Couple of Les Paul questions...

TelePaul

J to the R O C
Hey chaps,

Couple of things. My LP selector switch can make a kind of scratchy sound when switching from neck to middle and bridge. I assume the solution here is a little bit of contact cleaner?

Second question, a little more awkward. Alot of the time, if I have some overdrive or distortion applied and fret an inversion up the neck (say a G, x-x-x-12-15-15), I get this weird, almost disonant sound; its like the decay of certain notes get cut out and a nasally, honky tone comes to the fore. I'm pretty sure its nothing to do with intonation - though I'll check that out. Maybe its just the timbre of the instrument/pups, but it only seems to materialise when playing a double/triple stop.
 

ranjam

New member
It can be an intonation problem, or an old tube amp with filters drying out. Is the amp at 'quiet' levels or really loud?
 

Tadpui

Well-known member
Maybe the frets are starting to wear. My LP has some pretty serious fret wear from 12 years of light to medium duty.
 

Zaphod B

Raccoons-Be-Gone, Inc.
Without hearing what's happening it's hard to know what to say. Can you link to a clip?
 

muttley600

Banned
Check the neck relief up the neck to make sure those strings and frets aren't choking and also check the pickup height.
 

muttley600

Banned
I was thinking that the pickups might be a little high.... you?

Possibly. It seems that something is chocking the strings and from the description there maybe some microphonic colouring in there too. It's hard to say for sure without a sound clip.
 

TelePaul

J to the R O C
Howdy fellas,

Thank you for all your insights. I can appreciate that it'd be tough to diagnose without a sample, and I'm having a tough time finding the words. So the Mutt mentioned pickup height, which is something I had completely overlooked and these pickups aint stock.

The sound does seem more tonal than pitchy, but I don't want to rule out intonation - I put a new set of strings on last night and things do seem improved, so I'll check the intonation tonight and see how it looks. I'm happy to rule out any clearance issues as it does play well up the neck.

So I'll check for intonation issues and refer to my Haynes Les Paul manual for pickup height guidelines. Or just switch to the 50's tribute :) Thanks for the advice guys, I'll let you know how it pans out.
 

muttley600

Banned
Howdy fellas,

Thank you for all your insights. I can appreciate that it'd be tough to diagnose without a sample, and I'm having a tough time finding the words. So the Mutt mentioned pickup height, which is something I had completely overlooked and these pickups aint stock.

The sound does seem more tonal than pitchy, but I don't want to rule out intonation - I put a new set of strings on last night and things do seem improved, so I'll check the intonation tonight and see how it looks. I'm happy to rule out any clearance issues as it does play well up the neck.

So I'll check for intonation issues and refer to my Haynes Les Paul manual for pickup height guidelines. Or just switch to the 50's tribute :) Thanks for the advice guys, I'll let you know how it pans out.

Intonation is a separate issue. It's a description of the instruments ability to play "in tune" and the compromises that are implied from that. By all means check it but it isn't going to be the cause of what you describe but you already kind of new that....

Judging from your description you have what sounds like "choking". What that means is that something, usually the higher frets but also sometimes the pickups effecting the uniform vibration of the note but not changing the fundamental. In other words the string is fouling on them but not stopping it vibrating at the chosen fret. The net result is that you get sympathetic notes and vibrations colouring the sound. I'm a bit thrown by your suggesting it is worse on double stops because thats not something I've come across in isolation. I suspect that may just be your ears listening out and picking out what maybe twice the problem.

The easiest way to check it is to take a reference of where you are now with the action and raise it. If it solves the problem then you know it's either the frets or the pickups. Return to the original action and lower the pickups. If it solves the problem then your fixed, if not you need to look closely at the neck relief. More about that when you get there. A sound clip would help greatly.
 

TelePaul

J to the R O C
This is all very interesting chaps. unfortunately, I didn't have time to check things out last night but the weekend should give me a chance to check it all out and post a sample. Thanks again for all your help Muttley, and Zaphod.

If it turns out to be a neck relief issue, that'd be a truss rod fix right?
 

TelePaul

J to the R O C
Locking nuts are simply there for added security, they make sure the bar doesn't fly out or anything. As for a Les Paul shaped guitar w/ a tremelo & locking nut.. not sure if one even exists in production models,

Not really sure what you're getting at here?
 

TelePaul

J to the R O C
Alright chaps, apologies for the delay. Had a very guitar-orientated weekend and try as I might, couldn't replicate this issue on my Les Paul. I'm kinda worried that I might be cracking up, because I could have sworn that it was an everyday thing. I did some minor work on the intonation but otherwise it seems to be playing well. I'll keep an eye on it - I have quite a few distortion rigs I switch between, maybe the effect is exacerbated by a particular pedal. On the plus side, I got some contact cleaner for my toggle switch, and have ordered the Stew Mac tool that removes the toggle switch nut (after ballsing up my first rhythm/lead plate!). I'll let you know what the story is.
 

matttheaxe

New member
Just don't use WD40 or anything like that. It will collect dust and get all gunky inside. Note for others. Obviously you got the right stuff.
 

Zaphod B

Raccoons-Be-Gone, Inc.
Alright chaps, apologies for the delay. Had a very guitar-orientated weekend and try as I might, couldn't replicate this issue on my Les Paul. I'm kinda worried that I might be cracking up, because I could have sworn that it was an everyday thing.....
Maybe it was just your technique - playing a little to forcefully? When you've got your action set up just so, at that delicate point where the strings are just barely not quite buzzing, if you are really banging on the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd strings with a hard pick you can invoke buzzing. Just a thought.
 
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