#1
Hey guys, I've been reading threads on this site for a really long time and I finally decided to join. I've been playing for over three years and after a month long vacation without my guitars, I decided that it was high time that I do some work so I began by changing strings on all of them.

I have three guitars, an american strat, an ibanez ex (floyd rose copy trem), and an Ibanez acoustic (pf5cent).

I was using 9's on the strat and the ibanez and 11's on the acoustic, and I decided to switch to 10's on the electric and 13's on the acoustic (56 6th string), and I encountered a few problems that I probably should have anticipated. I also bought some lemon oil to clean the fretboard.

First, the strat.
Changing strings on a strat, heh no problem! Well after I changed them, the trem was outta whack so I tightened the springs on the back to even it with the body, that was pie. Unfortunately, when I now play there's crazy fret buzz going on as I get higher up on the fretboard, which is annoying as heck. I messed with the truss rod a little but I'm scared to snap it without some direct instruction. Any help with fixing the buzzing problem would be very appreciated, I'll post a more detailed problem report if you ask me a direct question since I have no idea what the heck I'm doing.

Second, the Ibanez EX.
Floyd rose trems are awesome, but are a pain in the ass to set up. Thing is you're never supposed to take all the strings off at once right? My first mistake was made here...
To clean the fretboard, I took all the strings off to access the entire board at once. Then when i tried to restring, when tuning up the 5th string snaps within seconds of being in tune. I didn't do anything with the truss rod or the springs in the trem for this because I'm not sure where to start. I know how to string the guitar, and the strings are snapping at bridge, i'm not sure what i'm supposed to do with the springs and I guess the tensions outta whack after the guitar having had all it's strings taken off. Help???

Last, but not least, the Ibanez acoustic.
13's are pretty thick strings. I have a little bit of buzzing when I strum *pretty* hard on the lower frets, esp on the lower frets of the low E string. If it's not over there, then the buzz can be attributed to the lack of my finger strength for these strings, but that'll come.
Also, the bridge pin for the low E string is a lot higher up and it looks like it took a little chunk of the wood out when it popped out the first time. The groove that the string sits on under the bridge pin is a lot deeper of a rift/valley now, is this just because of the larger string diameter? If anyone has a quick fix for this or for the buzz, like a minor truss adjustment or something, then that'd be helpful but otherwise it's not as big a deal as the other two guitars.

I really want to play electric and mine are both dead right now, which is sad. I would take them to a tech, but the one in the area I went to last time gave it back as buzzy as it was when it went to him. Plus I don't have a 150 bucks to spend on getting my guitar fixed up, but i'd be more than willing to invest in a few tools if need be because i really want to learn how to fix problems like this myself.

Thanks for any help, I really need it.
Do not worry if you have built your castles in the air. They are where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.
- Thoreau

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#2
1. did u try raising the action at the bridge, on the strat before u tried to adjust the truss rod?

2. u need to stabilize the bridge on the floyd. some guys shove a small block in the back under the trem so the bridge isnt lifting and breaking strings. also make sure ur not breaking strings at the locking nut.
Jenneh

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Last edited by jj1565 at Aug 5, 2006,
#3
Haha, that would be a no. I have no idea how to do that though. Any help would be much appreciated!
Do not worry if you have built your castles in the air. They are where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.
- Thoreau

Ibanez Ex-370 For Sale!
#4
ok read the edit too up there and raise the action at the bridge of the strat...


u need a tiny allen wrench. lower two screws to raise that buzzing string.
if the action is too high then repost.
Jenneh

Quote by TNfootballfan62
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#5
3. if u feel like the pin is going to slip out, carefully remove the Low E on the acoustic, pull out the pin and wedge cardboard in with the pin. return the pin back to the hole and carfully restring.
if ur carefull, u can use the same string again.

after its tuned, pull up on that string at the middle of the board. stretch it and work it in. retuning until its broken it. then work on ur finger strength.

if its buzzing at the nut, u can always put a bit of paper under the string as it passes thru the cut of the nut.
this will lift it and make it more snug in the cut and easier to fret at the first few frets.
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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#6
Sweet deal. I'll go by guitar center tomorrow and get a roadie wrench, or just drop by the hardware store and pick up the wrenches. The string on the acoustic doesn't look like it's going to fly out, but i'll be sure to give what you said a try if it gets worse. As far as the paper at the nut, shouldn't the string be up higher than it was earlier because the gauge is heavier?
How do i ensure that my truss rod is at the 'right' position before I get around to changing the action on the intonation keys at the bridge?

