#1
Gibson Multi Matched: Laminated?

A lot of the Gibson spec pages describe the guitar bodies as multi matched. Is this just another way of gibson saying their guitars are laminated?

Examples:

http://www2.gibson.com/Products/Electric-Guitars/2015/SG-Standard.aspx

http://www2.gibson.com/Products/Electric-Guitars/2015/Les-Paul-Junior.aspx

http://www2.gibson.com/Products/Electric-Guitars/2015/Les-Paul-Less-Plus.aspx

Thanks.
#2
They don’t say what it means, but I think it just means that the right an left body pieces are picked to look good together (as opposed to Fender, which is notorious for mismatched body wood). Technically all carved top Les Paul models are laminates, so Gibson uses the word “ply” to refer to a laminate of thin woods in most of its hollow and semihollow models.
#3
Quote by jpnyc
They don’t say what it means, but I think it just means that the right an left body pieces are picked to look good together (as opposed to Fender, which is notorious for mismatched body wood). Technically all carved top Les Paul models are laminates, so Gibson uses the word “ply” to refer to a laminate of thin woods in most of its hollow and semihollow models.



So synonymous for match booked perhaps? For the solid body guitars that have these multi matched top and bottoms, do you know if the pieces are solid or laminate?
#4
Quote by bachfantasia
So synonymous for match booked perhaps?


If it was bookmatched they would just say so.

Quote by bachfantasia
For the solid body guitars that have these multi matched top and bottoms, do you know if the pieces are solid or laminate?


Solid. If they were made of multiple pieces they would call them plys. And Henry J. isn’t stupid enough to think he can start selling plywood Les Pauls The exception of course are the semihollow models with solid backs and ply tops, those are obvious.
#5
Yeah, I think they would probably call it "multi" rather than "book" matched because they might end up gluing 3 pieces together instead of two.
#6
New term, same thing. It has no actual meaning outside what Gibson says it means. "Not-too-many-piece bodies that look acceptable, most of the time...", in my experience.

"Bookmatched" means a very specific thing and if they actually did that they would be sure to state in the specifications. By not using an established term, and inventing new ones each year, they can make it sound fancy and new while not being required to follow any strict rules. A common marketing device, like it or not. Most of the time, they do the same thing as they have always done.
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Last edited by HomerSGR at Dec 31, 2014,
#7
Quote by jpnyc
And Henry J. isn’t stupid enough to think he can start selling plywood Les Pauls


Yes he is -- what do you think the Zoot Suit LP and SG models are? Plywood.
#8
I'm told this means multi-piece (three or more pieces) body, "matched" (so it looks like the piece of wood next to it in terms of grain density, etc.). I'm also told that some of these might have a piece of thin mahogany over the individual pieces (normally the top) if the matching job wasn't done very well.
#10
Quote by dspellman
I'm told this means multi-piece (three or more pieces) body, "matched" (so it looks like the piece of wood next to it in terms of grain density, etc.). I'm also told that some of these might have a piece of thin mahogany over the individual pieces (normally the top) if the matching job wasn't done very well.


Jeez, I'm glad I got my guitars when I did then. Not that it affects the sound any but still... I can figure out what multi-piece means, but if they're going to doo such a poor job they need to veneer it, I'd almost be just as well off with an Epiphone (the les pauls I think they do a good job with, the SG's not so much).
Last edited by Hydra26 at Dec 31, 2014,
#11
Quote by dspellman
Yes he is -- what do you think the Zoot Suit LP and SG models are? Plywood.


In that case it was pretty obvious.
#12
In love with the LP Traditional in Tobacco Burst. No freakin way Im going to hand over that much money for it though...
#13
Quote by jpnyc
In that case it was pretty obvious.


And I thought a few of them looked pretty cool. That stuff has been used for rifle stocks for years; I'm guessing the company that makes it made Gibson a deal on the wood.
#14
Quote by dspellman
I'm told this means multi-piece (three or more pieces) body, "matched" (so it looks like the piece of wood next to it in terms of grain density, etc.). I'm also told that some of these might have a piece of thin mahogany over the individual pieces (normally the top) if the matching job wasn't done very well.



Yeah, pretty much. I sent Gibson an email and they responded back to me.

Me:
A lot of your spec pages describe the bodies as "Pieces: Multi Matched" such as the Les Paul Junior 2015 http://www2.gibson.com/Products/Electric-Guitars/2015/Les-Paul-Junior.aspx Does multi matched just mean laminated? Thanks.

Gibson:
Thanks for the email. It does not. This uses solid mahogany for the body. The pieces have the full thickness of the body, and are glued side by side(not thin layered pieces as used on laminate guitars). Thanks again.

Why do you think they don't just use 1 whole piece to make the body? Is it that hard to do?
#15
Quote by bachfantasia
Yeah, pretty much. I sent Gibson an email and they responded back to me.

Me:
A lot of your spec pages describe the bodies as "Pieces: Multi Matched" such as the Les Paul Junior 2015 http://www2.gibson.com/Products/Electric-Guitars/2015/Les-Paul-Junior.aspx Does multi matched just mean laminated? Thanks.

Gibson:
Thanks for the email. It does not. This uses solid mahogany for the body. The pieces have the full thickness of the body, and are glued side by side(not thin layered pieces as used on laminate guitars). Thanks again.

