Shop Builds Ep. 1 - 2008 Gibson Les Paul Studio Blackdog Demo Guitar.


"When we create a new product. We create a "demo guitar" Why? At Gunstreet we are obsessed with our quality. Not just our quality of craftsmanship but, the overall quality of the day to day experience: whenever dealing with our products."

We sent our techs out locally to find a Les Paul that is both a good accent to our new black dog harness and that can handle getting a little beat up as we and others test it. Here is what we found.

Used 2008 Gibson® Les Paul Studio®

  • 50s Neck Profiles

  • Pickups: 490R/498T

  • Lightweight chambered Body

This perfect, no frills guitar, packs a punch when it comes to playability. Its a little beat up, but, it was at an affordable price you cant beat because of it's quality.

The Build Goal.

With this guitar, we are going to have a little fun, while, staying true to our original goal of testing the Black Dog harness. What we want to do is basically a "Factory refresh" with a couple mods. What do we mean by Factory Refresh? Just like a car needs regular scheduled maintenance, your guitar does as well. So, we will go through the guitar, restoring what we need and leaving what we don't.

After inspecting the guitar. We created two small lists. Repairing and Changing.


  • Replace Stripped and Rusted Hardware

  • Replace Damaged Tuners

  • Replace Broken Nut


  • Gold hardware Accents

  • Cavity Cover Plates

  • Sheilding

Neck Refresh: Front Headstock

headstock before.jpg

Removing Stock Truss Rod Cover

in the past 8+ years the cover has gained a cool coloring but because of the damaged where the screws meet the cover this part will not make it much longer. So, this brittle, damaged cover has to go.

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"with the cover off, we will replace the most common Gibson issue"

Truss Rod Nut

When it comes to buying used Gibson guitars its very common to find guitars with a stripped truss rod nut. In most cases it is a simple fix as all you have to do is unscrew the old nut and replace it with a new one.


Installing the new truss rod cover


Gibson Gear® PRTR-010

we will be replacing the old damaged bell cover with a 50's standard style that we changed to fit our needs.

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Neck Refresh: Headstock Back

Replacing Broken Tuners

Because of normal wear and tear, we will have to replace both the Low E and G Tuners. The E tuner button was detached and unusable. The G tuner gear was not gripping causing it not to tune. We will be replacing the whole set of tuners with a set of the now rare TonePros Kluson Deluxe

Stock Vs TonePros

Gibson Gear® Stock Tuners

Gibson® Stock tuners replicate the vintage kluson tuners found on early generations of Gibsons. they feature nickel housing with keystone style buttons made in a Mint colored imitation pearloid. On a scale of 1 to 10 we'd give these a 7, due to how easily these go out of tone.

Vintage Style Kluson Deluxe by TonePro's®

The Vintage Style Kluson® has a more period correct imitation pearloid keystone style buttons and the improved 15:1 gear ratio for more stable and accurate tuning. We would give these a 9 out of 10


Side By Side Comparison

These Tonepro's klusons® are amazing tuners, its a bummer that these tuners are now discontinued by the manufacture. It feautres a bigger and heavier base. The gears feel overall more solid then the Gibsons®  they also have a lower profile to improve shaft flex

Installing New Nut


At first glance the guitars nut looked fine. But, as we were de-stringed the guitar we discovered there was a hair line crack on the nut. Where it is still technically playable. As preventive maintenance, we will replaced this and lowered the action to creating a more aggressive guitar.

Neck Refresh: Fretboard

the rule of thumb is to clean and oil your guitars fretboard every other string change. that being said if you look at this fretboard you can not only see that the fretboard is too dry but you can see the build up of finger grime. Lemon Oil is a classic way to clean and condition the fretboard

How to Use Lemon Oil:

  1. Remove your strings.

  2. Lightly damp a cloth and wipe the fretboard down once.

  3. Dab a small spot of Lemon oil on a clean rag.

  4. Lightly rub it into each fret

  5. Let the oil sit for 10-15 minutes.

  6. Rub off all excess with a clean, dry rag changing the position of the rag every fret and trying to remove all the left over oil and dirt

  7. Restring only when the fretboard is dry


with one of the goals of the guitar is quality of the sound. this cavity will not do.The cavity is not shielded and is just the factory lacquer. Normally if you are using this guitar for home use, playing for fun, then this guitar not being shielded wouldn't matter. But, with our plans and to be on the safer side, we will just copper shield the guitar.


Why Shield?

we live in a world that is filled with electrical frequencies that affect your guitars electronics. things like fluorescent lights, cell phones, electrical dimmer outlets, all create radio-frequency interference. this sneaks into your guitar. how do you stop this? one way is to create a Faraday Cage. to super simplify it. this "Cage" creates a shield. You can make this "cage" by lining the inside of the guitar cavities with copper tape.  This copper tape when properly grounded, acts as a shield, blocking all the random frequencies crashing onto the guitar.


Installing the harness

We have a 3/4th Sized Black Dog Harness.


Black Dog Controls

  • Coil Cutting (Bridge & Neck Volumes)

  • Phasing (Bridge Tone)

  • Series/Pharrell (Neck Tone)

this harness also feature's the new Cts Push Pull Potentiometers. this design creates an unbelievably nice pot, surpassing its competitors.

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Righteous Sound Pickups

We worked with Josh to get one of his awesome Gold Tooths kit into this guitar. if you haven’t heard these pickups you are missing out!

Righteous Sound Pickup’s Gold Tooth® Set


“The Gold Tooth® is part of our Vintage Voiced humbucker series. This set produces a sound that is defined and detailed, with clarity and string separation. The low frequencies are punchy and tight. Upper midrange is organic and sweet with a touch of snarl. Highs sing with presence and cut. The Gold Tooth® is for those that want a humbucker with bite. Get toothed!”

if you want to read a more in depth how to install this harness visit this link

Everything is done. Except one last thing.

Cleaning the Case

the previous owner either lived in an area where metal rusts easily or they never changed the factory strings. none the less. this case needs to be cleaned.  To clean the case we will be using simple house hold products.


"Case Cleaning" Solution

25 ounces of Warm Water

1 1/2 teaspoon of Lemon Dish Detergent

(1) Sponge

Before And After

30 minutes and 64ounces later we have removed a good chunk of the dirt. we towled off most of the excess water and let the rest naturally dry out.

the case is stuffed with foam, under the plush lining. This Foam takes form of object easily. So, if you push to hard the foam will be distorted for a period of time. also note, if you use something like a hair dryer to dry the plush, be very cautious of the glue. it can become ruined with excess heat.

Introducing our Black Dog Demo Guitar.

*Click on the photos to enlarge them!

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if you ever find us at your local guitar store. come try it! we would love to hear what you think!

Want this harness? Sign up to win one of our Black Dog Harnesses. Sign up by Clicking the Photo to the left

Like this Series? Well, we are making more. Meanwhile try our Tech Talk Series where we talk about the Wiring World of Guitars

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