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On the way a 2013 NOS Traditional LP thoughts on these?


MikeThomasmusic

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Hello all. After exclusively playing Gretsch guitars for around the last 10 to 12 years I just sold off my last one. Although its been awhile I am coming home to hum buckers. As of last night I purchased a basically NOS 2013 LP traditional off the bay, The person I bought it from was deployed in the military and purchased the guitar from sweet water on his way home. When he arrived home he had discovered his wife surprised him with the same exact guitar. He decided to keep the one his wife purchased and sell the other which he stated he only played for five minutes just to test/check it out. So basically its a brand new 2013. You'll see its got a pretty nice flame for a regular traditional! Correct me if I'm wrong but I have heard that the 2013 Traditional's have become known as a sort of sweet spot year for these? The guitar should be arriving in 3 to 5 days. Below is a couple of the sellers's pics. I can upload more along with my thoughts once it arrives.

 

This is my first gibson in a long while, the last that I owned was an SG and I very briefly had an early 2000's Les Paul studio that felt kind of clunky so I sold it. I really wanted a historic R8 or R9 but at the moment they are out of reach for me. Forgive me if this topic has been beat to death.

 

I'd like to get the guitar as close as I can to vintage Historic spec. Any suggestions on what I should replace and what I should replace them with? For electronics it seems that the RS guitar works bumble bee harness is the popular way to go? Also what about hardware? I'm not too fussy when it comes to vintage/worn looking hardware. Actually if the guitar isn't a relic and looks new then to me its kind of pointless to get aged hardware, other than maybe the plastic parts like a darkened amber switch tip, the vintage greener keystone tuning buttons, and maybe a more historic accurate pick guard? When did Gibson foist start using speed knobs verses the top hat style? The top hat would be the more vintage correct right? How about the plastic around the input jack? Is there a better or more vintage correct one then what will come stock on the trad? And of course suggestions for pickups? I actually have enjoyed the sound of the classic 57's I have owned in the past. Is there really that big of a difference going with say like a set of Lollars or some other boutique maker's pickups? Besides sounding good I know it can be kind of trendy to go with boutique pickups but I have also heard that the Duncan antiquities sound pretty amazing?

 

Those wee just a few things off the top of my head, if I missed anything or if you have any suggestions at all on what I should and shouldn't do along with any specific companies products I would really appreciate it.

Here are the sellers pics:

 

mylp5_zps796b0649.jpg

 

0e9cf97a-a02e-4790-bcf7-f4b891010411_zps49105773.jpg

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Hi and welcome.

 

RS makes a really good harness set, for sure, but it might not be necessary to go that far.

I can't remember for certain but if the Trad has 500k pots for both the vol and tone knobs then all you need to get are a pair of genuine PIO caps (e.g. Luxe brand) and wire it up '50s style.

There are many links to different wiring diagrams but if you would like a help just say so.

 

An amber switch-tip makes a surprisingly large difference visually speaking.

As does a 'proper' shaped p'g and a Vintage-style TRC. The modern TRC's are quite different from those on the Historics.

 

Speed-knobs were actually the original style on the very first Standards in '52 but hat-box/bell knobs are correct fro a '58-'60 look. Don't get the amber ones; stick with gold.

 

A more square-cornered jack-plate is available if you fancy spending the money. It's not a great deal, though, as it's almost invisible when the guitar is in use. YMMV.

 

One thing you haven't mentioned is the bridge.

If I were trying to make an Historic lookalike then one of the first things I'd change is the Nashville Tune-o-matic for an ABR-1.

There are a few threads showing a few different approaches to the swap.

I'm sure lots of us will be able to offer advice on the change.

 

I have a couple of R-I's with '57 Classics and a 1960 Classic with a matched set of SD Antiquities so, FWIW, here are my observations;

The Antiquities really come into their own when played at fairly high volumes and over.

At lower volumes - as in at home - they seem a bit lacking in character. But they're not. They just need to be given more head (and practice!) to get the sweet spot.

The '57 Classics, OTOH, work very happily in each and every situation I've ever been in. If I was to choose just one set of p'ups I'd choose the '57s without a doubt.

Your Trad has a '57 Classic and a '57 Classic +. I'd stick with those unless you are playing mainly gigs.

