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Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by Yamariv, Sep 23, 2017.
I guess. I just take 'em to my belt sander...
And again, shims do not affect neck playability before and after, if the string action doesnt change. But, you get strings higher or lower over the body, that is correct. the same simple geometry.
I dont care about that. I dont care about string through vs top mount as well
Maybe I'm misreading what you are trying to say but if you adjust your neck with a shim and do not touch your saddles it "Will" bring down the action on the higher frets.
I tilted the neck down by adding a shim with the fat side towards the bridge. I should also clarify that I was getting fret buzz all over the neck if I tried to drop the action to where I liked before the shim. I found that when the shim was installed, the strings were more parallel with the neck the whole way down which allowed me to have lower action across the board once the relief was set. This is very hard to explain in writing..
I expect that the action is corrected after shimming the neck. And if the action is set the same as before shimming, then there will not be any effect on neck's playability. and if teh notes chocked out while bending, then the same will happen after shimming (and the same action set up), etc.
There's a difference between shimming the entire neck pocket to raise the height of the neck, and shimming the front or back of the pocket to change the angle.
FWIW, I've had to shim the back of the neck pocket in all the MIM & MIJ Fenders I've ever owned, but not my G&Ls (US or Tribute) or USA Fenders.
The idea is that if you put a shim under the neck you will lower the action by reducing the angle made between the strings and the neck but lowering the saddles does exactly the same thing.
Some Fender necks suffer from a phenomenon I've heard described as "Ski Jump" syndrome. It's often diagnosed as incorrect neck angle, but won't be cured by shims or micro-tilt.
It's difficult to describe without pictures, but in simple terms it's where the heel of the neck (15th fret to 22nd fret) becomes slightly concave. So if you were tiny and walking along the fret board towards the heel end, you would see the fret board rise... like a ski jump.
It's only slight and hard to see with the naked eye, but causes all kinds of perceptible woe with bend choking, fret buzzing and high action. The truss rod also has no effect.
The only way to "cure" it is either a new neck, or a drastic fret dress. If the ski ramp is moderate, the ramp can be filed out on the fret tops, but the last few frets end up being very shallow. If its steep, and you want to keep the neck, the upper frets have to be removed and the fingerboard planed flat and refretted.
How do I know.... because it happened to a new Strat I bought. And get this, Fender wouldn't cough up the cost of repair or refund/replace because their fix was to raise the action, which was still "within acceptable spec". I'll never forgive them for that.
If you now believe that shimming the neck to lower the action creates a different relationship between frets and strings than lowering the saddles to lower the action, you are having a conceptualization problem.
While you feel that you have discovered evidence that proves this theory, we can only speculate as to what you did when lowering saddles with resulting poor action.
WRT applying the neck tilt concept from your LP because it plays well; the reason a LP has such extreme tilt is that the bridge is mounted on posts at the top of an arch, not because neck angle changes the relationship between frets and strings with saddles set to place the strings the same distance off the frets.
I was a guitar tech in Boston and NYC and did lots of setups for players with different needs.
I find that a Tele very seldom needs a shim if milled to normal specs, but I also like the saddles fairly high to maintain good tension of string against saddle.
I find that most of the wide range of Strat designs do need a shim, because the bridge tends to be higher and the saddles tend to have less adjustment range.
The physical reality as noted by several others in this thread is that changing the neck angle and setting the saddles correspondingly will result in the exact same relationship between strings and frets.
If you were unable to get nice low action on a Tele without a neck shim, there is something else you did that gave you a problem, and you changed whatever that was at the same time you added the shim.
Teles have been set up with nice low action and no shim for far too long for you to have discovered that it cannot be done.
I would suggest you try thinking about the relationship between frets and strings without thinking about LP neck angle.
The neck angle and the saddle height are two ways to make the same adjustment of string height over frets.
If the strings buzz on the high frets with high action, you have other problems like too much relief or alnico rod mag neck pickup set too high.
Even seasonal changes will make a neck play differently, as humidity increases or decreases, adding or subtracting relief, adding rising tongue vs fall away, and possibly even twisting the neck.
The belief that you are stuck on here, indicates that you need to go back to the conceptualization process, and don't bring the LP with you!
But it is good to have this sort of conceptual discussion, because so many players today are shade tree guitar techs learning from youtube videos what really good techs probably took years to master.
Do you fully understand what a plek machine does compared to fret dressing with a beam? That might be a good installment in a learning process.
Techs and luthiers have done what a plek does, by hand for decades (for customers who want more), dressing in various curvatures to the fret plane. The newer compound radius boards are the same as one facet of old techs fret work.
A beam dressing many of us end up with is a primitive means to an inferior end.
The old term for what you call "ski jump syndrome" was "rising tongue".
The old ideal for low action in that part of the neck was/ is "fall away", the opposite of a rise.
On a new Strat, yeah, they should have replaced it.
This is absolutely correct. Read this and learn.
The OP is under a delusion that ignores the laws of physics and common sense.
You are right they should have replaced it... I have kept all documents/emails/ receipts etc. The problem is Fender USA washed their hands of it and left it to our licensed national distributor. I don't want to say too much here but it's not the end of it.
Awesome you got the results you were looking for..
No two guitars are exactly alike, each is it's own animal with it's own characteristics.
Thanks for sharing your experience..
I posted this pic on the other forum too, thought it might help to post it here as well to explain....
"Ok, OP here.. So below you can see that I have made a little drawing in effort to explain what I'm trying to get across. Obviously there's two sides to this debate and for the guys who don't understand what I'm trying to explain I've drawn it out. YES, the left version is OBVIOUSLY not proportional so please don't argue that. I've exaggerated the left guitar to explain the effect that Tilting the neck has. On the left side, see how the strings are further away from the higher frets no matter how low you bring down your saddles. No matter what you do on the left guitar, lower the nut, change the relief or lower the saddles, the neck will never really be in line with the strings. (Disclaimer again: I have exaggerated the angle of the neck for the illustration.. it is obviously more subtle than in the picture..) Now, on the right is the neck angle shimmed. The shimmed neck is much more inline with the strings bringing the higher frets closer to the strings and making it more playable in my opinion.
I started this thread in case it helps someone down the road that's it. I found this problem, searched forums about the shim and nothing was coming up so I played around with my two Fenders and found this works great for my style of setup. Hoping the drawing helps explain what I'm trying to say. Cheers"
But your diagram is so exaggerated that you can't lower the strings so they're touching the fretboard but you can. On any fender style guitar you should be able to lower the strings so low they rest on the fretboard and if that genuinely is the case you have a really messed up neck or neck pocket.
Actually, you did not exaggerate the angle of the neck in the drawings.
An exaggeration would be making the angle more extreme.
But instead you reversed the angle of the neck.
Maybe this will help you understand that what you are trying to make the rest of us understand:
If you take the first drawing and turn it upside down, then put the strings on the back of the guitar, you will see what the LP neck angle actually is.
If you take your second drawing, and add some more shims, it will become what a Fender with no shim actually is.
IOW the second drawing is what you would get if you put the neck shim in a Fender backwards.
So really really try looking at a LP (or Fender) neck angle as being the opposite of what you have drawn here.
Those pictures are making me question reality.
Adam Savage (Mythbusters) would love this thread. It's full of "I reject your reality and substitute my own".
One thing I'd add is that the Gibson neck could be more ergonomically comfortable with the angle to the body as compared to the Fender body. It puts your fretting arm and hand in a different postion. So even though the action is the same, it may appear to be more comfortable if the neck isn't sticking straight out. I would think it depends on how the guitar sits on you too. Lots of variables at play here.