Les Paul Classic String Spacing/Pickup Swap?

Discussion in 'Pickups' started by slideman, May 31, 2008.

  1. slideman

    slideman Junior Member

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    Does anyone know the spacing at the "bridge" for a Gibson Les Paul Classic.? I was told that if the spacing exceeds 53mm or 2.1" that I would need an F-spaced pickup. On Dimarzio's website, he indicates that later Gibson LP's (from the 90's on) may require f-spaced humbuckers. Anyone know?

    Thanks.
     
  2. stryker59

    stryker59 Senior Member

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    im not sure of the spacing but i used normal spaced humbuckers when i swapped the pickups out in my classic and havent had a problem....im guessing that the spacing is normal!
     
  3. J.LaGrassa

    J.LaGrassa Senior Member

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    My Les Paul Classic was made in 2005 and the bridge pup is definitely F-spaced, I just Installed a set of the Dimarzio Anniversary pickups on my LP and got the F Spaced bridge ..its pefectly spaced!

    [​IMG]
     
  4. stryker59

    stryker59 Senior Member

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    niiiice gt!!!:thumb:
     
  5. Inside Guy

    Inside Guy I am no longer @ Gibson V.I.P. Member

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    LP Classics have a 500T in the bridge. The Bridge pickup has wider pole piece spacing than the neck pickup.
     
  6. SKATTERBRANE

    SKATTERBRANE Guest

    Yes, any Gibson pickup with a T at the end of the model has the wider spacing. HOWEVER a neck spaced pickp will work just fine, as Vintage and Historics use neck spaced pickups at both positions. I take out all 490R/498T and 496R/500T pickups in any Les Paul I care to improve the tone on. If I use Gibson pickups, I usually replace them with 57 Classics.
     
  7. xenrelic

    xenrelic Junior Member

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    The stock Gibson string spacing on the bridge from the centers of the outside E strings should be 2".

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Here's the saddle spacing setup procedure:

    Make sure the outside E strings are placed on the saddles so they have an equal amount of space from the edge of the string to the edge of the fretboard while maintaining the 2" center to center spacing.

    Tap the strings down on the saddle with a plastic hammer to create their slot. You want just a deep enough slot to keep the string from popping out under playing tension.

    Then to get the centers for the other strings, all you have to do is divide 2" by 5, which gives you the spacing between each string at the bridge which is .40"

    Set the strings on the saddles and tap each one down to create its slot.

    Then if you want, you can take the proper sized nut files and further smooth the slots out. Keep the slot depth no more than 1/2 of the diameter of the string for the best tone. You can also use a radius gauge to match the radius of the fretboard when filing the 4 center string slots.

    On most Gibson Les Paul guitars, the fretboard radius = 12"

    Some vintage Les Pauls and Custom Shop models like the Florentine will have a 10" radius on the fretboard.

    StewMac makes a compensated string slot spacing rule that takes the different string gauges into account for a more even distribution of the 4 middle strings. It's supposedly a more comfortable feel that wont change with different string gauges.

    I like both but I prefer the stock Gibson spacing, myself.
     
  8. xenrelic

    xenrelic Junior Member

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    You should definitely go with the F spacing a.k.a. Trembucker spacing for a Les Paul Classic.
     
  9. SKATTERBRANE

    SKATTERBRANE Banned

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    I have had MANY Les Paul Classics and even though their stock bridge string spacing is 2-1/15" the 57 Classics with 1-15/16" spacing works just fine. (the first thing I did was to throw away the 496R/500T pickups and put in 57 Classics) So don't limit yourself to a "F-spaced" pickup! In fact all Gibson Les Pauls work just fine with "neck spaced" "G-spaced" "PAF spaced" or 1-15/16" (49.2mm) spaced pickups.

    Remember all vintage Les Pauls, and Les Paul made through 1987, and all Historic Les Pauls use 1-15/16" spaced pickups in the neck and the bridge. There is no reason any of the newer Les Paul cannot work well with this vintage spacing as well.

    In fact I have no idea why Gibson went through the trouble of even developing a 2-1/16" spaced pickup at all.

    In fact Gibson's Custom shop model version of the Les Paul Classic came stock with 57 Classics. All 57 Classics and Burstbuckers have 1-15/16" spacing for both neck and bridge.
     
  10. Who

    Who +1 Premium Member

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    Do you know if DiMarzio's non-F spaced are " normal" width?

    As Skatter mentioned, F spacing is probably never needed, but I recently bought a 36th Anniv for the bridge of my '74, and I like the way it looks, lined up over the poles. Sounds fine.

    Before that, I had a SD neck pickup in the bridge. Worked just fine.

    Why not just measure the distance of your strings? If you don't own an accurate enough ruler, go get one. They are cheap, and will be all kinds of useful.
     
  11. SKATTERBRANE

    SKATTERBRANE Banned

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    I am pretty sure that DiMarzios spacing is more narrow in both the neck and the bridge than Gibson's. So, if you order DiMarzio, you may HAVE to get their F-spaced for the bridge, because their neck spaced is even more narrow than Gibson's neck spaced pickups.

    DiMarzio's spacing is unique.
     
  12. SKATTERBRANE

    SKATTERBRANE Banned

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    Gibson spacing: 1-15/16" (49.2mm) 2-1/16" (52.4mm)
    Chinese (metric) spacing: 50mm and 53mm
    DiMarzio spacing: 48mm and 51mm

    A Dimarzio neck spacing of 48mm may not work best in the bridge. However Gibson's neck spacing works just fine in the bridge, because Les Pauls were DESIGNED for this.
     

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