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  1. #1
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    Ultra Modern Weight Relief

    I was curious about the weight relief of my 2006 Class 5 Custom. It is listed as Ultra Modern and I have seen differing photos online so I had it xrayed. This is what I found.....2006 Class 5 custom.jpg

  2. #2
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    Re: Ultra Modern Weight Relief

    For comparison, here is an xray of my 2008 Studio with full chambering2008 Les Paul Studio xray.jpg

  3. #3
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    Re: Ultra Modern Weight Relief

    and my 2018 Tribute with no weight relief2018 Les paul traditional honeyburst xray.jpg it was misnamed when the file was created on the pc as "Traditional" but it is, in fact, a "tribute" as it says on the xray.

  4. #4
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    Re: Ultra Modern Weight Relief

    The Class 5 was intended to be my user name, but it was taken or rejected for some reason. Kids call me "Big Daddy" (likely because I am 6'6"?) and every user name I tried was taken so I put in Big Daddy Class 5 (since I have 2 of the Class 5s) and it cut off the 5.

  5. #5

    Re: Ultra Modern Weight Relief

    Cool x-rays! Instead of just doing straight lines, they should draw pictures with the chambering. At least a smiley face or a palm tree. Would make these x-rays much more fun!

  6. #6
    Les Paul Forum Member thin sissy's Avatar
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    Re: Ultra Modern Weight Relief

    Interesting stuff, thanks for sharing
    This is a song from the new album, it's a deep meaningful song this one... No, it's not whiskey in the fucking jar... Philip Lynott

  7. #7

    Re: Ultra Modern Weight Relief

    I believe Class 5s have 17 smaller swiss cheese holes.
    Tim

  8. #8
    Les Paul Forum Member Thunder Dump's Avatar
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    Re: Ultra Modern Weight Relief

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Plains View Post
    I believe Class 5s have 17 smaller swiss cheese holes.
    That is correct. The original weight-relief spec for a Class 5 was 17 1/2" diameter drilled holes, as opposed to the "modern weigh-relief" method of 9 1" diameter holes. I've never seen an "ultra modern weight-relief" body, but if you count them there are still 17 holes in Big Daddy's Class 5 and they appear to be 1/2" wide, but are just slots instead of holes. Interesting.
    '19 60th Anniversary R9 VOS / '17 CME Standard Historic / '17 MZ M2M Roasted Custom / '16 Custom Pro
    '15 True Historic 1960 / '14 R0 / '14 Custom / '14 Custom / '13 R0 VOS / '12 Standard / '11 Custom Pro
    '11 Custom Pro / '11 R0 VOS / '11 Classic Custom / '11 Custom / '10 Traditional Pro / '10 R0 VOS
    '10 WW 50th Anniversary R0 VOS / '08 G0 VOS / '07 Standard LE / '07 Classic Custom / '07 Classic Antique
    '07 CCM R0 VOS / '06 G0 VOS / '00 Classic / '97 Elegant / '90 Custom Limited Colors

  9. #9
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    Re: Ultra Modern Weight Relief

    I have another class 5 and a Prototype Standard that is supposed to be "regular" modern weight relief. I'll x-ray those soon and we will see what secrets lie in there.

  10. #10
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    Re: Ultra Modern Weight Relief

    2002 Les Paul Custom Class 5 xray.jpgHere is my other Class 5, a 2002 (in tangerine burst). Clearly with the same weight relief as the 2006 posted previously. Obviously the 17 "round hole" models are not the only type they made since I have 2 that look like this, made 4 years apart.

  11. #11
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    Re: Ultra Modern Weight Relief

    20200218_150314.jpghere they are side by side

  12. #12
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    Re: Ultra Modern Weight Relief

    2002 Les Paul Custom Class 5 xray.jpg2006 Class 5 custom.jpgWhen I look online and Google "Ultra Modern Weight relief", I can find NO pictures that look like my 2 guitars--yet here we are! 2 of them with the exact same pattern. Orange custom is of course labeled on the xray. Black 2006 is also lableled but I cut that off (reposted both just in case anyone wishes to see them side by side.) The wiring is slightly different as is the way the jack is configured at the bottom. Also apparent are the mineral streaks in the mahogany but curiously not the grain or any mineral streaks in the maple (there are some in the orange maple). If anyone wants to have their guitar xrayed, we used the setting for "knee". The xray tech will know what that means.

