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2017 Les Paul STANDARD,Should it go back?


Wild Bill 212

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OK, Need an opinion. I just bought a 2017 LES PAUL STANDARD, Heritage Cherry-Sunburst, from an on-line retailer. I have done business with them before and my experience has been great, no problems. IMO they are a completely reputable company.The problem with the guitar is that the NUT is cut incorrectly. The String-Action at the 1ST Fret is slightly over 1/64THs on the LOW 'E' and about one half of a 64TH or 1/128TH on the High 'E'.The High 'E' is just barley clearing the 1ST Fret, GIBSON specs are 2/64THs Low 'E' and 1/64TH High 'E'. NOW, I know those are genral guidelline specs and the strings are not suppossed to be a half an inch above the Fret. BUT the High 'E' string is barely clearing the 1ST Fret, DANG! I have had the Guitar for about 10 days and just got around to checking all of the specs on the Guitar. Everything else on the Guitar is PERFECT. Relief out-of-the-box is .012" @ 7TH Fret via Notched-Straight Edge method.The electronics are all perfect, not a blemish to be found on the finish anywhere on the Guitar, it is really a MAGNIFICENT GUITAR, BEAUTIFUL, but this one problem. I would venture a guess that if I were to put lighter gauge strings on it, say .42-.08's the High 'E' string would not clear the 1ST Fret, but I have not tried that yet as I have not even changed the original strings on this BAD-BOY yet! I LOVE THIS GUITAR, its the Guitar I waited 30 years to own, the sound of a 6 String 'A' Barre chord is so good....OMG, its scary !!!

 

NOTE: a 2017 'SG' STANDARD I purchased 4 months ago, from the same company, has the String Action 'out-of-the-box' @ the 1ST Fret EXACTLY to GIBSON SPECS: 2/64THs Low 'E' and 1/64THs High 'E' and the guitar is TOTAL PERFECTION,it is BAD-A$ and I LOVE IT !!!

 

Two GIBSON FADED's I bought @ Guitar Center in 2016 both had NUT issue's.

A 2016 Les Paul Studio Faded I've left alone,so far,because the High 'E' is just over 1/64THs,the Low 'E' is just above the same measuremnt as the High 'E', the crucial measurement being the 1/64TH on the HIGH 'E'.

 

A 2016 'SG' Special has/had the exact same problem as the new Les Paul, and I just put a .017" SHIM under the NUT and now its slightly over what it should be: 2/64THs Low 'E' and 1/64THs High 'E'. BUT, now I can put lighter gauge strings on it without opening the 'RELIEF' just to clear the 1ST Fret. I will change the NUT on it eventually, but I only paid $542 for the 'SG' Special, this new 2017 Les Paul STANDARD is over 5 X's the price. I have contacted the retailer/dealer and they are going to have their techs contact me, BUT, seriously GUYS....what would you do?

 

 

SHOULD IT GO BACK ?Leave it alone? Get a repair? If so what ? SHIM? NEW NUT ?

 

any opinion offered will be appreciated....I'm unable to upload pics, or I would so as to illustrate this issue...

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OK, Need an opinion. I just bought a 2017 LES PAUL STANDARD, Heritage Cherry-Sunburst, from an on-line retailer. I have done business with them before and my experience has been great, no problems. IMO they are a completely reputable company.The problem with the guitar is that the NUT is cut incorrectly. The String-Action at the 1ST Fret is slightly over 1/64THs on the LOW 'E' and about one half of a 64TH or 1/128TH on the High 'E'.The High 'E' is just barley clearing the 1ST Fret, GIBSON specs are 2/64THs Low 'E' and 1/64TH High 'E'. NOW, I know those are genral guidelline specs and the strings are not suppossed to be a half an inch above the Fret. BUT the High 'E' string is barely clearing the 1ST Fret, DANG! I have had the Guitar for about 10 days and just got around to checking all of the specs on the Guitar. Everything else on the Guitar is PERFECT. Relief out-of-the-box is .012" @ 7TH Fret via Notched-Straight Edge method.The electronics are all perfect, not a blemish to be found on the finish anywhere on the Guitar, it is really a MAGNIFICENT GUITAR, BEAUTIFUL, but this one problem. I would venture a guess that if I were to put lighter gauge strings on it, say .42-.08's the High 'E' string would not clear the 1ST Fret, but I have not tried that yet as I have not even changed the original strings on this BAD-BOY yet! I LOVE THIS GUITAR, its the Guitar I waited 30 years to own, the sound of a 6 String 'A' Barre chord is so good....OMG, its scary !!!

