Volutes, why the hate?

Progrocker111

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I'll explain it again.

Mahogany board 1 has a veneer on it.

It is cut into two pieces roughly 12" X 22."

The maple cap is sandwiched on top of the two veneered boards

So they could use thinner pieces of mahogany? And interchangeable mahogany boards with veneer glued two on each other?

Problem is, that the two mahogany boards often arent the same height, the lower is often higher like visible on pictures which i posted above...
 

eric ernest

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So they could use thinner pieces of mahogany? And interchangeable mahogany boards with veneer glued two on each other?

Problem is, that the two mahogany boards often arent the same height, the lower is often higher like visible on pictures which i posted above...

You may not taking into account the thickness of the binding on the back or the fact that the boards would probably have been run through a thickness sander before being glued.

Gibson may have left more on the back to facilitate leveling and sanding.

Gibson also could have been using up boards that have different dimensional thickness' as the wood was used for different models or purposes.
 

Progrocker111

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Why they just simply didnt use two glued mahogany boards plus maple top (3 pieces of wood) without the two extra veneers (5 pieces)? That would be real simple cost cutting without adding two more layers in the middle and under maple top. :hmm:
 

eric ernest

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Why they just simply didnt use two glued mahogany boards plus maple top (3 pieces of wood) without the two extra veneers (5 pieces)? That would be real simple cost cutting without adding two more layers in the middle and under maple top. :hmm:

I guess they thought "cross banding" was a good idea. That is how veneer is done. Every layer of wood is at a 90 degree angle. (I figure you know this, I am just stating it for others.)

I sent a message to my buddy and former 70's Gibson employee Jeff DeHollander through Facebook..


"Yo Jeff, I have a question. When you worked at Gibson was there ever any discussion as to why Norlin went to the mulit-laminate body? What was the process?"

"Eric,

I did ask the plant manager that when I show him a fifties Les Paul...answer: to stop it from checking.....I scratched my head on that one, I did however ask about the binding being thinner and now thicker in the cutaway ( I was a binder at the time) answer: to hide the maple top.....all woods were cut to size in the mill room and pieced together from there...I really don't have answers for the wood questions, I worked in whitewood so things were already starting to look like guitars by that stage of the process..."



I guess we need to find somebody that worked in the "mill room."

As always, thanks Jeff!
 

John Vasco

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Eric,
Still a fascinating point. We all look at those 5 piece constructions and think 'Why?' And we still haven't a bloody clue, but it's there. :hmm: :dude:
 

eric ernest

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Jeff’s Plant Manager may have a point.

I read up on the physics of wood shrinkage.
The physics involved with the dimensioning of wood and how the wood is converted to its usage may suggest some things.

1. Taking into account the directivity of the grain and cuts made, smaller pieces would yield less waste because the wood could be converted in a manner that allows for the least amount of shrinkage. The part of the tree the wood comes from affects the amount of shrinkage too.

2. Since many black and goldtop Les Paul guitars from the 50’s had severe weather checking issues this may be the answer. The '68 Les Pauls were reissued in black and gold.

1954_gibson_les_paul_standard_guitar_reneck_b.jpg


4414680732_8b448a3afd_o.jpg


The pancake body was to minimize shrinkage AND it provided less waste from dimensioning. (ie:cheaper)

I’m going with this… :naughty: :thumb: :cool: :laugh2:
 

John Vasco

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...and I believe I read on here somewhere in the past, that Gibson had been getting returns due to the problem of a slight warp in the bodies with single mahogany construction, so they used the veneers to provide strengthening to prevent warping, and the additional cost of handling/processing the returns. How true that is, I don't know.
 

eric ernest

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...and I believe I read on here somewhere in the past, that Gibson had been getting returns due to the problem of a slight warp in the bodies with single mahogany construction, so they used the veneers to provide strengthening to prevent warping, and the additional cost of handling/processing the returns. How true that is, I don't know.

I have never seen this issue in 30 years of (Gibson) guitar hunting.
 

Thumpalumpacus

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As a repairman for 30 years, yes, some newer Gibson's lack fit and finish....Norlin's were made in a different factory, in a different geography, in a different time, by different people....they have different issues.

Please be advised that many of the Norlin guitars with issues were addressed by someone like myself BEFORE you played it.

Mine which I had for fifteen years, was bone-stock.

Again....I will ask it again...

If the Norlin era was so great what are the models that they release that were "top shelf" or "Timeless?"

25/50? Perhaps.
Maple fingerboard LPC? Yes.
Heritage 80 Series? Yes.
Lab Series amps? Yes.
Howard Roberts Fusion? Yes.

Anything else?

What's with your fixation on models? That clearly wasn't my point.

