Adjust the pickup height up for a hotter sound and down for cleaner tones. You can adjust lower, for example, if you have lighter touch or play heavier strings – they don’t tend to buzz as much as lighter-gauge strings do.”. Who better than master luthier Jim DeCola to tell us how to set one up to perfection? “If you don’t have a set of thickness gauges you can use a piece of paper – which is around four thousandths of an inch thick – or a business card, which is about 13 thousandths of an inch thick. His step-by-step advice holds good for many other classic Gibsons, too. That will increase the angle from the bridge and provide a slightly stiffer feel to the strings – some people say sustain, too, but that’s a subtle thing. All rights reserved. Receive news and offers from our other brands? So, measured as described at the 8th fret, Gibson’s official spec looks for 10 and 12 thousandths of an inch [0.01 and 0.012-inch / 0.254 and 0.3048mm] there, which is a kind of ‘happy medium’ setting. I suggest, in that instance, leaving both the E strings polepieces flush with the pickup and then raising them in for the B, G, D and A to provide that radius, as measured with a ruler or a radius gauge.”. By submitting this form you are agreeing to the Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy. If the radius of both don’t match or they do and you want to flatten the radius a little, you can take the same files used to cut nut slots to cut the string notches in the saddles a little deeper in order to achieve the intended radius. BurstBucker™ 61R & 61T zebra, open-coil pickups provide classic Gibson tones from the era with a bit of extra punch thanks to the open coils. And if there’s too much relief then you’ll have buzzing as you play up the neck, from around the 12th fret onwards.”. A mahogany body, maple top and pair of 490 R & T humbucking pickups with Alnico II magnets provide classic tone, … In the case of the Les Paul or an SG, that would be the 22nd fret. In order to continually improve the design, quality and performance of our products and instruments and to make use of the best materials at all times, Gibson reserves the right to change specifications without notice. By So a lot of players are very passionate about that. “Years ago, standard string sets would feature a wound G with a relatively thin core,” Jim says. (Guitarist) 24 August 2020, Master luthier Jim DeCola tells us how to set a Gibson Les Paul up to perfection. “Once you have those two sets of specs, you adjust your bridge [height] accordingly and that dials in your action. There was a problem. The other strings are graduated between those dimensions.”. Visit our corporate site. So, generally, pickup polepieces on the B string were set lower than the other strings. 2 Push/Pull Volumes (Coil-Tap), 2 Push/Pull Tones (Pure Bypass/Phase) & Toggle Switch. In other words, that’s the gap we’re looking for between the 12th fret and the bottom of the high E string. If the neck has a convex bow, however, you won’t have a gap. And then on the low E string, we look for 2/64th of an inch between the top of the fret and the bottom of the string. You will receive a verification email shortly. Most Les Paul fingerboards range between a 10″ and a 12″ radius. Please deactivate your ad blocker in order to see our subscription offer, The rise, fall and rediscovery of the Fender Jaguar, How to set up a Les Paul: 7 essential tips. Of course, those are our factory specs and your taste may vary. So that’s key.”. “Next, adjust the pickups,” Jim advises. So before you begin, set the action on your Les Paul should using the bridge posts. © Gibson Brands, Inc. respects your right to privacy. “Ultimately, you want a slight amount of relief in that neck, by which I mean a slight amount of concave bow. Privacy Policy | A rounded maple neck profile and ultra-modern weight relief make the Gibson Les Paul Studio Tribute a pleasure to play. Future Publishing Limited Quay House, The Ambury, Bath Thank you for signing up to Guitarist. “Some people also like to insert the strings back-to-front, so they wrap over the stopbar tailpiece, and Duane Allman was a big proponent of that. Using radius gauges, measure the fingerboard radius and the saddle radius and see if they match. “Once your neck is adjusted, look at the action at the nut,” Jim explains. Please refresh the page and try again. So, measured as described at the 8th fret, Gibson’s official spec looks for 10 and 12 thousandths of an inch [0.01 and 0.012-inch / 0.254 and 0.3048mm] there, which is a … “If you’re doing any kind of setup and you’re going to really dial it in, you need fresh strings. Guitar World is part of Future plc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. “The simple way to do this is to fit a capo at the 1st fret to hold down all the strings there, then hold down the strings where the neck joins the body, then inspect the gap between the top of the fret and the bottom of the strings at about the 8th fret. BA1 1UA. “Once you’ve checked the nut height at the 1st fret, it’s time to check the action at the 12th fret,” Jim says. Neck relief is about playability and is not used to set the action of the guitar. As long as it still has a positive break angle: you don’t want it so loose that the strings fall out of the saddles. Then repeat the same procedure for the bridge pickup, except here we adjust the bridge to 3/64ths of an inch. “You could raise the bar up and that’ll reduce the string angle and make it feel a little bit slinkier. “Starting with the neck pickup, you hold the high E string down at the highest fret and then measure the distance from the bottom of the high E string to the top of the pickup polepiece – and then do the same with the low E string. But, again, there’s no right or wrong.”. "Broken" Peghead Edges, Smoother Edges Hand-sanded peghead, neck and body edges beautifully capture the look and feel of a true vintage Les Paul. “As long as the amount of relief measured at the 8th fret is between the thickness of a sheet of paper and a business card, you’re in the right ballpark,” Jim explains. This item is out of stock, but we build most left-handed guitars on demand.