Brand new LesPaul with very crooked tailpiece

shupe13

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Why would a reputable store let a guitar ship like that?
 

JM2112

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Pick up a copy of Paul Balmer's book, "The Gibson Les Paul Handbook".

It has great information about how to set up and take care of your guitar. The instructions are simple and good that anyone could follow them and nothing but basic tools are needed that most people would already have or could easily get.

Enjoy your guitar!!! :)
 

John Vasco

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henry,

Fear not about anything, Sir.

I bring thee the answer. Bear with me, and all will be revealed.

What you there is a Gibson that has been 'Plek'd' at the factory. That machine supposedly sets the guitar up wonderfully. The nut, the bridge,etc..

Now, that results in some peculiar bridge set ups, and yours is no exception.

Take a look here and see how my 2009 '08 LP Standard was set up when I got it home from the local shop:


It's a LEFTY. Note how far down the thumbwheel is on the left (treble) side of the bridge compared to the right (bass) side. That's how the Plek machine set it up. The tailpiece height is nothing to worry about on yours. What I think has happened is that with the Plek machine setting the bridge in a certain way, the tailpiece has been set up to replicate the slant of the bridge. Nothing more complicated than that, and both bridge and tailpiece are fully adjustable.

Here's what I did.
Took the old strings off.
Put a new set of my choice on, and tuned up.
Given that I solo in the band that I'm in, I always set the bridge height for the smoothest/easiest string bending on the top three strings. SO, I totally discarded what had been set for the bridge, and set about adjusting the height on both sides until I was happy with my own personal height for the bridge.
One other thing I do, is set the treble side of the bridge a touch higher than the bass side. Why? Because of the differing thicknesses of the treble strings compared to the bass strings, I set the bridge so that all 6 strings are going on to the fingerboard pretty level. Not set in stone, just my foible.
THEN, I set the tailpiece so the strings were not touching the back of the bridge in any way.

Here's a pic I just took of the bridge height on the Standard. You should be able to see the slight difference in height betwen the treble and bass sides of the bridge.


No problems whatsoever with intonation.

Hope this helps, and assuages you fear and trepidation of the set up on your LP.
 

laterider

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1. Loosen strings till really slack.
2. Using fingers tighten bass side tail piece post until only a thread or two are of the post are visible above the bushing.
3. Tune up.

Done.

Just don't use a screw driver on the post! The bridge height looks about the same as one of mine and the my tail piece is much lower.
 

christopherJ

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You'll never learn unless you get on with adjusting the things that are meant to be adjusted. First check the neck and make sure it is almost dead straight--you need a bit of relief. Now screw the bridge and tailpiece down as a far as they will go. Screw the pickups flush with the mounting rings.

Now tune to pitch and notice how it buzzes? Monkey with the thumb screws on the bridge (that are meant to be monkeyed with by design) until it doesn't buzz. Keep watching the tuning as you go along. Raise the tailpiece if you want until the strings just clear the back of the bridge--or don't. Top wrap too and see how you like it.

Wash, rinse, repeat.

Pretty soon you will get a feel for what needs to be done to a guitar to set it up to your liking.

You won't break anything unless you are a total dolt. You can't make it unplayable as you can always put it back to where it was.

Check Joe out. If he can do it, so can you! (He gets the history a bit wrong, but hey, he's Joe! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iKTXTWbI4FU
 

ARandall

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That string seems WAY high on the low E side. I'd echo the 'I can't see how it could have gone out like that'.....but I bought a 60's trib that had a similar setup new from Gibson. Thankfully the shop set it up before I picked it up and then about 10 weeks down the track to make sure it had settled ok.
 

Thumpalumpacus

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[...] and wouldn't give a damn about the strings touching at the back of the bridge.
Only superstitious old wives believe that tone is affected by that :D
I never worried about it affecting tone, but I don't like the idea of putting a kink in the string.
 

henry

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henry,

Fear not about anything, Sir.

I bring thee the answer. Bear with me, and all will be revealed.

What you there is a Gibson that has been 'Plek'd' at the factory. That machine supposedly sets the guitar up wonderfully. The nut, the bridge,etc..

Now, that results in some peculiar bridge set ups, and yours is no exception.

