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  1. #1
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    The Fabled Les Paul/Gibson tuning issues?

    So I've watched a bunch of Youtube vids, and even had folks comment back stage at shows that Gibson's don't stay in tune. "nah brah, I need a floyd rose just to stay in tune dude... I don't even use the wammy, just the locking nut" (to later go on stage and make faces while imitating Dave Mustain... poorly...)

    I've never noticed this being an issue, and I've owned 6 of em over the years. Any tuning issues i did have where either from playing very very hard, broken necks/heal joints or some other physical damage.

    The story goes that because of the extreme headstock angle, and the compound angle of the D and G strings, the D and G strings will skip high because of bind at the nut, or some such BS, Hence Gibson going so far as to install brass nuts, with a zero fret, or graphite nuts (both blasphemy BTW) or the robo tuners that some folks like.

    Personally, the one and only Les Paul I had the had tuning issues was solved by having it set up correctly, and winding the strings in an even and tight fasion, I.E. not a ball of yarn on the headstock. Poof guitar that would not stay in tune for 10 minutes has been in tune for about a month now.... with regular play, and not even in a temperature controlled environment.

    Anyhow, I ramble... Whats yer thoughts on the Fabled Gibson Tuning issues

  2. #2
    Forum Moderator KennyF's Avatar
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    Re: The Fabled Les Paul/Gibson tuning issues?

    Quote Originally Posted by LeMonguer View Post

    Anyhow, I ramble... Whats yer thoughts on the Fabled Gibson Tuning issues
    More times than not, tuning issues on any guitar are "operator error"... FWIW

    On the other hand, there's really no such thing as a perfectly tuned guitar... Just the nature of the beast...
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  3. #3
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    Re: The Fabled Les Paul/Gibson tuning issues?

    I have been playing Les Pauls for over forty years and it's still the same old G string like it has always been ,which really is hardly a big deal at all .

  4. #4
    Les Paul Forum Member jbzoso2002's Avatar
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    Re: The Fabled Les Paul/Gibson tuning issues?

    I use rail lube in the nut slots.

    Its used for archery bows.

    Usually just 1 application and no binding any more.

    Jimmy

  5. #5
    Les Paul Forum Co-Owner Tom Wittrock's Avatar
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    Re: The Fabled Les Paul/Gibson tuning issues?

    Quote Originally Posted by LeMonguer View Post
    Whats yer thoughts on the Fabled Gibson Tuning issues
    Quote Originally Posted by KennyF View Post
    More times than not, tuning issues on any guitar are "operator error"...
    It's just a fable, continued mostly by guys who won't admit they are guilty of "operator error".
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  6. #6
    Forum Moderator KennyF's Avatar
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    Re: The Fabled Les Paul/Gibson tuning issues?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Wittrock View Post
    It's just a fable, continued mostly by guys who won't admit they are guilty of "operator error".
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  7. #7
    Les Paul Forum Member thin sissy's Avatar
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    Re: The Fabled Les Paul/Gibson tuning issues?

    Yeah it's interesting, I don't think it's a problem either. Honestly, almost no guitar seems to lose its tuning as long as the strings are stretched and don't have too many wounds on the tuner (in my experience). Some really bad guitars with flimsy necks are another story though, but they are rare .
    This is a song from the new album, it's a deep meaningful song this one... No, it's not whiskey in the fucking jar... Philip Lynott

  8. #8
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    Re: The Fabled Les Paul/Gibson tuning issues?

    Funny, I've found it less of a problem on my current production Les Pauls than it was on my vintage ES-340. On my ES, the first two strings to go out of tune were always the G and b strings. The D followed closely along. This is the same with my Les Pauls, but they seem to go out less. Part of it is the angle the strings takes coming out of the nut.

    But, I've gotten really good at setting up guitars, getting the nuts just right. I'm also in the habit of throwing a little graphite in the slots when I change strings. I also use different strings these days. I still bend strings a lot.

    I do honestly think it is a design flaw with most 3 on a side headstocks. It's also a regular thing that production guitars all need a good set up. Despite Plekking and all the rest. They just roll too many off a production line, in too much of a hurry, to be able to give each one real individual attention. It's not just Gibson, and this is not a knock on Gibson. Any larger guitar manufacturer's guitars need personal attention when they are new.

