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A Sad But True Cutting Corners Tale

#1 User is offline   Bluesy69 

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Posted 06 April 2019 - 07:09 PM

Hello fellow Gibson and Les Paul lovers, and players alike.

I have owned many various Gibson Les Paul's in the past some I like some not so much, mostly due to the past lack of Q.C.
However more recently my friend who currently lives on disability because of his many unfortunate ailments has always dreamed of owning a Les Paul, but never had the money.
After paying off an old school loan, he found out that he could get a personal loan for the amount of $1200, which he did, and in 2018 bought himself the 2018 Gibson Les Paul Tribute model for $1099.00
Now although it's one of the lower end Gibson models it did come with a NON weight relieved body, so it was solid wood, and it had the 490r and 498t Gibson humbuckers, no eye candy like binding , flame maple or nitrocellulose shine, but a nice guitar.

However my friend being a traditionalist he replaced the plastic nut with a bone nut and he replaced the tone & volume pot circuit board with traditional Gibson orange drop capacitors 500's.
Now he also replaced his pickup's with Seymour Duncan's, but that's all personal preference.

Let's move on to the sad part.....I recently purchased an Epiphone limited edition Les Paul Custom Koa, with a SOLID, not VENEER Koa wood top and non- weight relieved mahogany body, with binding on both neck and body, and the Probucker 2 and Probucker 3 equivalent to Gibson's Burstbuckers 2 & 3, and when I got the guitar and was inspecting it, I turned the guitar over and I looked at the back, and guess what......The mahogany back was all ONE piece of solid mahogany, so to satisfy my curiosity to see if Gibson was still cutting corners on their Les Paul models I asked my friend to take a close up picture of the back of his Gibson Les Paul Tribute.
Once he emailed me the pic I magnified it, and there it was, the seam right down the middle of the back of the GIBSON guitar, they used two pieces of mahogany for his Les Paul, and I was actually angry and felt very bad for my friend who literally waited for over 30 years to be able to say he owned a Gibson Les Paul.

Now I know Gibson's higher end models, the standard or HP or Traditional may have the solid one piece back, but those are all well over $2500 and NO ONE should have to pay that much for a solid piece of wood, now the more uneducated or ignorant may say "oh no big deal as long as it feels and sounds good".
NO, WRONG, aside from the fact that it's how all guitars have been properly made for almost a century, it's simple physics, sound resonates better through one solid piece of wood than through two pieces glued together.
So it's obvious that if Epiphone can do it in China and Gibson in the U.S. can no longer do it, than our labor costs are just too high.
My friend the traditionalist, called Gibson himself in disbelief to confirm this and they did, they told him "yes the 2018 Les Paul Tribute model's back is made with two pieces of mahogany glued together", and to say the least he was disappointed, not outraged to my extent but disappointed, that an $1100 guitar did not come with a one piece back and my $650 guitar did, and as I said I've owned Gibson Les Paul's in the past and I would put my current Epiphone model up against any current Gibson Les Paul today, because it is aesthetically flawless and sounds and feels phenomenal, and the fact that Gibson charges SO much more for the name of Gibson without any longer producing the quality of the Gibson of old is sad and has turned me off of them until I see a major revamp in their Q.C. and materials and components.

This post has been edited by Bluesy69: 06 April 2019 - 07:18 PM

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#2 User is offline   rct 

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Posted 06 April 2019 - 07:17 PM

Multiple piece backs are not an indicator of quality. In fact, if you know anything about blanks, or large slabs of wood, you would know that multiple piece backs make for stronger, longer lasting, better guitars.

Somewhere along the way One Piece Back Man! became the mantra for what makes a great guitar. It isn't.

rct
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#3 User is offline   arcticsg 

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Posted 06 April 2019 - 07:22 PM

Sorry to hear that.
I will say though, my 2018 Tribute looks to be one piece. It only has a cap on the top, and when viewed from the sides I only see one piece, no seams.
Mine sure turned at to be an awesome player as well!
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#4 User is offline   Bluesy69 

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Posted 06 April 2019 - 07:30 PM

View Postrct, on 06 April 2019 - 07:17 PM, said:

Multiple piece backs are not an indicator of quality. In fact, if you know anything about blanks, or large slabs of wood, you would know that multiple piece backs make for stronger, longer lasting, better guitars.

Somewhere along the way One Piece Back Man! became the mantra for what makes a great guitar. It isn't.

rct



WRONG, multiple piece backs held together by glue are not stronger than one piece backs, and even more important don't sound anywhere near as resonant as a single piece back.

However don't believe me, go out and glue 2 or 3 pieces of 3/4 inch ply wood together in a 1 x 2 rectangle and then get a solid one piece of the same wood thickness and size and attempt to break both over your leg and guess which one will break first and easier......the glued piece every time.

Plus the next time you find yourself in a guitar store find a multiple piece back guitar and a solid piece back guitar and plug each into the same setup and bend a note and see which one resonates clearer and longer....SOLID ONE PIECE will win every time, and if you don't know that, and you consider yourself even somewhat knowledgeable in the craftsmanship of guitars, then you truly know NOTHING.
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#5 User is offline   rct 

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Posted 06 April 2019 - 07:32 PM

oK WILD bIlL.

lolz

rct
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#6 User is offline   Bluesy69 

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Posted 06 April 2019 - 07:37 PM

View Postarcticsg, on 06 April 2019 - 07:22 PM, said:

Sorry to hear that.
I will say though, my 2018 Tribute looks to be one piece. It only has a cap on the top, and when viewed from the sides I only see one piece, no seams.
Mine sure turned at to be an awesome player as well!
Posted Image





That one does not appear to have a seam, but it also does not appear to be a 2018 Tribute, it has a gloss back where my friends has the matte back.
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#7 User is offline   Rabs 

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Posted 06 April 2019 - 07:41 PM

Ohh man.. Here we go again <_<
"Im the one thats going to have to die when its time for me to die. So let me live my life, the way I WANT TOO" Jimi Hendrix
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#8 User is offline   Wmachine 

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Posted 06 April 2019 - 07:53 PM

View PostBluesy69, on 06 April 2019 - 07:30 PM, said:

WRONG, multiple piece backs held together by glue are not stronger than one piece backs, and even more important don't sound anywhere near as resonant as a single piece back.