 

If you want any more detailed advice you could try sending a PM to 'Uncle Fred' (a.k.a. Donny) as he has undertaken an almost identical project in the last month and he REALLY knows his stuff!

 

Just my 0.02c.

 

P.

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I'd side with Philip on the 57 / 57+ combo.

 

my brother in-law has a 13 trad with this setup. It sounds amazing.

 

if the upgrade wasn't a $jackson or two$ shy of 400 bucks, I'd probably put them in one of my standards.

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I'd side with Philip on the 57 / 57+ combo.

 

my brother in-law has a 13 trad with this setup. It sounds amazing.

 

if the upgrade wasn't a $jackson or two$ shy of 400 bucks, I'd probably put them in one of my standards.

 

Cool, thanks for the advice guys. I read quite a few reviews that said the 57+ was a little on the bright side? Guess I'll have to wait and see. After purchasing the guitar I did order an an amber switch. I can't believe how much, (like everything else), Gibson charges for these. As far as I can tell because the tips are made of two pieces and all tend to have seams, the only thing Gibson does differently is smooth out the seam a little more? I was happy just spending under $5 bucks for one shipped. Interestingly the LesPaulforum.com had a post that showed an image where someone opened up one of the Gibson bumble bee caps. They looked up the numbers on it and found out that you can get them for .50 cents each supposedly, and Gibson sells a pair for $129! Yikes!

 

I'll have to look up the differences between bridges I can't remember., I've forgotten a lot of that stuff, its been quite a few years now since I worked in a guitar shop and used to know those things like the back of my hand. I have scanned many debates on many forums over the years about the tonality differences in the bridges and it seems to be a hot topic of debate. Did the 58-60's have the wire holding the screws on? Well I can always contact the guy who recently diid a trad conversion.

 

This one I'm getting as seen in the pictures is light burst. I know a lot of the supposed holly grail 59's have more of that classic heritage cherry burst finish. I wonder how the light burst is regarded as far as historical significance ? I know a lot of the cherry bursts faded and would sometimes end up looking quite a bit lighter.

 

It looks like the 2013's have 300k linear volume pots and 500k non linear tone pots.

I wasn't aware there was a difference with pick guard shapes, I assumed the vintage spec maybe just had something to do with the ply and binding edge? I'll look into that as well. Thanks again for the help.

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Yes. The "Bumblebees" Gibson uses are not PIO. But there's a lot more to it than you would like to hear at this moment in time. There's no need to shell out $129, though......

 

Bridges? Here you go;

This is the Nashville on your Trad;

Nashville-1.jpg

 

This is an ABR-1;

ABR-1.jpg

 

The original '56-'60 ABR-1's didn't have a retaining wire. That was a bad idea. IMHO.

 

Colour?

Anything goes. Darkest VintageSunBurst to palest LemonDrop. Everything is 'correct'.

 

Switch to all 500k Audio Taper if you would like 'authentic'.

 

Most LP Standards since way back (Norlin era) have p'guards with a beveled edge and a tapered front 'point'. This is to be avoided at all costs.

Historic (proper) 'guards have sides cut perpendicular to the surface and no taper anywhere along the edge.

 

IMHO...

 

P.

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That is a stunning guitar!

 

My only suggestion is find the tube amp of your dreams that you find the tone to-die-for and play it and love it...

 

It's all suggestive, we all have our own discriminating tastes...

 

You just need to find what speaks to you and fills you with the passion to play!

 

Good luck & have fun!!!

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...

This is an ABR-1;

ABR-1.jpg

 

The original '56-'60 ABR-1's didn't have a retaining wire. That was a bad idea. IMHO.

 

...

P.

 

Indeed, the retainer wire version was an awful idea.

 

This was recommended by many great Forum members:

 

HPIM4746_zps91d72982.jpg

 

Faber ABRN '59 bridge, with Faber iNserts.

 

Cheers... Bence

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Indeed, the retainer wire version was an awful idea...

Actually, that's not quite what I meant, Bence, but I agree that the Faber design is a more stylish solution to the potential problem of a lost saddle if a string were to break on stage...

 

P.

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Just play it before you worry about the cosmetics IMO. I have a 2013 Trad and 2014 trad. The 57's actually have more roar and mid-range than the new 59 tribute humbuckers and they are not as bright. Depending on your age and style of music you play the 57's may be just fine.

