OWNER’S MANUAL
1550-07 GUS
© 2007 Gibson Guitar Corp.
To the new Gibson owner:
Congratulations on the purchase of your new Gibson electric guitar—the world’s most famous
electric guitar from the leader of fretted instruments.
Please take a few minutes to acquaint yourself with the information in this booklet regarding
materials, electronics, “how to,” care, maintenance, and more about your guitar.
And then begin enjoying a lifetime of music with your new Gibson.
The Components of the Solidbody Electric Guitar
Gibson Innovations
The History of Gibson Electric Guitars
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6
8
DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION
Body
Neck and Headstock
Pickups
Controls
Bridge
Tailpiece
13
13
14
15
17
18
CARE AND MAINTENANCE
Finish
Your Guitar on the Road
Things to Avoid
Strings
Install Your Strings Correctly
String Gauge
Brand of Strings
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20
21
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NEW TECHNOLOGY
The Gibson Robot Guitar
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64
Strap
Button
Stopbar Tune-o-matic
Three-way
Tailpiece
Bridge
Pickups Toggle Switch
12th Fret
Marker/Inlay Neck
Fret
Fingerboard Nut
Headstock
The Components
of the Solidbody
Electric Guitar
Featuring a Les Paul
Standard in Heritage
Cherry Sunburst
Input Jack
Tone Volume Binding
Controls Controls
Body
Single
Cutaway
Truss
Rod
Cover
Machine
Heads
Tuning
Keys
57
Stopbar Tune-o-matic
Strap
Button Body Tailpiece
Bridge Pickups
12th Fret
Neck Marker/Inlay
Fret
Fingerboard Nut
Headstock
Three-way
Toggle
Switch
The Components
of the Solidbody
Electric Guitar
Featuring a V-Factor Faded
in Worn Cherry
Input Jack
Tone Volume
Control Controls
Pickguard
Truss
Rod
Cover
Machine Tuning
Heads Keys
6
Here are just a few of the Gibson innovations that have reshaped the guitar world:
1894 – First archtop guitar
1922 – First ƒ-hole archtop, the L-5
1936 – First professional quality electric guitar, the ES-150
1947 – P-90 single-coil pickup introduced
1948 – First dual-pickup Gibson, the ES-300
1949 – First three-pickup electric, the ES-5
1949 – First hollowbody electric with pointed cutaway, the ES-175
1952 – First Les Paul guitar
1954 – Les Paul Custom and Les Paul Jr. introduced
1955 – Les Paul Special introduced
1957 – First humbucking pickup
1958 – Flying V and Explorer introduced
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1958 – First semi-hollowbody guitar, the ES-335
1961 – SG body style introduced in the Les Paul line
1963 – Firebird guitars and Thunderbird basses introduced
1969 – Les Paul Personal and Professional with low-impedance pickups introduced
1979 – L.P. Artist with active electronics introduced
1982 – First solidbody acoustic, the Chet Atkins CE
1983 – Les Paul Studio introduced
1990 – Les Paul Classic introduced
1996 – Les Paul SmartWood introduced
1998 – Double-Cutaway Les Paul Standard introduced
2002 – Gibson Digital Guitar introduced
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A BRIEF HISTORY OF GIBSON ELECTRIC GUITARS
Gibson’s legendary acoustic engineer, Lloyd Loar, was experimenting with electric instruments
in 1924, at the dawn of electronic amplification. However, Gibson’s struggle to dominate the
banjo market took precedence through the 1920s, and it wasn’t until the mid-1930s that the
company once again turned its attention to electric guitars. In 1935 Gibson’s Walt Fuller
designed a pickup that was introduced on the E-150, an aluminum-body lap steel. Early in
1936, the pickup was put in a midline archtop model and named the ES-150—ES for Electric
Spanish, 150 for the retail price of $150 for the guitar and amplifier set.
The original ES-150 bar pickup with its hexagonal housing is now known as the “Charlie
Christian” pickup, because it was installed on the ES-150s and ES-250s that Christian used
to establish the new concept of electric jazz guitar.
Gibson made several improvements in pickup design before World War II, although many players still consider the “Christian” pickup to be the best jazz pickup ever made. Immediately
after World War II, Gibson introduced the P-90 single-coil, with six adjustable polepieces and
a black plastic cover, usually with “dog-ear” mounting extensions. The P-90 is still in production and still sets the industry standard for a single-coil pickup.
9
The first postwar Gibson electrics followed the prewar concept of an electric guitar as
a conventional acoustic archtop with a pickup installed on the top. Gibson added a second
pickup to the ES-300 in 1948 and then became the first company to offer a three-pickup
model with the introduction of the ES-5 in 1949.
Although the advantages of a solidbody guitar had been known to Hawaiian steel guitarists for
almost 20 years, it took the persuasive powers of Les Paul, the world’s most famous guitarist
in the early 1950s, to convince Gibson to make a “Spanish style” solidbody. Gibson designed
the new model with a carved top, not only to give it the look of a traditional archtop—a style
invented by Gibson—but also to make it difficult for other makers to copy. Les, who had been
playing a homemade solidbody guitar, nicknamed The Log, since 1941, specified a maple top
cap to increase sustain, coupled with a mahogany back to lighten the weight. Les also specified the famous “Goldtop” finish.
