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Fender Stratocaster Vs Gibson Les Paul

Essay by   •  June 30, 2019  •  Coursework  •  1,093 Words (5 Pages)  •  681 Views

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Fender Stratocaster vs Gibson Les Paul

If you asked a child to draw an electric guitar, chances are they will draw the silhouette of either a Fender Stratocaster or a Gibson Les Paul, arguably two of the most iconic electric guitars. In this world, we are lucky enough to have an opinion and a preference. However, there are some instances where we have to make a decision on something, whether it be choosing a university or picking a restaurant to go eat dinner at. In my situation, I cannot afford two expensive guitars at once and have to choose between the two. For my purposes, I want a guitar that fits my playing style and works with my necessities. I will shootout a Fender Stratocaster and a Gibson Les Paul based off of price, pickups and tone, and versatility.

When I think of a Fender Stratocaster, there are many different options. Currently on Fender’s website, there are several different series of the Fender Stratocaster with prices ranging from $674.99-$2,499.99 (Fender, 2019). This is not counting the Fender Custom Shop, which can have prices that can reach well over $3,000. This price range allows for availability to most people and also a variety of models. For a Gibson Les Paul, the prices are usually quite a bit higher. On Gibson’s website, there are also several different models of the Les Paul, with a price range of $799.99-$7,499.99. This does however count their custom shop instruments, for there is not a separate website for the Gibson Custom Shop. Currently, the highest price for a production Gibson Les Paul is $3,799.99 (Gibson, 2019). This price range is higher than a Fender Stratocaster, and the Les Pauls at different price points are more different compared to the Stratocasters at different price points. In other words, there are more changes and affordable appointments made to a cheaper Gibson Les Paul than a cheaper Fender Stratocaster.

The tone of a guitar is arguably the most important aspect. A guitar can cost $100 and be cheaply made, but if the tone is really great, then it almost redeems itself and proves its worth. A Fender Stratocaster is typically equipped with three single coil pickups. There are also different models that have an HSS (humbucker in the bridge, single coils in the middle and neck), HSH (humbucker in the bridge and neck, single coil in the middle), and even HH (humbucker in bridge and neck, no middle pickup) (Fender, 2019). This selection allows for a variety of tone that will fit almost any style of playing. A Stratocaster allows for 5 pickup selections with 3 pickups. Each selection has a different sound, some being described as bright, and some as quacky and warm. It also has a tremolo bar, which can shift the pitch by pushing or pulling on a bar connected to the bridge. A Gibson Les Paul is known to be equipped with two humbuckers, one in the neck and one in the bridge. Humbuckers are pickups that have two coils, instead of one. They get their name from the minimized hum that comes from less electrical interference. There are also different pickup configurations with a Les Paul. These configurations include switching out the humbuckers for two P-90s, which are single coils that are wound shorter, but wider than a traditional single coil (“All About… P90s,” 2016). Another configuring just simply puts a P-90 in the bridge position of the guitar, no pickup selector, just a volume and tone control. The



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