NGW 2013 Gibson Les Paul Traditional

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by JDaniels, Apr 17, 2016.

  1. JDaniels

    JDaniels Supporting Member

    Messages:
    707
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    Mar 6, 2015
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    New Guitar Week!

    I gotta level with you fellas, this is a new guitar week instead of new guitar day because this wasn't love at first touch. I picked up the guitar Tuesday of last week and when I played it at the guys house it sounded good but definitely needed a setup. The guy bought it two years ago and played it a handful of times and left it in the case, he said the original strings were still on it with the factory setup. One thing I wasn't initially impressed with there were a few what looked like file marks on the binding and fretboard in certain areas, which my beloved Epi LP I bought 15 years ago doesn't have.

    So I took the guitar to a well respected tech in my area for a complete setup. He asked how hard I play and I said "not too hard, but I don't ***** foot around" I got the guitar home and the neck was almost dead straight and action super low. No fret buzz if I strummed very lightly. I guess I found out I'm an aggressive player because when I got into it it was buzzing all over the place. I sighed and brought out my tools, I guess I'll be doing my own setups from now on because I'm too borderline OCD apparently. I added some relief, about .01" when fretting 1st and 15th and raised the action, I bend a lot so I like to be able to get under the strings. So after a couple days of tinkering she has next to no fret buzz and I guess I play pretty hard.

    Anyhow the neck and setup on it are awesome for me, she plays great. However, she's a beast and weighs in at 10.6 lbs!! I did some reading and I guess the 2013 traditionals were completely solid, no kidding. I've been comparing this guitar tone wise with my Epi LP that I mentioned previously, and I'm not going to lie when I got the Gibby home I was a little disappointed to find out that my Epi was louder unplugged and seemed to resonate more and have more sustain, but was a bit darker. The Gibby was quieter, brighter, but not thin. It did sound very full and musical but just didn't have the long decaying notes like the Epi did. Which is kinda my bread and butter, I love high single notes to just ring out.

    Anyhow I plugged them in to my Marshall DSL50 and I'm now a firm believer that a good portion of unplugged tone does transfer into sound coming out of the amp. I preferred the Gibby in most respects but that darn Epi just sings at on the top two strings above the 12th fret, which is what I was hoping the Gibson would excel at. So my question for all you fine folks if you've stayed with me this long, do you have any tips to possibly to make this Gibson supplant my Epi in every regard (pickups etc. I was thinking possibly the Duncan Slash set maybe)? Or do I need to wait 15 years for the Gibson to to break in and dry out completely? Thanks fellas, and here's some eye candy. She looks not bad, and has some cool figuring.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. 999369

    999369 Member

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    St George UT
    :aok Look very nice " beautiful "
     
  3. Mr. Crow

    Mr. Crow Member

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    While I'm no luthier (at all), when you say it doesn't sing like the Epiphone above the 12th fret, my first thought is that it needs a fret level.

    Beautiful guitar.
     
    JDaniels likes this.
  4. JDaniels

    JDaniels Supporting Member

    Messages:
    707
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2015
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    That's interesting. What would lead you to that conclusion? Is there anything I can do to verify that? I have no buzz or anything up there, it's just that when I play up in that region it's just not as loud or present or jumps out at you like the Epi does. So far from what I've heard I think I can get the Gibby set up better than the Epi, but then again I'm no luthier. The guy who originally set it up was is a luthier first and foremost, but he probably didn't play it a bunch after setting it up, I don't know. Thanks for the reply though, I'm interested in the possibility because if I could just get that one more aspect out of this guitar it would be perfect.

    EDIT: I was thinking though, the stock bridge slots are cut pretty deep would that tend to dampen string vibration and therefore effecting sustain. Which wouldn't be as pronounced on the bigger diameter strings.
     
  5. RayBarbeeMusic

    RayBarbeeMusic Member

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    Nashville
    Post 12th fret sustain problems (and a lot of sustain problems in general) are almost always due to lack of fall-away. That can be put into the frets and it will make a huge difference.
     
  6. Mark From Cincy

    Mark From Cincy Member

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  7. Dawg76

    Dawg76 Silver Supporting Member

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    Very nice!

    Disclaimer: I am a little biased as I have the exact same guitar (see avatar), a 2013 Trad Lightburst.

    I have since ditched the speed knobs for bell tops. Interestingly, I also have an Epi LP like the OP (bought-new 2004 MIK), which I put Gibson '57 Classic pups in many years ago. Acoustically unplugged there is a distinct difference. I love them both.

    Yes, the Gibson Trad is quite heavy (I've never weighed it) but I am not a fan of swiss cheese so this was on purpose. I run it thru a RockittRetro 50W head (a Marshall 1987x clone) and a 2x12 cab (Celestion G12H30 and Emi Texas Heat spkrs). The Trad does sound a tad bright to me, but that is in some fashion a function of the amp head choice, and also not a problem as my LPs and amps all have tone knobs! Ha.

    At the end of the day, I see both guitars as solid values (pun intended). The Epi will never go anywhere (as its market value is maybe $250, but worth a lot more to me). The Trad? Well, unless I sooner or later break down in a moment of weakness and trade her in towards an R8/R9, she's a definite keeper. The 2013 Trads are well thought of for good reason.

    ENJOY!
     
  8. JDaniels

    JDaniels Supporting Member

    Messages:
    707
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    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    Since you mentioned that I went and checked and I do like my action medium/high-ish and when fretting at 12 (while I'm no luthier) it does appear to have adequate fall away and fret to string clearance all the way up the neck.

    What I'm thinking now, and what may help subtly is I think the bridge slots are cut too deep, on all the strings even. I've heard that the strings should kind of be sitting on top of the saddles in a little slot, but the high strings especially appear to be "inside" the saddles. What do you guys say to that?
     
  9. JDaniels

    JDaniels Supporting Member

    Messages:
    707
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2015
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    Yeah man that exact reason is why my Epi is not going anywhere, it's worth next to nothing but to me it's worth much more than that tonally. I'm wondering if this trad will open up a touch once I've had it for 15 years like my Epi.
     
  10. BlackStrat_Fan

    BlackStrat_Fan Member

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    Location:
    Woodland Hills CA
    How are your pickups situated? Are they lowered? Try raising them a little.
     
  11. JDaniels

    JDaniels Supporting Member

    Messages:
    707
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    Mar 6, 2015
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    Yeah I played with all that.
     

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