Guitar shop repair shame and proof I am an idiot :D /shame

marc2211

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Jan 30, 2018
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So, a few weeks ago I picked up a new guitar - it is a NOS 2011 Schecter Solo Six LTD Goldtop. It played fantastically in the store, sounded gorgeous, but with one issue - the high e string choked out badly when bending. Their resident guitar tech was on vacation, otherwise they said they'd have done a setup on the spot. The action of the guitar was otherwise fantastic, everything looked right, it played like butter apart from this issue. I bought it anyway as I do all my own setups, and figured that it needed a truss rod tweak and set up, as it had hung on a shelf for 11 years.

I got the guitar home and didn't have time to touch it for 2 weeks but finally got it on the work bench 2 days ago... which is where the fun started.

Here is the repair log of shame:

- I took off the old strings assuming that they were 10's. Checked the neck with the strings off to get it flat. Checked the relief with the new strings on and adjusted to my 'normal' amount. ~0.010". Realised that there had been 9's on there, but no worries. The choking still happened. Ok, moving on.

- I checked the string height, it was ok compared to my other guitars, but I raised the bridge a fair amount on the high e side. Still choking out. Hmm. I raised the bridge higher, still no luck. So I went hunting for high frets and found a *very* marginal one at the 17th fret, but really small. Dealt with this. Choking still happening. I was now officially thinking it was weird.

- Figured I'd redo the setup but with 9.5 strings as I preferred how it felt with a lighter gauge, and work backwards rechecking everything to find the issue. Everything looked fine, and although the action was now a bit too high, it played really nicely at the cowboy chord end... but still choked out. Argh.

- Checked the nut height, all fine, checked the slot depth, all fine.

At this point I was exasperated and could see no cause for the issue and was also thoroughly pissed, so figured I'd go to my tech.

This morning I took it to my local store/luthier, who does all my repairs and hard setups, and explained the issue. They looked at the relief, string height (too high for me, but they said that it was within their setup boundaries), nut etc - they confirmed everything looked perfect. We scratched our heads for about 10 mins, checked for neck deviations, bad frets, anything that could explain it... We were all out of ideas.

Then they commented that it was amazing that a 2011 NOS guitar even still had the protective stickers on the pickups... ARGH. BINGO.

Turns out that the protective sticker on the neck pickup was beginning to be non-sticky and peel up... and was touching the string choking it out. I'd not noticed at all, and seemingly it was going back to the same place each time the strings were changed, blocking the path. We removed the sticker and everything was instantly fixed.

I wanted the ground to open up and swallow me. The shame of it! ><

Luckily everyone had a really good laugh, and not just at my expense (trying to work out the service charge for peeling off a sticker!), but wow, I'd never ever have thought that the sticker would have been the culprit... it'll teach me for leaving them on and trying to keep the guitar 'new'!

I don't think I'll ever live this one down in the store!! :D
 

ale.istotle

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Mar 22, 2016
Posts
1,749
Location
Pennsylvania
This will never happen to me. Stickers and film go as soon as I know it's a keeper. Kind of a problem I have.
In fact, I've seen some recent posts with film still on the pickguard or pickups and really, really want to arrive at the poster's homes to remove it.
 

Trenchant63

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Joined
Oct 23, 2022
Posts
249
Age
59
Location
Detroit, MI
So, a few weeks ago I picked up a new guitar - it is a NOS 2011 Schecter Solo Six LTD Goldtop. It played fantastically in the store, sounded gorgeous, but with one issue - the high e string choked out badly when bending. Their resident guitar tech was on vacation, otherwise they said they'd have done a setup on the spot. The action of the guitar was otherwise fantastic, everything looked right, it played like butter apart from this issue. I bought it anyway as I do all my own setups, and figured that it needed a truss rod tweak and set up, as it had hung on a shelf for 11 years.

I got the guitar home and didn't have time to touch it for 2 weeks but finally got it on the work bench 2 days ago... which is where the fun started.

Here is the repair log of shame:

- I took off the old strings assuming that they were 10's. Checked the neck with the strings off to get it flat. Checked the relief with the new strings on and adjusted to my 'normal' amount. ~0.010". Realised that there had been 9's on there, but no worries. The choking still happened. Ok, moving on.

- I checked the string height, it was ok compared to my other guitars, but I raised the bridge a fair amount on the high e side. Still choking out. Hmm. I raised the bridge higher, still no luck. So I went hunting for high frets and found a *very* marginal one at the 17th fret, but really small. Dealt with this. Choking still happening. I was now officially thinking it was weird.

