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Epiphone Les Paul Custom Wood Used -- What is the TRUTH !!


CajunBlues
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I once bought a 2000 (MIK) epiphone les paul custom off ebay that weighed 6.5 pounds.... I opened up the back control cavity panel and looked inside... I even sanded down a small section to get the true wood color.... The wood was a blonde/pale yellow color... I also saw the same color in the wire tunnel that goes between the pots and pickups...

 

I could only guess that we had a solid alder les paul... Boy, was I pissed off... Anyway, I flipped that guitar and now I am planning on buying a 2007 Epi les paul custom ....

 

I have heard from guitar shops and Gibson themselves that all 2007 Epi les paul customs have a mahogany body... NO ALDER... But I have read from time to time that epiphone does what they damn well please concerning the les paul woods.... and that your les paul will be like a box of chocolates... What do you all think ? Can I trust Gibson that the les paul will be nice and heavy and have a mahogany body ??

 

Another thing of interest... I once owned a 1999 Epi dot that had outstanding tone... When I changed out the pickups I noticed the center block was made of a splintery reddish brown wood that looked to me like mahogany... According to Gibson, they always used maple for the center blocks... But with what I saw and the fact that dot was pretty darn heavy, I concluded that they had used mahogany for the center block...

 

Go figure...

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Alder' date=' Ash, and Mahogany are all good tone woods, among others. I've never heard of a Les Paul that was not made of mahogany. I guess either there are some or you got a counterfeit.

 

[/quote']

No; back in the day a lot of the Epi plants used alder or 'mahogany' pretty much interchangeably. The Samick Les Pauls from the early nineties had basswood bodies with an alder cap. Anyway it's all inconsequential since the stuff they use these days isn't really mahogany anyway; it's an Indonesian variety of wood that is referred to as 'industrial mahogany' simply because the grain is reminiscent of genuine mahogany. The only 'real' mahogany on an Epi is the veneer of African mahogany that they apply to the back of the body. If you want a real mahogany guitar you need to get at least an Elitist which is solid African mahogany with a solid maple cap.

 

And yes, a 335 should have a maple center block but the Epis use the same Indonesian mahogany as in their solid bodies.

 

And that's (to quote Lily Tomlin) the truth.

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Rotcanx... Great responses .... Thanks... One question... I own an Gibson ES-137 with a mahogany center block.. Would you happen to know if that one uses African or Indonesian ?? I think the Indonesian mahogany will do just fine... I just don't want an alder Les Paul...

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If in fact that Dot I owned had an indonesian mahogany center block, I really can't complain since I felt that wood had a lot to do with the great tone and sustain of that guitar....

 

I also own a Gibson Les Paul Classic Antique Zebrawood that has not only great sustain and tone but a beatiful natural wood finish...

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Gibson uses Honduras mahogany pretty much exclusively. They wouldn't be caught dead using the Indonesian stuff.

 

Gibson only states on certain models(i.e. custom shop) that they use hunduran there.

If you ask me, I think they've largely switched to african mahogany at this point in time, if not actually resorting to asian suppliers.

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No' date=' fake one-dollar bills is right. As opposed to twenties where you get some return on your investment.[/quote']

 

The reason you'd counterfeit $1 bills is because no one will care enough to notice. You can pass them without being caught.

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I once bought a 2000 (MIK) epiphone les paul custom off ebay that weighed 6.5 pounds.... I opened up the back control cavity panel and looked inside... I even sanded down a small section to get the true wood color.... The wood was a blonde/pale yellow color... I also saw the same color in the wire tunnel that goes between the pots and pickups...

 

I could only guess that we had a solid alder les paul... Boy' date=' was I pissed off... Anyway, I flipped that guitar and now I am planning on buying a 2007 Epi les paul custom ....

 

I have heard from guitar shops and Gibson themselves that all 2007 Epi les paul customs have a mahogany body... NO ALDER... But I have read from time to time that epiphone does what they damn well please concerning the les paul woods.... and that your les paul will be like a box of chocolates... What do you all think ? Can I trust Gibson that the les paul will be nice and heavy and have a mahogany body ??

 

Another thing of interest... I once owned a 1999 Epi dot that had outstanding tone... When I changed out the pickups I noticed the center block was made of a splintery reddish brown wood that looked to me like mahogany... According to Gibson, they always used maple for the center blocks... But with what I saw and the fact that dot was pretty darn heavy, I concluded that they had used mahogany for the center block...

 

Go figure...[/quote']you sure you weren't buying knockoffs from red china?

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So what the f*** is wrong with a solid alder body?

 

I paid good money for a solid alder strat body and got a great result with it. I wouldn't turn my nose up at a solid alder LP body.

 

If you're going to buy an Asian guitar (of any brand) you're entering a lottery as far as wood quality goes. Quality is variable but value for money is generally good.

 

Also, you can great a great guitar with a 3 piece body (if the wood is good) and a crap guitar with a 1 piece...if that 1 piece is crap. None of this is an exact science.

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So is that Alder ??

 

No, it is softer than alder. Grained on the surface like mahogany, but soft enough to shave with a knife, rather than splinter. It looks like any old white punk wood, but it is not brittle like the firs or spruces can be, i.e., it doesn't chunk under a blade like a lot of stuff. I think it is scrap wood of the same asian "mahogany" stuff the top and back were made out of. The outside 2 pieces and the center piece are definitely red mahogany, and even though glued together from 6 pieces of wood (not all of which are the same wood) any lawyer could say "solid mahogany body" with a straight face because there is no plywood (or MDF), and it is definitely solid and it definitely has mahogany in it!

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