Ian F (Forum Supporter)
Ian F (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
1/30/21 11:09 a.m.

In reply to tuna55 :

It's hard to tell from your picture, but you need to hold the tape measure against the fretboard side of the nut and then measure down to the bridge.

On a Gibson type guitar, it should be roughly 24 3/4" on the high E, with the thicker strings being a bit longer.

Good Stewmac website page about scale length.

Antihero (Forum Supporter)
Antihero (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
1/30/21 11:58 a.m.

That is very weird, is the neck super bowed?

 

tuna55
tuna55 MegaDork
1/30/21 8:03 p.m.

The nut is on correctly. Thanks, I didn't think of that. 

 

The picture there is with the tape on the other side of the nut. Here's the other way. 

 

 

 

 

The bridge appears to measure correctly, but somewhere around the seventh fret our measurements begin to diverge

 

 

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
1/31/21 6:14 a.m.

In reply to tuna55 :

One thing I haven't seen mentioned is the fret crown. Fret wire is semicircular, the tops of the frets are then filed flat to ensure they're all level. After that they're dressed with a concave fret file, which narrows the flattened crown of the fret to bring the intonation back to spec. I presume that's all done by machine on your guitar, but if for some reason they missed the 7th fret, or the file was misaligned, it could cause your problem.

Tony Sestito
Tony Sestito PowerDork
1/31/21 9:30 p.m.

Since we are talking setups and string weirdness...

My musician nephews came over yesterday, and the bass player had a couple of his basses that needed work in tow, including this curiosity:









His buddy's family has a rental property, and a tenant left this thing there years ago, and he gave it to my nephew. Free bass! And it's a cool one: This is a CF Martin & Co Stinger. Yes, that CF Martin. They wanted to get into that sweet 1980's Hair Metal game, so they commissioned the Samick factory in Korea to build a line of shredder guitars and basses. It has decent pickups, nice full-sized Fender-style tuners, and a strange 5-screw bridge with these giant brass saddles. Retail price on this one is about the equivalent of $850 today. This one was built between 1986-88, and is clearly a quality piece. Or, at least it was. Check this out:



See how far those strings are off the board? The neck is BERKED. When he brought it to me, we noticed that the neck was crudely shimmed and there was a substantial gap between the body and the heel. After pulling the neck, we found a cut-up credit card in there. It was bowed away from the strings, so we pulled the crude shim and started messing with the truss rod and bridge. After cranking on that truss rod, we got it to what you see here. When there's no tension on the strings, the neck is fine. But when you tighten them up, it turns into a banana. I've never seen such a spongy neck in my life. It's sad, since it has a nice profile and it's in great cosmetic shape.

Plan with this one is to replace the neck. It seems like your standard 34" scale, 20 fret deal, but I do still have to measure the heel. Thinking of grabbing a cheap P-Bass neck for it, slapping it on, and calling it good. 

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
2/1/21 4:57 a.m.

In reply to Tony Sestito :

Check out Allen Eden for necks, they sell on eBay & have their own website too. The one I bought for the 8-string was well made & they're pretty cheap.

tuna55
tuna55 MegaDork
2/1/21 7:15 a.m.

Thanks everyone. I am bringing it tp UPS tody (and letting them pack it) and sending it back. Nothing I tried made any sense. Time to bail.

Tony Sestito
Tony Sestito PowerDork
2/1/21 9:09 a.m.

In reply to Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) :

Thanks for the recommendation. I think we are looking for something with a headstock that is already done instead of a paddle to work with. He doesn't have the tools to shape, drill, etc. He's thinking something with your typical Fender headstock and making a custom decal for it. He's got his eye on this one:


He digs maple boards and block inlays. I'd go with dot inlays on this one, but it's his bass.

Tony Sestito
Tony Sestito PowerDork
2/7/21 6:56 p.m.

Last weekend's bass extravaganza with my nephews influenced me to work on one of my own today.



Up on the table is my Squier Vintage Modified '77 Jazz, AKA my "Geddy Lee" bass. I bought this 4 years ago this week, and was still wearing its stock strings! Also, the day I bought it, I ordered a high mass bridge for it which has been sitting in my guitar toolbox ever since. It was well past time to install that. 