The Les Paul Model debuted in 1952. The bridge and tailpiece were upgraded when Gibson
introduced the patented tune-o-matic bridge in 1954, and the original single-coil pickups were
upgraded with the introduction of Gibson’s patented humbuckers in 1957. Otherwise, the original Les Paul is essentially the same guitar today as it was when it was introduced.
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In 1954 the growing popularity of the Les Paul Model prompted Gibson to expand the line. On
the high end, the Les Paul Custom sported an Ebony finish and low frets for fast action, and
it immediately gained two nicknames: the Black Beauty and the Fretless Wonder. On the more
affordable end, the Les Paul Jr. featured a flat “slab” top and a single pickup, and it became
the best-selling Les Paul of the 1950s.
One year after the Les Paul Jr., Gibson offered a two-pickup version of the slab-body model
called the Les Paul Special. The Special was further distinguished by its yellow-stained “TV”
finish.
The double-coil humbucking pickup, invented by Gibson engineer Seth Lover, debuted in
1957 on the Standard and Custom, introducing the sound that would shape rock 'n' roll music
in the 1960s.
In 1958, Gibson introduced more important design innovations than in any other
year in the company’s history. Gibson president Ted McCarty combined the look of an ƒ-hole
archtop with the performance of a solidbody and came up with a completely new type of guitar—the semi-hollowbody ES-335. McCarty also designed two radically modern solidbody
shapes: the Flying V and Explorer.
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The body of the Les Paul Jr. received a pair of rounded horns to become Gibson’s first doublecutaway solidbody. And the finish color on the Les Paul Model was changed to Cherry
Sunburst, which let the grain of the maple top show through. The model name was changed
to Les Paul Standard, and the sunburst Standards from 1958-60 would become some of the
most valuable collectibles in the guitar world. All of this happened in 1958.
The new Les Paul Jr. set in motion a complete redesign of the Les Paul line. In 1959 the
Special went to the rounded-horn double-cutaway shape and was renamed the SG Special (SG
for Solid Guitar). In 1960, all four models were revamped and given a new “SG” body shape,
featuring a thinner, double-cutaway body with pointed horns. The Custom, Standard, and Jr.
retained the Les Paul designation through 1962, after which they became SG models.
Gibson’s design innovation continued into the 1960s when Ted McCarty hired legendary automotive designer Ray Deitrich to design a Gibson. The result was the Firebird series, and the
companion Thunderbird bass series of 1963. The Firebirds “reversed” conventional designs,
with their elongated treble-side horn and treble-side tuners. They also introduced neckthrough-body construction and smaller “mini-humbucking” pickups to the Gibson line.
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In response to the rising demand for 1950s-style Les Pauls, the carved-top models were reintroduced in 1968. A new model, the Les Paul Deluxe, featuring mini-humbucking pickups
appeared in 1969. The Special was revived in the 1970s and the Jr. reappeared in the 1980s.
The Flying V, Explorer, and Firebird were also brought back into regular production, as musical styles began to catch up with these ahead-of-their-time designs.
While the original four Les Paul models continued as the foundation of the line, Gibson offered
new variations, such as the Studio, Classic, and Double-Cut Standard, in order to give musicians all the features they wanted in a Les Paul guitar. In the 50-plus years of the Les Paul,
Gibson has offered more than 100 different variations. In 2003 Gibson honored Les Paul for
his achievements as a performer, recording innovator, and guitar designer by presenting him
with a special Artist for Eternity Award.
As Gibson celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Les Paul in 2002, the company rocked the
guitar world once again by introducing the first digital electric guitar. It represents the biggest
advance in electric guitar design since the instrument was invented, and moreover, it serves
notice that Gibson electric guitars will continue to epitomize the highest levels of Quality,
Prestige and Innovation.
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DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION
Body. The solidbody guitar was invented to increase sustain, produce a brilliant tone, and
eliminate feedback caused by a vibrating top. These qualities are enhanced by wood with high
density, such as maple. Les Paul would have preferred for his model to have had a solid maple
body, but density translates to weight, and a solid maple Les Paul Model would have been exceedingly heavy. A compromise was reached, with lighter-weight mahogany used for the main part of
the body and maple for the top cap. Most of the carved-top Les Pauls have the combination
maple/mahogany body, while the “slab” or flat top models have a solid mahogany body. Flying
V’s, Explorers, and Firebirds have a solid mahogany body.
Neck and Headstock. Mahogany is a time-proven material for guitar necks, and the necks of most
Gibson USA models are constructed of a single piece of mahogany. The Firebird or Thunderbird
IV bass neck is made of nine-ply mahogany and walnut (or all mahogany laminates), and it
extends completely through the body. Fingerboards are of ebony or rosewood.
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Neck Specifications. Gibson designs its guitar necks to complement and enhance the unique
characteristics of each model. Neck profiles can be “rounded ’50s” or “slim ’60s” (or a slight
V-shape available only on the BluesHawk). Scale length (string length) is 24 3/4" on the Les
Paul, X-Factor and SG models, 25 1/2" on the Chet Atkins, Americana, and Hawk models and
34" on basses.
Pickups. Humbucking (double-coil): Most Les Pauls have double-coil humbucking
pickups, which were designed to do what their name says: “buck” the hum caused by fluorescent lights, rheostats, and other electrical interference. They accomplish this with two coils of
wire, wound in opposite directions so that they cancel out interference. Also, they produce a
powerful sound that is the foundation of rock 'n' roll music.
