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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello,
I have the impression that I have been (since October) experiencing a constant (sometimes even overnight) increase of action height in my uv70p.
It is true that this guitar went under many stages, sent back to germany, returned with basically nothing more than a nice setup, was diagnosed to have truly insufficient neck/body joint, possibly longer neck screws than the ideal length, etc.
Basically when I had the guitar back from germany, it had a nice action and setup, but the neck was shifting from day to day downside, giving a very short margin between the fret ends and the strings on the treble side. Also I could move the neck by my hands easily, while presumably fully bolted. I didn;t like this. Also when I had attempted to tighten the stock screws, the headstock-side ones would strip heads, while the rest two (bridge-side ones) would just turn a little bit more. This raised the action, i suspect due to tightening the two long ones. I didn;t like all this, obviously, that's why I moved to the fix described here : http://www.jemsite.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1300980&postcount=267

The guitar for all those days since then was very stable, as far as the parallel to the body motion of the neck is concerned. I have been measuring the same exact clearances all those days. The neck indeed now seems stable. Does not shift downside. However, yesterday, when i tried to tighten the back screws a little bit (to see if the joint was stable), I noticed that the two bridge-side screws (where the original longer ones would go), would turn a little bit. This might have raised the action. So I setup the guitar again, and I lowered the bridge once again. As always plays very very sweet.

Problem in the back of my head, tho, is that I have been practically lowering the bridge height for as long as I remember and almost always it would marginally increase again 1-2 days latter. I measure this with both filler gauges, and a special pick i have for this. My "benchmark" is a pickboy pick on 24th fret A string. If it sticks on the strings or not, is a sign of a change. I have always been locking the stud afterwards with the smaller alen. What would all that mean? Ok, in the first months the guitar had severe joint instability issues, but now it is pretty stable. Winter ok, has been going a little bit stronger, snowed on the mountain near our house, but then again i cannot get much sense out of it.

What would this all mean? This does not give me the impression of being truss rod's business. Didn;t get wild deviations on relief across checks or setups.
Would it mean:
- the neck joint that still has issues?
- the paper shim compressing, giving larger angle and increasing action height ?
- trem studs are loose ?
- the basswood compresses ?
- the maple compresses ?
- trem springs react to temperature?
- strings react to temperature? (will need to replace those)
- wood changes size by temperature?

next time i open up the trem, I will have to fully assess the situation with the studs.

One thing that I read over ibanezrules.com site, is that after tightening the smaller alen in the studs, one has to also give the larger alen (stud) a little bit of torque just to have it sealed against the lock. I didnt do that, might it be that this would make a dramatic change on the locking effect?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Anyways, it's been pretty stable for 3 days now, measured to the best accuracy. The weather also has been pretty cold. I will see how the whole guitar reacts when it gets warmer and drier.
 

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I would say its probably not the weather, its the guitar. I would take the entire thing apart and rebuild it, making sure everything is properly fitting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Get out the wood chipper!
what? The woods on this one is fantastic. If I didn't like the sound I'd bite the bullet and would have sent this long time ago. The problems were with poor hardware peripherals (screws, bolts) and absent quality control during assembly. Stay tuned.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I would say its probably not the weather, its the guitar. I would take the entire thing apart and rebuild it, making sure everything is properly fitting.
Although situation is pretty stable, I will still have to unmount the trem and inspect it thoroughly as soon as I get my noiseless trem springs. Things are getting better and better with this guitar. I have replaced all saddle screws with heavy duty ones, and at least I could intonate and fix the saddles without the fear of having them slipping. I am waiting for the heavy duty nut bolts and the new noiseless trem springs. I have also solved the neck/body joint issue. The tonal characteristics seem to only improving.
 

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Although situation is pretty stable, I will still have to unmount the trem and inspect it thoroughly as soon as I get my noiseless trem springs. Things are getting better and better with this guitar. I have replaced all saddle screws with heavy duty ones, and at least I could intonate and fix the saddles without the fear of having them slipping. I am waiting for the heavy duty nut bolts and the new noiseless trem springs. I have also solved the neck/body joint issue. The tonal characteristics seem to only improving.
well that's good. I hate to hear of such an awesome guitar behaving so poorly. The neck joint thing was cringe-worthy. Good luck!:p
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Thanx! The guys at the factory failed to properly inspect the neck/body joint,Thomann failed as well, and then the guys at Ibanez service re-failed to do anything substantial about it. Ended up with using new slightly shorter common wood screws, and the sawdust wood glue trick. Much much better. If that would not hold I would go for the plug-redrill solution.

