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Thread: trouble first setup - vintage thomas blug stratocaster

  1. #1
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    trouble first setup - vintage thomas blug stratocaster

    hello all

    i just have this instrument for 2 days, it's an olympic white strat from the company called "vintage" - wich i really like.
    they usually make very nice instruments for a very small price. this, however is the first strat from them that's giving me a hard time, setting up.

    it first had a backbow in the neck, and fiddling around with the truss rod didn't seem to make it any better. i wasn't sure if the truss-rod went the opposite way as any other ones i know of.
    then i found out, i have to set the truss rod to where i think it has to be right and wait overnight, to get it adjusting. - then adjust further.
    that seemed to work.

    now, after this i really did believe that i can go on step after step, as usually do, but i am lost, whatever i do! - the action towards the end of the fretboard is high, you can't play the guitar.
    i don't find a way to resolve it.

    string height at the nut seems ok (pretty low), checking action with pressing down first fret and last fret (or the one where the neck joins the body) and measuring with a piece of thick paper (from a string-set) just let's it slip under the string without moving it, if i try the same
    with a business-card, it moves - that ist usually OK for me.

    however, the strings are buzzing, especially around the middle of the neck, as soon i don't play them very carefully. a harder attack doesn't work there.
    i can't go lower at the saddle, as the tremolo-block is locked (no upwards bend, just downwards, to tell you what i mean) to the body, and the saddle of the high e-string is almost down to
    the term block. (the others are accordingly adjusted, to re-create the "bow" given by the neck.)

    if you look at the whole thing, the strings get further and further away from the fretboard,create a very high action at the end of the fretboard, that makes the guitar hard to play if not unplayable.
    so, to resume: string height at the nut ist OK (very little), neck relief seems ok, but the action is much too high towards the last frets (up to 21), with no way (to my knowledge) of lowering it at the other end.

    what can i do to resolve this?
    i never hat this before.
    thank you for your advices,

    have a nice weekend - miles

  2. #2
    Forum Member Don's Avatar
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    Re: trouble first setup - vintage thomas blug stratocaster

    How much relief does the neck have now? If it's an amount that you're happy with and the action is too high further up the neck and the saddles are bottomed out you might have to shim the neck. This is not a bad thing- some of the best Strats have a shim in them.

  3. #3
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    Re: trouble first setup - vintage thomas blug stratocaster

    Quote Originally Posted by Don View Post
    How much relief does the neck have now? .
    i'm not well with measuring, i just can't see the small marks at my ruler and i don't have feeler gages (yet) - but i'm usually very confiident with that method i described (the thin paper from the string-set)
    that's probably just a bit lower then a normal business-card is, and again probably the same step would be to a credit card, getting more heavy from one to the other.

    Quote Originally Posted by Don View Post
    you might have to shim the neck. This is not a bad thing- some of the best Strats have a shim in them.
    thanks, i already had a look at the neck pocket (Joint) and an idea it could end up that way. one thing to try out is taking the neck off and have a look inside, wether there's someting in it, that's responsible for this setting. cause it looks like there's a very small gap on one side, could be a small piece of wood or dirt. maybe it all looks better when i take the neck off and clean it out.
    it's just that i haven't done this (taking a neck off) but i don't think i will damage something doing this. i'm pretty confident with wood, my dad's a luthier and i have all the tools. worst case i bring it to someone experienced to finish the job, if it looks too challangeing to me.

    first, i will find some advice on the net for shimming a strat neck. do you guys have any important ones for me?


    don: thank you very much for helping me (guiding me into the right direction)

  4. #4
    Forum Member Don's Avatar
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    Re: trouble first setup - vintage thomas blug stratocaster

    Put a capo on the first fret and and press the low e-string down on the fret where the neck meets the body. There should be a gap between the string and the 8th fret. That gap should be pretty small- less than the thickness of a business card. Most people like it between flat and .012".

  5. #5
    Forum Member smitty_p's Avatar
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    Re: trouble first setup - vintage thomas blug stratocaster

    One other thing to consider...

    If, after setting everything up you still seem to get excessive buzzing, you may have a fret that's a bit too high. You can run into this even on new guitars.

  6. #6
    Forum Member blackonblack's Avatar
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    Re: trouble first setup - vintage thomas blug stratocaster

    Saw this and within 2 sentences, I said SHIM.

    FYI, if you are going to set up your own guitars, Dan E's book is a great investment!
    Mark

    Guitars: 79 Gibson Les Paul Std, Warmoth S Type, Godin Flat Five X, Duesenberg Starplayer TV, Gretsch White Falcon, Rickenbacker 360/12, Goodall Concert Jumbo, Guild 12 string, Guild Jumbo Junior, Lakland 55-02 Deluxe Ltd

    Rig: Axe-FX II, MFC-101, QSC HPR 112i, Yamaha AG Stomp, JH Audio Pro16s

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