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Murphy Lab Les Paul 60s review - bright, custom buckers

DingosDog

New member
Joined
Aug 16, 2021
Messages
10
Gigged with my new Murphy Lab Les Paul finally. Had it for about 6 weeks. Finally got to play it at gig volume. In short, I liked it a lot. Glad I got it. I wouldn't mind tweaking it a bit. So non-haters, please let me know what you think if you have something contstructive to contribute. Here's my experience.

I’m used to a 63 RI 335 with burst buckers and a 2012 G0 Les Paul with Fralin paf pickups. How the MLP compared:

I really liked it. It was light and a pleasure to hold. The 60s neck is not chunky. (Not sure if it’s V3, V2 or whatever.) The body is special. It’s very resonant, like no other LP i've ever played. I picked it for this reason.

The customer buckers are a bit lower output than I’m used to. The bridge and neck are both brighter than my other two Gibsons. On the bridge pickup, I will keep the tone rolled down to about 3-5. I've seen many youtube reviews of custom buckers. Many don't like them. After gigging with it, I really liked them. Before that I had mixed feelings.

So I was concerned it might be too bright and thin at the gig; and that it might need new pickups and tone caps. However, it screamed yet with a satisfying clear note clarity on solos, plus the rhythms had throaty focused punch of a Les Paul, but not too woofy with bass as both my other Gibson’s can be sometimes. It was the most focused non woofy Les Paul/Gibson I've ever played.

Cleaner funky rhythms were surprisingly easy to get perfect. That is, it was easy to dial in a tone for it cause of the lower output pickups; by rolling down the guitar volume. It was not strat single coil-like, of course, but still had a perfect clean warm punchy (throaty) sound for the chunk rhythms. I’m assuming it’s due to the lower output pickups. The neck pickup is very usable in that situation. Often times, it can be too woofy. Anyway, it did not miss using a strat for this type of playing.

Adjustments
Although I love this guitar, I still might tweak it. Let me know your thoughts.

I notice the ol' metallic pinging sound problem when you acoustically pluck the G string hard; a bit when you hit the B string. It’s the bridge/saddles. Especially the G. (it’s not nut). I’ve gotten it to disappear by temporarily putting my other LP’s bridge on it; also by just fiddling with the bridge and pushing down on the saddle screws. My 335 and other LP never had that issue. So it’s a first for me.
• It could be the saddles need cut better, although a tech had just addressed it. I'm going to have him check it again.
• I may upgrade the TOM bridge to be able to lock it down. I’ve never tried those. I hear rave reviews about.
• Also I may put nylon saddles on the three high stings. Apparently even Joe B does that.

The bright bridge pickup. I’m likely going to get an RS Guitar works wiring harness upgrade:
• for the new volume pots (their Super Pot). I was surprised this guitar has audio taper volume pots. Really?!! I prefer linear.
• For the caps: I’ll use the .022uf for the neck, but for the bridge I might get a push pull tone knob to be able to switch between their .022 and .033 (or some value that provides darker cap).
• Right now I have the bridge tone down around 2 to 5.

Down the road, I may consider a warmer bridge pickup, but for now, one step at a time. I'll do the pots first.

Of course for now I will add warmth with pedals or amp EQ tweaks.
 
Last edited:

latestarter

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 9, 2009
Messages
4,072
Cool - sounds like a winner. I am a relatively new fan of the 60's neck....

I haven't found there to be much reason to change the pots of the modern RI's. YMMV.

The tech things you mention are all fixable without investing in more/new hardware (saddles bridge etc). A good setup will sort that.

Pickups - I think CB's are OK, but found the top end to be more hifi than I preferred. Tone down helps, as you say. I ended up slotting in some Thro's and I got the gnarly bark back that I wanted.

I sold my 19 R9 in the end...I liked it, but my '99 R9 was/is more to my liking tonally.
 

Tim Plains

Active member
Joined
Aug 1, 2013
Messages
712
Gibson has been using audio taper pots since 2009. R0s and G0s have the same neck, more or less, V2.

Is this a Murphy or Murphy Lab? There is a difference.
 

