Gibson Good Years

Discussion in 'The Backstage' started by dave294, Sep 4, 2017.

  1. bgh

    bgh Senior Member

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    In one sense, I do salivate at how a right-handed player can have the opportunity to play LPs from different eras. Being a left-handed player, I do not have that luxury.

    I will most likely never get a chance to play more than a hand-full of LPs from different ages.

    While there may indeed be years where some quantifiable factor could be found which would in fact would cause them to be held in higher esteem, I think it would apply only in a general sense. For example, "in general, the guitars made in year xxxx were made with a unique combination that set them apart".

    But, saying so does not mean the guitars we each have are not the best LPs for us. I have a '79 LPC. According to group think, that was not one of the "better" years for Gibson. And, so be it. But I know this, over the years, I have played that guitar enough to know everything about it. How it responds to each thing I do, exactly where to set the volume on the neck pickup, when to pop the bridge humbucker out of phase, ... all of those sorts of things.

    Because I have learned that guitar, it is very easy for me to play it. Someone else may pick it up and call it a "dud" and call me stupid for liking it.

    Not a problem. For me, '79 was a great year for Gibson. :applause:
     
  2. Bobby Mahogany

    Bobby Mahogany Senior Member

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    Here's a candidate.

    Hide glue.jpg
     
  3. MikeyTheCat

    MikeyTheCat Senior Member

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    Impossible!
     
  4. Dun Ringill

    Dun Ringill Premium Member

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    Lately, I have been having suspicions that multi-ply pickguards are the devil. Makes me think I sold my soul for all that tone!
     
  5. JCM900MkIII

    JCM900MkIII Senior Member

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    It's called "heartwood" (as opposed to sapwood)
    I think you are confuzzled by the term "old wood" (which is actually wood from a tree which has seen the "little ice age" (seasons were short, cells were small. The wood was pretty compact and therefore wanted by instrument makers) Read about Stradivarius and you will understand "old wood".
    They don't cut "old wood" anymore. We ran out of the stuff.
    (The EU is now in a legal battle with Poland to save the last "primeval" forest (Białowieża Forest)
    in Europe. They want to cut it down. This is a forest with "old wood")

    Sapwood =transports moisture through the tree.
    Heartwood = resistant to disease, doesn't hold/transport water and is more stable.

    Sapwood =firewood
    Heartwood = possibly of a good enough grade to be used as "toanwoodz" (no magic tonesauce...)



    The best tonewoods (technical) have a short growthseason (compact cells)
    (Just to clarify, some "tonewoods" are used to create a certain finish on an instument. Still called tonewoods, even though tone has ABSOLUTELY zero to do with it).


    Not something "someone told me". My background is carpentry and joiner(y?)
     
  6. bulletproof

    bulletproof aka tarddoggy Premium Member V.I.P. Member

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  7. ehb

    ehb Chief Discombobulator Premium Member

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    I'd like a Lester with the neck and thick cap made from torrefied maple, torrified hog slab, with a torrefied maple board.

    Me likey BBQ maple!
     
  8. freebyrd 69

    freebyrd 69 Premium Member

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    Again.....let me set each and every one of those 2000 guitars up to my liking. Allow me to swap pickups and harness's if I so choose.....string height, gauge, etc..

    My "dud" pile would consist of MAYBE 1/2 dozen guitars, and 1/2 of those would be necks I didn't like. Lol.

    Conduct that same experiment without allowing me to make the changes, and you would probably have a pile of 500 or more Guitars sitting there when I was done. In other words......IT AIN'T THE WOOD!
     
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  9. ehb

    ehb Chief Discombobulator Premium Member

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    The plies can set up a kind ethereal mojo resonance when you play it... One cannot fight the juju....
     
  10. freebyrd 69

    freebyrd 69 Premium Member

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    I didn't see any sapwood floating around the Custom Shop, but don't give HJ any ideas!! IMG_2874.JPG
     
  11. boola1

    boola1 Member

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    Are you really saying that the wood makes no difference to the tone of the guitar?
     
