Tuesday, June 26, 2018

1986 Yamaha LP-400 Lord Player Electric Guitar Review

Hi there!

I am glad to be getting a break so I can write about a few of the vintage guitars that made their way into my shop. Today we are looking at a nice Les Paul copy guitar, a late 1980s Yamaha Lord Player Les Paul copy.

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Japanese guitar companies used classic guitar and bass designs from Fender, Gibson, Hofner, Martin and Rickenbacker, and made killer knock-offs. The 70s and 80s were not exactly the best years for quality for any of these companies, and consumers really ate up these good quality copies. Eventually, Fender and the gang caught on eventually and upped their game. Some of these very playable guitars are now collectible.

A fine specimen of these is this late 1980s Yamaha Lord Player model LP-400. In traditional Japanese manufacturing-ese, the 400 in the model name relates to the instrument’s original list price, in this case it was 40,000 yen. This was around $250 back then, if I did the math right. I have never seen another one in the US. I picked this one for a few hundred bucks on a business trip overseas.

This Lord Player is finished in a classy tobacco burst, with a little more yellow thrown in. The body is mahogany, with an agathis back, maybe. It is not unduly heavy for a Les Paul, coming in at a bit under 10 pounds.

It has a set neck with a rosewood fretboard. The neck is nicely rounded, is between the 50s and 60s style Les Pauls as far as feel. It is straight with plenty of life left in the frets. It has a medium action and it plays like a dream. There are a few small marks on the back of the neck, but nothing that bothers me when I play it, because I am a rock star. Note that this guitar has 1959 Les Paul style headstock.

Everything appears to be original on this guitar. The wiring is tidy with no terrible circuit board and the pickups and knobs appear to be OEM. The pickups measure 7.23k ohm for the bridge and 7.20k ohm for the neck, in case you really need this information. The tailpiece shows some pitting and the tuning pegs have a few signs of oxidization but those things are not a big deal. As this is a 30-year-old guitar, there are some small blemishes and the typical soft markings on the rear of the guitar. But overall it is in very respectable condition.

It plays very well with a set of Ernie Ball 0.010s on it. The pickups are sweet at normal levels, and are super crunchy with an overdriven amp. The action and feel is awesome. The neck is not chubby and not thin…in between. All electronics work as they should, though god only know why a previous owner drilled some holes in the cover.

If you are considering a new Gibson Les Paul, think twice. Their necks and frets are a crapshoot in a losing game. Find an older guitar from Yamaha, Tokai or Greco, and you will spend a lot less coin and get a better playing guitar.

Thanks for stopping by today!

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