Question on Setup, Neck Angle and Geometry

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by dreamingtele, Aug 19, 2019.

  1. dreamingtele

    dreamingtele Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,465
    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2010
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Hi all,

    so I just made this partscaster..

    https://www.tdpri.com/threads/birthday-ngd-p90-partscaster-tele-content.965667/

    I set it up and its been almost 3 and a half weeks since, and I just put it through its paces yesterday in a gig I had.. This guitar is seriously challenging my AVRI62, for the number 1 position.. the stock Squier P90's sounds soo good, clean and driven and everything in between.. might put a treble bleed in the future but its okay as is for now.. my 62 sounds so teeny weeny compared to the growl and presence of these P90's, but still the 62 reins supreme in my heart as it is my grail..

    so the question is, does this look normal? from what I can see, is the neck is angled a bit forward (towards the bridge).. I'm not sure if the pickguard is warped or something, (I will take it off on the next string change) but it certainly looks like it..

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This is my action at 12th fret.. and it jumps when I check my action on the last fret.. I am under the impression that the height should stay the same at any fret? is this normal geometry?

    12th fret
    [​IMG]

    last fret
    [​IMG]

    While I know these Squier bodies are CNC'ed, there may be some degree of tolerances on quality control and the neck pocket might have been sanded with an angle so its not flat.. but still, on certain angles it looks okay..

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The rosewood neck is FAT.. so it definitely sits higher on the neck pocket, so Im also considering that the fatness of the neck is exaggerating the neck angle to the point that it looks like the neck is on an angle.. I like a straight neck and using the string as a straight edge, i barely have relief but thats just me, and this action is very comfortable for me when Im digging in, and I have a heavy hand.. I dont use higher frets so much, but whenever I do, its okay, its nothing that hinders my playing, but its just the sight that bothers me..

    [​IMG]




    EDIT:

    Should I sand the neck pocket? Shim (stewmac shims)?
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2019
  2. AAT65

    AAT65 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    3,723
    Joined:
    May 29, 2016
    Location:
    West Lothian, Scotland
    Looks like a shim on the body-side of the neck pocket will help — this is just what shims are for. It will mean you need to raise the bridge saddles, but it shouldn’t be excessive, and you can probably get the action more consistent for those higher frets.
    I would suggest just using a piece of card to see if that works for you before looking for paid-for shims (& the card will probably work just fine long-term).
     
    Rev Rhythm, tubelectron and Buzzgrowl like this.
  3. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    59
    Posts:
    16,450
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Location:
    Maine
    Hard to tell from the pics, buy a 24" straight edge and see if it shows what's happening better, but allow that the neck relief will indeed do what you're afraid is happening.
    The action should not "stay the same at every fret".
    It has to be whisker low at the first fret and much higher at the last fret.
    Action does look high, how did you set the relief?
    If there's a lot of relief you can straighten the neck with the truss rod and it will lower the action, then adjust the saddles again.
    The saddles already look about the right height, can't raise them much higher, so a shim will not make it better.
    Worry about how it plays more than how it looks when you crouch down and squint at it!
     
  4. Buzzgrowl

    Buzzgrowl Tele-Meister

    Age:
    56
    Posts:
    159
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2017
    Location:
    Switzerland
    The smallest stewmac shim will fix it but you may need longer saddle screws from the look of the photo.
     
  5. dreamingtele

    dreamingtele Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,465
    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2010
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    This is my first thought, to shim it right away, but I'm still debating if I should do anything about it as it plays okay and Im not really bothered when Im playing, but of course Id like to know if its normal.
     
  6. dreamingtele

    dreamingtele Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,465
    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2010
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    well, its whisker low at the very first fret, its just the height of the last fret that bothers me.. and its making the neck angle look worse at the right angle..

    Action is indeed high, but its comfortable for me, my avri 62 is lower, the bottom of E string is in between 1/16 and 1/8 of an inch.. I use 11's.. relief is almost non existing.. I play with a very straight neck.. if I fret down on first, and 12th fret and check relief, there's very little play, and I like it that way..

    the saddles still have a bit of screws left in there, its a Gotoh GTC102 bridge, but Im not sure how much left..

    Yes it plays really well, in fact better than my avri62 because of the 1inch neck, and the action for me is very comfortable to dig in in the heat of the moment.. but of course Id like to make it better.. I havent gone to my tech since assembling this one.. maybe I should go and have it fixed..

    Also, if not shim, can I sand the neck pocket without any tools other than sandpaper taped on a flat block???
     
  7. dreamingtele

    dreamingtele Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,465
    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2010
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Still have a bit of play in the screws, but not sure how much left.
     
  8. Erdowonge

    Erdowonge Tele-Meister

    Age:
    44
    Posts:
    131
    Joined:
    May 16, 2019
    Location:
    England
    If anything it looks like the truss rod needs loosening , judging by the last photo.An half turn i`d say would give you more space on the first frets allowing you to lower the action a bit at the top.If it plays and sounds fine i wouldnt shim anything
     
  9. dreamingtele

    dreamingtele Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,465
    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2010
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    I can try this but given that this is a vintage style (truss rod at the heel), its gonna be a bit of unscrewing and re-assembly.

    Yes, it plays well and sounds great. Actually I dont really have a problem playing it. Perfectly intonated, no buzz. Tension is a bit higher due to the height of the saddles and almost 90 deg break angle coming out of the bridge holes, but i like it that way as i feel like the guitar is fighting back.

    But everytime I see it being not flat or parallel to the body and has an awkward angle, my OC-ness is killing me.
     
