In 1993 I purchased a Gibson Les Paul Studio for £495. It might be ‘bog standard’ but it sounds great with two balanced humbuckers. The neck is a bit clubby and it had a reasonable action when new. However, later on I had a lot of trouble with trying to keep it in tune and buzzing on the frets. In the end I got fed up with it and went back to using my other guitars, rarely using the Studio. After reading your action adjustment article in the June 2013 issue, I thought I’d take a look. So I took off the truss rod cover plate and to my horror found the adjusting nut so loose it was almost off the truss rod. So I tightened it up – checking the action as I went – until the nut was quite tight (had to back it off slightly to stop fret buzz). Now the guitar stays in tune, the action is a lot better and the intonation is perfect.
Thanks for some good advice!
Colin Richards Windsor
G&B Good on you, sir. And thanks for sharing a story that warms the cockles of our cockles. A lot of our workshop ideas come from feedback from readers, as well as things that happen to us during our own guitar-playing lives. Recently we noticed that we’d had a lot of conversations with people regarding why they didn’t play certain guitars in their collection any more. Issues regarding intonation, action and tuning came up on many occasions. And if you’ve got at least one other guitar – and it’s working just fine – the temptation is just to put the problem instrument away and forget all about it. However, as Huw showed in his article – and as Colin has wonderfully shown in his letter – such problems can be fixed with a little time and patience. So we encourage everyone who has a problem with a guitar to investigate the issues involved and see if there is a way to solve it. Obviously it’s great if you turn it into a project and fix it yourself. However, there is no shame attached to sending it on to a professional repairer to do the honours for you because you don’t have the time, the tools or the inclination. The workshops aren’t just there so that people can fix it themselves – we hope they provide an easy way for you to diagnose a problem with a guitar, as well as generally learning how guitars (as well as amps and effects) actually work. You don’t need to know how gear works in order to enjoy it, but we’re of the mind that knowing how things work can add to your playing pleasure no end.