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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk RRvh1's Avatar
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    12.11.17 @ 12:21 AM
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    Default Guitar setup nightmares ?

    I just got back from picking up my blue quilt AX40 guitar from getting a 'pro' setup at a local music store . The 'qualified tech' supposedly has 25 yrs experience . Not sure I want to name him or the music store , although I will say that it was NOT my usual choice - Long & McQuade .

    The guitar played fine before dropping it off . I just had a couple of seemingly simple requests ; lower the action , fix the loose 2nd fret which was causing high E buzz , and intonate ...

    The fret is still high/loose and buzzes worse than before . The action is very high , making bends and overall ease of playing difficult . The Floyd Rose I installed has been buggered - trem posts lowered to an extreme . The base plate rubs against the body when doing a dive and it actually hard to use the bar . Stiff as hell . It's not a spring issue - the goddamn trem is getting friction from the quilt top !!!

    WTF !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm out 2 weeks of waiting and $90.00 for this crap . I dropped off my black quilt AX40 when I picked this one up , telling the clerk that I want similar action and work . Just called them back to say "Get your paws off my 2nd guitar . I don't want that guy anywhere near it !"

    He called back to say I'm the first complaint he's had in 25 yrs . Not my lucky day ...

    Anyone got some horror stories of their own ?
    "There's too many people on this basketball that's floating around the sun, who are too afraid to allow themselves to FEEL" - Edward Van Halen
    "Van Halen was never about the singer..." - a very wise fan.
    "Embrace the past. Live in the moment but keep your eyes on the future, and keep on moving forward..." - Richie Sambora

  2. #2
    Sinner's Swing!
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    11.25.17 @ 09:06 AM
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    Sorry that happened man.
    My first vibrato guitar was a Fender Strat knockoff. I loved it. I needed some work done though. Over time the neck went wonky, and as it was under warranty, any work had to be done by the store tech.
    I left my guitar with him and picked it up the next day. He had over tightened the truss rod and it screwed up the neck. Long story short, they told me to take the guitar all the way to some Luther in the burbs for an actual warranty repair as the tech wouldn't admit to the owner ruining it. The luthier was a good guy though.
    he told me flat out the guy actually broke the rod end but had also spun the bridge stud insert in the body Making it loose. Total hack. I was 15 and could have done a better job really.

    He wrote the shop, and I finally got another guitar after a week or two of them still trying to weasel out of it. It was anupgraded replacement, but it really jaded the experience.
    Last edited by we die young; 02.13.15 at 04:01 PM.

  3. #3
    Eruption garbeaj's Avatar
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    You just need to keep bringing it back until he fixes every problem on the guitar at little or no additional cost. Any reputable tech will do this. Rarely will any tech do something and have it turn out perfect without you playing it and getting it set up to your liking.

    Even with my main tech that has been working on my guitars since I was 14, I still have to play the instrument in front of him after he does any work and he tweaks and fixes any additional problems. If the guy really is an experienced and qualified tech, he will do this...that is he will keep working on it until it you are satisfied.

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  5. #4
    Atomic Punk RRvh1's Avatar
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    I just spent a little bit 'tweaking' the guitar myself - raising the trem posts so the bridge can dive without hitting the body , and loosening the springs in the cavity so it's easier to whammy

    The two main things I wanted done : repairing the raised/loose 2nd fret and lowering the action , still need to be addressed . It's obvious that a shim is needed to make the neck and string height play like butter . I'm not comfortable doing it myself - hence the setup job I wanted done . I'm still pissed that the whole thing was written down and none of the remedies I asked for were carried out .

    It's almost like I paid close to a hundred bucks for this guy to change my strings and lower the bridge to an unusable level ... Grrrr .
    I AM going to go to Long & McQuade and use my regular tech . He's fantastic and well respected . I recently moved one town over , and this new music store was in my new city . It was supposed to be a convenience thing , but turned out to be anything but ... Haha

    Live and learn .
    "There's too many people on this basketball that's floating around the sun, who are too afraid to allow themselves to FEEL" - Edward Van Halen
    "Van Halen was never about the singer..." - a very wise fan.
    "Embrace the past. Live in the moment but keep your eyes on the future, and keep on moving forward..." - Richie Sambora

  6. #5
    Sinner's Swing!
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    Quote Originally Posted by garbeaj View Post
    You just need to keep bringing it back until he fixes every problem on the guitar at little or no additional cost. Any reputable tech will do this. Rarely will any tech do something and have it turn out perfect without you playing it and getting it set up to your liking.

