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Discussion Starter #1
Today I went to L&M to figure out what to do with a couple of gift cards I recently got and I found this Epiphone Les Paul SL for $139.



Apparently is a new model and as soon as I put my hands on it (after trying a few >1k) I knew i was going to like it.
After a good setup I can say the intonation is pretty good for this type of bridges, once the pickups are at the proper height it sounds really good and different from my other two (Tele and Strat) electrics.

Only issue is it seems to have a low quality wiring because it makes more noise than I can remember non-noiseless make. Here is an audio demo, I'm playing chords in the middle, neck and bridge positions, you'll know as soon as you hear the noise, then play a few licks in the same order.

https://soundcloud.com/https%3A%2F%2Fsoundcloud.com%2Fandrei-martinez-agras%2Fles-paul-sl-audio-demo
Maybe I'm missing something or this is just the way it is, it feels confortable and I like playing with it, maybe there is something that can be done to decrease a bit that noise...
 

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Yes, that buzzing is kind of annoying. Maybe take it to Long & McQuade and let them know about it. Maybe the wiring wasn't done properly.
 

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CONGRATS!!

You make it sound superb (as always)!

Wonderful colour.

I think you might have a grounding issue.
If L&M won't/can't have a look at it for whatever reason,
@mhammer might (I know he has the skills..I just didn't want to be assuming and offering his help) be able to help you sort it out.

ENJOY!
 

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Congrats!

It could be the nature of the beast.
More than one dual P90 guitar that I've had was only quiet in the middle position and a racket in the other two.
They cancel out when combined, like a humbucker.

Maybe some sheilding might help?
 

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Thanks for posting the demo, it sounded really good.
Last time I was in L&M I saw them hanging there but didn't take the opportunity to try them out.
I will have to take a closer look at them the next time I'm there.

Very cool colour!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks guys, I seriously doubt L&M will want to take care of the noise but I'll give it a try today. If mhammer also wants to put his hands on it I will be the happiest guy in America as he already turned my Squire Tele into a monster tone machine.

Other thing I've been thinking about is getting replacement bridge with adjustable saddles to be able to fine tune the intonation for each string individually, as I said it is pretty accurate as it is but you only can adjust two points on a bridge with fixed intonation. That might require probably a lot of work that I'm willing to do, maybe with the guidance of the folks here.

Green is my favorite colour, I thought if I was going to get the cheapest Epi ever made it should look like it as well.
 

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That is a lot of guitar for the money, congrats! I haven't had a chance to try one yet but I am looking forward to checking them out soon.
 

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Hi Andrei.

I'd be happy to check it out. Other than the buzzing, I like the sound. I was thinking of buying one the next time I'm in the U.S., but given the exchange rate, the L&M price seems reasonable. I've been busy re-laying the interlocking stones on our front patio. My wife got a quote of $1500 for someone to do it, and so far, apart from my aching back and wrists, it has only cost me $70 in materials. So I might persuade myself to "splurge" on an SL.

My experience is that, while single coils always attract hum, they can vary a lot in how much hum they attract. On my old Epi Coronet, I have a Tele-type neck pickup I wound myself, and a Mighty Mite P90 in the bridge position. The neck is not dead quiet, but it has MUCH less hum than the P90. In your SL, the hum seems about equal in both neck and bridge.

One of the things I am interested in trying is winding a dummy coil for hum reduction. I have done this before with success. In a perfect world, a dummy coil would be located right beside the actual pickup, so that it sensed the same source of hum equally. But it does not have to be a near-identical coil in a near-identical position in order to reduce hum. Realistically, sticking a dummy coil in the control cavity, and simply reducing hum by 12db or so can make the sound quite liveable. The coil itself does not have to be an exact match either. All it has to do is attract a similar amount of EMI/hum as the actual pickup does, and that can be done without necessarily affecting the inductance and tone of the combined pickup and dummy coil.

I can't find any images of the SL with the pickguard removed, so I have no precise idea of how much space there is to work with in there. But the layout and spacing of the controls, jack and switch, suggest there might be a fairly big space under the pickguard. I guess tapping on the pickguard will give some clues without having to remove it completely.

