Need some advice veteran SGers and or Luthiers

Discussion in 'Gibson SG' started by lovehifi, Mar 5, 2019.

  1. lovehifi

    lovehifi Active Member

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    Received my new 2019 SG Standard '61 today. Man was that a long wait for UPS! Anyway I may have an issue and need advice. Love the neck, the finish and have zero buzzing. The resonance is outstanding. Nut and saddle slots seem good. Frets are level. Those are the good and now what I worry about. Or should I? If I set the action height to just a hair over 3/64 measured at the 12th fret on the high E side the bridge thumbscrew stops with no more room to travel down. That is as low as the action will go on the treble side. Low E side is fine. Neck relief is right where I like it at about .008ish. Again I have no buzzing and neck is not twisted. I actually prefer the action a tad higher than 3/64 on the treble side so with the thumbnail screw all the way down the action is perfect for me. I would never want it lower but also concerned that I can not lower it all the way to Gibson specs. Should I return it or keep it and play the heck out of it? Also I would probably change from the OEM 9s to 10s if that matters. Damn I hope that all that anticipation wasn't for nothing but want to do the right thing. Thanks
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2019
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  2. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    So Gibson sent you a new SG that plays and sounds great, but didn't pass you tech inspection. Do you plan to take it to "Tech offs" ? Just play it, for criminey sake.
    If you change to 10s the heavier strings will pull on the neck a little harder and will necessitate a truss rod adjustment. If you keep the 9s and lighten your touch as needed you will become a more fluent guitar player.
     
  3. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

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    It really comes down to you and what you want.
    You have to ask yourself: will this tiny little issue spoil your enjoyment
    of your new guitar? Or will the music that you make become the
    important thing in your mind, and push away your doubts.
    There's no correct answer.

    Gibson builds their guitars to specifications, but within those, there
    is always variation. I believe that what you are looking at is a guitar
    with a slightly less back angle than some others.

    Gibson's spec for the back angle of the neck is about 4 degrees.
    But they build them anywhere from 3 to 5 degrees, and they always
    have. That's why they make them with adjustable bridges, and
    adjustable necks. So the player can bring them in to the comfort zone
    and make good music.

    If your guitar has neck and finish and resonance that you love, and
    nut and saddle slots that don't bind, and level frets, and neck relief right
    where you like it, and if you can make the action perfect for your style,
    then why the heck would you search for problems? How many guys actually buy a guitar that has all of the above? If you sent this perfect
    guitar back for an issue that doesn't exist, what would you receive as a
    replacement?

    When I buy a guitar, it's because I want what that guitar can do.
    ...Because I want what it can do, I usually look it over carefully, with the
    idea that if I find any problems, I will correct those and move forward.
    So I would never return something that I want, unless it had killing
    flaws that I could not or would not tackle.

    If I found that I lowered the bridge and could not get a usable action,
    I might return it, because that would be a manufacturing defect.
    Or I might simply file the bridge slots a bit lower, and
    solve the problem. If a few strokes with a needle file would do it, then
    I'd keep the guitar.
    It's a lot less hassle than returning an otherwise fine instrument.

    So my advice is to get your guitar professionally set up by the best luthier
    you can afford. Show the bridge to the luthier, and ask if he thought the
    guitar had fatal flaws, or if a useable action was likely to stay in place
    even in the future, given changes in humidity and temperature.

    Listen to what the Luthier says, and then maybe you'll know what
    to do. Pay him for his service, it's worth it. Your guitar is worth it, and
    so is your SG experience.

    I wish you well in this. Having a new guitar should never be spoiled niggling little worries about problems that might never occur. Having a new
    guitar should be about the music.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2019
  4. everdying

    everdying Well-Known Member

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    i thought gibson factory specs for high E IS 3/64".
     
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  5. koaguilds

    koaguilds Well-Known Member

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    If this was an acoustic and the saddle was all the way down you would have an issue because over time the body pulls upward toward the neck due to tension and you would need a neck reset.The action would raise with the shift. But you have a solidbody and odds are you won't run into a neck reset situation. Like Col says ask a luthier for a look over and prognosis. I bet the SG is ok.
     
  6. brazilnut

    brazilnut Active Member

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    Actually, I had the same problem with a used 2018. The bridge wheel on the treble side did the same thing you are talking about. So I decided to see if an ABR would be a little lower when I bottomed that wheel out. And it was! I just got a conversion kit from Philadelphia Luthiers, and a Kluson ABR bridge from eBay, all told less than $50, and screwed the posts in the Nashville anchors, spun the wheels on, and hot damn! The ABR-1 sat another 64th or so lower. Fixed!
     
