Help lowering action on JS - Jemsite
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-23-2004, 04:25 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Portugal
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Help lowering action on JS

Hi! I've setup my JS following the advices on www.ibanezrules.com, and everything is fine, except i can't lower the action past some 3-4 mm on the 22nd fret high-E:

The trem knives are paralel to the body (adjusted the springs), checked the neck bow by pressing on the 22nd and 1st fret (less than 1 mm on the 9th fret, but definitively a bow), theres no backbow, the nut is a tad high but i won't be lowering it until the action is right. The guitar is second hand and i haven't removed the neck to see if it has a shim, but i doubt it, no guitars in Portugal have those (major lack of knowledge around here), and the frets look fine to me.

My guitar plays perfectly clean now, but i want to lower the action, and just a minor drop on the trem causes major choke on bends around the neck, mainly in the G string 15-19 frets. What's the problem??I know the JS has a neck radius of only 240 mm, much lower than any other, and action setting is supposed to be difficult, but satriani palys ridiculously low and he obviously has no chokes...

I believe that the problem must be: the neck bow, or a micro wear on some of the frets, enough to be missed by the naked eye but bad enough to choke strings... any other ideas??

Though i like having strong fingers, i don't want them this strong lol

Thanks!
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-23-2004, 04:32 PM
 
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i have a japan lefty strat for many years.it always had neck problems the notes would choke at the 21 fret when trying to do a bend,,,,,,,,,,,
i just played it like this with high action.....untill the other day i took the neck off and tightened the truss rod which on this guitar is at the neck joint end..........i turned it clockwise about two quarter turns..to my surprise it lowered the action and now it plays beatifull....so maybe yours has to much curve or dip in the neck......
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-23-2004, 04:42 PM Thread Starter
 
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Oh yeah, forgot this one: i'm having a real bad time tightening the truss rod... it is very hard to rotate the damn screw in there.. and i'm quit experimenting with it does anybody have a link to a schemetic of the truss rod so i can see the mechanics underlying it's principle? It might help me understand if i can do something to improve the action that way..
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-23-2004, 05:03 PM
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Too much neck relief, .5mm is ample and many like it even straighter.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-24-2004, 12:58 AM
 
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Detune the strings a bit and see if it's hard to loosen the truss rod nut, if it is hard going in both directions it's either cross-threaded or somehow has rusted.

If it comes loose easily, try again and if it's still much too hard to turn before you can get about a .5 (or less) relief on the neck, there may be a problem with it.

A proper truss rod will allow you to back-bow the neck before it gets too tight to turn (I don't suggest anyone do this, but you get the point) so if it's not working properly take it to a tech.

The rod on my 1990 RG 550 will allow me to get the neck dead straight, but it's pretty tight at that point (no worries) sometimes with age the thing can seem to get stiffer, but it should still work properly.

Mic
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-24-2004, 09:25 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the input, i've been afraid to force the truss rod, but if it's normal to be tight.. i'll just turn harder... fingers-crossed..



By the way, what does "cross-threded" mean?

Thanks!
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-24-2004, 09:49 AM
 
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do not over-tighten the truss-rod.
i'd loosen it all the way down, dab some grease in it and retighten it in place.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-24-2004, 12:11 PM
 
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No no, it's NOT normal for it to be VERY tight, if you have to apply more force that you would to tighten, say, a soda bottle, STOP!

You could break the rod and then you're in for a MAJOR repair.

Cross threaded means that it's on crooked, so the threads, instead of running as they should, have "crossed" one another.

That's why I suggest checking if it's hard to turn in both directions.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-24-2004, 04:09 PM Thread Starter
 
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Well, i forced as much as i could, and still just turned it some 25º, less than a quarter turn... it actually started to hurt my hand, so you can get an ideia on how much much strenght i had to apply.. in the end the neck got a little straighter, and i was able to drop the action by 1mm, but the first fret is starting to choke, so i guess i'm entering back-bow land

It's difficult to move it to both sides, but clockwise is much harder than counter-clockwise.. i applied some spray lub on the top and i'm letting the guitar rest over there on the stand.. might be that the problem is just on the top (some rust or dust.. second hand remember?) and the lub will fix it.. if not, next string change (end of the month) i'll take the guitar apart, neck and everything and clean it all up..

Thanks for everything!!
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-24-2004, 04:34 PM
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Did you block up the bridge to take most of the string tension off and then try it? You may or may not be fighting backbow, sight the neck. otherwise you just may have a nut that was set for all that relief which is getting toom low now and needs shimming.
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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-25-2004, 07:03 AM Thread Starter
 
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Yeap i blocked the bridge, and i'll check the nut.. by looking at it sideways i can see there is no shim, so i'll try that.

But that gives me a problem: i can´t get to a decent Ibanez distributer here in portugal, there's only one and they have almost no replacement parts, everything else has to be imported at great costs (and time).. can i make the shim out of something? Or use another brand? Advices?

Thanks for everything so far!
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-25-2004, 11:11 AM
 
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A shim isn't going to solve the problem, you simply have way to much box on the neck and something has to be done about it.

You don't have to go to an Ibanez dealer, just find a decent guitar tech and have him/her look at it. There's obviously a problem with the neck so just take it to someone that knows what they are doing. :-)

Mic
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-25-2004, 11:38 AM Thread Starter
 
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Yeah that was my last option.. i hate walking around with my guitar.. and to take it to a tech i have to take the subway and a train.. my case says ibanez in BIG letters, it's almost an invitatyion to get mugged lol

But i think i'll do that if everything fails..

Pardon my lack of knowledge, but what do you mena by "box" ?

Cheers
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-25-2004, 11:49 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeppel
Yeah that was my last option.. i hate walking around with my guitar.. and to take it to a tech i have to take the subway and a train.. my case says ibanez in BIG letters, it's almost an invitatyion to get mugged lol
Ya mean all those european cities aren't all safe like we over here have been led to believe? All the anti-gun nuts are always saying so... I've never had a problem wandering around the mean streets of L.A. or San Diego, or San Fran, or any other west coast city with my guitars and I'd have to believe that the crime rate is higher over here than in most of Europe.

In any case... (No pun intended) a can of black spray paint and you can be safely anonymous with nothing but a black case. If you're still worried, I've always found a 9mm works wonders on muggers...
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-25-2004, 12:28 PM
 
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Typo . . .

Box should have been bow.

I should learn to proof-read. :-)

Mic
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guitar tech , ibanez dealer , neck bow , neck joint , neck radius , neck relief , string tension , truss rod , truss rod nut

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