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Does the weight of a Les Paul make it sound better/worse?

jimmyohio75

Member
Messages
5,536
Everytime I see a Les Paul for sale in the emporium people ask the seller what the weight is. Is this strictly because they don't like heavy guitars or because the heavier ones have better tone/thicker sound?
Is there something about heavier LP's that people want/like?

 

Paul86

Member
Messages
1,504
Mostly because some are not men enough to shoulder a real Paul. I've played real light Pauls that suck big time, and boat anchors that sing like angels. Like anything else that really matters, you have to look for yourself man.
 

jazzandmetal?

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
8,700
Some people have bad backs and a heavy LP would not be good for them if they were gigging with it.

Weight and how a guitar sounds don't always go hand and hand since all wood is different. There aren't any guarantees when it comes to weight and tone.

I have a friend who will only play heavy guitars. He thinks they are a little brighter and sustain better. Sometimes that is how it is with guitars. Other times, it isn't.
 

Mayo5

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,410
Mostly because some are not men enough to shoulder a real Paul. I've played real light Pauls that suck big time, and boat anchors that sing like angels. Like anything else that really matters, you have to look for yourself man.

Yep, same here. I have an 94' Orville LP Custom that is one of the heaviest guitars I've had over my shoulder and it sounds amazing. The guitar, not so much my playing, gets tons and tons of compliments whenever I take it outside.
 

tnvol

Ufologist
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,917
It varies in my experience. Honestly, it's one of those questions people are "supposed" to ask. lol Makes you look smart. lol Then again, maybe I'm clueless. I don't split hairs when it comes to tone like some folks. A guitar either sounds good or not, and you can either play it or not. But 9 ounces of tone are worth big bucks to some folks.
 

XKnight

Member
Messages
11,087
Too heavy and most folks seem to stay away. Pretty much anything over 10 pounds seems too heavy for me. As I get older, lighter guitars have become more appealing. I use to think that a heavier solid body guitar would sustain better than a lighter guitar until I got a 6 pound Korina PRS and it has better sustain than any guitar I've ever played.

The most desirable LPs seem to usually be in the 8 -9 pound range, give or take a few ounces.
 
Messages
11,596
weight and balance are construction issues to me. and they're just two more issues that keep me away from Gibson. plenty of other guitars out there without those issues.
 

Last

Member
Messages
4,279
A lot of it is due to not wanting a heavy guitar but also to find out if it may be chambered or only 'weight relieved'.

There is a difference in tone with a chambered over the 'swiss cheese' weight relief body.
 

908SSP

Member
Messages
5,800
Both and neither.

Heavy ones can be bright and harsh while light ones are more resonant and smooth or they might not be. Many of them from the Norlin era were mostly maple and weighed a ton and were garbage. The late 50s guitars were mostly around 9 lbs or less and since those are the holy grail that what most buyers shoot for if they can not try out the guitar which of course is the only way to know for sure.

Personally weight means very little. Strength rigidity and resonance means more and with the right technology you can get that with 5 lb guitar so why burden yourself with much more than that.
 

Demioblue

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,310
There is a difference in tone with a chambered over the 'swiss cheese' weight relief body.
Yep... Difference is right. Not necessarily good or bad. I like my chambered Standard which has a big agressive tone, and at the same time, I like the tight compressed sound of my Swiss Cheesed Goldtop. Different, and good in both cases.
 

Full Monty

Member
Messages
312
A heavyweight Les Paul is not necessarily a good Les Paul. However, in my experience the best sounding Les Pauls are pretty weighty, light ones just sound wrong.
 

jpage

Senior Member
Messages
9,226
Play some and decide. As only a number, it is as important to tone as color. Always play a guitar before you buy it.
 

bettset

Member
Messages
4,274
some gibson's sound great & are 10+ lbs. some, like billy gibbon's lp he had scooped out--a luthier friend of his did the work--is maybe less than 7lbs, but sounds huge. it goes by how the guitar resonates. most of mine top 8+ lbs. my best sounding one is nearly 11 :munch
 

heavysoul

Member
Messages
928
IMO, a heavy guitar on you shoulders sucks no matter how good it sounds. but what's considered heavy depends on the player. to me it's when it starts weighing in at 9.5+lbs.
 

The Golden Boy

Senior Member
Messages
20,374
Mostly because some are not men enough to shoulder a real Paul. I've played real light Pauls that suck big time, and boat anchors that sing like angels. Like anything else that really matters, you have to look for yourself man.
I've had LPs that have been over 12 pounds and a LP that's under 9.

I believe the <9 pounder sounds better. I believe the <9 pounder sounds better than any of the LPs I've ever owned. I don't believe it's because of the weight- I believe it's the wood, and part of the properties of good wood is not having to weight a ton to sound good. IME, heavier LPs have a more "focused" sound- it's good for what it is, not desirable to some. IME, that "focused" sound does not increase with the weight or density of the guitar-

The horsehockey about not being 'man enough' is pretty stupid. If you're dipshit enough to be slinging around a 14 pound guitar for 4 hours a night solely on the basis of tone- that's your own damn fault. And it's got nothing to do with being "manly" or anything.
 

openG

slidealicious
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
839
for me, if i can't hold the guitar in my hands and play it, and all i get is pictures, yeah, i want to know how much it weighs and what the neck is like, as well as all the information i can get so i can better imagine what it would be like in person...also, after 25 years of chasing tone i believe it's always a combination of the right pickup for each guitar, light or heavy...i've heard both light and heavy guitars sound fat and huge, sustain forever and/or sound like ****!....
 
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