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Claws 12-21-2009 06:27 PM

Not sure about shimming...
Hi All
This is my very first post here... though i have done tons of reading here AND other site's...
Im not sure about shimming my neck.
My guitar (RG470 made in japan 2001) is departed, cleaned and ready for 10's string gauge.
I love to play with a silly low action, my picking is very light (thank god for the jazz3 pick) and i have never had problems with buzz or bending.

I have been experimenting with my truss rod and everything else. And learned a lot from it. About time :)
my problem is i have never been able to get the same height on 24 fret as my first or second fret... the action is always a bit higher on the 24'th.

My neck when attached to body... looks like the angle is shimmed. but under (pocket) it is nothing. i can notice the angle by just looking alignment of the neck to the body (20-24 fret). the angle is a bit higher on the bridge side.

My bridge (lo-trs... yeah yeah..i know :P ) which iv never had problems with is 1 mm over the body... i cant lower that any more or il get buzz on high frets.
Do i need to shim ? Many say it should be the last solution.

Any help will be much appreciated.

littlephil 12-21-2009 08:09 PM

Re: Not sure about shimming...
Its going to be very difficult to get even action across the whole neck without buzzing. You need to have it getting a little higher as you move towards the bridge or the strings will buzz.

LonePhantom 12-21-2009 08:37 PM

Re: Not sure about shimming...
And don't be so down on the Lo-TRS. The Japanese made one is far better than the crappy Korean LO-TRS II. It's not far off an OFR. ;)

nickcoumbe 12-22-2009 01:40 AM

Re: Not sure about shimming...

Shimming is totally reversible so why not give it a try. It might help you out, but I suspect that with an ultra low action it may be difficult to get an even height and no buzz on the higher frets as Littlephil says.

Claws 12-26-2009 04:45 AM

Re: Not sure about shimming...
3 Attachment(s)
Thanks for the replies!

Ok then... i dropped the shimming. I put the 10's on and it was way better then 9's.
I have a slight higher action then before.

Does it happen that an ibanez comes out the fabric with neck shimmed ?
looks like mine is... as said... there was no shim to see in the pocket.

I put some pics here so you can maybe come with some advise..

Hight is following on low E.. about...
0.9mm fret 1
1.9mm fret 12
2.1mm fret 24

is this much difference ?

littlephil 12-26-2009 05:16 AM

Re: Not sure about shimming...
Your trem isnt level now, in the 2nd pic, the baseplate should be parallel with the body. Open the back of the guitar and turn each of the screws in the spring holder about half a turn, and re-tune. If its still out, keep turning the screws a little bit at a time and retuning until its level.
It also looks like your neck is a bit too bowed. Have you checked the relief? There should be about a credit cards gap between the string and 7th/9th fret when you hold the string at both the first and last fret. That may be why the action gets high fairly quickly after the first few frets, or it looks that way in the pics. If the relief is fine, you might need a bit of a shim.

560licious 12-26-2009 07:08 AM

Re: Not sure about shimming...
I agree with littlephil, your neck looks like it could have a bow..for lowering your action, the neck shouldn't be an issue at all...if your neck is strait, all the ajustments you have to do is in the bridge, with the posts and the string claw..

Rachmaninoff 12-26-2009 10:23 AM

Re: Not sure about shimming...

Originally Posted by 560licious (Post 973214)
I agree with littlephil, your neck looks like it could have a bow..

That's my guess too.

rfields 12-29-2009 09:00 AM

Re: Not sure about shimming...
Your action needs to rise slightly between the first and last frets of the guitar or the strings will "fret out". When you pick a string, it vibrates and needs room to move during this vibration. If your action is completely even over the length of the fretboard, your strings will not have the room that they need for this vibration and will "fret out", essentially choking the string off.

I also play with a very light touch and the lowest action that I can possibly squeeze out of a guitar. I have shimmed a lot of necks and have found that a lot of times, shimming does not make much of a difference on newer, quality guitars that are in good shape. I have worked on some late 80's and early 90's model RG's that had factory shims, but noticed that they started to disappear on the later models. With the tight tolerances being utilized in the manufacture of guitars today, I just do not think that you you get the same benefit that you once did by shimming. With a shim, you may find that you just end up with the same action that you had, only now with a higher bridge setting.

If you decide to try it, start very thin, like with a business card cut into about a 1/4" wide strip and place it in the very bottom of the neck cavity (closest to the neck PUP). Depending on the thickness of the material used, you may have to double the thickness of the shim.

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