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daveyboy

How do I remove L5 pickgaurd

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Hi,

I've been evaluating a friend's 2001 L-5 Signature that apparently was never set up. I don't think he even played it as it had 10s on it and the intonation was way off. On top of that, there were some major vibration buzzing issues which seem to mostly to be coming from the pickup mounting rings and pickups. I'd like to safely remove the pickgaurd and just tighten the lower screws on the mounting hardware of the pickup rings but was afraid that I might break something. I did take off the single screw that's next to the neck but wondered if I can safely unscrew the metal mount that's attached to the lower part of the guitar?

 

- Dave

post-54044-067835800 1362499112_thumb.jpg

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If you are talking about the metal pickguard/finger rest support bracket which is screwed into the side of the guitar, just below the edge of the top, the answer is "yes", just unscrew it. Be aware that if that bracket is installed/removed frequently, you will eventually strip the screw threads in the wood, which is easily fixed. Don't "fix" it by putting in a bigger screw, however.

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[quote name='daveyboy' timestamp='1362499121' post='1339398'but wondered if I can safely unscrew the metal mount that's attached to the lower part of the guitar?

 

- Dave

 

Yes, the final step is to unscrew the bracket from the bottom rim of the guitar. Be careful not to let the pickguard then slide down the guitar when it's cut loose, gently hold it in place while unfastening, and carefully lift it off.

 

When re-installing, be VERY careful NOT to cross-thread, and/or, strip out the screw holes. ALWAYS start the screws by hand to find the existing thread grooves, and use the smallest screwdriver available so as not to over torque (I use small "jewelers" screwdrivers for pickguard/truss rod cover R&R).

 

One other tip (from experience), when reinstalling the front screw, the anchor hole is hard to find once you put the spacer on the screw. Reinstall this screw first so that you have more freedom of movement to align it correctly and safely. Leave that screw a little loose and reinstall, and snug down, the bracket screw. Then go back and snug down the front screw.

 

OK, that gets the pickguard off and on, your quest to find and quell the buzzes is MUCH more complicated.

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And to embellish what's been said previously, please note that you are dealing with spruce, a soft wood. Don't overtighten the screws and risk splitting the spruce along its grain. Finger-tight is good enough.

 

The pickups buzzing in their mounting rings is a common problem. Tightening the mounting screws may or may not help. The rest of us simply accept it as a given and wedge small pieces of business cards in between the pickup and the mounting ring to stop the buzzing. Try this first and see whether the buzzing goes away.

 

The cap screw of the pickguard bracket often works loose and buzzes. Try finger-tightening it.

 

As long as the buzzing is not amplified when plugged in, I will leave well enough alone.

 

Amateur attempts at fixing something often lead to very expensive repair bills or damage to an otherwise fine guitar. The L5 Signature is an expensive axe. Honestly, I won't attempt to track down the cause of the buzzing if you are even asking these questions in this forum. You may do some expensive damage unwittingly and lose a friendship or your friend may well take you to a small claims court for causing damage. I am not trying to scare you but get practice first on a less expensive guitar that YOU own before attempting this on someone else's L5.

 

Take it a good guitar technician who knows these things and for a proper set-up. How much does it cost? $25 to $50. And he can rid it of its buzzing and set up its intonation at the same time.

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Thanks everyone. Yeah, I really didn't want to touch anything but the mad scientist in me is ever present so I wanted to find out what to do "just in case" I can't help myself:-) At this point it's not bad but in the event I wind up acquiring this beauty I'll probably dive in and try to make it a little better.

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Thanks everyone. Yeah, I really didn't want to touch anything but the mad scientist in me is ever present so I wanted to find out what to do "just in case" I can't help myself:-) At this point it's not bad but in the event I wind up acquiring this beauty I'll probably dive in and try to make it a little better.

 

Hi Dave, I hope you acquire it. But really, take it to a good tech and watch how he does it. Worth all of $25 to $50. The L5 Signature is a really sweet guitar and one Oops is all it takes to ruin it and its resale value.

 

I am not saying that you should never attempt to adjust or fix it yourself but try it on a much cheaper archtop first that won't cause you to hate yourself when you slip up.

 

I mean well.

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Hi Dave, I hope you acquire it. But really, take it to a good tech and watch how he does it. Worth all of $25 to $50. The L5 Signature is a really sweet guitar and one Oops is all it takes to ruin it and its resale value.

 

I am not saying that you should never attempt to adjust or fix it yourself but try it on a much cheaper archtop first that won't cause you to hate yourself when you slip up.

 

I mean well.

Noted:-)

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I'm curious if anyone here knows what these l-5 Signatures might be worth. I have an opportunity to do a trade for studio time (I run recordla.com) and even if I don't end up keeping the guitar I could probably sell it and not lose anything. From what little I can find it looks like there are other used ones going for around $6k. Does this seem about right? It's a mint (minus the slight buzzing) 2001 Tangerine burst.

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Asking prices and actually getting them are two different things.

 

You can expect to pay between $5000 and $6000 for a full-sized L-5CES. An L-5 Signature is a mini L5. Depending on time of the year, your selling pitch, pictures, condition of the L-5 Signature, its rarity and the state of the economy, I'd put its value between $3900 and $5000 tops currently. $5500 on a very very good day when the stars are aligned in your favour.

