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NGD: Les Paul 2017 Tribute T hello Ramen, my old friend

#1 User is offline   Pinch 

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Posted 10 November 2017 - 11:07 AM

As per the topic description, I couldn't afford this one. But here it is. This was a clearance sale, so the 2018 Tribute wasn't an option, anyway.

I was, and am, very happy with my Epi LP PlusTop. It's a great LP, but I'd feel a bit funny shelling out the same cash for a re-fret (the fret wire is the only flaw) I paid for the entire guitar. At least, that's how I try and justify this purchase to myself. It's going fairly sh*t. But a third guitar makes sense, doesn't it? One is an Epiphone, too. See? I'm still trying. The whiff of ramen noodles wakes me from my reverie.

There was also the fact that it had a 490r/490t combo, and I like Alnico II magnets. The 2018 has a 498t. And financially, it wasn't an option anyway.

Would I have preferred no weight relief? Yes. How much of a difference the 9-hole weight relief makes? I don't know. It's lighter - not LIGHT-light, but certainly lighter than my Epi. It sustains like crazy, so no complaints there. The tone is more "chimy" than my Epi LP. Haven't messed around with pickup height yet.

The 490 set sounds great. Gibson themselves claim that they go well together, hence the 490 designation, and I agree. The volume controls are much more responsive than on my Epi LP , so there's a lot more room to mess around with tone that way. (Although I have to stress that the Epi tone is great in its own right.)

Fretboard was thirsty, so I oiled it, and I've put 10s on it (it came with a 46-9 hybrid set, which is too slinky for an LP, if you ask me).

The faded honeyburst is nice enough, and the satin finish on the slim taper neck feels great.

It's just a... a really ******* cool rock guitar that sounds great and plays great :)
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#2 User is offline   MichaelT 

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Posted 10 November 2017 - 02:22 PM

I played a 2017 Goldtop many times at Guitar Center similar to yours. Playing it so often helped me decide on buying a 2017 Tribute with the P90's. I have the 490r and 490t in my 2007 Flying V and they are awesome. My Tribute is actually heavier than my Standard at 8 lbs 15 oz on the Tribute and 8 lbs 5 oz on the Standard. Sustain is as good if not better than my Standard and it sounds incredible. Volume and tone controls are wonderful and responsive even with the PCB vs hardwired. Fretboard and frets were nice, a little sharp on the edges so I'm re-doing those shortly. I changed strings (9's), checked the neck and adjusted the truss rod, put the tailpiece all the way down on deck, adjusted intonation and that little Tribute plays and feels just like my Standard, except the finish. The Satin finish on the neck really does feel great and smooth. I agree with you wholeheartedly about your review. My Tribute just has different pickups and different color but I'm VERY happy with my decision and purchase. When are we going to see pictures?
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#3 User is offline   Pinch 

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Posted 10 November 2017 - 03:26 PM

Oh, the tailpiece... Yeah. I also prefer it all the way down, but I'd like to think there's a reason it's not all the way down on the 2017 Tributes. Didn't really want to **** with things before the guitar was thoroughly inspected. For me, it's a lot of money, so I wanted to make sure it was okay before I started adjusting things.
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#4 User is offline   MichaelT 

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Posted 13 November 2017 - 09:44 AM

View PostPinch, on 10 November 2017 - 03:26 PM, said:

Oh, the tailpiece... Yeah. I also prefer it all the way down, but I'd like to think there's a reason it's not all the way down on the 2017 Tributes. Didn't really want to **** with things before the guitar was thoroughly inspected. For me, it's a lot of money, so I wanted to make sure it was okay before I started adjusting things.


