my LP Traditional doesn't sound good

Lightningflash

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i'd be curious to know what the actual pups are in the guitar before doing any surgery. dont know what year it is so cant say what they should be, but seeing as it's second hand there is no guarantee they are original anyway. you might have a screaming ceramic 500t in the bridge or something at the moment. who knows? :dunno:
I'd agree with this. Pull the pickups and see what you're working with before you do anything else.
 

justmark

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You're in good shape amp wise (love my Old Flame I built some years back).
I'd have a look under the hood and see what you have as far as pickups and wiring.
If all is well, do as described above.
Best of luck!
i'm hoping to have david allen build me a 2x10 old flame, with 6v6, sometime this year. i mostly have played strats and a strat through a blackface is An Ultimate Sound to me! but of course, LP through el34's is an ultimate, too. so i'm going to set my brown sugar up with el34s later on. i'm not a high distortion player, amp fat is mostly all i need for 70's classic rock and blues. if i can get my BS to act something like an early jtm 45, that would be fine.
 

justmark

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i'd be curious to know what the actual pups are in the guitar before doing any surgery. dont know what year it is so cant say what they should be, but seeing as it's second hand there is no guarantee they are original anyway. you might have a screaming ceramic 500t in the bridge or something at the moment. who knows? :dunno:
are ceramic pickups usually high distortion, with lots of harmonics?
 

rjshare

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are ceramic pickups usually high distortion, with lots of harmonics?
Can be, especially the 500t - but the 498t (which is a very common gibson standard pup) is pretty hot too and that is alnico.

The 490r 498t set are the most common pairing that Gibson use and it sounds like maybe that's what you have. Some love them, some don't but no pickup can do everything for everybody. Maybe if Metallica and dual rectifiers were your thing you'd love it!

One really annoying thing with Gibson is that they don't label a lot of their pups, but pop it out anyway and take a pic and maybe a resistance reading and someone might be able to id it.
 

lespauldawg

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Some great suggestions, as usual this forum is loaded with some amazing people.
I would strongly recommend the pickup/pole height adjustment...I still adjust my occasionally to experiment and it has such a profound affect...I can only imagine how many players over the years who were frustrated with their tone who would swap then out before adjustments...
Give it a shot, hope it works out and saves you time and money!
 

Mickey_C

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But come on already, how does it look?!?!?

:dude:

jk man, follow the advice above, it sounds like the pickups need to be adjusted, and maybe eq your amp a little more towards the neck.

If you like how it plays, and it sounds good acoustically, then you can get a good sound of it amplified, with some work (and at worst, new pickups).

Good luck!
 

HeavyAxe

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You guys are brutal.
How many orphaned Paul's are floating around out there cuz they didn't have the tone right out of the box!
HeavyAxe here. I think you should give your that Trad a chance...AFTER you give it a proper setup.

Make sure the neck is straight.
Get that good balance between neck relief, saddle position, and bridge height.
As aforementioned, adjust pole height and pup height as well.
Change strings if needed.

Each Les Paul is unique in and of itself, so give it some time, play a lot, keep settings simple...and call me in the morning.
 

Latearrival

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i'd be curious to know what the actual pups are in the guitar before doing any surgery. dont know what year it is so cant say what they should be, but seeing as it's second hand there is no guarantee they are original anyway. you might have a screaming ceramic 500t in the bridge or something at the moment. who knows? :dunno:

This! The LP Traditional is a great guitar, and usually comes with Classic 57 and Classic 57+ Pickups, which I think suit the guitar perfectly!

Criticisms usually leveled against these pick-ups are that the bridge can sound "thin", and that the neck can sound "Muddy"! Personally, I find both to be perfect for the sytle of music I play (mostly classic and slightly heavier rock) The Bridge has cut and "bite", but also some warmth and character. The Neck is warm and full, and gives that classic Santana "fluteyness" even with the tone up full!

I wonder also whether you have the right pick-ups in there? Or is the bridge too close to the strings? it can sound very harsh if it is almost touching the strings, and warms up as you back it away from them. I find the perfect position is about 3-4mm away from the strings
 

Shawn Lutz

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I second sitting down and getting used to the vol and tone controls on each PU and setting the balance between them first. If still not satisfied these replace the pickups with something you like ;)

I settled on DiMarzio 36th Anniversaries in my trad +
 

KenG

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I agree with the posts that the 1st thing to do is check the height of the PUs. Yo said they don't balance and the Bridge one over powers the neck PU. Then you said you like the sound of the neck PU too. So my guess is the bridge PU is likely too high or at least too high in comparison to the neck PU. (not hard to imagine, when I got my Trad+ new the PU was so ridiculously high, along with the bridge height) that if I lowered the bridge to a normal setup height even close to Gibsons "factory" specs the strings would've been sitting on the PU covers. Of course it only makes sense to do this once your strings have been set to the height they will be staying at so that means a setup first to get the action where you like it.
The other important PU adjustment is the individual polepieces which in general get set to match your radius.
 

kromi apina

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My Traditional 2010 with Classic 57's became alive when I changed volume pots to 500k with 50's wiring. You don't need an expensive wiring harness, just change the tone caps to middle lug of volume pot.
 


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