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  1. #1
    Eruption F'nRockstar's Avatar
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    10.08.17 @ 07:28 PM
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    Default De-Shimming an EBMM

    I sent my EBMM Musicman Axis to a local guitar tech. (Heard he is good, does all the guitars for Mushroomhead).

    He did some things that I'm not so sure about and did some things that I love.
    The guitar was beat and needed a lot of work. The neck was dried out, the frets were a little shitty feeling, it needed a new jack, new pot, new p/u switch.
    He did all and the guitar sounds great.... He also soaked the neck in oil for a week and polished the frets. I do have to say that the neck feels fantastic. HOWEVER.

    He took the neck off and removed the shims and lowered the trem. The action is now feels too high for me. He said the neck should have been cut correctly in the first place so there wasn't a need for shims and that this is the only problem with these EBMMs. He said it would sound better without them.

    I don't think I notice a difference and don't think its worth it for the action being so high. Not sure if it matters, but I play 10's instead of 9's.

    Suggestions? Thoughts?
    Last edited by F'nRockstar; 03.02.14 at 07:53 PM.
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  2. #2
    Emperor of VHLinks.com Brett's Avatar
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    12.18.17 @ 01:35 PM
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    Default

    Put the shims back.
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  3. #3
    Eruption F'nRockstar's Avatar
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    10.08.17 @ 07:28 PM
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    Default

    That's what I'm thinking..here are pics...does this action look too high? He said they used pieces of plastic that just crumbled when he took it apart.

    How hard would it be to take the neck off and re-shim. I'm not much of a guitar tech....just play em. Also, he said he lowered the trem??? Do you notice anything wierd about it. Seems to work fine.
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    Lets just throw a pound of weed in the fire place, f@#% it!

    Proud owner: Purple Flame Ernie Ball Music Man Axis and a 5150 Combo Amp.

  4. #4
    Sinner's Swing! johnnybeane's Avatar
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    12.17.17 @ 09:48 PM
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    I think mine came with a pink plastic shim.
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  5. #5
    Eruption
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    11.28.17 @ 10:33 PM
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    Default

    OMG, how do you play that thing with such high action? That's horrible. I have an Axis Tribute and it's set up perfectly. I've never had to remove the neck, so I don't know if it has shims.

    But I have been having fits with my week-old Frankenstein. I've shimmed it and just the B string is giving me a hard time. But otherwise the action is nice and low. You can use anything for a shim - collar stay, business card, pick, anything. I have two picks in the lower neck pocket of my Frankenstein and quarter duct-taped to the front of my Floyd brass block. You'd be amazed how much you can raise your action with such a thin shim in the bottom of your neck pocket. It's like a 4:1 ratio.

  6. #6
    Emperor of VHLinks.com Brett's Avatar
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    12.18.17 @ 01:35 PM
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    Default De-Shimming an EBMM

    That action is just terrible. What kind of luthier would do that? That's an abomination.

    Taking the neck off to shim it isn't difficult but you have to not be afraid to do it. And there is some trial and error too.
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    07.04.16 @ 08:03 PM
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    Default

    I've never encountered an EBMM Axis or EVH that didn't have the plastic shims. Yes, you'd think they would route the tolerances to be as precise as possible, but they don't.

    I use maple or mahogany veneer now to make shims. Trace the heel of the neck, and cut it out. The shim should be about 1/4" to 1/3" wide.

  8. #8
    Sinner's Swing! Dutchie5150's Avatar
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    12.18.17 @ 07:37 AM
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    Most people just use a business card or a medium pick (like EVH does). Just take the neck off and and put a pick in the neck pocket. That's what I have done to a lots of my guitars and it works fine.

    I can't believe someone gave you the guitar back like that and thought you would be ok with it. That action is ridiculous... You could slide a slide in between the strings and fretboard...

    If you cant work it out, take it to a different guitar guy. What you heard about this one was wrong...
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  9. #9
    Romeo Delight
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    12.17.15 @ 08:04 AM
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    Default

    As mentioned, all EBMM's afaik need the shim. Mine has one too. I have done other guitars by putting a business card in the pocket, tracing the shape with a pen then cutting it out. That action looks ridiculous...

