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I bought a "real" Les Paul

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My Ibanez guitars are gone, replaced with this...

...the Epiphone Les Paul Traditional PRO-III.

And oh yeah, there's a story behind this. I have some explaining to do.

I will talk about this guitar, but before I do that, two things I'm reminded of immediately is my experience with a thin-necked guitar back in the 1990s and the article Why I never got into Les Paul guitars back in 2012.

I'll start with that 2012 article first.

Most of the opinions I said in '12 are the same I still have today, but a few things have changed.

The Les Paul body shape doesn't cut into my ribs now because I'm not fat anymore. In 2015 I lost the weight and kept it off. After that happened, guitar shapes that used to cut into me were now comfortable to play. "Plank" style guitar bodies now rest properly against my body when seated or standing.

In '12 I was still in thrashing mode with guitar and only played Strats. Now in '19 I play much differently, particularly due to my Jazzmaster phase. The Jazzmaster guitar could not be banged hard because it would knock the strings right off the saddles. This ended up being very beneficial because it required me to learn lighter playing techniques to get around that. Now I play with a much lighter style as a result, and it's not required for me to own a guitar I need to bang hard anymore.

Where my opinion still stands strong is concerning the price of the Gibson Les Paul Standard. It wasn't worth $2,500 back in 2012, and it's not worth $3,400 today. (Yes, that means the guitar has had a 36% price increase in just 7 years.)

One of the very few Les Paul style guitars that I feel is worth its selling price is the Schecter Solo-II Custom - which by the way does not cross over 4 figures. Crazy-good guitar, but still significantly more expensive than the Epiphone I bought. I'll talk about that guitar more in a bit, but let's get to that thin-neck guitar experience I had back in the '90s.

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