A Familiar Tale of Bad GAS
The intonation procedure went just fine. I think I had one a few cents or tics off and two or three others < 1 cent or tic. The neck relief is measuring about .006 without adjustments, so I left it alone. It's within specs.
I lowered the string height to where I like it, which is a little bit above really low. Problem. The high-E was buzzing on the post on the bridge pickup. I lowered the post a bit, but didn't like the tone as much. I raised the saddle back up and then the post to where it was and liked to tone better. This did result in the string height being a tad higher than I like it.
The pick-up sits on a spacer. I considered a long term alternative of taking the spacer off, shaving it down somehow a little, tiny bit and putting it back on. I then got the bright idea of trying to tighten the screws down a little bit more than was done at factory, in effort to avoid going through the spacer shave thing. It worked. I was able to then lower the saddle back down again and it's now playing very nicely. I dodged a bullet on that one. For reference, some people like the strings to be really, super low. I like them just a tiny bit higher than that.
So then the final thing to mess with was the pickups. I talked about seeing others posting on various opinion boards and reviews a bit of a muddy sound. Some guy even has a page dedicated to it. In all fairness, I have seen & heard You Tube demos that did sound thick. As I reported earlier, I didn't think I had a problem with this. Not too muddy, anyhow. I decided to go to a patch on my GT-10 that exploits the low end. If it's going to be thick sounding, it's on that patch that it will come out. Sure enough, there was some thickness.
I got to thinking. Only once in a while in all of the reviews have I read does someone have the stones to dare such an intricate and delicate procedure of adjusting the posts on the pickups. I decided to give it a shot. I started fairly simple. I lowered the e, A and D strings a 1/2 turn each on the bridge pickup. It made a fairly noticable difference. I went down another 1/2 turn on the e and A string. Just these little adjustments made quite a difference. I went to the neck and went through a similar set of adjustments. I think I ended up one full turn lower on the e, A, D and G strings. Boy, what a difference that made. I did a similar set of turns on the middle, but stopped due to some serious tone burn-out. I think I've got a bit left to do there.
The point is, as with my Gretsch and PRS, the pole positions screws can make a difference when put to use. I know some are fake and for show, but the ones that are real do make differences when adjusted. In the case of this guitar, I was able to get rid of some thickness that so many complained about on theirs. I need to come up with a system of being able to measure volume by frequencies and the know-how of what to do with that information once I have it. It's all trial and error right now.
It's hard to believe, but I think it sounds much better now than it did before. I'm sold. I'll make some recordings next week. Getting ready for a short trip. My two ferocious dogs and my big, fully grown son will be here to protect my gear.
As far as the tuners go, the pic makes them look to be vintage style. Might explain any short comings there.
I think it was more a case of never using this type of tuner before, especially during a re-stringing. Instead of the normal, re-assuring big post we normally get to wrap our strings around, there was this shorter thing withough a nut to keep tight. I will say that these were all tight as can be and free of tight/loose spots while tuning. So far, so good.
"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