Ibanez JEM Forum banner
1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
530 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Many Ibanez guitars do not have enough of a neck angle to allow big pull ups on the trem bar. The solution has been to put a little piece of something in the neck pocket before attaching the neck to the guitar. Ibanez even branded the factory shims they put in guitars. The image below is a neck pocket where the rectangular residue of an Ibanez shim is still visible on the right.



I've never really liked the feel of a guitar with the neck shimmed like this but that was the price to pay if you wanted to play. For me, I could never set the neck relief and action comfortably. There was always a compromise.

Then I switched how I did the shims. The image below shows what I found out for myself about shimming. The drawing is not to scale and shows exaggerated shim results, I know. It's just here to illustrate what I'm thinking.



So I moved my shims so that they lay across the rear set of neck screw holes. Sometimes I used a narrow strip of credit card with two holes drilled in it. Other times a large piece of something like in the image below.



Try it out and tell us what you think.
 

·
Vendor
Joined
·
26,455 Posts
I've never seen any deflection in old shimmed 22 fret necks. The heels are always perfectly flat. I've seen plenty of deep imprinting into basswood from the shim but I've never seen the maple bend.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
10,116 Posts
I've never seen any deflection in old shimmed 22 fret necks. The heels are always perfectly flat. I've seen plenty of deep imprinting into basswood from the shim but I've never seen the maple bend.
Agreed, the maple will NEVER deflect by the small amount of torque that the neck screws are capable of exerting.

The only thing that would happen with more pressure is that the shims will sink completely into the basswood (path of least resistance) negating the shim altogether.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,354 Posts
I've never seen the heal of a neck warp or bend from a shim.

Shimming one end of the neck pocket or the other is not to raise or lower the trem, it is to change the angle of the strings to the frets.
If you want to raise the trem out of the body, a full neck pocket shim would be required.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
530 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I respect your opinions, all.

Regarding neck shimming, YMMV.

I can only speak for myself and from my experience with my bolt-on necks. With the shim across the rear screws I've found the comfortable setups that I couldn't find before.

Luckily, moving a shim to lay across the screw holes costs $0.00 and can't hurt your guitar regardless of who is "right". So I say again, try it out and tell us what you think.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
10,116 Posts
I respect your opinions, all.

Regarding neck shimming, YMMV.

I can only speak for myself and from my experience with my bolt-on necks. With the shim across the rear screws I've found the comfortable setups that I couldn't find before.

Luckily, moving a shim to lay across the screw holes costs $0.00 and can't hurt your guitar regardless of who is "right". So I say again, try it out and tell us what you think.
On this point I couldn't agree more!!! This method will also have the benefit of filling a bit more of the "air gap" between the body and neck when a shim is used. How could anyone argue with a free bonus like that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,383 Posts
I've never seen the heal of a neck warp or bend from a shim.

Shimming one end of the neck pocket or the other is not to raise or lower the trem, it is to change the angle of the strings to the frets.
If you want to raise the trem out of the body, a full neck pocket shim would be required.
If you 'change the angle of the strings to the frets' you can also lower/raise the bridge.

If your action is to your liking, but the bridge is too low in the body for your liking, simple shim the neck at the bridge side of the pocket, tilting the neck back a bit.

Now, with the bridge in the same position your action will be lower... so raise the bridge to the action that you like and viola, you've used the neck angle to raise the bridge.

Simple physics/geometry.

It's not necessary to use a full neck pocket to raise or lower the bridge when the angle of the neck will do the same thing.

If you don't want your neck angled, you can use a full pocket shim, but the difference needed to raise or lower the bridge is so slight it's mostly unnoticeable anyway.

In addition, in 10 years of tech work I never saw a heel warp or bend due to a shim. I have a 20+ year old RG550 with a paper shim on the bridge side of the pocket with no problem.

Useful web pages....
http://www.tundraman.com/Guitars/NeckAngle/index.php

This next one is mainly for the image, it shows a good example of how changing the neck angle will require adjustment to the bridge to maintain desired action.
http://www.fretnotguitarrepair.com/repair/electric-guitar/neck-angle.php
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,354 Posts
What I'm trying to convey is that shimming one end will affect the way the strings meet the frets too.
If your only goal is to raise the trem out of the body, you need to shim the entire neck up evenly, not just one end.
This will keep the neck angle the same and raise neck and the trem at the same time.
Out of the 6 UVs and 13 JEMs I have, many different shimming strategies have been used to get them to play well and have the trem at a height that is functional.
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top