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Solid vs Chambered vs Weight Relieved

#1 User is offline   Rabs 

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 05:10 PM

What do you guys think of the the differences between the different body types?

I have a LP 2002 Classic 1960s re-issue thats a solid body and from what I can see there arnt many solid body models left if any. I also have a 2008 Standard and 60s Tribute which are both chambered (I dont think ive tried a weight relieved one ever so cant comment on that)..

Ive played them side by side and recorded it on video and played it back. Id say that you cant really beat the solid body tones.. Im not saying the chambered ones are bad in any way, both of mine are amazing and hold different tonal qualities and certainly sustain and roar as much as the solid body does.. I just find that the Classic with the solid body has a smoother more velvety tone and seems to cover more of the frequency ranges (so you get more of the mids, lows and highs) where as with the chambered guitars that they seem a bit more focoused on the high and mid ranges (even though the P90s on the tribute seem to substitute some of the low ranges on the neck position, one of the many things I love about that guitar)...

Of course theres the weight issue.. The solid bodies are damn heavy which is why I ended up getting more guitars to play about with, but when it comes to recording I nearly always go to the LP Classic.. Nothing beats it...

So what do you think?

edit.. It seems apparently that my Classic is chambered which is mad as its 13lbs.. how heavy do they get?? :)
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#2 User is offline   Gary Moore Tribute 

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 05:28 PM

I own a 08 Standard (chambered), a 08 Traditional (drilled) & a Bonamassa Studio (Advertised as Chambered but no hollows and 10lb+!)

From my perspective you do get more "Sustain" & resonance the more solid the guitar is but as you said the chambered models are easier to live with. so its a trade off between them.
Personally I like the Traditional as its still solid but is weight relieved enough that its easier to deal with on a daily basis
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#3 User is offline   BigKahune 

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 05:40 PM

.

In a double blind test, I doubt very many people can tell the difference between solid, W/R and chambered.

Here's an interesting bit on concert violinists picking out a Stradivarius vs a modern violin - they picked the modern violin - http://www.guardian....st-stradivarius
Quote: "Study finds musicians cannot tell from sound alone whether they are playing an old classic instrument or one made last week."


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#4 User is offline   Rabs 

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 05:49 PM

Id agree on that.. I had to play them side by side and listen back to it carefully (and I speant time as a sound engineer) to really hear the difference..

But there certainly are differences and as I say when recording I will always go for the better tone as when you listen back on headphones you can hear a deeper sound on the solid body (but then these days you can always change it post production its so easy).. Live or just jamming it makes no real difference



View PostBigKahune, on 19 January 2012 - 05:40 PM, said:

.

In a double blind test, I doubt very many people can tell the difference between solid, W/R and chambered.

Here's an interesting bit on concert violinists picking out a Stradivarius vs a modern violin - they picked the modern violin - http://www.guardian....st-stradivarius
Quote: "Study finds musicians cannot tell from sound alone whether they are playing an old classic instrument or one made last week."


.

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#5 User is online   ZuWa 

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 06:11 PM

View PostBigKahune, on 19 January 2012 - 05:40 PM, said:

.

In a double blind test, I doubt very many people can tell the difference between solid, W/R and chambered.

Here's an interesting bit on concert violinists picking out a Stradivarius vs a modern violin - they picked the modern violin - http://www.guardian....st-stradivarius
Quote: "Study finds musicians cannot tell from sound alone whether they are playing an old classic instrument or one made last week."


.


and violinists aren't playing through Tube Screamers, phase shifters, and wah-wah pedals... :)



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#6 User is offline   spacealf 

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 07:56 PM

Ah, have to disagee somewhat. I have a chambered and I like it. Different tones, and not all tones have to be the same. Depends on what type of music one plays.
Only had experience with a semi-hollow guitar before, but it did quite well and was clean when played years ago (ES-345).
So I am glad that Gibson did that because now I feel there is somewhat of that hollow sound I use to have before with not a real semi-hollow guitar. Sort of the middle of guitars between solid and larger hollow bodied guitars.
With the right pickups in the Guitar, I think it holds its own with the guitar.