Some people put them all the way down. Some people talk about the break angle at the bridge and tailpiece and don't want the strings touching the back of the bridge with the tailpiece all the way down because of tuning/breaking problems. I don't have this issue and I recently put both of my Les Pauls down on deck. Tuning is fine, no string breaking, less tension when bending. They feel better now.
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#5 User is offline   Pinch 

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 07:46 AM

Good to know, thanks. It plays fine so far and I wouldn't have noticed the position of the tailpiece if a reviewer hadn't pointed it out, so I think I'll leave it as it is for now :)
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#6 User is offline   Pinch 

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 08:01 AM

The pups are like 1.3 mm / 2.0 MM respectively ("clearance"). I need to - sigh - start playing around with lowering them.

And this time, like all the other times, I'll swear I'll write down the number of turns so I can get back to where I started. Then I'll fail miserably, and spend days chasing a good tone.

My 2017 Flying V pickup height was just perfect - haven't turned a single screw and never will. But with this one... Too hot.

Still sounds great, but this is my guitar to indulge in my old-fartedness with, not to play metal on. I find I have to back the vol pots way too far.

"Dear Diary", right?
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#7 User is offline   MichaelT 

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 08:11 AM

Some people put the neck pickup flush with their pickup ring.

I don't know if you've seen this but: http://archive.gibso...02printable.htm

STEP 10

Set pickup height. Fret on the last fret of the guitar. Pole pieces should be 3/64 from the bottom of the string.

Those pickups are pretty hot and I usually just back off the volume on mine a bit. The Tributes are a great guitar to experiment on. Not terribly expensive but a great Les Paul, in my opinion. If mine didn't have P90's in it, I'd probably put 57 classics in it. I haven't had my PCB replaced and handwired yet but I'm seriously considering doing that on this guitar. This little Goldtop Tribute has been my go to guitar for a couple months now. I just love it.

I can't wait to hear your results.
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#8 User is offline   Pinch 

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 08:34 AM

View PostMichaelT, on 17 November 2017 - 08:11 AM, said:

Some people put the neck pickup flush with their pickup ring.

I don't know if you've seen this but: http://archive.gibso...02printable.htm

STEP 10

Set pickup height. Fret on the last fret of the guitar. Pole pieces should be 3/64 from the bottom of the string.

Those pickups are pretty hot and I usually just back off the volume on mine a bit. The Tributes are a great guitar to experiment on. Not terribly expensive but a great Les Paul, in my opinion. If mine didn't have P90's in it, I'd probably put 57 classics in it. I haven't had my PCB replaced and handwired yet but I'm seriously considering doing that on this guitar. This little Goldtop Tribute has been my go to guitar for a couple months now. I just love it.

I can't wait to hear your results.


Thanks. I believe 3/64" is 1.6 mm. The neck pup on my Epi LP is like 2-3 mm (space between). Basically, the neck pup is almost as tall as the ring around it! And since I got this one in no small part because of the fact that both pickups are AlNiCo IIs, having them at that height kind of defeats the purpose.

I'm not the least bit worried, though. It'll end up great. I just... I'm just all too familiar with the process.
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#9 User is offline   Pinch 

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 12:42 PM

Wow. Lowered them just a tad. Guitar sounds amazing now. Took a minute.
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#10 User is offline   MichaelT 

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 04:42 AM

That's great news, Pinch!
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#11 User is offline   Pinch 

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Posted 23 November 2017 - 05:08 AM

Indeed it is, thank you. It's amazing how little I had to lower them.

Lots of fun playing with the vol pots and tone controls - you can get an incredibly wide range of sounds out of it, unlike the Epi PlusTop LP where you can change the volume and not much else by playing with the controls (I don't bother with coil splitting). I still LOVE the tone, though. It'll definitely be re-fretted somewhere down the line!
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#12 User is offline   Pinch 

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Posted 11 December 2017 - 04:04 PM

I oiled it (Dunlop) when I first got it. Think I could add a little oil next string change as well? I'm cautious of over-oiling (I find once annually is usually enough), but it looks like it could use some more oil still.
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#13 User is offline   Ceptorman 

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 05:50 PM

Congrats on getting your guitar dialed in, now how about a photo [biggrin]
Loving Music, listening to a very nice 2 channel system. I try to play along.

