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L5Larry

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Everything posted by L5Larry

  1. L5Larry

    White SG

    Anyone that has any interest in learning more about the Monkees, check out the article I wrote for another guitarists website: www.stringdancer.net Here's the link to the article: http://www.stringdancer.net/cgi-bin/index.cgi?action=viewnews&id=159
  2. Visually, it's a matter of taste, personally I like to see more wood and less plastic. Technically, it's a matter of playing style. In certain circumstances it helps to have somewhere to rest your hand or fingers, such as fingerstyle picking or single note lead lines. In fact, on archtops such as the L-5, Super 400 or Byrdland, it's not even called a pickguard, it's called a finger rest. And since the Les Paul was really developed as a solid body "archtop" with it's raised pickguard (just like to hollowbody archtops), it is techinically a finger rest on a LP. What gives us the choice is the existance and location of the rear pickup. You can rest your ring and/or pinky fingers on the bridge pickup mounting ring, or like I do, grab the bottom and front edge with those two fingers. If you look at any well aged and well played LP without a pickguard, there will always be finish wear in this area. If we hadn't taken off the pickguards the finish would still be in tact. The best example of this I can think of is Dickie Betts' (Allman Brothers) old gold top. It looks like someone took a grinder and sanded the finish off in an "L" shape around the bottom and front or the bridge pickup. If you try playing an acoustic archtop without a finger rest, your right hand is lost in midair when you stop strumming and try to do a fingerstyle or single note lead line. Resting the edge of your hand across the bridge is really not enough when the strings are 1" off the body. So according to that criteria and my playing style, my LP Standard, ES-345 and L-5CES have no pickguard/finger rest (because they have bridge pickups), and my acoustic L-7 has a finger rest (see avatar).
  3. The refin would just be a nice thing to do. The "collector" or "vintage" value of the guitar went out the window with the headstock crack and original finish strip. The guitar is now just a neat old Gibson. Don't expect a refin and/or restoration to add anything to the value, or even pay for itself. Unfortunately, it will always be a refinished guitar with a broken headstock. But, it sure would look nice. In the crazy world of vintage guitars, the individual hardware and pickup parts would more than likely bring in more total cash that the damaged guitar in tact. I see perfectly good original semi-vintage guitars being parted out for maximun cash intake.
  4. Maybe you can get something faster down your phone line. I switched over to DSL through the phone line from AT&T a few years ago. I was further down the wire than they recomended for the service, but I decided I wanted to give it a try anyway, and talked them into it. At first I did have some constant problems, but once I was signed up as a customer, they pretty much went out of their way to figure out and solve the problems. When I got a actual technician on the phone, after a few conversations, all the problems went away. I've been streaming nicely ever since.
  5. Those are the adjustable pole pieces of the pickup. They are threaded into the individual magnet pieces inside the pickup. They are adjustable to "balance" the volume levels of each individual string. The closer they are to the string, the louder that string will be in relation to the others, and vice versa. If your guitar sounds balanced when you strum a chord, don't touch them. If one string is noticably louder or softer that the others, adjust the screw for that string in the proper direction (up=louder, down=softer). You don't want the pickup or pole pieces too close to the string as the magnetic field will affect the vibration and resonance of the strings.
  6. Tobacco Sunburst!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  7. Does it play good? Does it feel good? Does it sound good? Don't get lost in all the specs.
  8. Sounds like a grounding/shielding problem to me. Make sure you have a common ground connecting all the metal covers of your pickups and control pots, output jack, etc. Here is a simplified explanation. Typically your pickup covers should be soldered to their bases, and that connection is carried to the controls by the braided sheild around the wires. This braid should be soldered to the back of the cover of the pots (cans) and a wire soldered connecting the cans all together, and then out the the ground side of you output jack. One lug of your vulume pots should also be connected to the cans , as well as your tone caps. The reason the buzz stops when you roll the tone pots down, is they are doing exactly what they're designed to do, filter off high frequency, which filters out your buzz.
