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Old 05-27-07, 02:35 AM   #1
big-ace
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pancake or chambered body?

whats preferable? a chambered ( basically a bullshit term for weight relieved) body, or a pancake (ala 70's Norlin era) body. the reasons for Gibson trying both designs are pretty much the same. the apparent lack of decent mahogany available at the time. (which basically means that Gibson hasnt had much decent mahogany since the late 60's, or didnt want to part with the money to acquire the 'better' mahogany. note to all anal forum members. im not saying Gibson had NO decent mahogany during this time). alot of people are against both, but what is the most preferable of the two. i would probably go for the 10-11 lb pancake body over a 7 lb 'chambered'. i prefer my LP to feel like a real solid guitar with a big fat tone.
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Old 05-27-07, 02:58 AM   #2
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Re: pancake or chambered body?

I don't know if you can say which is preferable due to the nature of the beast. You can probably only comment on your own preference which can be based on a whole list of different things. I'm sure some pancakes sound great as do some chambered guitars. There'll be dogs in there as well. It's a positive move to use the weight relief to contibute to the sound and not just the weight. Pity that it is necessary.

Personally I don't like the idea of a traditionally solid bodied guitar being full of air, but I'd like to play one. End of the day it's all about the sound, how you get there isn't important.
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Old 05-27-07, 03:05 AM   #3
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Re: pancake or chambered body?

lots depends on what and how your gonna play, what the neck is like (tonally) and pickups.... there's more to the comparison than just one or the other
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Old 05-27-07, 04:06 AM   #4
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Re: pancake or chambered body?

I'd prefer chambered, iMO pancake looks cheap unless you use an opaque colour. Also chambered will have a unique tone which may be desirable I guess a bluesy tone.


From what others have said in the forum I believe a pancake body would be good for certain hard rock sounding tones.
(Also at what point does a pancake body become a plywood body? That would be in my mind if I had a pancaked Norlin. Not dissing Norlin owners, thats just how I would feel.)

I have nothing against plywood bodies per se. My favourite Squire has plywood body, the pickups seem to define the sound more than the body wood, its just I wouldn't accept that in an expensive guitar (except maybe gibson ES class guitars )
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Old 05-27-07, 04:42 AM   #5
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Re: pancake or chambered body?

I would prefer pancake body. I dont like the feel of light Les Pauls and i like the sound of early 70s LP Customs, they suit my playing style very well. Perhaps i had good luck, but all early 70s Les Pauls i played yet sounded very good.
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Old 05-27-07, 06:23 AM   #6
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Re: pancake or chambered body?

personally, leave it up to your ears, i happen to have 2 new chambered ones and a old norlin as well as a few late 90 s and a 2002 standard, and i love the tone from everyone of them, thats why i bought them, i think your question might be a bit to General so to speak, as there are great sounding and playing LP s from both tho,
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Old 05-27-07, 06:33 AM   #7
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Re: pancake or chambered body?

Well I didn't double post. I don't know how these two extra posts got here. Sorry!

Last edited by dege : 05-27-07 at 08:29 AM.
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Old 05-27-07, 06:33 AM   #8
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Re: pancake or chambered body?


Last edited by dege : 05-27-07 at 08:28 AM.
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Old 05-27-07, 06:40 AM   #9
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Re: pancake or chambered body?

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personally, leave it up to your ears, i happen to have 2 new chambered ones and a old norlin as well as a few late 90 s and a 2002 standard, and i love the tone from everyone of them, thats why i bought them, i think your question might be a bit to General so to speak, as there are great sounding and playing LP s from both tho,
Got a 2000 elegant and a 76 custom. Both very different guitars. The elegant is great for blues rock, jazz, country and even some metal but if I want to scream and rock out with my c*ck out the custom kills the elegant. Think Randy Rhoads and that is what the mid 70's Norlin vibe is like.
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Old 05-27-07, 06:45 AM   #10
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Re: pancake or chambered body?

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but if I want to scream and rock out with my c*ck out the custom kills the elegant.
thats what im talkin about.....
if you want a soft cock tone, play a fender,,they are toys for boys after all.
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Old 05-27-07, 06:51 AM   #11
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Re: pancake or chambered body?

No for that you play a Gretch.
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Old 05-27-07, 11:22 AM   #12
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Re: pancake or chambered body?

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I would prefer pancake body. I dont like the feel of light Les Pauls and i like the sound of early 70s LP Customs, they suit my playing style very well. Perhaps i had good luck, but all early 70s Les Pauls i played yet sounded very good.
Couldn't of said it better myself.
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Old 05-30-07, 07:49 PM   #13
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Re: pancake or chambered body?

I love my 73 LP (pancake and all), it blew the shit out of my 96 Studio. My LP deluxe is a rock God!
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Old 05-30-07, 08:01 PM   #14
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Re: pancake or chambered body?

