Hey everyone, hoping someone here more knowledgeable about guitar setups can help me out. I just got a Pia and it just seems to have very strange issues. Let me start by saying that I've owned Jems for years and have several of them, so I pretty much know what to expect out of this style of guitar, though of course this is my first Pia.
1. Action must be significantly higher than my Jems: First order of business when I got the guitar was to lower the action. I typically like my action very low, pretty much as low as I can get it before having issues. Now how low it will go depends on the guitar of course, how good of a fret job was done, straightness of the neck, etc. However after having owned so many Jem style guitars I pretty much know the range I can expect to get out of my action. I started by getting the neck nearly flat with the truss rod (I measured using a fretboard ruler). It's not completely flat because the ruler shows some daylight all across the fretboard, but it's very close to flat.
Next I brought the pickups down a bit to compensate for having lowered the strings.
Anyway I got some buzzing. Ok no problem, raise the strings some, still buzzing but noticeably better. Raise the strings some more. Ok now I think it's good, buzz is pretty much gone. Disappointingly the action at this point is higher than any of my other Jems, but not so much so that it's a deal breaker.
2. Bending notes (G string 14th fret area) frets out. Fret 12 and 13 seem to be fine, fret 14 frets out on a whole step bend. Ok, I guess it needs to be higher. So raise the action again, still frets out. Anyway long story short I now have the action at what I would consider a medium height and still no good. Instead of raising it even more, which even if it works would make me not even like playing the guitar anyway. I come to the forums for help!
3. Last thing I tried, I took a fret balance straight edge and checked to make sure there were no uneven fret heights in that area, far as I can tell the frets are perfectly level and the straight edge wont rock over any one fret.
Is it worth a try putting more bow in the neck and then seeing if the action can come back down some? I'm not against neck bow, though I typically think guitars this expensive should be able to function with a straight or slight bow pretty well. Perhaps I'm wrong about that and have just gotten very lucky in the past?
4. On an unrelated note, the trem was sitting at too much of a high angle requiring the springs to be tightened. Opened the back to see the trem screws were already completely screwed in to the max from the factory and it wasn't enough. Not a great sign. Could add a 4th spring, but again, no Jem has ever required something like this, so red flags are going up.
Anything else worth trying? Is it time to send this guitar back?