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Am I correct in reading that the 2013's because of changes made, the obvious being no swiss cheese holes, that the 2013 models are a good year for these? Even preferred over the 2014 anniversary stamped models? Correct me again if I'm wrong, I could be confusing this with 2013 historic's. I thought I remembered reading that they also changed a bunch more of the specs on the 2013's to closer resemble vintage specs? Did they also change things such as using hide glue again or using a more vintage style hide glue,more vintage accurate finish dies, the longer neck tenon, and closer to 50's style inlay instead of the more plastic kind used mostly today as well as having the frets go all the way into the binding? I though I remembered seeing that somewhere or like I said I could just be remembering what I read about 2013 Historic's? For some reason I'm thinking that the 2013 models might become a model year that people prefer which could mean they will hold their value much better in the long run,

 

Thanks again for everyone's help. As I said I was a die hard exclusive Gretsch player for so long. Besides briefly owning an earlier LP studio this Traditional I have on the way would be my first carved top "real deal", Les Paul. I'm excited and enjoy picking the brains of players who are much more Gibson knowledgeable than I am. I'm also glad that the guitar I'm getting was originally a sweet water guitar. They have a great reputation for really going over the guitars that they sell,not letting any shoddy workmanship end up in the customer's hands.

That is a stunning guitar!

 

My only suggestion is find the tube amp of your dreams that you find the tone to-die-for and play it and love it...

 

It's all suggestive, we all have our own discriminating tastes...

 

You just need to find what speaks to you and fills you with the passion to play!

 

Good luck & have fun!!!

 

I think I'm covered when it comes to the tube amp! Below is a pic of my 1962 all original Fender bandmaster with matching 2x12 cab. The amp sounds amazing! As far as vintage Fender amps go, I could be wrong but from personal experience the earlier tweed amps or any Fender amp with a tube rectifier seems to sound really good with Strats/single coil guitars. But for hum-buckers I have always found,(and preferred)a solid state rectifier that Fender started doing with some of the Blonde amps of the early 60's. I think tube rectifiers have a sort of sag to the sound I guess would be the best way to put it; and the solid state rectifiers seem to me anyways to sound better with hum buckers. I'm also a big fan of the closed back sound. Open back amps and even 3/4 back cabs don't seem to sound as tight at louder volumes to me. Don't get me wrong though I also own a couple of smaller more portable combo amps that obviously have open backs and do sound great. I just prefer the closed back cab sound at louder gig playing volumes. I think my next amp, (although they have gone up quite a bit in recent years),might be one of those Supro Thhunderbolts. And not because of Jimmy Page believe it or not. Brian Setzer started using one here and there on various studio recordings beginning with an album called Nitro Burning funny daddy he released in 2003. The opening track (called 60 years), has this killer drop D Rockabilly/blues meets zztop type of tone and riff coming from a cranked Thunderbolt along with a bit of his signature echo. Here is a link to the track on you tube:

 

 

Where the bandmaster lack's with having no reverb it more than enough makes up for it with what some people regard as the greatest tremolo circuit/sound ever designed! If you are unfamiliar with the tremolo from the early 60's blonde era well,they sound nothing like your traditional more throbbing type earlier tremolo's that it seems 99% off your pedal tremolos and other amp companies tremolo's are based on. Instead it features a much more swirly colorful sound, I guess would be the best way to put it. When turned up quite a bit you can actually achieve more of a leslie like rotating speaker effect. And when cranked all the way you get an even more intense wobbling/swirling sound. I have had people who listened to recordings I have made tell me that they thought I was using an old univibe! Another noticeable thing when the intensity is cranked is that you can almost hear that this may have been the inspiration and where the seed might have been planted when the chorus effect was invented? At times on certain settings there really is an almost chorus like sound; which makes sense wasn't chorus supposed to originally be a sort of rotating speaker emulating effect?

 

As I'm sure a lot of you know, that just because these vintage fender amps aren't big 100 watt stacks, don't let that fool you. This thing is so loud,(rated around 38-40 watts), which I swear maybe its just me but the vintage Fender Watts seem like they would be rated much higher on a more modern amp today? This thing cranks, I used to do small club gigs that mostly featured distorted guitars with an alternative rock side project. We were loud and had like a Queens of the stone age/Foo Fighter type hard rock sound. Very rarely did I ever need to turn the amp up past 3 1/2 or 4. In fact just about any time I did the sound guy or other band members would tell me to turn it down! Because its so loud on stage I am unable to really get a good natural break up sound, as the amp doesn't start to break up until around the 6 or higher area. I have thought about trying one of those attenuators, but for now I just use an overdrive pedal for most lead tones.