  9. #9
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    Re: The Fabled Les Paul/Gibson tuning issues?

    Quote Originally Posted by Axis39 View Post
    Funny, I've found it less of a problem on my current production Les Pauls than it was on my vintage ES-340. On my ES, the first two strings to go out of tune were always the G and b strings. The D followed closely along. This is the same with my Les Pauls, but they seem to go out less. Part of it is the angle the strings takes coming out of the nut.

    But, I've gotten really good at setting up guitars, getting the nuts just right. I'm also in the habit of throwing a little graphite in the slots when I change strings. I also use different strings these days. I still bend strings a lot.

    I do honestly think it is a design flaw with most 3 on a side headstocks. It's also a regular thing that production guitars all need a good set up. Despite Plekking and all the rest. They just roll too many off a production line, in too much of a hurry, to be able to give each one real individual attention. It's not just Gibson, and this is not a knock on Gibson. Any larger guitar manufacturer's guitars need personal attention when they are new.
    Thats kinda my thoughts on it as well, that and operator error...

    there was a massive outfit out here selling Gibson's by the score, XXXXXX Center, Not a single one was set up proper from the factory and the monkeys working there couldn't be bothered to tune them let alone set em up correctly...

    Meanwhile the mom and pop shops would take the hour or so to set up a guitar properly if it was worth it, and poof a good player that stayed in tune.

    There also seems to be some debate about how to set up a les paul as well, possibly contributing to more myths...

    Tail piece wrapped/unwrapped, tail peice tight with body vs as tight as you can get it without the strings hitting the base of the bridge...

    Mine are unwrapped, with the strings just missing the back side of the bride, takes some time to get it right, cause you have to mess with bridge height and nut height first, but its not rocket science.

    As far as tuner wraps, average 2.5 each string. 3 is about perfect but hard to accomplish on the low E's

  10. #10
    Les Paul Forum Member Big Al's Avatar
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    Re: The Fabled Les Paul/Gibson tuning issues?

    It's not a design flaw. I've played Les Pauls since '72. I've owned dozens and have close to a dozen now.

    I'm no bedroom playing naybob, once in a blue moon part time annual gigmeister. Before my issues it was decades of 3-4 nites a week 4 sets a nite of hard playing. Les Pauls were legendary for stability and holding tune. It is a recent bullshit fact promoted by ignorant self proclaimed interweb experts engaged in self puffery, that claim tuning is an issue.
    Last edited by Big Al; 01-20-18 at 04:02 PM.
    The older I get, the better I was.

  11. #11
    Les Paul Forum Co-Owner Tom Wittrock's Avatar
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    Re: The Fabled Les Paul/Gibson tuning issues?

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Al View Post
    It is a recent bullshit fact promoted by ignorant self proclaimed interweb experts engaged in self pufery.
    Come on Al, don't sugar coat it.
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  12. #12
    Les Paul Forum Member Big Al's Avatar
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    Re: The Fabled Les Paul/Gibson tuning issues?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Wittrock View Post
    Come on Al, don't sugar coat it.

    Tom, these so called experts spew their ignorant crap all over the web and then everyone starts to believe it. Makes me crazy!
    The older I get, the better I was.

  13. #13
    Les Paul Forum Co-Owner Tom Wittrock's Avatar
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    Re: The Fabled Les Paul/Gibson tuning issues?

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Al View Post
    Tom, these so called experts spew their ignorant crap all over the web and then everyone starts to believe it. Makes me crazy!
    I get to try to correct the BS and misinformation everyday in my shop.
    Pauls to the walls!

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  14. #14
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    Re: The Fabled Les Paul/Gibson tuning issues?

    Hmm

    Perhaps it might be a good idea to persuade people that Gibsons, really do have a tuning issue...

    Especially 1970's Les Pauls...

    Convince the masses that they are worthless and therefore they should just give them away...

    And there is something specific about a 1977 les paul custom in tobacco burst, and the 1954 reissue customs that just will never be properly in tune...


    yeah yeah... its will be excellent oh yes...

    I might have issues, doctors have yet to comment one way or the other on that.

