#1
I understand that guitars can mess up somehow when they don't have any strings on them to keep tension on it. How long can a guitar neck last w/o strings before being un-useable?

Also, in the situation that it does lose all the tension and the wood is relaxed, is there something you can do to restore it and how much?
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#3
Adjust the truss rod OP.

And to check you've done it right, check the action on the str- ooohhh.

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#4
Quote by Misticalz
I understand that guitars can mess up somehow when they don't have any strings on them to keep tension on it. How long can a guitar neck last w/o strings before being un-useable?

Also, in the situation that it does lose all the tension and the wood is relaxed, is there something you can do to restore it and how much?



can you set up a guitar?

is it for an extended period of time?
Jenneh

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#5
It's been 1 day and I'm going to buy new strings tomorrow. No, I can't set up a guitar.
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#6
Btw, the neck is bolt-on if that has any relevance to the situation
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#7
I have left the strings off my Ibanez for 9 month periods at a time when I was away at university. When I come back, and string it up, it strings up and plays absolutely fine. Only thing is that when you string it up, you must tune it back to standard across a period of time.

What I do is that I slowly increase the string tension across the period of 1 week.
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#8
Quote by ragingkitty
I have left the strings off my Ibanez for 9 month periods at a time when I was away at university. When I come back, and string it up, it strings up and plays absolutely fine. Only thing is that when you string it up, you must tune it back to standard across a period of time.

What I do is that I slowly increase the string tension across the period of 1 week.



You are Godly, thank you so much. I was afraid I'd have to pay $70 to have it fixed for me if I didn't put them in asap. That doesn't sound that bad, so just tune to idk, 5x flat E standard and just tune up a semi tone (or something) every day for a week or something?
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#9
Quote by Misticalz
It's been 1 day and I'm going to buy new strings tomorrow. No, I can't set up a guitar.



you're not going to break the guitar. But there's a good chance you're going to have to visit the setup page at the top of the thread.

i know it's exciting that he said, he left his strings off all that time.

but every guitar is different.
and the backbow might create fret buzz in the first few frets.

so string it up. and when you dont know how to set up a guitar, swap one string at a time.

stringing it up over a period of time is not some magic fix.
no tension in the neck is still no tension on the neck, just prolongs stringing it up.
Jenneh

Quote by TNfootballfan62
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Last edited by jj1565 at Aug 20, 2009,
#10
Quote by Misticalz
You are Godly, thank you so much. I was afraid I'd have to pay $70 to have it fixed for me if I didn't put them in asap. That doesn't sound that bad, so just tune to idk, 5x flat E standard and just tune up a semi tone (or something) every day for a week or something?


Check with what jj1565 has said.

Also as she has mentioned, every guitar is different. My guitar was one of the Ibanez RG from the Japanese factories before they split the production into regular RGs and Prestige RGs. So QC was more stringent.

You don't need to tune it up half a step every day. Just tune all the strings slowly towards standard... it doesn't have to be half a step exactly... just tune a little... like maybe a step or 2 or so.

However, IMHO jj1565 might be a little too excessive.

Guitar woods are hardier than jj1565 describes them to be and is not likely to deform or go out of shape even if you leave the strings off for a few days. The wood is not going to splinter or warp out of shape too much. Yes you might need some minor set up, but it doesn't mean it WILL ALWAYS need a set up, it depends on how well cured the guitar woods are.

Take both our post with a pinch of salt. However, I will guarantee that your guitar will not magically die or warp out of shape with the strings off for a few days. I also guarantee that a complete and through set up is not ALWAYS called for, minor adjustments may be required, but a complete and through set up will definitely not be required for leaving your strings off for a few days.

Quote by jj1565
no tension in the neck is still no tension on the neck, just prolongs stringing it up.


The wood still has tension. The truss rod will also still retain tension.
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Last edited by ragingkitty at Aug 20, 2009,
#11
Sounds good, I really hope this doesn't go wrong for me, however, I'm not bad at following instructions and I can read from the guitar setup thread and do it myself and stuff. From now on when I take off strings I'll probably leave 1-2 strings on until I get the news ones.
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#12
no no. dont leave 2 on. it'll pull the guitar in one direction.

if you take off all the strings, then take them off and know there's a good chance your guitar will play differently afterward.

if you want to best preserve the way the guitar plays now, then swap one string at a time.

every single day, i get a guy in there... i just changed the strings, what happened?
Jenneh

Quote by TNfootballfan62
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#13
if you want to best preserve the way the guitar plays now, then swap one string at a time.

That's really only necessary when dealing with a Flyod Rose style tremolo.