  13. #13
    Les Paul Forum Member Thunder Dump's Avatar
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    Re: Ultra Modern Weight Relief

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Daddy Class View Post
    2002 Les Paul Custom Class 5 xray.jpgHere is my other Class 5, a 2002 (in tangerine burst). Clearly with the same weight relief as the 2006 posted previously. Obviously the 17 "round hole" models are not the only type they made since I have 2 that look like this, made 4 years apart.
    Well then I'm more inclined to believe that the Class 5 weight relief standard is the 17 1/2" elongated holes like you have. It never really made sense to have 17 1/2" diameter holes as a different weight relief scheme from the traditional 9 1" holes, because it's actually less weight relief by 1 1/2" hole. That doesn't seem like it would be worth the effort. But the elongated holes certainly make a significant difference.
    '19 60th Anniversary R9 VOS / '17 CME Standard Historic / '17 MZ M2M Roasted Custom / '16 Custom Pro
    '15 True Historic 1960 / '14 R0 / '14 Custom / '14 Custom / '13 R0 VOS / '12 Standard / '11 Custom Pro
    '11 Custom Pro / '11 R0 VOS / '11 Classic Custom / '11 Custom / '10 Traditional Pro / '10 R0 VOS
    '10 WW 50th Anniversary R0 VOS / '08 G0 VOS / '07 Standard LE / '07 Classic Custom / '07 Classic Antique
    '07 CCM R0 VOS / '06 G0 VOS / '00 Classic / '97 Elegant / '90 Custom Limited Colors

  14. #14
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    Re: Ultra Modern Weight Relief

    Not that it matters to this discussion, but my Orange 2002 Class 5 is 8 lbs exactly, my Black 2006 Class 5 is 8lbs 4 oz, my non weight relieved Tribute is 7 lbs 4 ounces, and my Studio that is fully chambered (xray above) is 7 lbs 1 ounce. I weighed them all when I xrayed them

  15. #15

    Re: Ultra Modern Weight Relief

    Do you notice much sound difference between them all? I've read the ones with a lot of chambering sound different, some people say the same...

  16. #16
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    Re: Ultra Modern Weight Relief

    Quote Originally Posted by Señor Verde View Post
    Do you notice much sound difference between them all? I've read the ones with a lot of chambering sound different, some people say the same...
    It is a little hard to say. Some days I feel like one sounds better than the rest, or I hear something in one of them that I do not hear in the others--then I try to repeat it the next day only to feel like they are all more similar than I had thought the day before. Truth is I am far better at buying guitars than I am at playing guitars and they are all better than my ability to play them. My fully chambered studio is lighter than the rest and somehow just screams "pick me up and play me". My tribute seems to have the best neck. My black Class 5 seemingly sounds the best to me and until today I thought it sounded best acoustically, but in playing both Class 5s together in the same quiet room (seems strange but I have never done that before) they are very very similar. I also have a standard prototype model (that I was told is actually a custom shop model although labeled as a USA model--no proof other than a guy at Gibson's word) that I thought was my best sounding but lately I am questioning that. Lately I have felt it is a bit too bright? "Lowest" (and cheapest at "free") of my guitars is a Chinese Chibson guitar that was given to me by a guy who runs a pawn shop (and actually lost $800 thinking it was a real Les Paul Custom--he was subsequently scared to re-sell living in Nashville with Gibson down the street)--I recently spent about 2 days playing only that guitar and then when I switched back to my Orange Class 5, I immediately was able to recognize the real Gibson's superiority in sound and feel.


    Full disclosure on the Chibson--I wrote (in white paint pen) and carved "fake" inside of all the cavities and under the pickups in hopes it can never be sold again. My 16 year old (better guitarist than me) likes to take it to campfires with his buddies with a little battery powered Marshall amp and also to hand it to his non-guitar playing buddies when they come over. I would burn it in the bonfire before I would ever sell it or allow it to fool someone. I would have never bought one but it WAS free and is actually not a terrible guitar. My wife claims she cannot hear much difference (again I am not a great player). I speculate it was made in the Epiphone factory because the fit and finish is quite good (good enough to fool 8 pawn shops in Nashville and it was quite a news headline when it happened). The alleged mastermind (who denies it) was a guy named Buckley Mills if anyone cares to Google the story. There was a middle man who took the fall in the whole deal. In an interesting twist, I had it set up at none other than Gruhn Guitars by one of their luthiers under direct supervision of George Gruhn himself--who demanded I bring it in because he was so curious about it. Maybe Ill also xray my Chibson? For sure going to xray my Standard prototype (custom?).

