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What year did Gibson start putting chambers in the Studio and giving it the 50's neck


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Hi Folks,


I had been looking for a reasonably priced les paul for a while now but I had found that to get the right slimmer neck I had to pay for the higher end models. I really just needed a work horse, not a show piece so I kept looking. I finally found what I was looking for. A 1991 Studio with an ebony fretboard. It was in grimmy condition and had the tail piece replaced with a fine tunable monstrocity and also the tuners replaced. It was grimmy from top to bottom so I got a great deal and she cleaned up really well. I'm very happy because the neck seems slimmer on these older models or is it just me. I know all of the necks are slightly different but when did gibson start forcing the 50's neck on the studio? I saw a studio deluxe with a 60's neck again for more bucks so it seems gibson is differentiating with the neck width and trying to get people to pay more for the usable neck (a bad idea I think). Anyway I finally found what I was looking for and at $650 with an original case I'm quite happy.



1) when did gibson start putting chambers in these things? Mine feels heavier than the new ones and I doubt it has chambers. What year did they start doing that?


2) when did they start requiring the 50's neck on these (or has it been so always and I just lucked on a slimmer one by chance)?


3) were they always putting the 490R and 498T on them. I don't know what's in there and I'd like to know what they did in 1991.


4) is there a catalog for 1991 I can refer to?

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I have played one 60's neck, and it was great but I still would choose my fatter 50's neck, I love something that you can really grip and dig into.


To your question,


Chambering started in late 2006 and 2007


I think the 60's neck started in 1961ish

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Mine's a late 2006 (stamped day 305) and is obviously one of the early chambered types, as it could serve two musical functions: it would make a fine maraca as well as a guitar ... Although the specification says '50s neck, I've always thought mine was on the slim side - it's definitely not carved like one of those baseball bat necks.

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I just happened to be looking at the 1991 catalogue a few minutes ago. Quote:




True to the Les Paul guitar tradition, the Studio is

made for the guitar player who demands the warm,

fat crunch and all that sustain at a moderate price.




490 R, 498 T Pickups, Mahogany Back, Maple Neck,

Maple Carved Top, Ebony Fingerboard/Trapezoid Inlay,

Tune-O-Matic Bridge, Chrome or Gold Hardware,

24 3/4" Scale"


Here's the link: http://vintage.catalogs.free.fr/gibson08.pdf


There's no mention of '50's or '60's neck profiles, nor of chambered bodies, for any models. My Studio is from '92 (although serial number starts with 91), gold hardware and ebony fingerboard. The neck is fat. All Gibson necks are apparently hand-made, after a rough machine-cut, so there are obviously no exact specifications of any type of neck profile. I've somehow understood that the reason why Studios come with fatter necks has to do with an idea that they are supposed to sound 'better'. There's of course more wood in fatter necks, and they are stiffer...

I've also tried different 'fat' necks, and no two seem exactly alike..

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What I found about chambering the body:


"Gibson first put unseen routes, or “chambers,” in some Les Paul bodies purely as a weight-reduction measure at a time when adequately light stocks of mahogany were difficult to come by."


""Back in the early 1980s, when Gibson started weight relieving the Les Paul models, there was not a specific rhyme or reason to the weight-relief holes,” says Frank Johns of Gibson USA. Lately, however, Gibson has refined the process considerably. “We wanted to focus on a more scientific approach to weight relieving our guitars, to update the design to give it more of a purpose with both tone and weight in mind.”


Both avove quoted from: http://www.gibson.com/en-us/Lifestyle/Features/Chambering%20the%20Les%20Paul_%20A%20Mar/




"With the 2008 model Gibson has introduced their "weight relief" chambering, which includes routing "chambers" in specific areas of the mahogany slab body as specified by Gibson R&D. Before 2008, Les Paul Standards were "swiss cheesed." In other words, it had holes routed into the body, but it was not chambered like most of Gibson's Les Paul lineup now is."

From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gibson_Les_Paul#Modern_Les_Pauls

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  • 7 years later...
Guest Farnsbarns

There's quite a lot of nonsense being spouted here. Nearly all Les Pauls have been weight relieved since 1983. Firstly with Swiss cheese, aka 9 hole, now aka traditional weight relief. Then in 2008 they fully chambered them all, until, I think, 2012 when they introduced modern weigh relief, aka spoke weight relief, which like 9 hole relieve, has no impact on sound whatsoever. They also tend to be heavier than the very few completely solid models made because they keep the light mahogany for those.


Models which have been completely solid are reissues and, for a short period (2014 maybe), LP traditionals.


Chambering does make a difference to sound, although I think most people would be hard pushed to pick one from another. Other types of weight relief (traditional 9 hole or modern) do not.

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Agree I can't hear a difference with solid or the Swiss cheese. But the chambered are a slightly different flavor imho. 13 and 14 traditionals are solid and perhaps others. My traditional pro sounds better imho plays and feels better too. So you might say I'm obsessed with Swiss cheese and some apparent compromise of a 50 60 neck. The neck to me, that said while I like the pro profile, as long as 1st position fretting isn't a labor all are usable. Some of the 60 profiles I find somewhat problematic and combined with the chambering just wasn't my preference. Might be the cats *** for another.. Safe to say?

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I will add to the chambers timeline that it started in the studio line in 2006. Mine was made in November and is chambered. Then as Farns mentioned, by 2008 Standards were also chambered.

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