptable tone in a band setting - things never sound the same in a different room without other musicians (and without people in front too).

Thank you much for the input Dave,


Im glad you mentioned the line6 HD unit, Ive been looking at them and the m13 recently, Im thinking that I want to get an amp since our sound system is archaic, but am totally into the idea of having a Multi-effect board or Pod system instead of a dozen pedals. While I totally understand the pursuit of tone, Im realistic about the financial end of that prospect. (ProGuitarShop videos are terrible for GAS patients.) Have you used the Line6 M13 unit? How well does the HD-500 work with an amp? 



Aaron, this is truely a "God" thing and it is truely awesome that God knows how to bless His children!

I have a similar story. A fan from Memphis gave me a brand new Ibanez JS1000, he said he was wantong to give it to me for a while but i guess it just slipped his mind. When I got it all it needed was a neck adjustment. I hadn't been saving for a new guitar but I needed one! And this was a suprise from Jehovah, a reminder of how much He loved me.

For a Les Paul, I think a Peavey Classic 30 and a clean boost pedal would be a great combination. It sounds great and it's an affordable pedal too :)


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