In praise of volutes

WP Blues

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I've had this Les Paul standard since I bought it in 1974. Several days ago while preparing for practice, my foot caught the guitar cord laying on the floor and pulled the guitar right off its stand and it fell forward right onto the concrete, making a big noise. Except for a destroyed jack plate, the guitar is fine. I could be wrong, but I really believe that the volute saved this guitar from a broken headstock.
 

mudface

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View attachment 531633

I've had this Les Paul standard since I bought it in 1974. Several days ago while preparing for practice, my foot caught the guitar cord laying on the floor and pulled the guitar right off its stand and it fell forward right onto the concrete, making a big noise. Except for a destroyed jack plate, the guitar is fine. I could be wrong, but I really believe that the volute saved this guitar from a broken headstock.
You're very lucky......even with a volute these can snap........but I'm very sure it helped. Just hope that there is never a "Next Time" :fingersx:
 

WP Blues

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Nope, just the jack plate. I'll never forget the SOUND it made as the maple and mahogany hit the concrete. I will definitely look into cordless.
 

gball

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I'm a fan of the volute. And maple necks. I did things to my '77 Custom back in the 1980's that would turn a normal non-voluted, mahogany-necked Les Paul into a pile of toothpicks and although it lost a lot of paint it never lost its head.
 

JMP

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Congratulations on not damaging the headstock! I’d guess the volute and maple neck combo really helped you out.
 

WP Blues

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Congratulations on not damaging the headstock! I’d guess the volute and maple neck combo really helped you out.
Well, the volute, anyway. It's got a 3-pc. mahogany neck, made in Kalamazoo early '74. But, yes, I was very lucky.
 

gball

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I've never understood the negativity toward the volute. Is it another "they didn't make them that way in the '50s" thing?
Yes. That whole "if they didn't do it in the 1950s then it's WRONG" mindset makes me insane. Same goes the obsession with buying a new guitar and modding it cosmetically to try to make it look more "correct" which just means more like how they did them when grandpa started playing.
 

Brian N

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I've never understood the negativity toward the volute. Is it another "they didn't make them that way in the '50s" thing?
Yes, sort of. They brought the volute in during the Norlin era around the same time they brought in other controversial specs like pancake bodies, maple necks, and LPs that weighed upwards of 15 lbs, among other things. In the 90s they listened and started to go back to vintage specs, and I think every change from vintage specs left a bad taste in some people's mouths.
 

ARandall

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I've never understood the negativity toward the volute. Is it another "they didn't make them that way in the '50s" thing?
That pretty much sums it up.
There is a heavy 50s and 60s bias to most traditionalists. You find it in a lot of different forums so it's not uncommon.
Anything that deviates from this is by definition lesser.
Of course it gets uncomfortable when you point out the volute, 3 piece neck, oversized headstock and the rest are all products of the vintage era (albeit late on), and the Norlin era is actually responsible for their removal and a return to vintage spec (more or less).
 

DaveSG

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I have a '71 SG Standard w/ a headstock break, and it went right through the entire volute.

Still, I'm glad yours survived. Even more still, I'm sorta glad mine broke, w/ me fully being in the 'sounds better after repaired headstock break' camp :laugh2:
 


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