#1
Epi les paul std.
It's my first, it has sentimental value and i'm reluctant to get rid of it but it feels crappier every time i compare it to my newer guitar.

Thought about selling it but that's a hard choice. Trades - maybe...
The other thing i could do is just have it fixed up, right?

It doesn't have any really bad problems (that i'm aware of) but i tried to fix it myself and i'm skeptical about my ability to fix this. i wasn't afraid to try some fret-leveling for example but it's still not good. I made it better, but it's still far from good.

so i thought maybe i could get a nice replacement nut and have a professional luthier have a go at it but i don't know any pros or how to find any pros (which maybe i could get help with here) and i'm worried about how much it would cost in any event. i wonder if it's going to cost 100 dollars, and if sentimentality is worth paying a lot to fix up a guitar thats probably only worth 200 bucks.

So how much is a good setup worth?
#2
A good setup on a Les Paul has a lot of worth, figuratively. I'd get a tech to do it up right and I bet you'll recover some lost sentiment.

Why a replacement nut? Are you having tuning stability issues? Nuts on Les Pauls are very easy to replace. Depends on if it's a drop in replacement or if they're going to file a custom one for you. Could be $20, could be $100.


Most shops do it from $30-$45 for a basic setup.
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Last edited by JustRooster at Jul 2, 2014,
#3
It isn't worth spending money for something you can do for almost nothing rather easily. A new pre-cut nut only costs a couple of dollars. The only thing you need to do is sand the nut to the approximate height and width and you'll be 90% there. It's hard to screw up. And there is little penalty in screwing up because nuts are so cheap.
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#5
I'm not experienced enough to know this for certain but i kinda wonder if the guitar didn't formerly have heavier strings on it?

I'm used to the 9s on my other guitar. I tried 9s on this one (which is supposedly the original string size?) And it didn't feel right. It had fret buzz and a generally "loose" feeling.
It doesn't hold tuning as well as the other guitar. (PRS SE btw) These are Grover tuners which i have been lead to believe are okay tuners.
The neck was too straight so I made a minor adjustment to the truss rod. (It seems to me that a heavier set of strings would demand more tension in the truss rod?)

I have been trying slightly heavier strings but I don't like how stiff they are. I would prefer if it felt more like the 9s on my other guitar.
There was fret wear. I took care of some of it but i'm afraid to keep filing the frets. I don't want to take them down so far that they can't be fixed.

I am in central Pennsylvania. USA. I know I could ask the guitar center to do it but i've heard that you're not supposed to trust them to do set ups. There's a guy on craigslist who advertises setups but he could be some shady former GC employee for all i know. There's a guy at the local music store i could ask but i'm afraid he'd just want to do it for me himself - and then how do i know that he isn't also a shady former GC employee as well?

I probably shouldn't be intimidated by this. Just seems like there's lots of unknowns. I hate unknowns.
#6
best i can say is that if it feels good, you'll know. sometimes a 200 dollar guitar can feel just as good as a 2000 dollar one. i play a squier tele and i love it, id only get rid of it for an old 50's/60's tele. guitars are a lot like girls, you'll know when its "the one"
#7
^^ maybe try 9.5s? a few companies make them. if you're going from 25" on the prs se to 24.75", that's not too much. to me 10s on a 24.75" scale feel tighter than 9s on 25.5", and the difference on yours is even less than that.
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I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

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#8
Quote by JustRooster
A good setup on a Les Paul has a lot of worth, figuratively. I'd get a tech to do it up right and I bet you'll recover some lost sentiment.


Almost any guitar can be set up to be a great-playing guitar. The cost of the guitar is always immaterial.

The first requirement is a set of frets that are level under string tension.

The second requirement is a collaboration between a skilled tech and the player to determine what it is that the player really likes.

I have an Agile AL-2000 Floyd, an LP clone with Floyd Rose, that was purchased as a B stock (finish issues) for under $200, with hard case, delivered. It also fretted out with double-stop bends at the 16th fret. I spend around $200 on the guitar for a PLEK setup with Gary Brawer in San Francisco. In the end, however, I had a guitar that played as well as my over-$4K Gibson Axcess Custom (which also needed that same PLEK setup, by the way, when I got it from the factory).

