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Thread: Setup Advice

  1. #1
    Emperor of VHLinks.com Brett's Avatar
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    12.15.17 @ 04:58 AM
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    Setup Advice

    Hey guys,

    I'm trying to avoid having to take this new guitar I threw together to the luthier to get it set up right. I mean I do everything else, just getting the action right I never can.

    So I got the guitar all wired up and strung up, got the Floyd set up right, but the action is a little high and I still notice there a few dead strings. I haven't shimmed anything or messed with the truss rod at all. I want to try to do this myself, because it plays pretty good, I just want to lower the action and get rid of a few of the semi-dead strings.

    Can anyone point me in a direction to start, what to with first, etc. Do I shim the neck, etc. I've read guides on line and I don't know, they never make sense for what I'm doing.

    Thanks.
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    Eruption
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    12.06.17 @ 10:09 AM
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    Is the Floyd "floating" or "flush mounted" to the body?
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    Emperor of VHLinks.com Brett's Avatar
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    Flush, I have one of those trem lock devics. I hate floating Floyds. It's a recessed Floyd as well, if that matters, which I doubt.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brett View Post
    Flush, I have one of those trem lock devics. I hate floating Floyds.
    I hate 'em too, Brett, they're a pain in the ass to set-up and if you break a string, every other string goes out of tune as well... plus, you can't tune to "drop d" (unless you set it up for "drop-d" only) for "Unchained", "Drop Dead Legs", Sinner's Swing", "Hear About It Later", "Dirty Movies", "5150" etc. for the same reason- what good is that to a guitar-playing VH fan?!!


    Quote Originally Posted by Brett View Post
    It's a recessed Floyd as well, if that matters, which I doubt.
    Well, it actually does matter... the reason they resorted to recessing Floyds is to compensate for the non-angle of the neck pocket- that way you don't have to shim the neck since the bridge sits lower,... but if your action is high and your Floyd is mounted flush, then you will have to shim the neck!
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    07.04.12 @ 08:16 AM
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    Sounds like you should start by "shimming" your neck.
    I dont shim, per say.
    Try this Brett.
    Use masking tape to make a ramp in your neck pocket.
    I do it this way for a couple reasons.
    First, Masking tape is more like wood then anything else you can use with the exseption of wood itself. Even more the cardstock.
    Your neck will be more pressed against your body. Maxed out for tone.
    You can "adjust" your shimmming small amounts at a time. About 7 peices per one peice of cardstock.
    Here's a sample pick. Kinda sloppy, but you get the idea. make sure you apply the tape front or back, depending on how you want the action to go.



    This may take some time, but your action will be right where you want it.
    After you have it at the level where you want, try the "seating" trick.
    After its strung and tuned to pitch, back off the neck screws about a quarter turn a peice. This will press your neck in the pocket at its maximum. Tighten it up and tune again.
    Now you can adjust your trussrod where you need it.
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  6. #6
    Emperor of VHLinks.com Brett's Avatar
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    Ron should I do it, even though it's a recessed Floyd? It's weird how their is only fret buzz on certain fretted strings...or maybe that's normal before a setup.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brett View Post
    Ron should I do it, even though it's a recessed Floyd? It's weird how their is only fret buzz on certain fretted strings...or maybe that's normal before a setup.
    If its buzzin on only certain fretted strings, that's a truss rod issue. (if the neck is tried and true)
    But if your action isnt right, then that's a "shim issue".
    Using the trussrod to adjust action is a no-no.
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    Emperor of VHLinks.com Brett's Avatar
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    I am definitely having buzzing frets, beyond the action issues.
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    Emperor of VHLinks.com Brett's Avatar
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    Well I have the action where I like it now, but the fucking thing has dead frets everywhere. Is that a truss rod issue?
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    Hopefully.
    Tighten her up. Very small turns at a time.
    Have a real small bow to it.
    If this doesn't fix the buzz problem, then your frets have to be leveled and polished.
    Dont feel bad. This dry, winter air twisted my Les Paul neck like a pretzel.
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    exactly where are the dead frets? higher on the neck, lower in the neck, or both?

  12. #12
    Emperor of VHLinks.com Brett's Avatar
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    It's the higher strings, from the 9th on...not all of them, but a lot.
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    Hmm... Yeah, might need a fret level, which is actually required for most new necks--even Warmoth. If the thing is only buzzing on the high strings, I'd be a little worried about it being twisted.

    Ron's picture of the neck shim showed the TOP side of the neck pocket being shimmed. Is that routine for you, Ron? I've always shimmed the bottom side to help compensate for the lack of angle, and it's always done wonders to help with the action on the higher frets.

    I'm sure you've checked most of this stuff, Brett, but just to throw ideas out there...

    Is the Floyd base plate sitting perfectly parallel to the body on BOTH sides? Is it possible the high-E side is sitting too low?

    Is the neck straight, and with the truss rod adjustment are you able to give it a very slight bow up near the first few frets?

    Can you visibly see any frets sitting up higher than others? (Look straight down the neck and focus on the edge of the frets specifically. They should look uniform, but if one or more is sitting higher it's relatively easy to see the inconsistency.)

    It's possible the low-E side of the neck requires a little higher of a neck shim than the high-E side. That's unusual, yes, but when I first removed the neck on my '98 EBMM Axis I found the factory had done just that. Perhaps shimming the low-E side will allow you to give a little more relief in the truss rod, thus freeing up the buzz on the high-E side.

  14. #14
    Emperor of VHLinks.com Brett's Avatar
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    Well after a few truss rod turns, it's closer, I mean there's like 2 semi-dead strings now...one on the A at the 9th on the G is OK but not great. Everything looks parallel on the Floyd, it plays pretty well. Just those couple frets.

    I got the neck and body from Mitchel at MeanStreet so I don't know if it needs a fret level, I'll ask him. When I bought from him before it didn't but who knows.

    So it's weird...closer but still not perfect.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brett View Post
    Well after a few truss rod turns, it's closer, I mean there's like 2 semi-dead strings now...one on the A at the 9th on the G is OK but not great. Everything looks parallel on the Floyd, it plays pretty well. Just those couple frets.

    I got the neck and body from Mitchel at MeanStreet so I don't know if it needs a fret level, I'll ask him. When I bought from him before it didn't but who knows.

    So it's weird...closer but still not perfect.
    Yup... probably needs a level. You might be able to get away with just having the problem areas filed down, though.

    Also... do we get to see pictures of this thing?

 

 

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