'59 LP Replica - One Piece Top?

RibbonCurl

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Good Day Members,

Has anyone built a '59 Les Paul replica that has a one-piece maple top? I'm curious to know if a one-piece top will technically vibrate more freely verses a two-piece maple top (with a glued center-seam joint) ?

Thank you
 

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pshupe

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I don't think it would be a '59 replica with a one piece top. :naughty: I can't imagine a glue joint makes much tonal difference and if it did, how you would ever attribute it to the glue joint?

Most that build a 59 replica would probably try and replicate how it was done back then. I can see making changes based on difficulty but am hard pressed to think why someone would want to make it more difficult. Do you have a one piece top you are considering?

Regards Peter.
 

cmjohnson

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I seem to remember seeing ONE original '59 LP Standard that had a one piece top. And if I'm not mistaken, that top was all curl and burl.
 

truckermde

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FWIW, that first one you posted is awesome!!

Love that top...
 

RibbonCurl

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I don't think it would be a '59 replica with a one piece top. :naughty: I can't imagine a glue joint makes much tonal difference and if it did, how you would ever attribute it to the glue joint?

Most that build a 59 replica would probably try and replicate how it was done back then. I can see making changes based on difficulty but am hard pressed to think why someone would want to make it more difficult. Do you have a one piece top you are considering?

Regards Peter.
No, I do not own a one piece top. I should not have used the word "replica". Meant to say if anyone can chime in and give advice on utilizing a one-piece maple top on a Les Paul style guitar or any electric guitar build. Thanks for the clarification Peter.

Curious if builders who did make one-piece tops chose to do so for any particular reason besides the cosmetic symmetry of the bookmatched curly maple. I understand there are many aspects of the guitar (including the player) that give the instrument its particular tone.

Most that build a 59 replica would probably try and replicate how it was done back then. I can see making changes based on difficulty but am hard pressed to think why someone would want to make it more difficult.
Curious why a solid one-piece maple top would be considered "more difficult" than a two-piece center seam?

Thank you kindly Peter
Wally
 

pshupe

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I seem to remember seeing ONE original '59 LP Standard that had a one piece top. And if I'm not mistaken, that top was all curl and burl.

I haven't heard or seen anything about this guitar. I would be very interested in seeing it. I'm no expert and there are probably people here that could say off the top of their heads. I'm sure Gibson will build anyone anything if the price was right. Probably as true in 1959 as it is today.

Cheers Peter.
 

pshupe

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Curious why a solid one-piece maple top would be considered "more difficult" than a two-piece center seam?

Thank you kindly Peter
Wally
I probably shouldn't have said more difficult. It would definitely be more difficult to source maple that wide for a production shop who would want to build, hopefully, 1000s of units.

Cheers Peter.
 

RibbonCurl

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Curious if builders who did make one-piece tops chose to do so for any particular reason besides the cosmetic symmetry of the bookmatched curly maple. I understand there are many aspects of the guitar (including the player) that give the instrument its particular tone.
Correction: Should have said...

Curious if builders who did build a Les Paul style guitar utilizing a mohogany body and a one-piece maple top chose to do so for any reason other than the availability of larger cuts of maple? I understand there are many aspects of the guitar (including the player) that give the instrument its particular tone.
 

RibbonCurl

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I probably shouldn't have said more difficult. It would definitely be more difficult to source maple that wide for a production shop who would want to build, hopefully, 1000s of units.

Cheers Peter.
Yes, that's what I figured as well. Perhaps that is the reason Gibson chose two and even three piece tops on their LP models. Simply more cost effective and economical. Thus the two-piece top was born simply from frugal business choices and had nothing to do with sound??
 

dcomiskey

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I think it’s both availability and symmetry...but much more availability. Coming across 12-14” wide slabs of figured maple is not very common at all. When you do see them pop up, they’re $$$. IMO, there’s NO chance anyone would ever be able to tell a sonic difference between single or two-piece tops.
 

Leumas

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Having never seen a one piece top that I can remember those look odd. Beautiful, but almost startling how “off” they look.
 

jwinger

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Hi - cool idea although I can't see it making any audible difference to the resulting tone
 

AML

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My (custom-ordered) 2003 Tokai LS-320 has a 1-piece top. Understated, though.



That's a refin by the forum's own Jumping " Shadows (Yuuki)

FWIW, I don't find any obvious tonal difference over a conventional 2-piece top.
 

ARandall

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Yeah. To try and say you're definitively going to hear any difference on a guitar you've not yet built (And therefore have zero clue about precisely how it will sound fullstop) is taking the piss in a big way.
In fact this goes for any bit of wood you choose to make the guitar from. A Les Paul is 10 separate bits of wood if you look at the typical vintage construction......and 9 for a 1 piece top. That's a lot of interaction that goes on.
A 2 piece is used for symmetry, especially for quartersawn bookmatched. 1 has no symmetry, and of course the scarcity of trees large enough (or lumber yards wanting to make cuts like that) makes it undesirable for production use.
 

christopherJ

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There would absolutely be no difference in tone between one and two piece tops. None. If anyone claims to hear a difference they are fooling themselves.
 

Leumas

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He
Yeah. To try and say you're definitively going to hear any difference on a guitar you've not yet built (And therefore have zero clue about precisely how it will sound fullstop) is taking the piss in a big way.
hey look. He’s being a condescending asshole again.
 

Adinol

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I'm curious to know if a one-piece top will technically vibrate more freely verses a two-piece maple top (with a glued center-seam joint) ?
Hello friend. I 2nd christopherJ. Not to worry about tone. Just plug it in and make it rock.

I would add to the discussion, because it was mentioned... these kinds of book matched joints have been made for centuries on violins.
 

Owntone

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It’s not a Les Paul, but I have a Huber Orca ‘59 Custom that was built to take to various shows. It has a one piece flame maple top. It’s not the most flame I’ve seen but it’s nice.

I’m not a builder but IMO it’s for esthetics. It looks cool...and check out the flame mahogany too :)
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B3290E54-BF0A-4D2D-83A5-53307A51C195.jpeg
09342280-9382-46AD-A44B-C60BF0DCA002.jpeg
 

Prostheta

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The whole idea of a single-piece top having any sort of realisible difference over a two-piece is purely in the imagination, nothing more. Of course, a terribly jointed pair of mismatched pieces with awful glueing may be "less good" in some manner, but even then I think anybody would struggle to tell the difference without seeing. Single-piece wood comes with its own issues due to the width in most woods (growth ring radii and change over distance) however the size of some old Maples makes this less of an issue.

It boils down to looks, nothing more.
 

RibbonCurl

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I probably shouldn't have said more difficult. It would definitely be more difficult to source maple that wide for a production shop who would want to build, hopefully, 1000s of units.

Cheers Peter.
Ok, I understand. Thank you.
 


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