Take a look here and see how my 2009 '08 LP Standard was set up when I got it home from the local shop:
[.
Hi John, thank you very much for your help.

From what I can tell from your pictures, my bridge is even more raised on one side (3.5-4mm) than yours originally.




LONG STORY SHORT:

As I took the guitar from the case yesterday, I didn't notice any weird action, string height was very low and fairly uniform, intonation was good etc.
I was mostly trying to get used to the wider neck (it's a 2015 LP)

But then I realized my arm was hitting the tailpiece all the time, which is when I realized how weirdly it was setup.

My first thought was, if both the bridge and tailpiece are set like that, it must be to compensate for a twisted neck. But on first inspection, it doesn't look like it is twisted, although it's hard to tell with the bridge and TP like that, protruding from the body.

And if the bridge is raised SO much on one side, action, should be terrible, but it isn't, 6th string (bass) is pretty much where it should be, 2mm height at the 12th fret.

SO if i lower the bridge at the left side (bass) 3.5mm (!) , to level it with the right side, I believe the bass E string will totally hit the fretboard and it will buzz like crazy.

So I guess either is the neck twisted, or the guitar requires a careful PRO setup from the ground up, truss rod reset, bridge and saddles, etc, etc, which I am not confident to perform.

I'm sending photos of all this to the dealer to see what they think. It's the biggest on-line EU dealer (as big as a small village), one that moves 1,000 boxes a day and must have thousands of guitars in inventory, so I guess they can't setup them all, so mine must have come like this from Gibson's factory.
 

grumphh

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I never worried about it affecting tone, but I don't like the idea of putting a kink in the string.
Never heard that one before :)

The one thing i will grant the "don't let strings touch the bridge" folk is that in the very long run (decades) at a steep break angle the bridge may (not all do) bend under the pressure, and you will have to replace it.
With the number of people replacing their bridges anyway, i don't see the problem...
 

grumphh

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Hi John, thank you very much for your help.

From what I can tell from your pictures, my bridge is even more raised on one side (3.5-4mm) than yours originally.




LONG STORY SHORT:

As I took the guitar from the case yesterday, I didn't notice any weird action, string height was very low and fairly uniform, intonation was good etc.
I was mostly trying to get used to the wider neck (it's a 2015 LP)

But then I realized my arm was hitting the tailpiece all the time, which is when I realized how weirdly it was setup.

My first thought was, if both the bridge and tailpiece are set like that, it must be to compensate for a twisted neck. But on first inspection, it doesn't look like it is twisted, although it's hard to tell with the bridge and TP like that, protruding from the body.

And if the bridge is raised SO much on one side, action, should be terrible, but it isn't, 6th string (bass) is pretty much where it should be, 2mm height at the 12th fret.

SO if i lower the bridge at the left side (bass) 3.5mm (!) , to level it with the right side, I believe the bass E string will totally hit the fretboard and it will buzz like crazy.

So I guess either is the neck twisted, or the guitar requires a careful PRO setup from the ground up, truss rod reset, bridge and saddles, etc, etc, which I am not confident to perform.

I'm sending photos of all this to the dealer to see what they think. It's the biggest on-line EU dealer (as big as a small village), one that moves 1,000 boxes a day and must have thousands of guitars in inventory, so I guess they can't setup them all, so mine must have come like this from Gibson's factory.
So, the guitar plays as it should? :D

It is impossible that you can accept that sometimes the bridge looks exaggeratedly crooked, even though it is set up perfectly?

Try bringing down the tailpiece (which btw has nothing to do with the bridge, except that they sit on the same guitar), and make it straight, and then see what happens.

Personally, at this point i sense some sort of buyers remorse (due to the wood figure?) and instead of bickering about technical details that are not problems just send it back.
As it is an internet buy you have a return period of at least 14 days, use that, and then find one in person instead of buying unseen...
 

Lucidsounds

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Something looks odd there. Forget about the tail for a minute, let's look at the bridge.

Just checked my Custom which has a higher than average neck angle, the bridge is almost exactly level across the board, maybe just a tad higher on the bass side. Now I know every guitar is different, but I've never seen a bridge need as much angle as that one you have there.