  15. #15
    Les Paul Forum Member renderit's Avatar
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    Re: The Fabled Les Paul/Gibson tuning issues?

    Ah! Fables! I loves them!

    Many fables have a basis in truth:

    Goldilocks and the Three Bears? Try as many Gibsons as you like, if you pick the one I want I will eat your head!

    Simple Simon eating a Christmas Pie? I saw the little jerk kid of some millennial sticking his fingers in the pies at the grocery store the other day! And he thought he was a good boy! (And his Mom ignored him!)

    Belling the Cat? Well, we don't need to do that anymore! We just BAN his ass!

    But a Gibson tuning issue? On the G and D strings? I think that came from Ferd Hongstmeier saying he couldn't "play a tune on the GD thing"!
    Apart from them being touchy and a larger jump per turn so if you have a problem it shows up there maybe...




  16. #16
    Les Paul Forum Member renderit's Avatar
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    Re: The Fabled Les Paul/Gibson tuning issues?

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Al View Post
    It's not a design flaw. I've played Les Pauls since '72. I've owned dozens and have close to a dozen now.

    I'm no bedroom playing naybob, once in a blue moon part time annual gigmeister. Before my issues it was decades of 3-4 nites a week 4 sets a nite of hard playing. Les Pauls were legendary for stability and holding tune. It is a recent bullshit fact promoted by ignorant self proclaimed interweb experts engaged in self puffery, that claim tuning is an issue.


    Many quotables here folks! Be sure to ad these to you notebooks on "Big Alisms"!

    I am personally enamored with the
    bedroom playing nabob (I strive to be an office playing nabob)! However self puffery (short of the fact I think it should be hyphenated) is wonderful as it brings to mind a Puffin OR a Fluffer! Or BOTH! (Could you imagine? Or is that just ME?) As I am envious of a once in a blue moon part time annual gigmeister having more work than myself, I am the essence of the green!

    Big Al is the MASTER! Keep it rockin' girlfriend!


  17. #17
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    Re: The Fabled Les Paul/Gibson tuning issues?

    I believe that other guitar manufacturers exaggerate the Gibson-staying-in-tune issue to promote their own guitars. Just go on the Fender or Music Man forums and you will see that other guitars have string-staying-in-tune issues too.

    I have no doubt that when string gauges are increased, it is highly probable that a G or B string may get tight in the factory-cut nut slot, especially the G due to it being wound. We have all heard a string go "ting" after tuning and going a little flat but this is not an everyday occurrence on the same guitar, at least for me. I have three different Gibsons that I've owned a very long time, an 87 Les Paul, an 88 ES-335 and and early 80's ES-Artist; the Artist is an odd-ball with a brass nut and an unusually long string path between the bridge and the TP-6 tailpiece but the headstocks and their string paths are the same. I use light strings on all of them and string tuning consistency is not an issue for me. I confess, I used to add a little graphite to the top three nut slots when changing strings but this was a short-lived experiment.

    I also pay attention to string winding around the posts when changing strings. I used to always ensure that the top E and B had enough string wound on the post so that the string left the post on a round part and not the sharper edge of the string hole; another experiment that ultimately made no difference.

  18. #18
    Les Paul Forum Member Big Al's Avatar
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    Re: The Fabled Les Paul/Gibson tuning issues?

    Quote Originally Posted by rick c View Post
    I believe that other guitar manufacturers exaggerate the Gibson-staying-in-tune issue to promote their own guitars. Just go on the Fender or Music Man forums and you will see that other guitars have string-staying-in-tune issues too.

    I have no doubt that when string gauges are increased, it is highly probable that a G or B string may get tight in the factory-cut nut slot, especially the G due to it being wound. We have all heard a string go "ting" after tuning and going a little flat but this is not an everyday occurrence on the same guitar, at least for me. I have three different Gibsons that I've owned a very long time, an 87 Les Paul, an 88 ES-335 and and early 80's ES-Artist; the Artist is an odd-ball with a brass nut and an unusually long string path between the bridge and the TP-6 tailpiece but the headstocks and their string paths are the same. I use light strings on all of them and string tuning consistency is not an issue for me. I confess, I used to add a little graphite to the top three nut slots when changing strings but this was a short-lived experiment.

