Traditional upgrades

Discussion in 'Gibson Les Pauls' started by Greeley, Aug 11, 2018.

  1. Greeley

    Greeley Member

    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    89
    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2017
    Hello everyone, I was recently playing my 2018 les Paul traditional unplugged one night after work and I noticed that the 3 lower strings did in fact have a occasional buzz coming from them ? Quite loud to sometimes and quite hard to trace exactly where it was coming from, being reasonably new to guitars I started to do some research into the matter and after a few hours of searching the net and a bit of tinkering, I figured it could well be the bridge retaining wire, I never even knew it had a wire ? My 2016 tradish was already upgraded and I just didn't realize this, anyway I was a pit peaved off because it's only 3 weeks old, bought new from one of my local dealers, I did contemplate on whether to return it to get sorted out but ii figure it may well happen again down the line.
    So upgrade time it was and with a little bit of research I worked out which bridges would and would not fit, good time to fit some other upgrades as well I thought. I was also getting some unpleasant hum when I wasn't grounding the thing out with my hands so first job was to line all the cavaties with copper tape from the local hardware store, ordered a Faber abrh 59 wireless bridge, faber aluminium tail piece as per original Gibsons, hosco gold top hats, hosco amber switch tip and a gotoh metal jack plate, and finally restrung her with Ernie's custom slinkie 10's . All the parts arrived this morning and I've been a busy little boy all day but now she's finished and Ohh my what a difference these have made, she's quiet now with no hum, no string buzz either and she seems to have a bit more honk to the tone ? Could this be the Faber bridge and tail piece by any chance ? Either way she sounds absolutely fantastic and I'm a happy chap now, so just wondering what upgrades you have done to your Lester and why ? Some pics of her now she's finished.
    IMG_20180811_174032.jpg

    IMG_20180811_173944.jpg
    IMG_20180811_173935.jpg
    IMG_20180811_173854.jpg
    IMG_20180811_173830.jpg
    Worth while upgrades imo, some may argue that a new guitar shouldn't really need money spending it on it but she is a 60 plus year old design.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2018
  2. vetteman

    vetteman Senior Member

    Messages:
    100
    Likes Received:
    193
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2017
    Look at it this way....She's a lovely guitar that will give countless hours of enjoyment to you after you attend to a few small defects. If you amortize the cost of the parts over the duration of ownership you'll probably feel pretty good about the money spent on the upgrades. Rock on!
     
    bulletproof and Greeley like this.
  3. Classicplayer

    Classicplayer Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,439
    Likes Received:
    1,463
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2007
    I try and keep my 2Les Pauls fairly stock, but my new 2018 Traditional is completely stock. You could have taken a small flat blade screwdriver and applied a little pressure to the wire along the ABR bridge's face and sort of put a slight “v” between the lower three strings. I did it with both the new one and my 2000 Classic. It's a temporary fix, but lasts awhile.

    I also have some hum going on similar to what you describe, but for now, I can live with it. I may try to shield the cavities at some point later.

    Enjoy your new Trad. My is new as yours, and it's already proving to be very toneful.


    Classicplayer
     
    Greeley likes this.
  4. bulletproof

    bulletproof aka tarddoggy Premium Member V.I.P. Member

    Messages:
    11,850
    Likes Received:
    28,833
    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011
    Brother that’s one beautiful guitar!! I love to hear how y’all do upgrades and things just get better!



    As for my Trad,so far I haven’t touched one damn thing upgrade wise. It’s an anomaly for me....I usually fall in love with a guitars voice and then set about making those little changes to really bring that voice out. Haven’t had to do it with this one.
    My ‘16 Traditional.....




    6EF64B73-E44C-45C5-9416-9DA501D667A9.jpeg 8C31AAA2-94CC-4359-B421-1C1E2E30D657.jpeg
     
    GitFiddle, Roxy13, JohnnyN and 10 others like this.
  5. Subterfuge

    Subterfuge Senior Member

    Messages:
    987
    Likes Received:
    1,412
    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2017
    only made a few upgrades since I've had my LP, MGL thumbwheels and rolled TRC, DMC ver 1 tailpiece and aged tophats and PigTail bridge studs....
     