I've seen worse, but this fingerboard was getting gross. That is supposed to be a glossy board, and those frets were nasty with weird stuff stuck to them in places. 



Stock bridge isn't much to look at. 



I was surprised to see this under the bridge as a ground. I usually see just a wire here, but I like this setup much better with the ground wire attached to shielding tape. 





So yeah, the "high mass" bridge is much beefier. This is a cheapo one from some Amazon seller that was under $10 shipped, and the edges were rough, so I gave them a rub with a Scotch Brite pad and all was good. 



Since I'm the original owner, and it shares time with my other basses, the frets weren't worn at all, but they still needed a bit of polishing. On goes the painter's tape and after a light scuff with that aforementioned pad, they got treated to some Mother's metal polish. 



Yeah, that's the stuff. 



Bridge went on without much of a fuss





And done! I got it dialed in real nice after some adjustments, and this thing plays great now. New bridge gives it some extra beef, punch and sustain that it sorely needed, and after cleaning, it still makes my jaw drop, just like the moment I saw it hanging in the store. I love this thing. 
 

Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter)
Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
2/8/21 5:59 p.m.
tuna55 said:

Thanks everyone. I am bringing it tp UPS tody (and letting them pack it) and sending it back. Nothing I tried made any sense. Time to bail.

Thats a strange one if it's a factory assembled guitar. I did have an older LP or SG copy that the bridge actually had a few different holes where it could sit to set the base angle, then you adjusted the intonation with the saddle screws. I managed to assemble things together once with it off and it did weird E36 M3 like this when I tried to adjust it. 

PS was it a Epi SG Pro 400 in Pelham Blue? If so that's on my short list as of late.. lmk where it's from so I can avoid it or get a good deal laugh

BlueInGreen - Jon (Forum Supporter)
BlueInGreen - Jon (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
2/8/21 6:09 p.m.
Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter) said:
tuna55 said:

Thanks everyone. I am bringing it tp UPS tody (and letting them pack it) and sending it back. Nothing I tried made any sense. Time to bail.

Thats a strange one if it's a factory assembled guitar. I did have an older LP or SG copy that the bridge actually had a few different holes where it could sit to set the base angle, then you adjusted the intonation with the saddle screws. I managed to assemble things together once with it off and it did weird E36 M3 like this when I tried to adjust it. 

PS was it a Epi SG Pro 400 in Pelham Blue? If so that's on my short list as of late.. lmk where it's from so I can avoid it or get a good deal laugh

I have a working theory that while the low end stuff from Epiphone or Squier is pretty good these days, the quality control is not up to the same standards as the more expensive models. Therefore the chances of getting a lemon go way  up.

Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter)
Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
2/8/21 6:21 p.m.
BlueInGreen - Jon (Forum Supporter) said:

I have a working theory that while the low end stuff from Epiphone or Squier is pretty good these days, the quality control is not up to the same standards as the more expensive models. Therefore the chances of getting a lemon go way  up.

I'd agree. I had a Epi LP that played awesome but went through about 30 guitars before I found one that I *really* liked (and probably wasted twice the price difference between an Epi and Gibson in the time I spent but was going to spend anyway so I guess it's a wash). 

Javelin (Forum Supporter)
Javelin (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
2/8/21 6:56 p.m.

In reply to Tony Sestito :

Man that was a satisfying post to read. Bass looks great!

Tony Sestito
Tony Sestito PowerDork
2/8/21 9:16 p.m.

In reply to Javelin (Forum Supporter) :

Thanks! And as great as it looks, it plays even better. Spent a little time with it on my lunch break today running through a few songs, and it's now challenging my Peavey Foundation S as my favorite. Compared to a "real" Fender, the body is slightly thinner and much lighter, but it's one of the best playing Jazz-style basses I've ever laid my hands on, especially now. 

Tony Sestito
Tony Sestito PowerDork
2/8/21 9:25 p.m.
BlueInGreen - Jon (Forum Supporter) said:
Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter) said:
tuna55 said:

Thanks everyone. I am bringing it tp UPS tody (and letting them pack it) and sending it back. Nothing I tried made any sense. Time to bail.

