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> Guitars Seem The Same But Feel Different?
yoncopin
post Aug 2 2017, 03:41 PM
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I have a few guitars and find myself wanting to play different ones on any given day. Feature wise they are all fairly similar, but I find some much easier to play than others. For example, my Strat with a Warmoth compound radius neck and my Ibanez S671. Both have a very similar fretboard radius, fret size and neck width/profile. They are both 25.5" scale and I have the Strat trem blocked, so it's effectively the same as the Saber's fixed bridge. They've both been setup the same, by me, using the same measured neck relief and string height.

Despite all that, the string tension still seems different to me, and it's much easier to bend and get clear sustaining notes out of the Ibanez on high strings/high frets (as an example). Obviously, these are two separate instruments and have other differences too, but sometimes it frustrates me that I can't get the Strat to play as well. This leads me to think there's something "wrong" or needs fixing on the Strat, because it seems that it really should be able to play as well.

I pretty much always reach for the Ibanez, because it feels the best, and sometimes it makes me wonder why I even own the others. Does anyone else have this feeling? Am I being too much of a perfectionist?


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Mertay
post Aug 2 2017, 04:12 PM
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Something I do (to only my guitars) is right after bought I adjust the neck pocket angle, its funny I don't read about this much anywhere else.

I lower the bridge (or/and saddles) to the lowest and make the angle streight enough for the strings to either touch super light or barely to the lest fret. After adjusting the angle raise the bridge again (naturally it ends-up being lower than before) and do the intonation or any setup needed. The feel to me is then improved.

Also the nut height, the lower (without buzzing) the better. Give me a 100$ guitar and (if there is no fret issue) the neck/strings will feel as comfortable and a super expensive guitar.

This post has been edited by Mertay: Aug 2 2017, 04:13 PM


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yoncopin
post Aug 2 2017, 05:24 PM
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I understand what you're describing and I had researched that idea a bit. My question is, how do you know if that's going to help and what should the angle be? I thought the neck angle was about giving yourself enough range of adjustment at the bridge saddles, how would that affect playability?

QUOTE (Mertay @ Aug 2 2017, 11:12 AM) *
Something I do (to only my guitars) is right after bought I adjust the neck pocket angle, its funny I don't read about this much anywhere else.

I lower the bridge (or/and saddles) to the lowest and make the angle streight enough for the strings to either touch super light or barely to the lest fret. After adjusting the angle raise the bridge again (naturally it ends-up being lower than before) and do the intonation or any setup needed. The feel to me is then improved.

Also the nut height, the lower (without buzzing) the better. Give me a 100$ guitar and (if there is no fret issue) the neck/strings will feel as comfortable and a super expensive guitar.



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Mertay
post Aug 2 2017, 06:06 PM
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QUOTE (yoncopin @ Aug 2 2017, 04:24 PM) *
I understand what you're describing and I had researched that idea a bit. My question is, how do you know if that's going to help and what should the angle be? I thought the neck angle was about giving yourself enough range of adjustment at the bridge saddles, how would that affect playability?


For starters you can get the strings lower, the only good curve on the neck is around the 5-7th fret where we adjust the truss. But if the neck pocker angle is too much then the lowest frets of the neck won't follow the strings angle well. We're talking angles hardly visible to the eye but as you know its always the small things that matter. This in theory also helps us to adjust the truss-rod's angle a bit streighter.

Also the strings angle coming out of the saddle changes, this is where the least info is exchanged on the web. Similar to adjust a floyd-rose angle a bit high or lower and even after intonation setup everyone agrees the feel of the guitar changes...think of it rather than adjusting the trem., we do it subtly by adjusting the height of the trem. after the neck-to body is streighter.

Last time I did this was to my cheap jackson js11, it cured buzzing and simply felt better to me. Problem was the tiny 2 saddle screws on each saddle were hightened and was very uncomfortable after a while so keep an eye on that.



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yoncopin
post Aug 2 2017, 06:28 PM
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Ok, I'm looking at it now. It would make some sense on the Strat that it needs to be adjusted because the neck is a replacement. I lowered the saddles all the way down and the strings are resting on the last fret, no gap. So when I make my shim, do I want to raise the body side of the neck pocket or the headstock side?

QUOTE (Mertay @ Aug 2 2017, 01:06 PM) *
For starters you can get the strings lower, the only good curve on the neck is around the 5-7th fret where we adjust the truss. But if the neck pocker angle is too much then the lowest frets of the neck won't follow the strings angle well. We're talking angles hardly visible to the eye but as you know its always the small things that matter. This in theory also helps us to adjust the truss-rod's angle a bit streighter.

Also the strings angle coming out of the saddle changes, this is where the least info is exchanged on the web. Similar to adjust a floyd-rose angle a bit high or lower and even after intonation setup everyone agrees the feel of the guitar changes...think of it rather than adjusting the trem., we do it subtly by adjusting the height of the trem. after the neck-to body is streighter.

Last time I did this was to my cheap jackson js11, it cured buzzing and simply felt better to me. Problem was the tiny 2 saddle screws on each saddle were hightened and was very uncomfortable after a while so keep an eye on that.



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Mertay
post Aug 2 2017, 07:16 PM
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QUOTE (yoncopin @ Aug 2 2017, 05:28 PM) *
Ok, I'm looking at it now. It would make some sense on the Strat that it needs to be adjusted because the neck is a replacement. I lowered the saddles all the way down and the strings are resting on the last fret, no gap. So when I make my shim, do I want to raise the body side of the neck pocket or the headstock side?