 

As for an overdrive pedal I'm currently running with the amp. I know I'm a little late to the party, but about 6 months ago I picked up one of those small sized Xotic SL (super lead style) Drives. I got to say its one of the best overdrives I have ever owned and I have owned every kind of boutique as well as mass produced O.D./Distortion you can think of. I've had everything from a Klon Centaur, to an M.I. audio crunch box, and everything in between. Before the XL I was using a Zen drive as well as a Timmy, and although they were good, there is just something about this SL drive that I love. At higher gain settings most overdrives to me tend to burry the articulation of your notes and give off too much of the bad overdrive tone that sounds muddy and more like white noise. The exotic Sl pedal I find is one of the first pedals that I've owned that allows you to get higher gain sounds, yet retain the clarity and articulation of each string and individual note played. I just love it!

 

Since the band master doesn't have reverb I have used various echo/delays over the years. I had the Setzer holy grail of echoes. An original Roland 301-Space echo tape delay that was just too big and clunky, it sounded great but after a a few years I got tired of the endless maintenance and having to haul around an almost second sized amp head just for one effect. Lately I have just been using one of those MXR carbon copy analog delay pedals set at a really fast delay time to get an almost room like reverb sound that reminds me of music recording guru Steve Albini's signature sound. Lately though and especially since my Gretsch guitars are all gone I was thinking of changing from the delay to an actual reverb pedal. Not sure if I want to go with a strictly vintage based spring reverb style pedal or one of those multi-verb pedals? I tend to be more of a set it and forget it kind of player, so I'll probably go with a spring verb type pedal?

 

Anyway I can't wait to try the LP traditional with my bandmaster. Perhaps I will post or link of some video clips of the guitar and amp once I receive the guitar.

 

 

 

Here is a picture of my 1962 Band master along with the last two Gretsch guitars I just sold, (the last of the two is what funded my Les Paul purchase). The hollow body was purchased at a small store that I used to manage. For some reason the guitar had been unsold and in the store's inventory for too long so the owner marked it down to just about dealer cost which was even less than what my normal employee discount would have been. Long story short, I owned the guitar since 2005,(so almost ten years), and I sold it for 50 bucks less than I paid for it! Not too bad, its like I rented it for ten years at a cost of $50 LOL! The arch top is a super flamed Brian Setzer model 6120 Nashville, with stock T.V. jones classic filtertrons. One of the dice knobs fell off and was lost at a gig so I put on the regular spare knobs that came with the guitar as well as taking off the pick guard.

 

The black Jet on the left is a Power Jet which is basically a filtertron equipped duo jet with modern features like a tune-o-magic bridge that is pinned to the body,sperzel locking tuners(helps greatly with a bigsby), and the pickups are hotter T.V. Jones powertron's.

 

Sorry to write an almost novel sized post, can you tell I'm just a little bit excited to get this Les Paul and run it through this amp!

 

 

297017_174140616054180_650451146_n_zps79601f9e.jpg

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Sorry to write an almost novel sized post...

No apologies necessary, I assure you. It was an interesting read.

Better, in fact, than most of the novels I've read recently.......

 

As far as the neck etc. are concerned;

The specs aren't listed any more so I can't double-check but I'm 99.99% sure that the 2013 Trad necks had the regular short tenon and it were attached using Franklin Titebond.

The inlays are normal and the 'nubs' covering the fret-ends are 'usual-fare'.

AFAIK the long neck-tenon; hide-glue; non-sheath truss-rod; ABR-1; nickel-plated hardware; Kluson machines; aniline dyes and so on are the very things which make an Historic different from a Traditional.

The fact that the '13 Trads were the first LPs since 1982 - apart from the R-I's - to have a solid body will no doubt stand them in good stead, though.

 

Thanks for posting the Brian Setzer clip; I really enjoyed that.

 

I'd be interested to hear your views on the Klon...

