#1
Hi all,

I recently purchased an Ibanez AW70ECE from a local merchant here in Singapore off of their web store.

After receiving the guitar I noticed that there was quite a gap (I can snuggly fit a 0.73mm pick) between the fretboard and the body of the guitar just where the neck joins the body. This is only on the low E side it joins pretty much seamlessly on the high E side.



Should I be concerned about this and send it back or is it most likely just poorly cut/put together?

The other thing I noticed is that the action is signed off on the QC card as being 3mm on the first QC inspection and 2.9mm, on the second QC inspection at the 14th fret. Looking at it now I can comfortably squeeze 7 x 0.73mm picks under there (yes 0.73mm picks are my choice of measurement system ). Now maybe the guitar needs to be setup as its gone to poop from when it was setup in the factory to being in the humidity of Singapore or maybe there's a worse problem.

Any thoughts from anybody with experience in these matters would be greatly appreciated!

TIA,
Tony

PS I know they say to go in and play the guitar to see if you like it.. but I'm very sloppy/crappy/new and am a little too embarrassed to do so.
#2
You can call the store, explain the situation and ask for a free setup? Normally stores give guitars a setup before they're sold, at least where I live.
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#3
I think I'd be sending it back. That's not something I'd want to see on a new guitar.
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#4
Quote by icanhasgodmode
You can call the store, explain the situation and ask for a free setup? Normally stores give guitars a setup before they're sold, at least where I live.


Thanks for the reply!

I'm not too concerned about the paying for a setup it was more an oddity that it went from being setup out of the factory to being right up the river now (who knows how long it was sitting in the warehouse for. I'm really more concerned about the gap between neck and the body on the bass side and whether this could lead to problems down the road.
#5
Quote by GaryBillington
I think I'd be sending it back. That's not something I'd want to see on a new guitar.


Hi GaryBillington, that's kind of what I was thinking as well!
#6
I see now you're talking about the fretboard and the rest of the body, I thought you meant the strings

I would send it back, this is unacceptable. It is caused by the humidity. If that is such a problem in your country, I would most definitely buy a guitar in a store next time.
Quote by slapsymcdougal
You can tell if it's eager, because you put your hand down her pants and it feels like a horse eating oats.

Nicest compliment on my looks:
Quote by slapsymcdougal
Putting the 'sex' in 'convicted sex offender'.
#7
i dont know how a set up will fix that, thats a manufacturing flaw that should never of passed QC in the 1st place, by the looks of it, the problem would only get worse over time, i wouldnt want it
#8
I've actually gone ahead and asked them to replace it. Furnished them with the photo I posted in this thread and they've asked for a photo from afar. So I sent them three more photos one of which hopefully shows what I perceive to be a bow in the neck. The action at the first fret is nice and low and you can see it get further and further away as you move down the neck and the truss rod appears to be fully wound clockwise, so dunno how that's going to be "setup" correctly.

Thanks for the suggestions everybody!
#9
Quote by TonyFarlie
I've actually gone ahead and asked them to replace it. Furnished them with the photo I posted in this thread and they've asked for a photo from afar. So I sent them three more photos one of which hopefully shows what I perceive to be a bow in the neck. The action at the first fret is nice and low and you can see it get further and further away as you move down the neck and the truss rod appears to be fully wound clockwise, so dunno how that's going to be "setup" correctly.

Thanks for the suggestions everybody!
I'm curious as to why yoiu've shown just the upper section of the neck in your photo. AFAIK, the is fret board supposed to drop after the 14th fret. It has a slight downward tilt toward the soundhole. This is to prevent the highest from buzzing when you use them.

The rest of the overall action height is intended to be set by lowering the saddle, not by adjusting the truss.

As far as "the truss rod being wound up up to the point where it's out of adjustment", I can't speak to that, just the other issues I've pointed out. I do know you shouldn't be using it to set the overall action height, that's a certainty.

If I've missed something here, feel free to enlighten me, or accept my apology.
#10
That great big gap between the fretboard extension and the body shouldn't be there under any circumstances. It looks as if the heel has lifted in the body, causing the fretboard extension to separate from the body.. Can you see any sign of comparable movement in the glue lines at the bottom of the heel?

Take it back, it is as dodgy as just about anything I've seen in build integrity.
#11
Quote by Tony Done
That great big gap between the fretboard extension and the body shouldn't be there under any circumstances. It looks as if the heel has lifted in the body, causing the fretboard extension to separate from the body.. Can you see any sign of comparable movement in the glue lines at the bottom of the heel?

Take it back, it is as dodgy as just about anything I've seen in build integrity.

I don't see a gap, only a shim.... It's not finished the same as the rest of the guitar's neck, but it's not air either.....
#12
Quote by Captaincranky
I don't see a gap, only a shim.... It's not finished the same as the rest of the guitar's neck, but it's not air either.....


