50's Wood? This is How a Good Les Paul Supposed to Sound Like

Discussion in 'Vintage Les Pauls' started by d1m1, Nov 6, 2017.

  1. BBD

    BBD Senior Member

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    I'm sorry. I didn't mean to p!ss you off like that.

    Comparable yes, but equal? We'd need equal to move the needle.

    I think it's arguable that you get less output from the CES than the same pickups installed in an LP. You could ask which guitar is more noted for its sustain.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2017
  2. BBD

    BBD Senior Member

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    Thank you Mouse. 100% seriously. I hear the difference which makes me one of the few privileged to hear Wilbur Marker's statement tested.
     
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  3. EpiLP1985

    EpiLP1985 Senior Member

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    All interesting stuff. Sustain is just one factor in tone though.

    Not that my intention is to belittle or lessen anyone’s position. Just an observation.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2017
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  4. LenPaul

    LenPaul Premium Member

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    little experiment, take a hollow body electric, say an ES335, stuff some padding into the body through the f holes,
    plug in & play, take note of the sustain. Stuff some more padding in & take note.
    Now pull out the padding, plug in & play, take note .
    Is there a difference??
     
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  5. Mouse

    Mouse Senior Member

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    Last edited: Nov 18, 2017
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  6. Mouse

    Mouse Senior Member

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  7. BBD

    BBD Senior Member

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  8. Mouse

    Mouse Senior Member

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    Last edited: Nov 20, 2017
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  9. steve2

    steve2 Member

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    I am just saying there is no way to tell one from the other in a blind comparison. If you are holding the guitar, experts like Rob Chapman can tell what is what, but he is unable to tell the difference when only listening to them
     
  10. LPandMarshall

    LPandMarshall Junior Member

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    @ steve2

    There are huge differences between Les Pauls! I have built 8 Les Pauls by myself just to get very good Les Pauls. It all started with my frustration about the stock Gibson Les Pauls available in music shops 4 years ago. Just a few were really good. The one I liked best was 7000 Euros (8000$). So I decided to build them myself. It was a lucky coincidence that I got the rare opportunity to buy a larger amount of Swietenia Mahogany from an insolvency estate from a wooddealer for little money. So I could try out a lot of things. Its amazing, how different Mahogany is sounding, when you shape some wood to the same size and knock on it. Even if the woods´density is the same! Two preshaped necks with the same weight can sound very different! If you combine the different wooden parts of a guitar due to your taste, or where you want to go tonewise, you get a guitar, that is sounding perfectly for you.

    Today a big guitar building company does not sort out the wood tonewise and does not try to find the pickups and electronics they also fit best to the customers needs, but this effort would pay out big time. I can build Les Pauls now, that are spot on tonewise or come very close, just because of sorting wood out due to frequeny response of the raw wood. Does it sound more bassy or trebly? Does the wood have a nice mid-honk? Does it sound percussiv or has it more sustain? That are all facts that alter the sound of the guitar. And you can of course try to eq any guitar signal, but some things come out oft he guitar and you cant add them with electronics. String separation in chords for example. Or how fast and sensitive reacts the guitar? Does it sound „woody“. These things are only guitar stuff, not electronics. Very important is the use of hot bone glue(!) and a VERY WELL fitting neck/body joint!

    So, what I want to say is, there is no voodoo or some magic mystery in guitar building, but one can influence the guitar´s sound very much. And you can hear it very clearly! And as a general conclusion: A 59 Les Paul is nothing, you cannot recreate tonewise. This is at least for small numbers of one a hte same guitar. A big factory cannot do that. Custommade is the key word.
     
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  11. Mouse

    Mouse Senior Member

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    ^^ Yup.

    Burst killer, oldgrowth Swietenia mahogani (Wilbur Marker method)
    Plug and play JTM45 kt66

    “These things were made to be played. They were not thought of as classic instruments. They were made to make loud noises, irritating sounds. That’s my view.” Billy Gibbons

     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2017
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  12. Open_Book

    Open_Book Senior Member

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    Thats just a bunch of waffle. Its him reminiscing and adding inflection...