    I also pay attention to string winding around the posts when changing strings. I used to always ensure that the top E and B had enough string wound on the post so that the string left the post on a round part and not the sharper edge of the string hole; another experiment that ultimately made no difference.
    That is the deal. A PROPERLY set up Les Paul, (includes the nut), PROPERLY strung up and wound will hold it's tuning extremely well. I did a short stint as a road tech for a touring guitarist and once I gave it to him on stage my job depended on that guitar playing well, sounding well and staying in tune. It is not rocket science. There is no movable parts on a Les paul to interfere with tuning stability. The only variable in this scenario is the bridge saddle and nut. I have multiple Les Pauls with Bigsby's and have no tuning issues, because I know how, and take the time and make the effort to properly set them up.

    EVERY GUITARIST, and every one on this forum, should know how to set up their guitars, it isn't hard and keeps goofy tedhs and dodgy repair know it alls from feeding you a line of bullshit in order to get your $$$, because you will KNOW. If you know and are to damn lazy to do it, then pay someone you know will do it right. You will know what RIGHT is and not fall prey to predatory repair hacks.

    At the very least everyone should know how to properly install and wrap a set of strings and set action/adjust truss rod/set intonation. I really am amazed when I read some posts by forum bros who take their guitars to a repair tech for every little thing. Most headaches can be eliminated with a minor amount of effort, and anything that helps you understand the workings of your instrument makes you a better player. TINY, tiny investment, HUUUUUUGE rewards and payouts. Trust yer old Uncle Al and get busy!
    The older I get, the better I was.

  19. #19
    Les Paul Forum Member P.Walker's Avatar
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    Re: The Fabled Les Paul/Gibson tuning issues?

    Tuning stability is really not that difficult to achieve and it's achievable on any well made guitar really.

    Start with a properly cut nut. Not many know what that feels like.
    Then stretch it and whack on it.
    Should get the job done.

  20. #20

    Re: The Fabled Les Paul/Gibson tuning issues?

    I don't have any tuning issues with my Les Pauls,been setting them up myself since I can't remember when....1979 maybe? Or a reasonable facsimile thereof.
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  21. #21

    Re: The Fabled Les Paul/Gibson tuning issues?

    I found this video useful a few years back, just curious if others do something similar?


  22. #22
    Les Paul Forum Member deytookerjaabs's Avatar
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    Re: The Fabled Les Paul/Gibson tuning issues?





    I got this book when I was 11 or 12, had it longer than most anything else I own. It should come standard with beginner packs!



    Although, come to find out, many folks don't start on beginner packs, nonetheless it answers/guides through so many questions...plus pretty pictures. If you don't have it and you don't know how do anything from basic wiring to beginner music theory to set-up's...it's a must. TBH, I don't even know if it's still in print.

  23. #23
    Les Paul Forum Member Big Al's Avatar
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    Re: The Fabled Les Paul/Gibson tuning issues?

    Quote Originally Posted by deytookerjaabs View Post




    I got this book when I was 11 or 12, had it longer than most anything else I own. It should come standard with beginner packs!



    Although, come to find out, many folks don't start on beginner packs, nonetheless it answers/guides through so many questions...plus pretty pictures. If you don't have it and you don't know how do anything from basic wiring to beginner music theory to set-up's...it's a must. TBH, I don't even know if it's still in print.
    I still have my well worn Hedio Kamoko, [sp], repair book from the 70's. The above book's a goodun as is Dan Earlwines Complete Guitar Repair and The Les Paul Handbook, basic but helpfull.
    The older I get, the better I was.

  24. #24
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    Re: The Fabled Les Paul/Gibson tuning issues?

    Quote Originally Posted by baj66 View Post
    I found this video useful a few years back, just curious if others do something similar?

    Yup, I pull back a fret and a half, then kink the string around the peg, but essentially accomplishing the same thing.

    Though the three finger thing might be a tad quicker.

  25. #25
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    Re: The Fabled Les Paul/Gibson tuning issues?

