please help

Discussion in 'Tone Zone' started by Joehaven, Dec 30, 2004.

  1. Joehaven

    Joehaven New Member

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    hello everyone, i'm obviously new here and this is my first post.

    i've been on a mission to find the perfect sg lately, so here's a short story of what's happened: first, i purchased a gibson SG special in ebony, played great but had intonation problems and i soon realized that i would much rather have the standard, so i went back to guitar center where i purchased it for an sg standard in heritage cherry, which was twice as good. after i played a practice and show with it, i noticed that the frets weren't smoothed away at the edge of the neck, making the high e string buzz when pulled off, so i then returned it and wondered: god, should i get a ebony sg standard or just another heritage cherry? i was in a hurry, so i left with another sg standard in cherry (the guy there told me to come back and get the black one if i wanted), so here's the deal!

    the one i have right now plays extremely well, low action (i love low action), and it seems that the neck is a bit smoother. the strings on this one feel looser (in a good way, and it obviously has been restrung a few times, which i've done now), but they seem easier to play and i'm wonder; is this because the action is low? basically what i'm asking is: does low action make the strings feel a little looser, like there's not as much tension on them?

    i really love the way this one plays, but i also really love the ebony finish and i want to go back to guitar center and get the ebony. do you think that i can lower the action on a new one and have it still sound and play as good as this one? (remember, it's still an sg standard... i'm just wondering if i luckily picked the cream of the crop or something!)

    thanks guys.

    and what do you think... ebony or heritage cherry?


    thanks again for reading this extremely long thread.

    -Joe
     
  2. CharlieB

    CharlieB Active Member

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    Welcome!

    You're gonna get all sorts of answers.

    You're also gonna have to go play the ebony one and make sure its right for you.

    You mention nothing about string gauge, or setup.... so its hard to say whats what from a technical persepctive. From a playing perspective... if you needn't push the strings as far, then sure.. ya know? They're gonna feel easier to fret.

    The limit to your action height, with a proper setup, is how far you want to bend the notes. If your action is very low, the bends up in the fret 14 and higher range are gonna "fret out" as you bend. This is purely a function of fretboard radius (12 inches for SG's) and string elevation.

    For instance, if you never bend strings - you can get an action of about 2/64 of an inch on the high E, no problem. Just bend it above the 12th fret and woooopsie... frets out. If you like heavy duty blues bends up in the upper frets, then consider action height of about 3.5/64ths to 4/64ths on the high E... again depending on how much you want to bend.

    All of this assumes a neck that is set up properly - about .010-.013 relief seems about right. You can get lower relief...but then environmental changes are gonna play hell with things, so set it to about .010 to .013 and if it grows a bit tweak it later on.

    Intonation problems - again are a setup function. So... I dunno... maybe you need to get somebody to do real good setups for you. If you had sharp fret ends... and ALL guitars are prone to that from time to time... they're easy to polish out with a bit of very fine sandpaper. I know it ought not be that way. But it is, and the fix is so simple its not really worth much grumbling - except - its a brand new guitar, your hard earned cash... I know the feeling. Its just something you gotta deal with. Gibson WOULD fix that under warranty - but its more of a hassel getting the guitar to the warranty center than it is to pay somebody locally to do it, or do it yourself. If you took a new guitar to a local repairman, and said clean it up (the frets) and do a setup with my favorite strings... I'd probably expect to pay about $60 to $75 dollars - not asking for fret dressing, just to polish the ends a bit (easy) and maybe do a quick polish on the frets too (new frets need breaking in or polshing to feel their best).

    Whew... well...again... WELCOME!
     
  3. Six String

    Six String Moderator Staff Member

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    Welcome to ETSG! I agree with CB. I got an 84 Sp and it played beautifully, but had some intonation issues. I took it to my local dude and he worked on it to fix it. Now it is "perfect"... for me. If you love the one you have, you can possibly do the same.

    The bottom line in my opinion is it sounds like you need to get both guitars to be totally happy... and remember, that happiness is what we all strive for... :D

    Again welcome.
     
