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Gibson Mad Mike

Chambered Les Paul models

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Hello to one and all,

 

I have read with interest many of the posts on here about the chambered models, the question I have I was unable to find an answer though so I'm hoping one of you wise masters of the six string can help.

 

Have Gibson made any non-chambered Les Pauls in recent years?

 

Many thanks in advance for your input should you care to comment.

 

Mike

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...Have Gibson made any non-chambered Les Pauls in recent years?...

Hi Mike.

 

It depends on what you mean by 'recent' and also what you understand by the term 'chambering'.

 

Gibson uses two different techniques for removing wood-mass from their body blanks.

The one known as 'weight-relief' was introduced in around 1982 as the weight of the finished guitars was increasing due to the dwindling stocks of lighter mahogany. This originally involved drilling nine holes from the area behind the bridge/bass-side lower bout. The pattern has changed very recently.

The second, 'chambering', sees much of the meat of the mahogany removed leaving only such areas solid as are needed for the mounting of the hardware. This method was (largely) introduced in 2006.

 

Until this year the only LPs since '82 with solid-bodies were the re-issues. Gibson have announced that the 2013 LP Traditional will be made using solid mahogany body-blanks.

 

Players with experience of all three methods of construction tend to agree that sonically-speaking there is no discernible difference between solid- and weight-relieved guitars.

They also agree that chambered guitars tend to be slightly brighter in overall tone.

 

Weight-wise there is a similar situation with the weight-relieved and solid guitars coming in at roughly-speaking the same weight range.

In fact from reading through many posts on this subject it would seem that the 'average' solid-bodied re-issue tends to be slightly lighter than the 'average' weight-relieved guitar due to lighter mahogany being used for the R-I.

 

The chambered guitars are usually one to one-and-a-half pounds lighter than either of the above although there are chambered guitars which are in the same weight-band as the lighter re-issues.

 

Hope that helps a bit.

 

I've just been on Coda Music's website and it states the Traditional is "weight relived" isn't that the same as chambered?

The 2013 Traditional is, according to Gibson, to be solid.

There was conflicting info on the main site when the new specs were announced but, in response to questioning, Gibson clarified the matter as stated.

 

Any more questions please ask away.

 

P.

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I've just been on Coda Music's website and it states the Traditional is "weight relived" isn't that the same as chambered?

 

http://www.coda-music.com/gibson-paul-traditional-mahogany-satin-cherry-p-12115.html

Traditionals previous to the 2013 model were weight relieved... The 2013s are solid... (so we have been told :))

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See the all new LPJ & Traditionals for the solid body you want...

LPJs are weight relieved according to the site.... :)

 

The most revered Les Paul Standards ever made had bodies constructed of a mahogany back with a two-piece carved maple top, and the LPJ begins with these same cornerstones of tone. When paired, these woods offer a tonal depth and complexity unmatched by any single-wood construction, with warmth and richness from the mahogany, and superb clarity and “snap” from the maple, all of which translates beautifully into the guitar’s amplified sound. The mahogany back is strategically weight relieved to improve comfort and enhance resonance.

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Here is a snap showing the three types of lightening used by Gibson in the last 30 years.

 

gibson-weight-relief-bodies_zps6b6cdc7b.jpg

 

Far left is 'Chambered'. Introduced to some models such as the Standard in 2006.

Centre is the first pattern of weight-relief which was introduced - quietly and without anyone noticing any difference - way back in 1982.

Far right is the current version which, if I remember correctly, for the 2012 instruments.

 

P.

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Here is a snap showing the three types of lightening used by Gibson in the last 30 years.

 

Far left is 'Chambered'. Introduced to some models such as the Standard in 2006.

Centre is the first pattern of weight-relief which was introduced - quietly and without anyone noticing any difference - way back in 1982.

Far right is the current version which, if I remember correctly, for the 2012 instruments.

 

P.

[thumbup] whats weird is how heavy the chambered and weight relieved ones can be???? It amazes me to think that my 2008 is almost hollow inside.. cos its a good 8/9 pounds or so.. My 60s tribute on the other hand which is made the same way is much lighter.. all very odd..

 

My 2002 Classic on the other hand that is apparently weight relieved is more like 11 lbs?

 

I think it goes to show that theres part of the process that we never see in the Gibson factory tours.. Which is the wood selection process.. We all know by now that wood is odd.. Two bits of exactly the same type, shape and size of wood can be totally different weights which seems to depend on factors like when the wood was culled and how old the tree was etc etc..

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Nothing to worry about even the 08 Chambered doesn't sound like ES135 (The Chambering hardly effects tone)

The question is...

 

HOW MUCH WEIGHT ARE YOU COMFORTABLE WITH? (8, 9 or 10+lbs)

 

Depending on what you prefer will dictate what you then buy...

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My 2011 TRad is Swiss cheesed....f'n heavy as ****. Couldn't imagine playing a solid body for long periods of time. My back is trashed!

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Guest Farnsbarns

Nothing to worry about even the 08 Chambered doesn't sound like ES135 (The Chambering hardly effects tone)

The question is...

 

HOW MUCH WEIGHT ARE YOU COMFORTABLE WITH? (8, 9 or 10+lbs)

 

Depending on what you prefer will dictate what you then buy...

 

Sorry but... A. Chambering does have an effect on tone, I can hear it easily, much brighter. And B. As has been discussed, some solid bodies are lighter than relieved ones and some chambered are as heavy as relieved. In terms of weight, either play them or weigh them. There are no assumptions that can be made.

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Sorry but... A. Chambering does have an effect on tone, I can hear it easily, much brighter. And B. As has been discussed, some solid bodies are lighter than relieved ones and some chambered are as heavy as relieved. In terms of weight, either play them or weigh them. There are no assumptions that can be made.