The victim:



There are still differences. The Axcess came with a 12" radius (Gibson claims 12" radius as spec, but will often deliver a radius as low as 10"), the Agile has a 14" radius. The Gibson has medium jumbo frets, the Agile jumbo, the Gibson has an ebony fretboard, the Agile rosewood. Both have 9's (I usually put 9's on 24.75" scale guitars with Floyds, 10's on the same scale without). The Agile actually has 24 frets, so the bridge and bridge pickup are actually moved about 3/4" toward the neck pickup and the neck is about 3/4" longer to maintain scale but leave all 24 frets clear. The actual neck profiles are surprisingly close. And the Axcess is lighter (it's chambered) and thinner-bodied, while the Agile is heavy (solid body) and standard LP thickness. The Axcess has a smooth, carved-away neck heel. The Agile has a "tilted" neck heel that, amazingly, feels almost identical to the Axcess. I think all LPs should have neck heels like these two guitars!

In the end, all the "pride of ownership" laurels go to the Axcess, as do the awards for fit and finish. The Agile was a cheap B stock because of a wavy finish on the upper bout (both are black guitars), where most Agiles are excellent in the finish department.

But the Agile actually gets played MORE than the Axcess -- it's one of my two "bar guitars" -- and since about 2009, it's been a grab and go favorite. It remains an exceptionally playable guitar, and everyone I've handed it to is amazed by it. And that initial setup has had exactly one touchup in that time. A re-analysis on the PLEK says that the neck is rock stable.

In your neck of the woods, check with Philtone Guitar Company

http://www.philtone.com/
http://www.philtone.com/plek.html <<<<<read this
Phil Jacoby, Luthier
1601 Guilford Ave
Basement South
Baltimore, MD 21202
410 783 0260
email is philtone at gmail dot com
Last edited by dspellman at Jul 3, 2014,
#9
@ dspellman - Wow. That was mvp calibur.

I'm going to digest this plek info. Baltimore is not too far for me to consider and if he's gonna do a good job then that's the main thing.

I had heard of plekking before - didn't really look into it much. I did mention it at the GC on the day I bought the Epiphone and the GC tech was dismissive. Not really sure if that's business or just a difference in opinion.


Well - what if i put one more little bit of information out there:
I like having a Les Paul but i'm not craving a Gibson. I think it would be great to have an LP that plays well and has that LP sound but it's not likely imho that i'll someday get the itch for a more expensive version.
So if i upgrade little bits and pieces of this Epiphone here and there I know it'll never have that "Axcess" level of mystique, or the super-pro finish and binding, but there's no reason I can't make it play and sound like a 1500 dollar guitar, right?
#10
Quote by paul.housley.7

I had heard of plekking before - didn't really look into it much. I did mention it at the GC on the day I bought the Epiphone and the GC tech was dismissive. Not really sure if that's business or just a difference in opinion.


Or lack of knowledge.

Quote by paul.housley.7

Well - what if i put one more little bit of information out there:
I like having a Les Paul but i'm not craving a Gibson. I think it would be great to have an LP that plays well and has that LP sound but it's not likely imho that i'll someday get the itch for a more expensive version.
So if i upgrade little bits and pieces of this Epiphone here and there I know it'll never have that "Axcess" level of mystique, or the super-pro finish and binding, but there's no reason I can't make it play and sound like a 1500 dollar guitar, right?


You may always have an itch for a more expensive version. I worked in bands (keyboards) and in a music store for a long time before I bought my first guitar, and the first four or five were all high-end Gibsons (still have all but one of those). My personal view is that guitars are pretty low-tech, and most of us are simply buying copies of 60-year-old chunks of wood and steel that feature no real improvements. Aside from the fairy dust and unicorn farts that seeped into the original guitars, we're seeing outstanding guitars at under $1000 from offshore manufacturers. The expensive spread has been propped up by the money and the nostalgia of the baby boomer generation, and the people who buy those guitars these days desperately want there to be some really good reason to buy them. With 78 million of those folks heading for retirement age over the next 10-15 years, I think we're going to see a change of attitude and a changing of the guard where expensive (and even vintage) guitars are concerned.

Remember that it's the guitar heros who make the guitar. Not the other way around.