#7 User is offline   OldBlue&Blondie 

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 09:16 PM

My JoeB is weight relieved (i.e., swiss-cheesed) but a shade under 9#. I've seen solid guitars that weighed about the same, or less, up to 10+lbs. I personally like to have a guitar have nice unplugged resonance (sort of feeling it in my belly). But frankly a lot of tone can be had by messing with the guitar and amp settings (not to mention any effects). My Strat weighs 13# and is sometimes a chore to have hanging on you for a long time. I do think there are differences of one guitar from another, but I think to a large extent they tend toward personal preference. I'm fairly sure I could find a great chambered, weight relieved or solid. And I believe I could find some real dogs (whhether chambered, weight relieved, or solid), that I hate. I might even, in general, like the majority of, say, chambered LPs over the other varieties. But again, I would chalk it up to my preferences and style.
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#8 User is offline   Tim Plains 

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 09:44 PM

Rabs, your Classic is weight-relieved. All Classics are weight-relieved or chambered. Custom orders and I'm sure some Custom Shop runs aside, the only Gibson LPs without weigh reduction are the reissues ('57, '58, etc) and that's going as far back as the early '80. Reissues get the lighter wood and are usually the same weight as swiss cheesed LPs or lighter.
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#9 User is offline   Yaff 

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 06:10 AM

In my opinion, the connection between a musician and his / her instrument is more than just tone!

Its about the total experiences.

Although I loved my 08 Standard, my R8 defiantly has something extra.

At the end of the day, its human nature to try and convince yourself and others that you made the right decision. This type of debate is all about people feeling better about what they have. The guy with a Studio will say its all about tone and the only difference between a Studio and a Standard is cost and Binding. The man with the standard will argue that the components and tone on his Standard is better than the Studio and its comparable with a Custom Shop. The guy with a Custom Shop will say the components (wood etc) and workmanship is of a high standard then Gibson USA products, so worth the extra cash. The Guy with the Traditional will say a Chambered LP is not a true LP. The Guy with a Chambered LP will say the guy with the Traditional is living in the past and sustain and tone on a Chambered model is an improvement. And so on.

In reality, there are good and bad examples of all. Its all about personal taste. More expensive components, don`t always equal better. And some times they do!

Why can`t we just enjoy what we have and be happy for others!

Sorry, I went on a bit [laugh]

#10 User is offline   pippy 

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 06:14 AM

As R9 says, Rabs, your Classic is weight-relieved so you may wish to rethink your original post.

Whilst most folk hereabouts could pick out the chambered from the weight-relieved from a member's 'back-to-back test' post here a while back it's highly doubtful anyone in a 'real-life' setting could possibly say how any one particular guitar is constructed just by hearing it being played.

I have both weight-relieved and solid LPs and, whilst they all sound different, it's absolutely impossible to tell which is which just by the sound they produce once amplified.

P.

#11 User is offline   Mike From Canada 

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 07:25 AM

At first, I found it hard to tell the difference between the chambered and weight relieved Les Pauls - until I learned what to listen for. There is an edgy quality to the high end on the chambered models that isn't there on the weight relieved guitars. I can pick it out on blind tests every time.

Having said that, a lighter Les Paul has more value to me as I get older. My 10LB Les Paul Custom is just too heavy for me to play for more than three hours while standing.

Personally, I think the best compromise model that Gibson ever made was the Les Paul Studio Light. The Balsa wood sounds different than Mahogany, but it doesn't have that edgy quality of a fully chambered model. I'm currently starting a project to refinish a LP Studio Light, giving it binding and inlays, so that it looks as nice as my custom. I replaced the pickups with Gibson "The Original" Pickups (which I like, and not everyone does). I've added the Faber aluminum tailpiece, and replaced all the hardware with gold plated hardware. Once this project is done, I will have my definitive Le Paul.

