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Les Paul Chambered bodies?


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Everyone's right on the money about what it is.

 

A few months ago I auditioned an LP Standard in Charlotte, then a few days later a LP Double Cut (chambered) in Rock Hill (my hometown, 20 minutes away).

 

The Double Cut had the same sound, just a little more mellow w/o as much of an edge. They are similar, but if you are looking for THE *Classic* LP sound, you might find the DC a little too different.

 

The only way to know for sure is, "Reason # 1", go out, find one of each, sit down (or stand, if you prefer) and play both. There is just no substitute for a hands on audition. Here on the forum everyone is well meaning, and VERY helpful with lots of great insight, facts, etc. But, in the end you need to use your opinion of whether or not the sound suits you. And you are the only one who can truly know what you like.

 

I just realized that I might sound a little (okay, maybe more than a little) condescending above. I don't mean to. You can gather lots of information here. Go by the facts, not opinions. If you go by the opinions, you may dismiss a guitar that is exactly what you are looking for. I thought I wanted an LP clone. I was wrong. I want a Godin LG P-90, or maybe anything else (including a LP) with P-90's, especially the Seymour Duncan P-90's.

Gotta' geetar... got the amp. There must be SOMEthing else I... "need".
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Originally posted by bjorked:

Think semi hollow without the F-holes - more like an archtop. The tone would be the opposite of thin... warm and deep - more air = more sound vibration. Chambered body guitars are mostly used for playing Jazz.

My chambered Benedetto is my main jazz box.

:D

 

mike

This doesn't make any sense to me.

 

I've owned chambered guitars over the years. The old Gretsch Rock Jet sprimngs to mind. It did not have near the sustain or richness of tone that my 57 Les Paul with the P-90s had.

 

Warmer? More vibration? I'm trying to understand how a magnetic pickup becomes warmer in sound when attached to a chambered body.

 

And I'm trying to understand how, with the actuation of the body vibration taking away sustain, as it has to if the energy of the string vibration is being taken away to make the body vibrate (simple physics, you don't get nothin' for nothin')this results in more vibration, or indeed how this more vibration is transfered from the wooden body to the outputs of the magnetic/electronic system.

 

I don't doubt that you like the sound of your chambered bodied guitar. I just bought a 336, and I'm quite enamored of the feel and playability, (though I am having the pickups changed precisely because I hate the sound coming from my amp)and the response... all of which are tactile and enjoyable, but none of which comes out the end of the jack.

 

Various guitar designs become all the rage... everyone jumped on the Les Paul bandwagon in the late 1960s early 1970s because ths solid body and thick neck yielded incredible sustain, as no vibration was lost to energising the body or neck, and the strings were free to use all of their engery to continue to vibrate. Other manufacturers started dumping dummy loads of heavy inert material into their bodies to increase mass, people started putting alternative metals into the string contact points to either increase vibration or soften it (depending upon your point of view) .... all of this stuff works to one degree or another. But the descriptions of the processes did not defy physics.

 

So far all of the descriptions of what a chambered body does for the sound of the guitar seem to be voodoo to me. Believe me, I'm on the bus as far as liking chambered bodied guitars.... but then, I always have been. I believe in different sountions for different problems, and I own a bunch of guitars to act as solutions. The explosion of chambered body guitars was the lead off in my Summer NAMM article. But all of the descriptions of what is happening sound to me like things said by your guru to get your girlfriend naked and into his hot tub... when you aren't around.

 

Bill

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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Bill,

Warmer? More vibration? I'm trying to understand how a magnetic pickup becomes warmer in sound when attached to a chambered body.
Me too :confused:

 

However, the *fact* that it sounds warmer (more mellow, whatever you want to call it), imho and experience, remains.

 

Maybe some of the gifted luthiers on the forum can explain this to this dum' ole' city boy :D

Gotta' geetar... got the amp. There must be SOMEthing else I... "need".
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Yep, they route out some of the wood in certain spots in the body. I bought the historic custom R7 over the 'cloud nine' custom LP. I didn't feel the weight savings(about a pound)was worth the extra 600.00. The mids were a little brighter, but that was the only real difference I could tell. The sustain was good. The guitar was resonate. Played fine. Had the burstbuckers in it. Finaly setteled a NOS '02 Custom Black Beauty for the 57 classics (Gibson switched to the burstbuckers in '03) and the awesome resonate qualities and feel of this particular guitar.
Play really loud and everything will be allright.
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Well, the response of the chambered body to the amplified sound from the speakers might come into play. That would influence the tone, and enhance responsiveness and sustain...

 

Dave 251, what's your input here?

Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

 

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~

_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

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Originally posted by Dances With Werewolves:

Well, the response of the chambered body to the amplified sound from the speakers might come into play. That would influence the tone, and enhance responsiveness and sustain...

