My Les Paul has really harsh high-end... Bridge replacement?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Jschoi, Dec 5, 2017.


  1. kev

    kev Member

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    Here's an interesting thread on the so-nicknamed "MapleFlame Mod" - second post in, and I believe he's a member here too ( howdy @tdarian ), mentions using brass thumbwheels to help tame high end harshness:

    MyLesPaul forum thread
     
  2. Dean Riley

    Dean Riley Member

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    Lower the pickups? Especially when playing upper frets, makes the strings closer to the pickups.
    Tone knob on my LP bridge is usually at around 7 and my neck wide open for getting good balance between the two.
     
  3. fitz

    fitz Member

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    Some Les Pauls are known for being bright sounding guitars. My R8 is like that especially after I did 50's wiring & RS 550K pots. RS even makes a "treble tamer" kit which is basically 300K pots in the volume positions. You may not get a good response on the 300K pots on the forum, but I believe every guitar is different. My Midtown with 300K pots is is only slightly less bright that my R8 both have BB pickups, but it is noticeably sweeter and less piercing. That may be worth a shot if all else fails.
     
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  4. kev

    kev Member

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    more questions/suggestions

    I also like the suggestion of going up (or even down) on the string gauge (or heck, just trying different brands of strings, not even messing with the gauge changes)

    -were the 500K pots benchmarked/matched when installed?
    -have they been checked since all of the pickup swaps (I'm really out of my depth here frankly - maybe I'm off base that a pot's value could get hammered after too many times of the application of heat from an iron during pickup swaps)
    -is the harshness there:
    regardless of what pickup you've selected? or is it just with one of them?
    regardless of tone/volume knob (on the guitar itself) adjustments?
    -one more thought on the existing bridge, specific to the saddles: are they properly notched/any burrs?
    -are all string contact surfaces lubricated?
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2017
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  5. 1bluzman

    1bluzman Supporting Member

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    Yes what fitz said, it's not that expensive a little time consuming but worth a try, the 300k pots should cut some highs .
     
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  6. bartmcartman

    bartmcartman Supporting Member

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  7. David Garner

    David Garner Member

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    I'd encourage anyone who will listen to upgrade any Les Paul to the Faber Tone Lock system.

    Having said that, I don't think it's going to fix your problem. I don't think my Les Paul got warmer, but it did get more open and had greater clarity. I changed the bridge/tailpiece in conjunction with adding the INsert bridge studs and RS Superpots, and I had already upgraded the pickups, so there was a lot going on. I'll say the bridge and the Superpots together made an enormous difference in the tone of the whole guitar.

    Having said THAT, in turn, it's only money -- it can't hurt to try it. I'd suggest considering the Faber system with the INsert studs versus just the Callaham bridge. If yours is a Nashville, as I assume, to me the studs are a bigger problem than the bridge itself. You could also try top wrapping to see if perhaps there are some strange harmonics going on with the strings interacting with the bridge.
     
  8. peterjh85

    peterjh85 Member

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    Maybe go up to 11’s and try pure nickel strings too...going though the same issue with my high e string in the bridge position.
     
  9. GaryMcT

    GaryMcT Gold Supporting Member

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    Going from aluminum to steel tailpiece makes a huge difference. Cheap and easy to try.
     
  10. GaryMcT

    GaryMcT Gold Supporting Member

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    What tailpiece do you have now?
     
  11. kev

    kev Member

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    all great ideas once the pound'o'Bigsby is off the guitar too (no hate for a Bigsby, just statin' facts)
     
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  12. David Garner

    David Garner Member

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    The Bigsby slipped my mind.

    Yeah, not sure how to solve that problem other than remove it. I don't have enough experience with them to know if it's contributing to the problem, but it seems to be an obvious suspect.
     
  13. MR.K

    MR.K Member

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    PM me. I'm up Rt270 from you in Clarksburg.
     
  14. jackson

    jackson Member

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    Have you tried dialing it out with your tone pot?
     
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  15. korus

    korus Member

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    -Aluminum tailpiece and steel studs
    - Kluson ABR-1 with brass saddles brass posts and brass wheels
    - Nylon nut

    This was on original les paul design. Modern metal parts deploy HARDER metal alloys then originals, but this is your best bet.

    No electric parts will solve what is in primary tone. They can only mask a problem to a degree by degrading tone further, but what support 'puts' in primary tone and is unwanted can only be removed by different support under vibrating strings. If you have too much highs, new support must be S O F T E R. This is basic, common sense physics.
     
  16. Jschoi

    Jschoi Supporting Member

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    Hey all -

    Sorry, things got a bit busy in the office so I haven't been able to keep up with this thread.

    I'm beginning to wonder if it's the bigsby. The bigsby was installed in the Les Paul for quite some time and I can't really remember what it sounded like without the bigsby. This might be the culprit....

    I did order a Callaham bridge. it's expensive, but I found one used and want to make sure I'm checked that out before removing the bigsby. I love bigsby's.
     
  17. Coldacre

    Coldacre Member

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    what happens when you turn the guitar tone pot down? turn it down all the way and let us know if the problem still persists.
     
  18. murkat

    murkat I like sea otters

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    I have worked on and dialed in a many LPs. ;)

    A. Pure nickle strings will yield a less sharp hi end sound then plated. a more robust, warmer tone.
    B. A 300k volume pot would take some edge off.
    C. Bigsby/ vibramate system will increase, sharpen up the tone as well as a lightweight tailpiece.
    D. on some les Pauls, a heavy tailpiece will darken, thicken up the tone. Lightweight opposite of. but not always.
    E. re wire tone control (s) to JR. spec. (left lug to output, middle lug cap to ground, right lug nothing) more mids, less mud.
    F. Nut. a 6/6 nylon nut will warm it up, tuning will stabilize with bigsby use if cut and setup properly.
    G. "mapleflame mod" (actually the "murkat mod") will increase note definition, sparkle it up a bit.
    H. A2 magnet swap will warm it up. A5 un orientated mag could yield some interesting results as well.

    Each les paul is different. Want you want can be done. do what you can, baby steps.
    reach out anytime, I'm around :)
    J
     
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  19. Jschoi

    Jschoi Supporting Member

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    Thanks for that. I'll definitely take you up on your offer for any input or advice in the future!

    First things first, I'll be trying the Callaham bridge to see if I can get positive results from there. Next will have to be the Bigsby, even though I'd like to avoid removing it.

    Jason
     
  20. IcedEarth

    IcedEarth Supporting Member

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    Put an EQ in the loop, cut the highs, problem solved.

    Way cheaper than the change everything rabbit hole, and should be in every guitar player's tool box. Total game changer for tone sculpting, and often overlooked, and underappreciated. Take my advice, thank me later.
     

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