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Could someone give me some input about a problem I'm having?


wheelgunner

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Hi. I'm brand new to the forum and have been playing guitar for about two years. My problem has to do with a Gibson Les Paul Standard I bought about a year ago.

 

I'm not very good and didn't pick up on the 1st and 2nd strings buzzing until a Luthier listened to it. He said the guitar seriously needed a setup because the intonation was off and the buzzing was coming from the fact that the slots in the nut were cut too deep.

 

He is a guitar builder and came recommended by two quality guitar stores here in Tulsa. There aren't too many such qualified luthiers around here.

 

He was describing the work to install the nut. There is, of course, the removal of the old nut. He also talked about buffing the new nut and spraying it with nitrocellulose in order to look like it does now.

 

My question to you gents is, what would be the highest price one might expect to pay for such work (installation of the nut as per factory specs and set up) by a truly qualified luthier?

 

He said it was warranty work and that we would file a claim with Gibson, but just in case Gibson won't pay, I'd like to know the highest fair price for such work.

 

Thank you.

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Most new guitars need a setup - after shipping and sitting around for who knows how long in who knows what sort of various environments, they get out of whack.

 

I don't know this tech but it seems to me that even Gibson manages to ship guitars with the nut cut consistently right. I'm no luthier myself, but I have never heard of spraying a nut with nitro or anything else to achieve a look and, frankly, whether it's a warranty repair or not, it sounds to me like the guy is looking to just drum up business or doesn't know what he's doing.

 

I could be completely wrong (like I said - I'm no tech or luthier) but this just doesn't sound right to me. I'd get a second opinion.

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Most new guitars need a setup - after shipping and sitting around for who knows how long in who knows what sort of various environments' date=' they get out of whack.

[/quote']

 

That's not something I would expect the retailer to pay for?

 

If not, what's a fair price for a set up?

 

thanx

 

I don't know this tech but it seems to me that even Gibson manages to ship guitars with the nut cut consistently right.

 

Well, there's definitely a "buzz" at the 1st and 2nd strings. What's the alternative? To build up the slots and recut? I heard that's kind of risky.

 

I'm no luthier myself, but I have never heard of spraying a nut with nitro or anything else to achieve a look and, frankly, whether it's a warranty repair or not, it sounds to me like the guy is looking to just drum up business or doesn't know what he's doing.

 

He does the work for two of our more respected guitar stores so I'm sure he knows what he's doing. Whether he's honest or no, I have no idea, but the sides and back of the LP neck are gloss lacquer. He was just describing what he was going to do to make it look new. He builds guitars.

 

Regardless of the spraying nitro on the nut, what would be the highest yet fair price one might pay for a setup and a new nut?

 

thanx

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Many retailers will do a free setup when you purchase a guitar, not all though. I usually use it as a negotiation point when buying if they don't.

 

I don't know about replacing the nut, but setup seem to run around $35-50 depending on your location.

 

As for alternatives, it depends on where the buzzing sound is coming from. If it's behind the nut where the tuners are, that's a problem with the nut. If it's when fretting notes, that's probably a setup issue.

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Most charge $50 or $60 for a new nut, and anywhere from $30 to $50 for a setup. I'd say no more than $100 for both.

 

Never heard of using nitro to build up a nut. Nitro takes weeks to completely cure, and it really isn't hard enough for that kind of pressure.

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Dynadude is right.

No need to spray the new nut.

 

Gibson consistently effs up the nut on even their expensive guitars, but it may have been filed too deep at some point by somebody doing a half-assed set up. You are wise to stay away from Guitar Center for a million reasons...

 

 

 

$100 should cover everything you need;

 

New strings after you choose the gauge, 10's are most common and I like anything with a high nickel content.

Gibson vintage strings are still hand wound AT Gibson, they are cool - if a little more expensive.

 

Replace the nut with no finish damage evident.

 

Set up the guitar with proper intonation and pickup height.