 

NOTE: a 2017 'SG' STANDARD I purchased 4 months ago, from the same company, has the String Action 'out-of-the-box' @ the 1ST Fret EXACTLY to GIBSON SPECS: 2/64THs Low 'E' and 1/64THs High 'E' and the guitar is TOTAL PERFECTION,it is BAD-A$ and I LOVE IT !!!

 

Two GIBSON FADED's I bought @ Guitar Center in 2016 both had NUT issue's.

A 2016 Les Paul Studio Faded I've left alone,so far,because the High 'E' is just over 1/64THs,the Low 'E' is just above the same measuremnt as the High 'E', the crucial measurement being the 1/64TH on the HIGH 'E'.

 

A 2016 'SG' Special has/had the exact same problem as the new Les Paul, and I just put a .017" SHIM under the NUT and now its slightly over what it should be: 2/64THs Low 'E' and 1/64THs High 'E'. BUT, now I can put lighter gauge strings on it without opening the 'RELIEF' just to clear the 1ST Fret. I will change the NUT on it eventually, but I only paid $542 for the 'SG' Special, this new 2017 Les Paul STANDARD is over 5 X's the price. I have contacted the retailer/dealer and they are going to have their techs contact me, BUT, seriously GUYS....what would you do?

 

 

SHOULD IT GO BACK ?Leave it alone? Get a repair? If so what ? SHIM? NEW NUT ?

 

any opinion offered will be appreciated....I'm unable to upload pics, or I would so as to illustrate this issue...

 

 

Wild Bill,

 

Gibson Specs for action are @ 12th fret, 5/64 low E and 3/64 high E, The neck relief is not .012 as Gibson sets them up with very little if any neck relief. They will play with a straight neck a lot of them will even with action lower than factory spec. They start with a straight neck and then give a counterclockwise turn of 1/8 to 1/4 and that is it, most are just 1/8. Below is email I got from Gibson Customer Care yesterday on neck relief and pickup heights. They also give the link to the setup they use. Cheers

 

Hello,

 

Set-up specs are the same for Les Paul’s SG’s and ES-335’s. Here is a link to a great article which provides instructions and specs for set-up: http://www.gibson.com/Support/Tech-Tips/Basic-Guitar-Setup.aspx . To set pick-up height, you first need to hold all the strings down at the 22 fret and then measure to gap between the bottom of the outside “E” strings and the top of the pole piece on the bass side and one the treble side for both pick-ups. For the neck pick-up, the gap on either side should be 3/32nd” and on the bridge pick-up, the gap should be 1/16th” on either side. Gibson sets our necks up to have very little relief.

 

 

Thanks for writing us,

 

 

 

Gibson Customer Service

1-800-4GIBSON

service@gibson.com

 

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I usually use Feeler gauges and then covert the math but Gibson is usually around the standard approximation and can be further tweaked lower. That said I usually do this just by eye feel, how playable then check for verification.

 

The standard for electric guitar

 

Bass E Treble E

 

Action at the 1st fret .024" .010"

 

Action at the 12th fret .078" .063"

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Wild Bill,

 

Gibson Specs for action are @ 12th fret, 5/64 low E and 3/64 high E, The neck relief is not .012 as Gibson sets them up with very little if any neck relief. They will play with a straight neck a lot of them will even with action lower than factory spec. They start with a straight neck and then give a counterclockwise turn of 1/8 to 1/4 and that is it, most are just 1/8. Below is email I got from Gibson Customer Care yesterday on neck relief and pickup heights. They also give the link to the setup they use. Cheers

 

Hello,

 

Set-up specs are the same for Les Paul's SG's and ES-335's. Here is a link to a great article which provides instructions and specs for set-up: http://www.gibson.co...itar-Setup.aspx . To set pick-up height, you first need to hold all the strings down at the 22 fret and then measure to gap between the bottom of the outside "E" strings and the top of the pole piece on the bass side and one the treble side for both pick-ups. For the neck pick-up, the gap on either side should be 3/32nd" and on the bridge pick-up, the gap should be 1/16th" on either side. Gibson sets our necks up to have very little relief.

