[realmusicians] Re: Tom the guitar tech tale.

  • From: Chris Belle <cb1963@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: realmusicians@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 26 Dec 2011 11:04:09 -0600

Any wood will settle sometimes, so adjustments of the rod sometimes have to be done a couple of times to make it right, especially if it hasn't been done in a while.

Kind of like having to pitch raise a piano and then tune it tweak it a couple of times when it's been neglected a long time.

grooves in the sadle are normal, you don't wan the string to be sliding all over the place when you bend.

The nut groove and sadle groove provide some stability.

At 10:36 AM 12/26/2011, you wrote:
I mentioned some of this in another message, but my adventure with this Ibanez took a dive. I'm curious if this is common, a sign of a bad guitar, or a bad tech.

After having it setup it was much more playable. I had to tune it the next day and then a couple days later, which I expected given the new strings. And tuning was very quick and easy.

Then I started getting a buzz on the low E string. First I thought it was just poor fretting. But then I checked just plucking the open string and anything beyond a very gentle pluck caused the buzz. In the next few days the buzz got worse and worse and tuning got more and more difficult. By last night the thing was completely unplayable; nothing but buzz and horrendous tuning I couldn't dial back in to save my life. So I gave up thinking I'd have to bring it back to the tech because he did say when I picked it up to just bring it back in if I had any problems and he'd fix it up, no charge. So I wondered if this just happens sometimes.

Well, given that the shop is closed today, the tech won't be in until Wednesday, and I have the patience of a rabid pit bull, I went at it this morning, hell bent on being able to play.

I tried stretching the strings, re seating them, and tuning back up again. Three strikes and I was out. I just couldn't get the damn thing in tune for the life of me. I couldn't figure out why because it's been so simple until now. So I figured something else was up.

Next I threw caution to the wind and tightened up the truss rod a bit. No difference in the buzz. So I tightened it up a little more. No better, no worse. I didn't want to push it, so I went back to where it was and loosened it a bit. Hmmm, sounds like the buzz is a little quieter. So I loosened it a little more. Yes! Definitely better. One last little touch of loosening and the buzz was completely gone. And then it was as if it was back to the way I got it from the tech. I was able to tune it up in a few minutes, it sounds fine, and the buzz is gone.

So what gives? Is this just the way it is sometimes, or is it a sign that the guitar probably needs more work. And one last thing. I noticed that the saddle has little grooves in it. Is this right? For some reason I thought the idea of the arch was to eliminate drag on the string. Therefore the smaller the contact point the less drag there would be. If I'm totally off base on this it's just my usual over-thinking of things. But curious minds must know. grin.


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