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Rick Andrews and other experts answers guitar repair questions
For almost one year, guitar luther Rick Andrews answered your guitar repair questions. After recieving over 500 questions
we put together the most popular questions and answers. Today, we are involving other great guitar
builders and will continue to expand this area in the future. This section will no longer be interactive but you should
find most of your guitar building and repair questions have already been answered in this section.
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Adjusting pickup height on a Les Paul
Rick Andrews Answers Your Question Below.
My name is Rich Kaynan from Orlando and am the proud owner of a brand
new 2003 Les Paul Standard. My son has a Paul that cost him about $600 new
though I can not recall the model but his has that incredible 'Les Paul'
tone in the center pickup position that mine does not seem to have utilizing
the same amp setup. Being that mine is so new I am apprehensive about
messing with it yet. My thinking is that it might be the pickup height because
it was received with, in my opinion, the bridge pickup ordinarily high but
it might have been factory set that way.
The tone that I have in my mind can be found, for example, on Greg
Alman's song 'I'm No Angel.' If you are not familiar with this tune, it would
be hard for me explain it. Just curious to know whether or not you have expierence
with Les Paul's and if so, would I expect to have major differences with adjusting pickup
height, or would the difference be subtle.
Thanks in advance,
Are the single actions truss rods really bad?
Well I would say the pickup height will give you more power output due
to the closer magnetic field to the strings but the tone itself I would not
expect much difference. Different pickups have their on tonal differences
from one brand to another and from different type magnets, the guage of
the copper wire windings, and the number of turns which vary the resistance in
Usually I can find the same tones from one humbucker pickup to
another. The capacitors in the signal line from the tone control pots can
make a noticeable difference as well. The same amp may need to change
settings to accomodate what you want to hear. Another big deal here to
consider is the wood the guitar is made of and the neck also. Even
fretboards can vary the sound. The Less Paul standards usually came with
rosewood fretboards wheras the Less Paul customs came with ebony
Even the Les Paul custom fretless wonder guitars that had the tiny, almost
no frets at all, had a more mushy tone simply because you were getting
very little tone from the fret wire at all. The jumbo frets gave a more metalic
sound due to much more metal and more sustain. All of these things will
factor into the tonal capabilities of a guitar. It is really the sum total
of everything that sets the tones. The strings also play a big part in
I was an Alman Brothers fan and still am. I would think there is a way to
EQ what you have to match the sound. You can find humbucker pickups that are
more vintage sounding than the later ones. Most music stores would be able
help you I think and can get the pickups and usually they have someone to
install them for you. I refer people a lot to a company called Stewart
Macdonald. He has a lot of special pickups including vintage style
His website is http://www.stewmac.com
I hope this will help you.
Rick Andrews, Andrews Guitar
in your opinion, If you had a 10 degree tilt back headstock on a 24fret 34" scale bass neck with a ebony finger board.
I love the ease of the single action truss rods, and the lighter weight.
Are the single actions truss rods really bad? The neck will also have two graphite composite stiffening rods.
The double action truss rods take a lot of torque to operate and are almost double the weight.
What would be the pros and cons here? Do you think I would have trouble with the single action truss rod?
Rick Andrews Answers Your Question Below.
I have been through this myself and personally I like the single rod better.
One time as I recall I saw a guitar that actually warped and bowed backwards.
That is very unusual because the string tension pulls the neck inward. Only the
one have I ever seen do this. It had to be a piece of wood that was incredibly
strongly warping favoring the oposite of the string tension. The single rod is
lighter weight and I think more efficient as well as more accurate. I suggest
the single. That is what I use in the guitars I build.
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