  9. First try a different cable to the amp. If your problem still occurs: It sounds like a wiring or solder joint problem, not a problem within a pickup itself. When pickups go bad they usually die a quick and permanant death, not an intermitant one. Open up the control cavity and look for partially broken or frayed wires and questionable looking solder joints at all points. It sounds to me like you may have a piece of stranded wire that has frayed at a solder joint (usually at the jack connections), and is either making intermitant full contact, or brushing up against the other side of the circuit and partially shorting out. A thorough and careful visual inspection should confirm or rule this out. In any case, it seems to be a bad connection somewhere. You can also try cleaning the contacts on the jack (where the plug actually touches) and the contacts on the pickup selector switch by lightly sanding them with some 400-600 grit emery cloth, or a fingernail emery board out of your wife's (or mother's, sister's, etc) make-up drawer. While your in the control cavity, give the pots a good cleaning and lube job. Radio Shack sell a "Control/Contact Cleaner & Lubricant" (part #64-4315), that works great for this purpose. Gibson humbuckers impedence from that era should generally run in the mid 6's to high 7''s measured across the switch, pots or output jack, wherever you can get an isolated measurement for each individual pickup.
  10. Your procedure is good, and if that measurment works for you on your other guitars, then it will work on a Gibson. There is no difference just because the guitar is made by a different manufacturer. I've never actually measured it, but I think for best playability, you need only enough relief to eliminate any fret buzz as you fret up the neck.
  11. That is an early 1970's ES-320. They were great guitars and I had two of them at different times. One was a natural (like the one pictured), and the other was Cherry Sunburst. I wish I still had the sunburst one. Here's what I can tell from the picture: The rear pickup looks stock, they came with the same pickups as the Melody Makers of the same era and should have "Gibson" logo embossed on the top of them (which will also help date it). I can't really see the front pickup, but what I can see, it looks like it's been changed. The control panel, knobs and switches are stock. The finish, binding, logo and truss rod cover look original. The tuning machines look like they are replacements, in fact, I think the blonde one I had had Grovers on it. The bridge looks original, but my memory is a little vague on that (it was the seventies, you know). These were full hollow bodies (no center block) like the ES-330. In fact that could be the one I sold in St. Louis, Missouri about 1978 that has made it's way across the ocean, I've only ever seen three of them (four now), and I don't think Gibson made very many. It is really hard to find any documentation on these in any of the published books. They had a great tone and the original pickups had a fantastic sound with the treble rolled all the way off. They also played very nicely. Certainaly an unsung hero of those dark Gibson years. I used the sunburst one on some fusion recordings I did in the late 70's. I wish I still had it, but it got replaced by a 1975 Sunburst ES-335, which has since gotten replaced by a Historic Series Sunburst ES-345. As soon as I get a Photobucket account setup, I can post pics of the sunburst one I had.
  12. Self taught. I was fortunate enough to have had a nylon string guitar and tenor ukelele (and piano) around the house as a small child. All abandoned leftovers from my older sisters. I started off playing the uke, and when my hands got big enough started plunking around on the guitar. The stringed instruments came complete with "Learn To Play..." books from Mel Bay. I was also lucky in the fact that I lived in the same small town in Missouri as Mel Bay. He had a little retail store in town, and when we had a guitar playing question, we just went up to the store and asked Mel himself. He would always pull a guitar off the shelf and give you a little lesson and recital right there in the middle of the store. When I started playing with others it just became a matter of stealing all the licks and chords I could from those better than me. A policy I still use to this day.
  13. Try turning the treble knob on your amp up, and the bass knob down.
  14. The Gibson mini-humbucker was developed to fit in the P-90 route with it's mounting ring. This is how and why the Les Paul Deluxe was born around 1970. It might help to know that your looking for Les Paul Deluxe pickup mounting rings.
  15. Sorry to hear about the theft. I've had a couple guitars stolen over the years and you never stop looking for them. Hopefully your will turn up quickly. Something for everyone to be aware of, most homeowner's policies have a limited "maximum" amout of coverage for musical instruments, just as with jewelry. You must have policy "rider" declaring make, model, serial number, written appraisal, etc, to be sure you are fully covered. This may also increase your premium. Another thing to be aware of is that your standard homeowner's policy does not cover your guitars if they are stolen from a gig, only if they are stolen from your house, and maybe your car if they were not in there for "professional" purposes. If you are a working professional musician it takes a separate special policy to cover your gear, and those are fairly cost prohibitive for most of us working stiffs.
  16. Try Valley Arts in Nashville. They seem to have some connection to the Gibson HQ there. I have gotten some very specific hard to find parts from them in the past. In fact, I believe it was Gibson Customer Service or someone at the Custom Shop that advised me to call them in the first place.