Of course, tone is personal and subjective. What I call edgy, someone else might call bite and love it. Music would be pretty boring if we all had the exact same guitar tone, anyway.

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#12 User is offline   Rabs 

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 08:56 AM

View PostR9, on 19 January 2012 - 09:44 PM, said:

Rabs, your Classic is weight-relieved. All Classics are weight-relieved or chambered. Custom orders and I'm sure some Custom Shop runs aside, the only Gibson LPs without weigh reduction are the reissues ('57, '58, etc) and that's going as far back as the early '80. Reissues get the lighter wood and are usually the same weight as swiss cheesed LPs or lighter.



Wow... im quite shocked at that.. I actually weighed it today as I always assumed it was solid as its so darn heavy. It came in at 13lbs. So if thats weight releived how heavy are the solid bodies??? I also decided to weigh the others.. The 2008 Standard came in at 9lbs, the 60s Tribute came in at 6lbs and then I decided to weigh my Firebird that shockingly came in at the same as the 2008 Standard..

Which I guess goes to prove what you guys are saying as my Tribute sounds as far as I am concerned is as good if not better sounding than the 2008 Standard.
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#13 User is offline   Rabs 

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 09:02 AM

View PostYaff, on 20 January 2012 - 06:10 AM, said:

In my opinion, the connection between a musician and his / her instrument is more than just tone!

Its about the total experiences.

Although I loved my 08 Standard, my R8 defiantly has something extra.

At the end of the day, its human nature to try and convince yourself and others that you made the right decision. This type of debate is all about people feeling better about what they have. The guy with a Studio will say its all about tone and the only difference between a Studio and a Standard is cost and Binding. The man with the standard will argue that the components and tone on his Standard is better than the Studio and its comparable with a Custom Shop. The guy with a Custom Shop will say the components (wood etc) and workmanship is of a high standard then Gibson USA products, so worth the extra cash. The Guy with the Traditional will say a Chambered LP is not a true LP. The Guy with a Chambered LP will say the guy with the Traditional is living in the past and sustain and tone on a Chambered model is an improvement. And so on.

In reality, there are good and bad examples of all. Its all about personal taste. More expensive components, don`t always equal better. And some times they do!

Why can`t we just enjoy what we have and be happy for others!

Sorry, I went on a bit [laugh]



Yes I believe you are right... But im still new on here and up until recently I only commented on the Gibson main guitar pages which in the end I found annoying because people just seem to moan at each other and most dont seem to know what they are on about.. So I came on to the forum and am happy to see more tempered and knoweldgeable responses. I dont often get the chance to ask other LP owners what they think about some of the stuff I think.. (even the guy in the guitar shop seems to get bored when i start going into too much detail :))

Even if someone on here told me my guitars were crap blah blah, it wouldnt make a difference to me, I love them no matter whart.. Its just nice hearing other peoples opinions..
"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

#14 User is offline   Yaff 

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 09:04 AM

That is joy of wood, its natural and no to bits are identical.

My old Studio (all mahogany) was only 6.5LB (Chambered), my 08 Standard 9LB (Chambered) and my R8 is 8.12 LB (Solid).

I wonder what the heavest recorded LP weighed in at [confused]

#15 User is offline   Yaff 

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 09:10 AM

View PostYaff, on 20 January 2012 - 09:04 AM, said:

That is joy of wood, its natural and no to bits are identical.

My old Studio (all mahogany) was only 6.5LB (Chambered), my 08 Standard 9LB (Chambered) and my R8 is 8.12 LB (Solid).

I wonder what the heavest recorded LP weighed in at [confused]


Based on my Google search, about 15LB - Not as much as I expected!

