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Captainstrat

Tele-Pine-Partscaster project!

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Looking good :)

Ref the bridge position - is that already fixed?  If so, it might be a better route to just tweak the left/right neck angle a touch.

 If it was me, I wouldn't worry about waiting for the ferrules - I would pop a top E  and bottom E on normally and just tighten enough for them to be straight.  I would then loosen the neck screws a touch and pull the neck towards the bass side - because of the length of the neck, the impact of tiny movements make a big difference to the string position at the upper frets.  If I could comfortably reach even string spacing this way, I would just hold the sideways pressure while I retighten the screws.  If not, I would just relieve the neck pocket a teeny bit (really talking teeny, teeny, hand sand with a nail-file emery board) at the relevant places and try again.

Lining up a neck this way is pretty routine for bolt on or set necks - it is very rare that a neck will be smack on straight first time.

Anyway, that's what I would personally do if the bridge is in the correct position.  Hope this helps :)

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7 hours ago, Andyjr1515 said:

Looking good :)

Ref the bridge position - is that already fixed?  If so, it might be a better route to just tweak the left/right neck angle a touch.

 If it was me, I wouldn't worry about waiting for the ferrules - I would pop a top E  and bottom E on normally and just tighten enough for them to be straight.  I would then loosen the neck screws a touch and pull the neck towards the bass side - because of the length of the neck, the impact of tiny movements make a big difference to the string position at the upper frets.  If I could comfortably reach even string spacing this way, I would just hold the sideways pressure while I retighten the screws.  If not, I would just relieve the neck pocket a teeny bit (really talking teeny, teeny, hand sand with a nail-file emery board) at the relevant places and try again.

Lining up a neck this way is pretty routine for bolt on or set necks - it is very rare that a neck will be smack on straight first time.

Anyway, that's what I would personally do if the bridge is in the correct position.  Hope this helps :)

Yep, i realized after the fact the my bridge is a dual load (works as either top or string through), so I strung her up...broke the top E string at the tuning post (I'm really starting to hate the  vintage-style Klusons)  but at a glance it looks properly aligned

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Okay, string alignment better than I thought!  adjusted the truss rod, set the intonation, lowered pickup height and string height - no fret buzz, looks like the fretwork was better than anticipated, a few frets might need crowning and polishing but no "note outs". I'm getting there my friends! :) 

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2 hours ago, Prostheta said:

Good to hear. It's about this point that any bugs start to show themselves.

Indeed, first bug - the bridge ground seems to be loose.  The pickups are hum cancelling and should have zero noise; they were dead quiet in the Squier.  The noise level seems to indicate that the bridge plate isn't making contact with the ground wire; so I'll have to loosen the strings, remove the bridge and look underneath...oh and I just got a delivery notice from Canada Post, they say the ferrules/string guite parcel has been delivered! :) 

Edited by Captainstrat

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replaced the bridge plate ground wire with a thicker wire, still getting buzz...looks like the bridge plate isn't resting perfectly flat on the guitar body?  Mystery needing solving...

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If you're having trouble getting the bridge wire to make good connection with the bridge plate, crimp on a solder tag and loop it under one of the bridge screws. You might need to mash it into the body a little to prevent it from holding the bridge off the body.

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6 minutes ago, Prostheta said:

Reversed hot and ground in the jack? That's common.

Nope, I'm getting pickup signal, with a hum that shouldn't be there.  My Squier with cheap single coils is quieter in comparison!

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6 minutes ago, Prostheta said:

If you're having trouble getting the bridge wire to make good connection with the bridge plate, crimp on a solder tag and loop it under one of the bridge screws. You might need to mash it into the body a little to prevent it from holding the bridge off the body.

great idea! :) 

 

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Make sure it is the bridge ground that is causing the issue. Take a piece of scrap wire and strip both ends of it to expose the strands. Attach one end to the outer metal shell of your guitar lead and wrap the other end around one or more of the strings. If the buzz goes away when you plug in and touch the strings, your bridge ground is making poor contact. If the buzz remains, you'll need to look start looking elsewhere for the problem.

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1 hour ago, curtisa said:

Make sure it is the bridge ground that is causing the issue. Take a piece of scrap wire and strip both ends of it to expose the strands. Attach one end to the outer metal shell of your guitar lead and wrap the other end around one or more of the strings. If the buzz goes away when you plug in and touch the strings, your bridge ground is making poor contact. If the buzz remains, you'll need to look start looking elsewhere for the problem.

I'll give that a try, though when I touch the strings and the jack's outer casing the hum does go away (I become the ground?) I swear the damn bridge plate doesn't sit flat on the guitar surface; it's like the pressure from the screws pushes the back down and slightly raises the front part (with the pickup) up...frustrating

looks like I'm not the only one with a similar problem:

https://www.talkbass.com/threads/bridge-base-plate-doesnt-lay-flat-help-suggestions.920644/

 

looks like a strategically placed screw at the front of the bridge plate might sole the problem 

Edited by Captainstrat

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Then again, after reading more on the topic (buzz when touching the strings & metal parts, very low when not touching) perhaps Prostheta is right on the money - the prewired Tele plate might have had the jack wired in reverse...damn those factory workers ;) I never would have thought I'd still get a guitar signal if the jack is wired in reverse!