As for "timeless", a 59 'burst isn't **** if I'm playing funk or jazz: there are better guitars, from better eras, for other genres.

Again, you've got your own ax to grind, but not everyone shares your perspective. Why does that bother you so much?

Never mind ... pretty sure Mindfrigg already elicited that.
 

eric ernest

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http://www.mylespaul.com/forums/norlin-years/165491-pancake-bodies-mystery-2.html

There is some good read in this thread if you can weed through the incorrect stuff.


What's with your fixation on models? That clearly wasn't my point.

Again, you've got your own ax to grind, but not everyone shares your perspective. Why does that bother you so much?

Never mind ... pretty sure Mindfrigg already elicited that.

Nice non-answer...you expect me to answer your questions...but you won't answer mine.
 

Thumpalumpacus

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Nice non-answer...

Because your reply ignored my point, instead fixating on "quality" being measured by the number of innovative designs, which is an unusual metric for rating a manufacturer. Any guitarist who has spent time on a stage understands that the only quality that matters is the build-quality under your fingers ... not how many useful designs, poorly-built, the company can come up with. The QC issues saddling HJ-era Gibson bespeak a company concerned with spreadsheets rather than quality product. All the Robotuners in the world don't help me if the fretwork is crappy.

Now, if you wish an answer to your point about innovative models, you'll respond to my point about the shitty QC going on in the last few years.

Or, you can sing the praises of the great modern designs, while cherry-picking the failures out of the discussion. But don't think it's a convincing screed, because it isn't.

Also, I noticed you edited out one line of my post without remark. Perhaps that's because you might be forced to admit that a 59 has limits to what it can and cannot do? Calling a guitar "timeless" when it cannot best play the music of all eras is obviously a misstatement. Perhaps you should rethink your adjectives?
 

eric ernest

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Because your reply ignored my point, instead fixating on "quality" being measured by the number of innovative designs, which is an unusual metric for rating a manufacturer. Any guitarist who has spent time on a stage understands that the only quality that matters is the build-quality under your fingers ... not how many useful designs, poorly-built, the company can come up with. The QC issues saddling HJ-era Gibson bespeak a company concerned with spreadsheets rather than quality product. All the Robotuners in the world don't help me if the fretwork is crappy.

Innovation is an important quality, just like QC.

Do you repair guitars for a living?

How can you suggest newer Gibson's have worse QC than their Norlin brethren?

What experience are you relying on?

Also, I noticed you edited out one line of my post without remark. Perhaps that's because you might be forced to admit that a 59 has limits to what it can and cannot do? Calling a guitar "timeless" when it cannot best play the music of all eras is obviously a misstatement. Perhaps you should rethink your adjectives?


time·less
ˈtīmləs/
adjective

not affected by the passage of time or changes in fashion.

synonyms: lasting, enduring, classic, ageless, permanent, perennial, unfailing, unchanging, eternal, everlasting.

It sounds like you do not understand the adjective!


What experience are you drawing on here? Have you ever owned a '59 Les Paul?

Can you name one guitar that transcends all genres of guitar playing and music? No Norlin can that that. :laugh2:
 

Progrocker111

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The pancake body was to minimize shrinkage AND it provided less waste from dimensioning. (ie:cheaper)

I’m going with this… :naughty: :thumb: :cool: :laugh2:

Yes, it could be, but why they left the single layer under maple cap even after the middle one disappeared in early 1977? This is clearly only extra labor without possibility of using smaller pieces of wood... :hmm:
 

eric ernest

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Yes, it could be, but why they left the single layer under maple cap even after the middle one disappeared in early 1977? This is clearly only extra labor without possibility of using smaller pieces of wood... :hmm:

Maybe they thought crossbanding the thick mahogany to the thinner maple would prevent the maple from shrinking. Since the top is arched, it has endgrain exposed. That will affect dimensional shrinkage. The Goldtops had the worst checking on the TOP. Since Gibson changed its paint formula which clearly reduced checking, that may have reduced weather checking enough. Or, they may have done some laminate experiments and determined the extra strip in the middle was no longer necessary. Or, as others have suggested, people didn't like the looks of the middle veneer...and Gibson canned it for aesthetic reasons.

Regardless, I think the former Norlin Plant Managers comments are probably the closest we'll get to the truth.
 

thegaindeli

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FYI: Re-gluing a neck does not add mass.
Just for your own knowledge and edification...
1. A LP is not glued at the collar, so the is no such thing as re-gluing the neck.
2. Anything you ADD, increases mass. There repair methods that incorporate additional materials to the area of the break. Such repairs often include wooden splints which are glued in, and then leveled. Nearly any repair will result in additional mass, regardless of how slight.

