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10 Singlecut LP Style Guitars for Your Consideration

EpiphoneESP/LTDFramus and Warwick GuitarsGibsonGuitarsHagstromHartung GuitarsIbanezJacksonLP-Style and Single-Cut GuitarsPaul Reed SmithPRSSchecter Guitar Research+-
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So I am increasingly thinking my next guitar will be a singlecut style one - the usual mahogany body + mahogany neck, Rosewood or Ebony Board, usually 4 control dials and (at least) two humbuckers etc. - for some deep and rich rock sounds. Up until now my preference has been for doublecut S-style guitars, and the PRS CE and Holcombe SE I already have quite adequately represent that genre for now.

 

You may recall I was considering a Gibson Les Paul Standard HP for a while - but on further reflection there are too many things about it that annoy me now. I also happened to catch a YouTube video of some poor sod unboxing one and experiencing all kinds of tuning issues in the first few weeks. It did settle down eventually - with all manner of tactics being applied to solve the tuning issues - but it kind of gave me cold feet.

 

You may also remember my earlier post on how Headstock Shape and machine heads impact on tuning and tuning fidelity. It is a prerequisite for me to have locking tuners on all my guitars - the Gibson LP Standard HP has a clever G-force automatic tuning system, but the strings are affixed via old-fashioned figure-of-8 methodology rather than using proper locking posts - insane if you ask me.

 

You also need to regularly apply silicone type lubricant to nut and strings on a Gibson to prevent the strings sticking in the nut grooves. I reacted to this quite quickly by setting my sights on a signature Ibanez Marco Sfogli (see NAMM post)- which is another S-type and high on my wishlist. Yet further consideration rationalised that I already had 2 S-Types and it was probably time for more of an LP style one now.

 

Along with a requirement for locking tuners and strap locks, I am also back to being wholly resolved on satin (non-gloss) necks - which disqualifies a lot of the likely candidates, even some in the following list - although you yourself may have a different preference.

 

Another thing I’ve become accustomed to is the PRS promoted ’coil-tap’ function which allows you to semi-split your humbuckers for more chimey single-coil voicings. So ideally my next guitar should have coil taps too.

I will indicate in the following listing which my current target guitar of choice is, while also highlighting the pros and cons of each guitar shortlisted:

 

Note: I hate 9.99 style pricing - costs are rounded up to nearest whole significant integer!

 


Gibson Les Paul Ltd Ed Nashville Black Beauty 2017 Ebony

Gibson Les Paul Ltd Ed Nashville Black Beauty 2017 Ebony

Costs: £3,300 (Andertons.co.uk)
Manufactured: USA

 

A Peter Frampton -ish style triple humbucker Gibson with gold appointments - only 150 of this particular model will be built.

 

Pros

  • 3 Burstbucker Humbuckers
  • 4 Control Dials - 3 volume, 1 tone
  • Locking Tuners for tuning fidelity and easy string replacement
  • Classic Gibson Sound

Cons

  • Old-fashioned headstock shape with known tuning issues (G-string anyone?)
  • Gloss Neck
  • Pricey
  • No coil-split/tap

Epiphone Les Paul Black Beauty Ebony GH

Epiphone Les Paul Black Beauty Ebony GH

Costs: £540 (Andertons.co.uk)
Manufactured: China

 

Epiphone’s considerably more affordably version of the Gibson Black Beauty above.

 

Pros

  • 3 Humbuckers
  • 4 Control Dials - 3 volume, 1 tone
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Old-fashioned headstock shape with known tuning issues (G-string anyone?)
  • No Locking Tuners
  • Gloss Neck
  • No coil-split/tap

PRS S2 Singlecut Standard Satin 2017

PRS S2 Singlecut Standard Satin 2017

Costs: £1,000 (order from Andertons.co.uk)
Manufactured: USA

 

This is currently my front runner for next guitar - I don’t usually like scratch-plates, but this one seems to fit in perfectly. Also the more recent models have the new single bridge with saddles - for proper intonation fine-tuning. With the PRS S2 #7 Bass and #7 Treble pickups you get beautifully rich and rounded typical vintage LP style tones - but with added versatility via coil taps on tone dials. You get all the usual USA PRS build quality with Satin neck too for effortless movement and access along the entire fretboard - a proper journeyman’s instrument.

 

Pros

  • Vintage-toned PRS Humbuckers
  • 4 Control Dials - 2 volume, 2 tone, including push/pull coil-taps on tone dials
  • Ergonomic Headstock Shape for tuning stability
  • Locking Tuners for tuning fidelity and easy string replacement
  • Satin Neck for smooth playability
  • Great value for this spec of US

Cons

  • None worth mentioning

Ibanez 2017 Prestige Uppercut ARZ6UCS-BKF

Ibanez 2017 Prestige Uppercut ARZ6UCS-BKF

Costs: £2,400 (PMTOnline.co.uk)
Manufactured: Japan

 

Beautiful modern styled LP type with Satin Finish and superb Bare Knuckle Nailbomb Humbuckers. Headstock string angles are sill a little acute, but significantly better han Gibson. All-round a beautiful guitar.

