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Dr. Gonzo

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About Dr. Gonzo

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  1. The only thing that surprised me is how many of YOU were surprised that Gibson would ignore their own contest rules! I can't tell you how many contests like these I have entered, it's well over a hundred for sure. Every time I do, I stick tightly to the letter of the rules as stated in the contest. Most of the time (90%+) the eventual winner has violated the rules in one way or another. These violations are nearly always pointed out to the 'judges', who either ignore it completely or point out 'fine print' that allows them to basically do whatever they please in determining a winner. The pity angle is a proven winner because the story is almost never verified. Employees 'cook' the contests for friends or relatives. Voting 'pushes' are used, like you with your frat. I gave up on any contest that involves more than signing up because they are invariably 'stolen' in one way or another, and thus a waste of time and effort. Even 'entry only' contests get stolen, usually by people with multiple e-mail addresses who manage 100 or more entries into 'single entry' contests. Yes, people do win legitimately. But the sad truth is that, more and more often, the winners violated the rules, intentionally or not. I'm not saying that you shouldn't bother with them, that's your choice. I'm just saying don't be surprised when you get screwed out of a win, especially if you follow the rules!
  2. There are those who will say that the chambered bodies resonate better and give a more 'acoustic' tone, like a semi-hollow body. There are those who claim that chambering, or 'weight relieving' thins the sound and hurts sustain. I'm not sure I really believe either side has any real proof to back up their claims. As is usual with these things, it's all very subjective. I have had chambered bodies that sounded incredibly rich and sustained for days. I have also had 'Standard' bodies that sounded dull and lifeless. Because of the variety of sounds I've experienced within these types in the last 40+ years, the only 'conclusion' I've reached is that the primary benefit of chambering is exactly what you'd expect - a lighter weight guitar. That lighter weight is just what the doctor ordered for me, literally! Because of a motorcycle accident and multiple back surgeries, playing even a short set with a non-weight relieved Lester can be very painful. Up to about 9.5 lbs works well, under 9 is better. The more comfortable I am, the better I play. That's a real benefit, no matter how you cut it.
  3. Buy whatever Les Paul that you like, and buy a blank truss rod cover. Replace the stock one (Traditional) with the blank one. Now you've got the 'Standard' look you like. Save the original so you can put it back on if you trade/sell the guitar in the future.
  4. And the on-line guys might not have any of the new ones left, for now. I know the 60's Tribute Studio is flying out of the stores, not sure about the rest. Plus the on line guys have backstock they'll be trying to push out the doors. Try www.davesguitar.com it's the store I always go too, and they do a ton of online business. Good guys, if they don't have what you're looking for, they'll try to find it.
  5. It was fairly recent. I think the Studio Vintage Mahogany (VM) is still available with the all mahogany body. It seems that Gibson made a concious decision to put maple tops on most of the Studios starting last year, and it's really kicked in now. The success of the 50's Tribute Studo Les Paul may have encouraged the move by showing that they could make a maple capped Lester, make it look good, and still keep it in reach of the average player out there.
  6. Seems like Gibson is the only company where the use of Swamp Ash DOES NOT result in weight reduction! Obviously an 11 pound guitar is on the weighty side, and much more so than I would have expected. I don't know, this has me wondering..... My Ash bodied Strats (not Swamp Ash) are heavier than the Alder bodied Strats. My Alder bodied PRS 503 is heavier than my PRS Swamp Ash Special (no maple caps on either). And Mahogany is, of course heavier than Alder. Perhaps Gibson is using a different type of Ash, or has found a supplier with a particularly dense type of Swamp Ash. Possibly everything we've learned about wood is bunk. I too have serious issues with my back. A very good, very light guitar in my pile is the new EVH Wolfgang. Very light, but still extremely resonant, great tones throughout the range of the pots, and so easy to play that it becomes almost semi-automatic. Recalls memories of how nice small frets were when done properly.
