Gibson Guitars 1550-07 GUS User Manual

Page 15

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The solidbody guitar was invented to increase sustain, produce a brilliant tone, and

eliminate feedback caused by a vibrating top. These qualities are enhanced by wood with high
density, such as maple. Les Paul would have preferred for his model to have had a solid maple
body, but density translates to weight, and a solid maple Les Paul Model would have been exceed-
ingly heavy. A compromise was reached, with lighter-weight mahogany used for the main part of
the body and maple for the top cap. Most of the carved-top Les Pauls have the combination
maple/mahogany body, while the “slab” or flat top models have a solid mahogany body. Flying
V’s, Explorers, and Firebirds have a solid mahogany body.

Neck and Headstock.

Mahogany is a time-proven material for guitar necks, and the necks of most

Gibson USA models are constructed of a single piece of mahogany. The Firebird or Thunderbird
IV bass neck is made of nine-ply mahogany and walnut (or all mahogany laminates), and it
extends completely through the body. Fingerboards are of ebony or rosewood.