Thats a strange one if it's a factory assembled guitar. I did have an older LP or SG copy that the bridge actually had a few different holes where it could sit to set the base angle, then you adjusted the intonation with the saddle screws. I managed to assemble things together once with it off and it did weird E36 M3 like this when I tried to adjust it. 

PS was it a Epi SG Pro 400 in Pelham Blue? If so that's on my short list as of late.. lmk where it's from so I can avoid it or get a good deal laugh

I have a working theory that while the low end stuff from Epiphone or Squier is pretty good these days, the quality control is not up to the same standards as the more expensive models. Therefore the chances of getting a lemon go way  up.

This right here. With the lower end and middle of the road stuff, sometimes a dud will slip through the cracks. Hell, it even happens with the expensive stuff! I have told the tale in this thread, but I picked up a new Gibson Explorer that cost $2400 at a store once and it had terrible build quality and played far worse than a $249 used and abused LTD EX model sitting on the other side of the store. I'm talking glue all over the neck, nasty fret finishing, wonky action, and it sounded terrible. It's disappointing that it happens, but it does happen. 

Ian F (Forum Supporter)
Ian F (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
2/9/21 2:52 p.m.

I try to avoid buying guitars without playing them first. I've definitely been burned more often than not - the Dave Murray Strat in the background of this picture is a good example and also a warning about buying artist signature guitars - while you may love a particular guitar player, you might not love their guitars...

That said, I've been looking at a '84 Explorer on Reverb for awhile and was pondering making an offer. Then last week the seller dropped the price into my offer range, so I pulled the trigger. I've been wanting a P90 equipped guitar for awhile. And I like Kahler bridges.

Tis Ferrari Red.

Tony Sestito
Tony Sestito PowerDork
2/9/21 3:19 p.m.

In reply to Ian F (Forum Supporter) :

Yeah, that's the stuff. Triple pickup Explorer with a Kahler? Sign me right the berk up for that! NICE SCORE!

Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter)
Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
2/9/21 6:56 p.m.

I already can't keep a guitar in tune, every time I see a tremolo I wince to myself. I don't know how people deal with it, but maybe it's a personal problem. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
2/9/21 7:09 p.m.

In reply to Ian F (Forum Supporter) :

What don't you like about the Dave Murray Strat? I was actually thinking that one could be kinda cool....

Ian F (Forum Supporter)
Ian F (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
2/9/21 7:11 p.m.

In reply to Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter) :

It's a love-hate thing for me as well.  Floyd Rose bridges stay in tune the best, but I just don't like how they feel under the picking hand.  Kahlers are not the best, but my '84 Les Paul has one and after so long playing it, I just never really feel quite right on a standard tune-o-matic bridge.  There is a way to lock Kahler bridges (new ones sold today have this feature) and I may add it to this one.  

Buying this guitar really put me over the edge with hanger space, so I'm in the process of trying to sell my mid-80's Kramer (with an original non-fine tuner Floyd - now THERE is a tuning challenge!).  It's not the greatest guitar in the world and I didn't pay a lot for it, but holy hell Facebook marketplace is a cesspool when trying to sell something. Even cheap...

Antihero (Forum Supporter)
Antihero (Forum Supporter) UberDork
2/9/21 7:33 p.m.

A 3 p90 explorer is a must buy

Tony Sestito
Tony Sestito PowerDork
2/14/21 9:07 p.m.

Spent some time with a past Valentine's Day present today. 



Years ago, I went to a music shop with my girlfriend (now wife) and was looking for one of these:

They had one, and I liked it, but I wanted to stack it up against something "nicer" to see how it compared. Further down the wall was a Warwick. Knowing they were higher end basses, I grabbed it and fell in love. It played incredibly well and felt so comfortable. I took a look at the price tag, expecting something in the low $1000 range, and nope, it was the same price as the Squier! My not-yet-wife looked at me and said, "Happy Birthday AND Valentine's Day! Let's buy it before someone else does!" So, we did. My birthday is a few weeks before Valentine's Day, so it was a matter of being in the right place at the right time. Score!!!

