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  1. #1
    Les Paul Forum Member marshall1987's Avatar
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    1958 Les Paul Junior SC, Needs a Neck ReSet

    I have a very nice 1958 Les Paul Jr. single-cut that has a very shallow neck set angle, so shallow that the strings nearly touch the pole pieces of the dog ear P-90 when the action is set properly. Although the guitar is playable, the sound is very harsh and strident because the strings are too close to the P-90.

    To correct this problem, I have thought about having the neck reset in order to provide more space between the strings and P-90. Can anyone recommend a good guitar tech who has plenty of experience working on the necks of 1950's Les Paul Juniors and/or Specials?

    Thanks.

    Last edited by marshall1987; 01-09-19 at 06:52 PM.
    "Scan not a friend under a microscopic glass; you know his faults so let his foibles pass".

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  2. #2
    Les Paul Forum Member Ferdie3564's Avatar
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    Re: 1958 Les Paul Junior SC, Needs a Neck ReSet

    Greg Platzer, owner BCR Music & Sound LLC, 300 South 3rd St., Lemoyne Pa. You can check out his work on Facebook. BCR/Greg is his LP Forum member name.

  3. #3

    Re: 1958 Les Paul Junior SC, Needs a Neck ReSet

    I would strongly recommend buying a replacement baseplate for your P90 that allows you to sink the original pickup deeper into the body to reduce the output before you have a permanent modification done to an otherwise clean and original guitar.

  4. #4
    Les Paul Forum Member marshall1987's Avatar
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    Re: 1958 Les Paul Junior SC, Needs a Neck ReSet

    Quote Originally Posted by Jumping@Shadows View Post
    I would strongly recommend buying a replacement baseplate for your P90 that allows you to sink the original pickup deeper into the body to reduce the output before you have a permanent modification done to an otherwise clean and original guitar.
    Thanks....could you provide a little more detail? Also, the plastic P-90 cover is also the culprit with the very low string clearance.
    "Scan not a friend under a microscopic glass; you know his faults so let his foibles pass".

    Sir Frank Crisp
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  5. #5
    Les Paul Forum Member toxpert's Avatar
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    Re: 1958 Les Paul Junior SC, Needs a Neck ReSet

    My 1958 DC Junior is one of the 4-digit serial number guitars made with a low neck angle and soapbar baseplate for the pickup. There is no problem with playability or pickup performance.

  6. #6

    Re: 1958 Les Paul Junior SC, Needs a Neck ReSet

    Another thought, have you exhausted what can be done with truss rod adjustment?

    Recently I've done more and more this way - set the bridge for the right height for the pickup, then work on the truss rod.

    I've got set-ups I'm much happier with this way.

    Sorry if this isn't applicable here

  7. #7
    Les Paul Forum Member marshall1987's Avatar
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    Re: 1958 Les Paul Junior SC, Needs a Neck ReSet

    This photo shows the neck joint of my '58 LP Junior. Obviously it doesn't have a neck tenon like a LP Std. I would think it would be a simple matter of fixing a small mahogany shim at the bottom of the neck pocket. This would lift the neck up just enough to allow the strings ample clearance from the P-90.

    "Scan not a friend under a microscopic glass; you know his faults so let his foibles pass".

    Sir Frank Crisp
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  8. #8
    Les Paul Forum Member P.Walker's Avatar
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    Re: 1958 Les Paul Junior SC, Needs a Neck ReSet

    1. Modifying the joint

    or

    2. Compensating for it with the truss rod

    is absolutely the wrong way to go about adjusting the height of the pickup.

    This is not a Martin that needs a reset. Sorry but a neck reset or any byproduct of the method should not be prescribed in these events.

    It's not as simple as a shim. Also, frets are another tangential issue that would make me very weary of such a method.

    I don't mean to sound brash but did someone else recommend this method to you?

    I am just honestly surprised so please just take this as a well intended attempt to help you (and the guitar)

  9. #9
    Les Paul Forum Member marshall1987's Avatar
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    Re: 1958 Les Paul Junior SC, Needs a Neck ReSet

    Quote Originally Posted by P.Walker View Post
    1. Modifying the joint

    or

    2. Compensating for it with the truss rod

    is absolutely the wrong way to go about adjusting the height of the pickup.

