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Les Paul Forum FAQ

Here you can find answers to questions about how the board works. Use the links or search box below to find your way around.

ABR-1 ?


The ABR-1 is the original name of the Tuneomatic bridge used on Gibsons. An original ABR-1 will have 'ABR-1' cast into the bottom of the bridge. Later Tuneomatics will have a patent number cast into it. The early ABR-1 bridges did not have the retaining wire for the bridge saddles, though later on they did. Also, ABR-1 bridges used plated brass saddles, later ones were made from a different type of alloy.

M-69 ?


This was the designation inside of the humbucking pickup rings that Gibson used, these will have the 'legs' inside for the screw holes.

Silkscreened logo?


On older and on the newer HCLP Les Paul model guitars, the gold "Les Paul model" logo was actually silkscreened onto the headstock, over the lacquer. On Les Paul Juniors, even the Gibson logo was silkscreened. Later, decals were used.

volute?

The Volute was extra wood that was on the back of the neck behind the truss rod nut location, this was used to beef up this area, as this was the weakest part of the neck.

lightweight tailpiece?


Older wrap tailpieces and stop tailpieces were made of an aluminum alloy, which made them very light in weight. They were difficult to manufacture and plate, therefore later these were made of a different, but heavier, material. The old lightweight tailpieces are 2-3 ounces lighter than a heavy alloy one.

pancake body?

In the '70's, Gibson decided to laminate bodies together using two pieces of thinner mahogany with a thin middle laminate. Hence the term 'Pancake' body.

Centralab?


Centralab was the manufacturer that made potentiometers for Gibson in the old days, they had a very smooth taper that many players desire.

braided wire?

The braided wire that Gibson used was a cloth covered wire inner core with a braided shield over it. On Gibson guitars, the inner wire was the hot or positive wire, and the braided shield was used as ground or negative.

Top Hat?


Top Hat Knobs were used by Gibson in the mid to late '50's, they had sort of a hat shape to them, and were either painted black or bronze-powder gold on the insides to create their color. Old top hat knobs usually age to a very slightly amberish/yellow hue.

Brazilian Rosewood?

Brazilian rosewood was used on Les Paul fingerboards in the old days. It is desirable because of its stiffness and sonic qualities, and it has a smoother, less porous texture than the Indian rosewood that replaced Brazilian rosewood.

extended tenon?


The original specification of the neck joint was for the neck tenon to intrude into the front pickup neck cavity. Over time, it became more efficient to pre-route the pick up cavity and then join the neck to the body. The neck tenon that joined the body's opposing cavity was decreased in length substantially.

lacquer?

Lacquer is a very good finish for musical instruments. It is a slightly porous finish, and allows the wood to 'breathe'. Lacquer can also be applied very thin, so as to not dampen the tone of the instrument. Lacquer also will age to an attractive dull patina, and the clear will age to a slightly amberish hue over time.

Alnico?

ALNICO - refers to the composition of a magnet - Aluminum, Nickel and Cobalt - these magnets are used in pickups and speakers.

BB ?

BB is an abbreviation of Black Beauty. A Black Beauty is a Black Gibson Les Paul Custom OR a Sprague Cap

BOTB?

BOTB - Beauty Of The Burst - A Book by Yasuhiko Iwanade

Bumblebee?


'Bumblebee' is a term used for the old black Sprague paper-in-oil molded caps that were used in '50s Gibson Guitars. They used stripes to designate the values of the capacitors, they looked like bumblebee stripes.

cap?

Cap is a shortened form of the word capacitor.

Conversion?

Conversion - Early '50's Les Paul converted to later specs

CTS?

CTS - Chicago Telephone Supply...they manufacture a potentiometer that is a popular replacement used by many LPF members.

G.A.S.??

G.A.S. = Gear (or Guitar) Acquisition Syndrome - a common ailment afflicting the majority of members who frequent the LPF.
Be careful! This affliction is known to be very contagious! :)

GT ?

GT is short for Gold Top.

LP ?

LP is short for Les Paul.

PUP?

PUP is a shortened form of the word pickups.

NOS?

NOS - New Old Stock

Norlin?

NORLIN - 1969 ECL, an Ecuadorian company with interests in concrete and beer manufacturing, takes over Gibson. ECL also becomes known as Norlin. 1974 The Nashville plant opens and production is split between Nashville and Kalamazoo. In 1984, the Kalamazoo plants is closed as well, and Gibson moves its headquarters to Nashville. Les Pauls built during this era are referred to as "Norlins".

Kluson?


Kluson is the name of a company who used to make tuning machine heads for many guitar manufacturers.

PIO ?

PIO - paper in oil - refers to the composition of a capacitor

Pot?

Pot is a shortened form of the word potentiometer.

R9 ?

R2 - R0 Refers to the specific year of Historic Reissues
R2 = 1952 Historic Reissue (or 1952 Reissue)
R9 = 1959 Historic Reissue
This came about because of the practice of the Gibson Custom shop stamping each reissue with it's designated year in the control cavity.

PAF?

The term PAF stands for Patent Applied For, which is a decal that Gibson affixed to the bottom of their humbuckers in the late '50's and early '60's. The term PAF has become a generic term for all Gibson humbuckers, which can lead to confusion and misinformation.

There were 3 eras of original Patent Applied For pickups:
#1 Pre-PAF decal version: These were the early ones, as used in some '57 Goldtops

#2 The 1st PAF decal version: These were used in the '58-'60 Bursts, some were all black bobbins, some had one black and one cream bobbin, or both cream bobbins. These pickups varied a lot in output due to the inconsistant winding techniques used by Gibson at the time

#3 The 2nd PAF decal version: These were made when Gibson switched over to a different type of winding machine with an automatic shut off when a certain amount of winds were on the bobbins. These are more consistant in output. Around this time Gibson changed the magnet size, they wanted to standardize the size so they could use the same magnet in all their pickups, like the P-90 and Melody Maker pickups.

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