What's up with Smartwoods?

qwank

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I think if they put a finish on them, they wouldn't be very smart. Nitro is a bad paint for the environment.
 

jsadctnfn1

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They're plain, ugly, have dot inlays and a pretentious name, and that silly leaf on the trc that reeks of self-important tree-hugging smelly hippy environmental nuttery propaganda.

No thanks, I'll stick with my planet-killing global warming-causing guitars. :slash:
lol! exactly! Smartwoods are just NOT appealing.
 

JB6464

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They're plain, ugly, have dot inlays and a pretentious name, and that silly leaf on the trc that reeks of self-important tree-hugging smelly hippy environmental nuttery propaganda.

No thanks, I'll stick with my planet-killing global warming-causing guitars. :slash:
They are not any uglier than a current studio Gibson Studio Faded LP's that has chambered bodies and no bling bling upgrades other than the inlays.
And a simple TRC can be changed if it bothers you that much.
With the satin finish on them , it actually exposes the natual wood more showing the exotic tops on them.
So i guess Gibson's that don't have trapezoid inlays must be butt ugly to you. :rolleyes:
 

Ace1432

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they remind me of "the paul". see, most people dont want something that is 'different'; they want to either one-up their friends or get as close to their dreams with their guitars.

even though a smart wood guitar would offer them a unique look and tone, most people dont worry about that. they want the triple binding, sunburst finish, trap inlays, reflector knobs, etc,
 

redcoats1976

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it was also a crap name for them. what was so smart about the wood?

if they had been called and spec'd as the gibson les paul standard/studio exotic then the whole concept would have worked much better i think.
thatsa good point.i saw a couple that were good looking too
 

jsadctnfn1

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They are not any uglier than a current studio Gibson Studio Faded LP's that has chambered bodies and no bling bling upgrades other than the inlays.
And a simple TRC can be changed if it bothers you that much.
With the satin finish on them , it actually exposes the natual wood more showing the exotic tops on them.
So i guess Gibson's that don't have trapezoid inlays must be butt ugly to you. :rolleyes:
Uhh... not that you were talking to me, but NO, I don't like the studio faded's either.
 

daddyo

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The only Smartwood Henry cares about is when it's processed into paper pulp and turned into dollar bills.
 

auriemma

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I have a '06 Smartwood, Muir top and Curupay fretboard. Yeah, the name is bad and the green leaf on the TRC is a bit much. But, it feels and plays like any other LP. The Muir top on mine has a sweet grain that changes as the light hits it from different angles. Simply gorgeous. If it was a gloss finish, it would be more amazing. I think the dots were used (instead of blocks or traps) to show off the more of the wood in the fretboard. Personally, I would have gone markerless. Curupay has a unique grain and color. I'm not a fan of Faded LPs either, but then the Smartwood is not a Faded by any means.
 

cousingrandpa

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I have a '06 Smartwood, Muir top and Curupay fretboard. Yeah, the name is bad and the green leaf on the TRC is a bit much. But, it feels and plays like any other LP. The Muir top on mine has a sweet grain that changes as the light hits it from different angles. Simply gorgeous. If it was a gloss finish, it would be more amazing. I think the dots were used (instead of blocks or traps) to show off the more of the wood in the fretboard. Personally, I would have gone markerless. Curupay has a unique grain and color. I'm not a fan of Faded LPs either, but then the Smartwood is not a Faded by any means.
Need pictures!
 

jsadctnfn1

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I have a '06 Smartwood, Muir top and Curupay fretboard. I think the dots were used (instead of blocks or traps) to show off the more of the wood in the fretboard. Personally, I would have gone markerless.
That may have been just the thing the smartwoods needed! That, and how about a plain wood TRC? I think Gibson needs people like us to help 'em out some on their design concepts! lol! j/k
 

ianvomsaal

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I have a Smartwood Standard (I bought it new in 1999).
It's basically just a Standard, but with Rainforest-Alliance Endorsed Wood -- It has a Solid Full Sized Standard Mahogany Body (non Weight Relieved & no tummy cut), Mahogany Neck, Carved Maple Top, Standard Pearl Trapezoid Inlays, Natural Glossy Nitro Finish, 490R & 498T pickups -- it's basically just a natural finished Standard, and if it wasn't for the "smartwood series" stamp on the back of the headstock (just like custom shop) you'd never know.

