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Bad Experiences With Vintage Gibson Neck Flex - Considering New Gibson/epiphone

Discussion in 'Guitars' started by Robert Herndon Project, Sep 19, 2016.

  1. Robert Herndon Project

    Robert Herndon Project Well-Known Member

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    Had a 68 Gibson SG and a 59 Gibson Les Paul. Both had neck flex that made it impossible to keep them tuned through a live performance, especially outdoors. Are the new LP's/SG's any better in this regard???
     
  2. Vinsanitizer

    Vinsanitizer ✴✴✴✴✴✴✴✴✴✴✴ ✴- - - - - TEH - - - - -✴ ✴✴✴✴✴✴✴✴✴✴✴ Double Platinum Supporting Member VIP Member

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    Talk more about "neck flex".
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2016
  3. Robert Herndon Project

    Robert Herndon Project Well-Known Member

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    Tuning instability. Big issue with both guitars. Changing tuners never fixed them. I have read that it is what some call "neck dive."
     
  4. Garrett

    Garrett Well-Known Member

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    I thought neck dive was typical of construction that led to the headstock weight causing the neck to dive. Typical of SG's.
     
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  5. Vinsanitizer

    Vinsanitizer ✴✴✴✴✴✴✴✴✴✴✴ ✴- - - - - TEH - - - - -✴ ✴✴✴✴✴✴✴✴✴✴✴ Double Platinum Supporting Member VIP Member

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    Neck dive is indeed a guitar that is neck-heavy to the point where your chording hand has to support the weight of the neck.

    As for going out of tune outdoors - were you standing in the sun? Any guitar will heat up and go out of tune in that case, and it's always a bad idea for a guitar to be in direct sun that long because the neck can warp and/or twist and may cause permanent damage. A friend once left his new guitar in the trunk of his car in the hot sun. (Know how hot it gets in there?) Next time he played it it was toast. Had to sell it and buy a new guitar. Lesson learned. Also, especially when playing outdoors, guitars need to be acclimated to the temperature and humidity: if you take it out of your house to a jam at the local outdoor pig roast, and then get up on a stage in the sun or on a humid/rainy day, probably no guitar will stay in perfect tune. I can't count the times I've even let my guitars acclimate off-stage, only to start playing and have the hot stage lights whack it out of tune within the first 15 minutes.

    Some comments about the difference between scale lengths: a higher tension Fender Telecaster can stay in tune more easily than a Gibson Les Paul with lower tension. The higher tension adds to the stability. People have always complained about Les Pauls not staying in tune even under normal conditions, but tuning is one problem I've never had with Gibson or any other guitar. One last thing... NEW guitars can take a couple/few years to settle in. All that wood is slapped together at the factory and shipped out. The whole thing is new - they take time to settle in and stabilize; they need to go through a few seasonal cycles.

    Hope that helps ya.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2016
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  6. Robert Herndon Project

    Robert Herndon Project Well-Known Member

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    Both my 2005 Schecter C1 Custom and my 1987 Stratocaster are 100% tuning stable...even in direct sunlight. I'm just struggling with my tone....
     
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  7. Robert Herndon Project

    Robert Herndon Project Well-Known Member

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    Yes! 25.5" scale with .010's. Very stable.

    I have two dealbreakers..

    1. Coming out of tune
    2. ANY noise

    My Schecter has locking Grovers and neck-through/string-through construction and a Tone Pros locking bridge. Plus the string angle through the nut is almost perfect. it's EMG equipped. Totally silent in the studio snd doesn't feedback even sitting in front of the amp.

    My 1987 Squire Stratocaster I've had since new. I added 5 springs to lock the tremendous against the body. Both have been leveled and crowned. The Strat has the rollers behind the nut. I think this helps a lot with tuning.

    For years I used DiMarzio HS2/HS3 with a copper shielded/grounded cavity, trem claw and bridge grounded with a .015" full-coverage aluminum plate under the pickguard. In 1997 I switched to a DiMarzio Virtual Vintage Solo in the bridge. That guitar is amazingly quiet.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2016
  8. rick16v

    rick16v Well-Known Member

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    My 2003 Standard has no tuning problems, nor does my 2001 tele.

    They have been set up by a decent tech including a new nut and I ensure the strings are well anchored to the tuning pegs.
     
