As you may know if you read this blog regularly, I recently got the Les Paul bug via a Harley Benton LP copy. I absolutely love this guitar and it’s making me re-evaluate my strat addiction… years (nay… DECADES) as a “Fender Bloke” seem to be melting away as I hear my fingers speaking in a Gibson accent… Suddenly I find myself dusting off all the old Clapton Bluesbreaker-era licks; I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve played the “Sweet Child ‘O Mine” intro lately; The Gary Moore fan in me is having a ball with this beautiful instrument!
There was, however, one small fly in the ointment. Recently this guitar developed a bit of fret buzz at the 1st fret – mainly on the top 2 strings. I’ve had this kind of thing happen before with brand new guitars as they “bed in”. It wasn’t really a big issue though as it only manifested itself when strumming open chords (C major, A minor, D minor etc) with a clean sound (and who buys a Les Paul style guitar to do that on, anyway?).
Never the less, having a few quid in my pocket just now (it happens occasionally), I decided to get it sorted. I took it into Steven James Guitars in Middlesbrough, convinced I was going to have to shell out for a fret dress to sort it. The guy in the shop (I think it was Steven James himself) took a look at it & said “Nah… the neck’s too straight.” It seems that the truss rod was a quarter turn too tight – he whipped the cover off and adjusted it there and then. Fret buzz: GONE! No discernible difference in the action – still nice and slinky and low, but the sitar-like noises on the 1st fret had vanished.
“How much do I owe you?” I said
“Just leave a good review on Trust Pilot.” he replied.
So I did. Also, now having not had to part with cash for getting the guitar back into tip-top condition, I thought I’d stock up on plectrums, strings & a decent spare lead. The bill for this was 32 quid plus change. “Just call it £30” he said. Guess where I’m going to be buying my strings & stuff from now on! I didn’t know service like this still existed. In this age of online buying and chasing the lowest price (which I’m as guilty of as anyone else, by the way) I reckon we’re in danger of losing this kind of shop and we’ll miss them when they’re not there any more.