R8 Weight & Tone

caint123

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I've heard amazing sounding Historics at every weight range, but the larger percentage of tone monsters have weighed in at around the 9lb mark.
That being said my '14 R4 is just a hair over 8lb and sounds ridiculously good.
I don't think there's any rule with this stuff. Some guitars are just better than the sum of their parts, irrespective of their weight. :)
 

tdarian

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My 9 pound R6 specializes in pointing out the gravity in any situation, whereas my 8.1 pound R7 is the better tool for making light of things when they are tense.

Actually and seriously, the R6 does sound a little "deeper", the R7 a little more illuminated.

R6 is a 2007, the R7 a 2011, so the woods were not sourced from the same regions so that is another variable in addition to weight.
 

jlb32

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For me right around 9 lbs. is perfect and seems to be the ones I have loved the most. Lighter ones around 8 lbs. I haven't seemed to gel with as much. Not sure if it has anything to do with the weight or just luck of the draw but when I buy I usually go for ones closer to or at 9 lbs. over the lighter ones.
 

KenG

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Both my R8 and LPC both are 9+. Not sure how any historic model could come in much <9 and be considered accurate? I have owned chambered and played a chambered DC Standard plus for years. Tone, weight and balance make for quite a different instrument in my opinion. Lesters are supposed to be dense and thick!
Have you read BOTB yet?

The heavier is better BS came from the Norlin era when they sourced the cheapest mahogany they could get and LP weights reached epic proportions.
 

spindrift

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Mine weighs in at 8lbs 6 oz..light and just about PERFECT. Near 9lbs noticibly much heavier to me, will avoid. To each their own...
 

somethingclever

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I love a lightweight LP, but I agree, at 8 lbs things start to feel a bit too light...

8.8 lbs tends to be my favorite but the overall balance of the guitar contributes a lot as well.
 

blackie2

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My 2013 R8 weighs in at 7lbs 15ozs and it's not weight-relieved or chambered and it sounds marvelous. Guess I have to throw it away now since it's obviously anorexic.
 

d1m1

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i do own two historics with same weight (8.9lbs). they couldnt sound more different. unpluged the one is loud and resonant, the other not at all. plugged in, the resonant one sounds dry, bright, tight and articulated. the other one, fat, rich, creamy and very complex. i swapped all pups and hardware i have with same results. their tonal qualities stay constant. so weight doesnt seem to affect that much tone. it´s obviously in the woods it self.
 

Mark V Guitars

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My Studio Faded is 7.5 lbs. :D


Oops my bad, Wrong forum. haha carry on
 

Pappy58

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Have you read BOTB yet?

The heavier is better BS came from the Norlin era when they sourced the cheapest mahogany they could get and LP weights reached epic proportions.
So you are saying in the 50's they sourced the most expensive mahogany they could get? Not Likely. In the 70's in the Norlins they were pancaking the bodies no doubt adding a lot of weight. Sorry not on board here. :hmm:
 

winexprt

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So you are saying in the 50's they sourced the most expensive mahogany they could get? Not Likely...
Maybe not the MOST expensive, but it most certainly wasn't the bad stuff: a Gibson LP Standard was not an inexpensive instrument in 1959.

And whether or not it was the most expensive is moot, because what they did use was old-growth Honduran Mahogany, considered today to be one of 'The Holy Grails' of LP tone wood.
 

KenG

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So you are saying in the 50's they sourced the most expensive mahogany they could get? Not Likely. In the 70's in the Norlins they were panicking the bodies no doubt adding a lot of weight. Sorry not on board here. :hmm:
The read Robb Lawrence's LP books for yourself. You'll learn about the change from a Profit Center to a Cost Center that Norlin imposed on the Gibson Kalamazoo factory.
The Mahogany used in the 50s was old growth, with large stock to work with.
The early 70's Norlins started using much smaller stock but unless you attribute the weight difference to glue :shock: then obviously the wood weight was the main factor.
 

Pappy58

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I will purchase and read the book, seems like a good use of time. However in the mean time:

Ever pick a piece of 3/4" laminated birch plywood, and weigh it next a solid piece of solid birch? Which one is heavier?

Most if not all companies that are looking to make profit control costs,. They have purchasing officers and bean counters and the folks that make the guitars have little control over the materials provided on any given day. The Norlin's don't count in the discussion imo because for whatever reason they did not use solid pieces of wood. So to keep this an apple to apple discussion, (no offense Norlin guys), lets compare R8's between 1958 and a 2014 RI model.

