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The TRUTH about chambering/weight relieving...


NeoConMan

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I was talking to a guy with Gibson today about an unrelated issue.

I threw a few questions at him about the new "Standard" or "Experimental" as it's been referred to here.

They were actually just released a couple weeks ago, they are indeed brand new.

 

As the conversation turned to chambering, he gave me a few facts.

 

Beginning in 1983, all Les Pauls were drilled or weight relieved - even the Customs. I did not know this.

All I can figure is the increased density of the available wood made it something they thought necessary.

This was the beginning of what is known as the Swiss cheese holes....

 

Fast forward to October of 2006.

Almost all Les Pauls are now chambered. This includes Studios, Standards, etc.

The ONLY exceptions were the Customs BUT they kept the Swiss cheese holes as before.

Edit; The new Traditional joins the ranks now with Swiss cheese bodies, these are the only two models.

 

The ONLY unchambered guitars are the Historic reissues, simply to be period-correct in their manufacture.

I'm gonna assume their wood selection is more critical for those guitars, density being a prime concern.

 

Some of you guys may already know all this, but I kept hearing conflicting opinions and questionable facts thrown around.

 

There it is, as a public service, from your humble forum member.

 

Love,

Neo

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Fast forward to October of 2006.

Almost all Les Pauls are now chambered. This includes Studios' date=' Standards, etc.

The ONLY exceptions were the Customs BUT they kept the Swiss cheese holes as before.

[b']The ONLY unchambered guitars[/b] are the Historic reissues, simply to be period-correct in their manufacture.

I'm gonna assume their wood selection is more critical for those guitars, density being a prime concern.

 

So the Traditional is chambered? I thought it was swiss cheesed.

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I guess the short supply of light mahogany also adds to the cost of the reissues, so that makes sense. The most interesting revelation is that Customs are swiss cheesed. We all thought otherwise of course. Surely some extra weight comes from the added bindings and larger inlays, but I wouldn't think much, and they are generally a bit heavier than the comparable (swiss cheesed) standard it seems, no?

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In a thread based on facts, funny how quickly we get back to opinion and speculation...

 

My assumption is the weight difference is still in the wood.

 

The wood guys sort out what they get and grade it, with density still being one of the criteria.

The good stuff goes here, the really good stuff goes there, the badass stuff stays right here with me...

The acceptable but unremarkable wood goes into the main building for regular production.

 

I'm sure this is still the case, with particular attention paid to anything going in the Custom Shop.

My guess is they still reject wood in the CS once they start machining, it if they find a flaw.

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So, 1960 was the last of the original Les Paul.

Norlin bought Gibson in the mid sixties if I recall.

The Les Paul came back in 1968, so it was a Norlin from the start.

1983 it got Swiss cheese holes.

Late eighties Gibson was getting back on track, but STILL doing Swiss cheese.

 

I suppose the Traditional can rightfully bear its name, following a 40 year tradition that includes substandard pancake, then drilled-out bodies. I have trouble believing the build quality is not better now than ever.

 

It's settled.

As much as I would love a new Traditional, I'm gonna go back to the Historic models for my next 5 Les Pauls.

Reissues of the 56, 57, 59, 60, 68.

And none of this VOS crap either, I want it to SHINE!

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Makes sense... back in the day they werent pulling out as many guitars as they do now or did 20 years ago... good wood (the one used on reissues) is not so easy to come by... most of it is in coutries where forests are protected... so, I guess gibson had to make a choice: use liwer priced wood that happened to be more dense and heavy. So they had to drill holes in it (then started chambering it).

 

At least thats how I always saw it.

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