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Truss Rod And Nut Question


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Ok so I thought I was doing the smart thing by buying a cheap guitar on ebay... I sent the first one back because it was nearly impossible to get the strings out - they sent me a new one and the licenced by Floyd (same as last guitar) has the same issue - I found that by using a sewing needle and needle nose pliers I can remove the strings. Which is a pain but this guitar they sent me could have other issues.

I'm pretty much a tech newbie so I dont know what to look for. Unfortunately I have to leave on a trip and I wont be able to send it out to a tech before I leave so I want to describe what I am seeing and you tell me if its a problem.

1. The locking nut: Its shimmed, and not very well. I noticed the low-E action seemed very high and while the bridge looked pretty low, closer inspection at the nut end shows me that they removed a bit of the fingerboard to make room for the nut, but it looks like they then shimmed bits of the rosewood back behind the nut. That I can live with providing its done ok, but at this point I'm not sure I trust these jokers to know what they are doing. I look over on the high-E side and sure enough - I have maybe a 1/16 gap behind that side of the nut. When I take off the retainers (to look at what needs to be done to perhaps repair/replace the nut or at least shove a shim in on that side, I see that they have stripped a screw on the nut - I will probably have to really wrestle with it if I were to try to mess with int.

So first question - will that gap cause me trouble? I assume yes, but I have no idea. It sort of looks like crap but its a cheap guitar I intend to travel with so I don't care quite as much. But replacing that nut seems like its going to be a pain.

2. The truss rod - when I remove the truss rod cover and I am looking into the hole, (its a square) the rod is down into the back-right corner of that hole. I expected to see it dead center, but again, I don't know enough to know whether that's a 'nice to have' with truss rods, or if that position indicates poor fitment or a larger issue.

Does that position and the fact that it is not centered on the hole mean I have an issue, or isn't it that simple?

I really just want to send the thing back but I feel like I need to have a solid technical reason. Its a cheap guitar so I'm not even commenting on the finish, or rough fret ends or anything like that- that's to be expected, but jeesh, it seems this thing is going to have issues. I'm going to have my wife drop it off to be looked at, but I wanted to post here to see what anyone thinks.

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I look over on the high-E side and sure enough - I have maybe a 1/16 gap behind that side of the nut. When I take off the retainers (to look at what needs to be done to perhaps repair/replace the nut or at least shove a shim in on that side, I see that they have stripped a screw on the nut.

Need to me more specific. Photo would help. If this gap is where it's causing the edge of the nut to be about 1/16" further from the 1st fret than it should be, then yeah, "factory second" would be a nice way of putting it.

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I look over on the high-E side and sure enough - I have maybe a 1/16 gap behind that side of the nut. When I take off the retainers (to look at what needs to be done to perhaps repair/replace the nut or at least shove a shim in on that side, I see that they have stripped a screw on the nut.

Need to me more specific. Photo would help. If this gap is where it's causing the edge of the nut to be about 1/16" further from the 1st fret than it should be, then yeah, "factory second" would be a nice way of putting it.

The gap is the result of the 'shim' not extending the entire width of the neck behind (or underneath) the nut.

The nut is flush to the top of the fingerboard- the gap is 'behind' the nut or underneath it (between the nut and the what the nut is screwed to- the neck/headstock.

Hope this helps. I'll post pics if its too confusing

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Ok, I was assuming something worse than that. That's not a major big deal, since those shims almost always are too thick and need to be replaced with a thinner shim (maybe even no shim, or deeper).

Very often the shim needed is so thin, that the best material for it is thin metal cut to the right size.

It's the kind of guitar that a DIY repair/setup person should buy, because it's a hard pill to swallow when the guitar is all about cheap off-shore labor, but then you have to pay local labor rates for a set-up.

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I look over on the high-E side and sure enough - I have maybe a 1/16 gap behind that side of the nut. When I take off the retainers (to look at what needs to be done to perhaps repair/replace the nut or at least shove a shim in on that side, I see that they have stripped a screw on the nut.

Need to me more specific. Photo would help. If this gap is where it's causing the edge of the nut to be about 1/16" further from the 1st fret than it should be, then yeah, "factory second" would be a nice way of putting it.

The gap is the result of the 'shim' not extending the entire width of the neck behind (or underneath) the nut.

The nut is flush to the top of the fingerboard- the gap is 'behind' the nut or underneath it (between the nut and the what the nut is screwed to- the neck/headstock.

Hope this helps. I'll post pics if its too confusing

Actually upon closer inspection (I was taking photos to post to the site) the gap is the result of a poor 'cut'; when they removed rosewood to place the nut, they cut unevenly, taking more material from the high-E side than the low-E side; that caused the gap. So just sloppy; not sure I really need to fix that but if I need to I can probably wedge something in there, though I'm not sure its going to be a problem.

The truss rod still bothers me though. I've still not gotten good enough to sight down the neck and see things like uneven frets or stuff - so I can't tell you what the relief is, and my straight edge isn't where I am currently, so I can't measure gaps etc. I've just never seen one look quite like this:

http://a580.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/image...dc710fe441b.jpg

the stuff that looks like rust is either mahogany or rosewood dust lol.

Its hard to see, but its resting in the corner of the truss rod space- there is space to the left. and above it, but its flush to the right and back of that hole.

here are other pics to show the gap etc.

http://a433.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/image...f51f31feef0.jpg

http://a66.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/images...28e4a4c1fe9.jpg

I spent nearly 200.00 for this which is sad... I should just return it and get an OLP MM1 or a Jay Turser strat or something...

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