 

Very, Very Sweet Band Master you have, too!......[thumbup]

 

Looking forward to your thoughts when the Trad arrives.

 

P.

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Hello!

 

If I remember my Classic Custom`s pickup cavity correctly, it has the "transitional" tenon (neck is slighly visible in the cavity). But, I might be wrong. The 2011 Classic Custom has the same specs as pre-2013 Traditionals.

 

But, Donny recently worked around pickups, probably He can remember what did He saw under neck pickup's cavity...

 

Cheers... Bence

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That is a gorgeous Traditional you have there! This entire thread has been a very interesting read. II believe you will find the 2013 Traditional is an amazing Lester and in my opinion the 13 & 14 Traditional's are some of the finest Lesters to come out of Gibson USA for quite some time now. Of course the pups are different between the 13/14, but basically they are the same. Post some of your own pics of her when you get her and of course what you think once she is in your hands. I'd say that if Gibson is listening to what folks are and have been saying about the 13/14 Traditional's they hopefully will continue it with the 2015 models and years to come. Again, congrats on a beauty and a Lester that I am sure is gonna amaze ya!

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My traditional arrived a couple of days ago. I changed out the knobs for vintage style top hats and added an amber switch tip. I've got a plain truss cover on the way as well. I'm kind of unsure what I want to do though. I got a pretty good deal on the guitar. I purchased it off of ebay and the guy said in his description that the guitar was mint,mint as if brand new. I might be needing to file an ebay claim? The description on ebay basically said that the guy bought the guitar while on leave in the army (so it couldn't really be played much I guess)? When he got back home he discovered his wife had bought him the same exact guitar. He didn't want to offend her so he had to keep the one she bought out of the two? (wouldn't you keep the better of the two? I think she would understand no)? Anyway I don't know if it was too late to just return the first guitar he purchased and thats why he ebayed it or what? But the description explained that he literally tried the guitar for just a few minutes to test/check it out and then it was put back in the box perfect mint,mint as new. The guitar is a sweet water guitar because as there was a sweet water checklist with a matching serial number in the case. So if he just boxed it up after briefly checking it out I thought it was a little odd that it came in a non origiinal older beat up epipone shipping box. When I saw that the box said epi on it, the first thing I did when changing the strings was check out the bottom of the pickups. I could tell it wasn't one of those Chinese copies, but just to be safe I felt after seeing epiphone I should make sure the pickups were at least the correct ones,which checked out to be good.

 

So the guitar and everything was almost perfect. The case looks brand spanking new and still has the new guitar smell to it. The guitar looked great until I checked out the back to find a ton of belt rash wear/scratches all over it. It defiantly had been played hard and probably gigged with ont just briefly "checked out then immediately boxed up". The rest of the guitar was like new as described,just except for the scratches all over the back. I can handle a few little dings or scratches I realize its an instrument not new off the shelf from the factory,and I did pay on the lower end of what they sell for used on average. But still it was listed as perfect,perfect, as new condition, and there is more than just a couple of scratches. Not only that but the intonation was horrible. If someone who didn't know guitars and how to intonate them had purchased this they would have been livid spending good money for a guitar that doesn't stay in tune. I slapped some new strings on it and intonated it, and it seems to be staying in tune, less the occasional sometimes Gibson G string issue. Also before I purchased this one I could have purchased one from a store for about the same price (because of free shipping),that was perfect. It just didn't have as nice of a flame. I should have known better. All of the ebay pictures showed the guitar laying in its case. There was no pictures of the back of the guitar. I assumed and gave this army guy the benefit of the doubt because he had nearly 1,000 in ebay positive feedback. So you would think it would more than likely be as described?

 

Here is where it gets interesting. I worked in the guitar industry for about a decade so I have just about seen it all as far as what types of damage occurring from what looks like. Upon getting the guitar I took pictures of the damaged back and emailed the guy. His response was that it was perfect when it left it must have been something in shipping check the box, or for something in the case. Its pretty obvious what playing wear especially belt buckle type scratches look like on a guitar regardless if I worked around guitars for ten years or not, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that out. I emailed him back that it is definitely is playing scratches. His response then was something like, "that's odd because I only played it for like 5 minutes in sweatpants". Give me a break right? Plus there was no pictures of the back of the guitar in the auction?? How this dude has as much good feedback as he does is beyond me, unless there is some way to hack your profile showing more positive feedback? But why go through all the trouble of that? I even explained even with the amount of damage on the guitar they still sell around the same price I paid, so to not describe it in the listing was pretty strange? Although I didn't come right out and say he was lying I just sort of alluded to the fact that you he have had to have known about the damage.

