Jump to content
Gibson Brands Forums
Sign in to follow this  
Alco Flower

Is there a need to "set up" my SG

Recommended Posts

Hello,

 

Now I might be asking a dum question but I am no guitar tech so I am just unsure...I have a 1994 Gibson SG and I was not sure if I should have it set up/tuned up, I don't think that is the right terminology but again I am no expert. I guess my question is what should I look for/listen for to tell me if it needs to be set up. I apologize if I am just wasting people's time but hey I'm new and no guitar tech. Any help is much appreciated.

 

Thanks,

Alco

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello,

 

Now I might be asking a dum question but I am no guitar tech so I am just unsure...I have a 1994 Gibson SG and I was not sure if I should have it set up/tuned up, I don't think that is the right terminology but again I am no expert. I guess my question is what should I look for/listen for to tell me if it needs to be set up. I apologize if I am just wasting people's time but hey I'm new and no guitar tech. Any help is much appreciated.

 

Thanks,

Alco

 

My suggestion, DIY !!! Setting the relief 1ST, it will require a CAPO on the 1ST Fret. Hold down the 15TH Fret and close the relief (Turn Trus Rod NUT Clockwise looking down the neck @ P-Up's) until the LOW 'E' is ALMOST touching the 7TH Fret. Once there, back off the relief by turning Truss Rod NUT an 1/8TH to 1/4 of a turn, that being a counter-clockwise turn. Remove Capo, Then get yourself a STRING ACTON GAUGE and an Allen-Key for the TUNE-O-MATIC Bridge and set the action at the 12TH fret a li'l over 5/64THs Low 'E' and 4/64THs Hi 'E' and lower it from there until your hear buzzing. Once where you want it to be, TUNE to pitch and ROCK ON !!

You do not need to pay a tech, its simple and you will save $$ and enjoy working on your own AXE. Video's on YOOTOOB can help you as well if my instructions weren't too clear.

Edited by Wild Bill 212

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wild Bill's approach would be a good place to start if it needs any fettling.

 

...I have a 1994 Gibson SG and I was not sure if I should have it set up/tuned up...

Beforehand I'd suggest you get a mate who knows how to play and ask for their opinion of the set-up and sound. The better your mate is the better will be the feedback.

 

Pip.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Every guitar needs a setup, whether it's a brand-new one or preowned. If you're experienced, you can do it yourself. If not, let a guitar tech or luthier take over.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First, just check the intonation using a digital tuner ... is every string in tune at the 12 fret? Is the action pretty good overall? If "yes" and "yes", it was likely set up okay and you are good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess the question is do you feel that the guitar needs a set up? Setting up a guitar includes many things as some of the previous posters brought up. Is the action on the guitar good for you? How is the intonation on the guitar? Are you going to be restringing it with a different gauge of strings or in a different tuning? The whole purpose of the set up is to get the guitar to be optimized for the player. If the action is perfect and the intonation is spot on, perhaps you may just need a new set of strings. I would encourage you to answer the questions above and then you can make the determination as to whether to do a set up or not.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

YES: do it yourself, learn the basics and you will be able to take care of your own guitar(s) and set them up for your own preference.

 

lots of good advice but I have a few more "2c" to add. What do you play? how do you play? These are important considerations; if you play or want to learn to play slide for example, then you really want heavier gauge strings and a higher action. If you are just starting out then I'd advise going with lighter gauges, but lighter gauge strings move more so will tend to buzz more at low action. You may want to start with a slightly higher action until you get a handle on how the guitar feels.

 

For what it is worth, this is what I do:

- Tune my very low gauge 008 to 038 strings to pitch

- Capo on first, right finger on 14th fret and lightly pluck the strings between capo and finger. I want to hear a clear tone with the lowest action; almost a flat neck. I tweak the truss rod as required to achieve this goal.

- Adjust the height of the bridge end so that the strings are only just not buzzing; plug the guitar in for this as it's easier to hear when a string is being muted (losing sustain) when through an amp. Sometimes the buzzing will be gone but there may be dead or deader notes especially at the high end of the neck so play every fret on each string at the high end. I don't care what the actual string height is. Who cares? If it plays well without buzzing then mission accomplished.

