why does gibson weight relieve the traditional?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by saxophonist56, Sep 13, 2008.

  1. saxophonist56

    saxophonist56 Supporting Member

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    is it because most buyers want a lighter guitar and this helps sales?
    why not just leave the wood in...? wouldn't it sound better?

    seems kind of shady to sell a solid body guitar with holes in it! lol
     
  2. OM Flyer

    OM Flyer Member

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    Chambered and weight-relieved guitars aren't new, and there are conflicting opinions as to whether it hurts or helps tone and sustain. I do know that my old 1979 LP Custom weighed a LOT, and was uncomfortable to play for very long, so I can't blame people for wanting a lighter guitar.

    Personally, I think if they're going to call a guitar "traditional," it shouldn't be weight-relieved, and if you really want the ultimate in a weight-relieved body, you should just buy a semi-hollow.
     
  3. VDeuce

    VDeuce Member

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    Gibson has used 9, 1" diameter holes to weight relieve every Gibson USA Les Paul with a maple cap on it since the early-mid 1980s, with the exception of the Elegant and models that are explicitly chambered.

    So, this merely continues that practice.

    The new 2008 Standards are all chambered - almost completely hollowed out.
     
  4. paraedolia

    paraedolia Member

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    Why do we use their marketing weasel speak?
    What's wrong with routed / drilled / big gaping holes-ed ?
     
  5. Tommy Tourbus

    Tommy Tourbus Senior Member

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    using this method they no longer have to worry about paying more to select primo weight mahogany. they can use any chunk they want now and not have to reject anything or let any go to waste for not being nice weight tonewood.
     
  6. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    the story is that lightweight mahogany is disappearing, so gibson saves it for the historic stuff. if production LPs weren't weight-relieved, they would all be unsellable 11lb boat anchors.
     
  7. jeffwith1f

    jeffwith1f Member

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    Gretch has been chambering thier solid bodies since forever and a day.
    I have a weight releived standard from 97 and a Les Paul Studio from 2008 that is chambered. They both sounds very very very good.

    I like the feel of the slightly heavier, weight relieved standard, but honestly, I am using the studio more now.
     
  8. Tommy Tourbus

    Tommy Tourbus Senior Member

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    this was predicted by both Nostradamus and depicted in the book of revelations. we are truly witnessing the beginning of the final times
     
  9. reganjeremy

    reganjeremy Member

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    does your studio happen to have an ebony fretboard?
     
  10. John C

    John C Supporting Member

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    In this case Gibson is using the name "Traditional" to mean it's a "traditional late 1980s/early 1990s" Les Paul instead of "traditional 1950s" Les Paul. Gotta love the marketingspeak.
     
  11. wgs1230

    wgs1230 Fully Intonatable Silver Supporting Member

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    To say that it's "disappearing" in the sense of an environmental/species issue isn't accurate, but some of the smaller builders who are members here can tell you: mahogany is being harvested 1-2 decades earlier than is was even 40 years ago, and instead of stocks being air-dried by the wholesalers before distribution, they're being sold in a comparatively semi-green state and flash-dried in kilns by the big manufacturers.

    Someone wrote an article for one of the mags, maybe Acoustic Guitar (?), several years ago where they compared shavings of new mahogany stocks vs. "old growth" examples under a microscope, and there was an obvious difference in cellular composition- anyone who made it through 9th grade biology could grok it.
     
  12. gkoelling

    gkoelling Member

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    This makes sense and I really don't care if a guitar is weight relieved, or not.

    As long as it plays & sounds nice and doesn't kill my back, I'm happy.
     
  13. jeffwith1f

    jeffwith1f Member

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    It's a robot. I believe the fretboard is Rosewood.
    cracking good guitar as it turns out.
     
  14. Marty s Horne

    Marty s Horne Member

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    In discussing the specs of my last guitar, Dave Mansel at McNaught told me the mineral content of mahogany had changed over the last decade or so and while it was still good quality wood, it was in general heavier than it has been in the past.
     