OK, what I think I am looking at there is the region where the heel joins the body, and the fretboard extension lifted clear of the body by the leftmost fret dot. The black wedge I'm assuming is a space, partly filled with shreds of white glue, as if the fretboard extension has pulled free of the body. Are you seeing that black thing as a shim?
#13
Quote by Tony Done
....[ ]... Are you seeing that black thing as a shim?
Honestly, yes. I see a line, perhaps grain or a saw scar, running through the middle of the "shim" /"hole". What I think is, the shim material is of low quality, and the black, is actually spalting. There is a line of demarcation running through the black, which you wouldn't see if it were simply a hole or shadow....

I'm just trying to get an actual diagnosis of what is wrong with the guitar. Our TS admits he is a beginner, and as such, I find it difficult to accept that the problem is certainly in the truss rod. If this is a high humidity area, the sound board could be puffed up , thereby raising the action, and not issues with the truss rods.

Send it back, don't send it back, that doesn't matter to me. I'd simply like to have an accurate assessment of what is really wrong with the guitar.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Mar 6, 2015,
#14
Quote by Captaincranky
I'm curious as to why yoiu've shown just the upper section of the neck in your photo. AFAIK, the is fret board supposed to drop after the 14th fret. It has a slight downward tilt toward the soundhole. This is to prevent the highest from buzzing when you use them.

The rest of the overall action height is intended to be set by lowering the saddle, not by adjusting the truss.

As far as "the truss rod being wound up up to the point where it's out of adjustment", I can't speak to that, just the other issues I've pointed out. I do know you shouldn't be using it to set the overall action height, that's a certainty.

If I've missed something here, feel free to enlighten me, or accept my apology.


Actually my main concern is the gap in between the fretboard and the body where you can see all the dry glue.

I understand the action should be set by lowering the saddle, but the QC card indicated it was 3mm at the 14th fret when it left the factory and it's now in excess of 5mm and the only thing I could think that has changed is the truss rod.

Please note, I'm no guitar expert. I understand (rightly or wrongly) a little about guitar setup from reading and watching of guitar videos but my knowledge is very limited.

Here's a pic of the whole neck:
#15
Quote by Captaincranky
Honestly, yes. I see a line, perhaps grain or a saw scar, running through the middle of the "shim" /"hole". What I think is, the shim material is of low quality, and the black, is actually spalting. There is a line of demarcation running through the black, which you wouldn't see if it were simply a hole or shadow....


There isn't a shim there Captaincranky.... it's definitely a nice big air gap
#16
Quote by Tony Done
That great big gap between the fretboard extension and the body shouldn't be there under any circumstances. It looks as if the heel has lifted in the body, causing the fretboard extension to separate from the body.. Can you see any sign of comparable movement in the glue lines at the bottom of the heel?

Take it back, it is as dodgy as just about anything I've seen in build integrity.


I probably should of mentioned it in my OP but there isn't a gap on the treble side and the rest of the heel seems to fit flush. That's what has me a little confused as to whether it was just poorly cut, assembled or whatever or maybe something else.

BTW... Thanks for all the replies guys I'm glad to hear whatever you all might have to say as it gives me more to think about and more to learn
#17
OK, the shim is due to the body curving downward, not the fretboard separating.

The neck curves downward, (as it should), from the 15th (or so) fret.

With that said, the neck relief is too abundant, and it appears that the saddle is too high as well.

Now, I wouldn't keep the guitar. As methinks, you would have to remove too much material from the saddle, leaving future adjustment impossible.

I still think there is a shim between the neck extension and the body. As far as that goes, that's my story and I'm stinking to it.

Humidity can cause the sound board to rise. So, you have to sight across the lower bout just behind and just in front, and determine how CONVEX the guitar's top is. There should be perhaps a 1/16" or so rise, anything more, and you've got trouble.

I realize time's a wastin', and you need to get the thing shipped back pronto.

In the meantime, here's a great setup guide. If you read it, it will most likely benefit you, if only in the details: http://thbecker.net/guitar_playing/guitars_and_setup/setup_page_01.html
Last edited by Captaincranky at Mar 7, 2015,
#18
Thanks for the link and the info Captaincranky

If there's a shim in there it seriously isn't visible... If i get a bit of time later today I'll try and take a photo with a bit of light being shone into the gap. The gap is definitely wide enough for me to see that there' isn't any material in there (I've actually squeezed a pick in the gap to get a feel for how big the gap was). If you look closely at my original photo the majority of the dry glue you can see is "in" the gap rather than flush with the fret board extension binding.

I'll accept that you want to "stink" to your shim story though :P

I heard somewhere for every mm/inch of difference at the 12/14th fret you would need twice that at the bridge... is this true? In that case to get the extra 2-2.5mm of rise at the 14th fret, I'd be looking at about 4-5mm of rise (or almost 1/4") at the bridge?

