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New 2007 Les Pauls Are Chambered - They Sound Different!

LesterP

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May 13, 2003
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After a few recent threads on how light the newer Les Paul's felt, I decided to visit a few local shops and play every new Les Paul I could find. Played mainly Studios, Standards, and a Standard Plus. Also played some type of "Guitar of the Week" deal.

Seems that all the new 2007's are now chambered. Gibson has switched from drilling 9 weight relief holes to one larger cavity. The weight on these is down dramatically. I couldn't believe how comfortable these felt. I was able to a/b them against a few used ones (mid 90's going by the serial #). Soundwise, it was like playing a totally different guitar, and I don't mean any typical variation from one guitar to another.

I'm not sure I like this change in sound. It was very easy to hear that the newer Lesters that were chambered had a warmer, less bright sound. The guitars were big, and punchy, but seemed to lack definition. The salesman allowed me to open the control cavity on a Studio model. Unlike an Elegant or Cloud 9, you cannot see the chamber. (And the chamber is obviously not as large).

I'm kind of surprised there hasn't been a huge thread on this, as it really seems like a big change in the design of the Les Paul. In order to cut down further on weight, even more wood has been removed... really changing the sound of the guitars.

Curious if anyone else has noticed this, and would care to comment?
 

badform

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Jul 28, 2006
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373
It's all good.
Just wait a few years for them to start marketing "full wood" LPs that weigh 13lbs as a "new feature" that we "demanded". :rolleyes:
 

buckwild

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Mar 4, 2005
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This has actually been discussed at length in a couple threads. Notably it's cme up when talking about the new Faded Les Paul Standards. I bought one at 7lbs. Somebody has that x-ray shot. One thing that really sucks with this new production method is the rattling little glue chips left in the cavities.
 

les strat

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Aug 22, 2004
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Again, Gibson is moving the specs farther and farther away from what the Standard was supposed to be. It's a shame.
 

Progrocker111

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Dec 10, 2003
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I would rather have pancake body 11 lbs heavy Norlin than 7 lbs chambered "better" build Standard. I dont understand why Gibson makes the Les Pauls this way. Is the weight so important to potentional buyers? :rolleyes:
 

Leña_Costoso

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Jul 24, 2005
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It uses no less wood.

It takes more time.

It takes more wear and tear on the tooling.

It leaves pieces of wood to rattle....

A classic case of fucking up a product, in order to either:

1. Reintroduce it, as it was (CocaCola marketing 101)

2. Introduce a middle market product

I see the latter happening. If it fails, Henry can go back to making Standards as they were, or, just offer "lightweight Standards", "chambered Standards", or whatever. The appeal of a lightweight is not altogether there. Ditto for chambered. So, I really see this development as one which is a no-fail for Henry. If the middle market fails, no big deal, but if it does... he's made a bundle again. The idea is to get the grumbling up, create the market and product appeal... then set the hook with a model about $500 more at street price. Only a 20 percent upcharge. That public can handle that.... or so Henry is counting on. And if its not supported, no biggie, just go back the way things were. He'll have to have a name and feature set on the middle market items that allows a retreat to "the way things used to be", but thats not a big deal.

Welcome to the free market economy.
 

DanD

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Apr 8, 2007
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I'm sure somewhere some marketing genius did a study and yes, weight was a big issue. It may also be that Gibson can no longer just get by with the old style holes to bring weight to what Gibson deems is an acceptable level. Most Fender's weigh in the 7 pound range and Fender is kicking Gibson's tail in the marketplace. I did a comparison between a new lightweight Standard and my trusty R7 and both were good guitars. The R7 had just a bit more sustain plugged in. Both were very playable and the QC on the newer Standards I've seen is mucho better than just a coupla' years ago.

The upscale choice is going to be the Historic line. You want solid then have at it...at a premium. Even at that Gibson is running the Historic line in chambered too.... Lack of good quality lightweight wood??? The current events may increase the price of used Historics. Right now nice R7s go for less than 2k. That's a deal compared to a new Standard at 2k plus. Just my two cents...
 

mmcquain

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Sep 21, 2005
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Just to give another opinion here on the new chambering...

I have a 2000 Les Paul Custom that is a good solid 9.8 lbs

I have a new 1960 VOS Historic on the way (it's 8.1 lbs)

And I've played on a new Classic Antique, with the new "teardrop" shaped chamber (weighed in the 7 lbs. range) and I like all 3 - each are somewhat different and each sound great in their own ways.