 

 

Thanks for writing us,

 

 

 

Gibson Customer Service

1-800-4GIBSON

service@gibson.com

 

• The Gibson Forums are provided for Gibson Fans to share opinions and information about all of the brands in the Gibson family. Become a Gibson Forums member today, visit http://forums.gibson.com/

• Sign up now to receive the latest news from Gibson http://www.gibson.com/emailsignup.aspx

 

***CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: This communication is considered a private and proprietary exchange between Gibson Musical Instruments and its customers, and is intended for the eyes of the original recipient(s) only. This e-mail message, including any attachments, is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply e-mail and destroy all copies of the original message. ***

 

 

 

Thanks RockyA, Well then the dealer set the 'RELIEF'. It was, and still is, set to .012" @ 7TH Fret. I got the 1ST Fret string action figure from GIBSON's own web-site HERE :

 

http://www.gibson.com/Support/Tech-Tips/Basic-Guitar-Setup.aspx and I think it is the same web-page thats in the letter you received.

 

on that page Gibson notes the action at the 1ST Fret :Treble side 1/64TH, Bass side 2/64THs.....and this Les Paul is definitely lower on both sides, the treble side is the CRUCIAL one as it is barely clearing the 1ST Fret. My dilemma about this is whether to send it back or not, which would mean shipping it back to the dealer for IDK how long.I sure do wish they had got it right before they shipped it to me. Putting a set of lighter gauge strings on it and seeing if it clears the 1ST Fret may just decide it for me.

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I usually use Feeler gauges and then covert the math but Gibson is usually around the standard approximation and can be further tweaked lower. That said I usually do this just by eye feel, how playable then check for verification.

 

The standard for electric guitar

 

Bass E Treble E

 

Action at the 1st fret .024" .010"

 

Action at the 12th fret .078" .063"

 

YES, I agree and that is what my guitars are usually set at at the 12TH Fret and buzz is minimal. At the 1ST Fret on this new Les Paul it is Treble side .008" & Bass side.019" a very tiny space and about half of what the Gibson web-site states it should be. A very tiny space whether 1/64TH or 2/64THs or smaller. I need a magnifying glass and reading glasses.

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Wild Bill, if it plays fine and doesn't fret out or buzz.....then just play it. If you set the neck relief to very little like Gibson says and then set the action at 5/64 and 3/64 I doubt there would be a problem with first fret using an .08, but why would you want to do that....If I were you, I would just leave it alone and play it and quit worrying about measurement numbers unless you need to set it up because it don't play right. If you can play a real fast boogie woogie starting with the low E and then the A string at first fret, 5th fret, 12th fret and 17th fret and it plays clear and easy.....the neck has right relief and your action is good for you. Just a tip.

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Why would you want to put ultra light gauge strings on this when you see what it did to your SG Special that you discussed on another thread? If you restring with a different gauge like that, you will have nut issues. Why not just do a setup on it if you like it or return it if you don't?

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At the 1ST Fret on this new Les Paul it is Treble side .008" & Bass side.019" a very tiny space and about half of what the Gibson web-site states it should be.

 

Im not sure I understand or missed something, the conversion is quite similar so your LP is lower than both standard electric measurements which coincide with Gibson because they are an approximation which imho they have to be approximate, but as mentioned above with no buzz then it seems OK'

 

Nevertheless, that said that measurement is also in relation to the 12th fret, hows the string height at the 12th? Anyway I think what your seeing isnt uncommon with production line they usually need a set up and intonation but the approximate 1st height isnt uncommon on your first fret its actually good consistent work imho. But its a good way to also check the entire string path since this height off the board is in direct relation to your bridge and stop tail, fretwork etc. imho.

