09-25-2010 08:16 AM
09-25-2010 08:19 AM
Better with the solid no maple cap maple neck config or better with the gibson style maple cap mahogany neck chambering?
09-25-2010 11:36 AM
09-25-2010 11:59 AM
09-25-2010 12:21 PM
In my opinion, there are a couple of design flaws in the original Gibson Les Paul design:
For one thing, humbuckers can create a dark sound...especially the later designed ones from the late 60's and 70's that feature higher gain (more windings) and wax-potting. The original Les Pauls were developed for use with P-90's and wax potting wasn't done...so the original body design was developed for brighter pickups. Then "PAF" humbuckers showed up to reduce hum...but THEY were still sort of bright due to the lack of wax potting and lower output. Even then, it was decided that an all-mahogany guitar was kind of dark sounding, so a "maple cap" was added to the original LP body to brighten the sound.
Then later the lighter mahogany started becoming scarce so Les Paul addressed the problem by chambering their guitars, which drops the resonance further. With the pickup change from P-90's to humbuckers to overwound wax-potted humbuckers...and the body going to chambered design...you can see a problem mounting that Les Pauls were getting too muddy sounding. This isn't a problem as much for overdriven metal tones...but a lot of clarity gets lost playing clean or mildly overdriven.
Another design flaw that's well documented is the weak headstock neck joint.
It's a design problem because a glued-in neck can only have the truss rod surface at the headstock...and the headstock/neck angle gets a lot of pressure. The result is that Les Pauls break often at the neck. (feel free to deny this if you like...but it's pretty commonplace) This is especially true these days because mahogany is getting scarce...so that it's being used less often cut quartersawn...so it's less strong and more apt to break.
The answer to this design problem would be to use a stronger wood for the neck like maple...and to use a "scarf joint" there so that the wood is stronger at that location. One-piece mahogany is more expensive, so this kind of construction isn't as widely accepted..but it does make a stronger neck at that location. The maple neck also adds brightness to the sound. Probably more so than a maple cap does. Also the lack of chambering makes the guitar brighter. So basically Agile Les Paul copies retain a lot of brightness and strength at the headstock over Gibson Les Pauls.
Bottom line: Agiles are a bit brighter sounding than Gibson Les Pauls due to the maple neck and lack of chambering...which in my opinion is a good thing.
Les Pauls are dark sounding enough compared to single coil guitars like Fenders due to the humbuckers being there. Agiles are also a little tougher built. The downside is that they are heavier...but I have to say a lot of 70's Gibson Les Pauls are just as heavy due to lack of chambering, pancake design etc.
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