However don't believe me, go out and glue 2 or 3 pieces of 3/4 inch ply wood together in a 1 x 2 rectangle and then get a solid one piece of the same wood thickness and size and attempt to break both over your leg and guess which one will break first and easier......the glued piece every time.

Plus the next time you find yourself in a guitar store find a multiple piece back guitar and a solid piece back guitar and plug each into the same setup and bend a note and see which one resonates clearer and longer....SOLID ONE PIECE will win every time, and if you don't know that, and you consider yourself even somewhat knowledgeable in the craftsmanship of guitars, then you truly know NOTHING.


Wow, you're not only inexperienced, you don't even know how to glue wood. There goes your credibility.
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#9 User is offline   Rabs 

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Posted 06 April 2019 - 08:02 PM

You can believe what you want about single piece bodies..

But its not cutting corners in any way (in fact its more work). If they have single piece bodies they use them, if not they glue some together.. All guitar makers do that cos it doesn't make any difference.
"Im the one thats going to have to die when its time for me to die. So let me live my life, the way I WANT TOO" Jimi Hendrix
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#10 User is offline   Big Bill 

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Posted 06 April 2019 - 08:33 PM

Oh good God... HE'S BACK!!

...and off the meds...

This post has been edited by Big Bill: 06 April 2019 - 08:35 PM

Gibson Les Paul Standard
Gibson ES 339 Memphis
Gretsch 2655 Streamliner
Fender American Performer Stratocaster
Fender 60s Baja Telecaster
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#11 User is offline   FZ Fan 

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Posted 06 April 2019 - 08:38 PM

You guys ever take shop? Lamination creates strength.
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#12 User is offline   arcticsg 

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Posted 06 April 2019 - 08:38 PM

Bluesy69 said:

1554601046[/url]' post='1985970']
That one does not appear to have a seam, but it also does not appear to be a 2018 Tribute, it has a gloss back where my friends has the matte back.

Really man?? LOL I'm telling you this is a 2018 Gibson Les Paul Tribute. Here's the SERIAL# to it. Some are one piece and some are two piece. I believe both versions, the Honey Burst and Gold were done in a Satin nitro, not Gloss.

2018 Gibson Les Paul Tribute


Was just trying to be informative and helpful, thought that's why maybe you posted. Take it for what it's worth.
:)
















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#13 User is offline   Rabs 

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Posted 06 April 2019 - 09:10 PM

I once built a guitar out of what was left over kitchen surface top...

It was awesome.. Resonated and sounded just fine thank you..

Posted Image

Posted Image
"Im the one thats going to have to die when its time for me to die. So let me live my life, the way I WANT TOO" Jimi Hendrix
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#14 User is offline   kaicho8888 

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Posted 06 April 2019 - 09:35 PM

Large wooden structural beams are laminated wood for strength!

I have no idea if multi wood affects tone/sustain in an electric guitar... blind test anyone?

If you check a few YouTube videos on Gibson factory tours, it even showed the mass production of three piece mahogany backs being glued for Les Paul backs. This was the Nashville factory.


edit: Here's one of the videos.. check 5:20 minutes

Gibson Nashville


edit: Check out the huge wheel gluing jig... mass production gluing.

1:30 min

Gibson Nashville Tour

This post has been edited by kaicho8888: 07 April 2019 - 09:11 AM

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#15 User is offline   Rabs 

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Posted 06 April 2019 - 10:01 PM

Posted Image

This post has been edited by Rabs: 06 April 2019 - 10:01 PM

"Im the one thats going to have to die when its time for me to die. So let me live my life, the way I WANT TOO" Jimi Hendrix
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#16 User is offline   Rabs 

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Posted 06 April 2019 - 10:13 PM


"Im the one thats going to have to die when its time for me to die. So let me live my life, the way I WANT TOO" Jimi Hendrix
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#17 User is offline   SteveFord 

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Posted 07 April 2019 - 03:44 AM

The real question is when Pete Townsend pops over a visit and a cup of tea do two piece backs smash the same as one piece ones?
The poodle bites, the poodle chews it
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#18 User is offline   pippy 

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Posted 07 April 2019 - 03:59 AM

View PostBluesy69, on 06 April 2019 - 07:09 PM, said:

...uneducated or ignorant...

Both.

P.

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#19 User is offline   Eracer_Team 

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Posted 07 April 2019 - 07:52 AM

Don't they glue the maple cap on???

Would it surprise anyone if I told him that an ES335 that costs over $3800 uses a laminated top?
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#20 User is offline   Hector 

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Posted 07 April 2019 - 08:22 AM

The fact that the mahogany in my LP is 3 pieces and my SGs are 2 pieces does not bother me in the least. A "composite material" approach is far and away the better choice for strength an durability when it comes to wood. The glue, which is many many times stronger than the wood, will help the body stay intact through changes in the weather (humidity, rapid changes in temperature) etc. which can make a single piece of wood either warp, crack or split. It's why carbon fibre is infinitely stronger than steel, or why rope works.

The fact that your Epi is coated in a thick layer of resin (plastic) makes it less prone to changes in the weather.

On the same note, China is not subject to the same rules on where they can get their wood from as the US is. Hence, Epiphone are still able to source woods without the government seizing it like they did to Gibson.
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