  9. John BNY

    John BNY Well-Known Member Silver Supporting Member

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    I hope you kept the 59 Les Paul. Those things are worth a lot of money these days.
     
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  10. chiliphil1

    chiliphil1 Well-Known Member

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    You should consider the new American elite tele or strat. I say this because I just got one and absolutely cannot believe how fantastic they are. It has locking tuners and a high break angle because of short post tuners, so it's rock solid stable and the Fender noiseless pups are dead silent. A little cheaper than most LP's also.
     
  11. Robert Herndon Project

    Robert Herndon Project Well-Known Member

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    I've seen the prices! I sold them both around 1998. My mom still has a like new 1970-ish Les Paul Studio.
     
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  12. Oldpunk

    Oldpunk Well-Known Member

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    You had a 59? Yea big mistake unloading that and I'm not sure how that neck, nicknamed the baseball bat, had any flexing what so ever.
     
  13. Robert Herndon Project

    Robert Herndon Project Well-Known Member

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    I did good when I sold it. Great tone. Horrible to play...heavy, huge speed-bump-ish frets, nearly impossible to intonate the B&E strings.

    So many people romanticize these old guitars and they are simply awful.

    My tech put an original 59 Gibson PAF in a new Epi Les Paul and it sounded fabulous, with much better construction, in my opinion. The old Gibson's are full of flaws.

    I don't miss it....I only miss it's original Gibson PAF pickups....
     
  14. chiliphil1

    chiliphil1 Well-Known Member

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    I have to admit, I'm sorta skeptical..

    Had a 1959 but it was crap, they didn't make studios in 1970, and a real 1959 pickup alone would run about $10k
     
  15. Robert Herndon Project

    Robert Herndon Project Well-Known Member

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    Lots of the old Gibson's were rough guitars, as was my 68 SG. Sold both to collectors in 1998.

    Mom's LP studio is 70-ish we think, but it's never been dated.

    The old PAF's can still be had at fairly reasonable prices. Wasn't my guitar, just one my tech was working on for a client.
     
  16. Robert Herndon Project

    Robert Herndon Project Well-Known Member

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    $10k??? I asked my tech and he says they can be had way cheaper.

    Now I have seen online ads for $200,000 59 Les Paul's but I'm skeptical to be honest.... IMG_20160920_27844.jpg
     
  17. Robert Herndon Project

    Robert Herndon Project Well-Known Member

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    Chilly, My folks live up near Fresno and I'm in Los Angeles. I will get you some photos of her LP next visit, then maybe we can properly identify it????

    It was given to her many years ago....
     
  18. chiliphil1

    chiliphil1 Well-Known Member

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    Ok, $5,500 not $10k.. And it's installed in an Epiphone..

    http://www.guitardaterproject.org/gibson.aspx

    Studios came out in the early 80's.
     
  19. Vinsanitizer

    Vinsanitizer ✴✴✴✴✴✴✴✴✴✴✴ ✴- - - - - TEH - - - - -✴ ✴✴✴✴✴✴✴✴✴✴✴ Double Platinum Supporting Member VIP Member

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    I'm always the first one to point out Gibson's shoddy workmanship during the 70's, Fender included. But that needs to be tempered by saying that they weren't all bad. Still, that is the era that produced the saying about "Monday and Friday" guitars. But by comparison, I will always wonder how many original late 50's Les Pauls ended up being pieces of crap right out of the box, or had turned to crap over the years while in storage. Was the craftsmanship really so much better as it's reputed to be? I seriously doubt it. It's very romantic to hear about them being magically found in attics, basements and garages, but is that really such a good thing? Attics alone can exceed 150 degrees easily for sustained periods of time. We see the incredibly beautiful photos in currently available books, but I wonder how many of those amazing looking guitars are unplayable to some degree, or how many we don't see that were hacked or on the verge of being pieces of carp. The more time that goes by and the more I read about those vintage Gibsons, the more I seem to want to disassociate myself from the entire "vintage" mentality. Given that I currently own a modern reissue R8 and R9 and love them with all my musical heart, I remain unconvinced that owning a $750,000 1959 Gibson Les Paul is going to be the end all/be all that they're hyped to be. In fact, based on every other resource available to me in life, I'm pretty sure my thinking is accurate. Then again, neither I, nor 99.99% of the musicians I know will ever know first-hand.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2016
  20. Robert Herndon Project

    Robert Herndon Project Well-Known Member

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