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Old 05-12-2011, 12:41 PM   #1
Uranutan
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Strings sound "dead."

I have a Fender Highway One HSS Strat I got a while ago. I got it at Guitar Center as a floor model that I think had been hanging high up on a wall near the register for a very long time. When I took it to a tech to have it set up (this was at least 8 months ago) I think he said something about the neck being mildly warped or something. He did something like lowering the bridge to be tight against the body, which disabled the whammy bar. I think this was for more sustain or lower action, but I'm not sure.

Anyway, after a while the G string started to just sound dead. It sounds thin and "flat." By flat, I don't mean it's a lower pitch. It just lacked the depth of sound that the other strings had. This is especially noticeable under distortion.

I had the action lowered (it was still high, probably due to the problem with the neck) and all the strings started to sound like that. It just lacks the deep, open sound a good Strat usually has with the neck pickup. It also sounds very thin under heavy distortion with the bridge pickup. It's also especially noticeable with open position chords. I also get moderate fret buzz, but I think that might just be an unavoidable side effect of low action.

Somebody else I took it too said they didn't notice anything, but it's very noticeable to me. I think the neck might be the problem. Does anybody know what it could be?
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Old 05-12-2011, 12:50 PM   #2
kaneorsomething
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Sounds like you need to adjust the truss rod.
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Old 05-12-2011, 12:56 PM   #3
swilcox26
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If the neck is bad at least I am going to assume its a bolt on neck (unless there is something different about the highway one model) so it could be replaced...

If the neck is warped the action on all the strings will be different between them or noticeably different as you go down the neck. You could take the strings off and lay something like a level on there and see if is flat down the neck. I think if it is warped as far as I know it can't be fixed..

If it isn't warped then it might be something weird with the bridge. If it is just that string, maybe the string isn't sitting right in the saddle??..

btw weird he would 'disable' your tremolo...
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Old 05-12-2011, 12:58 PM   #4
Wickedsteak
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Does it sound dead more on the higher registers of the guitar? Or does it sound dead everywhere? I have a gibson flying v with a warped neck. The lower strings buzz a little and have bad sustain everywhere except on the 1st 3 frets, and the top strings have little to no sustain if you play above the 12th fret. To me it sounds like it's likely that it is your neck. You might just need to get the truss rod adjusted slightly or something.
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Old 05-12-2011, 02:06 PM   #5
grohl1987
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It sounds like you've been trying to lower the action so much that there's now not enough of a break angle over the saddles or nut. you'd probably find that if you increased the neck relief a little and raised the saddles a little bit then it'd sound good again. Having the strings so low could also mean that their vibrations are being messed with by the magnetic field of the pickups. The fact that you say you now get some fret buzz also makes me think you've simply got the strings too low. Lots of people have unrealistic expectations of what 'low action' is. About 2.3-2.5mm from the bottom of the low E to the top of the 12th fret fretwire is what actual normal low action is. If you try to go lower than that then it's no wonder your tone sucks and you're getting fret buzz.
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Old 05-12-2011, 06:05 PM   #6
dr_john
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put a new set of strings on. if you have had the same set on for 8 months or more then that's probably why they sound dull.

if that fails, go back to the tech who set up your guitar and discuss the problem.
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Old 05-13-2011, 12:55 AM   #7
Pac_man0123
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I don't suppose you live in Washington? I got a used Highway One strat from Guitar Center a couple years back that had the same problem. I decided it wasn't for me and returned it before trying new strings on it, though.
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