    This is not a Martin that needs a reset. Sorry but a neck reset or any byproduct of the method should not be prescribed in these events.

    It's not as simple as a shim. Also, frets are another tangential issue that would make me very weary of such a method.

    I don't mean to sound brash but did someone else recommend this method to you?

    I am just honestly surprised so please just take this as a well intended attempt to help you (and the guitar)
    Okay what would you do?
    "Scan not a friend under a microscopic glass; you know his faults so let his foibles pass".

    Sir Frank Crisp
    Friar Park
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  10. #10
    Les Paul Forum Member P.Walker's Avatar
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    Re: 1958 Les Paul Junior SC, Needs a Neck ReSet

    Quote Originally Posted by marshall1987 View Post
    Okay what would you do?
    First, could you give us a general reading of the guitar?

    1. Condition of frets/are they the original size/ what is the height?
    2. Is there a hump around the neck body joint?
    3. What is the current relief measurement?
    4. What is the action at nut/12/17/and 22nd fret?

    There is much to evaluate before prescribing a neck reset.

    However, it wouldn’t hurt to have a great luthier who can do neck resets give you his honest judgment since he will be able to answer all the questions above and beyond.

    If those any of those four parameters are seriously out of whack then even starting at the pickup end would be essentially chasing one’s tail, not to mention a neck reset.

    It’s time for a detailed in hand evalutation that’s what I would do.

    Not saying a neck reset is never ever done, but this is like doing ankle reconstruction on a sprained ankle.

  11. #11
    Les Paul Forum Member corpse's Avatar
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    Re: 1958 Les Paul Junior SC, Needs a Neck ReSet

    Marshall
    First if you fix the neck like you are talking about 50% of the value of the guitar goes "poof" gone.
    B- there are numerous other ways to affect the spacing you want/need without doing much of anything. By all means get it to a luthier that understands and appreciates vintage- not just a guitar repair guy. What generally happens on these is the coil is too low and folks want to raise it- which is frequently done with pop-sickle sticks under the PU. You didn't mention disassembling the PU- have you checked that? There are likely some clever ways to lower the PU without removing, breaking, or otherwise adjusting the wood.
    You really don't want to do that- this is a nice looking piece.

  12. #12
    Les Paul Forum Member marshall1987's Avatar
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    Re: 1958 Les Paul Junior SC, Needs a Neck ReSet

    Quote Originally Posted by P.Walker View Post
    First, could you give us a general reading of the guitar?

    1. Condition of frets/are they the original size/ what is the height?
    2. Is there a hump around the neck body joint?
    3. What is the current relief measurement?
    4. What is the action at nut/12/17/and 22nd fret?

    There is much to evaluate before prescribing a neck reset.

    However, it wouldn’t hurt to have a great luthier who can do neck resets give you his honest judgment since he will be able to answer all the questions above and beyond.

    If those any of those four parameters are seriously out of whack then even starting at the pickup end would be essentially chasing one’s tail, not to mention a neck reset.

    It’s time for a detailed in hand evalutation that’s what I would do.

    Not saying a neck reset is never ever done, but this is like doing ankle reconstruction on a sprained ankle.
    The guitar has been professionally re-fretted and PLEK'd with .100" X .045" fret wire by Phil Jacoby. A new bone nut was installed at this time.

    The neck is perfectly straight. No humps.

    The neck relief is nearly straight, maybe .003" of relief at the 7th fret.

    The action at the 12th fret is 3/64 (1st string), and 4/64" (6th string).

    The guitar is set up with ,009 to .042 gauge strings.

    Greg Platzer, owner BCR Music & Sound LLC, has recommended doing a small route to the pickup cavity in order to set the whole pickup into the body just enough to give adequate string clearance with the P-90. I may choose to go this route instead of a neck reset. Less invasive in the long run. Thanks.
    "Scan not a friend under a microscopic glass; you know his faults so let his foibles pass".