    Even with my main tech that has been working on my guitars since I was 14, I still have to play the instrument in front of him after he does any work and he tweaks and fixes any additional problems. If the guy really is an experienced and qualified tech, he will do this...that is he will keep working on it until it you are satisfied.
    Absolutely true. It's so much better going to a small reputable store over a chain. I like L&M for their selection, but I've heard plenty of horror stories about the work they do.
    How your tech treats you is how I treat my customers. I don't run a shop any more, but I still do odd jobs. I ask lots of questions, preferred gauges, action...watch them play....it all helps in performing the best setup or adjustment possible.
    Last edited by we die young; 02.13.15 at 07:41 PM.

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  8. #6
    Atomic Punk RRvh1's Avatar
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    ^^^ The Oshawa L&M location has a tech named John Bradley . He's an absolute guitar guru . Many years of respected service . He also used to do custom work for LADO Guitars , I believe . I'll be taking my stuff there from now on . He's done great work for me before .

    Took a chance on a new guy that just didn't work out .
    "There's too many people on this basketball that's floating around the sun, who are too afraid to allow themselves to FEEL" - Edward Van Halen
    "Van Halen was never about the singer..." - a very wise fan.
    "Embrace the past. Live in the moment but keep your eyes on the future, and keep on moving forward..." - Richie Sambora

  9. #7
    Sinner's Swing! Dutchie5150's Avatar
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    Luthiers are kind of like car mechanics. It takes a while to find one that does good work and can be trusted, but when you do find one, you stick with them...
    If you have nothing nice to say about Eddie Van Halen, you're at the right website. - Me (A few years ago)

    "People take Van Halen much more seriously than we do" - David Lee Roth (1980's)

    "I don't sit on the end of your bed while you're trying to make a living" - David Lee Roth (1988)

    "For some reason people love to complain about everything. The internet has made it easy for people to do that. Shut the fuck up and get a life, or show me how good you can do it."- Edward Van Halen

    "A lot of people ask me which Van Halen singer was better. You can't compare them. It's like asking which guitarist is better. Nobody is better than anybody. Every player is their own person."-Edward Van Halen

    "I do like Eddie Van Halen as a player. He gets it right quite often." -Paul McCartney

  10. #8
    Atomic Punk RRvh1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dutchie5150 View Post
    Luthiers are kind of like car mechanics. It takes a while to find one that does good work and can be trusted, but when you do find one, you stick with them...
    Amen to that !
    "There's too many people on this basketball that's floating around the sun, who are too afraid to allow themselves to FEEL" - Edward Van Halen
    "Van Halen was never about the singer..." - a very wise fan.
    "Embrace the past. Live in the moment but keep your eyes on the future, and keep on moving forward..." - Richie Sambora

  11. #9
    Good Enough JakeK21's Avatar
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    My dad had a busted up acoustic that he wanted to get fixed after I had started playing. He brought it to Guitar Center, the guy there told us it would be about a week, week and a half. My dad calls back like two weeks later and the guy hadn't even touched it yet. Long story short, we ended up with a brand new, really nice Yamaha acoustic.

  12. #10
    Good Enough nobozos's Avatar
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    12.09.17 @ 07:17 AM
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    I think there are some skills every guitar player should master as far as maintenance of their guitar. For basic stuff, there is really no magic to it. Everybody should learn to change their own strings, adjust their own action at the bridge, set their intonation, adjust their truss rod and set the correct spring tension on their trem. Things like fretwork, filing in a nut, or shimming a neck are things that should be left to people with more experience.

    You would be surprised how many problems can be fixed with very minor adjustments and a proper setup. A very good resource for accomplishing a proper setup is the original Peavey Wolfgang Owners Manual. If you can read, and have access to basic tools, you can do it. Another good resource is in the support section of the Paul Reed Smith website.

    I think a lot of guys are afraid to turn a truss rod for fear of screwing up their neck. As long as you only go no more than 1/8 of a turn at a time, then check clearance, you should be fine.