 

Dave 251, what's your input here?

I doubt that this would come into play for most of us. Sweaty Teddy could give it a run, though.

 

Bill

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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Wouldn't hurt to check out what Allan Holdsworth has to say on the subject. I know that somewhere or another he has talked about why he has pursued chambered bodies with Carvin for years now...

 

I wouldn't equate a jazz box with a chambered body (or even a thinline F-hole) guitar. I think there is a huge difference what is going on when you have a bridge that is placed directly on the realatively free face of a diaphram (hollow body) versus having it mounted in a thicker or totally solid area. Big difference in vibrational transmission.

.
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Originally posted by bpark@prorec.com:

Originally posted by Dances With Werewolves:

Well, the response of the chambered body to the amplified sound from the speakers might come into play. That would influence the tone, and enhance responsiveness and sustain...

 

Dave 251, what's your input here?

I doubt that this would come into play for most of us. Sweaty Teddy could give it a run, though.

 

Bill

When I'm playing through a modeler and headphones, there's obviously not going to be any interaction that way; but when I use an amp, even at relatively low-ish volumes ;) , I can feel the difference in the guitar, subtle though it may be at times. I gravitate towards axes that have this kind of acoustic responsiveness and resonance, and I can only imagine that a thoughtfully chambered body would enhance these qualities. I really do need to try some of these out first hand sometime!

 

Old Gretsches have more differences in design and approach than the "chambered" thing; they'll generally sound more "woody" and relaxed than a Les Paul. Then again, crank up that amp, and have at it like Malcolm Young... :D

Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

 

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~

_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

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If different woods for simple solid bodies tend to speak differently, I see no reason to believe that chambering won't also have a tonal effect and a different response - not necessarily losing or gaining sustain either - just DIFFERENT. After all, wood densities have a lot to do with a particular guitar's voice. And this chambering among other things is changing a total density.
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more air DOES equal a fuller sound. this is why cutaway acoustic guitars sound like crap!
This is only true for all-ACOUSTIC instruments. And of course it also depends on what one means by "fuller". But once the instrument is also electric it just doesn't mean as much.
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Mechanical resonance of a vibrating string changes depending on the properties of the bridge/nut along with the guitar's body, doesn't it?

 

Without an Internet search, I am thinking it is a subtractive thing. Mechanical energy of the vibrating string, at different frequencies (harmonics), is absorbed by the wood. Those frequencies that are absorbed more would be less apparent to the pickup.

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Originally posted by bjorked:

 

1.more air DOES equal a fuller sound.

 

2. this is why cutaway acoustic guitars sound like crap!

 

Mike

Mike,

 

#1. acoustically. This affects the string vibration, which will affect the information that the pickup is getting. I'm just not able to understand how this translates to warm for you, while others hear brighter mids, and others seem to hear other things. I'm looking for some consistancy that can be attributed to the design concept.

 

#2. bullshit. :thu: I'll put my custom built Santa Cruz cutaway up against any acoustic you've got. Based on the Model F, it is all maple with a cutaway, Englewood spruce top, ebony neck, and it sounds... well, it sounds the way that one would expect such a guitar to sound.

 

I've also owned the same model Guild cutaway (from the 1970s) that Pat Methaney was using. Definitely did not sound like shit. I've played Leo Kottke's cutaway Martins. Sounded pretty nice to me.

 

I've even got a 1970s all maple Tanglewood Artist cutaway Washburn. The sound is so even and smooth, and the tone is so even that a lot of guys pick it to record with. When I take it out on a job, other guitariss can't beleieve that it is a Washburn. (But then, the company has been bought and sold several times since this guitar was made.)

 

There has to be something more to what we are all hearing... something that makes scientific sense and can be explained logically rather than with absolute statements and touchy-feely descriptions.

 

That old Rock Jet, looked like a Les Paul but weighed significantly less, since, though it appeared to be solid, it was hollow. The 335, with it's solid block of wood running through the body. The 336, back, sides, and neck carved from a single piece of wood with a 335 style top attached. All those cool chambered guitars that I played at NAMM.... they all have something going for them that is different. No doubt about it.

 

Bill

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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Originally posted by bjorked:

we'll have to agree to disagree :freak:

professsional classical guitarists and purists NEVER play cutaways

again, absolute statements. One irrational... since when have we been talking about classical guitar? The second, unsupportable and beside the point. What/who is a purist? Have they anything to do with either of the topics?

 

You say that a cutaway cannot sound any good. I challenge that statement. I provide support for my views, incuding my own great sounding cutaways and examples of two professionals who are well respected, from two generes of music, who play cutaways. I could list more.

 

Absolute statements are fine if they can be supported by any evidence or proof.

 

Bill

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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