    Greeley and bulletproof like this.
  6. Cjsinla

    Cjsinla Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,640
    Likes Received:
    2,927
    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2014
    I put gold top hats on my ‘14 Trad because I don’t like speed knobs. The only other thing I might change is to put on a nylon not just like the old ones. Nylon nuts hold tune, do not bind.

    4BDFD72A-054A-44C6-BAAC-63D78DF462A6.jpeg
     
    519tbarr, Thornosac, shupe13 and 2 others like this.
  7. Christosterone

    Christosterone Premium Member

    Messages:
    2,879
    Likes Received:
    2,719
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2016
    Love it...

    Good on you for making it your own...

    Traditionals are great guitars...

    Yours has a surprisingly flamey top for a non-hp

    Great looking

    -Chris
     
    Greeley and bulletproof like this.
  8. gball

    gball Senior Member

    Messages:
    613
    Likes Received:
    530
    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2016
    Nice guitar! Hate to be the one to tell you though; your original tailpiece is aluminum, you didn't need to buy a new one. And honestly, steel studs make a bigger difference than the tailpiece.
     
    bulletproof likes this.
  9. Greeley

    Greeley Member

    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    89
    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2017
    Thanks for the replies everyone, I did try to bend/twaek the spring on the bridge but no luck, unfortunately I just seemed to make matters worse, I even tried it with the spring removed completely but that did not work either.
    I have kept all the original parts to, nothing I have done isn't reversible so she can be turned back into completely original spec at some point in the future if need be, I'm just happy there is no buzz anymore.

    Cjsinla, I love the flame on yours, really really nice, I might look into getting a nylon nut fitted at some point but that would be a Luthier job I think.

    Bulletproof, that is one nice Les Paul to, nice grain to the maple and really suits those open buckers, very nice indeed.

    I like all Les Pauls to be honest but traditionals for me really hit a spot, one day I'd love to own a R9, that would be job done for me, add it to my traditional collection hopefully.
     
    bulletproof likes this.
  10. Greeley

    Greeley Member

    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    89
    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2017
    AHH, I must have miss read some where that it was pot metal ? Maybe when I was reading up on them les Paul was mentioned which doesn't exactly mean it's a Gibson does it ? I just didn't think ? My bad lol, wasted a bit of money there, although I could use it on my epiphone custom I suppose, would be a upgrade on that I'm sure, like I say I'm new (ish) to guitars and still very much learning things, maybe then the slight improvement in tone is just down to there being no more buzzing ? Different new strings maybe ?
     
    bulletproof likes this.
  11. Left Paw

    Left Paw Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,184
    Likes Received:
    2,639
    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2013
    Never a problem to mod with replaceable parts. Only permanent changes hurt value. Be sure and keep the original parts, of course.
     
    bulletproof likes this.
  12. Cjsinla

    Cjsinla Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,640
    Likes Received:
    2,927
    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2014
    Yessir, I am defiantly going to let a luthier change that nut when I get ready, I’ve done it before but I struggle to get the spacing between the slots right.
     
    bulletproof likes this.
  13. dju

    dju Member

    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    36
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2010
    did you have string buzz or bridge retaining wire buzz?
    maybe when you switched to the wireless replacement bridge you raised the string height on the low side a tiny bit so the strings no longer buzzed on the frets?? and maybe as a result of raising the strings you are thinking it fixed your string buzz problem with the bridge? maybe you had both string buzz and bridge retaining wire buzz.
    regardless of what is happening I'm glad you resolved the problem and are happy with it.
    nice looking guitar. and I like the reflector top hat knobs. I put those on most of my LP's also.

    dj
     
    bulletproof likes this.
  14. Classicplayer

    Classicplayer Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,439
    Likes Received:
    1,463
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2007
    That's an enticing looking Lester. Makes you want to pick it up and run your fingers up and down the finger-board. It's more attractive IMO than the best burst ones.

    I try and keep mine Les Paul stock, unless there is something not right about the pickups, or if the guitar emits too much hum or circuit noise. Then, I might take it to a tech for an opinion and or a fix.