 

After spending a little time with it,later that day,(first day I received the guitar), I emailed him in what I considered to be pretty diplomatic non aggressive way. I basically said that I did like the guitar and I was willing work with him, maybe work something out like a credit or even just a credit for the shipping since the guitar arrived not as accurately described and pretty rough on the back for a, "mint just like new", guitar. Rather typical of people like this, when we were talking business before and during the time of purchase he would typically respond to emails in a few hours or at the least the very next day. Since my diplomatic email (nearly 3 days ago), I have not heard anything from him. And the last time he did email to tell me the sweatpants story it was from a different email. So I'm sure he'll say he never received my last email.

 

Here is where I am now at nearly 4 days from receiving it. After workingout the intonation issue and playing it a little for the last couple of days it turns out I'm not sure the neck is agreeing with me asnyways. This is the first Gibson I have ever owned with a 50's profile neck and although my hand size is pretty average I have been cramping up pretty easy after just a few minutes of play. So now between the guitar arriving not as described and the neck being super uncomfortable I'm leaning towards an ebay claim. Apparently they have a somewhat newer money back guarantee? Anyone ever have to go through this? Maybe my hand will warm up to the neck shape? If you want to check out some pictures of the guitar there are a couple in a newer post I made about Gibson neck shape advice linked below.

 

Thanks for reading, and letting me vent a little. I do like the guitar. I like how it looks especially since I changed the switch tip and knobs, and I like the sound, I just find the neck really uncomfortable and I'm let down about the scratches after being told it was perfect as new. I was going to post some pictures of the damage but all I have is an iPhone camera and it seems tough to really show the scratches on the back, with various indoor lighting angle issues. Maybe I'll try some pics outside and post them later? For now you can check out a couple pics of the front here:

http://forum.gibson.com/index.php?/topic/113628-just-got-a-trad-lp-not-sure-im-digging-the-50s-profile/

 

Again if anyone has had to file a claim with ebay I would appreciate any advice/suggestions.

 

Thanks again.

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Well, you've just described the exact reason(s) I never buy a guitar, on E-bay,

and rarely even sight unseen, or played! Too many factors, that can be quite

disappointing, if you don't really know what you're buying/getting. Whereas,

"hands on," at a good dealer, you know right away, because you get to inspect,

and play it, prior to purchase. Even so, that doesn't guarantee you'll love it,

past the "honeymoon" stage, but at least you have a much better chance, IMHO.

 

There are good "on-line" dealers, with good/great return policies. A lot of

them also stock "used" or "demo" gear, that's (often) a better bet, than E-bay!

 

It's a shame, that you had to go through this [unsure] , but maybe it will be a learning

experience, as well?

 

Cheers, and Good Luck, with your guitar, should you decide to keep it!

Play the Hell out of it, and the buckle rash will seem less an issue. [biggrin]

 

CB

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Regarding the wiring? I know the traditional's have the old school wiring where you dial a volume back when in the middle position it kills the other pickup. Along with the orange drop's does this older wiring have any effect on the tone? I'm asking because I can hardly notice a difference when I roll either tone knob all the way off. At first I thought maybe the guy set it up for hard rock and bypassed the tone knobs altogether because it is almost not noticeable. I'm used to really getting that muddy jazz sound on just about any neck pickup hum bucker I've ever played when the tone is rolled off. You can hear it a little bit with this guitar but I don't think it sounds as if it should. But seeing I don't notice much difference in the bridge position either, maybe thats just the sound of these guitars with the orange drops? I always thought orange drops would give you a more noticeable crybaby wah in the cocked position sort of sound?

Thanks again for all the help, I'm so new to the Les Paul thing or at least traditional I guess I was remembering my old studio from the early 2000's that was more straight forward and modern day typical as far as the wiring wen. Being a traditional I know this is wired different but I should be able to sort of get that wholly Peter Green or Women Clapton type tone by dialing back the neck tone when I'm in the middle position, and I can't get anywhere near it???

 

Thanks again.

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