CK6

Active member
Joined
Feb 5, 2020
Messages
208
Gigged with my new Murphy Les Paul finally. Had it for about 6 weeks. Finally got to play it at gig volume. In short, I liked it a lot. Glad I got it. I wouldn't mind tweaking it a bit. So non-haters, please let me know what you think if you have something contstructive to contribute. Here's my experience.

I’m used to a 63 RI 335 with burst buckers and a 2012 G0 Les Paul with Fralin paf pickups. How the MLP compared:

I really liked it. It was light and a pleasure to hold. The 60s neck is not chunky. (Not sure if it’s V3, V2 or whatever.) The body is special. It’s very resonant, like no other LP i've ever played. I picked it for this reason.

The customer buckers are a bit lower output than I’m used to. The bridge and neck are both brighter than my other two Gibsons. On the bridge pickup, I will keep the tone rolled down to about 3-5. I've seen many youtube reviews of custom buckers. Many don't like them. After gigging with it, I really liked them. Before that I had mixed feelings.

So I was concerned it might be too bright and thin at the gig; and that it might need new pickups and tone caps. However, it screamed yet with a satisfying clear note clarity on solos, plus the rhythms had throaty focused punch of a Les Paul, but not too woofy with bass as both my other Gibson’s can be sometimes. It was the most focused non woofy Les Paul/Gibson I've ever played.

Cleaner funky rhythms were surprisingly easy to get perfect. That is, it was easy to dial in a tone for it cause of the lower output pickups; by rolling down the guitar volume. It was not strat single coil-like, of course, but still had a perfect clean warm punchy (throaty) sound for the chunk rhythms. I’m assuming it’s due to the lower output pickups. The neck pickup is very usable in that situation. Often times, it can be too woofy. Anyway, it did not miss using a strat for this type of playing.

Adjustments
Although I love this guitar, I still might tweak it. Let me know your thoughts.

I notice the ol' metallic pinging sound problem when you acoustically pluck the G string hard; a bit when you hit the B string. It’s the bridge/saddles. Especially the G. (it’s not nut). I’ve gotten it to disappear by temporarily putting my other LP’s bridge on it; also by just fiddling with the bridge and pushing down on the saddle screws. My 335 and other LP never had that issue. So it’s a first for me.
• It could be the saddles need cut better, although a tech had just addressed it. I'm going to have him check it again.
• I may upgrade the TOM bridge to be able to lock it down. I’ve never tried those. I hear rave reviews about.
• Also I may put nylon saddles on the three high stings. Apparently even Joe B does that.

The bright bridge pickup. I’m likely going to get an RS Guitar works wiring harness upgrade:
• for the new volume pots (their Super Pot). I was surprised this guitar has audio taper volume pots. Really?!! I prefer linear.
• For the caps: I’ll use the .022uf for the neck, but for the bridge I might get a push pull tone knob to be able to switch between their .022 and .033 (or some value that provides darker cap).
• Right now I have the bridge tone down around 2 to 5.

Down the road, I may consider a warmer bridge pickup, but for now, one step at a time. I'll do the pots first.

Of course for now I will add warmth with pedals or amp EQ tweaks.

I don’t think you need a locking bridge or nylon saddles; just have the existing saddles cut properly...

Personally I’d just leave the electronics as-is and play the guitar for a while.
 
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El Gringo

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 8, 2015
Messages
4,559
Cool - sounds like a winner. I am a relatively new fan of the 60's neck....

I haven't found there to be much reason to change the pots of the modern RI's. YMMV.

The tech things you mention are all fixable without investing in more/new hardware (saddles bridge etc). A good setup will sort that.

Pickups - I think CB's are OK, but found the top end to be more hifi than I preferred. Tone down helps, as you say. I ended up slotting in some Thro's and I got the gnarly bark back that I wanted.

I sold my 19 R9 in the end...I liked it, but my '99 R9 was/is more to my liking tonally.
We think alike as far as the more modern RI's and wiring harness goes . Also we love the same pickups -ThroBak's . So true what you said about a "tech"sorting out the saddles , and bridge . My Tech uses the Ole Big Bends Nut Sauce , he didn't tell me this as he left behind evidence in the case pocket of one of my Les Paul's . I think you were much to kind and diplomatic as far as your remark about the Custombuckers and the top end being more "hifi" . All in all we do reach the same conclusions about our beloved instruments which they are well loved ☀️
 

vim

New member
Joined
Oct 10, 2008
Messages
23
I think proper filing of saddles is underrated. Everyone gets the nut thing, but proper (wide enough, but not to wide, smooth and a little tilted down towards the stop tail, for a clean break angle) filing of saddles is often overlooked by a lot of halfway skilled tech.
 

corpse

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 9, 2007
Messages
4,216
I had the sitar thing for a while with various CS LP's. It was the saddle screw being bent. It was not bent a little- 10 degrees.
 

