Les paul question

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tradrrr
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Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2010 7:07 pm

Les paul question

Post by tradrrr »

I figured on lean on my blues friends for some more guitar advice. I tested out a Epiphone LP Goldtop this weekend. I thought the action was set a lot higher than I have on my strat. I was hoping all the LP users could tell me if thats the way they are or if the action can be lowered. Also, whats the point in having the action so high? I've always wanted a LP for the sound, but not sure if I could get used to it. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
Let me tell you what the blues is....

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Blackhorse
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Re: Les paul question

Post by Blackhorse »

I got to play a 1980's Gibson Les Paul standard for a few hours a little while ago, and I found the action a little higher than I was used to, but I got used to it very quickly :lol:

It belongs to a friend who is an excellent player and a very good teacher, so I'd guess his setup wouldn't be wrong, although his preference may be for slightly higher action.

As a strat player, I didn't find it quite as low, fast and slinky as a similar quality strat, but really not that much in it. If the action was very high on that goldtop, I'd guess it could be lowered, but maybe not quite to the same extent as a strat or tele. I also play an archtop, and I find it better with a little higher action. Maybe LPs are similar?

Or maybe an LP player out there can put us both straight? :whistle:

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weelie
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Re: Les paul question

Post by weelie »

I'd say the higher the radius, the lower you can have the action. So Les Pauls on average should be able to have lower action than strats.

If neck is straight, then lower the bridge by the two screws. Also the nut might be too high, I think that is checked for by pressing the string on second fret and seeing if there is clearence over the 1st fret (there should be any, afaik).

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BadBluesPlayer
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Re: Les paul question

Post by BadBluesPlayer »

String height should be about the same for both Fenders and Gibsons/Epiphones. As long as the guitar is set up properly, you can have nice low action on both.

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VikingBlues
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Re: Les paul question

Post by VikingBlues »

Of all the guitars I've ever had the lowest action as supplied was on a Les Paul style - the Tokai.

Like BadBluesPlayer says should be about the same on both Fenders and Gibsons/Epiphones.

Unless you're going to play in a very different style on the two types. For some reason. :icon_whoknows:

As to why do you want a high action? I suppose less noise if you batter the strings really hard or if you want to play slide, but it makes it a lot harder to play and doesn't help on intonation either. Quite often on poorer quality gear I guess that the high action will just be covering up imperfections in the neck / fretboard.
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ElMano
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Re: Les paul question

Post by ElMano »

Last saturday i bought a Epi Firebird limitid edition Tobaccosunburst. The strings where as high as can be. (It look the same as an boiled Egg Cutter) Because i want to know what the reason was fore tha kind of action i ask The guy showed me his other axes and i see that he has all his guitars that way. At home I took a screw driver and lower the bridge for 4/5 turns down Tuned and play on it and id did not has any fretbuzz or so and was perfect intonate. It depend on the player i guess. i like mine real close to the fingerboard. The Les Pauls i owned are just as low as my fenders.
You can't bend the rule, Every man is some womans fool

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weelie
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Re: Les paul question

Post by weelie »

I guess high action would mean louder acoustic sound (you can bang the strings harder), and possibly better sustain? I like strings low as well, electric guitars are not meant to be played acoustically.

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Golfxzq
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Re: Les paul question

Post by Golfxzq »

This topic struck a chord with me (pun intended). :lol: Now... mind you, I am no luthier, but I have recently rebuilt a LP from just a pile of scraps and, with the help of all our friends here on 12Bar and in my research, I have learned a lot about guitar set up. I took my LP to a professional and had the neck straightened (simple truss rod adjustment, but I was a little nervous abut it. I had heard of folks damaging necks when making this adjustment). After I finished the work I took it back for him to take a look. The only thing he did was raise the nut groove for the low E a slight bit because it had a bit of a buzz. All this to say... this LP has the lowest action of any of my, or my grandson's, five guitars and he and I love the low action. The intonation is almost perfect.. I have to adjust one string (B, I believe) but that is easy to correct.

So... I don't believe that if you want a low action on a LP it can be achieved. The hardest part may be that you might have to have the nut grooves lowered or the neck straightened, but the bridge is very easy to adjust. Don't shy away from a LP because of this... they are wonderful guitars.
"Whether you think that you can, or that you can't, you are usually right."
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RuralTom
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Re: Les paul question

Post by RuralTom »

BadBluesPlayer wrote:String height should be about the same for both Fenders and Gibsons/Epiphones. As long as the guitar is set up properly, you can have nice low action on both.
Exactly so! Unless the LP is damaged in some way, a reputable luthier should be able to set that guitar up very nicely. Same luthier could probably fix damage as well, but that's a different story...

tradrrr
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Re: Les paul question

Post by tradrrr »

Thanks, all! My questions were answered. Now I know when I do eventually pick up an LP, I can have them set it up lower for me. I really appreciate the advice from the board rather than trusting the sales guy's opinion.
Let me tell you what the blues is....

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