Clapton and Page and a few others dragged old heavy, discontinued guitars that didn't sell out of the trash heaps, made them what they are today and forced a very reluctant Gibson Guitars to reissue the LP. Gibson was on its way out, the LP due to be discontinued yet again as "your father's guitar" when Slash decided to use a non-Gibson COPY of an LP against the prevailing tide of superstrat gunners on an album that changed music. Gibson has never known what it was doing, other than to ride the crest of the wave that someone going *against* the prevailing tide churned up.
#11
I think back to the bands that were huge when i was really young and I primarily think of Van Halen. Then when I was a teenager I got really into Guns N Roses and Metallica for about a year before Nirvana came along. Unlike most of the kids who gre up in that time period I was not all that interested in the new sound. I found other acts (other than Nirvana I mean) and I started exploring backwards.

So I eventually settled on Rage Against The Machine and Red Hot Chili Peppers as my favorite of the newer acts. Also had a brief fandom of Limp Bizkit. (It's weird about that band. I'm not ashamed to say I loved listening to them but I tried listening to them recently and I just can't. Their music didn't age well. Probably sucked all along but I aint sorry.)

Eventually came to the conclusion that the double cutout shape is what an electric guitar is. I do have Slash in my list and it's odd that i don't picture him when i think about guitar shapes but i think he's just drowned out by the other guitars.

When i get guitar lust it's usually a strat or PRS cu24 body style. I can see myself needing my own strat someday. Maybe not a Fender strat, maybe one of those Suhrs. They look fancy. I like the look of the Fernandes Retro rockets too.
#12
Quote by paul.housley.7

Also had a brief fandom of Limp Bizkit. (It's weird about that band. I'm not ashamed to say I loved listening to them but I tried listening to them recently and I just can't. Their music didn't age well. Probably sucked all along but I aint sorry.)

All music lovers have their guilty pleasures, and I share that one with you.

I can see myself needing my own strat someday. Maybe not a Fender strat, maybe one of those Suhrs. They look fancy. I like the look of the Fernandes Retro rockets too.


I lust after many guitars, and several Stratclones are on my list- Suhr, Fernandes, Godin, G&L, Carvin, Dean Zelinsky, Blade, etc.- but I don't want a Fender Strat, though.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

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Log off and play yer guitar!

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#13
Apologies if this has already been said.... I havent read the full thread.... no time....I'm at work.....but invest some cash in getting a pro to set your old guitar up properly before you do anything is my advice....

...now..... back to hitting gophers on the head with a hammer....
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#14
Just thought I'd mention, Epiphone pups are horrible. A pupgrade may rekindle the fire and your lp will sound worlds better. Epi pups lack oomph and flavor, they're very weak and bland. My Epi has the "Pro Buckers" which are suppose to be Burstbucker copies but they really just set you up for disappointment calling them that. To my ears they're really no different than any other lifeless epi stock pups. Upgrade your pups and it'll be a completely different guitar.

And if limp bizkit (just typing it makes me cringe) would have left Fred Durrst at home they'da been a much better band. Same thing with Marylon Manson and shock-goth with whiny teen lyrics. Both bands are great if you can hear past the shtick. STP hasn't aged too well either. But Built to Spill and Pavement are timeless.
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#15
But Built to Spill and Pavement are timeless.

Neither band ever did it for me.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#16
Quote by dannyalcatraz
Neither band ever did it for me.

How bout the Silver Jews? All my favorite singers couldn't sing.
Fender Mustang/Derfenstein DST> Boss Power Wah> Pedal Monsters Klone> Bogner Uberschall> Walrus Audio Janus> Randall RM20> Line 6 M9> Randall RM20
#17
First I've heard of 'em!
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#18
Update:

Embarrassing update:
I think i fixed the worst of the problems all by myself.

I decided to take it to a music store. I felt a little bit uneasy about what they said there. They didn't ask what i wanted - they just told me that the truss rod needed an adjustment and they told me that the nut wasn't filed quite right (which may be true for all I know) and told me they could fix it up real good for 65$.
They didn't say anything about neck or frets.
So i used the process of elimination and i decided that the bridge must be one of the things that they were planning to adjust. I adjusted the bridge myself and the guitar is playing better now.
#19
don't worry about it. you should see some of the things i did when i had just started. some of the things i still do.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#20
Quote by dannyalcatraz
Neither band ever did it for me.



Both of them are bands that I've heard so much about, and had them so built up, that I can't really listen to them on a clean slate. Especially because both of them have such a large catalog, it's hard to know where to start.

It's much easier to really get into new bands when they're only a couple albums in.
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