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Korean Les Paul custom (2001)


Doc  T

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I just picked up a used Les Paul Custom (MIK 2001) yesterday. I have no experience at all with Epi Les Paul's (I have owned a Dot Deluxe and a Broadway), and I have a couple of questions for the experts. The nut, neck, frets, and tuners are really high quality--among the best I have seen at this price range. The bridge, however, is a total disaster. No matter how you move the saddles, you can't get get proper intonation on the top E and the B string (the E is pretty much dead, and even inaudible beyond the 12th fret). I obviously want to replace the bridge ASAP! Does anyone have any good suggestions for this particular model? I want something that I can simply "drop in" as a replacement. I am assuming the tail piece will be ok to keep.

 

Second issue--the pickups on this guitar are pretty muddy. I played a bit with the pole pieces and got more life out of them, but I would eventually like to replace them with something brighter (even though this guitar will be used mostly for blues with cleaner tones). I just put D'Addario 10's on it, but might go up to 11's.

 

I have attached a pic. And I have gotten good advice on this board before, so thanks for reading and responding!

post-30255-036521800 1341749605_thumb.jpg

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+1 to the classic 57/57+ recommendation; I had that in my LP Custom 1999 and it sounded great.

Regarding bridge I am not sure why moving the saddles on your bridge is not able to give you proper intonation; is the neck straight all the way? is the nut really OK like the grooves not being too deep?

For a replacement bridge, that could be a cheap experiment to see if the bridge is really your problem.

http://www.guitarfetish.com/Large-Bushing-Tuneomatic-Style-Gold-Bridge_p_445.htmlI got that one on one of my guitar and I like the fact it is wide and based on the Nashville so plenty of adjustement.

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Sweet guitar! Gotoh makes a great bridge that is a perfect fit for Epis. I ordered mone from Stewmac, part # 1511 is the one to use.

 

http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Bridges,_tailpieces/Electric_guitar,_Tune-o-matic_bridges/Gotoh_Tune-o-matic_Bridge.html

 

Pickups will depend on how much $$ you want to put into the guitar. I prefer Gibson pickups, and a 57/57+ pair is ideal, but also $300 new and still pricey used. Had I not found an affordable set of Epi Elitist pickups for my Epi, I probably would have gone for a used 490/498 set or some Dimarzios (their Virtual PAFs sound great in my semi-hollow).

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Thanks for the responses! I did see references to the Gotoh bridges on a couple of other blogs, and they look good. So I think I will order one today, but do I need to use new studs and bushings with it? If I am reading the stewmac site properly, it looks like I want 1511-G (Gold, with studs/bushings)? My guitar has gold hardware and pickups. Do I need to do any sort of measurements (post spacing and radius?)

 

As far as the pups--I know that the Gibson 57's are considered the best. I can probably wait a bit on those. The bridge is a must-have now.

 

 

 

Sweet guitar! Gotoh makes a great bridge that is a perfect fit for Epis. I ordered mone from Stewmac, part # 1511 is the one to use.

 

http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Bridges,_tailpieces/Electric_guitar,_Tune-o-matic_bridges/Gotoh_Tune-o-matic_Bridge.html

 

Pickups will depend on how much $$ you want to put into the guitar. I prefer Gibson pickups, and a 57/57+ pair is ideal, but also $300 new and still pricey used. Had I not found an affordable set of Epi Elitist pickups for my Epi, I probably would have gone for a used 490/498 set or some Dimarzios (their Virtual PAFs sound great in my semi-hollow).

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So call me dense, but I am still a bit confused on the replacement bridge. I emailed Stewmac, asking specifically about my Korean Les Paul Custom with a reference to part # 1511, and they responded right away with the following:

 

"Unfortunately we are unable to cross reference that information for you. To determine whether that bridge will fit your guitar, you'd need to measure the post spacing and confirm that it is 2-29/32" (73.82mm). If so, then the bridge will fit your guitar just fine."

 

So EpiNova95: exactly what did you measure to figure out if part # 1511 would fit? I am not so good with numbers. I was simply looking for a "drop in" replacement.

 

Sorry to be a pain. I spoke with a guy at our local Guitar Center about bridge measurements and the like and did not get very far...

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Maybe I am missing something but I don't understand how the bridge would cause a string to go dead above a certain fret. Are you sure the bridge height and neck relief are adjusted correctly? Also, if you replace the bridge with a bridge of the same dimensions (i.e., same length of saddle travel), it's not going to help your intonation problem.

