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Tezza

Should I buy this Guitar?

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Posted (edited)

AAArghh!! The bridge is glued on, might be OK, I'll see when I get strings on it. If not, there is a workaround, you can get a gold bridge that sits on top of the rosewood bridge and has adjustable intonation. Archtops seem fragile, the pickups screw directly into the 4mm or so soundboard. Don't like the bridge set up at all. Looks like I will be able to attach something on the inside of the pickup covers to stop the vibration, maybe that door gap adhesive foam/rubber.

 

13 hours ago, mettelus said:

I replaced the bridge in a 335 Dot and working via the f-holes was a pain, but putting thread on the pots BEFORE pulling them makes reassembly easier.

Yes, I am glad the electronics are good because I wouldn't like to have to muck about with those through the F-holes. Not a fan of friggin F-holes. I wonder what F-hole glued that bridge on.

 

43 minutes ago, bayoubill said:

Get d’addarrio chomes flat wound lite

Yes, thinking along the same lines. One thing that drives me mad about recording guitars is the finger squeak, it is everywhere, about time I tried some flatwounds, I don't care about the more mellow sound. These apparently come out of the factory with 10-46 on them. I use 9's on the strat because I bend like crazy with lead. I use 11's on the acoustic, they have just enough meat for me without being hard to hold down. 10-46 has always been no-mans land for me, a bit light for solid chords and too heavy for the lead I play. I don't want to put 9's on it because I need to use it more for Jazz style chord playing. I'd put 11's on it but then no comfortable lead will really be possible, not how I play anyway. Apparently, flatwound have more string tension than roundwound, so 10's might be like 11's.

My claw style rhythm playing on the Acoustic is more like traditional Jazz style but my lead playing is nothing like Jazz, I need the lighter strings to bend. A wound G string kills that fun but sounds better for chords.

It looks like it's got 10's roundwounds on it now and they play quite well. Decisions....

 

 

Edited by Tezza

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2 hours ago, Tezza said:

One thing that drives me mad about recording guitars is the finger squeak

D'Addario Half Rounds on all the electrics in the studio (Flat Tops on the acoustics).
If I were playing out, regular round wounds; they're shot at the end of the night anyway...

t

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21 hours ago, Tezza said:

You think that because you've tightened the pickup mount screws against the soundboard that they are tight, so it can't be the pickups.

The other shocker I got with the 335 stock PUP was that the PUP shield is only magnetically mounted to the PUP. When I pulled that PUP out, the shield fell off! The screws in the shield are just for show, they do not go into the poles. You may need to use an adhesive to bond them together. Mechanically they are "close fitting" but loose enough they fall apart when not mounted. If it is the same design (looks to be), you will know by unmounting one. I put a post in the old forums about that issue.

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13 hours ago, Tezza said:

Yes, I am glad the electronics are good because I wouldn't like to have to muck about with those through the F-holes. Not a fan of friggin F-holes. I wonder what F-hole glued that bridge on.

My spontaneous thoughts for what they're worth(about .01 $ I guess🙄😁).

Swapping electronics on a semi-acoustic guitar is not a biggie, TVJones has the solution, I made my own cheap kit from latex surgical tubes, there are videos of him using it on u-toob.

Are you sure the bridge is glued? It might be just dirt or that the lacquer was sticky when the bridge was put on it and  depending on what(maybe the previous owner knows?) glue was used you might be able to remove it anyway.

Another thing that might rattle which I stumbled on when swapping pickups on my cheaper Gretsch (Korea) is stiff (i.e. cheap) cables inside that aren´t fixed well.

 

I had a sunburst Epi Joe Pass 8-10 years ago, great guitar IMO, even the pickups which I assumed would be kind of crappy sounded good when adjusted to the right height.

When it comes to strings I use DÁddario XL 0.011-0.049 on my Gretsches and yes they are a bit  tougher to bend than .010's but make up for it in tone + if the guitar is well set up you might actually get away with lower action than if you use thin strings, IMO you should at least try .011's before you make up your mind.

 

Enjoy your new guitar!☺️

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, mettelus said:

The other shocker I got with the 335 stock PUP was that the PUP shield is only magnetically mounted to the PUP. When I pulled that PUP out, the shield fell off! The screws in the shield are just for show, they do not go into the poles. You may need to use an adhesive to bond them together. Mechanically they are "close fitting" but loose enough they fall apart when not mounted. If it is the same design (looks to be), you will know by unmounting one. I put a post in the old forums about that issue.

I think this may also be a cause of, or contributing to the vibration coming from the neck pickup when I play certain notes, it's pretty loud and very unappealing. I took out the neck pickup turned it over and.....
 

1255611028_NeckPickup.jpg.f3cea490a29c00662a1a3a101d12303d.jpg

 

The crack is all the way through so it does move and vibrate. Not to worry, I have plenty of solder and a big soldering iron. At first, I thought some dude had just put solder on there but looking at other images, it appears this is done at the factory for these pickups.

The last time I played humbuckers was about 15 years ago, so it's like a new sound all over again. I am now thinking if it is possible to get new gold covers for the pickups to replace the aged ones.