 

 

Just remember, the nut is 90% of the tuning problems on a Les Paul.

Give the luthier a shot, if he's an authorized Gibson repair station he should know his stuff.

If not, you have Gibson to back you up.

 

 

 

By the way, my Dad lives near Beggs, my sister is in Jenks.

Welcome to the forum!

 

Neo

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You might try adjusting the bridge height yourself. Your bridge should have two adjustment disks under it, one on each post . To raise the action a bit, turn the adjuster under the 1st two strings a half turn in the "unscrew" direction. You'll have to re-tune. Now check for buzzing. If gone, your cool. If not, repeat (unless you'ved reached an unacceptable action height). When the buzz is gone, is the resulting action height acceptable? If it's too high, your luthier guy is probably right. Don't worry about this adjustment, if you have to have your luthier work on it, checking/resetting the bridge height is part of the setup process. Of those that are aware of such things, some have a luthier check their setup once a year, some go longer.

 

 

To NeoConMan - whoa! that's quite a collection. and that SG 12 is way different.

BTW, here's your link fixed with "%40" instead of the "@" which breaks the link on the forum:

NeoConMan Guitars

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I just had my Epi les Paul custom set up at our local shop this week. Including new strings, (.10's) the price was $46.00. I took it back today due to a fret buzz at the 5th fret and above and it was adjusted at no charge.

 

 

Epi LP Custom Silverburst

Fender Strat HSS

Alverez Acoustic

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New strings after you choose the gauge' date=' 10's are most common and I like anything with a high nickel content.[/quote']

 

Neo, try these: WebStrings.

 

They're nickel wound steel, sound and perform as good as anything else I've ever tried and are dirt cheap, especially when you buy in quantity.

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i've never had the nut replaced but setups can range between $35-$75. same with refretting. i doubt you'd need to do the latter. i think the prices also depends on what type of material you use to replace the nut with (bone, plastic, graphite, etc.)

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I was going t suggest that this guy might lure you in for a $50 fix of the nut then get you for further work like a fret buff for another $100, just like some auto mechanic.

 

Can you post a nice close up picture of the nut, use the macro setting on your camera (the flower icon). Does it look like the buzzing string is lower cut at the nut than the other 5 strings? Also measure the clearance of the buzzing string has at the 12th fret. Maybe your action is too low and you need to raise the bridge as it was previously suggested. Maybe throw in a picture of your bridge while you are at it.

 

Another thing that causes buzzing is lack of finger pressure on a string while playing. If you squeeze the crap out of the string into the fretboard when you fret, is the buzz gone? If it is, then you are the problem, not the guitar. Sorry for being so blunt, but I hope that helps.

 

Intonation is easy to do yourself. All it takes is a screwdriver, a tuner and some patience.

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BTW' date=' here's your link fixed with "%40" instead of the "@" which breaks the link on the forum: [/quote']

 

THANKS!!!

 

 

 

 

Wheelgun, I think the luthier is just trying to be helpful and explain all the things possible with the guitar.

One year old?

Don't bother with the fret leveling, and see if Gibson picks up the tab on the nut and set up.

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He's not using nitro to build it up. He's spraying it to match the factory original.

 

The factory nut does have nitro extending from the fretboard binding over the side of the nut, and when you replace it it's nice to touch up that area. Sounds like the luthier/tech is saying he's prepared to deal with every possibiity including chipping as the old nut comes out and blending it so it looks original.

 

Now if you're dead set on warranty work, my suggestion would be to find an authorized repair center (almost never the same place as an authorized dealer, certainly a different list, ok lets not beat around this - NOT Guitar Center). You'd be out of luck using a local luther and trying to submit a warranty claim after the fact. You'll probably be told that the nut slots wore down and it might not be a warranty repair to replace the nut. At the same time, you found someone who is well recommended and a pro setup and nut would be worth the time and money as opposed to taking your chances with the repair center you never heard of before. You spent too much on the guitar to get cheap now when it comes to the setup.

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