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  12. Crotch

    Crotch Members Only Premium Member

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    Roasted or GTFO :rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl:
     
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  13. geochem1st

    geochem1st V.I.P. Member

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    How microphonic are your pickups? If they are waxed and potted, then they aren't very microphonic at all. Your amp adds far more tone than the wood does.

    Maybe at very low volumes you might hear slight differences because of wood, but once the drummer kicks in, it don't matter anymore.
     
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  14. smk506

    smk506 Senior Member

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    A friend of mine has an older les Paul frk
    I'll go on record to say any difference it makes in the tone is microcosmic at best. I'm still out on sustain, built a paulownia parts tell this year and am blown away by how much it rings out and how long.

    Amplifiers are huge, just the difference between a 10' or 12' is huge. Cab design? Huge impact right there.

    There's a story that used to float around forums about a time Eric Clapton sat in on a gig by request and there was only a junky backup guitar and amp available to use. Apparently he fiddled a few knobs, started banging out chords and sounded like Eric Clapton.

    To my amazement I've recently found a similar phenomenon happening myself. I plug in a guitar, play a bit, adjust this or that and I sound like me.

    If you really want to get into the nitty gritty of guitar tone I think scale length and pickup type play the biggest factors.

    One last observation... there was a company that used to set up at NAMM and they had a cinderblock with a neck bolted to it and a humbucker wired in and bolted on.

    Want to guess what it sounded like?

    A guitar with a humbucker.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2017
  15. geochem1st

    geochem1st V.I.P. Member

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    Even design doesn't play that big a part. When I first heard 'Reelin in the Years' by Steely Dan, I was floored by the sound of that lead guitar. For years I just assumed it was a Les Paul.... wrong. Burst my bubble to find out that it was a PAF mounted in the neck position of a Fender strat, plugged into a cheap solid state bass amp. So much for chasing tone.
    I think that the best we can hope for is to be able to tell humbuckers from single coils on recordings... even P90's and teles's will throw you off.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2017
  16. Malikon

    Malikon アストロモンスター V.I.P. Member

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    I'll agree to that. Scale length makes a surprisingly large difference. It's why I prefer and keep coming back to LP's. They sound 'right' to my ears. There's a certain 'oomph' and bounce to the sound, to my ears, that Fenders and 25.5 scale guitars just don't have. Even with humbuckers and everything, it's not quite the same.

    If wood made no difference though I think my Epi would sound exactly like my Gibsons,...and they don't. But for the past few years I've started thinking that may be due to the headstocks being at different angles, (17 for Gibson and I think 13-14 for Epiphone) .. which puts a slightly different amount of tension on the strings and (imo) makes the Epis sound a little darker and bassier since the strings have a tiny bit less tension on them.

    ..though I generally try to leave those types of arguments for others and just play my guitar. :laugh2:

    I love my guitars though. The Epi LP, the Squier LP, the Gibsons.....guitars are fun and cool. Sometimes even the junky ones are fun and cool.

    ..and like the old joke says, "A great amp will make a bad guitar sound good." :thumb: ..which I find to be true.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2017
  17. Tim Fezziwig

    Tim Fezziwig Senior Member

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    M, Amen. I think of what Zappa did with Pignose amps. Joe Walsh and his Tele through Fender Champ is beyond muscular. I swore this was humbucks.
     
  18. Dun Ringill

    Dun Ringill Premium Member

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    I don't have a Soul Tramp, but I have also experienced this phenomenon.
     
  19. Bobby Mahogany

    Bobby Mahogany Senior Member

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    NO!

    Not the "wood matters" debate again?

    :shock:

    [​IMG]

    And by the way, it does...
    :naughty:
     
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  20. TheX

    TheX Voice of Reason

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    Of course wood matters. Spruce and cedar tops sound totally different. String tension matters as well. Sevilla have a nice tone.
     

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