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Maybe I am missing something but I don't understand how the bridge would cause a string to go dead above a certain fret. Are you sure the bridge height and neck relief are adjusted correctly? Also, if you replace the bridge with a bridge of the same dimensions (i.e., same length of saddle travel), it's not going to help your intonation problem.

 

 

When I took it home, I noticed that the bridge was VERY corroded, and I had to clean quite a bit of grime off of it. That cleaning did make some difference. I am the third owner of this guitar and the previous owners didn't do much, if any basic maintenance (like cleaning off the bridge and saddles). I think that the corrosion, on what is probably a cheap bridge, is a real problem. I put a new bridge on my Gretsch Electromatic (a Tru Arc bar bridge) and it improved intonation overall.

 

The Gotoh bridge that EpiNova95 recommended looks like a different enough animal from the stock bridge to make some difference. But I am not an expert on Les Pauls'. All of my other guitars are hollow bodies. And your questions on bridge height and neck relief are good ones--I don't know what the right answers are for those questions! Is there a reference page somewhere where I can find that info?

 

Thanks for the response.

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Go to "The Information Thread" pinned above, then "Do it Yourself....", then scroll down to "Guitar Set Up/Truss Rod Adjustment". Should be everything you need to know there.

 

I also have a Gretsch Electromatic and put a Compton bridge on it, which I think is very similar to a Tru-Arc. Very nice product, and solves the bridge rattle problem once and for all.

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Go to "The Information Thread" pinned above, then "Do it Yourself....", then scroll down to "Guitar Set Up/Truss Rod Adjustment". Should be everything you need to know there.

 

I also have a Gretsch Electromatic and put a Compton bridge on it, which I think is very similar to a Tru-Arc. Very nice product, and solves the bridge rattle problem once and for all.

 

 

Thanks for the good advice. Cruising through the "Information Thread" was a big help. I have ordered the Gotoh bridge as well as a string action gauge that Stewmac sells. It looks like the bridge may be positioned too low to begin with on the top end. The previous owner probably had it set too low (he also had 9's on it), but I can't do the measurements to rectify the problem without a good string gauge. I am happy with what I am learning and I am optimistic that things will all come together.

 

I will update when I install the new bridge and reset everything.

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Thanks for the good advice. Cruising through the "Information Thread" was a big help. I have ordered the Gotoh bridge as well as a string action gauge that Stewmac sells. It looks like the bridge may be positioned too low to begin with on the top end. The previous owner probably had it set too low (he also had 9's on it), but I can't do the measurements to rectify the problem without a good string gauge. I am happy with what I am learning and I am optimistic that things will all come together.

 

I will update when I install the new bridge and reset everything.

 

Sorry for the delay! I haven't visited the site for a few days. I didn't actually do any measurements, I just had just read about it being the correct bridge on some forum or another. I left the stock bushings in because they are installed tightly and I didn't want to damage the finish or loosen the fit. Also I can't imagine anything really being wrong with them...the Gotoh posts screwed in just fine. I did use files to notch the saddles and fine tune the action (after intonating) and can say the Gotoh solved all the buzzing problems I had with the stock bridge. As cool a feature as the LockTone is on the stock bridge, I couldn't deal with the buzzing string retainer and saddles.

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Sorry for the delay! I haven't visited the site for a few days. I didn't actually do any measurements, I just had just read about it being the correct bridge on some forum or another. I left the stock bushings in because they are installed tightly and I didn't want to damage the finish or loosen the fit. Also I can't imagine anything really being wrong with them...the Gotoh posts screwed in just fine. I did use files to notch the saddles and fine tune the action (after intonating) and can say the Gotoh solved all the buzzing problems I had with the stock bridge. As cool a feature as the LockTone is on the stock bridge, I couldn't deal with the buzzing string retainer and saddles.

 

 

I just got the Gotoh bridge in the mail today. Stewac has great customer service! From the time of my online order to the package being in my mail box = 2 days!

 

A couple of quick things--the Gotoh part # 1511 was exactly what I needed. It took all of 10 minutes to install. I kept the original bushings in the body of the guitar (which is what most people do, I think). The new posts screwed in perfectly and the new bridge just dropped in for a perfect fit. I kept the same strings on, for comparison to the old bridge. What a difference! The tonal quality and sustain are dramatically improved, as is the intonation (especially on the top E string). Overall, for about 30 bucks, this is a great product (I paid almost 100 for the Tru-Arc that I put on my Gretsch, but again, that was money well spent since that bridge really did wonders for my hollow body).

 

I am very happy with the guitar and this looks like it will become a long-term renovation (e.g., new pickups when I have the money).

 

Has anyone put Sperzels on one of these?

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