Gibson produces humbuckers in a variety of subtle variations, achieved by the use
of different magnets and different combinations of winding turns. In addition, some Les Pauls
have humbuckers without the metal cover pieces, which results in a hotter signal. For individual model and pickup specs, please refer to Gibson’s website, www.gibson.com.
P-90 (single-coil): Only a few Gibsons—some Les Paul Juniors, Les Paul Specials, and Melody
Makers—have single-coil P-90 pickups. Some have the original “dog-eared” covers; those
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without the “dog ears” are nicknamed “soapbar” because the original cream-colored plastic
covers on the 1952 Les Paul Model resembled bars of soap. When the P-90 was introduced
in 1946, it was the most powerful pickup of its kind. And it still is. Among the many examples of the P-90 sound are Carlos Santana’s Les Paul Special on Santana’s classic recordings,
Leslie West’s Les Paul Jr. with the group Mountain, and the Who’s Pete Townshend with an SG
Special on Live at Leeds and at Woodstock.
Pickup adjustments. Although the pickups on each Les Paul are set to Gibson standards at the
factory, they can be adjusted. The height of the pickup can be adjusted by the two screws
found at either end of the pickup, in the mounting ring. Individual string volume can be adjusted by turning the polepiece screws. Bringing the pickup or pole screw closer to the strings
makes the signal stronger or “hotter.”
Controls. The standard Gibson electronic configuration is two pickups, four knobs, and a pickup selector switch. The four knobs provide individual tone and volume control for each pickup. Models with only three knobs provide individual volume and master tone control. Single
pickup models have only two knobs—for volume and tone control—and no pickup selector.
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Volume controls: The two knobs closest to the fingerboard control the volume of the pickups.
The volume knob nearest the bridge controls the “front” or neck pickup; the knob nearest the
edge of the guitar controls the “back” or bridge pickup.
Tone controls: The knob or knobs farthest away from the fingerboard control tone. The tone
knob nearest the bridge controls the “front” or neck pickup; the knob nearest the edge of the
guitar controls the “back” or bridge pickup.
The tone controls are the “treble roll off” or “cut” variety. The tonal quality of the instrument
is darkened by the reduction of treble rather than the addition of bass. The tone control turned
all the way counterclockwise results in maximum reduction of treble and produces the “darkest” sound. The tone control turned clockwise to its maximum position allows the pickup’s full
harmonic frequencies to pass through, producing the guitar’s brightest sound.
Pickup selector switch: The selector switch has three positions. The up position selects only
the “front” or neck pickup. The down position selects only the “back” or bridge pickup. The
middle position engages both pickups. The tone and volume controls will only be active when
the corresponding pickup is selected. On models with three pickups, the selector switch
activates the front pickup (front position), the middle and back pickup together (middle
position), and the back pickup (back position).
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The Tune-o-matic Bridge. The Tune-o-matic bridge allows for adjustment in overall bridge height
and individual string length. Height is adjustable up and down by means of thumb wheels
under the bridge at either end. Each string saddle is adjustable forward and back with a small
standard screwdriver. Action adjustment (up and down) is set at the factory to the correct
height for playing comfort and for buzz-free action. Raising the bridge will result in stiffer
action; lowering the bridge will result in faster action but may also result in fret buzz. Climatic
or humidity changes, or changes in string gauge, may necessitate a bridge adjustment.
Any change—in bridge height, string gauge, or climate—can affect the intonation and cause
a guitar to play out of tune in some fret positions. When this happens, the string length needs
to be adjusted, and this is accomplished by moving the individual saddles forward (toward the
neck) or backward (toward the tailpiece). The screw heads are on the pickup side of the bridge,
although there are many Gibsons that have the screw heads facing the tailpiece. To check intonation, compare the pitch of a string that is fretted at the 12th fret against the harmonic at
the 12th fret (accomplished by touching the string lightly with the left hand, without pressing
it all the way to the fret). If the fretted note is higher than the harmonic, the string should be
lengthened by moving the saddle toward the tailpiece until the two notes are the same. If the
fretted note is lower than the harmonic, the string length should be decreased.
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The tune-o-matic bridge was designed to adjust for string changes (gauge or type) and other
physical changes but not for problems with intonation due to string wear. Should a string lose
its intonation due to wear, we strongly recommend changing the string and not the bridge
setting.
Adjustable Stopbar Tailpiece. The stopbar tailpiece may be adjusted up or down to change the
downward pressure across the bridge. There is usually no need to adjust the stopbar unless the
strings are moving out of the saddles, in which case the stopbar should be lowered.
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CARE AND MAINTENANCE
Finish. A Gibson instrument always attracts attention, whether it is on a concert stage before
thousands or on a guitar stand in a home studio. After the classic body lines of a Gibson, the
finish makes the strongest impression.
Perspiration acids, heavy fingerprinting, dust, and grime from on-the-job usage are unavoidable. However, a minute or two spent with Gibson’s instrument care products—guitar polish,
fretboard conditioners, string cleaner/lubricant, and polishing cloth—will restore a finish to
like-new condition.
Gibson’s nitrocellulose lacquer finish not only looks great, it is also easily repairable—by a
professional. Minor scratches and dings can be fixed without completely refinishing the
instrument.