    I have somewhere an old Gibson "how to play guitar" book my gramma used to use to teach guitar, printed 194?

    pretty much all acoustic and fancy dress, but the basics are still the same, figured out how to fret, tune, set up, and a few chords, then got real tired of learning nursery rhymes, and learned a few power chords instead and poof punk rock legend (in my own mind anyway)

  26. #26
    Les Paul Forum Member JimFog's Avatar
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    Re: The Fabled Les Paul/Gibson tuning issues?

    Quote Originally Posted by baj66 View Post
    I found this video useful a few years back, just curious if others do something similar?

    Yup. That video changed my life with Gibsons.

    I think, from my experience, that a lot depends on what you learned on and predominantly play. While I love my Lester and 335, I grew up and made my bones with Strats and Teles. Even with a floating trem, I can keep a Strat in tune all night. It's just 2nd nature, to me.

    Every Les Paul I've owned has had some kind of tuning issue, though.....some worse than others. Yes, I absolutely believe a properly cut nut and clean restringing will alleviate 90% of all problems, I also believe the headstock tilt and angle that the strings go from the nut to the tuners can be an issue.......though the true believer fanbois will never admit it.

    Trust me.......I've been a pro player for 25+ years (it's how I make my living). I kinda know what I'm doing when restringing and setting up my axes. I struggled with Gibsons LONG before I ever heard of such a thing from other players or the internet.

    But I don't doubt that some of you have NO problems with Gibsons........like my experience with Fenders

    As I said, what you're used to plays a big part, IMO.

    YMMV
    Last edited by JimFog; 02-05-18 at 01:24 AM.

  27. #27
    Les Paul Forum Member Billy Porter's Avatar
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    Re: The Fabled Les Paul/Gibson tuning issues?

    I’ve had problems with the G-string since I got mine in 85. Strangely it goes flat – could be my excessive bends so perhaps pulling through the nut then sticking. Like the poster above I know how to string and setup guitars but have simply learned to live with it as I don’t want to fiddle with the nut. At the occasional gigs we do it’s never been a major issue as most people won’t notice it’s gone slightly flat and when bending notes you bend slightly more without even thinking about it


    The only real bad issue we had with tuning at a gig (bar the normal warming up of strings) was one very humid night when none of us could stay in tune. We explained to the crowd and they were fine with it
    You’re never alone with a schizophrenic

  28. #28

    Re: The Fabled Les Paul/Gibson tuning issues?

    If your string goes sharp, your nut slots need adjustment for your specific string gauge. They are too tight and strings are binding. This can be alleviated by lubing the nut, but the best bet is to get a luthier to fix the nut. You've just dropped a pile of cash on a guitar, if it needs adjustment you shouldn't hesitate spend the nominal fee to make your guitar reliable.

    If your string goes flat, you need to be more careful about loading and stretching your strings. Use the over the stub/under the stub to lock the string in place. Make sure your windings are touching each other (no space between them). 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 windings on wound strings, 2-1/2 to 4 windings on unwound. No more.

    When stretching new strings, gently tug with 3 fingers, then retune. Repeat as long as it takes until the string stays perfectly in tune. No shortcuts.

    That's it.

  29. #29

    Re: The Fabled Les Paul/Gibson tuning issues?

    Also -- ALWAYS TUNE UP. If you go slightly sharp, roll the tuner back to too flat, and try again. Makes tuning more stable on any instrument.

  30. #30

    Re: The Fabled Les Paul/Gibson tuning issues?

    Besides the obvious binding at the nut and improper string winding, it could be some of these people have Gibsons that are improperly intonated or saddles ran out of travel.

    "That open G sounds good, but this POS Gibson can't play a D or A without that G/B string sounding like crap."

    I never have binding/tuning issues at home or long gigs. I do use graphite at the nut for habits sake and give as few winds as possible on the peg.
    "So I let the poison go, 'cause baby I always know it'll be there for me"

  31. #31
    Les Paul Forum Member Big Al's Avatar
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    Re: The Fabled Les Paul/Gibson tuning issues?

    I am sorry, knowing how to string and set up a guitar includes nut and saddle maintenance. I have seen and often had to fix so many guitars belonging to players who claim to "know how to string and set up a guitar", that I am naturaly sceptical.

