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tombendik

Les Paul possible neck problem

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I recently bought a used Les Paul, The strings was pretty low when i first got it, but after 2 weeks they went too low, the neck had obviousely straigthened out on its own. And i noticed every day I was picking it up that the tuning had gone sharp. So i had a luthier look at it 2 days ago and adjust it, he could not see anything wrong, and the truss rod responded like it should. But now, just 2 days after the adjustment i still notice that the guitar is going sharp overnight. And the neck has gone too straight. What could possible be causing this?

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When i press down the first and last fret to inspect the curve on the neck, the strings lay flat on the frets. except for a tiny gap between 2,3 and 4 fret. My other guitar got gap all the way up to about 15th fret when doing this.

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If the guitar was previously in a dry environment and your environment is more humid, this will happen. It can also happen with a change to lighter gauge strings and / or lower tuning. Ideally the neck relief needs to be carefully measured (with the guitar in the playing position).

 

Capo the first fret and press the first string between the 12th and 13th frets. Now measure the relief at the 6th fret (distance between the top of the fret and the underside of the string). You can use auto feeler gauges for this. The relief should be between 4 and 12 thousandths of an inch (0.1 - 0.3mm). Work your way across all 6 strings noting the clearance.

 

Some players actually prefer the neck to be perfectly straight, but it is important to have the frets carefully leveled to prevent annoying buzzes.

 

That's a high action in those pictures... [confused]

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Hi and welcome.

 

Nice looking instrument.

 

...the strings lay flat on the frets. except for a tiny gap between 2' date='3 and 4 fret...[/quote']

It sounds like you might need to have the frets dressed. Wait until the neck-bow problem settles down and get it dressed and set-up by the best luthier you can find.

 

That's a high action in those pictures... [biggrin]

+1.

 

Especially on the treble side of things.

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Yes the frets needs to be leveled, Its 10 years old. I know a good luthier, But its quite expensive. 300$. This is Norway, its a expensive country to live in, but 300$ I can almost buy a good used guitar for that money. It makes me wanna do it myself. But then again, this is a 3-4 grand les paul custom... If i **** up and the frets need to be changed, bye bye binding... and that would lower the value of the guitar quite alot

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Check, and if necessary adjust the neck to give you 0.2mm of relief. Set your string height to give no buzzing or choking. Now, measure the string height at the 12th fret and let us know what this is.

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There is really not much point in adjusting it now, as whenever i adjust the neck, the next day it has reset itself, It might be adjusting to lower/higher humidity in the climate here.

 

But when I check the neck, i put my finger on the first and last fret. if the strings lay flat on the frets as in my case, the necks need to be adjustet for more bow in the neck. On this guitar wish is 10 years old and needs fret leveling, its needs quite alot of bow in the neck, if I am going to have a low action without buzz. more than 0.2mm, propapbly more like 1mm.

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But the neck can't keep resetting itself day after day... Eventually it will become stable.

 

Using a string as a 'straight edge' across all the frets is a bad idea. It does not give you the true picture. If you really want to find out what is happening, you need a very accurate machined straight edge (do not use a long steel ruler). This requires some skill because you have to make small truss rod adjustments. Also, it needs natural backlighting so that you can see exactly which frets are low or high. If you use artificial light, you will make mistakes. Trust me - this takes some experience to get right.

 

Once the high frets have been identified, you need to examine them closely - are they higher because they are not seated correctly ? If they are seated properly, they can be carefully reduced in height. By doing it this way, you preserve fret height in the best possible way. Sometimes, you will see people stoning or filing the frets along the entire length which is madness...

 

As I said, check relief at the 6th fret - this is the traditional Gibson method.

 

Set the relief to 0.2mm - not 1mm. Unless you are intending to play slide... [biggrin]

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