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Bowed neck on Les Paul Classic


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I noticed my Les Paul was fretting out on the high frets and saw that the neck is bowed in the middle. I purchased it brand new in Aug. 2019 from a local Guitar Center. Is this something that is covered by the Gibson warranty? If so, can I take to a repair facility?

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No worries, this is a routine adjustment that is easily rectified with a slight tweak of the truss rod.  If you don't know what that means, then you should search out a reputable guitar repair tech in your area.  (try not to call Guitar Center, they rarely have any one that knows what they are doing)

This would not be an action that would be considered a warranty claim unless the neck had become twisted or askew.  A qualified tech would have to confirm that.

Gibson should have shipped a truss rod wrench with the case, if not, then you can get them easily off amazon.  (5/16 hex thin wall hex wrench)   see This Link

You access the truss rod by removing the truss rod cover with the two screws on the  up past the nut.

We could guide you thru this, but it's really something that you have to see to know what is going on.  I bet there's some YouTube vids to explain as well.

There are two conditions: Forward Bow, and Back Bow

Forward bow the neck will be slightly concave as you sight down the neck from the nut to the bridge. in this case, the middle of the neck creates more distances to the strings making the strings feel  high and hard to fret.

Back bow would be a slight inclination to be convex, where the middle of the neck would be closer to the stings, this also has a tendency to cause notes in the first 2 frets to cancel out (buzz, or not ring true)

To reduce forward bow, the truss rod needs to be tightened (lefty loosey, righty tighty) but you only go in 1/4 to 1/2 turn increments.

To reduce back bow, truss rod needs to be loosened, again, never more than 1/2 to 1/4 at a time.

The goal is to get the neck as straight as possible, using the strings as a guide, you can easily detect this once you know what to look for.

But if this is all greek to you, look for someone who repairs and does guitar setups.  This is a very easy thing to take care of

Edited by kidblast
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Yes.. What he said..

Truss rod.. Turn clockwise just a quarter turn then check. You shouldnt need more than two quarter turns or so depending... 

Guitars are made from wood which makes them react to change in atmosphere..  A perfectly normal thing. In fact a lot of guys  will buy a guitar and let it settle and readjust for a week before they start playing it and doing any kind of setup.

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Whatever the spec is for that neck and those strings, full set of strings, a feeler gauge at the 8th fret with capo at first and your finger at 20th.  Adjust truss until the feeler slides under and just touches the fret and the fat E string.  Done.


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  • 2 weeks later...

I took my LP to a repair technician and I was told that the neck has an "S" shaped curve and the neck has a slight rise at the 22nd fret on the treble side, making the guitar fret out when playing on the high notes. He told me that this is something that should be covered under my Gibson warranty and that I should contact Gibson to inquire about having it repaired (milled).

Does anyone know if this is correct and what the process for warranty work is?

Thank you,


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