- Figured I'd redo the setup but with 9.5 strings as I preferred how it felt with a lighter gauge, and work backwards rechecking everything to find the issue. Everything looked fine, and although the action was now a bit too high, it played really nicely at the cowboy chord end... but still choked out. Argh.

- Checked the nut height, all fine, checked the slot depth, all fine.

At this point I was exasperated and could see no cause for the issue and was also thoroughly pissed, so figured I'd go to my tech.

This morning I took it to my local store/luthier, who does all my repairs and hard setups, and explained the issue. They looked at the relief, string height (too high for me, but they said that it was within their setup boundaries), nut etc - they confirmed everything looked perfect. We scratched our heads for about 10 mins, checked for neck deviations, bad frets, anything that could explain it... We were all out of ideas.

Then they commented that it was amazing that a 2011 NOS guitar even still had the protective stickers on the pickups... ARGH. BINGO.

Turns out that the protective sticker on the neck pickup was beginning to be non-sticky and peel up... and was touching the string choking it out. I'd not noticed at all, and seemingly it was going back to the same place each time the strings were changed, blocking the path. We removed the sticker and everything was instantly fixed.

I wanted the ground to open up and swallow me. The shame of it! ><

Luckily everyone had a really good laugh, and not just at my expense (trying to work out the service charge for peeling off a sticker!), but wow, I'd never ever have thought that the sticker would have been the culprit... it'll teach me for leaving them on and trying to keep the guitar 'new'!

I don't think I'll ever live this one down in the store!! :D
Now you double messed up!! Those stickers (manufactured with proprietary, resonant adhesive) impart just a touch of extra mids giving your amp a smidge more overdrive clip into the sweet spot!! Put them back on immediately unless you chucked them in the garbage already!! :p
 

4 Cat Slim

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Joined
Oct 17, 2012
Posts
5,460
Location
Nelson City TX
Don't feel too bad about it. When I worked in a repair shop, we would often get
guitars and basses that the owners would say just stopped playing. These instruments
either had pre-amps or active pickups. I learned to check the 9V battery before doing any other sort of troubleshooting. Quite a few times, the owners were not aware that their instruments were
so equipped, and in many cases, that the battery was being drawn whenever the instrument was plugged in.
They'd feel a little silly about it, but hey, no problem...
 
Last edited:

fjblair

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Dec 29, 2010
Posts
1,847
Location
NC High Country
How embarrassing!

Whatever you do, keep it to yourself!!! ;)

[My partner discovered last week that the mobile phone she's had since 2019 still had the plastic protective cover on the screen. She thought it was scratched but it was just a mark on the plastic.]
I can't tell you how many times I have done that. Once I thought my microwave control panel was getting foggy and needed replaced so I called a repair guy, he comes out and peels the film off the control panel. $85
 

Jakedog

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Joined
Mar 26, 2003
Posts
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The North Coast
This will never happen to me. Stickers and film go as soon as I know it's a keeper. Kind of a problem I have.
In fact, I've seen some recent posts with film still on the pickguard or pickups and really, really want to arrive at the poster's homes to remove it.
I’ll take it a step further- if I’m trying out a guitar at the store I’ll ask if I can take those stupid plastic pieces off the pickups just to try it out. They’ve never said no.

If I mail order something I’ll keep the pickguard plastic on until I’m sure I’m keeping it. But not more than a day or two. Pickup plastic comes off immediately. The second it comes out of the box. I know it doesn’t make any discernible sonic difference, but my brain is convinced it will, and that I can’t tell what the pickups really sound like with that stuff on there.
 

ale.istotle

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Mar 22, 2016
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Location
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I’ll take it a step further- if I’m trying out a guitar at the store I’ll ask if I can take those stupid plastic pieces off the pickups just to try it out. They’ve never said no.

If I mail order something I’ll keep the pickguard plastic on until I’m sure I’m keeping it. But not more than a day or two. Pickup plastic comes off immediately. The second it comes out of the box. I know it doesn’t make any discernible sonic difference, but my brain is convinced it will, and that I can’t tell what the pickups really sound like with that stuff on there.

@blowtorch was killing me with the baritone paranormal cabronita with the label on the pickguard. I guess it's a keeper now. He posted the video with the pickguard label gone. Whew!

https://www.tdpri.com/threads/whos-...what-do-you-think-of-it.1117333/post-11675073
 

HaWE

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Joined
Oct 3, 2015
Posts
609
Location
Germany, somewhere from the countryside
So, a few weeks ago I picked up a new guitar - it is a NOS 2011 Schecter Solo Six LTD Goldtop. It played fantastically in the store, sounded gorgeous, but with one issue - the high e string choked out badly when bending. Their resident guitar tech was on vacation, otherwise they said they'd have done a setup on the spot. The action of the guitar was otherwise fantastic, everything looked right, it played like butter apart from this issue. I bought it anyway as I do all my own setups, and figured that it needed a truss rod tweak and set up, as it had hung on a shelf for 11 years.

