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KDKowalski

changes in wood after playing, opening up

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I know this is a topic that is common with acoustic guitars, and spruce / cedar tops change with age, vibration, thinning of the finish etc.

I have owned my new Les Paul tribute less than a week, however having it out on the stand with plenty of natural light, and playing it seem to be changing the top somewhat. I am noticing more of the flaming in the maple top, which was very faint when I first took it out of the case. This Paul is very resonant, and I am wondering if this is possible? Usually instruments with poly finishes are much less susceptible to change, especially this fast. Check out the pics....this also shows the gorgeous mahogany from side on [cool]

 

This also raises the question, how can this be if the top is veneered? Another forum member mentioned the tops were veneered, however I was of the understanding this is a carved top, not veneered, like the 1959 reissue.

 

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Yeah, I think you're just noticing nuances in the grain that haven't been apparent to you before. Tends to happen when you have a guitar for a while. The grain on my Casino seems to change every day. I recenty pulled it apart, removed all the electronics and hardware, in preparation to have it rewired, and really got to appreciate how great the grain is on it.

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I don't think it can be - because the top is veneered and coated with a thick poly-finish.

 

Peter

 

Not being argumentative but inquisitive

 

The new 59 and the tribute have a new finish process. Not at all the same as other epi's

 

The Tribute Les Paul Standard is hand-finished in quality polyurethane' date=' which is known to combine vintage looks with a high-quality, hard-wearing finish. Four coats are applied on top of a traditional sealer coat, with each hand-sanded in between. The final result is hand-buffed to a high sheen. The entire process of painting takes nine days!

 

The finish on mine is noticeably thinner than the finish on a Les Paul standard, and much less glossy.

 

PRS, Fender, Larrivee ETC and many other manufacturers finish in polyurethane, and their guitars age, why not epiphones? [cool

 

As for veneered, why would they do this? the process of adding a veneer would add cost. High quality kiln dried maple is not expensive even for a 24" x 1" plank vs 3 pieces of the same thickness? Then the added process of applying the veneer after the cap is glued together, and carved. The cap is already being used. I took the pick up out of mine in the neck position and there is no evidence at all of a veneer or multiple pieces of wood?

 

Any thoughts?

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Well, good light brings out the best, in the finish and wood textures/tones. Often, guitars look

totally different, in "Daylight" (Window or direct), than in incandescent, or especially (Store interior)

Florescent. I always take any prospective guitar, for purchase, outside (whenever possible) or near

a window with direct sunlight, to see all the "good stuff," and also to look for some flaws, if any...that

might not be visible, in less intense light. As to tone...well, I seriously doubt that's been effected, so soon?

You're probably just getting used to it's character, and making new discoveries, at the same time.

Nice looking LP, by the way! ;>)

 

Cheers,

CB

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Well' date=' good light brings out the best, in the finish and wood textures/tones. Often, guitars look

totally different, in "Daylight" (Window or direct), than in incandescent, or especially (Store interior)

Florescent. I always take any prospective guitar, for purchase, outside (whenever possible) or near

a window with direct sunlight, to see all the "good stuff," and also to look for some flaws, if any...that

might not be visible, in less intense light. As to tone...well, I seriously doubt that's been effected, so soon?

You're probably just getting used to it's character, and making new discoveries, at the same time.

Nice looking LP, by the way! ;>)

 

Cheers,

CB[/quote']

 

I agree, the guitar is resonant from the get go, and tone is such a subjective topic with way too many variables. I do the same with guitars, and very few I find that are flawless, I have a few finish flaws in this epi, but who cares it plays great.

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I think it is cheaper.

 

Here is the official description....

