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Stupid Les Paul question


 Crow
(@crow)
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Topic starter  

Short of taking a circular saw to my mid-'60s Cortez Les Paul bolt-neck, is there a way to tell if there is a maple cap on top of the (solid mahogany) body?

"You can't write a chord ugly enough to say what you want to say sometimes, so you have to rely on a giraffe filled with whipped cream." - Frank Zappa


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(@anonymous)
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Joined: 15 years ago
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if a pickup cavity hasn't been painted, or if you sand it off, you might be able to see if there's a cap, or possibly look under the bridge or in a screw/electronics hole.
cortez guitars are now cort guitars, and you may be able to contact the company for an answer.


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(@trguitar)
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Not stupid and Jason had a good answer. I'd be shocked to find a bolt had a maple cap though. :?

"Work hard, rock hard, eat hard, sleep hard,
grow big, wear glasses if you need 'em."
-- The Webb Wilder Credo --


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 Crow
(@crow)
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Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 554
Topic starter  

Thanks Jason, I'll look more closely, with sandpaper in hand.
I'd be shocked to find a bolt had a maple cap though. :?

Me too. But it IS a solid-wood body, not plywood, and I'm pretty sure it's mahogany. The fingerboard is ebony (I'm 90 percent certain of that -- but I don't really know how to identify wood). I know the pre-Cort Cortez made some decent set-neck LP copies. This thing cost me $5 at a Goodwill store, but the (beefy) neck is dead straight, and after some repairs the guitar tunes up well and seems pretty lively when played unamplified. It's better than I expected. And I love the string-spacing, the wide fingerboard. This will my first playable Les Paul-ish guitar.

"You can't write a chord ugly enough to say what you want to say sometimes, so you have to rely on a giraffe filled with whipped cream." - Frank Zappa


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(@anonymous)
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Joined: 15 years ago
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didn't notice you said it was a bolt on. you also might be able to tell by taking off the neck, again if the wood hasn't been painted over or with some sandpaper.
obviously you don't want to sand through where it would show, unless you're going for a fake relic look.


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(@trguitar)
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Joined: 16 years ago
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Sounds like a good buy! I'd love to see pics ...... being I am such a Les Paul fan. Keep in mind, a maple cap is not the end all be all thing that makes it a good guitar. I'm pretty sure my Gibson Les Pauls are straight up mahogony, as they have a painted finish with no binding, and they sound great. My other various Les Pauls and copies have verneer tops. I know my Agiles have a 1/16" maple top verneer. I'm not sure about my Epiphones.

On a similar note ..... I have a Hamer SAQT that has a beautiful quilted maple top. On a YouTube review a guy says it is obviously a photo top due to the low price of the guitar. ($500) It has a very thick binding that would suggest a full maple cap. OK .... this guitar in a non archtop version with painted finish was a $200 guitar. Have to be getting something for your extra $300 right? As far as photo top goes, I know thats not the case as the side of the neck where it meets the body is stained the same color as the top. Or maybe that was just a cleaver Chineese trick like the thick binding to make you think it has a full maple cap. So ..... there well could be maple on yours.

"Work hard, rock hard, eat hard, sleep hard,
grow big, wear glasses if you need 'em."
-- The Webb Wilder Credo --


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 Crow
(@crow)
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Topic starter  

Jason, it's fake enough already. :)

Found this pic on mylespaul.com, which answered a lot of my questions...

...while my "maple" cap is less than 1/4 inch thick. Which only means it won't sound like a '59, which it never would have anyway.

TR, thanks for the encouraging words! When I have it put together I'll post it in the "Show your LP" thread. It's a beater, but I think there's a good guitar in there.

"You can't write a chord ugly enough to say what you want to say sometimes, so you have to rely on a giraffe filled with whipped cream." - Frank Zappa


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