While I agree that leaving unbalanced tension on one side of the neck for an extended period of time will contribute towards warping. Leaving unbalanced tension on one side of the neck for a period of less than a few minutes is unlikely to warp the neck.
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Last edited by ragingkitty at Aug 20, 2009,
#14
Quote by ragingkitty
That's really only necessary when dealing with a Flyod Rose style tremolo.



no man, it's really not. it's really with every single guitar.
i'm telling you i do this every day.

i dont want to explain it all right now. believe what you want.
Jenneh

Quote by TNfootballfan62
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#15
Quote by jj1565
no man, it's really not. it's really with every single guitar.
i'm telling you i do this every day.

i dont want to explain it all right now. believe what you want.


lol yeah you should say refer to the set up guide like in every other post of yours. and be done with it.... if you havent already.
#16
Quote by jj1565
no man, it's really not. it's really with every single guitar.
i'm telling you i do this every day.

i dont want to explain it all right now. believe what you want.


I don't believe what I want, I believe what I have experienced.

Though I don't dispute that every single guitar is different.

I also do setups on a regular basis, and my experience is that taking strings off all at a time to swap them on within the next 15 minutes will not impact the curvature of the neck.

In contrast, if you take the strings off one at a time to swap new ones in regularly, over time you'll actually notice changed in the curvature of the neck for 2 reasons.

1. Different brands of strings, even of identical gauges, have different tensions from the packet. Hence over time, you'll notice changes in the neck curvature and the pull of the tremolo.
2. Between different batches of strings, there are difference in the tension as well, due to core integrity, and pull of the wound strings on the core. Over time, there will be changes to the tension on the string, however I noticed that this afflicts flyod rose equipped guitars more than vintage tremolo or fixed bridge guitars.
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#17
Quote by ragingkitty
I don't believe what I want, I believe what I have experienced.

Though I don't dispute that every single guitar is different.

I also do setups on a regular basis, and my experience is that taking strings off all at a time to swap them on within the next 15 minutes will not impact the curvature of the neck.

In contrast, if you take the strings off one at a time to swap new ones in regularly, over time you'll actually notice changed in the curvature of the neck for 2 reasons.

1. Different brands of strings, even of identical gauges, have different tensions from the packet. Hence over time, you'll notice changes in the neck curvature and the pull of the tremolo.
2. Between different batches of strings, there are difference in the tension as well, due to core integrity, and pull of the wound strings on the core. Over time, there will be changes to the tension on the string, however I noticed that this afflicts flyod rose equipped guitars more than vintage tremolo or fixed bridge guitars.



seriously. it effects all guitars.
it effects them to different degrees.

i've had guys post because their tom popped off and fell on the floor.

this morning a guy took off all the strings, and we set up his neck for him.

floyds should get stabilized first. so tbh, it's not more taxing on their neck.
it's just another step when taking off the strings.

the bottom line, is if you don't know how to set up a guitar, you'd be foolish to take off all the strings and risk additional set up.

and saying that, 15 mins isnt going to bother a tom or strat trem guitar, doesn't hold water.


my response is always going to be, if you don't know how to set up a guitar, then swap one string at a time, or meet me up there. i'll still help anyway.
Jenneh

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#18
Damn, this is a lot to devour. I didn't think changing strings was supposed to be done so crucially. I normally just take them off by un-wounding them, wipe all the dust off, open the new pack and put them in. It's how I learned to change strings
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#19
Quote by jj1565
seriously. it effects all guitars.
it effects them to different degrees.


Yes I do not dispute that, however, I am asserting that a short period is not going to make a massive difference.

Quote by jj1565
i've had guys post because their tom popped off and fell on the floor.

this morning a guy took off all the strings, and we set up his neck for him.


What I am saying is that this will still affect all guitars regardless of whether you take 1 string off at a time, or all the strings. It is due to the "difference in tension change" of the old strings as compared to the new pack of strings. In most cases, it is not so noticable, but other times its massive, even with the same brand and gauge of string used.

My colleague both a guitar 5 months ago, and when he got the strings changed, even though the shop changed the strings 1 at a time, the neck curvature and tension changed so badly there was fret buzz. The guitar was equipped with Ernie ball super slinkies before and after the change.

"So what happened?" he asked the guitar tech. The guitar tech gave a similar explanation to what I gave him.

Quote by jj1565
floyds should get stabilized first. so tbh, it's not more taxing on their neck.
it's just another step when taking off the strings.


No it not more taxing on the neck, but the tension of the tremolo springs are affected. The change in spring tension affects the tension in the strings when strung up, which in turn affects the tension in the neck.

Quote by jj1565
the bottom line, is if you don't know how to set up a guitar, you'd be foolish to take off all the strings and risk additional set up.