    Sir Frank Crisp
    Friar Park
    London, England

  13. #13
    Les Paul Forum Member marshall1987's Avatar
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    Re: 1958 Les Paul Junior SC, Needs a Neck ReSet

    Quote Originally Posted by corpse View Post
    Marshall
    First if you fix the neck like you are talking about 50% of the value of the guitar goes "poof" gone.
    B- there are numerous other ways to affect the spacing you want/need without doing much of anything. By all means get it to a luthier that understands and appreciates vintage- not just a guitar repair guy. What generally happens on these is the coil is too low and folks want to raise it- which is frequently done with pop-sickle sticks under the PU. You didn't mention disassembling the PU- have you checked that? There are likely some clever ways to lower the PU without removing, breaking, or otherwise adjusting the wood.
    You really don't want to do that- this is a nice looking piece.
    Jason Lollar made me a full wind, custom P-90 dog ear pickup that omits the metal baseplate and is about 3/4 the height of a standard P-90. It required no modification to the guitar whatsoever. I have it installed presently and it provides ample string clearance. But it's not the original P-90. This is the dilemma I face if I choose to sell the guitar.
    "Scan not a friend under a microscopic glass; you know his faults so let his foibles pass".

    Sir Frank Crisp
    Friar Park
    London, England

  14. #14
    Les Paul Forum Member guitplayer's Avatar
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    Re: 1958 Les Paul Junior SC, Needs a Neck ReSet

    Interesting....if you can get the pole pieces(pickup)
    closer to the height of the P-90 cover(flush).

    Only if the cover is at the right height.
    " Never Mind Your Face, just show us your card"

  15. #15
    Les Paul Forum Member AA00475Bassman's Avatar
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    Re: 1958 Les Paul Junior SC, Needs a Neck ReSet

    I would not even consider a neck set , lets not over think this with all dimensions you have not made any claim this guitar does play well . IMO lower the pickup a few simple dimensions off the pickup cavity floor + bottom of pickup base plate to mounting tabs of base plate should give you a idea how low you can go .My 55 suffered the same fate I sold the guitar I really would not want to own a vintage Les Paul with a neck set . One other point with the same cast of characters as other threads the guitar is not a violin .
    Ive never confused owning a bunch of high end gear with being some kind of a guitar player I'm a hack and I love guitars !

    He thinks the mirror is a photo of a clown ?

    The Myth: Neat wiring layouts always equate to great-sounding amps.

  16. #16
    Les Paul Forum Member P.Walker's Avatar
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    Re: 1958 Les Paul Junior SC, Needs a Neck ReSet

    Quote Originally Posted by marshall1987 View Post
    The guitar has been professionally re-fretted and PLEK'd with .100" X .045" fret wire by Phil Jacoby. A new bone nut was installed at this time.

    The neck is perfectly straight. No humps.

    The neck relief is nearly straight, maybe .003" of relief at the 7th fret.

    The action at the 12th fret is 3/64 (1st string), and 4/64" (6th string).

    The guitar is set up with ,009 to .042 gauge strings.

    Greg Platzer, owner BCR Music & Sound LLC, has recommended doing a small route to the pickup cavity in order to set the whole pickup into the body just enough to give adequate string clearance with the P-90. I may choose to go this route instead of a neck reset. Less invasive in the long run. Thanks.
    that's about perfect.

    If Phil Jacoby was working on yours and thought it really needed a neck reset- you would be the first to know.

    Wood work is the very last step- when something is totally out of the ordinary.

    I could just about take aftermarket pickups, but perhaps a new cover that is "thinner" could pass, so that you can still use the original pickups.

    If it were mine, I'd go up a gauge or two and raise the action slightly keeping relief constant, but if I had to make do, then the cover is where I would start.

    Always start small.

  17. #17
    Les Paul Forum Member Joewildbonsai's Avatar
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    Re: 1958 Les Paul Junior SC, Needs a Neck ReSet

    Does it work?? PLAY THE HELL OUT OF IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by marshall1987 View Post
    I have a very nice 1958 Les Paul Jr. single-cut that has a very shallow neck set angle, so shallow that the strings nearly touch the pole pieces of the dog ear P-90 when the action is set properly. Although the guitar is playable, the sound is very harsh and strident because the strings are too close to the P-90.

