Les Is More

Throw a plectrum in any guitar shop, and you’re likely to hit at least one single-cut. Here are six gig-ready workhorses…



Taking part of its name from its scale length (24.594 inches), the PRS SE McCarty 594 is one of the few guitar brands that does ‘affordable’ well. Here, we get a mahogany/maple body combo and a flame maple veneer, and a mahogany neck with a rosewood fingerboar­d and Pattern Vintage profile. Elsewhere, it has vintage-voiced 58/15 LT ‘S’ humbuckers, two volumes and two tone controls (with push/pull coil-splitting), and the bridge is a two-piece design, with full intonation adjustment.

ESP LTD EC-1000 £1,099

The 1000 series Eclipse from LTD is a long-standing go-to for players looking for heavier tones. You get the single-cut feel and bad attitude of a Custom, but it’s refined for modern styles. First, there’s the slim U-shaped neck, fitted with an ebony fingerboar­d and 24 extra-jumbo frets. This is met by third-party hardware from TonePros, plus the all-important EMG 81 (bridge) and 60 (neck) humbuckers (a Duncan version is also available). Check out LTD’s full line-up for additional finish and configurat­ion options.


You don’t have to look too far to find a single-cut at any budget. But what if you’re after a more tailored guitar? Gordon Smith offers exactly that with a set menu of build options that factor in all elements, from body thickness and wood, to neck profile, fingerboar­d radius and pickup choice (such as the P-90s featured here) – and it’s all helpfully laid out for you to design on its website. A base-model GS2 will set you back £1,099, which we think is a bargain for a UK-made, customisab­le six-string. www.gordonsmit­


Thanks to Epiphone, you can bag a slice of tone heaven for £1,500. Expensive for an Epiphone? Maybe, but you could buy a few hundred of these for less than the price of a genuine ’59. Ignore the name on the headstock – which happens to be a Gibson ‘open book’ shape – and does it matter if that flame is a veneer? Instead, focus on the tone from the USA Greenybuck­ers (magnetical­ly out of phase, of course) and the neck that fits like a glove.


Wait, isn’t this supposed to be about single-cuts? Well, yes, but we’re making the argument that the SG is the stage- and spine-friendly alternativ­e to a bulkier Les Paul. The Special packs a workhorse configurat­ion into a lighter-weight format, but you still get all the tonal ingredient­s required. That’s a mahogany body finished in nitro, a pair of P-90s with a full control set, rosewood fingerboar­d and vintage‑style appointmen­ts. It’s yours in either Ebony or Vintage Cherry.


“And for those of you watching in black and white, the TV Yellow Les Paul is next to the Sunburst.” Nothing screams ‘retro’ like the buttery hue of a Les Paul Special, but you don’t have to pay vintage prices to own a US-made one. Blues, rock, punk, indie… if your music comes straight from the garage, then this is a staple. It’s lightweigh­t, has a clubby neck, and a throaty growl to match – all courtesy of two P-90s. It’s also available in a Vintage Cherry finish.

 ?? ??
 ?? ??
 ?? ??
 ?? ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia