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Anatomy of a Cloud 9

DANELECTRO

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Feb 24, 2003
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I received my CR8 last week from Music Machine. It weighs in at 7.41 lbs and sounds terrific. One of the things I had to do shortly after first plugging it in and jamming on, was to remove the covers to check out the internal routing. This guitar is really hollowed out. Basically, the back and sides of the guitar are about ½” thick. Since there have been questions here on the forum about the degree of chambering, I figured I try to clear a few things up. But, first things first, let me introduce you to CR84018…

cr84018lespaul8004yq.jpg


Here are a few photos looking into the cavity pockets:

cr8401820ct.jpg


cr8401831jg.jpg


cr8401844ww.jpg


cr8401850su.jpg


The pickup routing is identical to a standard Historic RI, although the wire channel is wider.

cr8401862rw.jpg


To be continued.....
 
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DANELECTRO

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Feb 24, 2003
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A couple of years ago, I started to create a 3D CAD model of a Les Paul. I had planned to model every piece down to the last detail, but I never got around to completing it. I did have the body completed so it was a good starting point to create a model showing the chambering of the Cloud 9 body.

I performed a proctology examination on my guitar using calipers, mirrors and a few other instruments. I was able to measure the internal chamber dimensions with reasonable accuracy. I then modified my CAD model to represent the chambering. The images below show the internal features of the Cloud 9 body and how they compare to that of a standard Historic body.

Note that much of the routing is done after the maple cap has been glued on, so I've depicted the slab as it would look prior to applying the maple cap, and then as if you removed the maple cap after all routing has been completed.

cloud9slabpremaple2mp.jpg


cloud9slabpostmaple17ba.jpg


cloud9slabpostmaple24uq.jpg


historicslabpostmaple8ib.jpg


And now for a math lesson…

One of the benefits of having an accurate 3D CAD model is that I can also extract mass properties information. I found that the volume of an R9’s mahogany slab is 244 cu/in. The volume of a Cloud 9 slab is 149 cu/in, a difference of 95 cu/in. I found a useful website (About Various Woods ) which lists the specific gravity of the various species of wood used for guitar building. According to the website, Honduran Mahogany varies between .40-.68, averaging about .60. A specific gravity of .60 equates to .0216 lbs/cu-in. Thus, the mahogany slab of an average Historic Les Paul would be 5.27 lbs. The slab on an average Cloud 9 would be only 3.22 lbs. Given that a Les Paul were made from an average weight chunk of mahogany, it would weigh about 2.05 lbs less if the body were chambered.
 
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DANELECTRO

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Feb 24, 2003
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It appears as though once the body has been chambered and the maple top is glued on, then all of the pocket routing (pickups, switch, control) is identical to that of a standard Historic.

One thing that I found peculiar is that the angled rout in the bottom of the control cavity (which also includes the so called "chew marks") of my guitar was done after the guitar body was filled, tinted, and lacquered. I'm not sure why this is, unless somehow this step was inadvertantly missed when the body was made. I don't see any production-related reason to have done this afterwards.

cr8401820ct.jpg
 

DANELECTRO

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Feb 24, 2003
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By the way, kudos go out to Nathan at Music Machine. He held this guitar for me for about a month while I searched for a new owner for my R8 to help fund it. This really worked to my advantage, because the cost of the guitar dropped several times while it was on hold, plus he upgraded my case to a Lifton and threw in a few more perks as well.
 

moonweasel

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Jan 20, 2004
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Danelectro,

HOLY CRAP. GREAT post. Thank you!

I was under the impression that Cloud 9's were just swiss cheesed out to make them lighter. I actually designed an LP like this in my head once... Sort of a Les Paul Es-336.....

You might have just sold me on one...
 

Gitfiddler

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Apr 25, 2003
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Danelectro:

Excellent CAD work!

Interesting how similar the C9 interior looks compared to a USA LP Supreme!!

supreme15_t.jpg
 

55Custom

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Sep 5, 2003
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Danelectro -- fantastic work! :)

3 weeks ago I posted a link here to the Frampton LP at Gibson -- the one that's been there for years, and shows a pic of how the guitar is chambered.
Since that thread Gibson has taken down that webpage. My, what a coincidence.
Did anyone save a copy of that pic to compare to the cloud 9? I don't see how they differ.
 