- Adjust the saddles to correct intonation. I do this be ear, always have; same with tuning. I've never owned or needed an electronic tuner; I'm not saying they are "bad" just don't get addicted to electronic tuners. Too many guitarists I know can't jam if the song is played out of regular pitch. You will know what I mean if you've ever kicked back on the sofa and played along to YouTube live concerts. Sorry, off track but this really bugs me. Watching someone painfully tune, dead slowly, to and electronic tuner is sad.

 

Good luck and tell us how it goes

Edited by rickc

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's the Joe Walsh Stoner's guide to guitar setup:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7gMwE7phoM

 

 

It's been a long time since I've watched the whole thing but I think he covers most of the essentials in his own Joe Walsh style. For some reason Joe just cracks me up.

 

EDIT: Actually as I watch this now it's really not that great of a video especially for someone just learning. But Joe is still funny.

Edited by Black Dog

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They all need a setup, and if this is one you've had for 24 years, and it's never been touched, I would assume it needs some one to check it out.

 

If you are completely unaware of what to do, than just take it some where, Find a guitar setup tech, ask a local store, or someone else who you may know who plays.

 

Don't know your location but a full setup w/new strings should not cost more than 50/60 dollars depending on what is needed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All of the previous advice is very good.

 

If you do not have experience playing a guitar you will need the help of a friend who does play to check it out.

 

Was the SG in tune when you got it.

 

You will need a device to check if it is "Tuned to Pitch", a TUNER or piano/keyboard.

Tune_Guitar_to_Keyboard.jpg

Once the guitar is tuned to pitch, how easy is it to play. If it plays OK, you're done...

 

If not, from the bridge end, look down the finger board at the shadow of the strings on the frets, to see if it is relatively flat.

 

If not it may need a truss rod adjustment.

 

If its flat, are the strings too high off the finger board or too low and buzzing, It may need a bit of bridge adjustment.

 

Note: It is always worth having a Gibson checked out by a Pro..

Edited by mihcmac

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Alco has already mentioned he's new to this, and probably knows very little about what to look for, and what to do about the findings.

 

Suggesting that he DIY is a bit of a stretch, since he's already said, he doesn't know what to do, what to look for or what is even wrong if anything. The amount of variables at this point are endless.

 

I hope he returns to the thread and comments further, and this not just another thread where once posted, and 4 pages of advise follows, and the author never returns to continue the discussion from their point of view.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Alco has already mentioned he's new to this, and probably knows very little about what to look for, and what to do about the findings.

 

Suggesting that he DIY is a bit of a stretch, since he's already said, he doesn't know what to do, what to look for or what is even wrong if anything. The amount of variables at this point are endless.

 

I hope he returns to the thread and comments further, and this not just another thread where once posted, and 4 pages of advise follows, and the author never returns to continue the discussion from their point of view.

 

I agree that if you really are just getting started and have no idea what to look for much less what to do, you should take it to someone. It's hard to imagine that it wouldn't need a setup, unless it just had one before he got it.

 

On the other hand, it's never too soon to get started learning to do things yourself. For me, I just can't imagine how somebody can play and not be able to do a setup on their guitar. But, I do see where shops offer services like string changes which boggles the mind.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Most of us have been at this for a while and we picked up a lot of tricks over the years, and while there are still a few things I won't do, there are many things I wouldn't pay some one to do.

 

If that axe has never been looked at, it probably needs a # of things right off to get it set right. A good hunch would be it may need a fret level too. And that's something that you absolutely need to know what you're doing and have the right tools for the job.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If the intonation's fine and you have no other issues, leave it be.

 

If not, nothing wrong with DIY. It's not brain surgery. The one thing to remember is to NEVER turn a screw with force (is that proper English?). As long as you use the proper size screwdrivers and never try to force a screw to move, you're not going to damage anything.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If the intonation's fine and you have no other issues, leave it be.

 

If not, nothing wrong with DIY. It's not brain surgery. The one thing to remember is to NEVER turn a screw with force (is that proper English?). As long as you use the proper size screwdrivers and never try to force a screw to move, you're not going to damage anything.

 

I routinely use my power drill for truss rod sets. a few 100 cranks at 1600 rpm, works like a champ!

 

I use a power sander to polish the frets, works like the dickens...

 

[scared]

 

 

[woot]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The difference between now and when I was a kid is the Internet. There are loads of how-to videos, many really good ones that explain exactly what to do, how to do it and why. There is no excuse not to learn this stuff yourself and do it. There is nothing special about a Gibson guitar; Gibsons don't have to be taken to a Luthier for set-up. Give the man a fish or teach him to fish.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Alco has already mentioned he's new to this, and probably knows very little about what to look for, and what to do about the findings.