So we see comments or alleged facts that state the real 50's models had "old growth" honduran mahogany and Brazilian rosewood. Solid back body, solid neck, two piece carved maple top.

The R8 has the same basic construction:

So who knows for fact:

Where is the mahogany of the RI sourced?
Why is Indian rosewood inferior to Brazilian?
Are RI materials consistently from the same source?
Weight differentials are driven by wood density, or something else?

and the holy grail of questions: What difference in actual discernible tone can a human ear determine from the slight variance of wood density and weight in an electric guitar, given equal design, construction and electronics?

Not looking for a religious debate, just want to try and separate fact from fiction. :) Personally I think the late model custom shops Lesters are some of the finest that have ever been produced and I have owned and been playing them for 35+ years. I do not however have experience with 50s Lesters. The oldest gibby I ever owned was a 62 SG/LPC which had been white but a PO stripped it and I let it go like a dumazz! Others I have owned include 69 LPC, 72 Standard, 74 Deluxe, 81 Standard, 02 DCS (build quality on this one top notch, and it was passed to my bandmate who wanted it for years).

Happy Friday! :cheers:
 

KenG

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Robb has two books. One covers the 50's era LPs and Les Paul's career. The second covers the rebirth of the LP in 68/69 - 2009 and Les's career til his death. Great books, lots of interview and pictures of the LPs thorugh the years with good information.
My 2010 R7 weighs in a 8lbs even which is on the low side of the RI weight Scale and my R8 weighs 8lbs 15oz which is in the upper mid weight region. I haven't heard of many if any RIs topping 9lb 8oz (9-1/2 lbs) on this forum but of course it doesn't mean they don't exist.
Reported weights on original bursts seem to be between 8 to 9-1/2lbs for the most part as well, so this is considered from what I've read to be the desireable range for an LP.
To know for sure what they used in the golden era would be hard but considering Honduran Mahogany was relatively cheap and plentiful back then and trade betwwen North American & Asian Countries was not common (WWII, Korean War), nor I think had they transplanted true mahogany many years previously to that time to be able to supply it leaves littel doubt South America was the source of the wood.
Reports are that Gibson now uses farmed mahogany from Fiji becuase it's sustainable.
 

spindrift

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Robb has two books. One covers the 50's era LPs and Les Paul's career. The second covers the rebirth of the LP in 68/69 - 2009 and Les's career til his death. Great books, lots of interview and pictures of the LPs thorugh the years with good information.
My 2010 R7 weighs in a 8lbs even which is on the low side of the RI weight Scale and my R8 weighs 8lbs 15oz which is in the upper mid weight region. I haven't heard of many if any RIs topping 9lb 8oz (9-1/2 lbs) on this forum but of course it doesn't mean they don't exist.
Reported weights on original bursts seem to be between 8 to 9-1/2lbs for the most part as well, so this is considered from what I've read to be the desireable range for an LP.
To know for sure what they used in the golden era would be hard but considering Honduran Mahogany was relatively cheap and plentiful back then and trade betwwen North American & Asian Countries was not common (WWII, Korean War), nor I think had they transplanted true mahogany many years previously to that time to be able to supply it leaves littel doubt South America was the source of the wood.
Reports are that Gibson now uses farmed mahogany from Fiji becuase it's sustainable.
Heaviest R9 I've seen was one I used to own(2004) at 9.6 lbs. Too heavy and sold it!
 

Progrocker111

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In the 70's in the Norlins they were pancaking the bodies no doubt adding a lot of weight. Sorry not on board here. :hmm:
Not so, early 70s pancaked Norlins arent the heaviest. They all weight inbetween 9 and 10,5 lbs. The heaviest Norlins were from late 70s/early 80s (no pancakes). I played or had dozens of Norlins (mostly Customs) and many early 70s were lighter than most of the new post 2000 Les Paul Customs for example. :)
 

uncle mud

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I have 3 R8's. 2019 = 7lbs 14.5 oz's. 2014 = 8lbs 3oz's 2011 = 9lbs even. This is on my digital postal scale. The 2014 at 8.3 oz is the best of the three. super resonant and loud unplugged, and sustains for ever. The 2019 at 7.14 oz is a little thinner sounding. The 2011 at 9lbs. sounds good, but is not as resonant as the other two. I love them all. I have been playing the blues for 50 years. And they are all excellent in this genre.
 

Harleytech

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My 19' R8 is right at 8lbs. It has all the tone you could want... So I call Bull sh**
Where do you guy's come up with this crap... Unbelievable..
 
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