Just curious.. the neck doesn't appear to be overly "bowed" upwards?
Also if the truss rod is cranked all the way clockwise, there isn't anyway to decrease the relief?

Thanks for the info and bothering to reply to my newbie musings
Last edited by TonyFarlie at Mar 6, 2015,
#19
Quote by TonyFarlie
Thanks for the link and the info Captaincranky
You're welcome.

Quote by TonyFarlie
If there's a shim in there it seriously isn't visible... If i get a bit of time later today I'll try and take a photo with a bit of light being shone into the gap. The gap is definitely wide enough for me to see that there' isn't any material in there (I've actually squeezed a pick in the gap to get a feel for how big the gap was). If you look closely at my original photo the majority of the dry glue you can see is "in" the gap rather than flush with the fret board extension binding.
In all honesty, whether there is a shim or not, is a moot point.

Now whether it's lens distortion, angle of view, or whatever, I see the body falling away from the neck, with the neck traveling along the path it should

Quote by TonyFarlie
I'll accept that you want to "stink" to your shim story though :P
I used to be so meticulous with proofreading...

Quote by TonyFarlie
I heard somewhere for every mm/inch of difference at the 12/14th fret you would need twice that at the bridge... is this true? In that case to get the extra 2-2.5mm of rise at the 14th fret, I'd be looking at about 4-5mm of rise (or almost 1/2") at the bridge?
Why would you want the action to rise? it's too high now. You would need to remove that material from the saddle to drop the action.

You can learn to eyeball the amount of necessary saddle lowering by pushing down the E-6 string DIRECTLY in front of the saddle, while simply looking at the string height at the 12th. Pushing down at the saddle itself gives you a directly useable result. No figurin', no dividin', no nuttin'. It does take a bit of practice though.

Quote by TonyFarlie
Just curious.. the neck doesn't appear to be overly "bowed" upwards?
Also if the truss rod is cranked all the way clockwise, there isn't anyway to decrease the relief?
If the truss rod adjuster won't turn any more toward clockwise, then you are indeed out of adjustment.

This guitar absolutely should go back, but not for the bit of daylight under the end of the fretboard. I think the neck is set too high.
#20
^^^^^ That too. If the neck already has decent relief and the action is 3 mm at the body fret, the neck angle is very bad. My standard is 1.6 mm at the body fret, which would mean taking 2.4 mm ((3.0 - 1.6) x 2) off the saddle. Even if there is that much to spare, it would leave nothing in reserve for future changes in geometry.

EDIT I'm getting seriously senile. you would need to take off 2.8 mm, not 2.4.
Last edited by Tony Done at Mar 6, 2015,
#21
Quote by Tony Done
..[ ]....EDIT I'm getting seriously senile. you would need to take off 2.8 mm, not 2.4.
Me too, and I'll tell you why. Our TS explains, "the truss rod is turned as far clockwise as possible". If this is so, then he's the one who put the hook in the neck. To get rid of relief, you would loosen the truss rod, which is done by turning the adjuster counterclockwise.

At least that's how it's done here in the northern hemisphere. Unless it's like hurricanes which do spin backwards in the land of Oz.
#22
Quote by Captaincranky
Me too, and I'll tell you why. Our TS explains, "the truss rod is turned as far clockwise as possible". If this is so, then he's the one who put the hook in the neck. To get rid of relief, you would loosen the truss rod, which is done by turning the adjuster counterclockwise.

At least that's how it's done here in the northern hemisphere. Unless it's like hurricanes which do spin backwards in the land of Oz.


So relief isn't removed by tightening the trussrod? That's what I've read in heaps of places like this website for example:

http://www.fretnotguitarrepair.com/repair/acoustic-guitar/truss-rod.php

(Scroll down to the bit that says "Which Way Do I Turn?")

#23
OK, sometimes I have these spells. With that said, how bad was the neck curling upward, BEFORE, you tightened the truss rod?

OK, at this pint I'm disoriented, Turning clockwise should shorten the rod, that seems like it should put more relief in.

In any event, since you've got the truss locked against the stop, loosen it a turn or so and see what happens

If I'm wrong, the neck will curl more upward, at which point the guitar truly has to go back, and pronto, as the neck is badly bowed upward!

Whether it's beside the point or not, most of today's truss rods are, "dual action", which simply means they pull in both directions

Even if I'm right, you should most likely still send the guitar back, as you don't like the glue, hole, shim, whatever, under the fretboard extension. If you continue to research this.

Remember what I said, it appears from your latest photo, the guitars action is too high to adjust by sanding the saddle. It looks like the saddle would wind up almost level with the top of the bridge. Not good at all.

It seems to me this has being going on for a few days, and I don't know what your dealer's return policy is.