Maple-necked Les Pauls?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by twoheadedboy, Aug 28, 2006.

  1. twoheadedboy

    twoheadedboy Member

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    Okay, so I am one of those guys who has a love/hate affair with Gibsons. I love the sound, but they never quite feel in tune to me, which is something I blame on the mahogany neck. I find that mahogany necks flex a lot easier than maple necks for me. When I pick up a guitar with a maple neck, it feels more solid, and the intonation always seems much more stable when I'm fretting chords, etc. Who makes a good Les Paul copy with a Maple neck? For those of you who have owned one, did you find that a maple-necked Gibson-style guitar felt more stable/solid than a mahogany-necked one? How are the Gibson Les Pauls that have been made with a maple neck?
     
  2. riverastoasters

    riverastoasters Member

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    I have an ES-347, which has a maple neck. It's a nice stable solid neck. Back then (around 1980) maybe Gibson made some maple necked Les Pauls. Our L-5 CES has a maple laminated neck. That neck is quite stable and solid.

    But I have to say that I have some mahogany necked Gibsons, and others (notably Anderson Cobra) which have no problem at all with their necks.

    The only guitars I have had which had a neck which really screwed up on my had straight grained maple necks. That doesn't mean I'm against them. It's not been too many of the guitars which had problems.
     
  3. GuitarsFromMars

    GuitarsFromMars Member

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    I have only played a maple neck on an ES-340 TD by Gibson and I didn't like the sound of it.I am curious if you have played one of the Historic RI Les Pauls yet...to my thought,they don't flex a bunch and stay pretty well in tune after stretching the strings...
     
  4. Pete Galati

    Pete Galati Member

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    I know someone who owns a Les Paul Custom with a maple fingerboard. And a natural maple top.

    But I don't know by now if the neck was made out of maple too (probably was) or mahogany. I haven't seen this guitar since the early '80s. Last I heard, it was in the process of being refretted, and refinished. When I saw it, it was brand new.

    Good sounding guitar.

    Pete
     
  5. tiltrite

    tiltrite Member

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    I have a '79 LP Custom with a maple neck. The fingerboard isn't maple- not sure what it is. Right now I have some duncan phat cats in it. An amazing guitar. To coin a phrase: it is a rock machine. :jo
     
  6. Scott Cioe

    Scott Cioe Member

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    In the current lineup, I believe only the Zakk Wyld models have maple necks; due to the fact that they are modeled after the maple necked, Norlin models Zakk prefers.

    There was also an Epi version of the same sig. model that played very nicely for the money.
     
  7. twoheadedboy

    twoheadedboy Member

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    Pictures, my friend!
     
  8. BBQLS1

    BBQLS1 Member

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    You make the mahogany necks go out of tune? Relax the kung fu grip.
     
  9. Hackubus

    Hackubus Member

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    Proud owner of a maple neck/ebony board '79 LP Custom here. Definitely a rock machine. Think Sykes/Wylde.

    I don't think they 'feel' anymore solid/stable than my mahogany necked LPs. There is a slight sound difference I think. The maple necks tend to have a slightly brighter sound to them. A bit more 'zing', if you will. Lends itself very well to hard rock. :Devil

    As to who makes a good copy, well I dunno. A fella can pick up the real deal maple necked LP Custom from the late 70s for decent dollars & give one a try I suppose.
     
  10. Dave Simpson

    Dave Simpson Member

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    My main Les Paul is a '75 Deluxe that was converted to a Standard. I've owned this guitar myself for fifteen years. Kicks butt on ever Les Paul sound wise I've owned except maybe my R8. It's solid as a rock and should be around for a least another thirty years, even if I'm not!:Devil :p
     
  11. twoheadedboy

    twoheadedboy Member

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    I don't have massive hands, so I can't play the really huge 50s style mahogany necks. I've heard that the "spaghetti neck syndrome" is pretty common with slimmer neck profiles in mahogany. The neck flexes just enough that notes tend to waver in pitch within a chord. This doesn't have as much to do with the grip on the neck as the pick attack. It happens more if you really dig into the strings, and I tend to do that. I have a 62RI strat and tele and a framus jazzmaster copy. They all have maple necks, and I've never had a problem with keeping any of them in tune.
     
  12. Robertito

    Robertito Member

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    As I understand it, maple is harder than mahogany, thus a bit stronger. Mahogany is stiffer than maple, and more stable.
     
  13. Timmo

    Timmo Member

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    Never had a "tuning" problem just because the neck was made of mahogany.
    I do think maple neck Les Pauls don't sound nearly as good as mahogany neck Les Pauls.
    It maybe just the luck of the draw but out of the 5 or so maple neck LP's I've played I thought every last one of them sucked tonally!
    When I see a maple neck LP I run away........
     
  14. cvansickle

    cvansickle Supporting Member

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    I have a Custom from 1979, in Silverburst. I can't see through the finish at all. How can I tell if it's a maple neck or mahogany?

    Doesn't really matter to me either way - this guitar kicks ass!
     
  15. datguytim

    datguytim Supporting Member

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    I love those late '70s maple-necks on L.P. - had a few over the years - a bit more attack to the notes, more present. I have a GMP Pawnshop Custom that has the same wood concept: mahogany body, glued-in maple neck(!), ebony board - and it's my #1 guitar - and the best player I've ever owned. Sounds unreal. Kills Gibsons every day of the week.
     
  16. OhioEric

    OhioEric Member

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    Those Silverbursts are so cool. I started wanting one when I found out that's what Adam Jones from Tool plays. They're just awesome.
     
  17. Junior

    Junior Member

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    I think a '75 to early 80's LP Custom would be perfect for you. 3-piece maple neck, ebony board, slim 'sixties' taper... just be sure the neck is straight, as it's likely stronger than the truss rod!

    OT, my first guitar was a '62 Strat. I loved that guitar, but it was stolen, and trying to replace it in the 70's gave me a real dislike for CBS in particular, and Fenders in general. A few years ago, a guy walked into the shop and wanted us to inspect a Strat he was thinking of buying. While waiting for our luthier to come out, I picked it up and played a bit. My jaw dropped. "What the hell is this?" I asked. "It feels just like my first guitar!" "A '62 reissue." he replied. Damn! Now I want a Fender. How embarrassing.
     
  18. 73171

    73171 Member

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    I've got a '76 cherry sunburst maple neck LP Custom...it's a GREAT rock guitar, and I can get pretty good clean jazz tones out of it, too. The whole guitar is sunburst, front, sides, neck, even the top and sides of the headstock! ....and yes, cherry sunburst over mahagony (the back) looks great!
     
  19. devilrob1979

    devilrob1979 Member

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    You really don't have to have big hands to play a big-necked guitar. My hands are pretty small and the neck on my Hamer Triple Threat is modeled after a '59 Paul. It's a very large neck as is the neck on my Tele. After about an hour you realize your hands are less tired and you're having no problem reaching notes.
     

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