When you’re in the market for a new and premium guitar, you will crash into the name Les Paul or Gibson Les Paul once in a while. They are known for their versatility in a wide range of music genres like Pop, Jazz, Rock, Country, Soul, and many more.
They have been around for a long time and are also renowned for their premium build quality. And of course with that, comes heftiness. We will go down on a brief discussion about how much they weigh and what makes them heavier than other guitars on the market.
Origin of Les Paul Guitars
Les Paul while being a consultant at Gibson Guitar was experimenting with different Guitar designs when he came up with a solid-body prototype. He named it “The Log”, often referred to as the first-ever solid-body built Spanish guitar. This was the start of the famous Les Paul guitar.
The unique body structure on a Spanish guitar was its main highlight at the time. And they were also being constantly experimented with to further enhance their sound signature and build.
It is remarkable at being able to play different genres of music. For its versatility, many chose this over everything else because it was just convenient for people.
It was also popularized for its build quality as it excelled for its build. The structure of it was unique and different from any other in the market. Their sound is unmatched with any other of the competition. They can literally be played on any music stage with just a few tweaks.
They are used by some famous artists like Les Paul himself, Slash, Jimmy Page, Billy Gibbons, Randy Rhoads, Gary Moore, and many more. This is because they are unique in every way and are so versatile in their sound signature that many famous artists used them.
Weight of Guitar
The weight of a guitar depends on every single part of its build starting from the material used for making the guitar to the shape and structure. We will go through every detail which contributes to the weight of a guitar. Let’s get started with it.
The biggest factor which contributes the most to the weight of the body is the material that is used. The majority of guitars are made from wood. But the story doesn’t end here. The weight of the guitar also depends on which type of wood you’re using on the guitar.
Different wood has a different density to them which makes them heavier or lighter than other woods. And considering that, the wood which has more density is also less prone to damage and is good for the longevity of the guitar. So, many people want their guitar to be built with good wood to ensure its longevity.
Let’s see the different types of wood and how they differ.
Basswood: Basswood is known for its lightweight build having a density of around 300-600kg/m3.
Alder: Alder has a density of around 400-700kg/m3.
Swamp Ash: Density of about 450-550kg/m3.
Walnut: Walnut is a popular choice among mid-budget guitars having a density of 650-700kg/m3.
Mahogany: Mahogany is for the top-tier build quality guitars consisting of a density of 650-700kg/m3.
Maple: Maple wood is the highest density wood that is used to build a premium acoustic guitar. It has a density of 550-750kg/m3.
By this, we get to know how the selection of wood can make a guitar heavier.
Shape and Size
The shape and size of a guitar is another important factor that has a direct impact on its weight. If you’ve been looking into guitars, you may have noticed that there are many different shapes and sizes of guitars.
The thickness of a guitar, the shape, its size determines the amount of material that is used to make the guitar. And the smaller the size of the guitar, the less wood is used to make it. This helps with it being lightweight and easy to carry.
On the other hand, you’ll see some obnoxiously big guitars. Like a multi-neck guitar are usually a lot bigger than traditional guitars. Also, they consist of multiple necks which also contribute to the weight.
Traditional electric guitars are built in such a way that reduces the shape of is as much as it can which also feeling comfortable on the hand to play. You’ll also see some guitar which has no head to them like the Strandberg. They weigh a lot less than traditionally shaped guitars but they also feel a little unbalanced on the hands.
Body-Structure and type
There can be seen a lot of different body types in the guitar market for even guitars of the same category. This is because people have different preferences for their guitars. Some like their guitar to be a little lightweight while losing some durability and whereas others like the heftiness of a guitar with the promise of better build quality.
In an acoustic guitar, we’ll see that they are generally quite big guitars but they are hollow on the inside. This is because they need to resonate with their own sound. Whereas electric guitars work through amps and so they don’t need to resonate with their sound. So they are much smaller in size and also don’t necessarily need to be heavy.
But there are different build types in electric guitars that we will be discussing below.
Solid: Solid guitars are made of a whole block of wood or few blocks of wood glued together with no chambering or gaps in them. They are solid blocks of wood which also means they are heavier and more durable.
Semi-hollow: These guitars have large portions of gaps in them. This is to reduce the weight of the guitar. This is seen in a lot of budget-oriented electric guitars.
Chambering: These are a way to reduce the weight of a typical solid electric guitar but not like a semi-hollow guitar. They also are much more durable than semi-hollows. This is made by using a whole block of wood or few blocks glued together. After that, a few gaps are made on the side of the guitars creating chambers of hollow places in the guitar.
Build of Les Paul Guitars
Now let’s talk about how Les Paul guitars are made and structured.
The first part is the material that is used in Les Paul guitars. They are made up of Mahogany wood. And as we know, Mahony is one of the heaviest wood types that can be used to make guitars. They are also quite good-looking and have very good durability for their high density.
The second is the shape and size of the guitar. The shape of it is like any other traditional electric guitar. So, they don’t cut off any part of their body to reduce the weight. They are made to feel premium in hand.
Lastly is their body type. Most electric guitars use either a semi-hollow build or a chambering build. This reduces the weight of the guitar for it to be easily carried around. But, Les Paul guitars are made of solid wood. They are made with no chambering or gaps in the wood. Because of this, their weight increases exponentially making them some of the heaviest electric guitars.
How Much Does a Les Paul guitar Weigh?
A Les Paul Guitar weighs around 9-12 lbs. or 4-5.5 kg. This is typically on the higher range of weight on the typically electric guitar types. This is because of their exceptional build quality and durability.
Other guitars brands like Stratocaster weigh around 7-8.5 lbs. or 3-3.8 kg. This is because they have a much different build than the Les Paul guitars. They use different techniques to weigh down their guitar for more comfortable use.
But that being said, many people enjoy the weight of Les Paul guitars as their build has a very nice quality feel to them and they also feel really balanced. Their use of Mahogany has made a lot of guitarists fall in love with the way they look and feel.
Also, let’s not forget, they are exceptional in their sound signature and their versatility in music can’t be beaten by any other competitors.
Les Paul guitars are made from years of experience and experimentation from an actual guitarist. Their sound and build are unique and defined on their own terms. Only those who used a Les Paul guitar will know how good it feels to play it and how much you can actually do with it.
We hope from this article you were able to learn a bit more about Les Paul guitars and why many people love them so much. And our brief discussion as to how guitars are constructed gave you a little more insight into why Les Paul guitars are so incredible.
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