  17. #17
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    Re: Ultra Modern Weight Relief

    2016 Les Paul Standard Prototype whole guitar.jpg20191226_121241.jpg my Standard prototype and my sons little battery powered Marshall amp.20191207_134738.jpg20191207_134758.jpg20191207_122307.jpg and a couple of guitars at Gruhn's and a selfie of me and George Gruhn at a reptile show in Nashville. He owns dozens and dozens of snakes and we went to the reptile show so he could buy frozen mice to feed them and to look at the snakes.

  18. #18
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    Re: Ultra Modern Weight Relief

    Trying to upload a picture of my Chibson but I guess I have uploaded too many photos today, it will not let me.

  19. #19
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    Re: Ultra Modern Weight Relief

    Quote Originally Posted by Thunder Dump View Post
    Well then I'm more inclined to believe that the Class 5 weight relief standard is the 17 1/2" elongated holes like you have. It never really made sense to have 17 1/2" diameter holes as a different weight relief scheme from the traditional 9 1" holes, because it's actually less weight relief by 1 1/2" hole. That doesn't seem like it would be worth the effort. But the elongated holes certainly make a significant difference.
    Remember from Geometry that a doubling of the radius of a circle actually increases the area of that circle by 4x, so 9 1 inch holes would be more weight removed (as a function of the volume of wood removed) than 17 1/2 inch holes. Still an invalid point with my 1/2 inch ovals, but in case your sophomore Geometry teacher is reading this--9 one inch holes are more volume than 17 1/2 inch holes.

  20. #20
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    Re: Ultra Modern Weight Relief

    I have to ask how much each of your weight relieved guitars weighs please ?

  21. #21
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    Re: Ultra Modern Weight Relief

    See above

    "Not that it matters to this discussion, but my Orange 2002 Class 5 is 8 lbs exactly, my Black 2006 Class 5 is 8lbs 4 oz, my non weight relieved Tribute is 7 lbs 4 ounces, and my Studio that is fully chambered (xray above) is 7 lbs 1 ounce. I weighed them all when I xrayed them"
    I have not weighed my Standard or my Chibson. My Standard is "Modern Weight relief" on the Spec sheet that Gibson gave me (not a retail purchase). Chibson who knows if it has weight relief? Ill post the weight of the Standard when I xray it.

  22. #22
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    Re: Ultra Modern Weight Relief

    Just curious.....what technique did you use? Im thinking 90kv @35 mAs????.......(fellow X-ray tech here lol)
    Very cool X-rays by the way. Interesting to see.

  23. #23

    Re: Ultra Modern Weight Relief

    I'd love to see an x-ray of that Chibson and know how much it weighs.

  24. #24
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    Re: Ultra Modern Weight Relief

    I will xray and weigh the Chibson soon and post here. I am not anticipating seeing much on the Chibson. Fairly certain it will not have weight relief. Unfortunately, plain xray will not be of much help in figuring what else is in there (unlesss it has metal in it (or air). Possible we will see some of the layers but more likely it will look similar to the non-weight relieved 2018 Tribute posted above. As for weight I would guess 9.5-10 lbs but we shall see. I am also interested to see what is inside my Standard which is listed as "modern" weight relief on the sheet I got from Gibson. Since it is a prototype, I cant really look it up. I trust what they told me but with any Gibson, especially a one off or prototype there is no telling what we will find.

  25. #25
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    Re: Ultra Modern Weight Relief

    Quote Originally Posted by Brandon View Post
    Just curious.....what technique did you use? Im thinking 90kv @35 mAs????.......(fellow X-ray tech here lol)
    Very cool X-rays by the way. Interesting to see.
    Kv 70, MAS 1.7, Ma 100 were the settings we used. Remember guitars are pretty still on an xray table! Would love to tell you I calculated all that but in reality we just set it to "knee" on the machine, and it worked!. Those are the "knee" settings. We did not tinker after that because it showed exactly what we were looking for (the weight relief). Maybe in the future we can tinker with it, but currently the xray techs are still loosely amused, so I get to keep shooting the guitars. That CAN change and then Ill be SOL.

