Compare and Contrast
1961 Stratocaster and
a 1962 Les Paul SG
This 1961 Stratocaster and 1962 Les Paul that we recently setup on are excellent examples and the comparison is easy— both are famous workhorses, in great condition, modified in the 70s and have many of the advantages that you would expect- great sounding, easy to play, and truly iconic.
But there is plenty to contrast as well—
The 61 Strat is the epitome of all things ‘Fenderish’- The 25.5 scale length and maple neck provide plenty of snap and brightness- The retrofitted 5 position switch gives nice ‘in between’ tones in the 2 and 4 positions and the noiseless Dimarzio pickups are a significant advantage for avoiding 60hz hum.
As expected, the Strat is chimey and clear on clean tube settings—think Dire Straights. It remains tight and focused when overdriven.
1962 Les Paul Special SG
With a 24.75 scale length, all Mahogany construction and full size Dimarzio PAFs, the Les Paul is considerable warmer. But it retains a lot of cut and bite due to the SG style and weight.
Clean tube sounds are very thick, while the overdrive is punchy, heavy, and compressed- It’s considerable less muddy than Les Paul Standards that came and before and after… but it’s not exactly an SG either. The sound is Who or AC/DCish.
Either guitar would be great for blues, rock, pop or even jazz. The Strat has the advantage for country timbres while the SG has the advantage for sustain and crunch.
So what does this mean to you and why would you pick one over the other?
So why would you want to look at vintage instead of new construction? Both approaches make sense depending on what you are looking for:
1. Considering CAD designs and CNC computer controlled precision, today there’s more flexibility for extremely tight specifications. And hardware and electronic modifications are easy.
2. However vintage guitars, like these, are still in demand for good reasons:
What is most important is that you can do whatever works for you. At Born Again Guitars, we will help you modify your current instrument, restore a classic, or build your custom dream instrument.
Of course, it takes a lot of experience to match the sound and feel that is right for you—after all there are infinite options and you may have a limited budget.
At BornAgainGuitars, we combine the three necessary arts to meets your ergonomic and tonal requirements
Contact us at info@BornAgainGuitars.com
Good news sidebar. The Strat owner has all of the original parts! It’s understandable that these rarebirds were modified for better tone and playability in the old days-
At BornAgainGuitars, we’re probably never going to recommend rarebird modification. However, if you’re going to do it (or have already done it) hold on to those original parts!
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