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Epiphone Les Paul Custom Body Composition

#1 User is offline   RivieraLEP93 

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 02:16 PM

Some of you guys are more knowledgeable than I and I was wondering if you could clear up a question that I have. I recently bought a used Epi LP Custom that I am very pleased with and have been enjoying playing. It is a gorgeous guitar, if I may say so myself. It is a 2005 made in the Samick factory in South Korea. My original belief was that it was a solid body of mahogany. I have been told it is chambered and that it has a maple top. The grain I can see in the black finish appears to be mahogany and the guitar is heavy (the way I like it). It sounds and feels like a solid body. Anyone have knowledge of the facts? Thanks! -- Riv
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Posted 25 September 2013 - 03:16 PM

I don't think I can clear it up but I think I can say what wood timbers my 1960 Tribute Plus consists of. It can be assumed looking through the faded cherryburst top finish and the cherry red finish on sides and back.

The body is made of five quarter-sawn pieces of mahogany with a mahogany veneer on the back, a maple top and a bookmatched flame maple veneer on it. The neck mainly consists of three stripes mahogany, one quartersawn and two flatsawn it seems. There is one piece of mahogany added each at the neck heel, the peghead centre and both sides of the peghead. In total, the body consists of nine, the neck of seven pieces of wood.

Its weight matches pretty well that of two modern weight relieved and one massive Gibson Les Paul, and so I think I can't tell anything about cavities but just guess.

The guitar plays and feels wonderful. Its tone capabilities are fine and considering its price tremendous.
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Posted 25 September 2013 - 03:27 PM

View PostMidtowner, on 25 September 2013 - 03:23 PM, said:

No Epi LP is chambered, except the Ultra series !
The body wood probably is some sort of 'asian mahogani' it can have alder parts, too
there is NO maple-top on it, except as a thin veneer (of real maple)
sometimes they do even veneer on Ebony painted Epis

pics would be nice B)

Mine has definitely a maple top as can be seen in the cutaway below the binding and in the pickup and control cavities. Sorry, no pics at the moment, don't have taken some already but will perhaps one day.
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#4 User is offline   RivieraLEP93 

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 03:38 PM

View PostMidtowner, on 25 September 2013 - 03:32 PM, said:

I was responding to the OPs LP Custom

I know how Tribute Plus's are made....

without pics there is NO neck like you're describing it [-(


I appreciate the discussion and answers. I looked on the Epiphone website and felt foolish for not having done so before. The description of the Epiphone Les Paul Custom explains that it follows the tradition of the same model made by Gibson. They state, "Epiphone's LP Custom follows that tradition by using a solid, carved Mahogany body giving it a slightly mellower tone. Like the originals, attached to the body is a solid Mahogany neck with a hand-fitted, glued-in joint for optimum neck-to-body contact and acting almost like one continuous piece of wood."

It sounds a feels like a solid piece of mahogany, though I am sure that a carved maple top would have some wondeful tonal characteristics, as well. -- Riv

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 03:40 PM

View PostMidtowner, on 25 September 2013 - 03:32 PM, said:

I was responding to the OPs LP Custom

I know how Tribute Plus's are made....

without pics there is NO neck like you're describing it [-(

Sorry, didn't realize, just thought because of your reply and the timeline order [blush]

OK, I have forgotten the fretboard LOL... was hidden under black dye... all kidding aside, I rubbed it away long before. Do you have any other doubts or complaints about my evaluation results?
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Posted 25 September 2013 - 03:56 PM

Here's nothing about a maple top to be read:

http://epiphonewiki....Les_Paul_Custom
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Posted 25 September 2013 - 04:56 PM

View PostMidtowner, on 25 September 2013 - 04:23 PM, said:

Yes, for some strange reason I know exactly what's written in the €pi-wiki



Where did I say it has a maple cap ?

It wasn't about your statements, just in general. Interestingly, there's no mahogany cap, too as would be correct for earlier LP Customs.

