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LP Standard Weight Variations


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Gibson have long been fighting in a marketplace with an arm tied to a leg. Lighter LPs may be sensible and desirable, but more significantly they are non-traditional.

 

I have one of those reviled & despised 2015 LPs (the skinny Less Plus). My heaviest guitar by far is a Strat build (solid maple).

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I have 3 LP standards. A 2017 Standard T, a 2017 Standard HP, and a Standard 50s. My 2017 Standard T was my first one, which I chose based on how it played and looked. It turned out to be 8 lbs 11oz, which I started to feel after longer jam and practice sessions. So I hunted down a lighter one, and found the HP at 7lbs 14oz at a highly discounted price due to the release of the 2018 models. The Standard 50s, which unlike the other two, do not have weight relief, weighs in at 9lbs 3oz. I also have an R0/G0, which because of the the more strict weight restrictions Gibson Custom impose on their body blanks, weighs in at 8 lbs 10oz. I have encountered some weight relieved Standards weighing over 9lbs and even some marginally surpassing 10lbs. I don't doubt that a weight relieved Standard can get up to 14lbs, but those, I feel, are a bit harder to find. From what I've seen from the new Standard 50s and 60s, those tend to stay between 9lbs and 10.5lbs, however a minority from what I've seen so far go over that range. I did find one of the new Standards in the 8.5 lbs range.  I'm also really digging my 2018 Les Paul Faded, which weighs 7 lbs 6 oz, which I have replaced the bridge pickup with BK Black Dog and I have rolled the fretboard edges for added comfort. As a reference, my Faded is not terribly more than my SG, which weighs 6 lbs 13 oz. However, I've been playing the Standard 50s the most, because I find its neck profile the most comfortable for me. 

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I need to do some research on what all the new LP models are; it seems like there are a hundred different ones. Once I get my next paycheck I should have around $1700 to spend. From what I've seen for sale online, that should be able to get me an LP Standard from 2000-present. There are a few different ones that I've bookmarked so far.. if I remember correctly, there's a 2003, 2007, 2016, 2017 and a couple others that I'm waiting for a date on.

I've had a few Epi LPs, all MIK late '90s, which I really liked, a mid '00s Gibby LP Special, which I hated, and a '76 Gib LP Standard, which was one of the diamond in the rough ones...the coolest guitar, in both feel and sound, that I've ever played. Damn do I miss that thing. It sounded like a rounded fireball spitting out the cabinet. I'm hoping I can find another LP that has that magic.

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7 hours ago, Mustang Martigan said:

 

What is done to the guitar to make it  "weight relieved?"

 

As has been said Gibson uses different techniques with regard to their body-blanks.

Here is a snap of the  three (main) types of relief;

2000765732_Lo-resLesPaulWeightRelief.jpg.591c3978a295eb99643bfe6126925c7c.jpg

It would take a while to discuss each of these systems but the bottom line is that no-one - and there is a long-standing challenge for anyone who doubts this - can notice any sonic difference between solid-bodied and either of the non-chambered weight-relieved styles. The chambered instruments tend to have a very slightly different sound but, even so, this can only be noticed - if at all - in a back-to-back test with another style of Les Paul.

An instrument made from ANY of the above body-styles will sound exactly like a Les Paul.

Pip.

Edited by pippy
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46 minutes ago, merciful-evans said:

When they do this to airframe components they call them 'lightning pockets'. 

 

Interesting. This thing must be full of them.....

440115101_Lo-resLightning.thumb.jpg.1b236062b54b676c8823dcc8f6c31412.jpg

Pip.

Edited by pippy
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2 hours ago, pippy said:

 

As has been said Gibson uses different techniques with regard to their body-blanks.

Here is a snap of the  three (main) types of relief;

2000765732_Lo-resLesPaulWeightRelief.jpg.591c3978a295eb99643bfe6126925c7c.jpg

It would take a while to discuss each of these systems but the bottom line is that no-one - and there is a long-standing challenge for anyone who doubts this - can notice any sonic difference between solid-bodied and either of the non-chambered weight-relieved styles. The chambered instruments tend to have a very slightly different sound but, even so, this can only be noticed - if at all - in a back-to-back test with another style of Les Paul.

An instrument made from ANY of the above body-styles will sound exactly like a Les Paul.

Pip.

 

Does Traditional refer to the standard LP that's been around since the 50s? Also, what year did they start making the Modern routes?

Going back to my original post, would the 12lb one I saw for sale have minimal to zero weights relief, where the 8-9lb ones have the Traditional route?

Thanks

 

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2 hours ago, Mustang Martigan said:

 

Does Traditional refer to the standard LP that's been around since the 50s? Also, what year did they start making the Modern routes?

Going back to my original post, would the 12lb one I saw for sale have minimal to zero weights relief, where the 8-9lb ones have the Traditional route?

Thanks

 

 

The “traditional” or 9-hole weight relief were in some recent years used in the LP Classic and in 2016-2017 on the LP Traditional. The chamber is usually associated with the 2008 models. In the 50s they used solid bodies, no weight relief. The weight relief is suspected to be a result from sustainable wood production. In particular the fast grown trees in sustainable growth lended themselves to much heavier timbers. That’s when you got to the 14lbs ballpark. Gibson then started experimenting with weight relief to compensate for the heavier timbers. I want to say that started sometime in the 80s, but I’m not sure. Hopefully someone can chime in with the info of when Gibson started weight relieving the LPs. One of the original weight relief solutions was the 9-hole weight relief, hence sometimes referred to traditional. I believe that with the current lineup, Gibson USA is using the lighter blanks on the non-weight relieved standards, and the heavier ones on other models. For instance, you’ll often find the LP Classic, which has a 9-hole weight relief, in the same weight range as new Standards, which do not have weight relief. The LP Modern, which have the ultra modern weight relief tend to be consistently lighter than the new Standard line. 

Edited by pauloqs
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1 hour ago, pauloqs said:

Gibson then started experimenting with weight relief to compensate for the heavier timbers. I want to say that started sometime in the 80s, but I’m not sure.

 

+1 for everything you said.

As far as weight relief goes Gibson has never, to the best of my knowledge, officially mentioned one particular date when W-R was introduced but from the data posted by owners it would appear that autumn 1982 is a good datum.

Pip.

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