Huge setup problems with a cheap Ibanez - Jemsite
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post #1 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-28-2011, 05:48 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
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Huge setup problems with a cheap Ibanez

Hi
I have some kind of a cheap-ass Ibanez Gio, it's called GRX40/IJX40
Everything with it seems to be messed up.
The action right after the nut is about 1mm, but if I raise my strings' height enough to avoid buzzing, the action in the 22 fret (from the fret to the strings) is about 3mm, depends on the string.
Until today I played it this way for a few years
Yesterday I tried my friend's guitar, Cort M600, and it was soooooo easy for me to play. I think if I had his guitar all this time I'd have twice my technique
So I understood something is really messed up with my guitar. I saw this thing called "Neck shim" and tried it.
Now I have my action above the first fist something like 1mm again, and above the 22 fret it's say 2.3-2.5.
I raised the strings all the way up, as far as the bridge allows me. But everything before the 12 fret is super buzzy, and after the 12 fret everything cuts of.
I tried to adjust my truss rod, I have a little relief. I think it's broken BTW, it's very easy to spin and does absolutely nothing, until it reaches one of its motion limits and becomes impossible to move, but doesn't do anything yet.

So the only way for this guitar to work "well" is with a super high action, 3mm and beyond (above the 22 fret), and without a shim. And even this way, the sustain beyond the 14 fret is bad.

Do you have any idea what's messed up here? I planned to get a Norton and an Air norton but now I think I should replace my guitar. If I replace it with something like my friend's Cort I won't have money for pickups, they're very expensive in my country, even if I buy them from the Internet and ship them here.

So what do you think I should do, get a new guitar and have about the same sound which doesn't please me, or can I get my guitar fixed for cheap and buy good pickups?

Thanks!!
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post #2 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-28-2011, 06:00 AM
 
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Re: Huge setup problems with a cheap Ibanez

Did you try setting the truss rod? Is neck relief good?
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post #3 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-28-2011, 06:06 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Huge setup problems with a cheap Ibanez

Quote:
Originally Posted by bancika View Post
Did you try setting the truss rod? Is neck relief good?
Yep it's pretty good. If i hold the first and the last fret I have a little movement above the twelve fret.
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post #4 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-28-2011, 06:37 AM
 
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Re: Huge setup problems with a cheap Ibanez

is it the same on both bass and treble side
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post #5 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-28-2011, 08:45 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Huge setup problems with a cheap Ibanez

Quote:
Originally Posted by bancika View Post
is it the same on both bass and treble side
Yeah.
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post #6 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-28-2011, 09:02 AM
 
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Re: Huge setup problems with a cheap Ibanez

then you need to level frets
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post #7 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-28-2011, 09:11 AM
 
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Re: Huge setup problems with a cheap Ibanez

1mm at your nut is far too low, and 3mm isnt TERRIBLE action. Steve vai has his around 2.5mm.. You sure you're measuring it right?

in any case... goto ibanezrules.com and look at the tech section for adjusting your action.
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post #8 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-28-2011, 10:14 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Huge setup problems with a cheap Ibanez

Quote:
Originally Posted by linuxpenguin View Post
1mm at your nut is far too low, and 3mm isnt TERRIBLE action. Steve vai has his around 2.5mm.. You sure you're measuring it right?

in any case... goto ibanezrules.com and look at the tech section for adjusting your action.
Hi guys and big thanks for your answers.
Well I'm not such a noob but sure not a pro as well,
My guitar has two options for height adjustments:
1) Two little screws (not really screws but I don't know what's the word, I'm talking about those things you open with an allen wrench). If I put a shim correctly so my neck is pretty balanced, even with the highest action those allow me I still can't get any sound from the strings - the frets block them right away.
2) I can raise the whole bridge with 6 screws, but because this guitar is so damn cheap, somehow the bridge is stuck in the wood although I use the original mounting holes (for the screws). So if I raise it this way, it won't stay in the exact place, it can move pretty easily so it's high in the treble side or the opposite.

