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Gibson SG - Pro Set Up

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by Paul Jenkin, May 18, 2018.

  1. Paul Jenkin

    Paul Jenkin Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Aug 17, 2017
    Essex, UK
    I'm kicking myself. If I'd thought ahead, I should really have done a "before and after" set of photos as the results surprised me a bit.

    I recently traded a really nice acoustic for a good-looking 2001 model SG. There was barely a scratch or a mark on it. It had been played but not excessively. I doubt it had been played for a while as the strings were very dull sounding and the wound strings looked to have a fair bit of dirt / rust on them. The fret board looked a bit grubby and the mother of pearl inlays appeared "flat" compared to others I'd seen on new(er) guitars.

    The action seemed a bit high and the intonation wasn't right - even to my novice ears. So, I tracked down a local luthier who has a very good reputation. He asked me to drop the guitar off - which I did. I know how to change strings and tune a guitar but I'm not confident about the more technical stuff and, as it's not a cheap guitar, I reckoned it was best to have an expert set it up properly.

    I got it back last night and what a transformation. Action lowered. Intonation set up as perfect as can be. New strings (supplied by me). Frets polished. Fret board cleaned up lovely and "oiled". The inlays now look fresh and almost 3-D. Pots cleaned. Pickup covers and body are now sparkling. Aside from the pick-up guard having the usual array of fine scratch marks, it looks almost like a new guitar.

    Anyway, I was a little sceptical about how significant a difference a set up would actually make but I am both surprised and delighted. I'll try to remember to take and post a few photos of the "after".

    I have a few more guitars that I bought from new but that could be set-up better than when they came out of the factory - so I'll be getting them sorted over the next few months.
     
    uriah1 likes this.

  2. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 16, 2003
    Godzone
    Nutslots would be the biggest single thing.

    That will affect action, intonation, buzzing, fretwear. Dressed and polished fret is a good foundation.

    I see on this page repeatedly asking about best tuners to solve tuning issues. Rarely even do cheap tuners slip. It's nearly always an intonation problem that causes 'tuning stability' - in fact the guitar is never in tune to start with.
     
    bgmacaw and Paul Jenkin like this.

  3. Paul Jenkin

    Paul Jenkin Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Aug 17, 2017
    Essex, UK
    I'm pretty sure he mentioned having cleaned out the nut as part of the set up but I'll check. When I plugged it in last night it sounded really nice - very different to when I ran it through my Boss tuner after buying it. Whatever he's done certainly seems to have got it straightened out.
     

  4. Bob Womack

    Bob Womack Tele-Meister

    I get all my serious guitars setup when I buy them and they always benefit.

    Bob
     

  5. bftfender

    bftfender Tele-Afflicted

    Dec 21, 2017
    York PA
    a set up makes all the difference..you can get the neck relief how you like it and the action as close as you like. Gibson's are pretty easy to adjust. Got a new firebird last week and from the factory they are set high and the neck has pretty decent bow in it. Right away i turn truss rod till the tension is on the wrench and then go 1/4 turn. Then lower the action to my liking. leave it be, overnight the neck will move. See if you like it and keep doing only 1/4 turns at a time and adjusting the string height. Firebird took 3 1/4 turn days and it plays amazing. Here is a simple guide i found to use. I used the gauges but found out could set to how i like it my tweaking until i got it

    http://diystrat.blogspot.de/2012/09/how-to-set-up-gibson-les-paul-style.html
     

  6. fendrguitplayr

    fendrguitplayr Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    67
    Oct 11, 2006
    Greater Boston
    The truss rods sometimes need tweaking during very humid and very dry weather periods.
     

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