The volute is possibly the single best advancement in neck construction. It aids in preventing neck twist, increases mass, and best of all...it solves the ever annoying poor dynamic intonation issue with non-voluted necks. :thumb:

Just say no to Kool-Aid! :wave:

P.S. You are however correct on the machine heads... Removing the "tulip" tuners, and installing a set of locking Rotomatic tunes is an instant improvement.
 

John Vasco

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The volute is possibly the single best advancement in neck construction. ...it solves the ever annoying poor dynamic intonation issue with non-voluted necks. :thumb:

Poor dynamic intonation issue...? :wow: What the feck is that??? :hmm: What have I been missing all these decades? Should I now gig only with my '76 voluted Deluxe?

Please, please, please, give me the full low down on 'poor dynamic intonation' so I can decide whether to ditch all my tempered non-voluted Les Pauls or not...
 

kakao

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P.S. You are however correct on the machine heads... Removing the "tulip" tuners, and installing a set of locking Rotomatic tunes is an instant improvement.

Increases sustain or gives you a better tone? :naughty:
 

eric ernest

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Just for your own knowledge and edification...

1. A LP is not glued at the collar, so the is no such thing as re-gluing the neck.

1. YOU used the phrase: "Have you ever heard of guitars sounding better AFTER a neck repair?" (Post #150 for those who want to read it.)

My use of the word "neck" was AFTER yours. Regluing the headstock (what I was referring to) or other similar type repairs would not increase the mass. You are another one who has poor reading comprehension skills!

Just for your own knowledge and edification...

2. Anything you ADD, increases mass. There repair methods that incorporate additional materials to the area of the break. Such repairs often include wooden splints which are glued in, and then leveled. Nearly any repair will result in additional mass, regardless of how slight.

2. I have repaired dozens of headstocks and have never added MASS to the headstock. Splines do not add "mass" if the wood has the same density as the neck being repaired. Splines are an extreme that many luthiers (like myself) will not use. I would replace the neck with another vintage neck or graft on a new headstock before I would "hog out" the neck and clamp sticks of wood in it. I would never even consider buying a guitar with splines either. (unless I knew I was redoing it) As SMALL as splines are...even ebony ones would only add the mass of MAYBE one Kluson tuner. (doubtful) Re-gluing the headstock could increase RIGIDITY, but not mass. Because Grover tuners screw on they add mass and rigidity.

Also, traditional wood glue is "adhesive" not "cohesive." So if you use a LOT of glue, you have just destabilized the repair. Epoxy is "cohesive" and generally not used for headstock repairs.

You are trying to "school" someone who clearly understands "mass" and guitar repair more than yourself. :applause:
 

Thumpalumpacus

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Innovation is an important quality, just like QC.

Do you repair guitars for a living?

No.

How can you suggest newer Gibson's have worse QC than their Norlin brethren?

What experience are you relying on?

I've played guitars for thirty-five years. Like any guitarist worth his salt, my fingers, ears, and eyes tell me the truth about a guitar.

What experience are you relying on? Selling guitars? Owning "thousands" of guitars in that context doesn't mean playing thousands of hours. I'll appreciate your opinion on guitars when I've finally heard a sample of your playing.

time·less
ˈtīmləs/
adjective

not affected by the passage of time or changes in fashion.

synonyms: lasting, enduring, classic, ageless, permanent, perennial, unfailing, unchanging, eternal, everlasting.

It sounds like you do not understand the adjective!

Actually, it sounds like you don't. I've underlined the problem with your definitional approach. Fahion, i.e. style, happens in music as well. And a 59 Burst doesn't do many, many things well, musically.

I should think someone who knows a little something about music would understand the point immediately. A 59 is a great guitar. But it is still only a tool.


What experience are you drawing on here? Have you ever owned a '59 Les Paul?

Who cares? Can a 59 Les Paul (or any Les Paul, for that matter) do James Brown lines like Jimmy Nolen on his Strat?

Here, you put up a recording of you playing funk on your 'burst, and I'll happily concede the point, so long as you can make your magic guitar sound like Jimmy Nolen.

Now, I've been known to play a little funk on my old Lester:

[sc]https://soundcloud.com/thumpalumpacus/cosmolene[/sc]

... but even I know that doesn't sound like a good Strat at full quack.

Moral of the story, never try to hammer nails with fish tacos; pick the right tool for the job.

(Just so you know, Jimmy Nolen played a Strat in James Brown's band.)

Can you name one guitar that transcends all genres of guitar playing and music? No Norlin can that that. :laugh2:

Stupid question; no guitar from any company, of any era, can make that claim.

Gosh, I thought you knew a little about music.
 

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