It's actually a couple of strings on the strat that are doing, the one string is just on the acoustic. How do I make sure that the action and intonation are set up right after I make changes?
Do not worry if you have built your castles in the air. They are where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.
- Thoreau

Ibanez Ex-370 For Sale!
Last edited by ride.the.cliche at Aug 5, 2006,
#7
pick up a allen wrench tool (they have them in metric and inches) and pick up a small screwdriver.

yes, the strings on the acoustic are going to be further off the board. but 13s are so thick that there's a big chance its not sitting in the cut correctly. a paper wedge can quiet a rattling string, u can also try rubbing some graphite from a pencil in the cut of the nut.
(u dont want to shave the cut, unless u know ur never going lighter again.)

first check the action at the bridge. if it doesnt help or if the action is too high we can measure ur neck. it's just that its so easy to lift those (couple of) strings. u can do it in a minute then see if u need to spend an hour moving the truss rod.

after u get the buzzing to stop, ull want to use an electronic tuner to check the tuning at the 12th fret. u compare it to the 12th fret harmonic on the same string. if they dont match up then u need to move the intonation screw until they do.

so pick up the tools, raise the strings, (see if its now too high for ur tastes), lube the nut
cuts on the acoustic, check the tuning at the 12th fret if the height seems fine and if the buzzing is gone,

Or repost when u have a followup question.
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.


Set up Questions? ...Q & A Thread

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#8
just out of interest does anyone know if those allen heads are generally metric or imperial? i use my metric set, because i lost the imerial ones, but i'm not sure if its right.
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#9
depends on the brand. when dealing with fender, ull probably have to use a inch, i think gibson uses a metric truss rod wrench.

if u use the wrong one u can strip the nut. so look it up first.
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.


Set up Questions? ...Q & A Thread

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#10
I have the truss rod wrench that came with the acoustic and the electrics so i'll be sure to use the right one :-)

When you were talking about moving the strings, that was in relation to the strat right? I have no idea how i'd even go about doing that on the acoustic without having to file around the saddle, which is something I don't think is necessary.

I probably won't go lighter on the acoustic, it's going to take some getting used to the thicker strings, but I think the tone is worth it. If after a pack or two of the strings, I figure that they're wayyy too thick then I might go back down. I mean I'm only using acoustic mediums so that shouldn't be a problem. All I know is that I'm not planning on going to heavy anytime soon.

As for the strat, 9's were nice but I didn't think i got much 'chunk' with them on the strat even though the twang was fun. Now with 10's I lose some of the brightness/twang but it evens out the spectrum of tone. I don't think I plan on going heavier on any of my guitar. I'll stay away from SRV's crazy heavy guitar gauges haha.

Thanks for all the help, I might look into getting one of those guages you use for the neck radius so that the 'curve' of the strings at the saddles matches up with the curvature of the fretboard/neck. I'll post when I have another question/when I start working on it again.

Jenny, your bluesy stuff is pretty cool. I've been thinking of possibly putting a hot rails or stacked bucker on my strats bridge but I'm not sure it's worth losing out on the stratty sound. Besides I have my ibanez for that kinda stuff, even though it still has stock pickups (it was an ebay guitar I bought for less than 200 bucks and it's spectacular for the price).
Do not worry if you have built your castles in the air. They are where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.
- Thoreau

Ibanez Ex-370 For Sale!
#11
I finally got the wrench for changing the action.
Now I just have a question, how do I make sure that the truss rod is set up right. I 'toyed' with it earlier, and I don't want to mess up my guitar.

How do I check the truss rod is aligned right so I don't have to fight to get the action right.
Besides, doesn't the truss rod have to be set up right before you mess with the action?
Thanks again!
Do not worry if you have built your castles in the air. They are where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.
- Thoreau

Ibanez Ex-370 For Sale!
Last edited by ride.the.cliche at Aug 10, 2006,
#12
I think I'm going to a) quit playing guitar or b) shoot myself or cause some other bodily damage.

