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Famous bursts that are light?

tpvl

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Jun 28, 2021
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7
Hi, a while ago I tried a LP briefly while I was shopping for strings and some stuff. It was quite light so I asked the weight, and I was told it was 8.2lbs or so iirc. It sounded ok to me… It sounded kinda tele-ish and just, hmm, refused to rock. It didn’t have the LP rock tone to me, i felt like I was playing a Gibson PRS if you know what I mean. Heck, it even sounded more polite than my PRS.

Most famous LP’s I know are on the heavier side, not boat anchor heavy but above 8.5lbs at least, around 9lbs I believe. I was wondering if there are any famous ones that are light but still roar?

The one I tried makes me think, is it because it’s light so it didn’t rock, and all light LP’s sound like that, or simply because the pickups in it were too polite?
 

sws1

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Dec 4, 2001
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Don't draw any conclusions from trying 1 guitar. They're all different.

BTW - Everyone's definition of "rock", and "roar", and "sounds better" (and all the other terms that come up when people try to compare guitars) are different.
 

JPP-1

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Jul 11, 2006
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1,307
Hi, a while ago I tried a LP briefly while I was shopping for strings and some stuff. It was quite light so I asked the weight, and I was told it was 8.2lbs or so iirc. It sounded ok to me… It sounded kinda tele-ish and just, hmm, refused to rock. It didn’t have the LP rock tone to me, i felt like I was playing a Gibson PRS if you know what I mean. Heck, it even sounded more polite than my PRS.

Most famous LP’s I know are on the heavier side, not boat anchor heavy but above 8.5lbs at least, around 9lbs I believe. I was wondering if there are any famous ones that are light but still roar?

The one I tried makes me think, is it because it’s light so it didn’t rock, and all light LP’s sound like that, or simply because the pickups in it were too polite?

I don’t think you can draw a significant correlation between weight and tone. At least not +/- .5 lbs.

Something to consider, didn’t Slash give Joe Perry his relatively heavy Les Paul back partly because he didn’t care much for the tone. Slash is a true Les Paul connoisseur in addition to being an incredible guitarist.
 

Señor Verde

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Jan 13, 2005
Messages
514
I have an R8 and R7 that both weigh right at 8.2 lbs. They sound very different and both rock to my ears.
 

tpvl

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Jun 28, 2021
Messages
7
Thank you guys. First time played a lightweight LP so it made me wonder.

Any famous LPs that are lightweight?
 

Sol

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Oct 26, 2001
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715
The mass, unrestrained consumption of Mahogany really took off with the Arts and Crafts movement of the mid 19th early 20th c. Charles Rennie Mackintosh, loved Mahogany above all other woods and Cuba was the first port of call for the most attractive, beautiful Mahogany, followed by Honduras. Cuba was eventually relieved of practically every single usable tree until the island was bare, and so onto Honduras..

The point is that Central America is Mahogany's personal 'eden'. Perfect mineral composition of soil, perfect humidity, precipitation, sunlight hours, all at the optimum latitude at which Mahogany thrives in a way it does not anywhere else.

Mahogany will grow in wetter far more humid conditions than it will in hotter drier environments. This is the reason that the hunt for Mahogany went south. I don't know when the acquisition of Mahogany from South America went into full gear, but we do know that finding the lightweight Mahogany of higher latitudes became ever more difficult.

The primary reason for the heavier, darker hued Mahogany is thought to be the Silica content of the soils found in the more tropical environments now having to meet the worldwide demand for the wood.

However it seems that sensitive planting many yrs ago in Honduras and elsewhere in Central America is now bearing fruit in the form of trees with enough width and maturity to be once again commercially viable.
Hopefully we will learn from the mistakes of the past, and treasure this renewable but oh so fragile gift of nature for all our futures.
 

asapmaz

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Jun 19, 2003
Messages
279
I believe Page’s #1 is quite light.
But, yes, a few of the famous tone monsters such as the Beast, Pearly, etc. are over 9lbs.
 

sws1

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2,643
I believe Page’s #1 is quite light.
But, yes, a few of the famous tone monsters such as the Beast, Pearly, etc. are over 9lbs.

And most of what you're hearing with the Beast and Pearly are higher output PAFs.
 

MikeSlub

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Jul 15, 2001
Messages
14,872
Interesting thread. I'll have to weigh my Bursts. I know my '58 is heavier relative to the '59s and the '60 just by holding it.

They all sound different, and my guess is that it is a combination of the wood and the differences in the PAFs.

One thing I will say about PAFs is that besides most people focusing on and raving about the bridge pickup, in the neck position there is a beautiful and articulate clarity to them, not dark or muddy sounding.

BTW, most of Gibson's mahogany nowadays comes from Fiji.
 

corpse

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Jun 9, 2007
Messages
4,149
I had a burst visit for a few months and spent most of the time on the neck pickup - I "seasoned" with the bridge, and back to the neck. To me, on this one, there was tremendous tonal similarity between the two- the neck was just "bigger". The bridge had bite.
 

