Would you accept a neck shim on a Custom Shop?

Discussion in 'Fender Custom Shop Tele Forum' started by Leftys, Oct 20, 2016.

  1. Cat MacKinnon

    Cat MacKinnon Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,689
    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2011
    Location:
    Colorado
    That's not really true though, Leo used shims from the get-go!
     
    telemnemonics likes this.
  2. MM73

    MM73 Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    45
    Posts:
    1,726
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2015
    Location:
    South Lyon, MI
    EDIT: Deleted...realized I'm not funny.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2016
    Doug 54 and lammie200 like this.
  3. Leftys

    Leftys TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    49
    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2014
    Location:
    Stratosphere
    Not sure where you are reading this, i love the pickups as i wrote in a earlier post, very nice and crunchy gained. Also i have not mentioned that id be ok to install a shim myself in a Custom Shop guitar. Stop twisting things. And dont get worked up about it, im just gathering info. :)

    The neck pocket is big and not snug to the sides and the neck was not angled correcty with the strings E/e strings when it arrived and the gap under the shim is noticeable when looking at neck/pocket form the side. So dealer suggested that it had shifted in transit.
    This guitar playes loose more than Strat i owned 5-6 about years ago if i recall correctly. Its neck angle is pointing quite abit upwards when measuring with a ruler evne with the shim. I dont know what the specs is but i have read flat or up to 5% but im unsure if that is downward like a Gibson or Up or in both directions.
    The bridge is set up floating and string saddles sit high around flush on most strings so im fairly certain that the shim is trying to adress the neck angle and make it more flat even though its still not flat at all. (dont know if they are supposed to be but read that that is ideal?)
    Other than that i must say after much thought even if fender did this since day one i would have preferred that it was not needed on this guitar as some of the stuff people read about sunken shims, tone altering, ski hops, that makes sense when u force wood to fill a gap that a shim bmakes with bolts straining on it all. They may never be issues, they may be, without the shim id be sure it would never cause issues tho. So thers the minus in my book. And then theres the dumb ocd that tells me that its a tone robbing little bastard :D But lets try to keep it technical and not let our ocd political views or other twist this to more than it is.

    Id like to know more about the angles on Strats and what is within tolerance. is it worse if it tilts too much up or down?
     
  4. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    7,588
    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2014
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    I chuckled. OP sounds like he's coming around, I think, I dunno. I'm pretty sure I made a concession: cardboard is annoying, wood would be appropriate, with "CS' branded on it with a laser.
     
    MM73 likes this.
  5. lammie200

    lammie200 Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,718
    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2013
    Location:
    San Francisco
    That's why I put shims on axis with the screw holes. You are still tightening down on solid material between the neck heel and the neck pocket.

    I honestly doubt that there is a tone difference due to the thinnish shim that your guitar needs. I have a one thickness business card shim in my Tele clone and it sustains forever. I would think that the subtleties of tone would have more to do with the pickups, tremolo setup, and saddle and nut material than a thin shim at the neck heel.

    Given all the adjustments that can be made including truss rod tension and fret leveling, the angle of the neck should provide for the saddle height that you prefer, hence the height of the strings off the body. I think that you already knew that, but I am not sure that it is worth any more thought than that. There is no too much or too little neck angle unless you can't adjust the string heights off the body and saddle heights to your liking.

    If you think that you got a bad guitar, I suggest taking it back or taking it to someone that can objectively inspect it. The internet will only get you so far concerning answers.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2016
    mabley123 and MilwMark like this.
  6. lammie200

    lammie200 Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,718
    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2013
    Location:
    San Francisco
    So are you suggesting making the shim a permanent fixture in the neck pocket? Considering that finishing is involved, and it would limit flexibility for future use of the body, I would rather have a removable shim that is essentially undetectable.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2016
  7. lammie200

    lammie200 Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,718
    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2013
    Location:
    San Francisco
    You can call me one if you want because I think neck shims may be a necessary component for bolt-on neck guitars, but the only Fender thing on my three partscasters is one set of F locking tuners on my Tele clone. Good items, BTW. Even with those I changed the buttons to Hipshots. Oh, and I do own a couple of small Fender tube amps. They are OK, but there are lots of choices for similar amps from other manufacturers that are probably better.
     