I think i just freaking snapped the bloody truss rod by mistake.
F*CK!
Do not worry if you have built your castles in the air. They are where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.
- Thoreau

Ibanez Ex-370 For Sale!
#13
seriously? PWNED.
I R tr00 Member of UG's Gain \/\/hores - don't pm gpderek09 to join unless you are truly worthy
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Quote by xifr
There is the possibility that I may have or may or may not have gone or not gone into the danger zone.


Quote by lespaulmarshall
I love you Joel
#14
Quote by ride.the.cliche
I think I'm going to a) quit playing guitar or b) shoot myself or cause some other bodily damage.

I think i just freaking snapped the bloody truss rod by mistake.
F*CK!



i just got on and i see ur turning the truss rod nut? on which guitar (the acoustic?)
what did u do man.
i thought we agreed u needed a wrench to adjust the saddles.

just repost. with ur update.
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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#15
It was on the strat, and thankfully it's not broken. The part of the wood where the truss rod is connected at the headstock was exposed, but I got that back in.

The thing is, that I had moved the truss rod a while ago while not knowing what I was doing (only difference is the time haha) and it's not set right, right now. I thought the truss had to be set right before you intonate and fix the action.

I'm just trying to set the relief right before I intonate the guitar, otherwise, won't the action be terribly high?

PS- That broken thing was thankfully just a scare haha.
Do not worry if you have built your castles in the air. They are where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.
- Thoreau

Ibanez Ex-370 For Sale!
#16
Update.
The action is slightly high on the strat, especially for a strat. However, there is very little, if any, fretbuzz. That makes me really really happy. The truss rod seems to be sitting in place if I don't mess with it (which I don't plan to). Thanks!

Alright now for what's happening. I pick a little hard to the action is pretty high so I don't get any fretbuzz and the distance between the strings and Pickups has increased too. Do I need to move the pickups up to compensate now?

Also, the harmonic on the 12th fret is sharper than the picked note at the same fret. I tried to intonate the guitar by moving the saddles towards the bridge, but the notes are still sharper when picked and there isn't enough room left to make the pitch match. It's not that far off, but you'd notice it if you had a good ear. It's the same note but the pitches are a little off.

That's all for now, thanks for all the help so far. It's been, well, helpful!
Do not worry if you have built your castles in the air. They are where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.
- Thoreau

Ibanez Ex-370 For Sale!
#17
http://www.icepoint.com/guitar/Setting%20up%20your%20electric%20guitar/index.htm

here is a great strat set up page.
look everything over. (laf, dont touch the truss rod tho)

and also let me know if ur bridge is level. before u bother adjusting the action and intonation, the bridge should be level.
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.


Set up Questions? ...Q & A Thread

Recognised by the Official EG/GG&A/GB&C WTLT Lists 2011
#18
I adjusted the bridge via the screws on the bridge before I adjusted the action and intonation and it was as level as I could get it to be.
Thanks a LOT for that page, it was a great help!

The truss rod is damaged from what I've read, but as far as the guitars intonation and feel, they seem to be fine. So since I'm sticking with the same guage for the foreseeable future, I'm going to take it to a tech eventually or when I have some extra cash, order a neck from fender and change that myself.

Thanks for all the help, the guitar sounds and plays great. All without any fretbuzz.

Now if I only knew how to set up the LO-TRS trem system on the Ibanez.
Anyone?

Haha, thanks a lot!
Do not worry if you have built your castles in the air. They are where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.
- Thoreau

Ibanez Ex-370 For Sale!
#19
I just got back from a visit to the tech a few days ago, and there's nothing wrong with the guitar. The truss rod is not broken, and he just straightened the neck (didn't charge anything, nice of him).

The ibanez guitar (with floyd rose trem) just got back from a setup and is intonated and everything now, but the action is very very low on it and i get fretbuzz if i pick even a little hard.

I'm wondering if anyone knows how to raise the action on a floyd rose style trem. Thanks a lot!
Do not worry if you have built your castles in the air. They are where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.
- Thoreau

Ibanez Ex-370 For Sale!