Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Central Coast California
My S570 Neck Vs. Bridge Radius Vs. Action Discovery
I just recently purcahsed a S570MQM. First, I love the maple fretboard. I have not owned an Ibanez for a while, and so I wanted to go easy on the price to make sure they fit me well. I am not the biggest Basswood lover so the S-series seamed like a good fit, and so far it has exceeded my expectations.
Truthfully, I did not do a ton of research on this specific model, it was more about finding the best fit that Ibenez had to offer. I do not have a local store that sells Ibanez so I went the mail order route. I ordered the S570MQM as my first choice but decided to order a RG2550E (it is on backorder for another month) as a backup in case the fit a finish of the Saber wasn't up to snuff. Luckily, this all worked out well with the S570. I did not know that the radius of the bridge and neck where different or about Rich at Ibanez Rules until after my purchase. I am a typically a Gibson user and that means 12" radius bridge and neck, it never occured to me that they would be mismatched.
So after playing this guitar for a week or so I decided it was time to start making some adjustments and see how good it can get. I have done a lot more model specific research at this point. First, the difference between a 400mm radius and a 430mm radius is very small, but not necessarily insignificant. I almost just order the basic shims (as seen in another thread) to correct the bridge radius and a few extras for minor adjustments because I really wasn't sure about how to get actual measurements to know exactly. Based on some of Rich's comments machine tolerences aren't perfect and can affect the needed shims.
First I did some action measurements. I was somewhere in the 2mm range on the high E and 3+mm on the low E. I also compared each string height from the fretboard and noticed that they where pretty linear. In other words, the height above the fret board grew as I wnet from the high E to the low E preety consistantly. I was pleasantly surprised.
Then, I started reducing my bridge height to lower the action. I used 1/4 or less turn increments to both at the same time. I made sure the trem was adjusted properly and the strings in tune after each adjustment. Here is where things seemed interesting to me. As I lowered the high side of the bridge my first buzzing occured on the low E and B, but definately E then B. When I adjusted the low side of the bridge first contact was made by the A then the D, but not E (closer to what I expected). Based on the radius mismatch, you would expect the D and G strings to hit first although this was not the case.
The conclusion is that buying a "standard" set of shims to correct the radius mismatch is probably not going to acheieve anything and may make things worse. You will really need to get measurements of each guitars bridge/string height to know what shims to buy. I am not sure what the best way to do this is but I have several ideas. For me I am not sure that it matters. My string hieghts from high to low are 1.5, 1.6, 1.7, 1.7, 1.8, 2.0 which is pretty low.
I do not see any shims under my bridge, all though I have not removed the saddles. I only have radius templates for 12" and 14". Maybe I will need to make a 400mm and and a 430mm to check some things
I thought this might help someone make a decision.