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New Les Paul Standard issues

#1 User is offline   jwphoto0606 

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 04:41 PM

Hi folks, first time posting, and jeez, first forum I've joined in a long time. I've been a hack player for 25+ years, I've owned just about every type of guitar under the sun, and back in May I picked up a 2016 Les Paul Standard T in Tea Burst from an online retailer that I've bought from a few times. I much prefer to buy guitars that I actually get to play in person, but there isn't a Gibson dealer near me and I have had great success with this retailer.

When the guitar arrived, there were a few issues. The string height was crazy high, and the intonation was off on every string. Easy adjustments, however the proper sized allen key needed to unlock the bridge height was not included. Thankfully a friend had the right size and I was able to adjust it to my preferences. Also, there was considerable over spray on the binding. Using a micro-fiber cloth and a lot of work, I was able to remove it, but it should never have left the factory looking like that. The AAA flames, though, wow. Gorgeous top. Definitely the best looking LP I've owned. For fit and finish, I'd give Gibson a C-.

As far as playability, it's probably the best LP I've ever owned. The asymmetrical neck combined with the compound radius fingerboard make this guitar play like a dream. I never feel like I'm fighting the guitar, runs and riffs seem so effortless. I'd put this neck on every guitar made if I could. A+ for playability.

The big factor, of course, is tone. That's why we love Les Pauls, right? The bridge pickup sounds good. It's not over the top and doesn't sound harsh like a lot of bridge pickups these days do. However, I'm having issues with the tone I'm getting from the neck pickup. For lack of a better term, the pickup sounds "flubby." It just doesn't have the usual neck position tone that LPs have, and to be honest the neck position is usually my preferred sound out of an LP. The pickups are the Burstbucker Pros that come stock, and it has the coil taps and whatnot. My first instinct is to replace the pickups, but I wanted to see if any other owners of this year/model have had similar experiences. Many thanks! Attached Image: 2017 05 11 LP 001.jpg
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#2 User is offline   Rabs 

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 05:02 PM

Hello and welcome..

Awesome looking guitar you have..

I will first say the obvious thing.. have you tried raising or lowering the pickup height? Id certainly do that before thinking about replacing them.
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#3 User is offline   Johnny 6 String 

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 05:48 PM

Hey jw;


I'll agree with our friend Rabs, I would suggest lowering the pup, I like my neck pups pretty much flush with the top of the pick up ring. From the pic you attached the neck pup is way too high for my taste in tone. Different strokes for different folks and all that, but I'd be surprised if lowering the pup didn't clean up the flub you're hearing. And if that still doesn't get you there I'd try a lower value cap in the tone circuit before swapping out the pup too. Lowering the pup is free, cap is cheaper than pup.

Hope that helps.


Johnny
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#4 User is offline   Farnsbarns 

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 06:54 AM

Yep. A common preference to have the neck pup way, way, way lower than spec. On reissues this means below the top of the pup ring for me. Yours will have shorter rings but still wind it way down. This will improve the definition and get rid of the flabby, kind of compressed sound and give you far better definition. You also find it gives you that "bloom" as a chord rings.

If you feel the need count the turns but you'll honestly want to start with a good 5 or 6 turns. I keep the treble end of the pup just a little higher but let your ears tell you about that.

I hear Gibson are fitting 9-46 now, a change to 10s will reduce the lost level in higher notes which can happen with the very low neck pup.

Also, excessive neck relief can sometimes be to blame for a flabby low end. The result of introducing more springiness in the neck.
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#5 User is offline   Farnsbarns 

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 06:55 AM

View PostFarnsbarns, on 15 November 2017 - 06:54 AM, said:

Yep. A common preference to have the neck pup way, way, way lower than spec. On reissues this means below the top of the pup ring for me. Yours will have shorter rings but still wind it way down. This will improve the definition and get rid of the flabby, kind of compressed sound and give you far better definition. You also find it gives you that "bloom" as a chord rings.

If you feel the need count the turns but you'll honestly want to start with a good 5 or 6 turns. I keep the treble end of the pup just a little higher but let your ears tell you about that.

I hear Gibson are fitting 9-46 now, a change to 10s will reduce the lost level in higher notes which can happen with the very low neck pup.

Also, excessive neck relive can sometimes be to blame for a flabby low end. The result of introducing more springiness in the neck.


Lastly, if it comes to a pup change, 57s are great but also check out British pup maker, Monty's guitars. Their PAF set is fantastic.
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#6 User is offline   merciful-evans 

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 12:12 PM

View Postjwphoto0606, on 14 November 2017 - 04:41 PM, said:

The pickups are the Burstbucker Pros that come stock,


Disclaimer: I am not criticising anyones taste in pickups/tone! Its personal to all of us

But since you asked...

In 2015 I went to my local store to try out a beautiful wine finish Les Paul Standard. I used it through both classic Marshall & Orange gear using every tone combination of guitar & amp. No matter what I tried, I could not get a sound out of it that I liked.

Then I plugged in a much cheaper LP. Result, wonderful tone immediately. I asked the staff what the pickups were in both. The Standard has BB Pros. The other one had 57 Classics.

I was amazed at the difference, because the specs dont look all that different, but my ears did the steering that day.

I am not telling you what pickups to buy. I am just sharing that expereince for whatever it might be worth.
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#7 User is offline   pippy 

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 04:22 PM

View Postmerciful-evans, on 15 November 2017 - 12:12 PM, said:

...No matter what I tried, I could not get a sound out of it that I liked....Then I plugged in a much cheaper LP. Result, wonderful tone immediately. I asked the staff what the pickups were in both. The Standard has BB Pros. The other one had 57 Classics...

Yup.

Pip.
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#8 User is offline   RockyA 

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 06:12 PM

It looks like the intonation is way off. Your E and A strings are way out.
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#9 User is offline   Farnsbarns 

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 06:32 AM

View PostRockyA, on 15 November 2017 - 06:12 PM, said:

It looks like the intonation is way off. Your E and A strings are way out.


While saddles will normally end up in the classic "two flights of steps" pattern when intonation is correct I've had occasions where they just didn't, plenty of times.
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#10 User is offline   rct 

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 07:58 AM

View PostRockyA, on 15 November 2017 - 06:12 PM, said:

It looks like the intonation is way off. Your E and A strings are way out.


If you can see intonation you are something really special.

rct
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#11 User is offline   jwphoto0606 

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 01:12 PM

Thank you so much for the replies, everybody, much appreciated.

I lowered the neck pickup considerably, it's now nearly flush with the pickup ring and the tone has indeed improved. I need to to really put it through the paces to make any decisions, but I'm still leaning toward replacing both pickups.

As far as the intonation, it *was* way off when I got the guitar, but in the pic I posted and still today, the intonation is just fine after I adjusted it.
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#12 User is offline   Twang Gang 

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 10:47 AM

Congrats on the new axe - it looks great in the photo. [thumbup]

Now that you got the pick-up height adjusted on the neck pup and are happier with the tone, try one more thing before abandoning the Burstbuckers. I've had several Gibsons over the years and most had '57 Classic pups which are great and had the tone I was used to. I got a 2017 Standard with Burstbuckers and it really seemed hot and bright to me. I made a few adjustments as you have, but it still seemed a little brittle sounding. Then one day I just turned the treble down on my amplifier 1 notch and found the sweet spot. Now I love the sound of that Standard, partly because it's different than my other Gibsons with '57 Classics, but it can still be very creamy and warm sounding and at the same time a little clearer.

It's hard to describe tones in words, and we each hear them differently, but my point is keep working with the Burstbuckers, give them a little more time, you may come to love them.
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