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thats what im talkin about.....
if you want a soft cock tone, play a fender,,they are toys for boys after all.
Wow! I wonder if Hendrix and Stevie Ray knew that?
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Old 05-30-07, 08:59 PM   #15
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Re: pancake or chambered body?

Try both. I've had good experience with both. Find one that strikes you as the tone you've been looking for!



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Old 05-30-07, 10:21 PM   #16
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Re: pancake or chambered body?

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Wow! I wonder if Hendrix and Stevie Ray knew that?

They didn't need to he learned over time


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Old 05-30-07, 10:35 PM   #17
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Re: pancake or chambered body?

I own both, a 74 Custom and three Cloud 9s.

The pancakes are great for 70s tones. Plenty of good Norlins out there despite their reputation.

The Cloud 9s were meant as more than just a fancy name for saving weight. The toneful benefits are excellent IMHO, although not for everyone. And the older you get the more you will appreciate lighter guitars.

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Old 05-30-07, 10:40 PM   #18
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Re: pancake or chambered body?


Obviously, his choice is made....
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Old 05-30-07, 11:58 PM   #19
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Re: pancake or chambered body?

Weight relieved and chambered are very different animals.

Chambered guitars are hardly "bullshit". Get a life.

There are many makers of "chambered" guitars and hollow guitars with no f-holes. Thinline teles, 335s. There are some great tones to be had from such a setup.

Based on my limited experience with vintage Les Pauls I'd have to say that a chambered heavy wooded Les Paul has a better chance of getting vintage Les Paul tones than a Pancake guitar weighing in that 10 lbs and up range.

For the record, I own a few late 60's Pauls with 1-piece bodies (none over 9 lbs.) and I still have a pancake custom. It's a great guitar for what it does, but can't do what my 68s can do.

Chambered Les Pauls easily get in that zone.

Last edited by Wilko : 05-31-07 at 09:37 AM.
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Old 05-31-07, 04:49 AM   #20
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Re: pancake or chambered body?

+1 Well said
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Old 06-02-07, 03:45 PM   #21
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Re: pancake or chambered body?

Even with the Standards now being chambered they still weigh 9 or 10 pounds. They didn't lighten them up any more from what they were. They just went from the weight relief holes to chambering. Doesn't really bother me at all. I leave it up to my ears.
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Old 06-02-07, 04:05 PM   #22
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Re: pancake or chambered body?

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Even with the Standards now being chambered they still weigh 9 or 10 pounds. They didn't lighten them up any more from what they were. They just went from the weight relief holes to chambering. Doesn't really bother me at all. I leave it up to my ears.
I dunno Magnum, my '07 weighs 7.6 pounds, lighter than a strat I have. Not even close to 9 or 10 pounds (I'm sure there are some with heavier wood out there though). I agree on leaving it up to the ears though. In my case, the chambered '07 can get some tones my "solid" Standard can't, and it goes the other way around too. Chambered or not, its a real nice guitar.
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Old 06-02-07, 04:51 PM   #23
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Re: pancake or chambered body?

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I dunno Magnum, my '07 weighs 7.6 pounds, lighter than a strat I have. Not even close to 9 or 10 pounds (I'm sure there are some with heavier wood out there though). I agree on leaving it up to the ears though. In my case, the chambered '07 can get some tones my "solid" Standard can't, and it goes the other way around too. Chambered or not, its a real nice guitar.
Wow. That is a light one.
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Old 06-02-07, 06:13 PM   #24
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Re: pancake or chambered body?

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Wow. That is a light one.
My 07 Classic Antique is 7.6 lbs.
Sounds and plays great BTW.

I've seen quite a few people posting that their 06's & 07's are in that 7 or 7[Edit:I meant 7 or 8] pound range.

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Old 06-02-07, 07:29 PM   #25
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Re: pancake or chambered body?

That's Historic Re-issue territory.
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Old 06-02-07, 07:39 PM   #26
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Re: pancake or chambered body?

That's light even for Historics which average 8.5-9 lbs.

Heavier as you go from from 59, 58, 57, etc.
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Old 06-02-07, 08:32 PM   #27
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Re: pancake or chambered body?

Yeah, not too old yet, but weighing in at 7.6 doesn't bother me too much, seeing that its still making some nice tones. Like I said, lighter than a strat I have (I think it was about 8.5 pounds). I never thought I'd see a Lester being outweighed by a strat!

Its a new world we're living in. Cats and dogs living together side by side, strats outweighing Lesters, etc.
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Old 06-02-07, 09:01 PM   #28
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Re: pancake or chambered body?

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Originally Posted by Leņa_Costoso View Post

Obviously, his choice is made....
The bunny has spoken
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