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Lots of adjustment needed?

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(@rparker)
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Joined: 21 years ago
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I have a Squire Affinity Tele. It's the butter scotch blonde one with the maple neck. I've had it since it was new, probably almost 3 years old now. It never had to have anything major done to it, but the series of adjustments I had to make this evening were massive compared to my other guitars I've done in the past.

I picked it up to play for the first time in a few weeks this afternoon and thought I was playing an entirely different guitar. It was OK as recently as a few weeks ago when my house got invaded by late teens (respectful ones) who waltzed into my office to check out my gear. It was the guitar I was playing before and after they came and went.

So here's what I did today.

I measured the string height at the 12th. I was pretty much on 7/64ths-5/64ths thick to thin. Instead of going back to square one and checking truss-rod, 1st fret height, etc, I started right there at the 12th and adjusted string height. All but on string needed 2 full turns to get down to 5/64ths - 3/64ths. The high-E did some buzzing and I went back up a turn. One of the other thinner strings ended up getting raised about 1/2 a turn, but that was after the truss rod.

I checked the truss rod and it was fairly high. I do mine around .008 and I could see lots of air between my feeler guage and the string. I didn't bother seeing where it was. I just twisted the rod my usual 1/8th turn at a time thing - at first - and ended up at about a full turn. I lost track, and I got impatient and probably did two of them as much as 1/4 turn anyhow. That brought me down to my .008. Back to string height.

I fully expected to have to bump it back up a touch due to fret buzz. The last time I had to adjust a truss-rod that much required the strings to be a bit higher to get rid of buzz. On the contrary. This time, for whatever reason, the were not quite as low as I thought I put them. 4 out of 6 took an additional 1/2 to 1 full turn to get the strings back down to 5/64th. Only one of the strings needed to go up a touch due to buzzing from the earlier adjustments. That wasn't until I heard too much noise coming from somewhere down the neck when I strummed it firmly. I adjusted the string a 1/2 turn and did tried the same progression and the noise was gone.

These adjustments are obviously a lot. Especially near a full turn on the truss rod. Is this common for a guitar to have happen, or might it be humidity changes due to HVAC system with de-humidifier? maybe a combination? I don't recall ever having to do that much. :?:

oh well. at least I did it myself and saved the $40. :D

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


   
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 Crow
(@crow)
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Blame the teens. :lol:

Humidity changes can make a huge difference, but this does seem extreme. Possibly "green" wood? (I understand this was a problem with some early mass-production Chinese instruments. After a few summary executions they started aging their wood properly & it's not a widespread problem any more.)

Any major HVAC changes recently?

"You can't write a chord ugly enough to say what you want to say sometimes, so you have to rely on a giraffe filled with whipped cream." - Frank Zappa


   
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(@rparker)
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Joined: 21 years ago
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Topic starter  

Thanks for the response, Crow.
Any major HVAC changes recently?
Big time. Both systems replaced, and the included humidity reduction capacity. This was mid-July. All of my other guitars have reacted to this to some extent. I'm setting a couple up a week starting two weeks ago. This has been the worse by far. One other one was around 1/2 turn. The other three were minimal. 1/8th to 1/4. I'm measuring each one and adjusting as needed over the next few weeks. I prefer to do them after new strings have broken in.

I didn't know about Squire having a batch of green wood. Makes sense in this case.

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


   
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 Crow
(@crow)
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Not Squier in particular -- Chinese instruments in general. It seems to have been worst with violin-family instruments. And this is mostly hearsay. I don't own any Chinese-made instruments.

Moving from the Pacific Northwest to the foothills of the Rockies, all my instruments needed attention for a while, even the plywood ones. Things will settle in soon enough.

"You can't write a chord ugly enough to say what you want to say sometimes, so you have to rely on a giraffe filled with whipped cream." - Frank Zappa


   
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 cnev
(@cnev)
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:oops: I'm embarassed to say I have never touched any of my guitars other than to change strings. The Strat has always sounded pretty good and I never had any buzzing or anything weird with it, but the EPI LP was never quite right since the day I got it. I know it needs an adjustment the strings buzz a little near the nut and I think the intonation is a bit off.

