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Epiphone Les Paul Upgrade


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I'm starting an upgrade project for my Epiphone Les Paul, that will include new tuning machines and mechanincs, new humbuchers (alnico III and IV from a boutique) and new paining of the top

is it possible to take away the painting from the top  for an Epiphone Standard? or is it quite impossible since the top is laminate and covered with propylene?

qhat are the best tuning machine from Gibson?



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Are you planning to paint the top or re-stain it?  If you are painting it (to a solid color), all you need to do is lightly sand it with 600-800 grit paper, prime and paint.  If you want to re-stain it, that's going to be considerably more difficult because ALL of the existing finish has to be removed before the wood can be re-stained.  That requires either sanding, or heat-stripping-- either of which could potentially cause irreversible damage to your instrument if you screw up.   As pointed out above, the flamed wood you see now is usually only only a few mils thick and if you sand through it, that spot will show up as a dark blotch once you apply stain.  If that happens, your options are to either apply a new veneer, or sand the rest of the flame layer off and hope that the grain of whatever wood is underneath looks good enough to stain.  Of course, the other option at that point would be to simply paint it a solid color.

If you just want to darken the shade of the cherry burst, e.g., to go from the bright red/yellow to something more like tobacco, you can lightly sand off a few mils of the clear finish (don't go all the way through to the color) and use a dark tinted clearcoat to bring the finish back up.   It won't look quite as dark as a true tobacco burst, but it will still look quite nice.

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Bouncing off of what Yorgle said (which is VERY good advice, BTW), another idea could be to lightly sand the finish to give it a "faded" look. I find that that helps make the burst finish more subtle, with a more gradual transition from the edge color to the center.

If you want my honest opinion on hardware, there's usually not really anything wrong with the stock hardware that comes on newer Epiphones (say, since 2010 or 2012 or so) - especially if the stock tuners are Grovers. Are you having any specific issues? Like, if you're having tuning issues, I think the nut would be the primary suspect.

If you do a lot of bends and you're finding it hard to keep in tune afterward, a roller bridge is another thing to consider.

Edited by iankinzel
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thanks for your feedbacks! the painting will be a nigthmare, I'll check with the guy that has the guitar now. for the hardware the guitar is a 2005 model. I already asked to change the nut (bone paste). the stock tuner are Grovers I would like to change with the classic style. what do you mean with roller bridge?

these are the humbuckers bougth from a small italian guy that build it PAF Alnico 3 for the Neck and Alnico 4 for the Bridge...

we will see 🙂




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1 hour ago, Maui971 said:

iankinzel wrote… "If you do a lot of bends and you're finding it hard to keep in tune afterward, a roller bridge is another thing to consider. "

 i don't know what is it..  is a specific type of bridge?





I provided a link .. if you went there. that will tell you more than you need to know..

but, I'll save you the click I guess... 

Instead of a regular saddle that the string rides over on the bridge, there are individual rollers for each string.  they move (roll) back and forth as the string moves / stretches from  bends or, if one has something like a Bigsgy Tremolo tail piece,  which is what they are mostly used for.

Correct regulation of the saddle slots, and some stuff like Big Bends Nut Sauce to lube the spots where the string makes contact with the bridge can solve a lot of tuning issues.

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sorry i didn't see the link! 🧐

i think that current bridge is roller since i remember the screws on each string!

first step i'll check the guitar after the painting  

a good model for classic tuners? is this a good choice?




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