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  1. #1

    Why Chambered LP standards?

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    Last edited by VictorTom; 08-29-19 at 10:56 AM.

  2. #2
    Les Paul Forum Member bern1's Avatar
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    Re: Why Chambered LP standards?

    To me it seems like a nice option because they are generally lighter and they sound differently good compared to non chambered LPís.
    When you pick up the guitar, play it like itís the last time.
    E.C.

  3. #3
    Les Paul Forum Member Big Al's Avatar
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    Re: Why Chambered LP standards?

    Chambering and Weight Relief are different things. Most mahogany of quality runs heavy. There just isn't enough to allow sorting for light weight. What they do get goes into Custom Shop Reissues.

    The quality mahogany is very good but heavy. Gibson began experimenting with weight relief in the 80's to manage the weight and use this wood for guitars. I cannot hear any difference in tone. You don't get feather weight but great tonewood that would otherwise prove too heavy can now be used. I'd say WR allows for continued use of classic Hondouran Mahogany WITHOUT altering tone. You don't hear the relief.

    When Mike Slub, Kareoke Karl & I were at Gibson Custom in '03 I was shown a Custom 59 Reissue they were building for Gary Rossington for the upcoming Skynerd tour. His back was bad and the guitar had been extensively routed before the maple cap was applied making for a very lightweight Les Paul. The first Chambered Les Paul!!

    Chambered Les Pauls have a subtle but noticeable effect that imparts a characteristic accent onto the classic Les Paul voice. You can hear it. Chambering shifts the primary tone and effects the bodies resonent frequency. They still sound like a Les Paul but when compared to an unchambered one you can hear the difference. It's a cool tone I like very much. I have two and I use them a lot and find their voice a welcome addition in my Les Paul arsenal.

    Interestingly, the first successful solidbody guitar the Bigsby, and later Gretch's Duo Jet used similar chambering!!

    So the various WR was done in attempts to reduce some weight while maintaining the familiar tone of a Les Paul. Chambering for max weight reduction and an alternative tone. The new core/vintage inspired models lack any, Modern versions employ WR as per factory spec.
    Last edited by Big Al; 08-13-19 at 02:54 AM.
    The older I get, the better I was.

  4. #4
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Why Chambered LP standards?

    Modern weight relief is NOT Swiss cheesing.
    The former looks like trivial pursuit pieces of pie.
    The latter is 9 round holes drilled in the body.

    Guitars that got chambered typically moved to modern.
    Swiss cheese guitars have stayed that way or moved to completely solid.

    Weight relief was kept secret at the time. In fact the 9 hole was discovered more or less at the same time as chambering......

    Minor tonal shifts that were the result of chambering were not what many Les Paul owners wanted. The modern style was implemented to try and regain the archetypal LP sound but with much lighter instruments still.

  5. #5
    Les Paul Forum Member sonar's Avatar
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    Re: Why Chambered LP standards?

    Quote Originally Posted by AJCR View Post
    Weight relief was kept secret at the time. In fact the 9 hole was discovered more or less at the same time as chambering......
    Players were aware of weight relief before chambering. Posts on the subject go back to the inception of this forum, and many others were aware of it for many years before that.

  6. #6
    Les Paul Forum Member Trans-Am's Avatar
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    Re: Why Chambered LP standards?

    Gibson is always on the move to try and see where the mass is at. It's a taste test. Sort of like a cheap Japanese affordable car that when it's to good to be true? They all friggin' cancel the lines etc. They just gives us a choice spectrum in sound and specs. Lighter is better and might cost more. Depends on the model and price points. Norlin era made LP's has had some heavy shit kickers that sounded good as well.

    Then they get you all riled up with another line in regards of specs and shit. We all rotate what Gibson puts out there (only you will know yourself really where your at) It keeps it all interesting as well as the cash cow trick they get you to pick which is which, and then in the end you were all just searching for that tone you been chasing for years. All relevant.

    I play 'em all what is available out there and grab what you can afford and think its the best for you that is different from the rest, expensive or not etc. at the end of the day it's you playing it and admiring the Paul inside out. I know i don't think i have answered the OP question here but this is just my take of it all in simplicity w/o the microscope. Apologies for the digress.

    Not saying it's bad for Gibson, it's just my take that's all!
    Old WOOD Is Good WOOD !!!

  7. #7

    Re: Why Chambered LP standards?

    What are y'all's thoughts regarding the 9 hole WR versus the modern maze looking WR? Which is better and why, if things can be crystallized down to such a comparison, which perhaps it can't be.