I can probably do the adjustments myself but don't really have the desire to it at this point I'd rather have someone else do it right the first time. I need to do the same on the ex's Jackson. I would like to start playing with it since it's the best guitar in the house but it needs to be setp and I prob need to have th FR blocked off.

"It's all about stickin it to the man!"
It's a long way to the top if you want to rock n roll!


   
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(@s1120)
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Joined: 16 years ago
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Thanks for the response, Crow.
Any major HVAC changes recently?
Big time. Both systems replaced, and the included humidity reduction capacity. This was mid-July. All of my other guitars have reacted to this to some extent. I'm setting a couple up a week starting two weeks ago. This has been the worse by far. One other one was around 1/2 turn. The other three were minimal. 1/8th to 1/4. I'm measuring each one and adjusting as needed over the next few weeks. I prefer to do them after new strings have broken in.

I didn't know about Squire having a batch of green wood. Makes sense in this case.

I bet the AC change was the issue.. I had the dehumidfyer die on me a few years ago wile I was on vacation. We we got a new, bigger one and got it up and running... Well a few weeks after I dug out my Epiphone LP, and the neck was WAYYYYYYYYY out of wack!!!!!! I normaly do my own work, but sence it was farly new [maybe two years at that time] and it still had its factury setup, I shipped it out to get setup.. Neck came back into shape fine, and I think it plays, and sounds better then ever. But MAN it was bad!!! COuld throw a cat under the strings.. All my other guitars did not need more then a 1/8 turn adjustment.

Paul B


   
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(@s1120)
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Joined: 16 years ago
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:oops: I'm embarassed to say I have never touched any of my guitars other than to change strings. The Strat hs always sounded pretty good and I never and any buzzing or anything weird with it, but the EPI LP was never quite right since the day I got it. I know it needs an adjustment the strings buzz a little near the nut and I think the intonation is a bit off.

I can probably do the adjustments myself but don't really have the desire to at this point I'd rather have someone else do it right the first time. I need to do the same on the ex's Jackson. I would like to start playing with it since it's the best guitar in the house but it needs to be setp and I prob need to have th FR blocked off.

Thats the key...Its not that hard to do, but you gotta want to do it. Me, I enjoy working on them!! But then agean I like working on all kinds of stuff. Im a much better tech then player. :D

Paul B


   
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 Crow
(@crow)
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...Its not that hard to do, but you gotta want to do it. Me, I enjoy working on them!! But then agean I like working on all kinds of stuff. Im a much better tech then player. :D

Me too! I find setup really satisfying work -- getting the action just where I want it on every guitar I own. The only tricky part is the time required, and the patience. (I'm obsessive-compulsive, so no problem there.)

"You can't write a chord ugly enough to say what you want to say sometimes, so you have to rely on a giraffe filled with whipped cream." - Frank Zappa


   
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 cnev
(@cnev)
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No time and no patience. Actually I am a pretty much hands on guy for the most part but I just can't get motivated to go through a setup myself. Time to hire a guitar tech..Ha

"It's all about stickin it to the man!"
It's a long way to the top if you want to rock n roll!


   
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(@rparker)
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Joined: 21 years ago
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Topic starter  

Too much money to spend if you've got a small army of cheapo guitars. They never all go out of specs every season, but I can count on doing at least 3-4 every Spring and again every Autumn. Consider the minimal stuff only that I do, somebody would charge me maybe $25 a pop at the least. Maybe $40-$50. That's several hundred bucks a year.

I always thought that I was very in-tune with my guitars and knew when they were not quite right. Too much, actually. Every time it seams weird, I'm measuring. It's not always off. That's what's so odd about this tele I just fixed up. I hardly doubt that this would have happened over-night. I wonder how many times I picked it up and thought something like "I'm just not feeling the longer scale length today" or something and set it down instead of measuring?

I am apt to agree with those who say that it's the HVAC difference that pushed it over the edge.

Some might remember the time I had with my MIM Strat a few years back. I even got PO'd and "accidently" broke the neck and replaced it. It seemed like every time I picked it up that it was hosed. For the longest time I thought it was me. I traded it in on my PRS SE. Fast forward a couple years and my private label Strat copy is behaving like the MIM never had. I pick it up, check tuning and play. No muss, no fuss.

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


   
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