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Bill the tolerance specs of bridge and tail come into play because of the specifics of the 17 degree break angles, over the saddles, strings clear the rear edge of the bridge to the Stop Tail thats in relation to your string heights and neck set specs both break angles are the same also from nut/headstock so go from there?

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I'd keep it and not worry about 1/64th or whatever we're talking here. You said you played it for 10 days and really enjoyed it before checking the measurements, so it seems that it must play alright and no fret buzz. Sending it back will be an expense and a hassle and you won't have it to play for probably a couple weeks.

 

I purchased a new Standard in January and just measured to compare. My high E is 1/64th above the fret. It plays and sounds fine.

 

You can always shim it, or replace with a bone nut or whatever at some point down the road, if there is a problem, but as long as everything else is so good on it, I wouldn't let this bother me.

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I'd keep it and not worry about 1/64th or whatever we're talking here. You said you played it for 10 days and really enjoyed it before checking the measurements, so it seems that it must play alright and no fret buzz. Sending it back will be an expense and a hassle and you won't have it to play for probably a couple weeks.

 

I purchased a new Standard in January and just measured to compare. My high E is 1/64th above the fret. It plays and sounds fine.

 

You can always shim it, or replace with a bone nut or whatever at some point down the road, if there is a problem, but as long as everything else is so good on it, I wouldn't let this bother me.

 

Well, No......I've barely played it at all as I've been really busy. The measurement at the 1st fret on your new STANDARD is, according to GIBSON's own specs, correct on the High 'E' @ 1/64TH, the Low 'E' should be twice that @ 2/64THs.The '17 'SG' STANDARD 'Black-Beauty' that I got in February is exactly 2/64THs & 1/64THs @ 1ST Fret....and when I put a new NUT and new FRETS on a '94 NIGHTHAWK last year I set the action at the 1st Fret to those specs: 2/64THs & 1/64THs with the Neck as straight as I could get it.

 

IDK if I am correct or not, and I need to point out that I am not a Professional Luthier, but when I was doing the complete 22 Fret NUT/Refret job on my 1994 NIGHTHAWK, I thought the most important measurement was the 1ST Fret and I wanted to get it right, and I did, the NUT/Re-Fret job got done and the guitar is 100% playable and set to GIBSON's own specs. This new Les Paul is off at the 1ST Fret, it just is.... OH WELL !

 

I have been in awe of this guitar and not wanted to adjust anything on it. But I did check everything according to GIBSON's own specs. I played it a little tonight and the tech that set it up @ the dealer did a good job. Minimal Buzz on Low 'E', No choked out notes and what I'm going to do is just do a set-up on it and see how it goes.And YES, I agree, sending it back will be a hassle. If I could bring it over to Guitar Center and have them do it in a day, that would be better than shipping it back. AND putting a NUT on it, or a shim, is something that I could do, not that I really want to. Something about messing with a brand new $3,000 AXE has me reluctant to work on it.

 

Thank You GUYS for your suggestions/comments.....

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Bill the tolerance specs of bridge and tail come into play because of the specifics of the 17 degree break angles, over the saddles, strings clear the rear edge of the bridge to the Stop Tail thats in relation to your string heights and neck set specs both break angles are the same also from nut/headstock so go from there?

 

Yes, I do have to jack up the Stop-Bar a bit to get the Low 'E' off of the back of the Bridge plate, and do a set-up on it myself. I'm going to get to settin it up right now, and don't have much to do as the dealer's tech was pretty good 'out-of-the-box'. I've been reluctant thus far to make any adjustments. Almost as if I'm scared of it, LOL ! TNX !

 

 

 

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Yes, I do have to jack up the Stop-Bar a bit to get the Low 'E' off of the back of the Bridge plate, and do a set-up on it myself. I'm going to get to settin it up right now, and don't have much to do as the dealer's tech was pretty good 'out-of-the-box'. I've been reluctant thus far to make any adjustments. Almost as if I'm scared of it, LOL ! TNX !

 

LOL Ok I see, you know if that bothers you, you can swap over to a ABR conversion to eliminate the issue. Anyway let us know how it goes. And yes some of this is very subjective as aside from the set specs then the various issues of sustain, does it matter if the strings hit the bridge and on and on in sequence come into play. But I also get the distinct impression the Tail height is not altogether a neck set issue with tolerance but a bridge issue in size which imo narrows the tolerance and creates a few of the Tail issues you see now and again.