  10. Old Deaf Roadie

    Old Deaf Roadie Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    780
    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2017
    Location:
    Oregon
    As the string vibrates it creates a football shape between the nut & bridge. It only stands to reason that you will need more clearance on the heel end of the neck than the nut, but do not recall such clearance being visible to the naked eye on other instruments. Stew Mac sells angled shims that will help with this.
     
  11. jimilee

    jimilee Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Age:
    48
    Posts:
    1,263
    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2017
    Location:
    Chattanooga
    It looks like it may be shimmed on the headstock side of the screws already. Tale the neck off and have a look. You can sand the neck pocket, but overall, if it plays just fine, leave it be and just enjoy it.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  12. dreamingtele

    dreamingtele Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,465
    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2010
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    I made this, and I didnt put any shims on the neck pocket... Yet.. hehehe..

    Im really tempted to save 50Aud and just put a business card inside but I also dont want a temporary fix..

    Yes it plays fine, but the longer time I let this go, the more I obsess about it and i end up not being happy anymore.. LOL
     
  13. dreamingtele

    dreamingtele Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,465
    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2010
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Im hesitating as I dont want to raise it higher than it is.. the neck is thick and sitting high as it is now.. but I'm really really tempted getting the 2 pcs of their thinnest shim.,.
     
  14. jimilee

    jimilee Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Age:
    48
    Posts:
    1,263
    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2017
    Location:
    Chattanooga
    I’m the same way, I have an aesthetic issue I need to fix on a Tele I just built also. It’s not really entirely visible, but I know it’s there. I need to sand the neck pockets on two that I built also. I’ve shimmed them forward by about the thickness of 3 business cards, which is standard practice really, but I know it’s there.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  15. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    7,604
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2014
    Location:
    Lions & Tigers oh Mi !
    .

    Try a strip of business card along the heel of the neck. Make sure not neck screws are jacking up the neck from the body. That's all you likely need. Then:
    -fret 3rd and check action at 1st fret, 1-2 sheets photocopy paper or adjust the nut'
    -fret 1st and last (or 17th or 19th) fret, 3-4 sheets of paper at the 12 or adjust the truss
    -Set the saddles to your preferred action at the 12th, old school is a US quarter at the 12th.
    -Adjust intonation. Start at the top again. if intonation is ok then go play it.

    .
     
  16. dreamingtele

    dreamingtele Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,465
    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2010
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    I'll take note of this!

    Thank you sir!
     
  17. Rev Rhythm

    Rev Rhythm Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    329
    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2019
    Location:
    New Orleans
    I just shimmed the body side of my partscaster for this reason. I'd thought it was playing pretty well, but after awhile I noticed the action was just a little higher than I like after the 12th fret. Made a huge difference and it plays much nicer now. And I don't consider the business card I used to be a temporary fix either. It can stay there forever as far as I'm concerned.
     
  18. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    59
    Posts:
    16,450
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Location:
    Maine
    OK so it sounds like you put the guitar together from parts well enough but you aren't really familiar with doing setups?
    Checking neck relief is done between the 1st and 21st fret, not the first and 12th fret.
    Did you assemble, check relief, take it apart and tighten the truss rod?
    Or is the truss rod set where it was when you got the neck?

    I would not sand the neck pocket to try to change the angle, I guess some do that but you are more likely to make it worse than better.

    As far as buying one of the expensive Stew Mac neck shims, that is a product of internet chat and will only help with the OCD, it will not make your guitar play any better than a business card neck shim installed correctly.
    I think in this case maybe you need to either buy a few more tools (like a good straight edge rule) and study up on guitar setup, or bring it to a tech and ask him to go over the adjustments with you, then buy the tools or keep using a tech for fine tuning your setups.

    Setting up a guitar can sometimes seem easy and other times just not work until you do some study and really understand all the factors that need to be addressed.

    That action looks too high in the pics, and you are asking why on the forum.
    You really really need to study and learn to spot what is happening, and you can probably do that watching youtube guitar setups.
    I'm not familiar with which ones are good, and I've also read some crazy ideas about guitar setup online.

    Maybe look for some TDPRI member Ron Kirn tutorials, I think he has a variety of them and he didn't learn his skills on wikipedia!

    A good start though would be to buy a good straight edge from an office supply store, you want a 24" long one that is thin like a ruler, not a beam level from the hardware store, so you can set it on the frets between the D and G strings, then measure the space between the straight edge and the fret tops around the middle of the neck.
    Automotive feeler gauges are best for getting an actual measurement you can report and make some sense of, but you can also just use a stack of paper if you don't have access to a place to buy feeler gauges.
    The relief be fine since the neck is fat, but you just need to know what it is before you can proceed with figuring out what is wrong, why your action is high, and why the neck looks crooked. Almost all necks need some tension on the truss rod to set up, it's like putting a new fan belt in a car, you have to tighten it.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2019
    stefanhotrod likes this.
  19. stefanhotrod

    stefanhotrod Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    378
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2016
    Location:
    germany
    On the first pictures that neck looks pretty misaligned. You should check the reason before messin’ around with the Trussrod, shims etc. The neck should be dead straight on a Telly or shimmed in the opposite direction if using a Bigsby (B16), but that‘s a different story...
     
  20. dreamingtele

    dreamingtele Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,465
    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2010
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    the neck has been on an american pro body before and have been professionally installed, I did a few minor truss rod adjustments but its relatively the same.. the neck pocket on this new body is not flat and thats why Im having problems with the set up.
     
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.