I haven't messed with it much since buying it all those years ago, for fear I'd screw it up. But I've "leveled up" enough to know what I'm doing now, so it went under the knife today. And don't worry, my wife got an excellent Valentine's dinner made by me tonight, so my bass setup session was ok. laugh 



This is a Streamer Standard "Double Buck" made in Germany in 1999. Warwick came out with an entry level line around that time, and they didn't have the overseas Rockbass lines yet, so they were made alongside all the real expensive stuff. For this line, they cut a few corners:

-Carolena body, which is a soft, light pine.
-Passive MEC humbuckers. They don't have the same volume as their bigger brothers, resulting in an even, mellow tone. 
-Standard high-mass Warwick-branded bridge instead of the multi-piece bridges on more expensive basses. 

But, they still got some high-end features, specifically in the neck. That neck is made of Ovangol with a Wenge fretboard and bell brass frets. It feels AMAZING. It is one of the most comforable stringed instruments I have ever played. But yeah, this thing was filthy. Strings are 5+ years old and completely dead, and the frets/fretboard were growing things. 





So yeah, the plan was to clean it, re-string it, and lower the action a bit. It was otherwise perfect. 



The frets changed color when I was polishing them! I didn't know they would shine up like this. 

After a deep clean and re-string:


Yeah, that's the stuff. 



Neck looks downright delicious. The fretwork on this thing is absolutely impeccable. The ends are perfectly polished, and the frets themselves are super smooth. 



I love how this is the "bargain bin" bridge on one of these. This is probably nicer than most "high end" bridges on some bass lines! It's heavy, solid, and simple. That's all you need sometimes. Also, they made a single humbucker version of the Streamer Standard, as well as a Corvette Standard with twin MEC Jazz pickups. 



The nut is interesting on this bass. It's plastic, but check this out: when you pull the strings, the nut will raise up. I think that's because there are two screws missing, but either way, I bought it like that. It just floats there and adjusts with string tension. Also, this is the first time in forever using GHS Boomers. I like the wrap at the top of the strings; looks classy. They sound great so far. 



Close-up of that neck. The wood is beautiful. The profile feels sort of like a Jazz Bass neck. I like those. 

Like my wife, this one is a keeper. smiley If you see one of these cheap, buy it! 

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
2/15/21 8:20 a.m.

In reply to Tony Sestito :

If the nut is like my Rockbass Corvette those missing screws are for height adjustment. 
 

Mine is absolutely the best sounding bass I've ever played. I love the MEC pickups & electronics; and the bridge/tailpiece, tuners & nut are all nice quality pieces. Unfortunately the ergonomics suck & I rarely play it, but I keep thinking that someday I'll do a custom built short-scale 6-string with their hardware & electronics. 

Ian F (Forum Supporter)
Ian F (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
2/15/21 9:09 a.m.
David S. Wallens said:

In reply to Ian F (Forum Supporter) :

What don't you like about the Dave Murray Strat? I was actually thinking that one could be kinda cool....

Mostly the neck.  It has a neck closer to the Gibson R9's ('59 Burst reissues) I've played than my Strat or even my '84 Les Paul Studio - which both have fairly slim necks.  

I was willing to take a chance on buying the '84 Explorer under the assumption/hope the neck would be similar to my '84 Studio - which turned out to be correct. 

I have another early 90's USA Strat with a messed up finish.  My plan for that guitar is to build a "Live After Death" replica Strat with a Kahler (since I have the Kahler...). I have a few projects ahead of that, tho... 

Anyway... if you're interested, LMK.  I'll definitely beat any of the Reverb prices.  I also have a Jackson Adrian Smith model (Indian made version) I could do a package deal on. wink

tuna55
tuna55 MegaDork
2/23/21 8:31 a.m.

So Musicians' friend finally refunded me. I now have $400 (plus tax) sitting waiting for a new guitar to find me.

 

Three scenarios:

 

A: I buy a similarly priced guitar. I like clean tones a lot, and played the SG with split coils a lot. I want something with either one single coil or splits available. I like weird things. I was looking at Slick guitars, Danelectro, Gretsch, D'Angelico, G&L or another Epiphone SG.

B: I buy a 'better" guitar. PRS or something, and spend double. This is a bad idea probably. Wife will be mad.

C: I have a cruddy amp, Champion 20, and I want a Boss Katana. I could buy something cheaper (The aforementioned Slick, something used, not sure what else) and spend the rest plus some on the amp.

 

Thoughts? For bonus points, find something without chrome.

 

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