Does model/price of a les paul determine how many pieces make up the back?

mrjones2004x

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As per title?
I’ve seen some really expensive les Paul’s as 2 and 3 piece backs and some of the 2 pieces have been real bad colour/grain matches.

I’d assume lower end models might have multi piece backs and higher end would have 2 maximum and match nicely. Not sure I’ve ever seen a one piece back? Is it a thing?

Only thought about it as I was drunk playing my special tribute last night looking for joints in the wood. Pretty sure it’s a 2 piece centre joint looking end on. Can’t see the joint on back or front. No maple top on these.

 

fitz288

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As per title?
I don't think it's a matter of price = # of pieces.
It's probably more a matter of matching the quality of the wood for consistency of stability along with availability, and not so much aesthetics.
Unless of course you are paying top dollar for a beautiful back grain pattern.
And a 13" wide one piece body would be more prone to warping and check cracks.

My LP Tribute is a 2 piece back, and it's the bottom shelf USA carve top.
lpt-1.jpg
 

mrjones2004x

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That’s a good match I think I can see it but it’s not obvious at all
 

fitz288

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That’s a good match I think I can see it but it’s not obvious at all
Yeah, the seam goes right down the middle, but the grain swirl from one side kinda blends into the swirl on the other.
And the dark band on the one side looks like it's a different piece, but it's not.
 

mrjones2004x

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Yeah, the seam goes right down the middle, but the grain swirl from one side kinda blends into the swirl on the other.
And the dark band on the one side looks like it's a different piece, but it's not.
I didn’t think it was down middle to be fair so yeah good match
 

fitz288

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And it's got a sort of Eye of Sauron grain pattern on the front.
Again, seam down the middle, but the grain kinda flows...
lpt-2.jpg 1644963977778.png
 

mrjones2004x

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And it's got a sort of Eye of Sauron grain pattern on the front.
Again, seam down the middle, but the grain kinda flows...
View attachment 102415 View attachment 102416
That’s a beautiful grain match. That’s the one thing that bothers me on les Paul’s. Bad matching tops. Even flame tops I don’t like with the match and nothing lined up either side. Personal preference of course.
 

Matthews Guitars

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It is true that to get a one piece back on a new Gibson Les Paul, you are going to pay more to get it. Those are set aside for the more expensive models.

Many Les Paul tops are not bookmatched, but are slip matched instead. Where two similar pieces of figured maple are chosen because they match "well enough"...or sometimes, they don't match at all. Slip matching is usually done because the maple billet wasn't wide enough and thick enough for bookmatching.

There are at least two '59 Les Paul Standards, real ones, that are documented, and each has the other half of the bookmatch of their tops. Guitar 1 has pieces Left A and Right B and Guitar 2 has pieces Left B and Right A. Yes, they're close together in serial number.
 


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