In the end I will write an article : Premium : worst case survival guide !
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I inspected inserts and studs today. All seem good. The guitar seems to react with temperature. For the last days, after some really cold days, the weather is improving, and the guitar action... seems to get .... lower :)
Anyways, it is sweet and stable from a constructional point of view. Sounds good too. I think I got a deal for 890 EUR! After 3 months of agony, the whole effort starts to pay off really nice!
 

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One other thing you might check is if the neck pocket is being compressed by the neck. You said you tighten the neck and the action got higher. This could be because the wood in the pocket is actually compressing. Some softer woods like basswood and poplar will do this.

I know things seem to be working out now but if the problem continues to happen you may be over tightening the neck. Be sure to keep an eye out for cracks too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
One other thing you might check is if the neck pocket is being compressed by the neck. You said you tighten the neck and the action got higher. This could be because the wood in the pocket is actually compressing. Some softer woods like basswood and poplar will do this.

I know things seem to be working out now but if the problem continues to happen you may be over tightening the neck. Be sure to keep an eye out for cracks too.
Nice and useful observation Arledge. What most probably had happened, I believe, is that the shim got compressed last time I tightened the two back screws (bridge side). But this guitar had such a long history of under-tightening (I was able to move the neck with my bare hands when I got it back from the "service" in Germany), that I do not think I did any dramatic on it. The moment it started feeling stable I stopped right there. Then after a while I tightened some more.
This guitar had such a bad history on this subject that I better leave it alone as far as its AANJ is concerned. No cracks are there, btw.
 

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Panix, you have gone above and beyond resonable customer behaviour with this guitar. My suggestion would be to demand a replacement at this stage - a completely new, fully set-up and working guitar.

Under EU consumer law there are 3 stages of customer protection, the first is repair where the item is serviced by the seller or manufacturer. If the item is returned and is not "fit for purpose" you are legally entitled to a replacement, if the replacement fails to work as intended you are entitled to a refund.

My advice would be to contact Thomann, refuse to engage in any further repair process and demand a completely new replacement that has been fully checked by their technicians. If they try to baffle you with bull**** by invoking their sales terms remind them that they are breaking the law by not furnishing you with a replacement after a failed repair. A seller only legally has one shot at repair and they screwed that up or the guitar is just unrepairable. Be polite, but be firm, if they won't move remind them that legal action through small claims courts is cheap for you, but expensive for them and remind them of the power of social media by virtue of the fact that you are a member of several websites and media pages populated by European musicians.

Either way get a replacement, you may have grown attached to it, but it's a fail and belongs back in the Indonesian factory wedged sideways up the arse of the inspector who passed it. Good luck and let me know if they throw any hurdles in your way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Panix, you have gone above and beyond resonable customer behaviour with this guitar. My suggestion would be to demand a replacement at this stage - a completely new, fully set-up and working guitar.

Under EU consumer law there are 3 stages of customer protection, the first is repair where the item is serviced by the seller or manufacturer. If the item is returned and is not "fit for purpose" you are legally entitled to a replacement, if the replacement fails to work as intended you are entitled to a refund.

My advice would be to contact Thomann, refuse to engage in any further repair process and demand a completely new replacement that has been fully checked by their technicians. If they try to baffle you with bull**** by invoking their sales terms remind them that they are breaking the law by not furnishing you with a replacement after a failed repair. A seller only legally has one shot at repair and they screwed that up or the guitar is just unrepairable. Be polite, but be firm, if they won't move remind them that legal action through small claims courts is cheap for you, but expensive for them and remind them of the power of social media by virtue of the fact that you are a member of several websites and media pages populated by European musicians.

Either way get a replacement, you may have grown attached to it, but it's a fail and belongs back in the Indonesian factory wedged sideways up the arse of the inspector who passed it. Good luck and let me know if they throw any hurdles in your way.
Thanx a lot, but your advice comes with about one month of lag :
a) the guitar plays wonderfully, and i doubt i can find many premiums or even prestiges that can match it. See the video if you don't believe me
b) I had studied the euro law and also had contacted the consumer service. It would take such a long time, even If I won, that I preferred to finish the job myself, since I liked the sound from the very start

With the help of these forums, and more specifically Jesse (Take a ride) and Ryc (RGTFanatic), I made up my mind, early on. I had a marathon of a correspondence with Jesse. The moment he gave me his last numbers, and started screaming "RETURN THIS", this very moment, I knew the guitar was ... RIGHT and I had to fix it. It is my guitar now, it plays wonderful, and its not going anywhere, and I have the pride of being responsible for this playing so good.

Nevertheless, the issue about Ibanez service and most importantly Thomann remains. I dont know whom they sent the guitar to. So I have no paper documenting that any job was done in any Ibanez dealer. What I know for sure is that Thomann are the biggest scums in the music industry in Europe.
 
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