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Guitar Repair

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I guess this falls more in the "gear" part of this section, feel free to move it should be in Everything Else...


It's kind of embarrassing really. I have so much experience PLAYING guitars but...practically none in repairing them. I need to remedy this. Is there a forum you would recommend I join? A good youtube video? There's a guy in town that does a good job at a fair price but...really I need to learn.

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  • 3 weeks later...

thanks!! have ordered the book and will let you know how it goes. Though...you already know...so maybe ill let this thread die ^_^


hey David, if you see this; I dont know if it's possible but is there a way that one might be able to tag (and search) posts that get solved. I know we can edit the title to show it, but it would be cool if it were a search option or a tag we could input in OP.

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  • 1 month later...

OK!! Update:


I bought that book and have been reading it. Luckily even have a spare guitar that I have been learning with and have some questions now for you that are experienced.


There's a terrible buzzing coming from my guitar (skip to end for tl:dr)




I've got a nice guitar that I neglected for a long time while in college (not enough time for classical and electric) and then I ended up doing some traveling, so about 7 years pass before I get to give it some love. I live in florida so humidity is ever an issue. Come to find out there was a good bit of relief in the neck; I don't know if it has always been there or if it's just age. The big issue is the buzz - it's insane and coming from my neck.


Fast forward to me getting it fine tuned after my first visit to a real good tech in town; which is awesome. The guy lets me hang around while he works on it and go into play style etc... ANYWAY First visit; he takes out the relief (note, truss rod works) and we put some .12's on and he sets it up perfect, the buzz in my neck is almost none existent and the thing vibrates like a monster...but I'm not batman. Second visit; I'm pretty weak now so I had to have him take the action down (i play very hard) and he straightened out the neck again as a bit of relief had crept back in. When he set it up like this the buzz in my neck came back but only when playing the most absurd of a triad. in drop d there was an "a" in the bass but I could play that a on the 5th string (open a) and it wouldn't buzz but as soon as I even put my finger on the 6th (even super super light) the buzz came back.


I've got a piezzo tonepro bridge and he figures out that the set screw is lose and tightens it up - bam buzz is gone.


I take it home and the buzz is not only back, but atrocious. The guy had no idea what the heck was causing the buzz the first time and was amazed at how loud the set "set screw buzz" was that it would vibrate so much through the guitar into the neck. Me too. But it went away after he tightened it and we thought that was that. Again, I get home and it's not only that wonky triad as it was in the store, its' all over the place and it's so loud you can even hear it when using my humbuckers. No chance using the piezzo =/. I've checked the neck and it's held this time, no relief and straight as poo. So since he doesn't have any idea what is causing it I come to you (i havn't called him yet as that would be a THIRD visit and the guy is super nice to put up with all my insanity) as Erlewine doesn't have mention of this.




My neck is buzzing like crazy but the truss rod works. I've got a crap recording of the sound here: https://dl.dropbox.com/u/120183/truss.wav on what is the worst - a normal c power chord. what to do? idea to have him look into?

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Hey Bob, Maybe a pic of the guitar would help? Im confused by you saying it has humbuckers and piezos...


Couple of things it might be:


1) The truss rod may be loose in the neck now. I would think you would hear that if you just gently shook the guitar side to side. This is probably a hard repair. But its covered in erlewines book


2) you may have a loose fret (or frets). Gently tug at both fret ends of each fret to see if they move. Easy fix, and its covered in erlewines book.


3) Could be a loose nut. Easy, erlewine. yada yada.


4) Could be loose tuner. see above.


Like i said, a pic can't hurt. :D

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You haven't mentioned it, so I'm going to ask:


Have you done a thorough set-up according to the instructions in Dan's book? Do that first so you know what you're dealing with. it could be buzzing because there's no relief in the neck, because a tuner is loose, or any number of things. Doing the set-up first will eliminate a lot of guesswork.

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@Gravity Jim - my tech guy doesn't do it the exact same way as Erlewine but he knows his stuff. He worked with me figuring out necessary comprimises and what not but I have read and re-read Erlewine's stance about setting up gtr's and basses and different bridges/truss rod stuff and am still coming up short.


@Chimpotle - every time I see your name I want to eat at Chipotle....so bad. But 1-4 is no go. Lose fret was a new idea but checked out.


On protone bridges (mine has piezzo's built into the string notches); I am picking up some kind of...resonance? in it. It seems to come from the treble's playing lead stuff or even chunkin' on chords. I cant find mention of it anywhere in Erlewine's book but how do I narrow this down? It's hard for me to consistently recreate it but it comes through the piezzo as well as certain pickup patterns (i believe when I go single coil - though to be honest I do not remember all the elctronics for this guy; it's a 5 way switch and when I pop the volume up to go in mono it's positions 2 and 4 that it's most noticeable).


I'm gonna go in and see if we can figure something out. I know I need to raise my nut and treble bridge a bit, but I want to have a better idea of possibilities before I do.

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hey - so I'm going to ignore the buzzing until I can put a new nut in (makin my own! excited!) but I have some other questions I can't find in Erlewine's book.


1) why would my guitar have open strings that pendulum back and fourth with intonation. Open strings. Using Logic's tuner and Guitar rig's (and my ears). Sometimes it sounds like it's out of tune with itself. I'm having a hard time replicating it too which is frustrating. I thought I was going crazy until I worked on my old S.D.Curlee that has an super old Kahler WITHOUT the nut locks. It doesn't do this and is super steady with it's intonation.

1.1) would this then also change why I get the begginings of power chords that are oout of tune and then after a quick bit are back in-tune once the string settles? I use 12 guage strings and play really heavy but even playing real soft it's still there a little bit.

1.2) I don't know if this is normal. It's a Warrior with 200+ year old wood. They get great sustain. GREAT sustain. I can bend strings and have them get out of tune with themselves. When unplugged. It's nuts. I can mute it away and control it, but I'm curious if that might be why? Is there a way I can learn to play-fix this?


2) I go out of tune when bending. I've got locking machine heads and know how to get a string to "settle" per my classical experience (those jerks slip like no other). But for some reason even after weeks of string bending after one or two real good bends I'm pretty consistently 6-9 cents out of tune on the trebles and ~4 cents on the basses (Trying to incorporate some of that interesting stuff Vildjarta does on that Dagger track; there be possibilities there. This is frustrating too because my Curlee (mentioned before) with the Kahler bridge and NO NUT LOCKS doesn't 0.o And it's freakin tuned to B-flat!


3)resonance in the pro-tone (also maybe called tun-o-matic?). It's super strange, and again comes and goes, but it's like there's this resonance that sounds like it's coming from the bridge.


I'll talk with my guy about 'em when I go in, but again it'd be nice if I had a better idea of what the heck I was trying to say especially if I can't replicate it when I go in (as happened last time).

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