Aris

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Dec 27, 2004
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danelectro, what finish is that - washed cherry?

great pics.
 

CR9

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Apr 15, 2005
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Danelectro...FANTASTIC job. I wish I would have saved the Frampton chamber photo, but from memory, yours is pretty exact if not completely exact. Just a little different from the Supreme as you can tell when you look into the control cavity. Now all we need is someone to x-ray a Cloud 9 for us....
 

C-4

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Jan 5, 2005
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Suberb post and math! Congradulations on joining the Cloud Nine Player's Club, and for the amazing calculations!
Upon looking at my Cloud Nine and my 356, I noticed very similar routing to both guitars, but nothing compared to your super disection, Dano!
Stephen
 

stompbox

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Mar 28, 2003
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DANELECTRO said:
It appears as though once the body has been chambered and the maple top is glued on, then all of the pocket routing (pickups, switch, control) is identical to that of a standard Historic.

One thing that I found peculiar is that the angled rout in the bottom of the control cavity (which also includes the so called "chew marks") of my guitar was done after the guitar body was filled, tinted, and lacquered. I'm not sure why this is, unless somehow this step was inadvertantly missed when the body was made. I don't see any production-related reason to have done this afterwards.

cr8401820ct.jpg


what is the yellow spray on the maple in the cavity?
 

55Custom

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sparky, that's the new Frampton link, which doesn't show the chambering picture. The old one, from 2000, did and it was still available in Gibson's archives as of 4-13-05 when it was discussed here. The chambering looked just like the scans posted above.
 

blauserk

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Mar 12, 2002
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55Custom said:
sparky, that's the new Frampton link, which doesn't show the chambering picture. The old one, from 2000, did and it was still available in Gibson's archives as of 4-13-05 when it was discussed here. The chambering looked just like the scans posted above.

I saved the Frampton photo and hosted it. Here's a photo. I haven't done a detailed comparison to Danelectro's CADs, but I agree with 55Custom--it looks quite similar to me.

Frampton%20chambering.jpg
 

wilder

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Dec 18, 2002
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DANELECTRO said:
By the way, kudos go out to Nathan at Music Machine. He held this guitar for me for about a month while I searched for a new owner for my R8 to help fund it. This really worked to my advantage, because the cost of the guitar dropped several times while it was on hold, plus he upgraded my case to a Lifton and threw in a few more perks as well.

I'm glad it all worked out. I'm still really enjoying your old R8. I'll be taking it to the studio this evening for some recording. Great pics of the Cloud 9! The whole time I was looking at the pics I was wondering how much the removed wood would weigh. It seems from your calculations that many of the Cloud 9s would be well over 9 lbs if not chambered. This makes it seem that they could have been made even lighter if Gibson had chosen to do so. However, If they were much lighter, I doubt they would balance well enough to be acceptable. One would think that these body blanks would have to have been carefully selected with this in mind. I guess there's no way to know for sure since we don't know the specific gravity of this wood exactly, but it's interesting to think about.

Chris
 

Dave Carpenter

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May 3, 2005
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The great thing about Cloud Nines is that they are built with “Historic Spec Woods”. I had Gibson build many variations of Chambered Les Pauls before the Cloud Nine series, but I could never get them to use Historic Spec Woods. The Cloud Nine run would not have been this successful or as great if the guitar would have been built to an exact Historic appearance and then not used Historic Spec Woods. For me and the two other great dealers, it was all about the woods. I worked for a long time to bring about the Cloud Nine series of guitars for my good friend Tom Ivory. Tom has real back trouble and wanted a great Gibson guitar that looked and felt in his hands like the best of the 59 Reissues he had played, just less weight. Initially I had ideas about how we might chamber them, but Mike McGuire said trust me. He said that he had done a lot of R&D and knew just what to do. Mike built the prototype and then myself, Dave Rogers and Steve Mesple flew out to play it and we were greatly impressed. I am so glad to see so many other people enjoying this great guitar series. It is very gratifying.
 

Kossoff_Fan

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Dec 17, 2001
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I love my Cloud 9. Best guitar I've ever owned. :dude

Thanks for the great pics and CAD drawings Danelectro!

Kudos to Dave Carpenter and everyone involved in the Cloud 9 series. And thank you to Mark Bishop for the Cloud 9 I bought from him.

:dude
 
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