#1
How's it going guys? Think I got myself in a pickle. Easily corrected, but a pickle all the same.

Here's the question. Excuse any incorrect terms. I'm still new to this. Decided I'm not going to pay someone $70+ to set up my guitar. I've always been the do it yourself type and if I mess up, it's still going to be the same price. So I started working with guitar. Took all strings off, got it cleaned up nice and purdy. Stopbar falls out. Cool. Didn't know it did that. Cleaning it some more, whole bridge falls out. Didn't know that did that either. I'll put them back when I restring...

.. Everything is reassembled as correct as I can tell. Tune up, terrible intonation. Could it be changing gauge? Those pieces that fell out? Easily fixed either way. Few minutes later I'm ready to go. All is well until I see another Gibson and I realize, my bridge is backwards. How'd I get it in tune? Do a little more research and it seems like no matter what model it is, the intonation screws can face either way (toward bridge pickup or stopbar). What do I do? Is this normal? Does it matter? The thing is in tune and stays that way.

Guess that's my question. It's just one of those things that bothers me. Hasn't stopped me from playing, but still wonder in the back of my head. Figured I'd ask the pros.

Also, does anyone have any good online material to help me learn a little more about setting up a Les Paul?
#2
It doesn't matter which way you put the bridge one. Some people like it with the saddles set so they only slope backwards, some people set it so half the saddles slope one way and the other half slope the other way, some people like them all sloping forwards. You can have the intonation adjustment screws either side. It's all totally your preference. The most common way to have it is with the adjustment screws on the same side as the pickups and with all the saddles sloping backwards, but it really won't sound any different regardless.
#3
Quote by lilwill000
How's it going guys? Think I got myself in a pickle. Easily corrected, but a pickle all the same.

Here's the question. Excuse any incorrect terms. I'm still new to this. Decided I'm not going to pay someone $70+ to set up my guitar. I've always been the do it yourself type and if I mess up, it's still going to be the same price. So I started working with guitar. Took all strings off, got it cleaned up nice and purdy. Stopbar falls out. Cool. Didn't know it did that. Cleaning it some more, whole bridge falls out. Didn't know that did that either. I'll put them back when I restring...

.. Everything is reassembled as correct as I can tell. Tune up, terrible intonation. Could it be changing gauge? Those pieces that fell out? Easily fixed either way. Few minutes later I'm ready to go. All is well until I see another Gibson and I realize, my bridge is backwards. How'd I get it in tune? Do a little more research and it seems like no matter what model it is, the intonation screws can face either way (toward bridge pickup or stopbar). What do I do? Is this normal? Does it matter? The thing is in tune and stays that way.

Guess that's my question. It's just one of those things that bothers me. Hasn't stopped me from playing, but still wonder in the back of my head. Figured I'd ask the pros.

Also, does anyone have any good online material to help me learn a little more about setting up a Les Paul?


The bridge can face either way, doesn't matter, just make sure the intonation is correct and the action is right for you. It is normal for both of them to come off if you take all the strings off at once to restring. I do it one at a time now so they don't fall off and so I don't have to keep redoing the intonation or action.

To solve the falling off problem I suggest you buy a locking tailpiece and bridge, it'll keep them in place.

Billy Gibbons of ZZ TOP has his bridge this way on his 59 Les Paul



Slash has them set up this way on his 59 Replica



Go on the mylespaul forum if you want to learn more, I'm a member there and so are some others from this website and there's a lot of info, I've been there for ages and learnt quite a lot, it's a good place.
'And after a while, you can work on points for style.
Like the club tie, and the firm handshake,
A certain look in the eye and an easy smile.'

'You have to be trusted by the people that you lie to,
So that when they turn their backs on you,
You'll get the chance to put the knife in.'
#4
Have you tried turning the bridge around? you probably put it in backwards.
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
#5
Quote by Robbgnarly
Have you tried turning the bridge around? you probably put it in backwards.


He solved it anyway and it doesn't make a difference. if you redo the intonation. Of course it'll be out if you put it on the wrong way round and don't change it.
'And after a while, you can work on points for style.
Like the club tie, and the firm handshake,
A certain look in the eye and an easy smile.'