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An L-5 CES Signature just sold on Ebay for the "Buy it now" price of $6700.

 

Danny W.

I'm still checking tis sucker out and have been enjoying recording with it. The buzz is very minimal and doesn't affect the recordings in the least so that's good. I'm curious as to what color the guitar is. At first I thought it was a tangerine burst but in person the front is more honey colored. Did they make a honey type finish or is this just a darker tangerine?

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I'm still checking tis sucker out and have been enjoying recording with it. The buzz is very minimal and doesn't affect the recordings in the least so that's good. I'm curious as to what color the guitar is. At first I thought it was a tangerine burst but in person the front is more honey colored. Did they make a honey type finish or is this just a darker tangerine?

 

Tangerineburst is very bright and would be hard to confuse with a honeyburst. The one that just sold on Ebay was claimed to be in honeyburst and from the photos, it certainly looked it.

 

Here's a link to the auction:

 

My link

 

Here's a tangerineburst:

 

688aa251.jpg

 

Danny W.

 

Danny W.

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Well, I made the deal with my friend and I'm now the proud owner of a 2001 L-5 Signature Tangerine burst! Since she's officially mine I think I'll have a go at (gently) removing the pickgaurd and tightening down the pickup rings to see if that sufficiently kills the rest of the slight rattles. Also, it feels like the frets have never been dressed as when you slide your fingers over them they feel rough. I think I've read that Gibson does a terrible job at setting these up at the factory. I'll take it to my guy here in LA and have him do a set up and troubleshoot any remaining buzzes. Thanks for all the good information!

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Congratulations! It looks like a great guitar. I'd would have the frets dressed and crowned.

 

Be careful tightening the pickup ring-mount screws; spruce is soft. I'd try wedging a business card in between the pickup and mounting ring first.

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Here's my final update. I took the L-5 to Eric's Guitar Shop for a setup. He buffed the frets instead of dressing them so as to preserve the height. That seems to have done the trick on the roughness issue. I told him about the guitar buzzing and all that needed to be done was to set the bridge pickup closer to the strings, thus picking up the slack on the lose springs. It seems to be perfect now! I had him put on flat wound strings but am not crazy about them, mostly because of the feel. Perhaps I'll get used to it. Thanks for all the help!

 

Here's a pic from today's studio photo shoot:

 

Guitars.JPG

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Here's my final update. I took the L-5 to Eric's Guitar Shop for a setup. He buffed the frets instead of dressing them so as to preserve the height. That seems to have done the trick on the roughness issue. I told him about the guitar buzzing and all that needed to be done was to set the bridge pickup closer to the strings, thus picking up the slack on the lose springs. It seems to be perfect now! I had him put on flat wound strings but am not crazy about them, mostly because of the feel. Perhaps I'll get used to it. Thanks for all the help!

 

Here's a pic from today's studio photo shoot:

 

Guitars.JPG

 

Glad it's all fixed up.

 

I use T-I Benson .012" rounds on all my archtops. Used flats years ago, but wouldn't go back to them again.

 

Danny W.

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I use T-I Benson .012" rounds on all my archtops. Used flats years ago, but wouldn't go back to them again.

I use La Bella Nylon Tape Wound 14's on all my archtops. Used rounds years ago, but wouldn't go back to them again.

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I use La Bella Nylon Tape Wound 14's on all my archtops. Used rounds years ago, but wouldn't go back to them again.

 

I'm glad someone's found a use for my old strings. [wink]

 

Danny W.

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I use La Bella Nylon Tape Wound 14's on all my archtops. Used rounds years ago, but wouldn't go back to them again.

 

As an aside, how do you get the fat anoconda of a bass E string to fit in the tuning machine? It is 0.060", if I am not wrong. Did you have to enlarge the hole or trim off the tape winding?

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I had him put on flat wound strings but am not crazy about them, mostly because of the feel. Perhaps I'll get used to it. Thanks for all the help!

 

You have a guitar worth many thousands of dollars. Do your self a favour. Spend another 100$ and buy a set of Tomastik Swings, Labella Tapes, GB112s, Chromes (yes, chromes) and Newtone Archtop strings.

 

I loved GBs on my EmpReg..hated chromes. But the GBs faded to quickly (new they sound amazing but I only get a month out of them). Tried Chromes and HATED them. Eventually Settled on the LaBellas although got a year out of Newtone strings (if you can get used to the finger noise).

 

Fast forward to my ES165 .. Labellas... nope. TIs... defintely not. Didnt try the Newtones. Surprise winner Chromes. Chromes on my ES125 as well but still searching (DR Stainless were nice for a while).

 

My point being. Each guitar is different, each player is different. You have a guitar that will outlast your kids, take the time to find the right strings for you and for that guitar.

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As an aside, how do you get the fat anoconda of a bass E string to fit in the tuning machine? It is 0.060", if I am not wrong. Did you have to enlarge the hole or trim off the tape winding?

 

.067 on the low "E". Fit's through the peg hole just fine.

 

4172741064_1aae834dc3.jpg

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