    To correct this problem, I have thought about having the neck reset in order to provide more space between the strings and P-90. Can anyone recommend a good guitar tech who has plenty of experience working on the necks of 1950's Les Paul Juniors and/or Specials?

    Thanks.


  18. #18
    Les Paul Forum Member guitplayer's Avatar
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    Re: 1958 Les Paul Junior SC, Needs a Neck ReSet

    I have one too that is barely playable. I have the poles all
    the way down.
    " Never Mind Your Face, just show us your card"

  19. #19
    Les Paul Forum Member riscado's Avatar
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    Re: 1958 Les Paul Junior SC, Needs a Neck ReSet

    I've got a 58 (with 59 serial) just like that for sale. However mine doesn't really need a neck reset. Great guitars.

  20. #20
    Les Paul Forum Co-Owner Tom Wittrock's Avatar
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    Re: 1958 Les Paul Junior SC, Needs a Neck ReSet

    Please resist the urge to spam your guitar here.
    Pauls to the walls!

    Hüter der Flammen!

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  21. #21
    Les Paul Forum Member riscado's Avatar
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    Re: 1958 Les Paul Junior SC, Needs a Neck ReSet

    not spamming, in fact I'm not even advertising or selling it here at all... I'm based in Europe, most of the audience here is US. And this one is not being shipped across the pond. So I appreciate the "shout out" but you're being overzealous!

  22. #22
    Les Paul Forum Member MapleFlame's Avatar
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    Re: 1958 Les Paul Junior SC, Needs a Neck ReSet

    Although minimal difference, get an after market cover and sand it down on the bottom of cover. My best suggestion, get a regular P90 baseplate from Jon at ThroBak without the ears and see if that gets the pickup lower. Any adjustment you can put foam under if needed. Also you can tame any of these guitars with Tone and Volume controls. The amp adjustments too. Maybe the amps you have aren't the right fit for this guitar. I have 35 guitars, not all of them sound great in every amp I own. Please do not rout, reset or do anything to the wood. Phil is as good as you can get to work on guitars. If none of the above works, sell it and find another.
    Top carves are sexy

  23. #23
    Les Paul Forum Member toxpert's Avatar
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    Re: 1958 Les Paul Junior SC, Needs a Neck ReSet

    Echoing Mapleflame.
    My ‘58 4-digit Junior is a series with low neck angle. It was made with soapbar backplate and dogear cover. The pickup was long gone when I purchased this instrument.
    I had Jon Grundy (Throback) make a replacement pickup using soapbar backplate with regular dogear cover.

    The soapbar pickup mounted directly to the wood works great and fit at a workable pickup height to the strings. For the cover, I had to bring away a bit of the bottoms of the ears.

    Aside...this guitar is very resonant and rings like a bell when you tap it. Mounting the pickup directly to the mahogany body gives this guitar more spank IMHO....

  24. #24
    Les Paul Forum Member marshall1987's Avatar
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    Re: 1958 Les Paul Junior SC, Needs a Neck ReSet

    Quote Originally Posted by MapleFlame View Post
    Although minimal difference, get an after market cover and sand it down on the bottom of cover. My best suggestion, get a regular P90 baseplate from Jon at ThroBak without the ears and see if that gets the pickup lower. Any adjustment you can put foam under if needed. Also you can tame any of these guitars with Tone and Volume controls. The amp adjustments too. Maybe the amps you have aren't the right fit for this guitar. I have 35 guitars, not all of them sound great in every amp I own. Please do not rout, reset or do anything to the wood. Phil is as good as you can get to work on guitars. If none of the above works, sell it and find another.
    Great advice MapleFlame. I may be half way there already.... with the custom P-90 Jason Lollar made for me. In building this pickup, not only did he omit the metal base plate, but he fabricated the plastic P-90 dog-ear cover by sectioning it in half, and removing just enough material (via sanding?) so that the cover is about 2/3 the height of a stock cover. So I already have an appropriate cover with the proper dimensions. The only problem I foresee with a soapbar baseplate is that the pickup route has very little additional space for affixing a soapbar baseplate any deeper into the body. I'll have to check, but I think the dogear baseplate already rests on the bottom of the route. But this may be a function of the tabs, not the baseplate itself.