#16 User is offline   JO'C 

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 10:46 AM

View PostRabs, on 20 January 2012 - 09:02 AM, said:

Yes I believe you are right... But im still new on here and up until recently I only commented on the Gibson main guitar pages which in the end I found annoying because people just seem to moan at each other and most dont seem to know what they are on about.. So I came on to the forum and am happy to see more tempered and knoweldgeable responses. I dont often get the chance to ask other LP owners what they think about some of the stuff I think.. (even the guy in the guitar shop seems to get bored when i start going into too much detail :))

Even if someone on here told me my guitars were crap blah blah, it wouldnt make a difference to me, I love them no matter whart.. Its just nice hearing other peoples opinions..


Hi Rabs,
I have 5 Les Paul's, 4 custom shop, two of which are chambered and a 1999 Les Paul Classic 1960 Ltd edition. All the custom shops have '57 pickups and the Classic has ceramic pickups. The Classic is the hottest of the lot by far, especially at the low end. I think the pickups might be the difference you are hearing. And although the Classic is hotter, I wouldn't say the tone is better than the LP's with 57's. I did an experiment a while back playing each of the LP's with the same settings on my Mesa Boogie 50 Caliber+. The Classic was way louder but to be honest all the others had great tone. I play clean with some gain for sustain, but I really couldn't say I could tell much difference between the solids and chambered. And the chambered are much easier on the back and shoulders while playing standing up.

#17 User is offline   bubba_leon 

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 12:32 PM

Wow! This topic will never die! I haven't been on here in almost 2 years, and I see that a whole new generation has chimed in on the debate.
All I can add is that a great LP is simply a great LP regardless of it's construction. Sometimes you luck out, and find a production model that sounds amazing, and other times you have to keep looking.
In my case my Goldtop Classic is my main squeeze, she sounds incredible through any amp I plug her into.
I did replace the pickups with 57's, which made a big difference.

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#18 User is offline   AlanH 

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 02:10 PM

View PostRabs, on 19 January 2012 - 05:10 PM, said:

What do you guys think of the the differences between the different body types?

I have a LP 2002 Classic 1960s re-issue thats a solid body and from what I can see there arnt many solid body models left if any. I also have a 2008 Standard and 60s Tribute which are both chambered (I dont think ive tried a weight relieved one ever so cant comment on that)..

Ive played them side by side and recorded it on video and played it back. Id say that you cant really beat the solid body tones.. Im not saying the chambered ones are bad in any way, both of mine are amazing and hold different tonal qualities and certainly sustain and roar as much as the solid body does.. I just find that the Classic with the solid body has a smoother more velvety tone and seems to cover more of the frequency ranges (so you get more of the mids, lows and highs) where as with the chambered guitars that they seem a bit more focoused on the high and mid ranges (even though the P90s on the tribute seem to substitute some of the low ranges on the neck position, one of the many things I love about that guitar)...

Of course theres the weight issue.. The solid bodies are damn heavy which is why I ended up getting more guitars to play about with, but when it comes to recording I nearly always go to the LP Classic.. Nothing beats it...

So what do you think?

edit.. It seems apparently that my Classic is chambered which is mad as its 13lbs.. how heavy do they get?? :)



I think your assessment is pretty much spot on.

While I've not owned a weight relieved or solid Gibby LP, my formerly owned Epi LP Standard was solid. It had the same sustain as my current Gibby '50s Tribute but had a darker, smoother creamier unplugged tone. My current chambered LP Tribute HB model still sustains but has a snappier, punchier unplugged tone. It's almost somewhere in between the creaminess of the solid LP and the out-and-out attack of the thin-bodied SG.


Alan

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#19 User is offline   CaptainNemo68 

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 02:16 PM

I own all three variations and weight relief is the best compromise for me. Solid body is a bit too rough on my back and sometimes chambered feels awkwardly light. It's all personal preference.
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Posted 22 January 2012 - 04:46 AM

View PostRabs, on 19 January 2012 - 05:10 PM, said:

What do you guys think of the the differences between the different body types?

It seems apparently that my Classic is chambered which is mad as its 13lbs.. how heavy do they get?? :)


my 30th Ann. Plaintop built in 8/88 is 14.1 lbs. and has a 1 pc body.

everyone that handles it says they've never felt one heavier.
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