    "In studying Les Paul copies"......I mean, seriously...

    They learnt the advantage of a steeply pitched neck to um, later, change it... Cuz it broke...

    There's so much romanticism and baloney about all this stuff people want to believe anything that makes 'em feel all warm and fuzzy about it.

    Like the comment earlier about Hide Glue and a tight joint. The tight Joint is the important part. The glue line is so thin its of no real musical significance. While a Braz board has oil in it, which is a known damping agent - and the board has chunks of wood cut out of it to have pieces of Nitrate plastic glued into those holes...

    A shite piece of riftsawn wood is no different to a shite piece of flatsawn... Its just, well, shite.
     
  13. EpiLP1985

    EpiLP1985 Senior Member

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    One thing I picked up on when reading Tony Bacon's book was that there was a subtle point that wasn't really ever explicitly stated but can be easily assumed: most of what we think of when we think the classic burst tones are played at higher volume with big amps. I say most because many distinctive and pleasant tones can come out of even Champs but when you discussed the nuance and minutia here, you have to consider how an instrument may react when between 2 and 8 12" speakers are involved. The force of sound coming out of these things can interact with the guitar in ways that amps at bedroom volume won't.

    I know from experience that playing an instrument through a 1x12 18 Watt and a half stack can be two significantly different experiences.

    I found the construction chapter in Bacon's book very interesting especially in regards to the wood they selected, how hide glue crystallizes and leaves a minimal film, etc. all very interesting.

    I'm certainly not an expert on the mechanical engineering aspects of instrument construction though so my assumptions and thoughts may be moot.
     
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  14. LPandMarshall

    LPandMarshall Junior Member

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    @Open_Book

    Well, I guess we can at least agree, that there are significant differences between Les Pauls soundwise. Have you ever wondered, where they come from? Being played acoustically, there are really noticable differences. Some Pauls are bassy and muddy, others have a nice mid honk and have a slim bass response and many others have anything between. And the wood is the most important part of a guitar. I roughly preshaped around 20 Swietenia Mahogany neck blanks with the same size and the sound difference between the brightest and the darkest, was between a fourth (quart) and a fifth (quint)! That of course does something with the overall tone of a guitar! It changes the resonance frequency of the guitar. You cant deny that! I know, what I am talking about, because I experienced all that.

    But other things contribute their share, and also does glue. Not much, but a little. Regarding the celluloid inlays, keep them as flat as possible. More important: Dont cut the cuts for the frets deeper than necessary. I only lacquer the top. Back and neck are waxed, which makes a difference. Try that! And those small differences add up. If you change 10 minor important things, than you get a noticeable difference. And the electronics of course contribute their share, too. Sure, you dont have to believe that, but you better do. Trust me, I dont want to sell you something.

    I always wonder, if players, who deny such things, are able to hear the differences. Or do they only play with lots of effects and way too much gain to register those differences?
     
  15. PierM

    PierM Premium Member

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    I don't think anyone over here is denial about wood affecting tone. There is just the scientific approach, and the romantic one. First one can be discussed, the second it's a dogma; arguing on that last one it's a big waste of everyone's time. :)
     
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  16. mudface

    mudface Senior Member

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    All i know is you can't draw on a tight joint, ...........you just can't keep it LIT.......
     
  17. Open_Book

    Open_Book Senior Member

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    There wasn't one part in my post where I said wood doesn't have some effect on tone. Thats a given.

    No. No I don't wonder. I've no need to. I'll state the obvious: Its wood. Its a variable. One plank doesn't necessarily yield identical pieces. Its wood. The weight and pitch of the wood is variable.



    Knocking up 20 necks doesn't make you an expert. Its your opinion. I spent years in a service dept for a major guitar manufacturer. I've probably handled more guitars than you've had hot dinners - my weeners bigger than yours... I know about guitars sounding different so you're preaching to the choir...


    Some people only hear what they want to hear cuz they think they have all the answers. Some are totally lost in their own BS.
     
  18. Mouse

    Mouse Senior Member

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    @Open book: amigo you just don't sound good, probably full moon thing.
     

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