    I wonder if this is the reason many 1958 double -cut LP Juniors are outfitted with a soapbar baseplate vs. a dog-ear baseplate? Why did Gibson make this change in the first place?
    "Scan not a friend under a microscopic glass; you know his faults so let his foibles pass".

    Sir Frank Crisp
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  25. #25
    Les Paul Forum Co-Owner Tom Wittrock's Avatar
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    Re: 1958 Les Paul Junior SC, Needs a Neck ReSet

    Quote Originally Posted by riscado View Post
    not spamming, in fact I'm not even advertising or selling it here at all... I'm based in Europe, most of the audience here is US. And this one is not being shipped across the pond. So I appreciate the "shout out" but you're being overzealous!
    Saying it is for sale is basically "advertising" it here. Whether you intended to or not. If I thought it was intentional, I would have reacted differently.

    And your location makes absolutely no difference.
    Pauls to the walls!

    Hüter der Flammen!

    PLEASE SUPPORT www.burstserial.com !!
    Click here: www.burstserial.com

  26. #26
    Les Paul Forum Member riscado's Avatar
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    Re: 1958 Les Paul Junior SC, Needs a Neck ReSet

    you still have a chance to react differently Tom, I wouldn't honestly care too much about it. Knock yourself out.

  27. #27
    Les Paul Forum Member marshall1987's Avatar
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    Re: 1958 Les Paul Junior SC, Needs a Neck ReSet

    Although not the original 1958 P-90 that I want to keep in my LP Junior, this is a photo of the custom made Lollar P-90 that Jason made for me which omits the baseplate. This P-90 dog ear also features a custom made plastic cover that has been sectioned laterally, sanded down, and the two halves glued together. The result is a cover that is around 12/32" in height vs. the original that is around 14/32". This may not sound like much, but that was all that was necessary to make a P-90 with adequate clearance from the strings.



    "Scan not a friend under a microscopic glass; you know his faults so let his foibles pass".

    Sir Frank Crisp
    Friar Park
    London, England

  28. #28
    Les Paul Forum Member MapleFlame's Avatar
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    Re: 1958 Les Paul Junior SC, Needs a Neck ReSet

    Although I am happy for you to have a more usable guitar to your liking, I would have done the baseplate change with original pickup and sanded down an aftermarket cover. I'd leave the solder joints alone.
    Top carves are sexy

  29. #29
    Les Paul Forum Member AA00475Bassman's Avatar
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    Re: 1958 Les Paul Junior SC, Needs a Neck ReSet

    Quote Originally Posted by MapleFlame View Post
    Although I am happy for you to have a more usable guitar to your liking, I would have done the baseplate change with original pickup and sanded down an aftermarket cover. I'd leave the solder joints alone.
    How without breaking solder joints ?
    Ive never confused owning a bunch of high end gear with being some kind of a guitar player I'm a hack and I love guitars !

    He thinks the mirror is a photo of a clown ?

    The Myth: Neat wiring layouts always equate to great-sounding amps.

  30. #30

    Re: 1958 Les Paul Junior SC, Needs a Neck ReSet

    You could try pressing the bushings deeper so that they’re below the face of the guitar. This will allow for the studs to go deeper and the tailpiece to rest flush to the body. A drill press works well for pressing in bushings in a slow and controlled manner.

  31. #31

    Re: 1958 Les Paul Junior SC, Needs a Neck ReSet

    how about the front pickup off an old es125 werent they real thin? or maybe it was the 175? they werent as tall as the lead pickup

  32. #32
    Les Paul Forum Member Don's Avatar
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    Re: 1958 Les Paul Junior SC, Needs a Neck ReSet

    Quote Originally Posted by agogetr View Post
    how about the front pickup off an old es125 werent they real thin? or maybe it was the 175? they werent as tall as the lead pickup
    This reminds me- I had a '64 Epiphone Olympic that had been routed for humbuckers. I wanted to put a dog ear P90 on top of the pickguard so I had Bobby Tyson wind me a bridge pickup on a neck pickup plate with a neck pickup cover. It was very low profile and worked well.


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