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Congrats on the new guitar - sound awesome [thumbup]

 

Couple of random thoughts:

- People like different action (standard nut and bridge settings are just a standard) so first would you not get the action just how you want it and then if it's impossible to remove buzz at your desired action you have an issue, but if no buzz then no problem?

- Nuts and frets obviously will wear - so the only time it's going to be as it is when it arrives is before its starts getting used...from then on these, and therefore the measurement, will be ever changing.

- If the difference in 'error' on the low and high E's is not the same (in numeric, not percentage terms) then how will a shim be useful? (In my experience most commonly a flat strip of clear plastic that is uniform in depth)

 

Personally, my luthier will cut a nut to exacting standards as desired by the client for $40 - you're going to need it one day, so if it were me I'd just get it done straight away. (And whilst I have no experience of Guitar Centre, they are prone to some criticism here so may not be the best option). Hope that helps, and if not please ignore as I don't wish to come across as just stating the bleeding obvious.

 

Enjoy that beautiful guitar Bill - for 30 years waiting you have indeed earned the right to exactly what you want.

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Whatever you do, don't take it to Guitar Center or you'll be sorry.

 

My advice is this. A nut cut that low isn't necessarily a problem as long as it doesn't buzz. So if it was me and I liked the guitar otherwise then I'd keep it and figure on going to a good luthier - not Musician's Friend - and getting a new nut installed.

[thumbup] [thumbup]

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Congrats on the new guitar - sound awesome [thumbup]

 

Couple of random thoughts:

- People like different action (standard nut and bridge settings are just a standard) so first would you not get the action just how you want it and then if it's impossible to remove buzz at your desired action you have an issue, but if no buzz then no problem?

- Nuts and frets obviously will wear - so the only time it's going to be as it is when it arrives is before its starts getting used...from then on these, and therefore the measurement, will be ever changing.

- If the difference in 'error' on the low and high E's is not the same (in numeric, not percentage terms) then how will a shim be useful? (In my experience most commonly a flat strip of clear plastic that is uniform in depth)

 

Personally, my luthier will cut a nut to exacting standards as desired by the client for $40 - you're going to need it one day, so if it were me I'd just get it done straight away. (And whilst I have no experience of Guitar Centre, they are prone to some criticism here so may not be the best option). Hope that helps, and if not please ignore as I don't wish to come across as just stating the bleeding obvious.

 

Enjoy that beautiful guitar Bill - for 30 years waiting you have indeed earned the right to exactly what you want.

WOW, THANK YOU, I appreciate the 'CONGRATS', I surely did wait a long time.....

 

 

Your correct about the time changing heights and I will surely have to put a NUT on this a lot sooner than if it had arrived at 1/64TH & 2/64Ths. My 2017 SG STANDARD arrived at exactly 1/64TH & 2/64THs and is therefore a more perfect specimen, for this one specific reason, than this Les Paul that cost twice as much.

 

I just did a set-up on it and its playin pretty sweetly I must say.There was not much to do set-up wise. Raised the Stop-Tail until the strings cleared the Bridge-Plate, closed the 'RELIEF' a bit and a slight turn on the treble side of the thumbwheel and it was ready to ROCK !! and OMG, THE TONE ON THIS GUITAR IS STUNNING. The way an OPEN C chord resonates through the body of the guitar , UGH !!!! "Carry That Weight" never sounded so good when I played it as it just did on this BAD-BOY.

 

I do most of my own work and can tell when a job is beyond my talents. This NUT is not beyond me but its more the principle of price paid, blah blah, and I'd have been a bit happier if it had been right/better/correct when it arrived. I don't have any real opinion of Guitar-Center's Luthier's but if they sold it to me I'd be over there right now asking them to either raise the NUT W/a Shim or put a new one in it. Shipping it back through the mail though ? I have trust issues, LOL, and I am really leary of shipping it anywhere, PLUS.... it took so long to get the damn thing I don't want to let go of it !!!

