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  1. #1
    Emperor of VHLinks.com Brett's Avatar
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    12.12.17 @ 08:14 AM
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    Anyone know much about the Les Paul XR-1?

    I'm not a Paul guy at all, I've owned two of them, but didn't love either of them very much. The first good guitar I owned was an '83 Cherry Red Standard. It was just a tree trunk and uncomfortable to play. Sold it maybe 8 years ago.

    Anyway I really like those stripped down XR-1's they made for a couple years in the 80's. It's the LP that Steve Clark of Def Leppard played in the Pyromania videos. I know they're on the cheaper side for Pauls, which doesn't bother me, because I like to play my guitars, not stick them in a case and stare.

    Anyone ever owned or played one? Do they suck? Are they cool? Any info will be appreciated.

    If you're wondering what I'm talking about, here's Steve Clark playing his.

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  2. #2
    Baluchitherium
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    11.25.17 @ 04:30 AM
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    The first LP I owned was an XR-1 (bought it in 88 for $300 from a pawn shop). They're alright. I think I've played two of them: mine and a friend's. It's lighter than a Standard. Plays well, but not spectacular. A good workhorse guitar.

    I had no complaints. Mine played and sounded fine. I replaced the pickups with a couple Seymour Duncans (I think) which made it better. There were a lot of complaints with these guitars but that was before my time (I bought it when I was 16).

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  3. #3
    Baluchitherium
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    11.25.17 @ 04:30 AM
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    One more thing: the XR-1 stayed in tune very well, unlike some Les Paul models (the Studio), which you have to tune quite frequently. As much as I love my LP Studio - an Alpine White job with Gold Hardware - I am tuning it every ten minutes.

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  4. #4
    5150 A&Z Guitar Repair's Avatar
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    03.24.17 @ 08:25 AM
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    Brett, I've had a handful of them come across my shop bench. Generally for setup and or electronic replacement/repair. Construction wise, I haven't had any problems on the ones I've seen/worked on.

    My band instructor in high school had one and he really liked it. He still has to this day, and is still his number one guitar.

    They're not the most collectible guitars, but if you like it...who cares.
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  5. #5
    Forum Frontman fudd's Avatar
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    I played one years ago and it felt better to me than a custom in terms of playability. Tone was pretty good too. As a rule I hate LP's but this felt better than most.

  6. #6
    On Fire KS 5150's Avatar
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    12.09.17 @ 09:46 PM
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    I'm a pretty big Les Paul guy so I know a bit about the XR-1. They came out around 1979-1980 and were a precursor to the Les Paul Studio, which were introduced in 1983. Steve Clark is the only famous guy I've seen playing one and they're pretty rare. pickup wise they should have the zebra pickups like Steve's if they're original. Pickups should either be T-Tops or the Tim Shaw PAF's....both are fantastic pickups, pretty low output. The Shaws were an early attempt to recreate the late '50 Gibson PAF humbuckers, and are much loved...I've seen the Shaws sell upwards of $400 on ebay, just for the pickups alone. I had a set in my Les Paul Studio Standard that I (sadly) sold, and were among my favorite pickups ever...construction-wise, I believe they still have the traditional maple-mahoghany combination, with a one-piece mahoghany neck and rosewood fretboard....never found one, always wanted to try one out..hope this helps, and let me know if you need further info....
    "People ask me how far I've come. And I tell them twelve feet: from the audience to the stage." - David Lee Roth

  7. #7
    Romeo Delight
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    Mylespaul is a great resource for les paul info and chat.you can get pricing and feedback about most if not all LP s there.....it looks very much like a studio model to me...I've got 2 LPs,gold top ltd edt and a studio.. Love em both

  8. #8
    Emperor of VHLinks.com Brett's Avatar
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    12.12.17 @ 08:14 AM
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    Thanks for all the info guys. There's one on Flea Bay for $950 but it looks beat to fuck. No way I'm paying that kind of dough for a less collectible Paul that is beat to hell. Hope that's not normal pricing.

    Oh last question, for those that played one. How was the neck? A tree trunk or thinner like 60s Pauls?
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  9. #9
    On Fire KS 5150's Avatar
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    12.09.17 @ 09:46 PM
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    I looked up a little more info on 'em and some stuff is different that I thought: the neck apparently is 3-piece maple with a rosewood fretboard...also has a volute, which strengthens the headstock from breakage. It actually has "Dirty Fingers" humbuckers, which were Gibson's take on a higher output humbucker (around 10k resistance on the bridge & 9.5k on the neck). They also apparently have some sort of early coil-tap feature & are not weight-relieved at all (so its probably heavy, 10-11 lbs). The post I saw said that the neck was average thickness (between a '50s & '60s neck, probably a '59 profile...I guess they're more common than I thought previously)....$950 sounds like a lot if its beat....for that money, you could get a nice LP Studio, or for a bit more, a used Les Paul Classic, which is more like a Standard, with binding...Good luck with whatever you do...
    "People ask me how far I've come. And I tell them twelve feet: from the audience to the stage." - David Lee Roth

  10. #10
    Forum Frontman fudd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brett View Post
    Thanks for all the info guys. There's one on Flea Bay for $950 but it looks beat to fuck. No way I'm paying that kind of dough for a less collectible Paul that is beat to hell. Hope that's not normal pricing.

    Oh last question, for those that played one. How was the neck? A tree trunk or thinner like 60s Pauls?
    It felt to me like my 80's firebird. Which is the only Gibson I'd own. Pretty small as opposed to the newer ones.

    And oddly enough Brett, I bought a firebird because of Steve Clark.

  11. #11
    Emperor of VHLinks.com Brett's Avatar
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    12.12.17 @ 08:14 AM
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    The weight thing scares me, because I hated that about my old Pauls, not only were the necks tree trunks, they were so freaking heavy.

    I just know those 80's Standards I had had giant necks that sucked, my worry is these are the same. I'll have to try to find one locally. And no I would never pay $950 for it, I was thinking $600 at the absolute most.

    Firebirds are cool, not my style, but cool looking.
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  12. #12
    Forum Frontman fudd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brett View Post
    The weight thing scares me, because I hated that about my old Pauls, not only were the necks tree trunks, they were so freaking heavy.

    I just know those 80's Standards I had had giant necks that sucked, my worry is these are the same. I'll have to try to find one locally. And no I would never pay $950 for it, I was thinking $600 at the absolute most.

    Firebirds are cool, not my style, but cool looking.
    Its got a maple neck the XR that is so its gonna be lighter than the regulars.

  13. #13
    Emperor of VHLinks.com Brett's Avatar
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    After doing so more research on them, I think I'm out. They sound heavy and the necks sound like they're huge. So basically two things I hate...LOL. I do like that stripped down look they have though, always thought Steve Clark's was a cool guitar.
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  14. #14
    Hang 'Em High Reckless Fable's Avatar
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    11.28.17 @ 10:56 AM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brett View Post
    After doing so more research on them, I think I'm out. They sound heavy and the necks sound like they're huge. So basically two things I hate...LOL. I do like that stripped down look they have though, always thought Steve Clark's was a cool guitar.
    Based on what your preference is, you wouldn't dig this guitar. Maybe it is a little smaller than a LP Stand., but it is still a LP.

    Steve Clark did make LP's look really cool. He also played a killer looking Hamer Special on the High n Dry tour.

  15. #15
    Emperor of VHLinks.com Brett's Avatar
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    Yep sounds like it's another big 'ole tree trunk. LOL Plus I know the build quality on early 80's LP's are sketchy too.
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