  7. koaguilds

    koaguilds Well-Known Member

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    the 17' and 18' standards I have encountered have a much flatter neck angle than say my 12' standard. I also had a midtown standard with the flatter neck angle. all have/had the bridges almost decked. not sure what the trend with the norlin-ish shallow neck angle is about as of late.
     
  8. Hector

    Hector Well-Known Member

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    To give us something to talk about? :)
     
  9. Thumpalumpacus

    Thumpalumpacus Well-Known Member

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    I'd return it. Such an issue could prevent my setting up the guitar differently in the future for whatever reason.
     
  10. syscokid

    syscokid Well-Known Member

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    Keep it. Your initial review of your new SG sounds like you got a gem. If you insist on having the ability to lower the action another 1/64th's, a skilled repairman/luthier can deepen the bridge saddle slots while keeping the proper radius.
     
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  11. GrumpyOldDBA

    GrumpyOldDBA Well-Known Member

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    Shot in the dark guess is that you should let it sit at room temp in a controlled humidity environment ( 50 percent / 45 ) for a couple of days.

    Don't mess around with changes until that happens. Check neck relief first to make sure you have a little after that.
     
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  12. alligatorbling

    alligatorbling Active Member

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    i never go by specs. i set it up to play how i like it. thats my specs.
     
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  13. gball

    gball Well-Known Member

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    Only thing that matters is how it feels and sounds, but I personally wouldn't be too happy without a bit of adjustment, even if it was very small. A couple of my Gibsons set up to my liking with only about 2mm left on the posts, but that's OK since its enough to compensate for fret wear and seasonal truss rod adjustments, so no worry. If I had the bridge decked on one side I would have concern.
     
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  14. lovehifi

    lovehifi Active Member

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    Here are some pics. Dont know if anyone can tell anything from them. I have it set where I like it. 5/64 and a tad under 4/64 on the treble side. .008 relief. The thumbnail screw adjustment is maybe 3/4 to one full turn up from the stop point. I have not changed from 9s to 10s yet. I talked to the tech where I bought it and he agreed that if I did set the high e action at 3/64s and there is no more adjustment left that it could be an issue. Man this is a great playing and sounding SG. Probably the first new SG I bought that didn't have a high fret or two, stayed in tune and no buzzing out of the box. The dealer in N.Y offered for me to send it to them and let the tech check it out then I would have the option of keeping it or getting a refund regardless of what he finds. I am in SC. So yes everything right now is where I like it as far as action except for string gauge. Plays beautifully. However that doesn't mean if I were to sell it the next owner might want lower action. Still torn on what to do. For 1600 plus dollars I guess I need to make sure there are no issues. Note also that there is a huge gap where the upper part of the neck rest in the case. Not sure if the has something to do with the case or neck angle.

    _DSC0394.jpg _DSC0392.jpg _DSC0396.jpg _DSC0377.jpg _DSC0380.jpg _DSC0387.jpg _DSC0388.jpg _DSC0381.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2019
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  15. syscokid

    syscokid Well-Known Member

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    Wow, that SG is really pretty. But you're right: That does not look right with the bridge's treble post buried like that. I changed my mind on keeping it. Might be a single issue or a variety of issues. Send it back!
     
  16. Paul G.

    Paul G. Well-Known Member

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    I prefer low neck sets on my guitars, there is a noticeable difference in resonance. Me, I'd keep it. But you're not me.
     
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  17. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    It appears that the thread insert for the bridge thumbwheel is flush to the wood on the treble side and on the bass side it is above the surface.
     
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  18. lovehifi

    lovehifi Active Member

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    I think both the inserts are the same. The thumbwheel is hollowed so it can be screwed down over and covering the insert.
     
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  19. koaguilds

    koaguilds Well-Known Member

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    I think the main worry he might have would be... will the guitar shift over time thus raising the action to the point you can't lower it any more and even beyond deepening the saddles or grinding the bridge bottom thinner? It doesnt happen often like on acoustics but I have read of it and a neck reset was the only remedy.

    I bought one of those Vox SDC33's and the neck set was so shallow that the bridge was bottomed out from the get go outta the box yet the action was very high. I dont know how it left the factory like that but it was returned the next morning. Neck set angles are crucial. the link below lays it all out:

    http://www.fretnotguitarrepair.com/repair/electric-guitar/neck-angle.php
     
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  20. syscokid

    syscokid Well-Known Member

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    Does it look if the radius of the strings at the bridge match up with the fretboard's radius?
     

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