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#14 User is offline   Pinch 

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 06:12 PM

View PostCeptorman, on 12 December 2017 - 05:50 PM, said:

Congrats on getting your guitar dialed in, now how about a photo [biggrin]


All in due time :D

Just realized the Tributes come with naturally lighter rosewood than most LPs, so that takes care of my "should I oil it again" conundrum. Good.

Love this guitar. The versatility of the 490 combo is amazing!
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#15 User is offline   Pinch 

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Posted 15 December 2017 - 08:39 AM

FZ Fan: I'm in Sweden.
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#16 User is offline   JayinLA 

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Posted 15 December 2017 - 02:07 PM

View PostPinch, on 10 November 2017 - 11:07 AM, said:

As per the topic description, I couldn't afford this one. But here it is. This was a clearance sale, so the 2018 Tribute wasn't an option, anyway.

I was, and am, very happy with my Epi LP PlusTop. It's a great LP, but I'd feel a bit funny shelling out the same cash for a re-fret (the fret wire is the only flaw) I paid for the entire guitar. At least, that's how I try and justify this purchase to myself. It's going fairly sh*t. But a third guitar makes sense, doesn't it? One is an Epiphone, too. See? I'm still trying. The whiff of ramen noodles wakes me from my reverie.

There was also the fact that it had a 490r/490t combo, and I like Alnico II magnets. The 2018 has a 498t. And financially, it wasn't an option anyway.

Would I have preferred no weight relief? Yes. How much of a difference the 9-hole weight relief makes? I don't know. It's lighter - not LIGHT-light, but certainly lighter than my Epi. It sustains like crazy, so no complaints there. The tone is more "chimy" than my Epi LP. Haven't messed around with pickup height yet.

The 490 set sounds great. Gibson themselves claim that they go well together, hence the 490 designation, and I agree. The volume controls are much more responsive than on my Epi LP , so there's a lot more room to mess around with tone that way. (Although I have to stress that the Epi tone is great in its own right.)

Fretboard was thirsty, so I oiled it, and I've put 10s on it (it came with a 46-9 hybrid set, which is too slinky for an LP, if you ask me).

The faded honeyburst is nice enough, and the satin finish on the slim taper neck feels great.

It's just a... a really ******* cool rock guitar that sounds great and plays great :)



Congrats. I remember my first Gibby LP. First thing to know...the factory spec is merely an opinion. Your setup should be based on how you like it. Once your action is good, intonation is not hard.

LP's, in my humble opinion, are the best designed tailpieces and bridge in the business. You have the ability to really 'dial in' your setup.

1. My first Step is action. Get the right strings. LP's with the short scale length allow me to use heavier strings than I do on my 25.5 guitars. Find the string gauge that works best for you.

2. I like a fairly low action, not as low as I did in my shredder days, but still low nonetheless. This could mean a simple lowering of the bridge, but depending on the nut that your LP came with I may (maybe not even right away) make some small adjustments to the nut, or possibly replace it all together with a material I prefer (bone is good).

3. Once the action is dialed in, presuming I don't have to adjust the truss rod (if you do...now's the time) I work on intonation. If the truss rod does need adjustment, I will typically let the the instrument set for a day or two first.

4. With the intonation and action dialed in perfect, I make sure the nut itself is working. The Break angle of the head stock can cause the 'g' and 'd' strings (Standard tuning) to bind up. This is the "My Les Paul doesn't stay in tune" deal. Nut lube works. Either graphite or the Nut grease stuff they sell is fine. However, if you want to make sure that you have needed travel in the nut...you can file the nut slots. (I use guitar strings themselves to file. get a piece of the largest wound string that will fit in the nut slot and work it just like a file) Don't overdo it. Just make sure the string has enough relief to move through the nut without binding.

5. Pickup height. This is simple trial and error. Find the sweet spot for you. (Again) the factory recommendations are simply that...recommendation.
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