Intonate '57 Les Paul Junior?

Discussion in 'Gibson Les Pauls' started by onward, Jul 4, 2007.

  1. onward

    onward Junior Member

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    Hi from the new guy!
    This is my first 50's LP and I am trying to get it right. The guitar was in poor condition when I bought it having no finish on the body and neck. It has been brought back to life with a new finish, era correct hardware or genuine era parts. This has been four months of hard work.
    Now it is ready to play if I could intonate the VTPN-1A from WD parts I would have it made.
    Found here:
    Vintage Tailpiece/Bridge Combo - Aluminum - WD Music
    Strangely enough, the upper neck intonates fine but the lower first five frets are way out of wack.
    Does anybody have any suggestions or online resources that could help me with this?
    Thanks in advance,
    onward
     
  2. HolyGrail

    HolyGrail V.I.P. Member

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    Setting intonation on a guitar is a give and take process.
    It's not something you can learn over night .

    A lot of things come into play when setting intonation .
    Number one rule. Guitars will NEVER tune perfectly,
    EVER. The tempered system of tuning which guitar fret placement relies on is imperfect, but it’s the best we can do. The system was designed by J.S. Bach in 1717. It's a give and take process .

    Here are a few.
    Always use a new set of strings. Even so, you can still get a bad set of new strings .
    Is the nut cut correctly ? Is your truss rod adjusted correctly .
    Some people mistakingly believe that they can set the truss rod
    to their particular feel ." NOT TRUE " There's either right or wrong on
    your guitar .

    I don't know how much work was done to your guitar,
    was the bridge relocated at all ? I've looked at the bridge you've bought and can't tell if the top comes to a slight v or not on the top .

    Some people think they can set intonation by using Harmonics .
    Harmonics won't tune .
    Also ~ Don't try to set intonation between fretted
    strings and open strings .

    Luckily~ You only have 2 points to adjust on that bridge rather than 6.

    Whitout the guitar in my hands it's so difficult to tell. :confused:
     
  3. onward

    onward Junior Member

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    Holy Grail,
    Thanks for your prompt reply, means a lot.
    The bridge was not relocated but the era correct bridge replaced a stop tail bridge with adjustable saddles. Before the refinish job the guitar was intonated.
    The present era correct bridge is a smooth round surface at the top just as was originally on the guitar.
    There are two set screws, one at each end of the stop tail that are for intonation. Once I get a proper sized hex wrench that will be next avenue to explore.
    Thanks again for the input,
    onward
     
  4. HolyGrail

    HolyGrail V.I.P. Member

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    onward

    You're welcome .
    I couldn't even begin to tell you what the problem is
    without having it in my hands. Just check all the items I've listed one by one.
    If that doesn't work, I'm sure one of us can recommend a competent tech
    in your area.

    Good Luck !
     
  5. onward

    onward Junior Member

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    Holy Grail,
    After a quick consultation with Ralph at MAE Music, the area guitar guru, a badly cut nut was the first thing seen as a problem.
    Being that that is something way out of my line I elected to bring the guitar back to him when he could give the setup some proper attention.
    Today progress was made with the nut and going to a stop tail bridge with adjustable saddles. The new, old era bridge I bought just wasn't going to pull it all together.
    The guitar came with this bridge and one of the large set screws turned out to be frozen so I have another task as I go ever ONWARD!
    Thanks for your input, much appreciated!
     
  6. HolyGrail

    HolyGrail V.I.P. Member

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    Well glad you've begun to get it straightened out.

    Are you talking about the set adjustment screw in the bridge or
    the tailpiece studs that go into the body of the guitar ?

    If it's the studs , you can remove the stud and bushing together with a busing puller (you can buy one ) or you can make one. The other way to do it is to CAREFULLY use liquid wrench on the stud. Making sure to NOT get any on the finish and let it do it's work for a day . Or Heat the stud with a soldering iron , then let it cool and see if it moves. Pulling the stud and bushing is much safer .

    Good luck !
     

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