 

 

 

BTW "solid" doesn't mean "one-piece"

 

And because the ones I've seen look like "one-piece" they must be veneer' date=' IMO

 

http://www.thomann.de/de/media_bdbmaxviewer_AR_223840.html?image=1824148&small=1

http://www.thomann.de/de/media_bdbmaxviewer_AR_223842.html?image=2795439&small=1

http://www.thomann.de/de/media_bdbmaxviewer_AR_223841.html?image=3015119&small=1

http://www.thomann.de/de/media_bdbmaxviewer_AR_224005.html?image=2347302&small=1

 

Peter[/quote']

 

I understood all along that solid does not mean one piece, Many of the gibsons are now multiple pieces of Mahogany and still considered solid, because it is solid. I just don't see it in the tops on these after close examination in the nice shiny light.

 

It really does not matter though, it sounds great...and that is most important.

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KDK, you might notice some changes after decades of regular playing, but probably not weeks. I do understand what you're saying, and yes, I have noticed that on my '83 HD-28, the resonance has increased, and it booms like a canon! Now it sounded good at purchase, but the tone has definitely changed over the years. As your OP mentioned, it is a spruce top, with a very thin and delicate nitro finish...sure sounds good too![cool]

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This is very intersting.. I was playing one of these guitars in my local store yesterday. The one thing that was putting me off making the purchase was the fact that you could not see the wood grain on the top.. it seemed a little tacky to me in the shop. But looking at your photo's KDK.. it's a different guitar to the one I had in my hands yesterday.

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Thanks to all for the comments. I really wasn't suggesting the guitar is sounding different, only looking different. My comment on resonance was in relation to the top grain changing appearance. I have seen grain on the neck of my Godin session neck appear and is darkening as the guitar is played. I have also owned a Martin D16, where within 2 months 6 patches of bear claw become prominent, that were not there when it was purchased...

Dannyboyee, I would highly recommend looking around for another to try, it is a very good guitar, especially for the money.

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What everyone is missing is the that the tops on these are veneered with a single piece of rotary cut maple.

 

Rotary cutting is the cheapest way to cut veneer and gives the best yield, the problem is that most people are used to looking at flat sawn veneers that are either book-matched or slip-matched.

 

Rotary cutting of veneers yields a product that is completely different to what most people are used to looking at, unless you understand the process you're left confused, so - do some research on how veneers are cut and you'll have some insight into how the grain of a rotary cut veneer can play tricks on your eyes.

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What everyone is missing is the that the tops on these are veneered with a single piece of rotary cut maple.

 

Rotary cutting is the cheapest way to cut veneer and gives the best yield' date=' the problem is that most people are used to looking at flat sawn veneers that are either book-matched or slip-matched.

 

Rotary cutting of veneers yields a product that is completely different to what most people are used to looking at, unless you understand the process you're left confused, so - do some research on how veneers are cut and you'll have some insight into how the grain of a rotary cut veneer can play tricks on your eyes.

 

[/quote']

Thanks for the reply, I do understand rotary cut veneers, which is way more commonly used in furniture making due to the large pieces of veneer needed. I guess I never saw anywhere on the information regarding the guitar, that the top is veneered....not that it makes any difference on how the guitar sounds or looks. The 1959 clearly tells you they veneer the top, as does the Slash, and many other models.

 

I really think I am just paying more attention to the top and saw it in sunlight, which really showed how nice it is. I was just curious as I have owned other instruments...mainly acoustics where vibrations caused the tops to exhibit characteristics that were not there originally when it was purchased...and was curious if anyone else saw this in their epiphone les pauls?

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One of the reasons most tops (veneered or not) are two pieces, book matched, is of course the cost (7” wide is easier to find and less expensive than 14” wide), solid or veneer. Finding highly figured material in wide pieces is even harder to find and more expensive.

 

What Epi is doing now with these tribute guitars by using rotary cut veneer, which easily allows the full width to be covered in 1 piece, is dramatically reducing the cost of manufacturing.

 

For us it means though, that you will have tops that cover the entire spectrum, from some figure (as if it were quarter sawn) to none at all (like the plainest of plain flat sawn).

 

I mention this just to help with the visual aspect, it was the first thing I noticed when I saw one of these guitars. To me it doesn’t matter, I’d prefer to have a no figure and a playable guitar rather than the opposite.