Keeping Your Guitar on the Road. Your Gibson is a durable instrument. It is likely to outlive you—
if you take care of it. In determining whether conditions might be harmful to your guitar, the
rule of thumb is, if you are comfortable, then your guitar will be comfortable. Here are some
conditions to avoid.
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Heat and cold: Gibson’s nitrocellulose finish can expand or contract to adjust to extreme temperatures and humidities—but not to sudden changes in temperature or humidity. Just as a
hot drink will crack a chilled glass, the finish of a Les Paul will crack if a guitar that has been
sitting in the trunk of a car in wintertime is suddenly exposed to the warm air of a heated room.
In these conditions, let the guitar warm up gradually inside the case before opening the case.
Rain: Water wipes off the instrument’s finish easily, but if allowed to remain, it can cause ugly
water spots in the lacquer.
Sun: Avoid direct rays of the sun on your Gibson. Direct sunlight can blister or discolor the finish.
More Things to Avoid. When using a shoulder strap for a standing playing position, check that all
contact points and strap fasteners are secure.
Guitar stands with rubber supports that contain dye or plasticizers can “eat away” at the lacquer finish or leave a stain on your guitar that goes through the lacquer finish and into the
wood. These stains are permanent and this sort of damage is not covered under your warranty. We recommend covering the rubber parts of the stand with a soft cotton cloth (such as a
guitar polishing cloth) and using a guitar stand only for temporary “storage” of your instrument.
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Avoid sharp blows to any part of your instrument. Be particularly alert to possible blows to the
back of the headstock, machine heads (tuners), and in the neck heel area. Many headstock
breaks are the result of a guitar being knocked over or dropped while it’s still in the case, so
do not stand the case on its end.
Should major adjustments become necessary, contact your local authorized Gibson dealer or
service center.
Strings. Fresh strings are a vital part of that “new instrument” sound. When strings begin to go
dead, a guitar loses its edge, and as the strings undergo further wear and tear they go “dead.”
Your Gibson will sound its best with new strings.
How often should you change strings? That depends on how much you play your guitar, how
hard you play, and also on your individual body chemistry. Some professional musicians change
strings before every show in order to maintain the brightest edge on their sound. More casual
players may only need to change strings every month or two. For some players, even light perspiration shortens the life of their strings. The sound of the strings is the only sure way to judge
whether or not they need to be changed. And if one string needs to be changed, the others
can’t be far behind. To maintain tonal balance, change the whole set.
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When changing strings, we recommend changing one string at a time in order to maintain tension on the neck and bridge. The pressure of the strings holds the bridge and saddles in place,
and removing all the strings could necessitate a new setup.
Use high quality strings. The most obvious action you can take to maximize the life and performance of your strings is to use high quality strings. Your Gibson comes from the factory with
a set of strings made by Gibson and designed exclusively for Gibsons. Although the string set
from the Gibson factory is suitable for virtually any style of music, Gibson offers a variety of
string styles and gauges for specialized purposes.
Install your strings correctly. Improperly installed strings can slip, which will cause your Gibson
to constantly go out of tune. To correctly install strings:
1.
Be certain the first winding of the string around the machine head stem (tuner
post) goes over the exposed tip of the new string. The rest of the winding should
then go under the exposed tip of the new string. When pressure is applied by
tightening the string to pitch, a clamping action keeps the string from slipping
around the machine head stem.
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2.
Be certain the string is wrapped around the tuner post an adequate
number of times. For unwound strings, at least five turns around the machine head
stem are necessary. For wound strings, two or three turns are adequate.
What gauge strings should be used? Your Gibson guitar comes strung with “10s”—which
means the high-E string is .010 inches in diameter. The low-E is .046 inches in diameter. The
set is designed so that all strings are in proportion to one another, ensuring that the action and
the volume will be consistent across the entire fingerboard. Gibson offers “9s,” “11s,” and
a variety of other gauges and compositions, all of which are balanced for consistent tension.
What brand of strings should be used? Gibson has been offering its own strings since 1907,
and Gibson has more experience than any other string maker when it comes to matching
strings to Gibson guitars. Gibson strings are manufactured to exacting standards to achieve the
highest level of quality and performance.
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NEW TECHNOLOGY - THE GIBSON ROBOT GUITAR
The Impossible is Now Possible.
Introducing the Gibson Robot Guitar, the world’s first guitar with robot technology.
Gibson’s Robot Guitar is the only guitar available with the auto-tuning system described
herein as original equipment.
Your Gibson Robot Guitar will be pre-calibrated for a standard .010-.046 set of strings.
If you change string gauges, restore factory defaults, or are installing the system yourself, you
may first want to calibrate the Robot TunersTM individually using the calibration method as
described in the Setup Mode section of this guide. However, since each Robot TunerTM is selfregulated with a Dynamic Runtime Algorithm (DRA) which ensures the change of runtimes
according to each string, after several tunings the system will perfect itself automatically.
A special “eFunction” algorithm is provided by the software to assist the tuning process.
We recommend using it in the “enabled” mode.
This Owner’s Manual is intended to provide a working understanding of the Robot Guitar’s
features to bring you the greatest benefits as you explore the exciting possibilities it has to
offer. For questions or more in-depth technical information, feel free to contact us at
1-800-4GIBSON or www.gibson.com
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THE MASTER CONTROL KNOB (MCK)
The Master Control Knob not only serves as the master control for all aspects of this
amazing, self-tuning system, but it will communicate with you as you learn its “language.”