JLee

Member
Joined
Nov 27, 2010
Messages
74
The RS Superpots are a custom taper that leans toward audio.

I believe they are a 40% taper, versus 30% of Mojotone or “vintage taper” CTS like Creamtone. VIPots are a 10% taper. I believe DiMarzios are also 10%.
 

marshall1987

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 30, 2005
Messages
3,225
I have similar views regarding the recent Gibson Custom-buckers with AlNiCo III magnets. To my ears it seems as though something is "lacking" with the frequency range/response; i.e., the middle range was not as full and rich as I would like. If I'm not mistaken, AlNiCo III magnets do NOT contain the metal Cobalt in the formulation, which can affect the magnetic strength or Gauss in charged magnets.

However, much of the sound you hear with a good Les Paul is dependent on the mahogany back and neck. Some of the super lightweight Les Pauls, especially the "Chambered" models, may not sound as rich and full compared to the heavier Les Pauls in the > 8.5 lb + range.
 
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stumphead

Active member
Joined
Dec 12, 2018
Messages
399
try Pyramid round wound pure nickel strings .... it will take out that nasty strident and brittle top end you are hearing

woofy tones come from the pickup being to close to the strings .... back it off some
 

C-4

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Joined
Jan 5, 2005
Messages
1,756
I think proper filing of saddles is underrated. Everyone gets the nut thing, but proper (wide enough, but not to wide, smooth and a little tilted down towards the stop tail, for a clean break angle) filing of saddles is often overlooked by a lot of halfway skilled tech.
Every Gibson I receive gets the saddles filed to more accurately follow the radius. I have no pinging at all.
I also lower the pickups to just under the top of the mounting ring, but I have my action ridiculously low due to left hand nerve problems.

I'm playing a 2019 R9 60th and it hasn't had any of the problems I'm reading about on the forum.
Oddly enough, due to where I live, I have to buy via the net, but I am able to let the dealer know exactly what I am looking for, so I don't have any problems in choosing the guitar or with setting it up upon receipt.
 

TM1

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 27, 2003
Messages
8,115
Every guitar I get with an ABR-1 gets the correct vintage saddles I get from RandK! Best ones on the block. Look him up on the forum here. I get a Pigtail bridge too since vintage ones are few and far between and new ones suck! I also got a pair of 1.5” nickel plated ABR-1 posts. The deeper those posts are into the wood, the better string vibration transfer is!
 
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El Gringo

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 8, 2015
Messages
4,559
I have similar views regarding the recent Gibson Custom-buckers with AlNiCo III magnets. To my ears it seems as though something is "lacking" with the frequency range/response; i.e., the middle range was not as full and rich as I would like. If I'm not mistaken, AlNiCo III magnets do NOT contain the metal Cobalt in the formulation, which can affect the magnetic strength or Gauss in charged magnets.

However, much of the sound you hear with a good Les Paul is dependent on the mahogany back and neck. Some of the super lightweight Les Pauls, especially the "Chambered" models, may not sound as rich and full compared to the heavier Les Pauls in the > 8.5 lb + range.
That's exactly the trade off with the lighter weight Les Paul's under 8.5 lbs , including the weight relieved ones as well . To me it is unpleasant sound and dare I say harsh . I believe that weight + mass = tone . This is a tried and true formula . Just Check the weights from the Golden Era Les Paul's .
 

TM1

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 27, 2003
Messages
8,115
Pyramid uses Silver plated German Steel which is by far much smoother sounding and considerably more Flexable that what American string makers use! You can get “Nickel Classics” or “Monel Classics”. Gibson use to use in the ‘40’s till 1971, Monel wire. They called those sets “Mona-Steel” strings! I’ve been selling them for 25 years: www.tone-man.net
 
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