The only real difference between this guitar and the typical Les Paul Standard is the fretboard wood, which is made from Chechen instead of your typical Rosewood (although Chechen is sometimes referred to as "Caribbean Rosewood" so whatever) -- It basically looks and sounds just like rosewood, and honestly, most people can't tell the difference and wouldn't know unless I told them it wasn't rosewood -- It's a really great guitar and has served me well in several sessions (I even had another session player offer me twice what I paid for it).

Here's a factory Pic:


Here's mine:
 

505Stallion

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Yeah, Les Pauls have certain characteristics that make them what they are, even though they probably play/sound great
 

Lurko

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I just sold a 1996 Cancharana topped SW Exotic. It was a nice guitar, and beautiful, IMO. I would have kept it but I wanted a P90 guitar and my policy is a sell to buy situation.
 

morf

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The first smartwood studios were thinner, belly-cut guitars with dot inlays and no LP signature on the headstock. These were all features of "the Paul" and "Firebrand" models which were historically marketed as budget models and perceived as being lower than studios. Even the minimalist finish is more reminiscent of lower-end Studios, although a natural choice for a guitar who's USP is exotic wood.

Even when they changed Smartwood LP's studios to be the same thickness (and removed the belly cut) as normal LP's they were chambered. (who would guess that a few years later all standards and studios would be too, bar the odd exception)

Persuading the market to pay a premium for a guitar that had more budget features than premium ones (its premium features being the exotic wood itself, the gold hardware and the pearloid Gibson logo) was a flawed strategy. It should have been a premium product all round (except perhaps for the finish).

The name "smartwood" and the green leaf logo weren't particularly appealing and if anything narrowed it's potential market. The marketing should have concentrated on the "Exotic" aspect, similar to the Swamp Ash studio in that although is still made from FSC-certified wood it doesn't mention the smartwood feature in its marketing.

Many purists will say that Les Pauls get their unique sound from mahogany body, maple top with a rosewood fretboard. Some say the maple's density gives a sustain like no other. Well, many of the woods used to top the exotics are in fact denser than maple.

I can understand people liking their guitars to have more 'bling' factor, after all, getting the look right is often part of being a performer. However, I'm of the school that it's about the sound, not the hairdo. That's why I like the philosophy of the Studio, no frills, only just what you need to make the sound.

I was recently considering buying a new, worn brown studio and I'm glad I did a bit of research first. Now, for the same money as a new WBLP with a gig bag, I was able to get a used Muir-top 2003 SW with OHSC that sounds just as good if not better.
 

willseibold

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I have a standard too that I purchased new in 98'. It sat on the wall of a music store dropping in price every month to the point where when I was shopping around, I closed my eyes and just focused on the feel and the sound. Walked out with it because it was a standard LP for about 500 less at the time (I think something like $900) This guitar is hidious when it comes to maple tops. BUT, at the same time I always get a double take on the cutaway side it looks like it is split and has a crack in the body. kinda cool, at some point I thought of placing a pick guard on that. Glad I didn't.




This is what the last fella had to say about these, here is the only difference other than the fretboard and looks from a standard... .the stamp that says otherwise.
 

fjabjr

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Is there a difference between the Smartwood Exotic and the Smartwood Studio?
 

auriemma

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There is, but I'm not sure sure exactly. I believe on the Exotic, the body is thinner and there is a waist cut. Probably more exotic woods as well... hence the name "Exotic".
 

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