    Let me be clear, I played music for over 30 yrs, professionally, beeg freakin' deal. In this thread all that means is I have a whole lotta experience playing guitar on stage. More importantly, I also built and repaired guitars as long, including factory authorised warranty work for Gibson and other major US builders. I've worked as touring guitar tech and Studio guitar tech on major lable projects and smaller independents.

    This is important because of the experience gained and the very precise fact that my livelihood depended on Gibson guitars being in tune and staying in tune and I am telling you that there is no design flaw in a Gibson that promotes tuning instability. NONE!

    Just ignorance and incompetence. Headstock pitchback is necessary for proper nut functionality and works better than string trees or behind the nut string bars as you see on cheap 60's imports. Same for 3 per side headstocks. In both cases a properly cut nut slot is vital.

    Too steep an angle from tailpiece to bridge will impair tuning, [one of the reasons I have top wrappd since '74], as will a too deep or tight saddle slot.

    Strung properly and properly set up Gibsons hold their tuning and are not unstable.
    The older I get, the better I was.

  32. #32
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    Re: The Fabled Les Paul/Gibson tuning issues?

    yup, the neo gold top, still in tune after several months of regular play, even took a trip to the back yard "band shed" and back, still in tune.

    the Custom which i sadly haven't played in several months, was just a touch high, last time I did play it, it was middle of august, and rather warm... so not a real big surprise there.

    The Studio, which lives in the uninsulated but heated and dry band shed, still in tune after at least a month, finish on it hates me and everything I stand for, but it sure is cool lookin.

  33. #33
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    Re: The Fabled Les Paul/Gibson tuning issues?

    Look, you guys can claim that it's not a design flaw... But, my experience is different. I don't say it's insurmountable, nor will it keep me from buying Gibsons. I love my three Les Pauls and my SG and I loved my old ES! But, they all needed a touch of work on the nut to be solid stage ready axes.

    Now, new Fenders need work on the nut too. Usually, with them it's string slot height. The cowboy chords all tend to play sharp on the production guitars, especially the b string.

    EVERY new guitar I buy, I do a good setup on. They've ALL needed it. Gibson, Fender, Gretsch, every one of them. it includes being anal retentive about the nut, intonation with MY strings, relief, action height, pickup height, etc.

    I do agree with Big Al, every guitarist should know how to do this stuff. It's not rocket surgery. But, some folks just aren't handy, some don't feel like being bothered. For me it's a personal thing... It helps be in touch with my instrument. I know if something's not right or off, out of adjustment, etc. I also know it's set the way I like it, not the way some tech thinks everyone should like it.

    Again, I will say, I love my Gibsons. Modern with all of their QC issues and Vintage with their wear and tear issues.

  34. #34
    Les Paul Forum Member Don's Avatar
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    Re: The Fabled Les Paul/Gibson tuning issues?

    I think it just takes a little more skill to set up the nut on a Gibson. Anyone can deal with the nut on a Fender.

  35. #35

    Re: The Fabled Les Paul/Gibson tuning issues?

    Three Gibsons- all have pinging G strings that go sharp. All are running 9-42 strings- unwrapped Gs.

    My three Fenders are rock solid stable.

    I'll get around to working on them. I don't trust the local 'luthiers.'

  36. #36
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    Re: The Fabled Les Paul/Gibson tuning issues?

    This is a good discussion. I would add taping up a neck and polishing frets to the basic maintenance list everyone should know; so easy and so rewarding.

    filtersweep: I also have three Gibsons. I've experimented with lots of little tweaks over the ages but settled with a simple approach that I think helps my guitars. I minimize the amount of string post wrap to about 2"and I'm always careful to ensure that the strings wrap down the post and don't overlap. I used to lube the top three string nuts slots but I haven't done this for years and really don't have big issues with strings staying in tune. Maybe I've just been lucky with my guitars; I don't doubt that using very light string gauges must alleviate the problem.
    Last edited by rick c; 01-28-18 at 07:31 PM.

  37. #37
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: The Fabled Les Paul/Gibson tuning issues?