  10. #10
    Emperor of VHLinks.com Brett's Avatar
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    12.18.17 @ 01:35 PM
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    Default De-Shimming an EBMM

    Like Dutchie said, a business card or pick works fine and I've used both for years. Btw my 92 Pink EBMM has a factory shim. That luthier is dead wrong, never go there again.
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  11. #11
    Romeo Delight
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    01.07.16 @ 05:41 PM
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    Default

    sorry man, you're tech is incorrect. The beauty of bolt on necks,especially with softer wood guitars like basswood, is the action can always be adjusted with a simple shim. Remember,over time the basswood in the neck pocket can compress with the amount of pressure being placed on it. ALL of my EBMM's have come with a factory shim. As far as them being cut more precise, we're not talking $3k plus andersons or suer's lol. Its a normal thing for a bolt on with a floyd to need a shim. Unless you're tech has some sort of robot ears you'd NEVER hear a difference in tone. Find yourself a new tech...

  12. #12
    Romeo Delight
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    01.07.16 @ 05:41 PM
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    This is how it should look. This is my new axis tribute I bought 2 weeks ago. I set it up myself as soon as it got home(factory setups drift during shipping and hanging on a guitar wall) because the action was a little higher than this. It had the factory shim but needed a little more to get it to where I like it.

  13. #13
    Hot For Teacher PassingBy's Avatar
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    10.10.17 @ 06:08 AM
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    EBMM have factory installed shims ? I didn't know that and I am a little bit shocked.
    Thanks for paying my rent. -- EVH

  14. #14
    Romeo Delight
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    one other thing I should point out that no one else has mentioned yet. The worst thing you can do for a neck is "soak" it in oil for long periods of time,whether it be lemon,linseed,mineral etc etc. My guitars will typically get oil maybe once a year,playing it regularly will oil it enough with the natural oil from your hand. The reason I point out that you said he soaked it is simple. The fret wire relies on the wood being hard for the tangs to keep them seated properly. Oiling your neck slightly softens the wood. Typically only the surface of the wood is affected because when typically when you oil your neck, you wipe off the excess within minutes(for me I wipe on and wipe off with 30 seconds, we all have a ritual) If he continuously oiled that neck for a week, or kept reapplying and letting it soak in etc, you "could" potentially see issues with your frets.
    If the neck was dried up to the point of fret sprout(fret ends sticking out beyond the edge of the board) then he should have advised you of the "proper" way of fixing it.

  15. #15
    Good Enough
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    10.26.16 @ 03:37 PM
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    Default

    The thing is this; it's MUCH easier to route guitars' neck pockets a bit deep than to try to nail it absolutely perfect. This applies to both one-off customs and factory produced guitars. If you go for "no-shim-perfect," it requires a ridiculous amount of fine trial and error that must be performed on a PER INSTRUMENT basis, because even CNC necks will vary slightly, or bend, or the frets will be a slightly different height, etc (this is wood we're talking about), which is enough to make the resulting action very inconsistent.

    If you route a tiny bit too deep on the pocket, you can always add a shim during setup. If it's too shallow, you can't do anything to fix the action, period, and you'll likely have the strings slammed down onto the frets permanently = unlplayable.

    I know someone will probably bring up "well how come Peavey and EVH got it right on the Wolfgang?!?" and that's a very good point! The Wolfgang design gets away with the no-shim thing by spec'ing the bodies and necks EXTREMELY accurately, but the main thing is that they allow for some height adjustment via the bridge pivot points. That's part of the reason why the routes for the floyd and the floyd posts are different and recessed on a Wolfgang vs an EBMM.

    Essentially, EBMM chose to "fix" the bridge height and adjust from the neck shim, the Wolfgangs chose to "fix" the pocked and adjust from the bridge. Both ways work fine, and as long as you don't have a crappy, incorrectly done shim, I'd challenge someone to identify a guitar that has a shim vs. not having one based on tone/resonance/etc. (that is supposedly effected by shims)...
    Last edited by mrjstudios; 03.03.14 at 10:50 PM.

 

 

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