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Views on weight relieved Les Paul


Ole

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I have just purchased a honeyburst 2007 Les Paul standard instead of my 2004 Les Paul standard. The difference that is most obvious is the weight. The old one was around 5 kg more than 10 lbs whereas the new one is just around 3,5 kg.

There is some tonal difference but I like the sound of the new one as much as the old one.

 

My question is how the weight is reduced and does anybody have an opinion wether it actually affects the sound.

:-k Ole

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Gibson started drilling 9 weight relief holes in all the Gibson USA models back in 1982. They said that they had done studies and that the holes did not affect the tone negatively. A lot of people disagree, personally I didn't find that much of a difference if any to the tone. They did this because lightweight, old growth mahogany was getting harder to find and more expensive. In 07 they decided to go further and cut out chambers in the guitar. Gibson has been making chambered Les Paul guitars for over a decade. They were various models, mostly custom shop ones. In 03 Gibson USA brought out the Supreme which was heavily chambered and had a maple back as well. A few years ago, a few dealers ordered historic reissues with chambering and called them Cloud 9's and they were a big hit with a lot of people who always put down chambered LPs.

Chambering adds some brightness to the tone, and can make the guitar a bit more resonant. The trick for Gibson USA was to not chamber too much and lose all of the classic LP tone. Apart from my Robot guitar I have not played any other Gibson USA models. I usually buy and play the custom shop models. But I do love the tone of chambered LPs. When you get into the larger chambered models like the Supreme and Elegant you get an guitar that is a blend of classic LP tone and 335 tone. So yes chambering does affect the tone somewhat. The big question is do you like the tone? If you do, then great, that is what matters most of all. There will always be people who put them down and prefer solid body LPs, but unless you have a pre 82 Gibson USA or one of the historic reissues, your LP will be wither chambered or weight relieved. I hope that helps some.

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Hey Raptor,

Thanks for the information. This is my second and by far best Les Paul Standard. I really like it and I am able to play to full sets without needing a chiropractor afterwards. I wish I was able to afford the customshop stuff, but I already invested in a historic ES 335.

Do You know if there are any drawings showing the shape and placement of the chambers? :P

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Guys, I recently acquired a new LP Classic Antique with the 57 Classic / Classic Plus pickups. The guitar is chambered.

 

It sounds every bit a Les Paul to me - as classic as they come. If the chambering is affecting the tone beyond any normal variation between two Les Pauls, I cannot hear it.

 

Even with the chambering the guitar has a very nice heft and feels substantial.

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FennRx, your 95 Studio is weight relieved too. It has the 9 holes in it. Most people today are not familiar with the 10-14 lb Lesters of the 70s and early 80's. Most post 82 LPs are probably in the 8-10.5 lb range with the heaviest generally being the Customs. Back in the 70's even Strats were heavy and in the 9-10 lb range. There are a lot of players from that era with pinched nerves in their necks and back problems.

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  • 1 month later...

I've had many heavy(11-12 pounders) Les Pauls, but I currently have 2 '78 Customs that are solid, and both weigh a bit over 8 pounds. I'm thinking about having a Custom Shop duplicate of one of them made. I hope they can find me a nice, light piece of *Not-Chambered* mahogany.^_^

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i know a guy with a 69 deluxe

its about 15 pounds, and im not kidding

but it sounds unreal, but my standard(not solid 6.96 lbs) is way better and sounds just as good

 

 

 

 

so who know if it effects tone, maybe acoustically, but not through the amp

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FennRx' date=' your 95 Studio is weight relieved too. It has the 9 holes in it. Most people today are not familiar with the 10-14 lb Lesters of the 70s and early 80's. Most post 82 LPs are probably in the 8-10.5 lb range with the heaviest generally being the Customs. Back in the 70's even Strats were heavy and in the 9-10 lb range. There are a lot of players from that era with pinched nerves in their necks and back problems.[/quote']

 

Jimmy Page being one of the higher profile sufferers. It is documented that he had a great deal of trouble in his left arm and back and had a problem leveraging bar chords - you don't see him using many bar chords in concert footage. Makes sense.

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