    There is also an order you have to perform the setup in for it to be effective. Change strings and stretch them out. Adjust your neck relief. Adjust trem spring tension. Adjust your saddle height. Adjust your intonation. There are specific measurements for string height and neck relief adjustments recommended by PRS and the Wolfgang manual, but of course, it's really set to your taste. Keep in mind however, that your adjustments should still be somewhere in the ballpark of the recommended settings.

    I've done it so many times that I can just eyeball it at this point. If I'm setting someone else's guitar up, I will still use the feeler gauges to check clearances though.
    "Having an opinion that people disagree with doesn't make you a Douche, arguing with the people who disagree with your opinion and calling them stupid does!" -Me.

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  14. #11
    Atomic Punk RRvh1's Avatar
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    12.11.17 @ 12:21 AM
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    Default Am I just cursed ? LOL

    I've learned an awful lot about guitars and their quirks/fixes on here , thanks to the many fine players and gurus on the Links. A thousand "thank you's" all around !!!

    Regarding my stuff - I'm having tuning issues with literally 5 of my axes . Stuff I never noticed before recently . Partly from lack of playing a lot , and partly because I now have a TC Polytune pedal that I use regularly .

    First off - my guitars won't stay in tune after heavy bending and trem bar use . Yes , the string are stretched out fully . I can turn the tuning pegs BEHIND the locking nut , while plucking a string by the bridge - and still make the note go sharp or flat ... I've read about putting a couple of extra washers onto the screws , but I'm having the same issue with 3 of my AX40 guitars , and 2 of the EVH striped series ones !!! Really ... Am I just cursed ? LOL

    Also - all the guitars have D-tuna devices on them . When in the 'E' position then guitars are pretty stable . When I pull it out to 'D' , some of the other string go out of whack according to the tuner . Does this happen to others on here ? Is it to do with the fine tuner tension plate ? I've read that some are missing the low E one and others have it . Should I cut it off and hope the D-tuna no longer affects the other strings via the plate ?

    I used to tune down the old fashioned way , by leaving plenty of room on the fine tuner . Thinking about going back to that because the D-tunas I've tried are all pretty finicky and stressful ! LOL .

    Thoughts ?
    "There's too many people on this basketball that's floating around the sun, who are too afraid to allow themselves to FEEL" - Edward Van Halen
    "Van Halen was never about the singer..." - a very wise fan.
    "Embrace the past. Live in the moment but keep your eyes on the future, and keep on moving forward..." - Richie Sambora

  15. #12
    Good Enough nobozos's Avatar
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    If your nut is mounted with two screws that go through the back of the neck, the screw ends May be protruding through the top of the nut enough to keep the strings from being fully clamped down.

    If your strings are going out of tune when using the d-tuna, you just need to turn in your spring claw a bit.

    I've also seen strings go out of tune, not because anything was wrong with the Trem setup, but because the mounting screws on the nut were loose and the whole nut was moving.
    Last edited by nobozos; 02.22.15 at 04:00 PM.
    "Having an opinion that people disagree with doesn't make you a Douche, arguing with the people who disagree with your opinion and calling them stupid does!" -Me.

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  17. #13
    Emperor of VHLinks.com Brett's Avatar
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    Default Guitar setup nightmares ?

    To me it sounds like stability of your bridge isn't good. Is it stable, can you pull it up at all?

    I've had situations with the D-Tuna knocking the E out of wack and I need to fine tune it depending on if it's in or out but not the other strings. You shouldn't need to cut the leaf spring off.
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  19. #14
    Atomic Punk RRvh1's Avatar
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    Thanks guys . I'll try tightening the claw a bit , and also look at getting a couple of extra washers to try the neck/nut screw remedy .

    Brett - the bridges are flush mounted and set to dive only . That's why I was miffed . I'll admit that the trem arm is very easy to depress . That's just how I liked it .

    Cheers .
    "There's too many people on this basketball that's floating around the sun, who are too afraid to allow themselves to FEEL" - Edward Van Halen
    "Van Halen was never about the singer..." - a very wise fan.
    "Embrace the past. Live in the moment but keep your eyes on the future, and keep on moving forward..." - Richie Sambora

  20. #15
    Emperor of VHLinks.com Brett's Avatar
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    It definitely sounds like a stability issue if it's that easy to depress. Tightening the claw should help.
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