The "Brightness" is more to do with the Pro pickups I've found with my 08 Standard & Flying V which is Solid Korina

The weight is indeed variable and depends on the wood density, I was simply saying that the weight of the guitar you buy has to be something your comfortable with.

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Hello Pippy,

 

the picture you posted has the exact information I need, as two of my Les Pauls were made in 1990 and 95 they must have the "swiss cheese" relief and sustain fine and balance ok on a strap, would you happen to know what years the other two type were or are used to and from?

 

If you don't have the info to hand it's no big deal.

 

All the best

Mike.

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Hello again Mike.

 

Yes, your pair will have the 'nine-holes' style pictured in the centre. This approach was introduced in 1982. At first there was no absolute fixed pattern but over time Gibson settled on the pattern as shown.

 

The 'chambering' was introduced on some models in around 2006 and is still in use today.

 

The final style of 'weight-relief' is, I think, termed 'radial' or 'spoked' and was only intruduced at the start of 2012.

 

Whether the radial style has completely replaced the nine-hole style across the range, whether it will ever wholly replace it or whether both styles will continue for different models I don't know.

 

Lastly; I concur with your observations in regard to the sustain and balance.

I have two weight-relieved LPs (1991 & 1995) and two solid LPs (1993 & 1995) and as a group they vary in weight by less than 4 oz from lightest to heaviest.

 

P.

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Nice, your help is appriciated, I was once told to avoid any made after 96, from the information you have given me I can't understand why that would be up until the near hollow ones were made as you've described.

 

Thanks again and have yourself a great weekend.

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Hello again Mike.

 

Yes, your pair will have the 'nine-holes' style pictured in the centre. This approach was introduced in 1982. At first there was no absolute fixed pattern but over time Gibson settled on the pattern as shown.

 

The 'chambering' was introduced on some models in around 2006 and is still in use today.

 

The final style of 'weight-relief' is, I think, termed 'radial' or 'spoked' and was only intruduced at the start of 2012.

 

Whether the radial style has completely replaced the nine-hole style across the range, whether it will ever wholly replace it or whether both styles will continue for different models I don't know.

 

Lastly; I concur with your observations in regard to the sustain and balance.

I have two weight-relieved LPs (1991 & 1995) and two solid LPs (1993 & 1995) and as a group they vary in weight by less than 4 oz from lightest to heaviest.

 

P.

 

pippy; I didn't realize any present day models were chambered. I thought all new models were either modern weight relieved or solid. What models still use chambering? Thanks.

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Chambering is present on quite a few current models.

Any carved-top Les Paul that's not a Reissue(Solid) or "Traditional"(Weight-Relieved) should be chambered, however they do offer chambered Custom Shop Reissues.

Les Paul Customs are weight-relieved, but some Custom Shop models are chambered.

 

Les Paul 101:

http://www.mylespaul.com/forums/gibson-les-pauls/50210-gibson-les-paul-101-a.html

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If you go to mylespaul forum they have x-rayed photos of both chambered and weight relieved. I have a chambered Standard I picked up about a month ago and, to myself it sounds great! Even not plugged in it has a nice tone. The weight relief stuff has the swiss cheese nine holes Pippy was commenting on. I believe they have a new kind of chambering now as well. I've seen photos posted that look pretty cool! Someone posted earlier about don't buy anything made past 1996? Why? Who ever told you that ask them some questions like: How many Gibson Les Pauls they have actually played, let alone have. How many other guitars have they tried out period. Are they a pro, serious hobbyist, collectors (not always the best source if they don't play and just collect for profit, etc.), someone just talkin' trash! I read a post not long ago which was very wise, it said every year great guitars and total dogs are made. I agree with that statement. For the record, the Standard I just picked up sounds awesome through every amp I have plugged it into so far. I feel one should try out all of them, chambered, weight relieved and solid slab bodies to see the kind that grabs them. I been plugging many different guitars in for years now before I purchase. My first Lester, however I purchased without plugging it in at the store. I got lucky on it though! It is a very loud tight sounding Special! Not only does it have great sustain but, when I play it clean it is strong sounding with major definition. It took me years to figure out what I want from both an acoustic and, an electric guitar. Alot of that is also based on make and model. I'm sorry if I got a little long-winded on this guys, my apologies!

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...

 

Whether the radial style has completely replaced the nine-hole style across the range, whether it will ever wholly replace it or whether both styles will continue for different models I don't know.

 

...

 

P.

 

Hello Pippy!

 

The spoked ("modern weight-relief") design has replaced the "chambering", not the swiss-cheese method ("traditional weight-relief"). So there are no "chambered" ones anymore. (See Studio and Standard specs.).

 

Cheers... Bence

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Well if any of you lovely people would like to swap or know any folk who might be interested in swapping a 1982 Dan Smith Fender Stratocaster in Sienna sunbust for a Gibson Les Paul please let me know, I'm not working and I have zero income so I can't afford to buy one.

 

Thanks guys for making a newbie feel welcome on the forum.

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Guest Farnsbarns

The "Brightness" is more to do with the Pro pickups I've found with my 08 Standard & Flying V which is Solid Korina

The weight is indeed variable and depends on the wood density, I was simply saying that the weight of the guitar you buy has to be something your comfortable with.

 

I like that you're confident in your views but you have no idea what chambered les pauls I've played or what pickups they had. Chambered les pauls are brighter and it is inevitable that they would be.

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I like that you're confident in your views but you have no idea what chambered les pauls I've played or what pickups they had. Chambered les pauls are brighter and it is inevitable that they would be.

Each to their own I guess.

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