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Brand new epiphone les paul tribute with bowed neck?

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I would like only those who are well versed in this sort of thing to respond please.


I have had my brand new epiphone les paul tribute model (1960s version) for about 5 days now. I notice the guitar was somewhat difficult to play so I lowered the bridge because the action was so incredibly high. It seemed better after a couple of days till I notice that there was variability up and down the fret board, meaning my fingers seemed to touch down sooner toward the nut and the bridge than the middle of the guitar. Then I read something about how to determine if you have a bowed neck by looking down from the headstock while the guitar is standing up on the floor and I noticed it, a dip toward the middle of the neck! You can see it visibly, it dips in like almost a bowl but obviously not deep. You wouldn't notice it unless you looked at it from the angle mentioned. It's a slight thing but it is there. Definitely there. You can even feel it when running your fingers from one end of the fret board to the other. How could a brand new, straight from factory guitar come like this? I want to stress that it's not been set up professionally but really, a bowed neck out of the factory? Any suggestions or insights?

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Welcome to the forum and congrats on the new guitar!

Pics of new guitars are a must.


Down to business.

Although it is possible there is a problem or defect in your guitar, what you are noticing is most likely the neck relief. (a necessary part of guitar setup). That does not mean that the amount of relief you have is correct.

Any number of things can effect it. This includes temperature, humidity and changes in the season. Even if set up perfectly from the factory simply shipping the guitar can have an effect.


If all is right with your guitar then it is controlled by the truss rod. Many of us re-adjust our guitars a couple times a year from season to season.


To check for yourself, you only need a capo and a set of automotive feeler gauges. (although some adjust by feel alone)

Reed this carefully several times:



If you have no experience with it some will take it to a good tech the first time and watch as he adjusts it so as to learn. (it is not rocket science)

Once you know what you are doing, it is easy. Besides, many of us prefer to do our own work so as to NOT get a scratched up guitar back from the shop. "Oh, it must have been that way when you dropped it off".


***Personally I am over cautious when doing truss rod adjustments.***

I loosen the strings. Never give it more than 1/8 turn at a time.

Re-tune and let set for a couple of hours.

Re-check and repeat if need be.

Never give it more than 1/4 turn in any 24 hour period.


There is much more info on the subject of truss rods in the DIY by animalfarm at the top of the Epiphone Lounge.


Hope this helps,



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Willy is correct - Temp and humidity can run amok with guitar necks. I, too,

adjust mine a couple of times a year. If you have the 1960's Tribute, I'm guessing

you also have the "V-3" style neck (Flat D shape)? The thinner necks will react much more

quickly than others.


You are experiencing an excessive amount of "Front-Bow/Forward Relief". Could also be caused

by putting Thicker Strings on git (Comes with .046 -.010 from factory).


Couple of quick questions:

1. Did you purchase Git "face-to-face" at local music store? If so, can you take it back and ask for

proper set-up?

2. If on-line purchase, can you contact Customer service for recommendations for local rep or

(heaven forbid) return for new replacement? This assumes your experience level with truss rod adjustments

is minimal.


As Willy mentioned, it's actually quite easy once you know how and have basic tools, such as an 18"

Machinist's straightedge (to check for neck flatness) and a small straightedge to set action. A small amount

of forward relief is preferred by some players.


Bottom line, a proper set-up by an experienced tech is a must. Rather than trying to completely explain

HOW to do set-up in one sitting, we'll wait for your responses and answer your questions as we go.


WELCOME to the FORUM!!!! We'll help out as much as we can!

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Yep, Sounds like a simple truss rod adjustment. I gotten guitars that the truss rod was loose! a few simple turns and all was good. BTW: Never turn more than 1/4 turn a day IF there is tension on the truss rod already.


Pics are a must and if you don't know how to adjust a truss rod, take it to someone who does, watch and ask questions..


Good Luck... sounds pretty simple to fix.

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Thanks everybody i'm relieved to know it is probably just a lack of set up that's causing this. I'll definitely get it set up some time in the next week and then get back to you guys on it, i'll also try to upload some pictures soon as I can. thanks for the kind responses!


Just make sure you get it done and are completely satisfied before you return policy runs out. I bought an acoustic a few years back and had the neck go crazy on me within a week, I'm not sure if I bought a guitar that wasn't completely dried out or what I don't know. Just make sure it's just a bow in the neck and not a bump/hump or any other bad thing that warrants a return.

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