#1
I went to change the strings on my new Epiphone Masterbilt DR-500P last night. I picked up some of those new Cleartone EMP strings some of you had recommended recently. I went with 13-56 phosphor bronze. I was pretty stoked to give them a shot.

So away I went. I started taking the strings off the guitar with the high E first. Well oddly enough, the B string actually snapped at the tuning peg as I was detuning it for removal. I checked the peg and no snags or anything anywhere so the string must've just been ready to break. So I proceed.

As I'm loosening the G string, the nut slides up towards the bass strings about a third of the way completely out of it's slot. I take the rest of the strings out and the nut falls right out. Turns out it wasn't glued in at all. Wow. So anyway, I pull the saddle out just to have a look at it... and underneath it are two shims of plastic. What kind of crap is that? You go to the trouble of using real bone for the nut and saddle, but you don't bother gluing in the nut and you shim the saddle with plastic.

Furthermore the two pieces of plastic were much different lengths. One was the entire length of the saddle and the other was about a fourth of that. I assume that they used the shorter shim to raise the bass strings a tad higher than the trebble strings. Well that's all well and good as the saddle often needs to be angled to provide good action across all six strings... but not by this method... not on a brand new guitar! This method actually keeps the center of the saddle from being in any contact with the soundboard... and of course the ends of the saddle are only in contact with the soundboard through pieces of plastic. Ideal? I think not.

I understand that the guitar was set up at the factory before it was sent out, but shouldn't the retard that sanded my sandle down too far to begin with have started over with a new one!? It's a brand new guitar! Grrr, so at this point I'm pretty ticked off.

I know that I don't have the time to fix it any time soon and I'm really amped up to try these new Cleartone strings, so I restring the guitar anyway. I removed the shims from under the bridge (knowing that this would give me some fret buzz since I was lowering action and using a higher string gauge) and just held the nut in place as I restrung the guitar. First the low E, then the A and so on. Well everything was going fine until I got down to the high E string. The string actually broke around the ball before I got it tuned anywhere near correct pitch. The string did not break at the saddle, it broke around the ball. I know the string was seated correctly against the underside of the bridge plate, and not snagged on the end of the bridge pin. Needless to say, I was pretty disappointed. Are the most expensive strings I’ve ever bought the lowest quality?!

So now I've got a guitar with a loose nut, a saddle that's too short, and a $19 set of 5 strings.

/rant
#2
Wow. Is the guitar new enough that you can take it back to the store for a replacement?

*I just noticed it was on clearance on MF and is discontinued. Maybe you're not the only one who is having a problem with these guitars.
Last edited by strummin67 at Feb 28, 2008,
#3
i would say if the store wont take it back call gibson and see what they will do
#4
Wow - that sucks. No question I would be pissed about the saddle - it's not like this is their low end guitar, for goodness sake... Plus the nut - obviously some very poor quality control. I would be putting in a call to complain, if I were you.

As to the strings, I would have to think that's an anomoly. I have the cleartones on my 12 string and just recently put them on one of my six strings - no problems with them so far...
#5
unglued nut? what the crap?

man, i feel sorry for you jimtaka. i'd be so frustrated if that happened with my guitar and new set of strings.
#6
i think you got the guitar built on friday afternoon or monday morning and yeah that sux you always seem like a nice guy when you post bummer man
#7
Well I e-mailed Cleartone and they are sending me a replacement set of strings, no questions asked. I figured they would require a receipt or at least want me to send back the broken string or something. It only took them about 2 hours to respond to my e-mail and they were really nice. So Cleartone definitely has some good customer service!

I called Gibson about the guitar and the person I talked to assured me that leaving the nut unglued and shimming the saddle with plastic was definitely not standard procedure. He gave me the name of a shop in my area and said they should fix it all up for free since this falls under the instrument's warantee.
#8
I would think that's the least they should do. Wow - it's really pretty astounding.

Well, hopefully it all irons out. How are you liking that guitar, these things aside (although it's hard to put these aside - I'd really think twice about buying one, based on what you've found..)?
#9
that's pretty good customer service then. hmm... i actually kinda wanna try Cleartones. the problem is that i cant find them up here i toronto. never seen or heard of them till i got on this forum.
#10
Jim, you truely have worse luck than me, let me tell ya. I didn't think it was possible, but you do. Masterbuilt indeed!
Just out of curiosity, where did you buy the guitar? Was it an authorized Epi dealer?
#11
Quote by LeftyDave
Masterbuilt indeed!


I have always been suspicious of that - MasterBILT - like FROOT Loops - no fruit in it!
#13
hmm another thought perhaps thats how the luthier gough cough adjusted the action at the place you bought it from scary. i hope it was factory flub up but i find it hard to beleive that the epiphone tech would use plastic shims if its not standard procedure or even have them lying around his assembly area weird but there resolving it so its a moot issue and yeah thats good customer service.
#14
Quote by jimtaka
Well oddly enough, the B string actually snapped at the tuning peg as I was detuning it for removal. I checked the peg and no snags or anything anywhere so the string must've just been ready to break.


The explantion:

When strings are under tension, they become physically harder. As you release the tension, the bond strength within the metal decreases and if they haven't been changed for a while, the brittleness causes a break.

Sounds like you've had terrible luck! Who doesn't glue the nut on? Sheesh!
Last edited by GC Shred Off at Feb 28, 2008,
#15
Quote by LeftyDave
Jim, you truely have worse luck than me, let me tell ya. I didn't think it was possible, but you do. Masterbuilt indeed!
Just out of curiosity, where did you buy the guitar? Was it an authorized Epi dealer?

Yeah, I bought this guitar from musiciansfriend.com. It's the first guitar I've ever bought online and had no problems with MF at all really.