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Discussion in 'Gibson Les Pauls' started by Selendia, Nov 25, 2018.
Ummm this guitar is a disaster!
Not really ...
I bought a new Epi 56 GT P 90 LP a few years back, and felt that the rosewood fretboard had a grain that is too open. That was nine tears ago, and the grain has not changed.I didn’t make any fuss over it, as it was a $450 guitar, and I assumed it was cheap rosewood on a cheap guitar. However, since then I have bought other guitars in that price range with rosewood boards with grain as tight as ebony. I don’t think the playability of the Epi is harmed, but I still feel it is cheap rosewood. But after experience with the rosewood on equally cheap guitars that has very tight grain, I don’t accept that “cheap guitar” excuse. And I certainly wouldn’t accept on a $2800 guitar.
Looks like long pore grain. A OK. The nut slots are a chin hair wide on A and E but if you restring the guitar you can get skinny top heavy bottom strings in no problem. Fine for 9-46 or regular slinky as is. The fretboard being a bit lighter at the nut could be fixed by a toothbrush with whatever oil or fretboard product you keep handy for the wood.
Wish we could see the whole guitar, bet its nice.
How many Les Pauls does this one make?
Finally, the voice of reason!
Nice looking axe!!
If it’s any help I don’t see anything either.
Every piece of wood is different. Some have tighter grain, some have looser grain. Take a look at the grain on some old 50s LPs and you’ll see the same thing. Wood is organic, not cookie cutter. IMO that fretboard is fine.
Nut might be a little wonky though. Unfortunately, despite Gibson’s vaunted PLEK machine, Gibson USA guitars the last few years have been very hit & miss when it comes to the nut. I’ve seen many Gibsons hanging on the walls of stores over the past few years that had jacked up nuts. It’s actually kinda sad. It’s something I always be sure to evaluate before I buy. But now that you’ve bought it, if dealer offered to replace the nut free of charge, take him up on it.
No issues. Oil it up. The discoloration is bc your natural finger oil doesn’t touch the fret board right behind the nut on the EAD strings. The strings are too thick. Lots of older guitars have that small area a little lighter than the GBE on fret 1.
Rosewood is also grainy so over time the lines show a little. No big deal either.
I’ve noticed that rosewoods and ebony used on guitars has, more often than not, been a growing trend over the last 25 years. To the point that I sometimes wonder if the ebony is actually another wood type dyed black.
I have a Martin from 1993 and there is no visible grain in the ebony. Now, especially for headstocks, fingerboards and bridges, you get lots of color variations and the headstock overlays (also what I make the rear cavity covers out of) has become a gamble from most vendors.
I suspect it will only get worse as the demand for ebony increases as the restrictions on rosewoods increases.
Why so much rosewood has this problem all of a sudden is a mystery.
I also build acoustic guitars and to me the rosewood near the nut looks like it got wet. The lighter color looks like rosewood that was wet, bent and dried.
I’d use 3m faux steel wool in a very fine grade and put masking tape over the nut and first fret so they don’t get marred. Once smoothed a bit of Bore Oil will even the color out.
I’m not impressed by a few of the slots, but they appear well spaced and functional just not pretty. The width at the top of the string slots was a common sight in the 1980s.
I have noticed that both F & G have much narrower string spacing lately and I can’t play in the first position and get the notes to ring true. Yes, my hands are long and lean, but that’s why I build my own.
1st - Have a new bone nut installed. I don't care for any nut installed at the factory. The cost is nothing compared to what you will get with a new bone nut installed and cut by a professional Luthier.
2nd - Lightly sand like everyone else has said.
3rd - Use fret-doctor or Bore Oil which is the only thing I use on dark wooded fret boards.
Basically Gibson got into trouble a few years back for purchasing wood for their fret boards that was illegal and since that time the wood they use on their fret boards have been hit and miss. Good Luck!
If it plays and sounds good, just keep playing the damn thing! It's beautiful!
If you're not comfortable doing the work yourself, or even if you are; I'd take it to an authorized Gibson Warranty Repair shop and have them fix it under warranty. Why should you have to spend your own time fixing something that shouldn't even exist?
From the photo in the OP's first post, it appears that the fretboard is thinner on the half of the fretboard from the G string to the low E, just under the nut. That's not an OCD induced induced QC issue, that's a Gibson F-up.
Not a big issue. Buff the fretboard, put a little lemon oil on, buff it again - ready!
The nut must be changed - horrible work. Let a prof. luthier install a new bone and you will be more than happy. Don't forget to use a little portion of nut sauce every time you change the strings.