 

1 hour ago, Per Westin said:

Are you sure the bridge is glued? It might be just dirt or that the lacquer was sticky when the bridge was put on it and  depending on what(maybe the previous owner knows?) glue was used you might be able to remove it anyway.

Yes it looks as though it's on pretty tight and I can see what appears to be glue in the joint, my fear is, if I try to get it off it will rip the lacquer off and possibly take some wood with it.  The previous owner doesn't really know much about it. He bought it with some other guitars, played it a few times and then it got put away and neglected for some time, he sold it while doing a clean out.

Quote

Another thing that might rattle which I stumbled on when swapping pickups on my cheaper Gretsch (Korea) is stiff (i.e. cheap) cables inside that aren´t fixed well.

Yes, this is a problem I had with my semi acoustic but this guitar seems to be fine in relation to internal cables flopping about.

Quote

When it comes to strings I use DÁddario XL 0.011-0.049 on my Gretsches and yes they are a bit  tougher to bend than .010's but make up for it in tone + if the guitar is well set up you might actually get away with lower action than if you use thin strings, IMO you should at least try .011's before you make up your mind.

This seems to be an area where I differ from the pack. I prefer the sound of lighter strings, 11's max. I've tried the heavier gauges  but I just don't like the sound of them besides them being also more difficult to play. Lighter strings have got more jangle, seem brighter and more alive, whereas the heavier ones you get a straight note with not much character in my view. I do use 11's on the acoustic.

I checked out the half rounds, flatwound, chromes etc but if I want those I will need to get them on Ebay and I can't decide at the moment so I think I will just put standard guitar strings (10-46) on it to start with, what it came out of the factory with. I can pick those up tomorrow from a local music store otherwise I have to drive 100Ks to get some different ones or wait a week for Ebay. The standard ones will be fine to start with and will mean I can have everything done by Sunday and finish it and jam with it. I think the finger squeak is going to be reduced by the humbuckers.

Edited by Tezza
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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Tezza said:

Yes it looks as though it's on pretty tight and I can see what appears to be glue in the joint, my fear is, if I try to get it off it will rip the lacquer off and possibly take some wood with it.

Most glues will shear pretty easily with a simple tap perpendicular to the glue plane and the intended break line etched before the tap. Tape on the face and a wooden block used to protect the bridge should protect the bridge and face. IF that glue is extruded on the edges, I would trim that off first and use a utility knife blade (laying flat on the taped face) to etch a small groove all the way around he bridge before any tap... cracks will propogate along a defined flaw naturally, which is also how you can break glass, etc., with a simple etch before breaking. If you have *any* questions about this, I would reach out to StewMac (Contact Us) at the bottom, they are responsive and know just about anything you could ever think of related to a guitar.

As far as finish damage... I totally LOVE watching Dan Erlewine work, and he has a lot of the Trade Secret videos on StewMac. He has some of the coolest and simplest methods to do things. This one is fixing chip damage on the face of a guitar (guitar repair meets autobody, which makes it even cooler). Dan is a big proponent of superglue (where applicable), which also has the advantage that it dries clear, but the razor blade/sanding technique in this can be used is SO many areas.

 

Edited by mettelus
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I got all the stuff to finish the guitar off today, so tomorrow morning the repairs and reconstruction will begin, by Sunday, I will be playing!

I found some rubber tubing from my old strat pickups that I will use instead of the springs to secure the pickup to it's housing. Also found some double sided tape and stick on felt circles. What I will do is create pads to hold the pickup secure in it's housing by combining 2 layers of double sided tape together with the felt and create 4 of them for each pickup. They sit on the inside of the pickup housing and put a bit of pressure on the pickup. An invisible solution I hope to the vibration problem. Together with reshaping and resoldering the metal pickup cover to the pickup, I've got some clamps for that job.

I'll do the frets one at a time with scotchguard and a painters blade that I've got that I can use to protect the fretboard while I just clean them up a bit, the flatter radius allows this and it will be quicker and more effective than masking tape. Then I'll go over the whole lot with a block.

I'll leave the bridge as is for the moment, see what the intonation is like. I don't like the idea of prizing it off, I'd rather go the route of fitting an adjustable top to the bridge if it is needed. The only reason for taking it off the soundboard would be to move it 2 or 3 mm one way, which will most likely result in a band of some sort shadowing the bridge, even if it's all done smoothly.

Why is fixing guitars so exciting!

 

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I have an Ibanez archtop I forget the bridge is floating on till I change the strings. Never fails... loosen them up, bridge moves (or just falls off) and I just think I cannot believe I did that yet again. Only guitar I have to adjust intonation on every string change (a bit of a PITA actually). It is rosewood so superglue won't be enough to actually secure it so I have just dealt with it.