    Classicplayer
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2018
    Greeley and bulletproof like this.
  15. MSB

    MSB Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,351
    Likes Received:
    2,377
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    OP, historic height rings would be the icing on the cake.
     
    Les Kiwi, Greeley and bulletproof like this.
  16. Frogfur

    Frogfur Senior Member

    Messages:
    18,500
    Likes Received:
    32,301
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2013
    Defects??
     
    bulletproof likes this.
  17. Classicplayer

    Classicplayer Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,439
    Likes Received:
    1,463
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2007
    IMO, Gibson in the design of these newer Traditional (mine being a 2018) has already included an “upgrade” that's advertised in their write up. To me, it may be the single important ingredient to making these Trad’s toneful. That is, the non weight-relieved bodies.

    My new Trad has very balanced tone when played unplugged. That's a good sign that as the guitar ages it will most likely improve its tone and possibly in the area of sustain.

    Of course, it all comes to another important factor that being the quality of the wood used throughout. This Trad as new as it is, sounds more mature to my ears than my 2000 Classic did when about the same “age”. I bought it new also, but the guitar has taken a good 10 to 12 years to develop into a refined sounding Lester. My switch to Seth Lovers has brought out that tone even more so.

    I hope Gibson keeps the quality going in their Traditional as well as their other offerings. I think it's a good time for anyone thinking about obtaining their first Les Paul. First impressions are usually lasting impressions.



    Classicplayer
     
  18. Renegade

    Renegade Senior Member

    Messages:
    132
    Likes Received:
    147
    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2011
    Glad it all worked out...that guitar is a real looker.
     
    Greeley and bulletproof like this.
  19. moreles

    moreles Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,024
    Likes Received:
    1,665
    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2011
    Yes, it's pretty unbelievable how crappy Gibsons bridges still are. The ABR is a straightforward design, and the unceasing problems come from crappy alloys, poor fabrication of parts, and way too loosey-goosey specs. You absolutely should not have to pay to replace a basic component of a new guitar because the part itself causes problems, but that's what Gibson owners do because they must. I have an old SG that I'm trying to leave untampered, and it is really a drag to have to work with the original ABR (in well worn gold, which means that a replacement is unlikely to match). The first criterion is playability! Nice looking guitar. I'm concerned about the hum, though, which really should not be happening. Hope the shielding does the trick.
     
    Greeley and bulletproof like this.
  20. Greeley

    Greeley Member

    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    89
    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2017
    The hum has been completely sorted now thanks to the copper tape, I have recently moved all my gear into the back bedroom of my house as one of my daughters moved out recently so a free room become available and this is when I started to experience the hum, to be fair all my guitars have started doing it now ? With one exception, my PRS 245 is the only one that doesn't do it at all in that room, although the 2018 traditional did seem to hum the loudest by far, way more than my 2016 traditional, i now know what's causing it to, my house is pretty modern and was fully rewired about 10 years ago so grounding is not the issue, under the back room where all my gear is now is the kitchen, and in there we have a huge 7ftx4ft fish tank (wife's hobby) it also has a huge filter under it and I'm pretty sure its that, that is causing the unwanted hum as when I switch the filter off the hum seems to disappear on my other my guitars ? Only found this out today as the other half was doing some maintenance on it with the filter switched off and I was upstairs having a noodle on my guitars, but there's no hum now anyway on my 2018 traditional at all, filter on or off, so I'm happy, I just have to copper line all the rest of my axes bar my PRS, no big deal.
    With regards to the bridge buzz I did again try all sorts before I ordered a new bridge, I tried raising the bridge along with the tail piece to rule out fret buzz that was actually the first thing I tried, made no difference, when I removed the spring completely pretty much all of them buzzed I know it was the spring causing the issue as had my wife press on the spring slightly as I hit a note, sure enough it stopped buzzing I actually think it was the intonation screws rattling in the thread, I think that's what the spring does anyway correct me if I'm wrong ?
    To MSB
    Where can I get some of those pick up rings ? Good quality ones ?
    Sorry for the long post guys and all your lovely comments and likes are really appreciated.
     
    bulletproof likes this.

Share This Page