Sorry, didn't know that "your" Epi-wiki is the related unofficial one... thought you were an official guy ;)

My respect for you knowing the Epi wiki contents exactly. Don't know if I was able to remember several thousands of specifications...
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Posted 25 September 2013 - 06:31 PM

View PostMidtowner, on 25 September 2013 - 05:10 PM, said:

Is there another "Epi-Wiki" other than the "Unofficial Epi Wiki" ?

Found some different Epi-Wikis in the past but the unofficial one seemed to be that with the most detailed informations. As for my 1960 Tribute LP, specifications there are correct or unavailable, in particular the serial number code.

Is it bad that my 1960 Tribute LP neck consists of so many pieces of wood? I checked out several of them, and they were all of the same make in this respect...
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#9 User is online   bobf_Meritage 

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 07:14 PM

View Postcapmaster, on 25 September 2013 - 06:31 PM, said:

Found some different Epi-Wikis in the past but the unofficial one seemed to be that with the most detailed informations. As for my 1960 Tribute LP, specifications there are correct or unavailable, in particular the serial number code.

Is it bad that my 1960 Tribute LP neck consists of so many pieces of wood? I checked out several of them, and they were all of the same make in this respect...


Your multi-piece neck is prolly 10x as stable as any one piece neck. Do you like the way your guitar feels/plays/sounds? If yes on all three, be happy!
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#10 User is offline   capmaster 

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 07:22 PM

View Postbobf8332, on 25 September 2013 - 07:14 PM, said:

Your multi-piece neck is prolly 10x as stable as any one piece neck. Do you like the way your guitar feels/plays/sounds? If yes on all three, be happy!

I think I already answered this question before:

View Postcapmaster, on 25 September 2013 - 03:16 PM, said:

... The guitar plays and feels wonderful. Its tone capabilities are fine and considering its price tremendous.

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#11 User is offline   Bender 4 Life 

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Posted 26 September 2013 - 03:22 AM

you've got a nice guitar.......play it w/o worry !

I doubt if anybody can repeatedly tell the difference between the sound of a maple cap and maho cap by the time the tone come thru the amp anyhow. (said repeatedly 'cause anyone can guess)
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#12 User is offline   RTH 

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 09:02 AM

I feel that I need to clear up a couple of things in this thread. As stated earlier, no maple caps on Customs. ok. As well, Epiphone does not use mutli-ply necks on their solid body guitars. Multi-piece (as in scarf-joints, headstock-joints & heel-joints), yes. But not multi-ply. You only see that on their archtops, and not often at that. Also, Epiphone does not use quartersawn woods on most of their instruments as it would be far to costly to produce and drive up the prices exponentially.

The only exception to this are anything that is designed as a neck-through instrument, such as basses or older neck-through guitars from the 1980's (and I'm not so sure about the '80's guitars). For example, my Epiphone Expert-6 bass had an ash body with a quartersawn maple 5-piece neck-through neck. The bass was around $1000 new in 1996. The only way there would be quartersawn body pieces on a Les Paul is just luck of the draw from random pieces of wood as using quartersawn pieces is not common practice for Epiphone. I could see using a couple of quartersawn stringers on a multi-ply neck, but again, I've never heard of a multi-ply on a Les Paul. I would also like to see some pics of the neck of this guitar. This would be highly unusual if true.
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Posted 28 September 2013 - 05:26 PM

I hope these pics may help to clarify:

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Here she is surrounded by four of her Gibson sisters. From left to right: Gibson USA Standard Quilt, Gibson USA Standard 2012 Premium Plus, Epiphone 1960 Tribute Plus, Gibson USA Traditional 2013, Gibson Custom Shop Standard Figured. This picture doesn't show off what hell of a beauty these all are.

The Gibson USA Standard 2012 Premium Plus is the one I can't the Epi sonically discern from in a blind test listening to recorded tracks I played myself alternatively on both guitars using humbucker serial operation which both allow for.