I am glad this thread popped up, since Micro-Mesh is pretty much the bees knees for polishing work. The backer is gel, so not only do the grains sink into the backing, but they also fold over as you work so they are less aggressive (and why you can polish with them). Turns out that StewMac has one of the better deals (and $15 off this month if you sign up for their newsletter). It is about $5 a sheet elsewhere, and two 9-packs is a better deal than the 18-pack (and get another block to boot). StewMac says they ship internationally, but I am no sure how much that is (i.e., how much that would affect you, domestically shipping is $9.99 so the discount offset shipping basically). I actually needed it for automotive finishing, but the finer grits are so fine that you can polish just by wet sanding and polishing compound similar to the video above. Most folks don't have access (or need) for the massive buffing wheels luthiers polish with. The end of this video, Dan is drysanding frets with it.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

It's funny you mention that. Back in the day when I was a mechanic apprentice and also did car detailing for the franchise I worked for, micro-mesh was like a trade secret that only professional detailers knew about and you could only get it through the trade, it wasn't even available to the general public. I remember having a few sheets that I kept a long time after leaving that industry and using them for guitar finishing and just about any fine finishing job. Completely forgot about that until I saw your post. You are right, it is definitely the bees knees for fine finishing of fret work, even removing the scratches from the wood between the frets that can often happen and also for taking out scratches and haze from the body of the guitar, using it wet or dry like in the video.

It's a lot more available now and I could get some in from on-line sources but I want to finish the guitar this weekend, so I'll have to make do with what I have but will order some in, that stuff is great. Stewmac is a great resource but I don't buy from them because being in Australia I don't like waiting for things to arrive, there are similar products here though that I can get in from Melbourne or Sydney.

The way I see it, I'll finish the guitar as I can now, but in a month, I'll probably do more work on it to finish up because there will probably be other stuff that comes to light, some other vibration or more fret work or a different string gauge/type or I may decide to put a different pickup in the bridge etc, I also might put chicken head knobs on it. Or I might hate it and get something else. I will only find that out from playing it for a bit.

I also think it is good to have a guitar setup thread in the forum because recording guitars direct into an audio interface to a DAW is very different than playing through an amp. I must have started 100 threads in a multitude of forums at my disappointment of being able to record electric guitars direct, always sounding scratchy and harsh and almost like that horrid piezo sound being present, thin with an unpleasant distortion being applied. Using an amp sim does little to make it better. I can get there almost, but it's a lot of work and not that satisfying when I know what it "should" sound like from playing through an amp. I resorted to using pedals before the interface which works much better for me. But I have only ever recorded strats with single coils and trying for a cleaner sound, even with the lead.

I just listened to some stuff I quickly recorded on this guitar just to check out the electrics of the guitar, it was recorded direct in with no effects. There is none of that previously described stuff happening at all. No scratchyness or harshness or unpleasant background distortion, it does not sound "dry" at all. It sounds warm, mellow, thick and almost as if there is an impulse response on it but there isn't. I had to check a number of times whether I had an amp sim or reverb on or something but there was nothing. This might just be the humbucker pickups or a combination of that with the guitar and the wooden bridge, I don't know but I like it a lot. If it sounds that good to me direct in and dry when the guitar was in such a state of disrepair, what on earth is it going to sound like when I plug it in fixed up and shove an amp sim on it.

 

 

Edited by Tezza
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Single coils and DAW work can be painful. In the old days of CRT monitors (there is a whole generation now that has no clue what these are), a single coil was troublesome even perpendicular to the screen because they can be so sensitive. Both humbuckers and lower outputs will "help" working straight into the box, but it is hard to replicate an amp 100% anyway. The Epiphone stock humbuckers are fairly tame (may not have any real  feedback issues either), but being an acoustic not many look for "piercing tones" anyway.

I remembered you were in Australia, and didn't even think to look deeper into the Micro-Mesh site above (doh)... they do have 2 distributors in Australia (seems both are east coast). There is a "Find a Distributor" link on the left on their site.

Good to hear you are enjoying the new guitar!

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4 hours ago, mettelus said:

Single coils and DAW work can be painful. In the old days of CRT monitors (there is a whole generation now that has no clue what these are), a single coil was troublesome even perpendicular to the screen because they can be so sensitive.

That and the fun you could have by putting your monitors (audio mix monitors) too close to your computer CRT monitor!

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Posted (edited)

Yup, I got 4 of these around 2005 to stick to car oil filters (they were on sale for $10 a piece then). Definitely NOT toys, but they will mess up a CRT at a range of 6-8', so I used to stand behind people and move it around to watch their reaction. The other funny thing would be to stick one to a steel door and ask someone to get it off. The sides are so slippery that most who could do it had to slide it to the edge first so they could tip it and wrap their hand around it. K&J Magnetics also make much smaller ones that are "toy-like" (magnets have many useful applications) but definitely respect the larger ones... they are totally unforgiving of anything between them and their closest target.

The other useful application was to put one in a leg from an old pair of jeans and drag it through ashes to pull nails after burning old deck lumber (would get a pound of nails at a time). The jeans made it easy to release the nails by turning it inside out and pulling the magnet off. Same trick works for finding dropped screws, nails, nuts or bolts where you cannot see them (in grass or leaves). I also used one to thread pots back into the holes on the 335 by letting it pull a needle through the hole for me (but in hindsight, definitely put dental floss on the pot's post before removing it and there are no worries that you got the path correct).

I actually got those initially to serve as welding magnets to hold sheet metal in place while welding. At that time, they were far cheaper, stronger, and smaller.

Edited by mettelus
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