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2013 R8 Mahogany country of origin?

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2,597
Anyone know where it's coming from for custom shop guitar these days?

Is it the same Mahogany that's being used in the USA Standards and Traditionals?
 
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2,597
I find it fascinating that I can find a Custom Shop Les Paul, say an R8 on Sweetwater at 9 pounds max, with many under 9 pounds. These are allegedly solid body.

Then I find Traditionals, which are allegedly weight relieved between 9.5 and 10.5 pounds.

And then Standards are around 9 pounds again.

If the R8 is in fact solid, then how much wood are they taking out of the Standard to get it down to the same weight?

Let's say they took 1.5 pounds out of the Traditional to get it to 9.5 pounds. That would mean if they are using the same wood as the Standard, they would have to take over 2 pounds out to get it a shade under 9, as some are. This is the low end. Some of the Traditionals are 10.5 pounds. With the same math, they would have to remove over 3 pounds to get that same piece of wood under 9 pounds. And if that's true, that guitar would have weighed over 13.5 pounds had it been a solid guitar like the R8.

Is this due to wet wood, or lower quality wood?
 

whoismarykelly

Oh look! This is a thing I can change!
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8,073
It would be a stretch to outright say that weight is a measure of "quality" in wood.
 
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2,449
Indeed weight doesn't say much about wood quality. Light wood sounds different than heavy wood. Me and many others like light wood, but certain people look the tonal qualities a heavy guitar offers.
 
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2,597
It would be a stretch to outright say that weight is a measure of "quality" in wood.
Indeed weight doesn't say much about wood quality. Light wood sounds different than heavy wood. Me and many others like light wood, but certain people look the tonal qualities a heavy guitar offers.
Then why is it apparent that the wood they use for the higher end guitars is lighter? If there was no difference then logic would say they would use the same wood and you might find a 10.8 pound R8, but that does not appear to be the case.
 

ixnay

Member
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4,369
Is this 100% confirmed? A 2013 Traditional is as solid body as an R8 is?
It has been common knowledge for more than a year.

It was one of the selling points for the new Traditionals last year. I guess they decided to pass on min-e-tunes and 119th anniversary inlays at time...
 

sleep

Member
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3,187
Then why is it apparent that the wood they use for the higher end guitars is lighter? If there was no difference then logic would say they would use the same wood and you might find a 10.8 pound R8, but that does not appear to be the case.
Because light guitars are en vogue, just like heavy guitars were a marketing point in the 70s. It's playing to people's tastes and making them pay extra for it.
 

SPROING!

Member
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8,795
Then why is it apparent that the wood they use for the higher end guitars is lighter? If there was no difference then logic would say they would use the same wood and you might find a 10.8 pound R8, but that does not appear to be the case.
They are attempting to match the weight of the old models, which (on average) are lighter than newer ones.
A wood guy I know told me why. In the 1950s, mahogany was being taken mostly off high ground. Today, it comes from low ground, as the trees now on the high ground are too small to cut.
When wood grows closer to a high water table, it pulls more minerals out of the water and gets "mineral streaks" in the wood. Since minerals are rock, you end up with "stoned wood." :D It's heavier than its rock free counterpart.

Today, Gibson orders mahogany in large lots. The custom shop guys get to pick through first. They grab all the lighter weight pieces and the production line guitars are left with mahogany that's as heavy as maple. Hence the heavy weight relief on production models.
 

lkft

Member
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1,293
It's commonly thought that a lighter LP is more resonant, sounds better, etc. I think you can find good and not so good LPs throughout the gamut in terms or weight.
 
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2,597
It has been common knowledge for more than a year.

It was one of the selling points for the new Traditionals last year. I guess they decided to pass on min-e-tunes and 119th anniversary inlays at time...
Haha. I'm with you...

They are attempting to match the weight of the old models, which (on average) are lighter than newer ones.
A wood guy I know told me why. In the 1950s, mahogany was being taken mostly off high ground. Today, it comes from low ground, as the trees now on the high ground are too small to cut.
When wood grows closer to a high water table, it pulls more minerals out of the water and gets "mineral streaks" in the wood. Since minerals are rock, you end up with "stoned wood." :D It's heavier than its rock free counterpart.

Today, Gibson orders mahogany in large lots. The custom shop guys get to pick through first. They grab all the lighter weight pieces and the production line guitars are left with mahogany that's as heavy as maple. Hence the heavy weight relief on production models.
Interesting. Thank you.

It's commonly thought that a lighter LP is more resonant, sounds better, etc. I think you can find good and not so good LPs throughout the gamut in terms or weight.
This is sound logic. I've owned many Les Paul's over several decades but in the past couple years been without one. The last time I bought one off the shelf were 90's models. Standards, Classics, a Custom. My first guitar was a black 80's Standard. I grew to realize it was a bit of a dog and traded it away. In the 90's I had great luck. Seems like the 90's were pretty great for Gibson's. Now I'm back in the market and there is a lot to cover to understand what you are buying, particularly so with the past 5 years-ish used market. Odd input jacks, electronics, push pull knobs, super hot pick ups, chambered, relieved, the end of ebony (apparently?), maple fretboards, fretboards that look like Ebony, but are not. Fretboards that look like Rosewood, but are not.

I went out and played about 50 Les Pauls all over Los Angeles this weekend. 70's, 80's, 90's and so on. The new line. 2013 Traditionals, Traditional pros from Guitar Center.

It was a really interesting experience. Many things have changed. Not many for the better. The only Les Paul's that I didn't smell a rat with were the 2013 Traditional, and the R7, R8, R9 lines.
 

daveanto21

Gold Supporting Member
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1,183
The thing that confused me when i was looking at some collectors choice guitars on wildwood site, it say's...genuine mahogany for the body and neck. What the hell is genuine mahogany? I have seen a few 2014 traditionals under 9 lbs and one in the low 8lbs. Pretty interesting for a standard non weight relieved les paul. But either way, the 2013 and up traditionals arent out of line as far as weight. You can find them around 9-9.5lbs pretty easily.
 

ixnay

Member
Messages
4,369
I'm back in the market and there is a lot to cover to understand what you are buying, particularly so with the past 5 years-ish used market. Odd input jacks, electronics, push pull knobs, super hot pick ups, chambered, relieved, the end of ebony (apparently?), maple fretboards, fretboards that look like Ebony, but are not. Fretboards that look like Rosewood, but are not.
Weight relief is not a recent development. Pretty much all Les Pauls since 1981 have been weight relieved. We just didn't have an internet back then to tell us something was wrong with them...
 






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