is the upcarve theory a myth

nico b

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I own two 58 custom shop reissues, one from '95, the other a CC15. Neither have a so called upcarve. When you look from the side, the top curves gently into a right angle with the sides. I know a lot of custom builders make a big issue of this, but I am not convinced. What do you guys think?
 

RAG7890

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I own two 58 custom shop reissues, one from '95, the other a CC15. Neither have a so called upcarve. When you look from the side, the top curves gently into a right angle with the sides. I know a lot of custom builders make a big issue of this, but I am not convinced. What do you guys think?

Each Vintage Les Paul Top Carve looks slightly different.

There, I think that pretty much covers it, they were all over the place. :)

2 x !959 Burst's for reference Both different): -

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:cheers:
 

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GitFiddle

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This is my 99 R7. Looks and feels that way to me.

gitfiddle-albums-99-r7-gt-picture47030-100-1716-400-x-600.jpg


This is a custom built thinline ExNihilo, which appears to also have an upcarve.

gitfiddle-albums-2010-exnihilo-picture49074-ex-nihilo037.jpg
 

jlb32

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From what I have seen and read from people that have been around many Originals, Gibsons current carve is pretty accurate. Of course the Originals did vary so what is consider truly accurate all depends on which Original Burst you are basing it off of.

A lot seem to consider the carve on HM's, etc.. a little exaggerated over the norm. Also a lot of the way a carve looks depends on the lighting and the angle it's looked at.
 

Sct13

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It is the angle mostly, however I had an HM and Kim did say that very little was taken off to comply with his specs.

I like the deeper dish as it accentuates the more feminine lines that the Les Paul carve can emulate, when done right its very graceful and incredibly sexy. If its over done than it should be to enhance the woods grain or flame.

Of course the whole Idea comes from violins anyway. Stradivarius was a huge perv anyway......:wow:
 

BDW60

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I own two 58 custom shop reissues, one from '95, the other a CC15. Neither have a so called upcarve. When you look from the side, the top curves gently into a right angle with the sides. I know a lot of custom builders make a big issue of this, but I am not convinced. What do you guys think?

I think the extreme dish/recurve digs into my right forearm. It looks pretty, but for me it's annoying as hell from a comfort standpoint.
 

pinefd

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The recurve, as it's called, is definitely not a myth...at least on vintage Les Pauls. And as Rudi mentioned in his post above, each top carve is slightly different, since the final carve was executed by the person operating the slack belt sander. I remember seeing a photo that someone posted years ago, on either this, or the other forum, where he had put some water on his guitar and it pooled up in the recurve area. And not that this proves anything, but here's a photo that I took of my '59 a couple of years ago, which certainly makes it look like there's a recurve (although admittedly, the ruler wasn't held completely horizontal):

IMG_5441_800.jpg


Also, this past year I did a little work dissecting my 'burst and taking lots of measurements. One of the things I did was to map the profile of the top (crudely) with a profile gauge. Here I am in action:

Profile_Gauge_in_use.jpg


And here's how part of the profile looked at the widest part of the lower bout:

Recurve_at_Lower_Bout.jpg


And here's a larger version of my avatar photo, so you can get a better view of the total carve and the recurve area:

IMG_5344_900.jpg



Are you convinced?


Frank
 

blackie2

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Thank you Frank for explaining it. I had no idea what anyone was talking about.
 

Sharky

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The recurve, as it's called, is definitely not a myth...at least on vintage Les Pauls. And as Rudi mentioned in his post above, each top carve is slightly different, since the final carve was executed by the person operating the slack belt sander. I remember seeing a photo that someone posted years ago, on either this, or the other forum, where he had put some water on his guitar and it pooled up in the recurve area. And not that this proves anything, but here's a photo that I took of my '59 a couple of years ago, which certainly makes it look like there's a recurve (although admittedly, the ruler wasn't held completely horizontal):



Also, this past year I did a little work dissecting my 'burst and taking lots of measurements. One of the things I did was to map the profile of the top (crudely) with a profile gauge. Here I am in action:



And here's how part of the profile looked at the widest part of the lower bout:



And here's a larger version of my avatar photo, so you can get a better view of the total carve and the recurve area:

IMG_5344_900.jpg



Are you convinced?