The MCK is quite powerful and has many uses, and we believe you will find that MCK
functions will become second nature to you once you have tried them a few times.
Caution: Do not attempt to manually turn the Robot TunersTM unless they are pulled away from the
peghead so they are in the disengaged position! Otherwise the Robot TunersTM can be damaged.
BASIC OPERATIONS
The Robot Guitar’s Master-Control Knob (MCK) is what is commonly referred to as a
“push-pull” knob. When in the normal position, it behaves as a regular volume or tone
pot, depending on which series you have. When the MCK is pulled out, the system
is activated.
When the system becomes active by pulling out the MCK, it immediately places your
instrument in ‘Standard Tuning Mode’ at A440 (unless you have changed tuning defaults,
see page 46), but six factory presets have been provided for your use. Each preset can be
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changed to your liking, but you can always restore the factory defaults as later described
in this Owner’s Manual.
The MCK’s LED display will show various symbols and colors and these will be explained in
the various modes of operation available to you. During the tuning process, they will behave
as follows:
String LEDs Display Actions During Tuning Operations:
string not tuned = solid red
measuring frequency = red flashing
Robot TunersTM turning = yellow flashing
signal clipping = solid blue
string frequency at extreme range = solid purple
individual string in tune = solid green
all strings in tune = all LEDs flash blue 3 times
During the tuning process, the guitar will be nearly 100 percent muted. After the MCK is pushed
back in, full volume returns.
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PRECAUTIONS:
• Never try to manually turn the tuning pegs on the Robot TunersTM unless they are in the
disengaged position (pulled out and away from the peghead).
• Do not attempt to open the cover of the peghead electronics, the Robot TunersTM, or the
body CPU as this will void your warranty.
• Do not ‘fret’ a string while attempting to tune the Robot Guitar. Strings must be ‘open’
for the system to function properly unless you are performing the intonation routine.
• It does not require much force to detect pitch and to tune each desired
string accurately and quickly. Strumming the strings gently will provide best results.
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GUIDE TO FUNCTIONS AND DISPLAY MODES DURING TUNING OPERATIONS
Function
MCK Position
Instantly
Activated Tuning
(440Hz, EADGBE
is factory default)
Pull MCK out
Regular Tuning
440Hz, EADGBE
MCK out and turned
all the way down to “0”
(counter-clockwise)
E major Tuning
440Hz, EBEG#BE
Pull MCK out and turn
to E LED
Display LEDs
Action
Remarks
All string LEDs
shining red
Strum all strings
gently
While you strum, Robot
TunersTM start turning, individual strings will shine
green when in tune, all
LEDs will flash blue 3
times when tuning is complete. After blue lights
flash, push MCK back in.
b and # shining red
Enter by pressing
the display once—
b, #, and all string
LEDs will shine red
E LED shining blue
See above
See above
See above
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Function
MCK Position
Display LEDs
Action
Remarks
DADGAD Tuning
440Hz, DADGAD
Pull MCK out and turn
to A LED
A LED shining blue
Enter by pressing
the display once—
b, #, and all string
LEDs will shine red
While you strum, Robot
TunersTM start turning, individual strings will shine
green when in tune, all
LEDs will flash blue 3
times when tuning is complete. After blue lights
flash, push MCK back in.
Dropped D Tuning
440Hz, DADGBE
Pull MCK out and turn
to D LED
D LED shining blue
See above
See above
Delta Blues Tuning
440Hz, DGDGBD
Pull MCK out and turn
to G LED
G LED shining blue
See above
See above
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Function
E Flat Tuning
440Hz,
EbAbDbGbBbeb
MCK Position
Pull MCK out and turn
to B LED
Display LEDs
B LED shining blue
Action
Remarks
Enter by pressing
the display once—
b, #, and all string
LEDs will shine red
While you strum, Robot
TunersTM start turning, individual strings will shine
green when in tune, all
LEDs will flash blue 3
times when tuning is complete. After blue lights
flash, push MCK back in.
See above
See above
#
Double Dropped
D Tuning
DADGBD
Pull MCK out and turn
to e LED
e LED shining blue
#
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Function
Display LEDs
Reference Tuning
(Tune to selected
reference pitch)
I LED shining red
#
MCK Position
Pull MCK out and
turn to I LED
Action
Pull out (disengage) the
peg of the Robot TunerTM
you choose to tune to a
reference pitch. Now
tune this string to
match your chosen reference. Push peg back
into engaged position.
Begin tuning your guitar
by pressing the display.
The letter “I” will shine
green and ALL string
LEDs will shine red.
#
#
Remarks
Strum the SAME string you have just tuned to your
reference pitch. When this string’s LED shines solid
green its frequency has been measured and stored.
Now strum all strings, and the Robot TunerTM system
will tune your guitar to ‘normal tuning’ based on your
chosen reference string. (LEDs will behave the same
as during normal tuning.) When the reference tuning
is achieved, the “I” will flash on and off in blue.
Should you wish to store your new ‘Reference Tuning,’
simply turn the MCK to one of the factory preset
positions (E, A, D, G, B, or e) and press the display
once. The display LEDs will flash blue 3 times to
indicate your new Reference Tuning has been stored
at that position, and can be recalled in the same
manner as any other preset by choosing that position.