  26. #26
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    Re: Ultra Modern Weight Relief

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Daddy Class View Post
    Kv 70, MAS 1.7, Ma 100 were the settings we used. Remember guitars are pretty still on an xray table! Would love to tell you I calculated all that but in reality we just set it to "knee" on the machine, and it worked!. Those are the "knee" settings. We did not tinker after that because it showed exactly what we were looking for (the weight relief). Maybe in the future we can tinker with it, but currently the xray techs are still loosely amused, so I get to keep shooting the guitars. That CAN change and then Ill be SOL.
    Haha. Very nice!!! When I was in X-ray school we shot my r9 and Strat but it was on film. I can't remember the technique we used though lol.

  27. #27
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    Re: Ultra Modern Weight Relief

    Quote Originally Posted by Brandon View Post
    Haha. Very nice!!! When I was in X-ray school we shot my r9 and Strat but it was on film. I can't remember the technique we used though lol.
    Yea, I had one of those (old school film xray). Issue was that they film itself cost around $20 (per shot). Insurance reimbursement for a typical 2 view chest xray was around $60. Throw in labor and the margins of profitability was razor thin. Miss a shot or if the patient breathes or coughs and you are in the red. Now with digital xrays (much like digital cameras) we can shoot as many shots as we wish with the only issue being time (labor) and wear and tear. It really is a whole lot better. Interesting factiod, the materials had silver in them and we had a guy who would come and round up all the "trash" and take it home and bring back bars of silver! He would keep 1/2. It was pretty cool. We all ended up with stacks of those little silver bars.
    Last edited by Big Daddy Class; 02-29-20 at 09:02 PM.

  28. #28
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    Re: Ultra Modern Weight Relief

    Threads like this just remind me of the early days of the interwebs. Cool people sharing great information. The xrays are awesome!

  29. #29
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    Re: Ultra Modern Weight Relief

    So I am sitting here in the middle of ground zero of the Nashville Tornado zone with nothing to do. Power keeps coming and going and I have the xrays so I have been playing with them. Here are views with the color and density adjusted to see the neck tenons. Also note the PCB board is visible in the 2008 studio (others do not have it) and the different densities of the tailpieces...

    2008 Studio(short Neck Tenon. notice the gap under the truss rod screw and above the humbucker)2008 Studio Heritage Sunburst.jpg

    2018 Tribute Short tenon
    2018 Tribute Honeyburst.jpg

    2002 Class 5 Orange (long tenon. notice no space under it)
    2002 Class 5 orange.jpg

    2006 Class 5 Black (long tenon)
    2006 Class 5 Black.jpg
    Last edited by Big Daddy Class; 03-06-20 at 02:31 PM.

  30. #30
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    Re: Ultra Modern Weight Relief

    I also note that the class 5s have a little spur that comes out of the Truss rod and what appears to be a small channel to accommodate those spurs? I have never heard of that. Both seem to have it. Anyone with any info on that little "spur"? May be one of those things (there are many) that everyone already knows about but I did not realize there were different truss rods and different routings for those rods.

  31. #31
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    Re: Ultra Modern Weight Relief

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Daddy Class View Post
    I also note that the class 5s have a little spur that comes out of the Truss rod and what appears to be a small channel to accommodate those spurs? I have never heard of that. Both seem to have it. Anyone with any info on that little "spur"? May be one of those things (there are many) that everyone already knows about but I did not realize there were different truss rods and different routings for those rods.
    I asked George Gruhn about the "spur" (my word, I don't know what it is called). He said it appears to be designed to prevent the truss rod from twisting. He felt it is a good idea (but not vintage he pointed out). I have looked all over the internet and cannot find an example of a truss rod with a "spur". For the record, I also cannot find a photo of the "Ultra Modern Weight Relief" that looks like the 2 that I have, but they are both there in the x-ray.

  32. #32
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    Re: Ultra Modern Weight Relief

    Update on the "spur". I asked a friend at Gibson USA who asked her friend at Gibson Custom. This person's response is that we are seeing the RFID chip, not a spur on the truss rod. I am unclear if this is actually true but it makes sense.

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