The Classic Antique will probably be my next Les Paul purchase - as soon as the wife gets over the VOS purchase :) I found it to be very "acoustical" sounding (kinda' reminded me of a quieter version of my Taylor T5 when I strummed it unplugged). Plugged in, it had a nice warm, bluesy tone and I could easily dial-in some classic "woman tones" and a great Les Paul "growl"... so, I'm in favor of the new chambering as an option in the Gibson product line. If you want traditional, all wood bodies then get a Historic, and if you want something a little more open and acoustical sounding then consider one of the new chambered models. I see it as just another reason to buy more Les Pauls...and what is wrong with that?!?!? :hee
 

Radagacuca

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Mar 30, 2002
Messages
758
i think they do pretty good on what they do...

i had to bring my motorcycle to a dealer out of town today (engine blow up, argh!!!) and while there i visited a large music store where they have some gibsons of all all price ranges. i noticed a lot of younger guys (maybe 20-25 years old) checking out the faded standard and bfg series. they really liked them. i think they sold a bfg right away. i believe noone there (including the sales manager....) has a clue about the differences of the historic vs. standard line. and i guess most people don´t care either. they want a les paul and don´t give a damn if it´s built close to 50´s spec or whatever. as long as it looks like one and has the name on the headstock they are fine.
the weight is a factor and most don´t think about why a guitar is more or less heavy. they just buy what they feel is comfortable, and those lightweight pauls ARE comfortable.
the interest and knowledge about every detail on every les paul (and other gibson guitars..) is only to be found on the lpf in that amount.... and that´s only a very small part of the whole gibson market.

btw, i prefer the traditional built of a les paul.
 

CharlieS

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Dec 12, 2002
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I would rather have pancake body 11 lbs heavy Norlin than 7 lbs chambered "better" build Standard. I dont understand why Gibson makes the Les Pauls this way. Is the weight so important to potentional buyers? :rolleyes:

Yes.


There is no way that I will purchase another guitar over 9 pounds again. I played new vs. old standards side by side and, to my ears, the new chambered ones were superior. I don't care what they did inside the body. If it's light and sounds good, that's good enough for me.
 

Mainah

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Jul 9, 2004
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Regardless of how you feel about weight-relieving and how Gibson goes about accomplishing that, I believe that this drastic routing that they've resorted to in order to keep the weights reasonable (for most consumers) is the ultimate indictment of the quality of mahogany that Gibson is able to source for their guitars these days. It appears that the good-quality, lighter-weight mahogany (when located) is reserved for the Historic line (the weights of which have been creeping up lately, if you hadn't noticed) and the production Lesters will now be pseudo-Cloud 9s in order to keep the weights acceptable for the average joe. What a shame...
 

Sixpense

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Dec 23, 2006
Messages
125
Curious if anyone else has noticed this, and would care to comment?

Your reaction to the chambered Les Pauls was the same when I purchased my first Les Paul Elegant. In fact, I ordered it through my local guitar shop and the owner was impressed with the guitar as well.
 

Danny

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Jun 10, 2006
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and Fender is kicking Gibson's tail in the marketplace.

A simple and in my opinion genius solution: stop selling Gibsons for enough money to buy a house with

There we are

A simple comparison: Fender has 17 guitars on MF for over $3,000

Gibson has 114
 

Trop

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Nov 9, 2006
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A simple and in my opinion genius solution: stop selling Gibsons for enough money to buy a house with

There we are

A simple comparison: Fender has 17 guitars on MF for over $3,000

Gibson has 114

The markup on MF is absolutely bizarre. I don't know anyone on this forum that would buy the higher end Gibsons from them at those prices.

Even though that's the issue with the more expensive guitars, I think there's another problem with the cheaper ones. (That represents the majority of Guitar sales, like it or not.) Fender has a huge advantage in offering Mexican and Japanese guitars under their own name. Not only do these guitars have the same headstock and logo, but if you look you can find ones that outshine their Americans counterparts. This isn't surprising. Other than the electronics, the guitars are pretty much the same. If someone came to me asking whether to get a $270 Mexicaster or a $300 Koreaphone, I would tell them to get the Strat without hesitation. It's simply closer to it's American counterpart for the money.

I think we all appreciate Henry wanting to keep the Gibson brand's integrity, but they need to do a better job with their Epiphone line. The Elitist models are greatly overpriced. This not only makes people choose MIJ Fender guitars instead, but causes the Japiphones to compete with the cheaper Gibsons.

If you look at the Import vs. American Fender guitars, there's virtually no price overlap. The exception to the rule is with models that offer extra features or appointments. Gibson/Epi also doesn't follow this. There are no "blinged out" Epis that would make people want one more than say a new MM. Even the nice ones have a "cheap" look and feel to them, at least to me.
 

kkyle

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May 16, 2003
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I'm not a pro, some of my friends are pros. One of the main reasons I hear them switch from the LP is the weight. Whenever the guys at my guitar shop hand me a guitar the first thing they comment on is the weight. I'll bet if there was a feedback questionaire the biggest negative given to Gibson about the LP would be the weight.
I recently purchased a GOTW, LP Antique Deluxe not knowing about this shift to different weight reduction wood removal and I was immediately drawn to the weight, the sound is great (like I said I'm not a pro), I think the weight reduction move is probably a good one on Gibson's part.
 

Trans-Am

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Jul 15, 2001
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...next thing you know?, people will start gunning for the 9'ers instead of the teardrop shape relief.Bring back the heavy shit.:bug

IMHO? 8-10 lbs. is good.

Peace:hank
 
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