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Tonal Differences Between Mahogany & Maple Top

Stoj

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Oct 6, 2006
Messages
3,502
Hi Guys,

I am currently in discussion with a guy who owns a 1957 GT which he has for sale is mahogany.

I am wondering if there is a major difference in tone/sound between Mahogany vs. Maple Top ?

Is mahogany less desirable than maple ?

Thanks in advance :salude
 
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mingus

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Apr 3, 2006
Messages
4,243
I've played a few all-mahogany '57 GTs and I distinctly recall two of those that were stellar guitars. I think you just need to evaluate these (as you should any guitar) on a case-by-case basis.
 

RAB

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Mar 17, 2005
Messages
2,110
If anything I believe the solid mahogany Les Paul Standards and Customs are inherently a little "warmer" sounding than their maple topped brethren. I owned a '59 original 2 PAF LP Custom that sounded fabulous...the warmth of the mahogany body was somewhat offset by the brightness of the ebony board...in any case, an all 'hog LP Standard would be worth checking out! Should be priced considerably lower than an equivalent maple top version IMHO...
 

Tom Wittrock

Les Paul Forum Co-Owner
Joined
Aug 2, 2001
Messages
42,567
Hi Guys,

I am currently in discussion with a guy who owns a 1957 GT which he has for sale is mahogany.

I am wondering if there is a major difference in tone/sound between Mahogany vs. Maple Top ?

Is mahogany less desirable than maple ?

Thanks in advance :salude

In general [and in the marketplace] all mahogany is slightly less desirable than a maple top version.

Personally, I would never reject a Goldtop for that reason alone. :)
 

Guitardon

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Feb 3, 2002
Messages
2,129
I love my 56 Custom and when recording it along with my maple top historic there was very little difference in tone on the recording. I say play it, if it sounds good to you - buy it. Don't look for the educated answer like "mahogany this and maple that" but instead use your ears!
 

mbowen

New member
Joined
Mar 6, 2009
Messages
5,022
In general [and in the marketplace] all mahogany is slightly less desirable than a maple top version.

Personally, I would never reject a Goldtop for that reason alone. :)
TW said it all before i could -a big +1 Mike B.--Mike Reeder had a bunch of goldtops 6-7 last time i was there [a while ago]--including a 57 all mahogany.Mike B.
 

JJ Blair

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Jan 9, 2011
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3,456
I have found that acoustically, LPs can sound so different from one to the next that the generalizations of construction don't matter. I've heard maple caps that sound more like all hog, and vice versa. Play the guitar, and if you love the tone and the feel, then it's the one for you.
 

TM1

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 27, 2003
Messages
8,101
Well, my `57 Reissue Custom(yes, I know it's the Vintage Section...) is brighter than my R-8 or R-0. All three have been to Historic Makeovers BTW..
Oh and my 1959 L.P. Special is also a bit brighter than my maple capped Lesters.
I've played alot of original `50's Custom's and tonally they were each different. But like Guitardon said, to tape it's very hard to tell the difference. My Custom sounds massive when I record with it.
 

hoss

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Aug 1, 2004
Messages
6,734
The Customs have an Ebony board and a larger headstock which adds brightness to the tone.

An all Mahogany body alone however will sound darker than a body with Maple top.

68 Customs are my favorites as they have a Maple top.
 

TM1

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Jun 27, 2003
Messages
8,101
Hoss; Both my `59 Special and my `60 Melody Maker are bright guitars.
 

hoss

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Aug 1, 2004
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Hoss; Both my `59 Special and my `60 Melody Maker are bright guitars.
As are SGs. But all of those are different constructions than Les Pauls. Thin, flat bodies.
 

Stoj

Active member
Joined
Oct 6, 2006
Messages
3,502
Thanks guys,

I appreciate all your comments & feedback. I would always normally try before I buy however in this case the guitar is in the US and I wont be able to check it out. I'll be in Europe in Sept & wont be able to take time off to check the guitar out.

The guitar in question is all original & in nice condition (no breaks, all original parts, player wear but nothing outrageous)

I know without seeing the guitar it hard to determine price, however where do you see a 1957 GT Hog in terms of price range (Ballpark) :salude

It's a hard decision for me as I'm also looking at a 1960 Burst which again is in great condition all original (yada, yada, yada) I am trying to find out as much info before ruling any guitar out. I just want to be certain that the reason Hog GT are considerably cheaper is not because they are dogs, but I think you guys have ruled that out as a general rule.

Thanks again :salude
 
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