Why do you think they don't just use 1 whole piece to make the body? Is it that hard to do?


It's hard to get wood that big for bodies, plus one piece bodies are more likely to warp.
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Quote by Anonden
You CAN play anything with anything....but some guitars sound right for some things, and not for others. Single coils sound retarded for metal, though those who are apeshit about harpsichord probably beg to differ.
#16
Single piece bodies exist but are more expensive because of the way lumber is produced. Loggers don't like selling very wide pieces because it's an inefficient use of the tree. You have to cut out of the center and then it leaves smaller pieces on the side. They'd rather have more uniform pieces than fewer pieces of varying size. Harder to sell. Plus a tree wide enough for a guitar body is pretty big, if you think about it. Probably harder to come by.

Single piece bodies are not uncommon on more expensive instruments and custom guitars.
#17
Quote by Roc8995
Single piece bodies exist but are more expensive because of the way lumber is produced. Loggers don't like selling very wide pieces because it's an inefficient use of the tree. You have to cut out of the center and then it leaves smaller pieces on the side. They'd rather have more uniform pieces than fewer pieces of varying size. Harder to sell. Plus a tree wide enough for a guitar body is pretty big, if you think about it. Probably harder to come by.

Single piece bodies are not uncommon on more expensive instruments and custom guitars.



Thanks Roc.

So for the Les Pauls that have different tops and bottoms, basically there are four pieces? Two pieces to make the front and two pieces to make the back, then they glue the front and back together?
Last edited by bachfantasia at Jan 5, 2015,
#18
Quote by bachfantasia
Why do you think they don't just use 1 whole piece to make the body? Is it that hard to do?


1-piece bodies are reserved for the high-end Customshop-stuff. It's not like it's easy or cheap to get those big pieces of wood of the quality needed, and it would mean a lot of waste. There's just no reason to use 1-piece bodies on regular production lines. The buyers recognize it as a premium feature, and 2-3-piece bodies does not perform any worse.
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#19
I have several one-piece bodies, but they're mostly on pretty expensive guitars.

Smaller individual pieces are cheaper for Gibson.
#20
Quote by bachfantasia
Thanks Roc.

So for the Les Pauls that have different tops and bottoms, basically there are four pieces? Two pieces to make the front and two pieces to make the back, then they glue the front and back together?

Yes. That would be for the Standards and such. Cheaper models probably have even more pieces to the back, I wouldn't be surprised at 3 or 4. Guitars finished in solid colors often have more pieces since they're hidden. Fender/Squier is pretty well known for making guitars out of 4 or 5 pieces, and occasionally more.
#21
Quote by Roc8995
Yes. That would be for the Standards and such. Cheaper models probably have even more pieces to the back, I wouldn't be surprised at 3 or 4. Guitars finished in solid colors often have more pieces since they're hidden. Fender/Squier is pretty well known for making guitars out of 4 or 5 pieces, and occasionally more.


So the term solid wood is used by guitar companies as long as the wood that is being glued together isn't being glued on top or on the bottom with multiple layers (laminated guitars), just side to side. Seems like there should be another across the board term used such as "Pieced Guitars" vs solid wood to make it clear that that the guitar isn't make from just one piece of wood.
Last edited by bachfantasia at Jan 5, 2015,
#22
Quote by bachfantasia
So the term solid wood is used by guitar companies as long as the wood that is being glued together isn't being glued on top or on the bottom with multiple layers (laminated guitars), just side to side. Seems like there should be another across the board term used such as "Pieced Guitars" vs solid wood to make it clear that that the guitar isn't make from just one piece of wood.


If you think marketing is going to give you that, I have news for you... Solid wood means just that. Solid wood. (Not plywood or particleboard - otherwise referred to as engineered wood.) That several pieces for objects as big as guitarbodies shouldn't need to be said. The marketing department will definitely tell you when a guitar is made out of one piece though.

Fender typically uses around 5 pieces of wood for the Mexican Standard-series, and then cover the bodies with veneer to make it easy to finish (the finish would sink in at the seams as the wood shifts otherwise). (My source on this is factory tour-photos as well as photos of stripped bodies circulating the net, just google it.)

It still qualifies as solid wood, because that is what it is.
"Your signature can not be longer than 250 characters."

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Apparently once also known as PonyFan #834553.
#23
Quote by HomerSGR

It still qualifies as solid wood, because that is what it is.


As opposed to, say, solidified dehydrated Cheese Whiz fortified with earwax and toenail clippings. Wood...ish.
#24
^^^ Correct. I am yet to come across a guitar made of such a material as you describe.

My Gibson Studio is a three piece body with a maple cap. My Epi LP is a two piece with a birdseye maple cap. Does that mean that if I swapped the important bits out of my delicious sounding Gibson into my less delicious sounding Epi would it be as delicious as the Gibson just because the Epi is a 2 piece body (appears to be book matched too but no evidence of the body having a veneer on the back before anyone says anything)? Who knows. I can tell you one thing, my Korean Epi is much nicer aesthetically than the Gibson... By quite a way too.
#26
Yes. Well, one-piece body. Guitars made entirely out of one piece of wood are exceptionally rare, I've never come across one except as special pieces by one-man custom shops.

Every time I've heard of "one-piece" when referring to an electric it is assumed that it's referring only to the body.