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Re: Les Paul woes and upgrades!


 
11/23/2005 4:20 PM
MKB
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Re: Les Paul woes and upgrades!
Hope these help:  
 
1. Make sure the string isn't hitting the back edge of the bridge between where it angles off the saddle to the tailpiece. That is one sure way to pop strings on a Gibson. There should be a bit of space there. You can raise the tailpiece a bit or wrap the strings backwards around the tailpiece (a la Zakk Wylde or Duane Allman or Billy Gibbons) to get the strings to clear the bridge edge.  
 
2. You could have a bad set of machine heads, I just bought a Washburn for next to nothing because it wouldn't stay in tune, replaced the machine heads (stock Grovers no less) and all is now well. You may not need locking machine heads, maybe just new ones that work properly. Which strings go out of tune?  
 
3. It's actually amazing how much weight is contributed by hardware, for example a locking set of machine heads makes a big difference. Maybe try a set of very small machine heads like Gotoh Mini's? And find a lighter weight tailpiece?
 
11/23/2005 3:59 PM
Frank DeSalvo
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Woes be gone!
Hey thanks again!  
 
I got a wild hair last night after rehearsal and took off all of the hardware and went to town. I ended up:  
 
1. Using Meguire's 3 Step system on the finish :D  
 
2. Cleaning all of the hardware (some pieces had turned "Statue of Liberty" green) :( -> :)  
 
While cleaning, I discovered that the machine heads were very loose! In fact, the retaining nut was so loose, I could turn it by hand. So, I retightened them.  
 
I also found that the saddles were heavily corroded to the point that there were burrs around the slots (due to my perspiration! While I didn't have a file, I used the next best thing: a small, wound string! I managed to clean the hell out of the saddles with it.  
 
After reassembly, I decided to take a crack at adjusting the intonation- which turned out to be a very easy job! All of these years of being afraid to mess things up were wasted...how much money could I have saved?? :( x 12  
 
Now, when I capo the LP, I don't have to worry about retuning after clamping her down! Haha, how many modern rock bands can you name are using capos?! :D  
 
Here's the clincher! The damn thing doesn't want to go out of tune now! I cannot believe I am typing this, because after all of these years fighting with this heavy, unrefined turd, it is holding tune remarkably well! In fact, it's doing a finer job than my Musicman Silhouette special ever did!  
 
Damn, maybe she just needed some love and attention. OMG, is this the way I've treated women in my past???!!!  
 
~F
 
11/23/2005 10:45 PM
Steve A.
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Frank:  
 
    Glad to hear that you got your complaints worked out (except for the weight of the guitar- right?)  
 
    I don't think that you can cause any permanent damage adjusting the intonation (unless you strip out the threads on the saddles!) With a digital tunere I will check all of the fretted notes between the 7th and 19th frets and look for a happy medium in there somewhere.  
 
--Happy T-Day!  
 
Steve Ahola
 
11/23/2005 11:29 PM
Frank DeSalvo
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Aloha, Ahola! :D  
 
I adjusted from the 12th fret, man and it seems good to go; there does seem to be a sort of a compromise, though!  
 
Hope your health is ever-improving and happy T-day to you and yours. :D  
 
~F
 
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