  8. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    59
    Posts:
    15,409
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Location:
    Maine
    Not sure what you mean by "tilts too much up or down".
    Also not sure what you mean by "neck angle is pointing quite a bit upwards".
    With the shim the neck should be angled the same direction "as a Gibson", like you mentioned.
    If the neck is angled the other way, something is wrong.
    A thin shim is well withing tolerance.
    Superstrats or shredder guitars with locking trems often have sharply angled neck pockets and no shim. The spec or tolerance is determined by the bridge design.
    Your new Strat, which you say is set up with the trem floating: 1) needs extra neck angle to accommodate the floating trem, 2) will feel more slinky because of the floating trem because pressure applied to the strings pulls up on the bridge, and 3) the shim is not "trying to address the neck angle and make it more flat" as you asked; what it is doing is adding MORE neck angle to raise the strings in line with the raised floating bridge.

    Regarding the neck being angled sideways in the pocket so the two E strings are not the same distance from the edge of the fingerboard (if that's what you mean?), it sounds like either the case was thrown off a loading dock pretty badly, or possibly the shipping dept at the CS dealer you ordered from dropped the guitar and didn't report it to management, but shipped it to you with the neck knocked out of place.

    Another thing we don't know is where you're located, what the humidity difference might be, and what the guitar went through during shipping in terms of being left in a hot or a cold truck, which could also have messed up the adjustment.

    A pretty basic fact is that after a guitar gets shipped it probably needs a setup for the climate and the player.

    If your guitar was dropped, that would be my concern.
    The fact that it was built with industry standard adjustment procedures would not be my concern.


    This thread reminds me to be very careful when seeking advice on the internet about stuff beyond my scope of knowledge.

    Since basic information is not much fun to repeat, it's the crazy stuff that gets the most repeated misinformation.
    The big fear of guitar players in the internet era is that something may be "robbing tone".
    Probably most of the "tone robbing" fear based obsession comes from newer players repeating popular fears they read on the internet.
     
    MilwMark likes this.
  9. Leftys

    Leftys TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    49
    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2014
    Location:
    Stratosphere
    the reference to up and down was with the guitar laying flat on a table to measure the angle. down is towards back of guitar up is towards strings.
    The shim is in the back so it does angle it away from the strings but even with the shim the neck is still angled so that it points up when laying flat on a table. thats what i mean when i say that the shim is trying to countract its odd upward angle. Without the shim it would be angled even more up. complete opposite of a gibson angle
     
  10. lammie200

    lammie200 Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,718
    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2013
    Location:
    San Francisco
    I think that you should take your guitar to a luthier. You are describing an isolated variable of which there are many to consider when setting up a guitar properly. I find it hard to believe that your guitar cannot be set up properly if you are concerned that it isn't. As many people have said in this thread, it may even be possible to set it up properly without the shim if that is your concern. I am just trying to help you, but unfortunately this thread turned into shim/no shim argument. It has also become a flat neck pocket versus angled neck pocket argument and I am sure that you still don't have any good answers. Take it to someone that can objectively look at it and tell you what they know.
     
  11. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    8,089
    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2013
    Location:
    Horn Lake, MS
    If there is a need for a shim, why would you remove it?
     
  12. lammie200

    lammie200 Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,718
    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2013
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Because I am planning on moving to Florida, then Colorado.
     
    BorderRadio likes this.
  13. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    8,089
    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2013
    Location:
    Horn Lake, MS
    Well that's a definite change in scenery.
     
    lammie200 likes this.
  14. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    59
    Posts:
    15,409
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Location:
    Maine
    So if you're saying that with the guitar laid flat on a table, the headstock end of the neck is higher, that sounds like the neck is warped as in too much relief.
    This is such a basic adjustment that I would lean toward thinking it warped in shipping, either from getting too hot or getting too cold, or even getting very cold and then unwrapped in a warm room.