Edited by Captainstrat

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10 hours ago, Prostheta said:

Reversed hot and ground in the jack? That's common.

I tip my hat to you: that was EXACTLY the problem!  I bought the control plate prewired (including the output jack) and I expected it to be properly wired...anyway, problem fixed, next will be dressing and polishing the frets :) 

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Great that you got to the root of the problem! I'm such a control freak (no joke intended) that I just can't trust anybody else's work if I haven't checked it myself. That's probably a mental disorder of some sort! haha

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10 hours ago, curtisa said:

Make sure it is the bridge ground that is causing the issue. Take a piece of scrap wire and strip both ends of it to expose the strands. Attach one end to the outer metal shell of your guitar lead and wrap the other end around one or more of the strings. If the buzz goes away when you plug in and touch the strings, your bridge ground is making poor contact. If the buzz remains, you'll need to look start looking elsewhere for the problem.

I was going to suggest a similar idea as well, but checking for electrical continuity between the strings and the sleeve of a guitar lead inserted into the guitar. I end up doing this if the jack is of the stereo sort, with the ring and sleeve acting as a "switched negative supply" for a single-ended internal battery circuit. Maybe I just like my continuity meter's piercing BEEEP?

 

10 hours ago, Captainstrat said:

I swear the damn bridge plate doesn't sit flat on the guitar surface; it's like the pressure from the screws pushes the back down and slightly raises the front part (with the pickup) up...frustrating

looks like I'm not the only one with a similar problem:

https://www.talkbass.com/threads/bridge-base-plate-doesnt-lay-flat-help-suggestions.920644/

looks like a strategically placed screw at the front of the bridge plate might sole the problem 

This instantly made me think of Rickenbacker bass bridges. Those are known to bend and peel up from the back under string pressure! :mellow:

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99% there I think...did a light leveling /re-crown of the frets, tried polishing them with grade 1000 wet and dry sandpaper and rubbing compound...frets feel better but still a bit rough.   I'd run out of 0000 steel wool...looks like I need to get me some, perhaps the synthetic stuff? Non magnetic, less of a mess?

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Yeah, avoid steel wool. I like a Dremel and polishing mop with white aluminium oxide polish along the frets. That's found in stores as Autosol (not Anusol, which takes a while and causes your fret ends to shrink back) or in metalwork sections as "white blizzard" polish. Anything white is generally the right stuff.

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5 hours ago, Prostheta said:

Yeah, avoid steel wool. I like a Dremel and polishing mop with white aluminium oxide polish along the frets. That's found in stores as Autosol (not Anusol, which takes a while and causes your fret ends to shrink back) or in metalwork sections as "white blizzard" polish. Anything white is generally the right stuff.

LOL, I used ScratchX, but I might have skipped a step or two...anyway, the steel wool usually makes the frets glass smooth

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Okay, so I gave the fingerboard another go last night -  taped the fingerboard, marked the frets with a Sharpie,adjusted the truss rod until the neck was straight (turns out the truss rod was turned too tight, creating a back bow), went over the frets with 440 sandpaper (this time using a radiused sanding block), marked the frets again with the sharpie, then crowned them alternating between the concave fret file and the Little Bone crowning file.

To be honest, I find that the Little Bone does a nicer job at crowning (it has a diamond abrasive surface), but is hard to handle due to its small size, whereas the concave fret file is easier to handle but does a shitty job at crowning (takes several passes and a lot of elbow grease to get the marker traces filed off the frets) ... so I'd give the frets an initial pass with the fret file and finish the job with the Little Bone (in fact, the Little bone proved to be indispensable past the 12th fret as I moved closer to the body).

Then, I gave each fret a "polish sanding" with a piece of fine sandpaper (I forget if I used 600 or 800 grit), then polished each fret to a gloss with 0000 steel wool (couldn't find the synthetic equivalent unfortunately) .  Lastly, I gave the frets a rub with Scratch X with a dry cloth, It turned out nicer than I expected, the string bending is much smoother, but...I was getting buzzing on the D & G strings when playing the first three frets...I had zero buzzing prior to the fret job.

After double-checking the neck with my fingerboard straight edge, turns out I'd over tightened the truss rod again, recreating a back bow.  So...loosened the truss rod bit by bit until the fingerboard was touching the straight edge at the first three frets again.  Me thinks the seller's efforts to relic the neck may have weakened it to the point that it's too flexible?  Anyway, it seems to have gotten rid of the buzz on the D & G strings.  I'll test it again when I'm home from work, see how the neck settled under string tension.

Edited by Captainstrat

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10 hours ago, Prostheta said:

How's the nut?

Very lightly deepened the nut slots with abrasive tape so half the circumference sits in the slot - some of the strings were sliding out of the slots!  I don't think I sanded too deep, though I'd need a jig of some sort to fine tune the nut slots

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Okay, I was wondering whether the nut might be causing issues in the first position. It would seem it's the frets then. Do you have a small straightedge or a fret rocker? I know they're functionally useless on a neck when it has a little necessary relief, however you might find something to explore further as a culprit. If you do find something, try and prove that is what the problem is using two investigative techniques....no point in chasing anything and everything as you can quickly compound issues than solve them.

Being a pre-made neck, I presume that the frets are seated well enough. I used tap them with my fret rocker (about all I use it for) to listen for poorly-seated frets. They sound different.

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