I got the guitar home and didn't have time to touch it for 2 weeks but finally got it on the work bench 2 days ago... which is where the fun started.

Here is the repair log of shame:

- I took off the old strings assuming that they were 10's. Checked the neck with the strings off to get it flat. Checked the relief with the new strings on and adjusted to my 'normal' amount. ~0.010". Realised that there had been 9's on there, but no worries. The choking still happened. Ok, moving on.

- I checked the string height, it was ok compared to my other guitars, but I raised the bridge a fair amount on the high e side. Still choking out. Hmm. I raised the bridge higher, still no luck. So I went hunting for high frets and found a *very* marginal one at the 17th fret, but really small. Dealt with this. Choking still happening. I was now officially thinking it was weird.

- Figured I'd redo the setup but with 9.5 strings as I preferred how it felt with a lighter gauge, and work backwards rechecking everything to find the issue. Everything looked fine, and although the action was now a bit too high, it played really nicely at the cowboy chord end... but still choked out. Argh.

- Checked the nut height, all fine, checked the slot depth, all fine.

At this point I was exasperated and could see no cause for the issue and was also thoroughly pissed, so figured I'd go to my tech.

This morning I took it to my local store/luthier, who does all my repairs and hard setups, and explained the issue. They looked at the relief, string height (too high for me, but they said that it was within their setup boundaries), nut etc - they confirmed everything looked perfect. We scratched our heads for about 10 mins, checked for neck deviations, bad frets, anything that could explain it... We were all out of ideas.

Then they commented that it was amazing that a 2011 NOS guitar even still had the protective stickers on the pickups... ARGH. BINGO.

Turns out that the protective sticker on the neck pickup was beginning to be non-sticky and peel up... and was touching the string choking it out. I'd not noticed at all, and seemingly it was going back to the same place each time the strings were changed, blocking the path. We removed the sticker and everything was instantly fixed.

I wanted the ground to open up and swallow me. The shame of it! ><

Luckily everyone had a really good laugh, and not just at my expense (trying to work out the service charge for peeling off a sticker!), but wow, I'd never ever have thought that the sticker would have been the culprit... it'll teach me for leaving them on and trying to keep the guitar 'new'!

I don't think I'll ever live this one down in the store!! :D
Some time ago I wanted to play my Telecaster, so I turned on the amp but there was no sound at all.So I checked if everything was working - light was on, the amp was NOT on standby, I checked the cable, my pedalboard,all connections and so on.Still no sound.So I looked under the control plate of the guitar to check the wires and also the output jack.Everything was in place and fine.
I put everything together again and was feeling a little bit helpless.
I finally discovered the "problem" : the volume knob was all down to "zero" ..... usually I never turn down the volume after playing (why should I ?) .I think I must have touched and turned the knob without remark while taking the guitar from the stand.... :)
 

Peegoo

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Beast of Bourbon
Pickup plastic comes off immediately. The second it comes out of the box.

One thing about that protective film on plastics: the longer you leave it on, the more the adhesive dries out and the harder it is to remove even with finish-safe solvents like naphtha and mineral spirits.

I've worked on a few guitars that were years old, with the film still...mostly...on, and the edges looking really ratty. The owners didn't know there was a film on there they should've removed.

It's on there only to protect the surface during the machining process. Guitar makers often leave it on simply because it eliminates a step in the manufacturing process. Every second matters.
 

Jakedog

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One thing about that protective film on plastics: the longer you leave it on, the more the adhesive dries out and the harder it is to remove even with finish-safe solvents like naphtha and mineral spirits.

I've worked on a few guitars that were years old, with the film still...mostly...on, and the edges looking really ratty. The owners didn't know there was a film on there they should've removed.

It's on there only to protect the surface during the machining process. Guitar makers often leave it on simply because it eliminates a step in the manufacturing process. Every second matters.
Yep. I’ve bought some used guitars and tried to remove that pickguard film on a ten year old guitar. What a freakin nightmare. And no, it won’t help your resale value. Peel that crap off, people!
 

Ted Keane

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Sep 10, 2015
Posts
762
Location
Westminster,CO
Yup,I have had problems with plastic on pickups a few times.Sometimes on a brand new pickup,the plastic is on so tight and neat that I don't see it.I'll install it and never see it.And then the search starts.The same search that you did.
 




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