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How To Setup A Gibson Les Paul – Part 1

The first segment of our How To Setup A Gibson Les Paul series. Part of the Authentic Guitar Setup Video Series from GuitarNiche. Assessment and tools.

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Welcome to GuitarNiche’s Nine Part Authentic Guitar Setup Video Series!

In this first segment of our nine part series, How To Setup A Gibson Les Paul, I start with a thorough assessment of a beautiful ’93 Gibson Les Paul Studio.

The essential materials needed to perform basic housekeeping are covered, plus the specific guitar setup tools used to achieve an awesome playing instrument.

What’s covered in this video:

  • Assessment
  • Les Paul Setup Video Part 1
  • Guitar tools for adjusting a Les Paul
  • Materials for housekeeping

How to setup a Gibson Les Paul

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Les Paul Setup Video Tutorial Part 1

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Hey everybody, Steve from GuitarNiche here.

We have a fine Les Paul Studio here from 1993 that we’re going to do a full setup on it.  It’s in pretty fair condition, nothing out of the ordinary around it, but it does need a fresh set of strings and it needs some housekeeping.

We’re going to go from tip to toe and make sure that everything is up to snuff and working properly, nailed down, kick those gremlins out, and get it back to our client in good order.

I was checking out the electronics and noticed a little bit of junk in the bridge volume pot. We’ll take the back off and have a look at what’s going on in there. But the other controls seem just dandy, just dandy. There’s a little bit of scratchy in there that we’re going to take care of, too. Anyway, we’ll get to that as we move along.

So I’m going to show you what the tools are. This is for the fretboard. Let’s say, if this was a rosewood or other open-pored wood, this is the great stuff to have, lemon oil will get it back in good condition and all that.

This being ebony, this is going to more or less sit on the surface and not do a whole lot, but I like to do it just as a precautionary sort of thing, just as a matter of course.

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Guitar Setup Tools:

I have a 3/16″ flat screwdriver blade here, a number one Phillips, I have a broad flat screwdriver blade here for the end studs, I’ve got side cutters for the strings that we’ll use, I’ve got the capo – that’s an indispensable tool while doing your setups

I can’t stress that enough – my handy-dandy string winder that will save wear and tear on winding strings. Who loves winding strings?

My tuner, this is my tuner. It’s just fast and effective for me. Of course, use a digital tuner, clip-on tuner, analog tuner, whatever floats your boat.

Because this is a genuine US typical Gibson product, I’ve got a 5/16″ box end wrench to adjust the truss rod, and I think we’ve got pretty much everything else.

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Materials for Housekeeping

I might need a couple other of little things for housekeeping. I have some nice Dunlop 65 cleaner and paper towels. I do not recommend using some other product that’s been used again and again and again, whatever it is, because you’re just picking up dirt and you’re potentially going to mark your instrument up with it, so do yourself a favor, use paper towels.

Because everything, all the junk you pick up and whatnot, goes in the garbage – don’t have to worry about it getting back on your instrument, or another instrument at any time and doing damage. Just good habit to have.

Anyway, that’s it, pretty much, for the tools. I will re-situate, be back in a moment, thank you very much and we will carry on with the process.

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Steve Blundon is a business owner, published author, former music teacher and active master guitar tech who's been servicing instruments for over thirty years. Visit Author's Page.

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