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You can use any wood combination that you want to really. There is no right way to build a guitar (in my experience) unless it's either too light or too heavy.

If you you want the classic Les Paul sound build a set neck guitar with mahogany body and neck, maple top, and ebony or rosewwod fingerboard, 24.625" scale length and go with a pair of humbucker pickups. The bridge will be a stop tailpiece and tune-o-matic.

If you don't really care if it sounds like a Les Paul then use whatever strikes you. Try an alder body, maple top, maple neck, rosewood fingerboard. Or black limba body, top, and neck with a brazilian rosewood fingerboard (killer tone combo). Or try african mahogany body and neck, koa top, ebony fingerboard. How about a redwood body, mahogany neck, ebony fretboard. Or perhaps a padauk body, african mahogany neck, and a rosewood fingerboard with a 25" scale length.

Will you use a tremolo? What pickups will you use? P-90s, humbuckers, or single coils? A possible pickup combination would be cool like H-S-H or H-S-S. How about 3 P-90s?

What about scale length? This will affect things quite a bit. A Les Paul is usually 24.625" or thereabouts. Try 25" or 25.5" for different feel and tone.

How about a semi-hollow design or a chambered body. That changes things a bit.

What I am getting at is that there are so many factors in building a custom guitar that you really need to know what you are looking for first before you start picking woods. That is unless you want to experiment entirely. Either way is still pretty fun.

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Tnks man.

I would like to build a classic Les Paul but i dont know how heavy the guitar would be. Cause i've heard people say they are heavy.

Cause i once played a heavy guitar dont really remembre how heavy and Man i had this backache, i stayed in bed like 30 min.

Anyway i just wanted to know what kind of woods u would recommend for a nice sound and not so heavy guitar.

Best Regards.


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Any Les Paul Custom is gonna be heavy. I own a 1980 Custom that weighs a ton, but guess what, it sounds unbelievable great. But, I also have a 87' Les Paul Custom Lite that sounds awesome and is ultra thin. I guess they was trying to compete with the shred guitars of the 80's because that guitar is one of the lightest, best playing Les Paul's I've ever played. I really need to get the specs off that guitar, since I'm sure alot of people would love to build one just as light.

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To lighten the guitar up you can also try chambering the body before glueing the top onto it. Here is a pic of an older chambering design:


Anything will work really as long as you keep enough wood to router pickups and neck slots into you should be fine. Using this technique I have made some pretty lightweight mahogany guitars that still retain the mahogony tone.

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A lot of Strats and Teles were made with flatsawn wood. You want the wood to be straight and without warp. A good truss rod will correct for the string tension but the neck needs to be of a wood that will bend stright and not twist. A good flatsawn board will work as well as a quarterd one but it will not be as strong. Is it anything to worry about? With the small amount of tension of an electric guitar, no.

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I hope this isn't too off topic but concerning the heavy maple:

I recently built an all maple guitar which to me sounds incredible. It's heavy but it's worth it. I use it to play harder music so I don't know if it would be good for pearly sounding music or not. I like the sound of it so much that I've planned a couple of all maple guitars to be built soon.

When you read about maple's timbre characteristics (on rampart for example), you always see that it is described as bright. There's a couple of things to think about:

1. Bright does not = bad. For some people it may but don't knock it until you've heard it for yourself. I used to think that because I like to use a scooped EQ that a bright sounding guitar would not be a good match - not true.

2. Not all maple guitars will sound bright. I have heard a couple of all maple guitars that actually have a "warm" sound. This isn't just what my ears were hearing - a group of people were commenting about this at a clinic I recently attended where the guitarist was playing an all maple guitar. Electronics probably play a big role but keep in mind that all maple doesn't always mean bright sound.

That's all for my mini maple rant. Thanks for reading - I return you now to your regular programming.

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I have a couple all flamed maple guitars and one solid quilted 7-string almost done. It's very misunderstood. I make them thinner to trim some weight, and one's a Satriani style so that's not too heavy either. It's very open in the upper midrange, and it's a strong, cutting sound. The beauty is you can combine it with pickups that have fat low end, and not be concerned that it will be muddy like a Les Paul. It's nothing to be afraid of. Now soft maple, like lots of Korean guitars use, is a little harder to get a good sound from. It doesn't have the sustain or attack of hard maple, but it does have the brighter sound which makes it sound sort of cheap overall IMHO. Maple would be great for the scooped sounds because it's so strong in the mids that you would avoid sounding weak. Bright really isn't the right word. More like tight and sharp with strong mids. That 7-string is going to be great. The low B is tight and not muddy (string through TOM) I've had it strung once already. I don't know why it's not used more for 7's. I have one more piece of the solid quilt and I may use it for an 8 string.

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I'll try to post a recording of the (almost) all maple guitar I built. Its a Carvin neck-thru with birdseye maple wings and two small strips of mahogany.

The pickups are Schaller Golden 50's. I get a good "classic rock" sound. Sort of a classic Les Paul sound just slightly brighter. With coil splitting, I can get a decent Strat sound as well. It ended up being a pretty versatile guitar.


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