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#14 User is online   crust 

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 06:22 PM

another beautiful Epiphone, looks so nice. [thumbup]

#15 User is offline   RTH 

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 09:01 AM

I'm not sure how you can tell if the body is quartersawn with a lam on the top and bottom. I will say that even though its not common practice for Epiphone to build that way, its not entirely out of the realm of possibility either. But if that is the case, it would mean that they were just random pieces that were in the mix and not standard construction. But for instance, I bought a 2011 TV-Yellow SG Junior that was spec'd as basswood, but clearly has philipine mahogany instead, as you could tell by the weight of the guitar and density and grain of the wood on closer inspection of the neck pocket. The other colors they had (Worn Cherry & Worn Ebony) were most definitley basswood bodies. Very light. Almost too light. So, again, to get something better than the listed specs is not impossible, but highly improbable and is a bit of "luck of the draw", you could say. But it does happen from time to time.

As for the neck, its hard for me to tell, but unless you can give better detailed pics, I'm goin to have to agree with Midtowner. Looks like mineral stripes. The pics you provided are too glossy to really get a good idea of the construction. If you know how to set a camera for manual settings, I would suggest a low-light setting with no flash using macro and a tripod. That should give us a good, detailed representation of the construction. I know, tall order, but unless the guitar is in our hands, its the only way to see it properly.
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#16 User is offline   Gordy01 

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Posted 02 October 2013 - 12:11 PM

I think what we see here is a flat sawn neck.
The "extra piece" is the next ring in the log.
Fender has used flat sawn maple for years.
The top is most likely alder with a flamed maple veneer
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#17 User is offline   capmaster 

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 03:18 AM

View Postcrust, on 28 September 2013 - 06:22 PM, said:

another beautiful Epiphone, looks so nice. [thumbup]

Thanks for your comment, my 1960 Tribute took me with tone and looks as well.

View PostGordy01, on 02 October 2013 - 12:11 PM, said:

I think what we see here is a flat sawn neck.
The "extra piece" is the next ring in the log.
Fender has used flat sawn maple for years.
The top is most likely alder with a flamed maple veneer

The top is specified to be carved hard maple here:
http://www.epiphone....lus-Outfit.aspx
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#18 User is offline   RTH 

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 06:29 AM

Yes, the top is spec'd as maple, but sometimes is substituted with alder. Epiphone specifically claims that they reserve the right to change specifications without notice or explanation...and sometime they do.
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Posted 11 October 2013 - 02:09 PM

View PostRTH, on 11 October 2013 - 06:29 AM, said:

Yes, the top is spec'd as maple, but sometimes is substituted with alder. Epiphone specifically claims that they reserve the right to change specifications without notice or explanation...and sometime they do.

Hm... reserving this right is some kind of standard all around, but doing so is a different thing. In fact, this could result in changing next to all except looks. Imagine there were different pickups, controls and switches just looking all the same - that would be a bit poor in my opinion. :unsure:

It's not that I had any trouble with my 1960 Tribute LP - it is truly tremendous -, but in general fooling around with specs and changing them arbitrarily makes everything blurred and questionable I think. This doesn't also mean I dislike alder which by the way is the body wood of most of my Fenders. [glare]

Sometimes specs change for better in several respects the same time. Due to enforced exhaust emission regulations they completely redesigned a diesel injection eight years ago. They achieved 22% more torque in the low speed band despite of less and cleaner exhaust. So my car is clean, economical and very driveable - these are spec changes I like. [smile]
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#20 User is offline   Pin 

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 02:30 PM

Whatever...

I have looked in vain several times for any sign of a join (other than the neck joint) on my Epi Tribute Plus neck and for the life of me I can't see any at all. It just looks like one piece of wood. I'm not saying it is...but just I can't find any "pieces".

You have a very nice set of Les Paul's capmaster!
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