  7. You really need more info from dad, and more pics would be nice. What kind of trem was on the guitar? Was it a locking trem (Floyd Rose, Kahler), a Fender-style trem, or one of Gibsons many types? Do you intend to restore the guitar to original condition, or just want the performance of a good trem? Is that the original finish? (That one also addresses the restore/hot rod question) it kinda looks like it had a locking trem on it, and back then Gibson seemed to use more Kahlers. Kahlers from the 80's varied a lot in models and parts, but good ones are VERY nice to play you see why the 'more info' flag goes up so often when dealing with guitars? That's also why it's so fun!
  8. You may HAVE to change pots, if the values are different than the stock ones. Then again, sometimes mis-matches create beautiful sounds!
  9. Thanks guys! I've learned that, for the most part, people aren't as crazy/fussy as I am! I'd kinda suspected that. I just looked thru my 'strings drawer'. There are currently 5 brands and 3 different gauge sets in there, not counting the sets that are in various guitar cases and/or gear bags. I really think I can lay off buying strings for a while!
  10. I don't search forums, forums search me! I suspect a lot of subjects get beaten senseless in these forums. Since I'm relatively new to this one, I'm not yet in tune with which ones have reached "Stairway" status.
  11. OK folks, I went on a bit of a rant about Gibson strings on another thread. Everybody has their favorite strings. If you're like me, you use different strings on different guitars. So the question is - What are your favorite strings for Les Pauls, and why? I'll start - on humbucker equipped LP's I like Ernie Ball Slinky's, 10-46 On P-90 equipped Lesters, actually ALL P-90 equipped guitars, I like GHS Boomers, 10-46. The reason for the difference is that I've found the Boomers give a bit more snap and presence to P-90's, while Slinky's are more balanced, and have a timbre that works very well with guitars that are mahogany and maple, with humbuckers. SG's get the Boomers because their all mahogany bodies are naturally darker sounding and benefit from the brightness of the Boomers. Anybody else out there as much of a fussy SOB as me?!
  12. Your tuning issues are probably due to Gibson strings, and will go away when you put on a set of the ones you are used to. IMO Gibson makes possibly the worst strings out there. It's such a shame to be putting those godawful things on such lovely guitars. When I buy a new guitar, I always have the shop tech put a setup on it. They know what I like. On Gibsons I also have them put new strings on it, not all guitars, just Gibsons. Even if it left the factory 3 days ago and I'm the only customer to play it. Every Gibson I've bought plays, sounds and tunes better after that immediate string change. It seems like Gibson strings never settle in, they're always stretching and pinging and basically annoying the crap out of me. Did I mention that I don't like Gibson strings? LOL Maybe I'll start a new thread to see what strings other LP players are using...
  13. Check the GFS web site for install instructions. These days it seems like a lot of companies put instructions and manuals online instead of including them with the product. Check the support section, or FAQ. Even a site like Stew-Mac might have some generic pickup swap diagrams that could help, even Seymour Duncan's site has these kind of diagrams, very good ones. It very well could make a difference which way you put it in there, without proper instructions you just don't know. Ya got a 50-50 chance of getting it right on the first try!
  14. I feel for ya, surfpup. I know exactly the situation out there, and it breaks my heart. I'm in a small town too. Our local music store carries 'off brand' guitar and an occassional Epiphone or MIM Fender, usually used. The nearest GC is a hundred miles away, but I have 2 excellent dealers about the same distance away, so I go to them. They're not 'small' shops really, just well established shops that can handle the kind of ridiculous demands the builders sometimes lay on them. A hundred miles is a long way, but to me it's worth it to get the selection and service I want. I usually make 2-3 trips a year to them, and I'm always checking their web sites for cool stuff. Because I've dealt with them for years, they will hold a guitar or amp for a couple days so I can get there to check it out. The deals I get generally make up for the gas burned.
  15. My favorites for parts are WD and Stewart-MacDonald. Good prices and service.
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