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My Tribute is a one piece top. I pulled the pups out and found NO veneer.

I hope that I spelled that right. I bought mine on 4-9/10 and the sound is

getting warmer.new1960tribute002.jpg

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The glue is superb...........:-$

 

Peter

 

 

Nice one, but that is the beauty of it, no glue line...

 

Less material cost (best yield from log = best priced veneer) and less work in the shop gives us a nice guitar at a good price. And to boot, technically speaking, it could be argued it's a better product because there is no seam in the material (although seams can be attractive, like when they're book matched).

 

I believe all the ones I've seen are a 1 piece top. So if it is and there is no veneer (and veneer can be hard to spot, especially considering that they probably use a vacuum press and there is little you can see through a pick-up route) then they've found some wide maple and added all the associated costs of doing so... which would make this and even better deal!!!

 

At the end of the day, I'd bet they're a glued up maple top, veneered with a rotary cut maple. that's what they look like to me and it's my best guess - or 2 cents worth or what ever you guys call it.

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It's very likely that the Tributes are built in similar fashion to the Elite/Elitist line; ie a solid maple cap that is either bookmatched for the plain tops, or multi-piece with a very thin veneer or paint otherwise. The veneers used today are so thin that you would be hardpressed to see the edge of it looking in the pickup cavities.

 

Regarding the effect of vibration on the figuring of the top, I think this is unlikely for either an acoustic or a solid body, because figuring is a result of how the rings grow year to year, effects of stress on the tree over time, etc. The figuring results from how the wood fibers lie in relation to each other and therefore how light reflects off of them differently. It's hard for me to imagine that the low amplitude vibrations generated by guitar strings would be able to change how the fibers lay in relation to each other sufficiently to change the light reflections. And even less so in a solid body guitar, designed for the top not to vibrate as opposed to an acoustic where the top has to vibrate for the instrument to work.

 

My $0.02

 

Cheers

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Nice one' date=' but that is the beauty of it, no glue line...[/quote']

That's exactly what you can expect from a well done veneer. Especially when the veneer is from the same type of wood as the top it is glued on, and if the grain runs in the same direction.

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I notice a lot of posts and threads dealing with the quality and type of wood in Epis. Has anyone thought of bringing the subject up in the Ask the Epi President thread on the Gibson forums? Maybe this could be put to rest once and for all.

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That's exactly what you can expect from a well done veneer. Especially when the veneer is from the same type of wood as the top it is glued on' date=' and if the grain runs in the same direction.[/quote']

 

Not sure what you mean but I'm not talking about a glue line and what it represents visually, the beauty of it is the work saved.

 

You save all the work involved in slitting and stitching veneers, in manufacturing terms there is a world of difference between standing in front of a pile of veneer 7" wide, and a pile 14" wide, when you're making the guitars.

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I know this is a topic that is common with acoustic guitars' date=' and spruce / cedar tops change with age, vibration, thinning of the finish etc.

I have owned my new Les Paul tribute less than a week, however having it out on the stand with plenty of natural light, and playing it seem to be changing the top somewhat. I am noticing more of the flaming in the maple top, which was very faint when I first took it out of the case. This Paul is very resonant, and I am wondering if this is possible? Usually instruments with poly finishes are much less susceptible to change, especially this fast. Check out the pics....this also shows the gorgeous mahogany from side on [cool

 

This also raises the question, how can this be if the top is veneered? Another forum member mentioned the tops were veneered, however I was of the understanding this is a carved top, not veneered, like the 1959 reissue.

 

p8080348.jpg

p8080347.jpg

p8080346.jpg

 

Hi,

 

I have several Epiphone guitars finished in poly where the wood has aged in appearance. My 1996 solid-top acoustic has changed from a natural color to a more yellowed, antiqued color and the sound has also definitely changed for the better. No guitar (particularly an acoustic) is air-tight regardless of finish and so ultimately, wood will age.

 

Thanks,

Jim Epi

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