One more thing. Is the buzzing reduced a lot by simply touching the strings, and increased by lifting your hand?
 

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One more thing. Is the buzzing reduced a lot by simply touching the strings, and increased by lifting your hand?
I am waiting patiently for the response to this as it should be the cardinal sign for grounding issues.

If you decide to go the route of the dummy coil, could you please do a thread about it. I have read about this many times in the past (in @mhammer 's posts) but I can recall ever seeing a thread where one was built and put into a guitar. Maybe it is just my failing memory.

@mhammer Take care of your back! Be kind to it.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thank you Mark! A dummy coil is the perfect solution because the stock pickups sound terrifically good IMHO. I think there is enough room, I opened it up and they seem to have make a big chamber purposely in order to reduce weight. The buzz is barely reduced by touching the bridge and it reduces more by touching the pole that's closer to the ground which makes me think the bridge material is not a good conductor. I've been looking at replacements parts for an Adjustable Wraparound Bridge so that might help too. Touching the strings has almost no effect on the noise.

When are you planning to work on your front patio again? I will go to give you a hand.
 

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The buzz is barely reduced by touching the bridge and it reduces more by touching the pole that's closer to the ground which makes me think the bridge material is not a good conductor.
This is getting interesting! Still frustrating for you @amagras , I'm sure. However, 'diagnostically' it is interesting.
I really need to get out more often...LOL.
 

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Thank you Mark! A dummy coil is the perfect solution because the stock pickups sound terrifically good IMHO. I think there is enough room, I opened it up and they seem to have make a big chamber purposely in order to reduce weight. The buzz is barely reduced by touching the bridge and it reduces more by touching the pole that's closer to the ground which makes me think the bridge material is not a good conductor. I've been looking at replacements parts for an Adjustable Wraparound Bridge so that might help too. Touching the strings has almost no effect on the noise.

When are you planning to work on your front patio again? I will go to give you a hand.
Thanks for the offer of help. The hardest part (removing and cleaning all the bricks) is already done, and putting them back in place is going quickly. I'm giving my wrists the day off today, to recover, but tomorrowI should be finished.

Guitar Fetish has a reasonable selection of reasonably-priced wraparound bridges: Gibson Style Bridges The Wilkinson-style strikes a nice balance between the fixed-intonation LP Jr. bridge the SL comes with, and a fully-intonatable bridge. It allows adjustment of the B and G strings.

I'm a little unclear about what you mean by "the pole that's closer to the ground".
 

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Discussion Starter #14
If I touch the mounting screw of the bridge that has the ground cable attached it reduces the noise considerable, if I touch the other it doesn't. It is weird though as touching the ground on the pots directly does not reduce noise either.

I already ordered this:
BQLZR Chrome Wraparound Bridge Tailpiece for Guitar: Amazon.ca: Musical Instruments, Stage & Studio

Tomorrow I have to rehearsal all day with one of the bands I play bass with and I can't miss it because is paid by the hour. Take one more day off please, I want to help, you have done so much for me and my guitars!

This is getting interesting! Still frustrating for you @amagras , I'm sure. However, 'diagnostically' it is interesting.
I really need to get out more often...LOL.
Not that frustrating as it might sound, I know what I was getting into and also the diagnose and modifications are always welcome when they are backed up by a wonderful community like GC!
 

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I was just going to see if anyone has tried these out, and here is this handy post! Couple quick questions:
  1. Is the neck attached with a neck plate, or is it machine screws with inserts in the neck, or maybe just ferrules for the screws but standard screws with no inserts in the neck? For the SL I've seen pics with a neck plate, but also this:
  2. Are the pickups the correct size so that they could be replaced with standard Strat pickups?
Just curious, that's all!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I've been working on the neck alignment, I discovered that for some reason someone took off some wood from the body part where the neck is supposed to seat and that was making it difficult to lower the action, I put a couple of pieces of cardboard and I was able to considerably lower it with no fret buzz

Here's a also a picture of the pickup height, although they are at very different height they sound at the same volume now which makes me think they have very different power.
 

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Did you have any luck finding the cause of the electronic humming noise?

If you did, were you able to get rid of it?

That is such a great colour!
 
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