(Remember that you don’t have to “store” your new
Reference Tuning. Simply push the MCK back into
normal position and you are ready to go!)
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Function
Display LEDs
Custom Altered
Tuning
MCK Position
Pull MCK out and
turn to Peg LED
#
Peg LED shines red
#
Action
To create your own
”Custom Altered
Tuning,” disengage
each Robot TunerTM of
the string required and
tune it manually to the
pitch you want. Then
press the display once,
and the Peg LED will
shine green and the
string LEDs will shine
red. Now strum all
strings one by one (do
not strum too hard!)
and when their frequencies have been measured and stored their
corresponding LEDs will
shine green.
Remarks
When all strings of your Custom Altered
Tuning have been registered, the string LEDs
will flash blue 3 times. You may now store
your Custom Altered Tuning to one of the
factory preset positions. Select E, A, D, G, B,
or e, and press the display once. The display
LEDs will flash blue 3 times to indicate your
new Custom Reference Tuning has been
stored at that position, and can be recalled
in the same manner as any other preset.
(Remember that when you store your Custom
Altered Tuning, you will override the preset
position you have chosen.)
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STRING UP / STRING DOWN MODES
Function
MCK Position
Display LEDs
Action
Remarks
Robot TunersTM will
begin winding strings
up close to normal tuning. When they stop
turning, activate
Normal Tuning mode to
finish tuning your
instrument.
String Up Mode
Pull MCK out and turn
to Revolving Arrow LED
Revolving Arrow and
# LED shine green
Activate String Up
Mode by pressing
the display for 3
seconds.
String Down Mode
Pull MCK out and turn
to Revolving Arrow LED
Revolving Arrow and
# LED shine green
Press the display
once and it will
toggle to String
Down Mode,
indicated by the
Revolving Arrow
switching from
green to red. Now
activate String
Down Mode by
pressing the display for 3 seconds.
Robot Tuners will begin
to unwind all strings.
When they stop turning,
unscrew each post’s
locking nut so that you
are able to remove old
strings.
36
TO RESTRING YOUR ROBOT GUITAR
First ensure that all Robot TunersTM are disengaged by pulling the pegs away from the peghead. This is very important!
Guide each string through your tailpiece, over the center of each saddle (where contact is
essential), and through the nut slot. If you are using String Up Mode, allow 1/2 wrap or more
around the post on wound (bass side) strings before sending it through the post hole and
locking it down tightly. For unwound strings, allow two windings around the post before locking down the nut. Whether you are going to manually tension the strings (with the Robot
TunersTM disengaged) or using String Up Mode, the point is to ultimately have at least a full
wrap around the bass keys and at least two full wraps around the treble (unwound) posts
when the strings are fully tensioned.
Cut the loose end of each string close to the post so that they will not make contact with
other strings, as that would cause the system to function improperly. Also, do not use any
strings which have frayed wraps at the ball end, because that could short circuit the tailpiece.
37
Now you are ready to engage String Up Mode. MCK should be on the green revolving arrow
as described on the previous page. After the display is pressed for 3 seconds, all strings will
wind themselves close to their correct pitches, whereupon you must fine tune your guitar
using Normal Tuning Mode. (When all strings are removed, don’t allow the tailpiece to move or
it could damage its connector!)
TO ACTIVATE STRING UP MODE FOR A SINGLE STRING
(as in the case of replacing a string broken while playing)
Install the string in the manner described above (remember saddle contact is crucial!).
Simply select the LED for the string you are replacing, turn to the green revolving arrow and
toggle it from green to red and back to green. Press the display for three seconds.
The Robot TunersTM of the selected string will begin winding close to normal tuning, and when
it stops, you will be ready to fine tune it using Normal Tuning Mode.
38
INTONATION MODE (ONLY GIBSON MODELS)
Before starting the Intonation Mode we recommend to perform Normal tuning 440Hz
Function
MCK Position
Display LEDs
Action
Intonation Mode
Pull MCK out and turn
to | LED
I LED shining blue
Activate Intonation
Mode by pressing
the display for 3
seconds.
Strum one of the
strings until the
according LED
shines green.
For example, D.
After 2 seconds b
LED turns off and #
LED shines green
Pick the same
string now in the
12th fret and
strum it.
Remarks
39
Function
MCK Position
Display LEDs
Intonation Mode
MCK is now in the
position of the string
you are intonating.
I LED shining blue
Action
For each green LED
turn the screw half
turn clockwise
Remarks
Now a colored blink
code displays the
appropriate correction
for the intonation screw.
For example:
= 5 half turns
clockwise
For each red LED
turn the screw
half turn counterclockwise
For example:
= 6 half turns counterclockwise
Repeat Intonation
Mode for each string.
A correctly intonated
string is indicated by a
blue LED.
40
Function
Display LEDs
Calibration
Mode
C LED shines red
#
MCK Position
Pull MCK out and
turn to C LED
Action
Access Calibration
Mode by pressing the
display for 3 seconds.
The C LED will shine
blue. Now turn the MCK
to select your fundamental frequency from
the following list.
(Note: while selecting
your fundamental,
pressing the display
will toggle the red #
LED on and off, and
the other displayed
LEDs will remain blue.)