 

Pros

  • Bare Knuckle Nailbomb Humbuckers
  • Extended 24 fret fingerboard
  • Near enough Ergonomic Headstock Shape for tuning stability
  • Locking Tuners for tuning fidelity and easy string replacement

Cons

  • No coil-split/tap
  • Price

Jackson Monarkh SC Pro

Jackson Monarkh SC Pro

Costs: £690 (Andertons.co.uk)
Manufactured: Indonesia

 

LP-type Jackson with very modern headstock and natural finish neck for smooth playing. Also benefits from superb Seymour Duncan Blackout pickups and locking tuners.

 

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Vintage-toned Seymour Duncan Blackout Humbuckers
  • Ergonomic Headstock Shape for tuning stability
  • Satin Neck for smooth playability
  • Locking Tuners for tuning fidelity and easy string replacement

Cons

  • No coil-split/tap

ESP LTD EC1000 Guitar in Vintage Black

ESP LTD EC1000 Guitar in Vintage Black

Costs: £1,034 (Andertons.co.uk)
Manufactured: South Korea

 

Elegant modern looking LP-type with largely traditional headstock and satin finish. One of two on this page to use active pickups - EMG 81 at the bridge and 60 at the neck. Note that satin body finish is very sensitive to marking and will easily tarnish and stop looking pristine in a relatively short while.

 

Pros

  • Extended 24 fret fingerboard
  • Locking Tuners for tuning fidelity and easy string replacement
  • Satin Neck for smooth playability

Cons

  • Old-fashioned headstock shape with known tuning issues (G-string anyone?)
  • Active pickups may be issue for some - less tonal control
  • No coil-split/tap
  • Relatively expensive for overseas model

Schecter Hellraiser Hybrid Solo-II in Trans Purple Burst

Schecter Hellraiser Hybrid Solo-II in Trans Purple Burst

Costs: £870 (DolphinMusic.co.uk)
Manufactured: South Korea

 

Hybrid modern LP-style guitar with more traditional headstock, gloss body and satin neck. Like similar LTD it sports active EMG pickups but different ones - 57 at the bridge and 66 at the neck. Comes with gorgeous quilted maple top.

 

Pros

  • Extended 24 fret fingerboard
  • Locking Tuners for tuning fidelity and easy string replacement
  • Satin Neck for smooth playability
  • Reasonably affordable for guitar of this quality

Cons

  • Old-fashioned headstock shape with known tuning issues (G-string anyone?)
  • Active pickups may be issue for some - less tonal control
  • No coil-split/tap

Hagstrom Super Swede 3 Kings Limited Edition

Hagstrom Super Swede 3 Kings Limited Edition

Costs: £596 (Woodbrass.com)
Manufactured: Indonesia

 

Somewhat modern take on traditional style with some elegant body texturing details and featuring Custom Lundgren Design No.2 and No.5 Humbuckers - gloss finish throughout.

 

Pros

  • 4 Control Dials - 2 volume, 2 tone, including push/pull coil-taps on tone dials
  • Custom Lundgren Design Humbuckers
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Old-fashioned headstock shape with known tuning issues (G-string anyone?)
  • Gloss Neck
  • No locking tuner

Frank Hartung Embrace Scratchburst

Frank Hartung Embrace Scratchburst

Costs: P.O.A. (Around £6,000+ from Hartung-Guitars.com)
Manufactured: Germany

 

Upper echelon beautifully sculpted body with extensive design details throughout and sporting locking tuners, satin neck, Bare Knuckle The Mule pickup and ’scratch engraving’ on highest quality quilted mable top - totally premium components throughout. If money were no object, I would spring for one of these, or the Framus below, mind you - there is usually a 12 month waiting list on this beauty!

 

Pros

  • Vintage-toned Bare Knuckle The Mule Humbuckers
  • 4 Control Dials - 2 volume, 2 tone
  • Ergonomic Headstock Shape for tuning stability
  • Locking Tuners for tuning fidelity and easy string replacement
  • Satin Neck for smooth playability
  • Gorgeous unique instrument with top level Maple top

Cons

  • No coil-split/tap - can be custom specified though
  • Waiting List
  • Very Pricey

Framus Panthera II Supreme Special Purple High Polish Top

Framus Panthera II Supreme Special Purple High Polish Top

Costs: Around £7,000+ (Warwick.de > Framus)
Manufactured: Germany

 

Similar upper echelon sculpted beauty to above Frank Hartung with Seymour Duncan Pegasus Sentient Humbuckers, satin neck etc. Some models come with built-in lit-up LED fret markers and headstock logo. Top needs to be seen for amazing level of depth of finish.


Pros

  • Vintage-toned Seymour Duncan Pegasus Sentient Humbuckers
  • Ergonomic Headstock Shape for tuning stability
  • Locking Tuners for tuning fidelity and easy string replacement
  • Satin Neck for smooth playability
  • Gorgeous unique instrument with top level Maple top

Cons

  • No coil-split/tap - can be custom specified though
  • Waiting List
  • Very Pricey
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Stefan Karlsson
Stefan Karlsson
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