  8. #8

    Re: Why Chambered LP standards?

    Quote Originally Posted by RocknRollShakeUp View Post
    What are y'all's thoughts regarding the 9 hole WR versus the modern maze looking WR? Which is better and why, if things can be crystallized down to such a comparison, which perhaps it can't be.
    I have both and if anyone was able to hear any difference between the two Iíd be very suprised.

    I did have a chambered Studio Tribute which did have an audible difference, but in regards to the other two I caníthear any difference between them.

  9. #9

    Re: Why Chambered LP standards?

    Quote Originally Posted by grimlyflick View Post
    I have both and if anyone was able to hear any difference between the two Iíd be very suprised.

    I did have a chambered Studio Tribute which did have an audible difference, but in regards to the other two I caníthear any difference between them.
    Thanks for the data point.

  10. #10
    Les Paul Forum Member KR1's Avatar
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    Re: Why Chambered LP standards?

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Al View Post
    Chambering and Weight Relief are different things. Most mahogany of quality runs heavy. There just isn't enough to allow sorting for light weight. What they do get goes into Custom Shop Reissues.

    The quality mahogany is very good but heavy. Gibson began experimenting with weight relief in the 80's to manage the weight and use this wood for guitars. I cannot hear any difference in tone. You don't get feather weight but great tonewood that would otherwise prove too heavy can now be used. I'd say WR allows for continued use of classic Hondouran Mahogany WITHOUT altering tone. You don't hear the relief.

    When Mike Slub, Kareoke Karl & I were at Gibson Custom in '03 I was shown a Custom 59 Reissue they were building for Gary Rossington for the upcoming Skynerd tour. His back was bad and the guitar had been extensively routed before the maple cap was applied making for a very lightweight Les Paul. The first Chambered Les Paul!!

    Chambered Les Pauls have a subtle but noticeable effect that imparts a characteristic accent onto the classic Les Paul voice. You can hear it. Chambering shifts the primary tone and effects the bodies resonent frequency. They still sound like a Les Paul but when compared to an unchambered one you can hear the difference. It's a cool tone I like very much. I have two and I use them a lot and find their voice a welcome addition in my Les Paul arsenal.

    Interestingly, the first successful solidbody guitar the Bigsby, and later Gretch's Duo Jet used similar chambering!!

    So the various WR was done in attempts to reduce some weight while maintaining the familiar tone of a Les Paul. Chambering for max weight reduction and an alternative tone. The new core/vintage inspired models lack any, Modern versions employ WR as per factory spec.
    And to broaden the topic a bit more, add the Double Carve model from 2009. This was an extremely limited run of Historic Reissues (R8's) that were made for Wildwood. There were a total of 29 guitars made in addition to two prototypes - one goldtop, one plaintop. This model incorporated an under-carved top (only) mounted on a solid, non-weight-relieved back. At most, about an ounce of maple was removed from the underside of the top so the effort had nothing to do with weight, only tone. There is a very shallow chamber created by the under-carve.

    As to tone: The guitar is a bit more open on the top end. There is just every-so-slightly less mid-range "honk." However, IMO the sonic differences between the example that I've owned for years (the first proto, a plaintop R8) and another R8, and the sonic differences that may exist between any other two vibrant Les Paul's are absolutely similar. It's ten years, now, but I remember setting up about half of the Double Carve Les Pauls as they came into the shop and they were consistently on the "open" side high-end, and a very slight bit less honky in the mid-range. It's a very versatile version of the Historic line, but Henry shut it down (it wasn't his idea).

    The only well-known artist that left the store immediately after plugging one in was Steve Miller. In fact, he may have purchased two of them.

    Large R8 neck carve, un-potted, un-covered zebra coil BB1, BB2. Fake Bee's, 500K CTS pots with a mix of audio and straight taper scattered throughout the tiny run, corian nut, un-mounted pick guard.

    K
    Last edited by KR1; 08-18-19 at 01:08 PM.

  11. #11
    Les Paul Forum Member Trans-Am's Avatar
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    Re: Why Chambered LP standards?

    I don't mind the 9 hole swiss cheese they were doing a while back and then some these days, depending on the models. Just gives us a choice from having to much of a weight in some of the types of woods being used.
    Not all likes to have a heavy than normal Les Paul's besides the audible differences some of us notice. Airy, lighter, sounds different etc.
    Old WOOD Is Good WOOD !!!

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