Frank

haha, I was about checking the forum for your last pictures as it clearly shows that the recurve is no myth at all. Should be the recurve reference picture
 

rockstar232007

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When I tilt my LP Classic at a slight angle and look just past the edge of the curve, I can actually see the reflection of the bridge.:)

So, there you go.

Btw, the "recurve" was done intentionally on the originals to accentuate the overall design of the top-carve, and to add an illusion of " extra depth" to the wood grain. Though, the effect was/is way more apparent on figured tops.
 

nico b

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I remain unconvinced. I think the photos show what we want to see, rather than what is. I agree that the up-carve feeler photo looks convincing, but I think the others are the result of optical effect. Gibson are making a big deal of the accuracy of their scanning process of original tops, and I have one in the CC15, and it does not have an up-carve. The forum is open, what about yours? And what of the genuine real deal?
 

Sct13

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I remain unconvinced. I think the photos show what we want to see, rather than what is. I agree that the up-carve feeler photo looks convincing, but I think the others are the result of optical effect. Gibson are making a big deal of the accuracy of their scanning process of original tops, and I have one in the CC15, and it does not have an up-carve. The forum is open, what about yours? And what of the genuine real deal?


The carve of the late 50's is largely due to the people that actually sanded the carve on the belt sander as Mr Pine stated. The sanding station was a manned station and various people manned it. This contributed to a variance in the final look.

Gibson no longer uses that sander as it currently resides at Heritage Guitars in Kalamazoo MI ( the old Gibson plant )

Gibson uses an average of tops and an updated sander, They still come out varied but not by too much. The workers at Gibson today work to closer tolerances today because manufacturing process are very different. So that carve has pretty much disappeared. The CC's are not exact copies.
 

ridethatbike

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perhaps this is unrelated, but wouldn't an upcarve be a bit more uncomfortable on your strumming forearm?
 

Sct13

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It can be,

its negligible unless you play every night.

I have seen Ace Frehley with large pads on his arm to protect from the rim.
 

bossaddict

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It can be,

its negligible unless you play every night.

I have seen Ace Frehley with large pads on his arm to protect from the rim.

So their costumes were for functional purposes. :hmm:
 

Stinky Kitty

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My 93 Studio has a nice recurve. The 05 R8 is not so pronounced but is there.

Thanks for the great pics Frank, your posts never fail to educate me.
 

Sct13

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So their costumes were for functional purposes. :hmm:


Big Kiss fan since I don't remember when....


He would remove those gauntlets over the wrists and there's a pad to protect his right arm.
 

rockstar232007

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I remain unconvinced. I think the photos show what we want to see, rather than what is. I agree that the up-carve feeler photo looks convincing, but I think the others are the result of optical effect. Gibson are making a big deal of the accuracy of their scanning process of original tops, and I have one in the CC15, and it does not have an up-carve. The forum is open, what about yours? And what of the genuine real deal?
No offense, but if you honestly believe that it's still a myth after seeing some of THE best photos of them in this very thread, you may want to get your eyes checked?

Even my '01 Classic (USA model) has a somewhat pronounced recurve:

917_p53806.jpg


You can clearly see the "valley" on the edge, between the pickups.

And, in this pic (pre-upgrades), note the distorted reflections of the straps, especially the one with the lightning bolt:

DSC01244.jpg
 

RAG7890

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The recurve, as it's called, is definitely not a myth...at least on vintage Les Pauls. And as Rudi mentioned in his post above, each top carve is slightly different, since the final carve was executed by the person operating the slack belt sander. I remember seeing a photo that someone posted years ago, on either this, or the other forum, where he had put some water on his guitar and it pooled up in the recurve area. And not that this proves anything, but here's a photo that I took of my '59 a couple of years ago, which certainly makes it look like there's a recurve (although admittedly, the ruler wasn't held completely horizontal):

IMG_5441_800.jpg


Also, this past year I did a little work dissecting my 'burst and taking lots of measurements. One of the things I did was to map the profile of the top (crudely) with a profile gauge. Here I am in action:

Profile_Gauge_in_use.jpg


And here's how part of the profile looked at the widest part of the lower bout:

Recurve_at_Lower_Bout.jpg


And here's a larger version of my avatar photo, so you can get a better view of the total carve and the recurve area:

IMG_5344_900.jpg


Are you convinced?

Frank

Frank, all I can say is...................you had me at hello. :thumb:

Great overview. :)

Cheers, Rudi
 

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