'You have to be trusted by the people that you lie to,
So that when they turn their backs on you,
You'll get the chance to put the knife in.'
#6
The direction of the bridge depends upon the bridge type. Normally, the ABR1 bridge has the screws on PU side and the Nashville has the screws on the tailpiece side. (Ihave both types).
When you set up a Les Paul first make sure your bridge is correctly orientated as per ABR1 or Nashville, you can also double check this by the string slots in the saddles. The larger slots are for the wound strings, smaller for the plain. Also normally the the farthest back saddles are for the larger diameter strings so the G Saddle is farther back than the B & Hi E and Low E is usually farther back than the A & D. IF you've put the bridge on backwards this will be reversed.
Since you took all the strings off at once, your neck relief will have dissappeared most likely. It will come back once your guitar is tuned to pitch but may take up to a day or two. So tune it to pitch and set it aside for the day. Then check your neck relief and adjust according to JJ1565s sticky if required. Once you're happy with relief and string height, then and only then adjust your intonation. LPs sound sweeter using Dan Erlewine's intonation method which is open string vs fretted 12th fret note matching exactly. No harmonics, just open and fretted 12th note. (I've owned 5 LPs and it's always been better this way).
If you have an ABR1 bridge and low neck set angle like on a Re Issue the tailpiece wil likely go down all the way to the top of the guitar. If you have a Nashville Bridge on a Gibson USA the strings will likely hang up on the back of the bridge if you crank the tailpiece down all the way. I would avoid doing this.
Moving on.....
Last edited by KenG at Dec 27, 2011,
#7
Yeah I have it all in tune. When intonating I used the open vs fretted 12th. Like I said, I don't know much. Seems like I lost a little bit of my sustain also. It's a Gibson Les Paul Studio Silverburst. Have the screws facing the bridge pickup.

I'm heading out now. When I get back I'll have to look into relief and what not. I'm not 100% happy with the way it plays at the moment. I had no problems setting up the edge trem on my IBanez. Getting this one to play the way I want has been a task though lol.

Another note. When I actually opened the truss rod cover, the bolt that sits on top of the rod was very loose. As in, there was no tension on it at all. I could have unscrewed it with my bare hands just by making contact. Almost as if it wasn't even set up from the factory. Is this normal? I've never liked the way this guitar played, the action is high and just griefs me. I'd love to get the action a lot lower. Low as I can get it with no buzz obviously.

Considering trading it for another Ibanez lol.
#8
Quote by lilwill000
Yeah I have it all in tune. When intonating I used the open vs fretted 12th. Like I said, I don't know much. Seems like I lost a little bit of my sustain also. It's a Gibson Les Paul Studio Silverburst. Have the screws facing the bridge pickup.

I'm heading out now. When I get back I'll have to look into relief and what not. I'm not 100% happy with the way it plays at the moment. I had no problems setting up the edge trem on my IBanez. Getting this one to play the way I want has been a task though lol.

Another note. When I actually opened the truss rod cover, the bolt that sits on top of the rod was very loose. As in, there was no tension on it at all. I could have unscrewed it with my bare hands just by making contact. Almost as if it wasn't even set up from the factory. Is this normal? I've never liked the way this guitar played, the action is high and just griefs me. I'd love to get the action a lot lower. Low as I can get it with no buzz obviously.

Considering trading it for another Ibanez lol.


It sounds like it just needs to be properly set up.
BTW since it's a Studio the bridge will be a Nashville so the screws should be on the tailpiece side not the PU side.

One issue with the bridge is the radius often isn't 12 inches which the fingerboard is. A tech would adjust the slots in the saddles to match the radius more closely which gives the abilty to lower the action without having issues on the D&G strings.
The second most important factor is relief.
I've found that a near straight neck with very little relief gives the best results.
This can be harder to accomplish though if the nut is cut too high and ths strings sit too high off the fingerboard at the 1st fret.
Moving on.....
#9
great posts as usual Ken.


TS - silverbursts rule and listen to ken, he's all wise in the ways of the LP.
I wondered why the frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.
#10
Thanks for the advice. Think what I'll do is soon as I purchase another guitar, I'll put it in for a proper setup. Have my eye on a Mustang.

A little off subject. Do guitars really come with a "good enough" setup from the factory? I intend to learn more myself. Seems like you pretty much have to know how to save the money and time.
#11
it's impossible for a worker at a factory to know how you like your guitar set up.

they do a basic job of it. nothing spectacular.

it's up to you to tweak it how you want it.

from my experience.
I wondered why the frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.