Do as others have said. Check the neck relief first at the 1st and 15th frets, a quick and easy way is to capo the first fret, hold the 15th, and you should - just - be able to slide a piece of card from a string packet between the strings and frets.

Then, measure the action from the top of the 12th fret to the bottom of the string, and drop the bridge to get around 2/64" on the bass side and 1/64" on the treble side. The bridge should now be roughly level (more than it is now). Play the guitar, adjust the action up or down slightly if necessary to get it to play how you like it. Once you have done all that, then, and only then, set the tail so the strings just miss the back of the bridge. If the tail still seems unduly high, try top wrapping.

:thumb:
 

LesPaul86

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0.4 and 0.7mm at the 12th fret, are you sure that's right?
 

sk8rat

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the reason why the tail piece is up so high is because of the size of the bridge. nashville bridges are wider than abr-1 bridges so the strings hit at steeper break angles.

my traditional came with the tailpiece off the body (not as high as yours) but I just lowered it and let the strings hit (only the e strings hit).



the only good thing about guitars that come stock with nashvilles is that it has the body anchors so if the strings hit, putting extra pressure on the bridge, the posts wont bend as apposed to if the posts go straight into the wood like the abr-1 which if the strings hit it can cause the bridge to start to lean.

you can get an abr-1 to nashville conversion kit if it really bothers you.
 

christopherJ

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Yeah, the PRO truss rod reset is going to solve your 'problem'.

:rolleyes:

Just send it back.
 

LeftyF2003

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If it were me i'd screw the tailpiece down all the way, string it the correct way (i.e. no "topwrapping") and wouldn't give a damn about the strings touching at the back of the bridge.
Only superstitious old wives believe that tone is affected by that


100% agree
It's not about tone as much as the older (50s) bridges will cave in over time if the strings are pushing on the back of the bridge. I keep it level but high enough that they don't touch. A few seconds with a screw driver and you should be good with the tailpiece. As was said with a modern bridge (especially a Nashville which looks to be stronger than an ABR) you should be fine letting the strings hit.

As to the bridge? I'd take it to someone that works on guitars in your area and get a second opinion. It may just be a setup issue, but if the neck is way off you'll want to send it back.
 

Brutalisateur

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What you there is a Gibson that has been 'Plek'd' at the factory. That machine supposedly sets the guitar up wonderfully. The nut, the bridge,etc..

Now, that results in some peculiar bridge set ups, and yours is no exception.
I think you have been misinformed about PLEK. They measure and level the frets and nutslots, that is all they do.

The bridge and tailpiece is mounted to the guitar at a much later stage, and adjusted manually by hand.
 

RayTorvalds

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henry,
As 1all's Pub mentioned, the tailpiece is adjustable. Simply screw the bass-side stud into your desired height. You may need to release tension on the strings to do so. But whatever you do, don't let the strings touch the back of the bridge!!! :laugh2:
:laugh2: -> cough *topwrap* cough.. :laugh2:
Sorry, couldn't resist. :D
 

JEDHRMC

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I concur w. a couple of the previous posters: FWIW to my eyes, from the photos, your bridge pickup seems way high on the bass side which leads to that bridge being on the high side, and as well the tail piece. Earlier photos with the ruler don't measure your string height at the 21 fret... which looks to be high. Check the measurement of the string height at the 21 fret agains the spec posted by another poster earlier.

Suggest lowering the bridge pickup flush or just above the pickup rings and then doing a proper setup from scratch, starting w checking neck relief and then setting the action. You can then dial in (up) the pickup height (strting w factory spec) once the action is set. Pickup too close to the string will affect tone and sustain. The tailpiece height is subject to much debate. Some maintain that a tailpiece should be as close to flush w the body as possible for best sustain... Debatable, and that's another discussion, however the break angle of the strings between the bridge and the tailpiece will impact string tension; with a steeper break angle increasing tension vs a lesser angle which will reduce tension making bends easier etc. They make them adjustable for a reason. My advise is to set it to your playing preference.

Tons of videos on youtube on how to do this. If you're not comfortable take it in and have it done professionally. If that fails, send it back. But I'm pretty sure it just needs a proper set up...
 


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