Yes agreed, but changing the strings all at once, esp for fixed bridge guitars will not impact the tension immediately, the neck wood will still need time to release the tension.

Quote by jj1565
and saying that, 15 mins isnt going to bother a tom or strat trem guitar, doesn't hold water.


So f you agree that 15 minutes isn't going to bother a TOM or strat trem guitar, why are you disputing my comment? the TS didn't state that he had a FR guitar, I was presenting that on fixed bridges or vintage tremolo, 15 minutes won't make a different to the tension because he won't have to deal with shift tension. I wanted to share my experience as I didn't know the type of bridge he has.


my response is always going to be, if you don't know how to set up a guitar, then swap one string at a time, or meet me up there. i'll still help anyway.
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#20
Quote by ragingkitty

So f you agree that 15 minutes isn't going to bother a TOM or strat trem guitar, why are you disputing my comment? the TS didn't state that he had a FR guitar, I was presenting that on fixed bridges or vintage tremolo, 15 minutes won't make a different to the tension because he won't have to deal with shift tension. I wanted to share my experience as I didn't know the type of bridge he has.
.



no i dont agree, you read it wrong. reread the sentence you quoted.
i'm saying it's caused a lot of needless posts and hours setting up guitars for guys who thought that it was more important to clean a neck with no strings on.

when there's actually so many more things that can change in a guitar's playability when all the tension is removed from the guitar.
Jenneh

Quote by TNfootballfan62
Jenny needs to sow her wild oats with random Gibsons and Taylors she picks up in bars before she settles down with a PRS.


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#21
Quote by jj1565
no i dont agree, you read it wrong. reread the sentence you quoted.
i'm saying it's caused a lot of needless posts and hours setting up guitars for guys who thought that it was more important to clean a neck with no strings on.

when there's actually so many more things that can change in a guitar's playability when all the tension is removed from the guitar.


Look JJ

I strongly disagree with some aspects you have written on, though I accede that you have some critical points.

In contrast, you have disagreed with everything i have mentioned, even though these come from my experience with set ups.

Honestly, its a one way argument, because you will refute everything i will write, even if it is true. I don't see a point in sharing my experience any further because you will refute it further anyway. Please don't take this as a personal attack, because it is not, I'm just tired of posting when you thump the bible truth.

TS. If you like, take some of my experience. Honestly JJ does have a point in somethings she has written on, however, a lot of her steps are not always unnecessary from my experience. I also provide string changing, guitar maintenance, setup and electronic maintenance / upgrade services independently. So you have a choice of 2 differing views.

I don't know about her, but I have maintained 16 different guitars for 10 different people on a regular basis (every 3 months) for a period of 6 years, and I've shared my experience based on having worked on these guitars extensively. This is in addition to my 3 guitars and adhoc maintenance work.

JJ might have a longer or more varied experience, I don't know. In any case, you can check her experience with her, and then take the advice of the more experienced tech.

One point I want to warn you about though. With a FR guitar (if yours is one), changing strings one by one will not maintain tension across the string change due to different tension inherent in the strings (even in the same brand and gauge). You will still need to adjust your neck relief and tremolo springs ever so slightly every once in a while. This is my experience with flyod rose tremolos.
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#22
all i'm saying is that, if you can't setup a guitar. you should swap one string at a time.

if you can setup a guitar, then taking off strings to clean the board isnt going to break anything.

that doesnt really disagree wt anything you've said. i think for the most part you agree wt me.



i'm just trying to make sure that newer guys dont take off all their strings unless they know how to set up a guitar. because tbh, it takes a long time to set up a guitar online.
Jenneh

Quote by TNfootballfan62
Jenny needs to sow her wild oats with random Gibsons and Taylors she picks up in bars before she settles down with a PRS.


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#23
Wow sounds like some crazy horror stories I have left strings off for long periods at a time and then strung it up and it was fine,maybe its cause I've had some guitars for years and have never had them setup....and in those time peroids I tried all kinds of musical stlyes like being a blues man with a 13 gauge high e to a neo classical shredder with an 8 gauge high e.. lol!! I've played guitars that friends have gotten setup and it just felt weird and the action was waaaaaay too low.. So I guess if your guitar is never setup in the first place I guess it can't b unsetup again lol
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#24
you'll be alright, especially if it's only for a day or two. depending on the type (fender or ibanez especially) bolt ons are usually rock solid. thats my experience anyway, you should be just fine.

just look at it this way: people buy new necks for their strats and teles all the time, and those necks have NEVER had strings on them. yeah, the new necks need to be set up, but no real damage has been done by getting a new neck. the one exception i know of is the peavey wolfgang, they've had problems with necks being removed and damaged... but other than that you're ok.
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