  15. Nickguitar

    Nickguitar Member

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    Well as lot's of people know here Gibson started doing holes in the 80 ies. Main reason is the wood-mahogany they were/are using. Original Les Pauls (50-60) had real genuine Honduras mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla -“genuine mahogany,” “caoba”) usually brought from Honduras. With years, because of heavy use of these woods, their price went up and today is almost impossible to buy these woods because they are so scarse,protected and there is a rigid control with cuting and exporting trees. There are other Swietenia macrophylla like cuban,brasilian, dominikan ecc.. but different from "real one" (different geographycal place, different grain,characteristics...).
    Because of that, mahogany used in guitars today is different and Gibson is also the case.
    Honduras mahogany is lite if you compare it with "others", that means that guitar weights less. Lite weight in mahogany is usually better because heavy wood does have sustain but it also "mutes the tone" (because of different grain and density), especialy midrange whitch is the most "expressing" part of an eletric guitar.

    I higly doubt (99%) that any of big guitar names uses the real thing, Gibson included. There are lots of substitute "mahogany" and this is what they usually use.
    For example on Studio models Gibson uses Salpelly "mahogany, on Standard models they use south,central american and african mahogany (usally the "bad one", which is the reason they weight more, and custom shop uses best (light ones) south,central american mahogany (but not the "real one").

    Mind this- I am not a luthier, i have friends (phisical and on forums) that are, and they explain me the whole story, so actually I'm just a guy. :hide
    Just like everybody else i was asking myself questions about weight and people explain it to me. Anyway they told me that real deal is possible to purchase but it is way to expensive and it is mostly possible by small luthiers.

    P.s. Don't kill me for my post :hide , these are the words from people that are more than 30-40 years in "business".
     
  16. saxophonist56

    saxophonist56 Supporting Member

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    so they save the lighter mahogany for the historics?

    also do the traditional's have the "long neck tenon" so coveted on the gibsons?

    i think there's another whole thread on that one tho.

    i had a baker crucible that weighed around 9.5 lbs.....sure no expense was spared there....how come that wasn't lighter?

    do different luthiers choose different weights of mahogany based on their preference? or is this light honduran mahogany what everyone really wants but can't get?

     
  17. kurtsstuff

    kurtsstuff Member

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    Real men play 10+LB's Les Pauls....
     
  18. Nickguitar

    Nickguitar Member

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    so they save the lighter mahogany for the historics?

    Yes, but there are other thing in "game", like tone of raw wood, grain ecc...

    also do the traditional's have the "long neck tenon" so coveted on the gibsons?

    I don't know

    i think there's another whole thread on that one tho.

    i had a baker crucible that weighed around 9.5 lbs.....sure no expense was spared there....how come that wasn't lighter?


    Maybe tonnaly mached well with neck and brought tone,resonance, harmonics and sustain. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING...If you have a plywood guitar that you like and enjoj her tone...Then you've got your self a winner!

    do different luthiers choose different weights of mahogany based on their preference?

    Yes and no..there are lot's of factors, but generaly if you want to "know" you have to have expirience.Even than you will never be certain 100%, but it is highly probable.

    or is this light honduran mahogany what everyone really wants but can't get?

    Usually yes, I personaly think it is not about the tone (because it can be achived in different ways) but it is about prestige.

    Another important thing about wood is the moisture content. Todays guitars sells in large numebers and companies don't have time to dry wood naturaly (so you get relatively young wood). So they do it "artificialy".
    But there is another - molecular moisture in wood and to dry this you have to wait for years and there are no shorcuts. Try to put a 60 years dry wood in water and you will see that nothing will happend.
    In coclusion - better dry wood is better to use.

    P.s. sorry for my bad english
     
  19. All Hallows

    All Hallows Member

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    I like a weighty Les Paul. In my honest opinion I think they sound better than their chambered counterparts. I have tried to enjoy the chambered ones but they do always sound airy.

    Most people probably want a light guitar so i imagine Gibson would rather hollow out some holes than not sell guitars.
     
  20. Robert1950

    Robert1950 Member

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    +1 on that.

    I hope that answers the question. Otherwise we'll be :horse again.
     

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