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

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

  1. Jtaulbee10

    Jtaulbee10 Supporting Member

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    Are the pickups covered? Wax potted? Is sparkling high end the same thing as harshness?
     
  2. Jschoi

    Jschoi Silver Supporting Member

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    PM'ed
     
  3. nastynate

    nastynate Member

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    I had a Les Paul copy that I stuck a B5 Bigsby on and it started having harsh overtones. Nothing else was changed on the guitar, so I knew the Bigsby was the culprit. Maybe try sticking some foam under the string between the Bigsby and the bridge to see if that affects the harsh high end.
     
  4. Jschoi

    Jschoi Silver Supporting Member

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    That REALLY sucks. I love Bigsby's, but that's a shame. I'll give it a whirl and report back soon.
     
  5. Ejay

    Ejay Supporting Member

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    Seems to me bigsby guitars have a little less low end then their non bigsby counterparts.
    Should be noticable on the neck pu too...although there it is in many cases a more desireable result.

    To me...the balance between neck and bridge pup is always tricky.
    Dailing in a good neck sound...always gives me a little harsh bridge pu sound.
    Could that be what you are running into?
     
  6. Mikhael

    Mikhael Member

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    I'd go with the Bigsby as a possible culprit, as well. Maybe try a wraparound just to see what the difference might be.
     
  7. lamenlovinit

    lamenlovinit Member

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    Amps and guitars have tone knobs. Seriously. After "dozens" of pickups and several amps you either have a trebly unicorn (which is not impossible I guess), or you want something you can't have. Time to start over. And if you have the exact same situation again, you've narrowed down the problem to only one cause.
     
  8. Sean French

    Sean French Supporting Member

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    lower pole pieces
    300K vol. pot
    zinc bridge w/brass saddles
    zinc tail piece if you take the bigsby off
    turn the tone knob down a bit when needed
    nylon pick
     
  9. 2HBStrat

    2HBStrat Member

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    Is it harsh in JUST the bridge pickup position, or in all positions? If you have the neck pickup on, is the harshness there? If you have only the neck pickup on, and you turn the tone way down, is it still harsh?

    Many people will set up a Les Paul/amp combination so that the neck pickup sounds pleasing with the tone all the way up, and adjust the amp tone controls accordingly....THEN, move to the bridge pickup and adjust the bridge pickup's tone control so that the bridge pickup sounds good....maybe try that?
     
  10. Scary Uncle G.

    Scary Uncle G. Member

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    Maybe try a set of nylon or ABS saddles from Philadelphia Luthier Supply.
     
  11. eigentone

    eigentone Supporting Member

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    FretWraps work really well for this. I actually use them behind the bridge more than at the nut. On Les Pauls, this even happens between the stopbar and bridge. It can be really annoying for some tones. Also, I think well filled saddles can help.

    If it's still too zingy, try nickel strings or brass saddles. Hearing the noise acoustically can really help isolate it.
     
  12. Dinosaur Sr.

    Dinosaur Sr. Member

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    Really sounds like its the strings ringing behind the bridge from the bigsby. If I were you I'd test it by putting some tape on the strings behind the bridge & see if the ringing goes away.
     
  13. grumphh

    grumphh Member

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    How about just striking a chord and, while it rings out mute those parts of the string between bridge and bigsby bar with a finger, and listening for any changes in the tone of the ringing chord?

    If the tone/behaviour of the E string changes, well, mute them, if it doesn't, next part of troubleshooting.
     
    Dinosaur Sr. likes this.
  14. Jschoi

    Jschoi Silver Supporting Member

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    Update:

    The callaham bridge arrived. The guitar sounds focused, more lively, and more articulate. However, the metallic ring on the higher register is still there.

    The callaham upgrade sounds good to not get rid of it, but the issue is still unresolved.

    The bigsby is also not the issue. I just tested it.

    Pretty certain the pole pieces on the pickup need to be adjusted.

    The saga continues
     
  15. TA22GT

    TA22GT Member

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    No offence but after all the advice about adjusting pickup height and pole pieces that kind of scares me!
    That kind of adjustment is free and takes seconds.
    Good luck.
     
  16. Vibroluxman

    Vibroluxman Member

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    Really stupid question but have you lowered the volume and tone knobs on the guitar? You don’t have to play on 10
     
  17. Jschoi

    Jschoi Silver Supporting Member

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    Lol no offense taken at all. Either way, I did some adjusting and it works. I'm going to keep the callaham bridge on. This definitely livened up my tone.

    Yeah the tone went from sharp and harsh to muddy and dead.

    The pole pieces worked... Should have tried those first, but no regrets!
     
    highwaystar30, TA22GT and kev like this.
  18. highwaystar30

    highwaystar30 Member

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    I moved from a stock bridge with titanium saddles to one with brass saddles for similar reasons, and it helped, but anything will sound less harsh than titanium probably, and I lost clarity and focus. Myself considering a Callaham steel bridge at some point. I don't know what you have on right now with the Lollars, but you may consider changing to an Alnico 2 magnet for smoother top end, PAF-type pickups can sound harsh/brittle in my knowledge.
     
  19. 58flame

    58flame Member

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    Screwdrivers can work magic sometimes.
     

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