Remarks
435Hz = C and E LED blue
436Hz = C and E LED blue, # LED red
437Hz = C and A LED blue
438Hz = C and A LED blue, # LED red
439Hz = C and D LED blue
440Hz = C and D LED blue, # LED red
441Hz = C and G LED blue
442Hz = C and G LED blue, # LED red
443Hz = C and B LED blue
444Hz = C and B LED blue, # LED red
445Hz = C and e LED blue
446Hz = C and e LED blue, # LED red
#
#
41
PLEASE NOTE:
Once you have selected your desired fundamental, press the display down for three seconds.
Now choose a tuning and strum the strings. The Global Calibration Offset is applied to each
selected tuning.
To check the selected Global Calibration Offset, pull MCK out and press LED C for three
seconds.
Now a colored blink code displays the fundamental in Hz:
red = hundreds / green = tens / blue = ones / yellow = 0
Example 440Hz: 4 red LEDs, Pause, 4 green LEDs, Pause, 1 yellow LED
Example 436Hz: 4 red LEDs, Pause, 3 green LEDs, Pause, 6 blue LEDs, red LED Spin
(lower than 440Hz Concert Pitch)
Example 445Hz: 4 red LEDs, Pause, 4 green LEDs, Pause, 5 blue LEDs, green LED Spin
(higher than 440Hz Concert Pitch)
42
SETUP MODE
The various important functions in Setup Mode can be accessed individually once Setup Mode is activated.
We will now describe how to enter and exit Setup Mode, and we’ll list the various functions it contains afterward.
Function
Enter Setup
Mode
MCK Position
Pull MCK out and turn
all the way down to “0”
(counter-clockwise)
Display LEDs
b and # shine red
Action
Remarks
Press display for 3
seconds. When the
display turns blue,
release the display
button. Now press
the display again
for 3 seconds. It
will flash 3 times
and stop. Now the
Peg LED will be
solid white, # and
b will be red. You
are now in Setup
Mode.
This is the first step to
Enter Setup Mode
43
Function
MCK Position
Exit Setup
Mode without
saving changes
Push MCK back in
Exit Setup Mode;
saving changes
Dependent on Setup
Mode function last
utilized
Display LEDs
All outer LEDs will
flash blue-green 3
times
#
Action
Remarks
Setup Mode
switches off
You can exit Setup
Mode at any time
Setup Mode
function applied
Your Setup Mode
function is now stored
44
FUNCTIONS INCLUDED IN SETUP MODE
Function
MCK Position
Restore
Factory Defaults
Enter Setup Mode and
turn to LED D
Display LEDs
LED D shining blue,
Peg LED shines white
Action
Press display once
and Factory
Defaults are
restored
Restoring Factory Defaults will
do the following:
• Preset positions set to default
tunings
• Runtime Correction Data set
to default
• Dynamic Runtime Correction
is switched on
• eFunction Correction is
switched on
• Tuning accuracy is set to 4
out of 6
• Calibration Data is restored
Press display once.
Peg LED will begin
flashing
Red=Major Release Number
Green=Minor Release Number
Blue=Revision Level
For Example, Software Release
2.3.5 would be shown as 2 red
flashes, followed by 3 green
flashes, followed by 5 blue
flashes
#
Display Software
Release
Enter Setup Mode and
turn to E LED and
press Enter
Peg LED flashing
sequence indicates
software release
edition
Remarks
45
Function
Global
Calibration
Offset
On / Off
MCK Position
Enter Setup Mode
turn to LED C and
press display once
Display LEDs
LED C shining blue,
Peg LED shines white
Action
Remarks
Turn MCK left
(Counterclockwise)
to switch off
Global Calibration
When a Calibration
Mode is in effect,
your selected
fundamental
frequency will now
apply to all your
presets
red B LED
indicates OFF
Turn MCK left
(clockwise) to
switch on Global
Calibration green
LED indicates ON
Press Enter to
store
46
FUNCTIONS INCLUDED IN SETUP MODE
Function
MCK Position
Display LEDs
Action
Remarks
Instantly
Activated
Last Tuning
Enter Setup Mode
and turn to LED
and press Enter
Turn MCK to I and
press Enter
Last Tuning is
activated on startup
Instantly Activated
Preset Tuning
Enter Setup Mode
and turn to LED
and press Enter
Turn MCK to one
of the Presets and
press Enter
Select Preset Tuning is
activated on startup
47
Function
Display LEDs
Speed /
Accuracy
Settings
Pegs shines white,
A shines blue
#
MCK Position
Enter Setup
Mode and turn to
A LED
Action
Press display once.
Current Speed /
Accuracy setting will
be indicated by
flashing green LEDs
(as described below)
Remarks
The Robot TunerTM system is adjustable to a pitch
accuracy of .2 Cent. However, this will cause
tuning functions to take slightly longer, and in
live applications a relaxed accuracy is advisable.
There are 6 levels of setting. The factory preset
setting will show 4 green flashing LEDs, indicating
that you are using an accuracy setting of approx.
1 Cent, which is practical for most applications.
Relaxing this setting will cause the overall tuning
process to run at a faster rate, and this can be
useful in live applications. In the studio, you would
want the maximum accuracy measurable. In this
case, range will be changed and adjusted by
rotating the MCK. The high end of accuracy (.2 Cent)
is indicated by 6 green LEDs. The low end (i.e.,
fastest speed) is indicated by one green LED.
