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Epiphone 1958 Korina Explorer Wood Question


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The Korina Explorer and Flying-V have Korina bodies. I'm not sure if there is a better looking Korina veneer on top though. Its qute possible. Like I said in another thread, that is why they can offer them in Ebony and still call it a korina model. All of Epiphone's documentation says the bodies are made from real korina. There is no mention of a veneer of any sort.

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I know for sure that its not solid because I can see distinct lines on the edges where they pieced together the body.

 

What do you mean? You see a veneer? or is the body more than one piece? None of the bodies are one piece of wood if that is what you mean. "Solid" just means that its not laminated wood.

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I think I meant to say its not a single piece of wood.

 

Yeah, thats typical of most guitars. Multi-piece guitar bodies are generally less expensive and sturdier than a solid slab of wood. One-piece guitar bodies have to be dried and cured perfectly or they can be prone to warping.

 

A good way to tell if there is a veneer on your guitar is to look for the wood seams on the top of the body. Sometimes they are matched up so well that they are hard to see. But if you can find the seams, then there is no veneer. If there are no seams, then there is a veneer covering the body...mainly to hide the seams in the case of a korina model. I remember reading the specs for a model that had a korina body with a korina vereer, but I dont remember which one.

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There are several problems with Korina (really Limba) which is why you don't see it used more. Damian is correct, it's a plentiful wood that produces good tone. The fairly even grain allows for a variety of colors/finishes to look good on it. But, it's a b*t*h to get from it's raw state, to what you get on a guitar. It has a lot of moisture in it, more than most other woods, so unless it's dried properly, it has a tendency to crack. Despite the large size of the trees, finding large enough pieces , for say, a guitar body can be difficult, due to cracking and staining from fungi (black Limba). Limba became very popular about 10 years ago, in the cabinet and trim industry and because so much was being imported for that, it became a little more accessible, which could be why there appears to be a resurgence in Korina guitars again.

 

As for solid Korina guitar bodies, I don't know. My G400 body is said to have a 3 piece mahogany body (sure looks like Limba to me) with thin Limba overlays front and back. Overlays are hard to hide on an SG style body, because of the large edge bevels. I find it hard to believe that the "core" of this body is mahogony, it stains out the exact color as the Korina overlays, mahogany more of a red wood, Korina being more white. Whoever did this body looks to have spent a little time lining up a lot of the major grains, because I can follow them around from the back, up the sides and around the front. At first I thought that this guitar had a solid 3-piece body, because of this, but since all of the grains don't track, I'm confident it's laminated. However, I'm not so sure it isn't all Limba, so technically, would that be "solid Korina"? Hey look, at $400, I'm happy with how it looks, plays, sounds, solid Limba or not.

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There are several problems with Korina (really Limba) which is why you don't see it used more. Damian is correct, it's a plentiful wood that produces good tone. The fairly even grain allows for a variety of colors/finishes to look good on it. But, it's a b*t*h to get from it's raw state, to what you get on a guitar. It has a lot of moisture in it, more than most other woods, so unless it's dried properly, it has a tendency to crack. Despite the large size of the trees, finding large enough pieces , for say, a guitar body can be difficult, due to cracking and staining from fungi (black Limba). Limba became very popular about 10 years ago, in the cabinet and trim industry and because so much was being imported for that, it became a little more accessible, which could be why there appears to be a resurgence in Korina guitars again.

 

As for solid Korina guitar bodies, I don't know. My G400 body is said to have a 3 piece mahogany body (sure looks like Limba to me) with thin Limba overlays front and back. Overlays are hard to hide on an SG style body, because of the large edge bevels. I find it hard to believe that the "core" of this body is mahogony, it stains out the exact color as the Korina overlays, mahogany more of a red wood, Korina being more white. Whoever did this body looks to have spent a little time lining up a lot of the major grains, because I can follow them around from the back, up the sides and around the front. At first I thought that this guitar had a solid 3-piece body, because of this, but since all of the grains don't track, I'm confident it's laminated. However, I'm not so sure it isn't all Limba, so technically, would that be "solid Korina"? Hey look, at $400, I'm happy with how it looks, plays, sounds, solid Limba or not.

 

 

One other thing about Korina (Limba) is that it is technically a soft wood, like pine or spruce. And as tweed has already stated, it is a wood that retains a lot of moisture.

While spruce and pine are known as "Tone Woods" usually this applies to acoustic guitars, where the top is thin enough to be vibrant. We all know that soft woods are more easily marked by contact with some other hard object.

Also, the moisture must be cured out of Limba for a much longer period of time than regular hardwoods.

But as tweed also said, what does it matter if you're happy with the sound and look of your guitar. [biggrin]

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Guest CheapShoes

I haven't frequented here in a while, but I need to chyme-in because I just bought one of these and can lend some additional clarity. Bought brand new last Friday, but guessing a 2010 model - serial# 100320xxxx. No ID for manufacture location, but it had both a China and USA "inspection sticker" on the back of the headstock - of course that was the first thing to come off.

Anyhow, the body is solid wood and thick, but very light. I assume Korina, but I've seen contradictory info on the Epi web - either Korina or Mahogany. The store thought it was mahogany. From what I can tell - it is 2 slabs of wood - not counting a 2" end piece on one arm of the V. The body is very clearly laminated (maybe 1/32nd of an inch) so that the outer grain is matched and angled parallel to the "V", and beautiful. PUP routing is clean and tastefully done. This was no cheapo model to make. It is one of the most sustaining guitar I have - so I really don't care what body wood other than curious. If the name is Korina 1958, hard to see whee it could be anythign else; What a honey. The neck is enormous, wide and fat - supposedly mohaogany, which produces a slightly annoying neck dive with the ultra light body, but not unbearable, and the neck grain is really cool with little "eyes" all over it visible from back. The headstock attached via a kerf joint. RW fretboard and jumbo frets - very smooth edges. The PUPs are Epiphone, with gold covers and a white G-400 sticker underneath. No idea what those are, but no plans to swap them out at the moment - they are better matched for this guitar than the dark and dull ones in my "former" Epi LP. That's about it. Not the best looking nut material - extremely white, but cut darn near perfect. I think singly, the PUPs sound great, but not great together - perhaps PUPs are too close together for good tonal separation in this design. [thumbup]

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Guest CheapShoes

Meant to reiterate - my (2010?) 1958 natural-finish V is clearly veneered - no mistaking it under close inspection (can't get that close with a regular camera), and the grain difference is obvious - not even the same direction. The unfinished interior wood can be seen via the thru-body string holes and it is very white - kind of the way basswood is. Some wood crumbs came out for the first stringing too. So - given some comments above, it is likely also Limba/Korina as the product name implies. I do not consider it inferior with a pretty laminate on top, unless it was perferct wood underneath. Clearly no tone-loss as a result. B)

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You'll be waiting for a long time. No one ever claimed that some werent veneered. Some models are veneered and some arent. Some models are korina at the core and others are not. You were implying that none of them were korina at all. If you meant that they arent the same grade as a higher end guitar, then you may be correct. But that is not what you said.

 

Still waiting for you to back your statement up.

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