  17. I agree with your luthier, this guitar, as with all fine instruments, should be played and enjoyed. Actually, the best way to preserve it is to play it. Keep it strung, tuned, and well played, and clean and polish it now and then. Once you sell it you can never really know what happens to it. It might just go into some collector's vault, never to see the light of day or make any music again. But the cash might buy you something you have more interst in or need for. It's a great story, and if you have any inclination to learn to play, it will bring you great joy and sentiment if you keep it. A few years ago I picked up a 1947 L-7 from the original owner. It was advertised for sale but I could tell he really hated to part with it, and had it over priced such as not to really invite any offers. After explaning to him that I was a professional guitar player, not a collector, and that this guitar would continue to be played and enjoyed by me and those listening to it, he sold it to me for way below his asking price (at what the guitar was really worth). I think it worked out for both of us, he knows it went to a good home, and I play it daily and gig with it regularly. All that doesn't really help much, does it. Good luck with your dilemma
  18. For a compact little fold up stand, the Fender ones that come in the nylon bag are great (sorry to use the "F" word on this site). Folded up they'll fit in the back of your combo amp or in your gig bag. They support the bottom and back of the body of the guitar which is sufficient in most cases. If you need a big heavy duty stand that wraps around the neck, the best stand I've ever found is a Hamilton KB-37. They're big, chromed steel, and built like a tank. They do fold up, but not very small. The best guitar stand in the business, if they're still made.
  19. The plain G will always be somewhat louder than the others, it's just plain physics since it's the largest guage unwound string of the set. But this can be compensated for to give a nice blend, by adjusting the pickup height, pickup angle, and pole pieces. Start by writing down the measurements of where everything is before you start: p/u height to the first string, p/u height to the sixth string, and note any pole pieces that are raised or lowered. This way you can always get it back to where you started in the event you adjustments do not work out. Now the fun part. The first adjustment to make should be the angle of the pickup to the strings. Try lower the pickup away from the bass strings so the p/u is closer to the high E side. This will pull it away from the G a bit and also smooth out the bass response. A little adjustment goes a long way. If you get a nice smooth, somewhat even response to your like, then adjust the individual pole pieces to tweak your sound. On my Historic ES-345, strung with D'Addario EXL-115 (11-49), the measurements at the pole pieces are: Bridge p/u- 3 mm to high E, 4mm to low E, and pole pieces about equal, just barely out of the top of the cover. Neck p/u - 4mm to high E, 6mm to low E, same on the pole pieces.
  20. Guitars: 1975 Les Paul Standard, 2000 Historic '59 ES-345 Styles: Blues, Jazz Strings: D'Addario EXL 112 Guages: 11-14-18-28-38-49 Tone: Not too bright, not too dark, just right Playability/Feel: Great feel, easy to play Quality/Life: Consistant sound from out of the box throughout their long life. Time to change only when they no longer will stay in tune. Value: Great value, a 3-pack for about $10 or $4 for a single set. Overall: I played GHS Boomers for years, they sound real brite out of the box, but that didn't last through the first gig. I changed to the D'Addarios about 10 years ago because they sound the same from the time you put them on to the time you take them off. On my jazzboxes I use LaBella Nylon Tape Wound 14's. But that's another story all together.
  21. I've seen this many times. Hopefully it's something simple like the wire pulling it like Roadhog says. It's probably something much worse. If the pickup mounting ring is installed too far toward the bridge, the pickup may actually be being pushed in that direction by the edge of the routed hole. Since the pickup holes are cut to a very close tolerance, it only has to be off a few mm's. Although this won't really effect the magnetic/electric function of the pickup, it can cause vibration, buzz and rattles acoustically, which will effect the sound of the guitar. If you can straighten it up by pushing on it by hand, see Roadhogs advise. If it feel like it's hitting something solid, there are only two ways to fix it, relocate the pickup mounting ring by drilling four new holes, or enlarge the routing hole in the body.
  22. First, it sounds like your nut may be cut a little too small for the string guage and it is binding in the slot. This is the most common cause of all tuning problems, and that's not a do-it-yourself fix-it for most people. The nut lube is a good idea, and I've found that a very effective and inexpensive product to use for this is a white grease pencil. Available at any office supply of school supply store for about a quarter. One will last you a lifetime. Just work it into the nut slots like you were coloring with a crayon. The waxy consistancy of the grease pencil will stay in place much longer than any liquid or powder product.
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