So the only way to go is the first one, but like I said, even with the highest action it allows me I can't get any sound from the strings (when I press a fret) if I put a shim to balance my neck.

The way I measure is by putting a ruler on a fret and see the distance from the fret to the string (and yep my ruler starts counting in its beginning LOL )

Can I do fret leveling myself? I don't have that huge thing that you polish all your frets simultaneously with. I won't find any professional who can help me in my city, and I just got my driving license so my parents won't let me go 200KM for this (and I also don't have GPS )
Also it'll probably cost me at least 1\4 the cost of the whole guitar so it pretty sucks.
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post #9 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-28-2011, 12:48 PM
 
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Re: Huge setup problems with a cheap Ibanez

You are in over your head buddy. It i time to support your local repairman and get a professional setup. It sounds like the guitar is fine, it just needs a competent adjustment.
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post #10 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-28-2011, 12:51 PM
 
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Re: Huge setup problems with a cheap Ibanez

And about spending 1/4 the price of the guitar on maintenance, thats just how it is. You do the same thing for your car. Either keep up with it or throw it out..
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post #11 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-28-2011, 01:13 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Huge setup problems with a cheap Ibanez

A fret leveling with a full setup will cost me 225$.
This guitar costs 200$ as far as I know in the us.
It cost me 375$.
So is it really worth it? Or a bew guitar will be much better, something that costs double the price, about 400$ in the us ??
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post #12 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-28-2011, 01:55 PM
 
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Re: Huge setup problems with a cheap Ibanez

ANY guitar regardless of the price point will need regular maintenance to keep it playing well. A $2000 guitar will still need $200 in fretwork to be its best. Thats just the way it is.
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post #13 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-28-2011, 02:09 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Huge setup problems with a cheap Ibanez

I see.
Bottom line: Should I get some cheap equipment and fix frets myself and get Dimarzio Norton+Air Norton when I really really doubt the potential of this guitar because even with very high action and no shim and no buzz whatsoever I still get about 2 seconds of sutsain in frets 17-22 - whereas my sustain is fine before the 12 fret,
Or should I get myself a new 400$ guitar that will sound nice but nothing beyond that?
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post #14 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-28-2011, 02:24 PM
 
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Re: Huge setup problems with a cheap Ibanez

If you are happy with the neck on this guitar, pay a professional to set it up and do the frets. A new guitar will need the exact same treatment to play its best.
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post #15 of 33 (permalink) Old 06-28-2011, 02:57 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Huge setup problems with a cheap Ibanez

Quote:
Originally Posted by musikron View Post
If you are happy with the neck on this guitar, pay a professional to set it up and do the frets. A new guitar will need the exact same treatment to play its best.
Well here's the thing.
I play for almost 4 years already and yet this is my guitar. I can't afford a real good guitar because it's so freaking expensive here...
I never played another guitar for a while, I played a Gibson Les Paul studio (which totally sucks for its price, it should be half the price), and some kind of Variax - both for a few minutes. So I can't decide what's good for me.
I just played my friend's Cort M600 for about 30 minutes, the action there is about 1-1.3 mm although it never had a setup and goddddddd it plays well - no buzz and no any sort of problem whatsoever.
I could play the same things I play in my guitar with half the effort although I felt I'm really not used to it and could get much better in a week with it.
I'm really stuck in my technique since the second year I play, I didn't really make a progress since then, although I practice technique a lot. So I'm starting to think my guitar has something to do with it.
His Cort guitar has nice sound but nothing special that will make me happy, and that's what sucks.

I don't know what to do, if I can't get my guitar setup right myself I think I should buy a new guitar. But I can't make mistakes here, it'll stay with me for at least 5 years, so it's very hard to decide. On the other hand if I get the good pickups I can always decide to buy any guitar I'll want and use the pickup with it. So please guys help me decide !!
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