Sol

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Oct 26, 2001
Messages
715
Interesting thread. I'll have to weigh my Bursts. I know my '58 is heavier relative to the '59s and the '60 just by holding it.

They all sound different, and my guess is that it is a combination of the wood and the differences in the PAFs.

One thing I will say about PAFs is that besides most people focusing on and raving about the bridge pickup, in the neck position there is a beautiful and articulate clarity to them, not dark or muddy sounding.

BTW, most of Gibson's mahogany nowadays comes from Fiji.

A 1952 - 1960 Les Paul made with Honduran Mahogany weighing in below 8lb 5oz and above 9lb 7oz is unusual.
In the excellent book 'The Beauty of the Burst' the weight averages out at approx 8lb 12oz, however the book doesn't cover the 6 yr period 1952 to 1958 when gold top became sunburst. In addition the owners only publish the weight on certain guitars, which gives me the impression that perhaps owners are sensitive to the weight should it affect value down the road. We might bear this in mind re :weight..

Honduras Mahogany is not the lightest Mahogany type available to Gibson and while I hold no strong opinion on the species being used, it has become something of the norm to consider any flame maple topped sunburst Les Paul as heavy if it weighs 9 lb.
R9s at 8lb 2 or 3oz are not uncommon anymore, and I suppose Gibson are just trying to meet demand, can't blame them for that, but if genuine Honduras Mahogany is to have a future then guitarists are going to have to get used to a little more weight on their straps. IMHO.
 

sws1

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Dec 4, 2001
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2,643
A 1952 - 1960 Les Paul made with Honduran Mahogany weighing in below 8lb 5oz and above 9lb 7oz is unusual.
In the excellent book 'The Beauty of the Burst' the weight averages out at approx 8lb 12oz, however the book doesn't cover the 6 yr period 1952 to 1958 when gold top became sunburst. In addition the owners only publish the weight on certain guitars, which gives me the impression that perhaps owners are sensitive to the weight should it affect value down the road. We might bear this in mind re :weight..

Honduras Mahogany is not the lightest Mahogany type available to Gibson and while I hold no strong opinion on the species being used, it has become something of the norm to consider any flame maple topped sunburst Les Paul as heavy if it weighs 9 lb.
R9s at 8lb 2 or 3oz are not uncommon anymore, and I suppose Gibson are just trying to meet demand, can't blame them for that, but if genuine Honduras Mahogany is to have a future then guitarists are going to have to get used to a little more weight on their straps. IMHO.

That table in the book represents a very small sample of the total number, so taking into account sampling error, the likely range is probably high 7 to high 9lbs. (It's math.) I know of at least 2 bursts at 8lbs or lighter. And I've seen a GT at 7.5lb. (Pretty sure I've seen one at 9.5, but that could be defective memory.) There's an early '58 GT that weighs over 10lb.

50s customs often weighed much more. Which tells me that there was some human grading of wood involved...and not just genetics. (If you can have a 10+lb custom and 7.5lb GT, the suggested variability becomes greater.)

FWIW - I suspect the average is in the upper 8s. But that's anecdotal...and not based on the BOTB book.
 

corpse

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Jun 9, 2007
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AND you have to take in plain old "they weighed it wrong"- shit- the colors- the keystone/lynchpin part of the book- are wrong, perhaps depending on the printing you get- but mostly wrong! To me BOTB is not the definitive tome I once thought it was.
 

Sol

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Oct 26, 2001
Messages
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I entirely concede that the botb records only those bursts that owners were proud to have published RE: the tech details of their guitars , including the weight of their bursts. As I said in my initial post the details of all 52-58 goldtop Les Paul's are absent from the botb record. That's six years of technical details missing. The book covers just three years of 58 to 60 sunbursts.

I deliberately omitted Customs for obvious reasons.

The bell curve of known and established weight stands and gives an accurate, although thoroughly incomplete record of weight during this pre 1960 period. This in time, may be proven to be completely inaccurate.

I just like to provoke any dialogue between the experts that often prefer the quieter corners of this great forum in the hope that they might emerge and just blow us all away with the knowledge I just know is bubbling away beneath the surface.. If it takes a few carefully placed inaccuracies or happy mistakes on my part to draw them out to enlighten us, so much the better for all of us..
 
Last edited:

MikeSlub

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Started a new thread with the actual, accurate weights of my vintage Les Pauls here:

 

sws1

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Dec 4, 2001
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2,643
That table in the book represents a very small sample of the total number, so taking into account sampling error, the likely range is probably high 7 to high 9lbs. (It's math.) I know of at least 2 bursts at 8lbs or lighter. And I've seen a GT at 7.5lb. (Pretty sure I've seen one at 9.5, but that could be defective memory.) There's an early '58 GT that weighs over 10lb.

50s customs often weighed much more. Which tells me that there was some human grading of wood involved...and not just genetics. (If you can have a 10+lb custom and 7.5lb GT, the suggested variability becomes greater.)

FWIW - I suspect the average is in the upper 8s. But that's anecdotal...and not based on the BOTB book.

Correcting my own post. I now know of a famous burst that weighs 9 3/4 lbs.
 
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