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LOL not sending that baby anywhere? I hear that, I have to say if you like the tone I might leave it be even with the nut. No buzz easy pressure to fret and chord change in the first position is a good thing.

 

I do have serious TRUST issue's when it comes to my guitars. Over the years, Several people tried to steal my #1 'ANGUS', a '79 'SG'. Seemed like everywhere I went with him, someone wanted to steal him.One particluar Moron......

 

 

N E WAY, I was anxious about closing the 'Relief', I like a fairly straight neck (.005" +/-) and did not know if it was going to lower the action @ 1ST Fret even further than it already is/was. I have yet to Name the Guitar but it is definitely set-up now the way I like to have my axe's set-up. It has a fast playing neck, 'Slim-Taper' Gibson calls it(?) and it just got noticeably FASTER from the few adjustments I did make.

 

YES, the tone is what I MIGHT like the most about this guitar, SUSTAIN is pretty AWESOME as well. As I mentioned, this guitar is BAD-A$$$ save for that one thing, and now the feedback I am getting is that a NUT is not a deal-breaker and is not that big a deal to make right eventually.New NUT or SHIM. I measured it three times to make sure it was as low as I had stated before I opened my big mouth too. It is definitely cut noticeably low, by half, compared to what GIBSON's advertised specs are.

 

Thanks again Golden, appreciate you taking your time to comment.

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After 10 days of heavenly playing and no problems... keep it!

 

After 10 days, why worry if it's within specs?

 

If you plan to switch to 8 gauge strings... yes, you will need to adjust the nut, truss rod, intonation, string height, and pickup... new set up...and it may not be within factory specs either since 10 gauge is the usual standard.

 

Tweak and tweak until it plays well for you... then enjoy!

 

 

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After 10 days of heavenly playing and no problems... keep it!

 

After 10 days, why worry if it's within specs?

 

If you plan to switch to 8 gauge strings... yes, you will need to adjust the nut, truss rod, intonation, string height, and pickup... new set up...and it may not be within factory specs either since 10 gauge is the usual standard.

 

Tweak and tweak until it plays well for you... then enjoy!

 

 

 

Maybe I should not have wrote the 10 days part. I have had it now about 13 days but the first 10 days I did not play it much. I just heard from the sales rep @ the dealer and they are willing to put a SHIM in it or Replace the NUT, my choice. I would have to pay the shipping (they did deliver the Guitar FREE OF CHARGE via Two-Day Express shipping and I did get a pretty good deal on the Guitar).

 

So I just decided, IT WILL BE too much of a hassle to send it back.Packing it up, then waiting for it etc etc... The NUT is cut on the low side as High 'E' is barely clearing the 1st Fret, but I can get by until I either put a SHIM under the NUT or just replace the NUT.

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Just cant take that risk eh? I think you'll be fine anyway.

 

The situation has been resolved. GIBSON USA is shipping a brand new TEKTOID NUT to me ,NO CHARGE, and if I do not want to do the installation they will pay for the installation at a GIBSON AUTHORIZED repair center. The SELLER stated that if I did the work, as long as it is done correctly and there is no damage to the Guitar, the warranty will NOT be voided. IDK, what I will do as far as the installation goes, I CAN DO IT EASILY, and most likely I will do it myself, not much to it really. I am glad I did not let this go. The NUT was cut too low at the only critical string height on the guitar, The HIGH 'E' @ the 1ST Fret. It is the only string height on the guitar that is NOT to the players taste, and I knew it, that is why I checked it.......... and I almost let it go.

 

That one measurement has got to be right. Only one of the four GIBSON Guitars I have purchased in the last 16 months had a NUT correctly cut to GIBSON's own advertised specs: Low 'E' 2/64TH & High 'E' 1/64THs @ 1ST Fret. BUT as long as the Low 'E' is above 1.3/64THs it is not as critical as the HIGH 'E'. The HIGH 'E', at the 1ST Fret has got to be correct @ 1/64TH or slightly higher.This Les Paul was the only one of the four that the HIGH 'E' was too Low @ less than half 1/64TH or .008", it's just barely clearing the 1ST Fret. BUT this will be corrected shortly.

 

Thanks to those who commented/advised.

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