 

Suggesting that he DIY is a bit of a stretch, since he's already said, he doesn't know what to do, what to look for or what is even wrong if anything. The amount of variables at this point are endless.

 

I hope he returns to the thread and comments further, and this not just another thread where once posted, and 4 pages of advise follows, and the author never returns to continue the discussion from their point of view.

 

Hey just wanted to say thanks for what you said specifically "he doesn't know what to do, what to look for or what is even wrong if anything." because that's where I'm at. I'm just reading through all of the replies and once I do I will look and see if I need to do something or not.

 

 

Thanks,

Alco

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The difference between now and when I was a kid is the Internet. There are loads of how-to videos, many really good ones that explain exactly what to do, how to do it and why. There is no excuse not to learn this stuff yourself and do it. There is nothing special about a Gibson guitar; Gibsons don't have to be taken to a Luthier for set-up. Give the man a fish or teach him to fish.....

Great points, I would like to learn how to set my guitar up at some point, but it does make me a bit nervous working on my Gibson.

 

Thanks,

Alco

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They all need a setup, and if this is one you've had for 24 years, and it's never been touched, I would assume it needs some one to check it out.

 

If you are completely unaware of what to do, than just take it some where, Find a guitar setup tech, ask a local store, or someone else who you may know who plays.

 

Don't know your location but a full setup w/new strings should not cost more than 50/60 dollars depending on what is needed.

As far as I know it was never touched, except the neck crack which was professionally repaired by the previous owner. Other than that I don't know what may or may have not been done. Thanks for the info.

 

Alco

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wild Bill's approach would be a good place to start if it needs any fettling.

 

 

Beforehand I'd suggest you get a mate who knows how to play and ask for their opinion of the set-up and sound. The better your mate is the better will be the feedback.

 

Pip.

 

Will do.

 

Thanks,

Alco

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Every guitar needs a setup, whether it's a brand-new one or preowned. If you're experienced, you can do it yourself. If not, let a guitar tech or luthier take over.

Gotcha guess I have some deciding what to do...I would love to learn how to do it but I just don't have the know how. I hate to pay someone but I just want to play!

 

Thanks,

Alco

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First, just check the intonation using a digital tuner ... is every string in tune at the 12 fret? Is the action pretty good overall? If "yes" and "yes", it was likely set up okay and you are good.

If this helps you...I have been playing the guitar since last November and hand no problem playing cords or anything, but I do sometimes get a buzz, is it just because I only have been playing a year and maybe my hand is not it the perfect spot or does the guitar need looking into? Thanks for your info.

 

Alco

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess the question is do you feel that the guitar needs a set up? Setting up a guitar includes many things as some of the previous posters brought up. Is the action on the guitar good for you? How is the intonation on the guitar? Are you going to be restringing it with a different gauge of strings or in a different tuning? The whole purpose of the set up is to get the guitar to be optimized for the player. If the action is perfect and the intonation is spot on, perhaps you may just need a new set of strings. I would encourage you to answer the questions above and then you can make the determination as to whether to do a set up or not.

 

Tuning is almost always in standard and when I got the guitar (Novmember 2017) I cut the strings on there off and put on Ernieball super slinkys, I play for an hour or two almost ever day. Action...? Intonation...?

 

Thanks for the info,

Alco

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

you can check intonation with almost any tuner.

 

best to check/set with new stings, but all ya need to do is check the tuning of the open string, compare the tuning to playing the note at the 12th fret for each opened string.

 

It should read the same. In other words, the pitch at the 12th fret, should match the pitch of the string when plucked unfretted.

 

it the fretting note is sharp or flat to the opened string, then the intonation of that string needs to be adjusted.

 

if sharp, move saddle back,, if flat, move saddle forward

 

sort of covered here: https://www.sweetwater.com/insync/how-to-set-your-electric-guitars-intonation/

 

action is the distance between the frets and the bottom of the strings.

 

you usually want your action as low as it can be without buzzing.

 

This is really a setting that's different for every player. How your touch is, (heavy or light) will really dictate how low your action can be without introducing a buzz. If you hit the strings hard, then the action that works for you may need to be a bit higher than someone who has a lighter touch.

Edited by kidblast

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...