    There is a big difference between a design flaw and crappy QC. In my experience Gibson QC is pretty shoddy and probably the worst of the bigger guitar manufacturers. Like everyone has said the big issues affecting tuning are having a properly cut nut and saddles, in my experience guitars from the factory generally have poorly cut nuts and as for saddle cuts, I'm sure I recall some one saying Gibson make their saddle cuts by hitting the string with a hammer, which one can assume does not lend it's self to precision and accuracy. This being said you can sort all of these issues out with some files and emery boards if you're even halfway handy and a decent tech can sort if out for you easily. Personally I think if you're spending £2000+ on a guitar it should stay in tune, it's sad when these issues are so common on Gibson guitars but don;t seem to be on Epiphones......

  38. #38
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Jan 2018
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    western Warshington
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    Re: The Fabled Les Paul/Gibson tuning issues?

    so the neo gold top, finally went out of tune today.

    But it took a trip around 140 miles, and several heat ranges to pull it off, not to mention my typical handling of cased guitars I.E. chucking them into the back seat of a work truck on top of several axes and hard hats, followed by driving like a lunatic on rough back roads.

    To be fair the Amps got to ride shotgun, as they are both pretty fragile, and difficult to repair.


    As for factory setups

    It is simply impossible and foolish to believe that any manufacture is going to know what each of our individual string preferences may be, let alone various tunings, playing styles etc. So they get em close, but leave room to wiggle, assuming you will buy it from a reputable dealer that is capable and willing to set it up properly, for you.

    As for Gibsons quality issues, well they are hand made, and on a massive scale, so a few blemishes now and again are going to happen, they arn't machine polished, or set up. And Gibson isn't exactly a boutique outfit willing to spend a day on each one, so some of em arn't perfect, big deal, in 15 years who's going to notice or care?

    When it comes down to it, you just can't beat how a Proper Gibson plays, feels, or sounds. You can get 2, but never all 3.

  39. #39
    Les Paul Forum Member Big Al's Avatar
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    Re: The Fabled Les Paul/Gibson tuning issues?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shakey View Post
    There is a big difference between a design flaw and crappy QC. In my experience Gibson QC is pretty shoddy and probably the worst of the bigger guitar manufacturers. Like everyone has said the big issues affecting tuning are having a properly cut nut and saddles, in my experience guitars from the factory generally have poorly cut nuts and as for saddle cuts, I'm sure I recall some one saying Gibson make their saddle cuts by hitting the string with a hammer, which one can assume does not lend it's self to precision and accuracy. This being said you can sort all of these issues out with some files and emery boards if you're even halfway handy and a decent tech can sort if out for you easily. Personally I think if you're spending £2000+ on a guitar it should stay in tune, it's sad when these issues are so common on Gibson guitars but don;t seem to be on Epiphones......
    Gibson nuts and saddles have minimum slots by design. It allows for a setup to be achieve that allows for a fair evaluation of truss rod/neck and other factory set ups to be performed. The dealer then is supposed to set up the guitar to the customers specs. ALL of the best dealers do this. When I was well I used 11-56 ga strings, later 10-54 pure nickle Gibson BB King signatues, [my favorite], heavier than most for wound strings. My playing bud, Wild Bill used 9-38 Fender set. We both played Standards and both of our new Standards received complete set ups including nut and saddle slots.
    Not always possible if they were pre cut. I still do this when I get a new guitar. I correctly slot my nut and saddle for MY string choice making sure to ramp down and slightly widen the rear portion of the nut slot, towards tuner post. I adjust for least amount of neck relief, polish fingerboard and frets, adjust action, intonation and pickups. What the good dealers do.

    Unfortunately with Big Box discount chains you get none of that and most buyers lack the skill and knowledge to do a proper initial set up, or are too deluded, ignorant or cheap to have it done right. I have inspected and played all the big brand guitars right out of the box and they certainly are not better. Epi's often feature molded plastic nuts and too deep saddle slots. Might work new but shortly down the line, look out!!
    The older I get, the better I was.

  40. #40

    Re: The Fabled Les Paul/Gibson tuning issues?

    After recent experimentation with light gauge strings I have now gone back up to my trusty 11’s, my newer 2016 Les Paul immediately started suffering from these “fables”. Off it went to my repair guy and back it came staying in tune with none of the usual pings when tuning. I think thats puts that one to bed.

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