    But if the neck warped into excessive relief in shipping, the action would now be overly high, and it would have arrived out of tune.
    Is the action set on the high side?

    I'd agree with getting it to a tech to figure out what's up with it while you can still return it or make a claim if it was damaged in shipping.
     
  15. Leftys

    Leftys TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    49
    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2014
    Location:
    Stratosphere
    The neck relief is perfect and the strings sit fine. I cant really measure it as i dont have a proper angle ruler suited for it
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2016
  16. lammie200

    lammie200 Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,718
    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2013
    Location:
    San Francisco
    What don't you like about the way that it plays?
     
  17. Leftys

    Leftys TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    49
    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2014
    Location:
    Stratosphere
    feels like a mustang or jaguar or something on the strings, the half step down songs ido does not suit it at well at all as it ofcourse becomes more flubby which is also reflected in the tone as its silky mellow and easy playing which is great on the fingers and lotsa material but i need some punch. :D Think John Frusciante funky glassy snappish tone. Sounds odd to some perhaps but i find more tension easier to control with some speed. try before you buy i guess, shoulda been been a piano player, no left handed instrument rarity problems :) Feels fender short scale like in its string tension
     
  18. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    59
    Posts:
    15,409
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Location:
    Maine
    Maybe they put those crappy Fender strings on it?
    Might even be a .009 set?
    I do find Strats annoyingly lacking in tight feel, which is sort of like "slinky".
    Floating trem also feels mushy to the fingers and sounds mushy on the attack.
    Maybe put new strings on it of your favorite type, and tighten the trem spring claw to deck the trem. All reversible if you don't like the result.
    I assume there's three springs on the trem, and i usually like five.
     
  19. lammie200

    lammie200 Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,718
    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2013
    Location:
    San Francisco
    +1 to what telemnemonics said. Change the strings, tighten the tremolo up, etc. What you are describing is what lead me to build my hard tail Strat 20+ years ago. I have 8-9 guitars and none of them have a tremolo. Some day I might throw money into one, but it has been many years since I picked up a Fender Strat in a store and thought that I could like it.
     
  20. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    22,459
    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2011
    Location:
    Englewood, CO
    Fender isn't the only one using paper for shims. Here's a variation on that same theme from Warmoth. They offer some pretty high end necks and bodies as well I'm told. ;)

    – You can also use masking tape to build a neck shim that is a perfect wedge shape. Luthiers often build shims from wood, but I have found masking-tape shims to be just as robust, and when you think about it, they are actually made of wood too! Plan on making a few shims to get the spacing of your tape just right. The first time I did this it took me four tries. The last time it only took me two. Once you get the hang of it, it goes pretty quickly. Here is how you do it:


    [​IMG]
    A masking tape shim. This one has been used with a Warmoth neck, as evidenced by the turtle impression now visible.

    1. Lay the neck you are going to use down on a piece of paper, and trace the perimeter of the heel. Now you have a guide that shows the exact size and shape of your neck pocket (assuming they fit together well).
    2. Leaving about an extra inch around your tracing in all directions, cut your piece of paper down to a smaller size that’s easier to handle. Then turn the piece of paper upside down so that your guidelines are on the underside. You do NOT want to stick your masking tape over the side with the tracing…you will need to see it later in step 7.
    3. Put a piece of masking tape on the paper so that is covers the entire area of your tracing.
    4. Now put another piece of masking tape over the last, but move it back about 1/8″ of an inch from edge you want to be the thin end of the shim.
    5. Now put another piece of masking tape over the last, moving it back about another 1/8″ of an inch from the edge of the previous piece. (For a thinner shim, move each successive layer of tape back further than 1/8″….maybe 3/16″ or 1/4″.)
    6. Continue in this fashion until these “stair-stepping” pieces of tape have progressed the entire length of the shim. If you’ve done it right, they should form a perfect wedge.
    7. Now flip the shim over and use your original tracing and a pair of scissors to cut the shim down to a shape that fits perfectly in your neck pocket.
    8. Use a paper punch to punch out holes in the shim where the neck screws will pass through.
    9. Enjoy your new shim!
     
    lammie200 and telemnemonics like this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.