  4. Keithsauls

    Keithsauls Member

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    i think charlieb summed it up beautifully. welcome aboard Joe! :D
     
  5. Sgmaniac

    Sgmaniac Guest

    Welcome Joe. Keep the one you have. It's sounds like you got a good one and Heritage Cherry is lovely! 8)
     
  6. dcooper

    dcooper Member

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    Hi, I agree with everyone, but would add that IMO sg's are a affected a little more by heat, humidity, cold, dry. They seem to need longer to adjust to there surroundings. And may need to be readjusted after a few days. be patient.

    I agree with Charlie about the relief, bur for guitars I use only at home to play and record, I set the relief at .006/.008 with a 16" straightedge between the d and g string around the 9th fret. these guitars have the frets set almost perfect
     
  7. Tripower455

    Tripower455 Member

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    It's funny how they are all so different..... I bought a slightly used '03 Les Paul Standard this summer, with the '60s slim taper neck. It was fine out of the case with the factory .009's on it, but after restringing it with .010s it was buzzing all over the place. I didn't have time to mess with it right then, so I put it in the case overnight. When I pulled it out to adjust the setup the next day, most of the buzz was gone (I had to clean up the saddle for the g string to eliminate it all)! Every time I change the strings, it does buzzes for a while, and then stops. It is an awesome axe.... very resonant.

    Keep the one you know you like!
     
  8. CharlieB

    CharlieB Active Member

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    DC, if you keep your guitars in a very even environminet, you can get away with the relief being lower. I like it lower too. But, if you set it low... then take your guitar into a more humid place... wooopsie, there goes your relief, and you end up with no relief, or worse: negative relief. So knowing hos the gutar will be used, and where it will be stored its a big part of "the perfect setup".

    Psssst, I KNOW you know that already... just sayin' it for everyone else to hear.
     
  9. skidshark

    skidshark Active Member

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    i heard that...... 8)
     
  10. dcooper

    dcooper Member

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    Charlie, if you read my post again, I say I only do that to guitars that never leave my house. I couldn;t agree with you more since I live in Toledo, ohio one of the strangest weather pattern cities I have seen. last week -10 degrees 15" snow, tomorrow 50 degress rain.
     
  11. CharlieB

    CharlieB Active Member

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    EXACTLY 'Coop! I just wanted to put the "never leaves the house" in context of "even environment" for all the world to see.
     
  12. dcooper

    dcooper Member

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    Another thing Charlie I use .009,.001,.016,.026,.036,.046 gauge strings. I know some of you guys use quite a bit stiffer strings. Even at .009 -.046 my les pauls never move, but sg's are a little touchy and I adjust often. my black and gold sg standard wants to be so straight I worry about reverse relief which my truss rods can't deal with
     
  13. CharlieB

    CharlieB Active Member

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    .009,.001,.016,.026,.036,.046

    does that B string hold up at all?
     
  14. dcooper

    dcooper Member

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    sorry charlie too many beers to night. you know what I meant. headin to nYC tomorrow for a few days to visit the wifes family. probably get to see Les paul again :D :D
     
  15. CharlieB

    CharlieB Active Member

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    seein' family will do that...

    Lol.. get him to autograph your SG
     
  16. dcooper

    dcooper Member

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    Charlie, this is a true story , I went to the Iridium club , probably spelled it wrong. I've been there a lot and sort of know Les, we talked and he offered to sign my 57 BB reissue I took it all the way there and refused to let him write on it. he told me he'd let know one write on his either.

    Another thing the same time I screwed up the string gages to you, I was replying to a email from 59burst for the same info.
    I wish everyone could see Les Paul at the Iridium club. bet it doesn't hold 50 people. he talks to every one there. very cool.
     
  17. skidshark

    skidshark Active Member

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    that's gotta be cool dc, i bet he's humbler than most guys that play his namesake! 8)

    thank him for the kindling! :shock:
     
  18. Joehaven

    Joehaven New Member

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    thanks so much everyone. the info helped a lot.
     
  19. SG Lou

    SG Lou Moderator Staff Member

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    Welcome Joe,,, The cherry got my vote !

    ..Lou
     
  20. Keithsauls

    Keithsauls Member

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    coop, you ought to go back and have les sign a pick gaurd for you. that way you can just remove the pickgaurd to preserve the signature and if you want to cash in and sell it just re install it! i have heard from several people that les is pretty down to earth.
     

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