Even at the low end, accuracy of tuning is still
2.5 Cent! To store your chosen setting, press display
once. You will leave Setup Mode automatically.
48
FUNCTIONS INCLUDED IN SETUP MODE
Function
MCK Position
Display LEDs
Action
Remarks
Dynamic Runtime
Control On / Off
Enter Setup Mode
turn to G LED and
press Enter
# will be shining green
or b will be shining red,
G LED shines blue, Peg
LED shines white
Turn MCK left to
switch off DRC,
turn MCK right
(clockwise) to
switch on DRC
Press Enter to
store
# shines green when DRC
is on, b shines red when
DRC is off
eFunction
Correction
On / Off
Enter Setup Mode
and turn to B LED,
press display
# will be shining green
or b will be shining red,
B LED shines blue, Peg
LED shines white
Turn MCK left
to switch off
eFunction, turn
MCK right
(clockwise)
to switch on
eFunction
Press Enter to
store
# shines green when
eFunction is on, b shines
red when eFunction is off
49
CALIBRATING ROBOT TUNERSTM
The Robot Guitar will be pre-calibrated for a standard .010-.046 set of strings. If you change
string gauges, restore factory defaults, or are installing the system yourself, you may first want
to calibrate the Robot TunersTM individually using the Motor Calibration Mode as described
below. Remember though, each Robot TunerTM is self-regulated with a Dynamic Runtime
Algorithm that ensures the change of runtimes according to each string. After several tunings
the system will perfect itself automatically.
MANUAL CALIBRATION OF ROBOT TUNERSTM
Enter Setup Mode and turn to LED I, press display. The Peg and I LEDs will shine white.
Now you are ready to calibrate any or all of your Robot TunersTM.
First, turn the MCK to the Robot TunerTM you want to calibrate (selected strings are indicated
by solid blue) and press the display once. Strum the string and it will begin to alternate between
flashing red and green. Pause a few seconds and strum it again. Repeat this simple procedure
while the Robot TunerTM adjusts itself. When the LED for that string changes to the next string
in order, you know that the Robot TunerTM you selected first is done. It’s that simple.
50
CHARGING AND BATTERY INFORMATION
The Robot Guitar comes with a battery pack containing two rechargeable batteries.
A special charger is also included with the system.
The battery charge level is indicated each time you activate your system, as indicated below.
You may expect more than 200 tunings between charges. There is no need to open your guitar
to access any of the battery charging functions. When the system is enabled but inactive for
more than one minute, the battery will switch off automatically. A special protection mode
is built into the charging system, so always begin the charging process by connecting your
guitar cord to the charger last. Short patch cords are most effective during charging.
BATTERY LEVEL
Each time the MCK is first activated, it will indicate if charging is needed immediately by
showing the battery symbol flashing red.
51
Function
Charge Mode
MCK Position
Display LEDs
Pull MCK out, turn to
C LED and press
display
Your current charge
level will be displayed
for about 3 seconds.
The level of charge
will be indicated by
how many green LEDs
you see (betweeen
1 and 10).
Action
Now you will see a
flashing red battery
symbol on the MCK,
indicating your system
is looking for its charger.
Plug in the AC power
plug of your charging
unit and the charger will
flash red, too. Connect
the charging unit to the
guitar with a standard
guitar cord, and when
the system begins to
charge, the charging
unit will flash green,
and a running display
of green LEDs on the
MCK will indicate
charge level. The
charging unit’s LED
will flash green, too.
Remarks
For optimum performance,
you will want a charge
level of 8-10 green flashing
LEDs. A fully charged
battery pack will show a
solid blue light on the
charging unit. Push MCK
back to its normal position
when charging is complete.
A full charge should take
no more than 90 minutes.
52
EMERGENCY CHARGE MODE
The system has an Emergency Charge Mode (ECM) if its rechargeable battery pack goes
completely ‘dead’ or too low in charge to run the normal Charge Function. Pull out MCK
and turn it to roughly the middle position. It’s OK if the lights don’t come on, ECM will fix
that. Put all the other controls in roughly the middle position, and use a short patch cord
(1 foot or less) to lower resistance. Plug your patch cable into the charger, into the guitar,
and connect your power supply to the charger and power it up. The charger will soon blink
red (seeking a guitar). The charger will recognize the problem and after 30 seconds will
blink yellow. It will soon provide enough charge to activate and switch to normal charging
mode automatically. The length of time it takes to re-activate the normal charging mode
can be from a few seconds to a minute or more.
AUTOMATIC SWITCH OFF MODE
If the MCK is left in the ‘on’ position for more than 120 seconds, the system enters
Switch Off Mode, indicated by a flashing green light. After 30 minutes the system turns
into Standby Mode, indicated by a very slow flashing yellow light. You can re-activate
the system in either status by turning the MCK.
53
Note: It is recommended not to store the guitar with the MCK out, as this will fully drain the
battery eventually and Emergency Charge Mode must be employed.
SHORT CIRCUIT WARNING
In the event of a short circuit from negative to ground (Strings E or A to D or G) the white peg
symbol will flash. This can be caused if strings are not trimmed properly at the headstock.If
the short circuit runs from B or hi E to D, A or low E, the peg will flash yellow. Check to
make sure no strings touch one another.
55
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7
6
309 Plus Park Boulevard
Nashville, TN 37217
USA
1.800.4GIBSON
www.gibson.com
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