Gibson Makes a Les Paul With a Maple Neck

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Brian N, Jan 13, 2020 at 11:24 AM.

  1. Brian N

    Brian N Member

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    I've noticed for the past few years (maybe they've been doing it longer though?), Gibson has been offering lower-end Les Paul guitars with the only difference being that they have a maple neck instead of mahogany.

    Anyone know why they are doing this? Is maple cheaper for them than mahogany? Easier to make necks from? The maple models don't seem to cost any less than other models. Is there a demand for maple neck Les Paul guitars?

    https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/LPTRSINH--gibson-les-paul-tribute-satin-iced-tea
     

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    Last edited: Jan 13, 2020 at 11:35 AM
  2. Scary Uncle G.

    Scary Uncle G. Member

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    Well, back in the ‘70’s all Les Pauls had maple necks. Maple can be sourced locally in the US and is likely less expensive than mahogany.
     
  3. fred dons

    fred dons Member

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    they did already do this in the 70ties (Zakk Wylde original customs as well as his later signature), maple is stronger so that might be a reason (warranty) . and yes especially for People who like the 70ties customs (not that many I admit :) ) there is a demand for it
     
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  4. Redrum

    Redrum Member

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    My 19' LP Tribute has a flamey satin finished maple neck. I love it. Zero issues. Wouldn't hesitate to get another Gibbo with a maple neck, so yeah, maybe there is a demand.
     
  5. cap10kirk

    cap10kirk Member

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    They've been making maple neck Les Pauls since the 70s, this is nothing new. The best (imho) Les Paul I owned had a maple neck. Maple is likely cheaper than mahogany.
     
  6. gunslinger

    gunslinger Member

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    It's a strong wood. It may make for a brighter sound with more sustain. And the headstock may be less likely to snap off from an accident.
     
  7. Jabby92

    Jabby92 Member

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    Most likely cost. Maple tends to be stronger than mahogany as well and is a proven guitar building wood and good for necks.
     
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  8. budglo58

    budglo58 Member

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    I’ve got a maple neck on my 19 Tribute. Zero issues with it. Love the feel of it and rock solid.
     
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  9. Tommy Biggs

    Tommy Biggs Silver Supporting Member

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    I like ‘em with an ebony board. I didn’t know at the time that my ‘76 LP Custom had a Maple neck.
    Many years later I found a nice 90s Studio, turns out those were Maple/Ebony too.

    I still play the Studio, and my brother plays that LPC.
     
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  10. shupe13

    shupe13 Member

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    I had a LPM. The neck was super flamey. I believe maple is stronger but I don't know if that's why Gibson used it.
     
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  11. Oinkus

    Oinkus Member

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    Maple is better been playing one since 81 far superior to mahogany I require it on every guitar.
     
  12. John C

    John C Supporting Member

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    Gibson has been doing this on the least expensive models for quite a while now - when they still had the "Faded" LP and SG those had the maple necks and the LP Tribute had a mahogany neck. When the "2019 Model Year" series came out in August 2018 Gibson dropped the Faded models and kind of "merged" them with the Tribute models, so now the LP and SG Tributes have maple necks (as do the Double Cut Jr. and Special Tributes), and it carried forward when these models were moved to the current "Modern Collection" series as of April 2019.
     
  13. Bob Womack

    Bob Womack Member

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    By the way, the "start point" for maple necks was 1976 and the opening of the Nashville Plant. Kalamazoo LPs had mahogany necks. And the maple necks? Some swear at 'em, some swear by 'em. Use your ears.

    Bob
     
  14. Sean Mac

    Sean Mac Supporting Member

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    Cost is likely lower.

    They still have a good sound.

    Love my LPJ

    [​IMG]

    :)
     
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  15. theroan

    theroan Member

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    I'm more surprised it has a rosewood board.
     
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  16. Guppie

    Guppie Member

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    I like them because they don't break as easy as mahogany and are probably more stable.
    Maple is said to add a little brightness which isn't a bad thing thing on an LP. I really don't understand why people are so hung up on mahogany necks.
     
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  17. Mpcoluv

    Mpcoluv Supporting Member

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    Gibson has used maple on their highest end arch tops also. It’s a good material to make necks from.
    A Norlin LP with a maple neck and the volute is a pretty damn sturdy guitar.
     
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  18. mwym

    mwym Member

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    Cost less, breaks less. Then - familiar (looks, feel, tone) 'cause Fender, which was /is more popular/afordable. And most importantly - general public is not picky at all - in fact, buys anything as long as it makes huge noise through an amp and looks good. Which it does. Business decision, obviously a wise one, profit wise.
     
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  19. misterg71

    misterg71 Silver Supporting Member

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    Yep, Maple necks are nothing new to Les Pauls.
     
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  20. dspellman

    dspellman Member

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    They've traditionally used multi-piece maple necks on their most expensive guitars (see the high-end archtops) and on their best solid bodies as well (see the L5-S and the 1978 25/50 Anniversary model). The LP Standard was originally a middle-of-the-line guitar, with a solid mahogany neck, and the cheap student models were also solid mahogany.
     

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