Its probably a sign that the neck angle is not far off, which is good.

Now raise the saddles till the tiny screws won't bother when you rest your hand on the trem. , basically the bridge screws shouldn't be like this; http://i.ebayimg.com/images/i/122493745572-0-1/s-l1000.jpg but goal is still trying keep the saddles as low as possible.

After that if the strings are buzzing, instead of further raising the saddles try a thinner shim on the neck pocket. Its normal to make 2-3 tries to get it as perfect as possible but don't be a perfectionist (also don't over squeeze the bolt too hard). In the end if an ever slight raise of saddles are needed so be it cause remove+screwing the neck can be very exausting.


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yoncopin
post Aug 2 2017, 07:36 PM
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So the goal is to get lower saddles which have a looser feel? Because my strings are slightly touching the last fret I'm guessing it means i need to raise the headstock side of the neck pocket just a hair right? I'm at the hardware store now getting some thin wood, thanks for your help Mertay I'm excited about this working.

QUOTE (Mertay @ Aug 2 2017, 02:16 PM) *
Its probably a sign that the neck angle is not far off, which is good.

Now raise the saddles till the tiny screws won't bother when you rest your hand on the trem. , basically the bridge screws shouldn't be like this; http://i.ebayimg.com/images/i/122493745572-0-1/s-l1000.jpg but goal is still trying keep the saddles as low as possible.

After that if the strings are buzzing, instead of further raising the saddles try a thinner shim on the neck pocket. Its normal to make 2-3 tries to get it as perfect as possible but don't be a perfectionist (also don't over squeeze the bolt too hard). In the end if an ever slight raise of saddles are needed so be it cause remove+screwing the neck can be very exausting.



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Mertay
post Aug 2 2017, 07:47 PM
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QUOTE (yoncopin @ Aug 2 2017, 06:36 PM) *
So the goal is to get lower saddles which have a looser feel? Because my strings are slightly touching the last fret I'm guessing it means i need to raise the headstock side of the neck pocket just a hair right? I'm at the hardware store now getting some thin wood, thanks for your help Mertay I'm excited about this working.


Yeah thats right, when finished also don't forget to intonate.

My guess is after adjusting the saddles if the strings are touching the last fret, the shim should be thinnered about a nicely folded piece of paper thickness. But thats just a guess, getting the right thickness being so sensitive can be hard so take your time and let me know how things go smile.gif


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yoncopin
post Aug 2 2017, 10:14 PM
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Well that definitely loosened those strings up! My Strat feels much more like my Ibanez's now as far as string tension. I'll have to spend some time with it to really compare. I tried using wood, but it was physically impossible to get it as thin as I needed it to be. Instead I used some aluminum sheathing (0.24mm thick) I had and cut a piece to cover ~1/3 of the neck pocket on the headstock side. I wish I had taken a pic before I screwed the neck back on, but here is one from the side. You're the man Mertay, thanks for the advice, if nothing I else I definitely learned something new today smile.gif



QUOTE (Mertay @ Aug 2 2017, 02:47 PM) *
Yeah thats right, when finished also don't forget to intonate.

My guess is after adjusting the saddles if the strings are touching the last fret, the shim should be thinnered about a nicely folded piece of paper thickness. But thats just a guess, getting the right thickness being so sensitive can be hard so take your time and let me know how things go smile.gif


This post has been edited by yoncopin: Aug 2 2017, 10:16 PM


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Mertay
post Aug 2 2017, 10:35 PM
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That was fast! smile.gif I didn't guess your guitar had a tilt adjustment in it, but from the looks of it that wouldn't have worked (now I understand why you commented "raising from headstock" smile.gif ). The photo seems like the neck is pretty much streight to the guitar body.

Give it a day and tomorrow check if the neck bolts can be squeezed a tiny bit more incase aluminum sheeting gets flatter inside the pocket. Finally after every setting is finished, before changing strings check if the nut can be lowered. I hope this will work for you nicely on the long run smile.gif

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Todd Simpson
post Aug 2 2017, 10:41 PM
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Well, yeah smile.gif IBBY!!!!!! Short answer for everything guitar IMHO smile.gif BTW Contrats on making the shim and props to Mertay!!!

I have tried a wide variety of guitar brands from custom shop to vintage. I had 12 Ibanez guitars at one point. As I finally realized it was always the Ibbys that I reached for. Then I got an Ibby 3570z and everything changes. Suddenly, I found my other Ibby guitars tight and restrictive. Harder to bend, harder to play and play fast, harder to control in general. So I started selling them off. now I'm down to 4 and will probably go down to 3. Really I only reach for the 3570 anymore. It's just a miracle of a guitar and was only made for 1 year. They are very hard to find. GMCer BEN has one as well. Took me a year after he got his to find mine. In short, TRY A PRESTIGE!!! If you like the S Series, try a prestige S. The neck on the prestige line is simply amazing IMHO. So playable, so smooth, so effortless. Almost plays itself. I had a Warmoth neck on a Kramer body at one point as I disliked the kramer neck. I don't miss it. Here is the guitar in question from a recent collab smile.gif




Here is ben playing his and me playing one of my former fave ibbys, pre 3570, the rarified XPT750 Xiphos limited edition. Also made for one year, neck through body, rare as heck. Sold it right after I got the 3570.



But this is JUST ME talking here. Some folks HATE IBANEZ GUITARS and LOVE FENDER. Some guys love GIBSON guitars. I've played almost everything (excluding some custom shop models that I've never seen in the wild. I finally found a guitar that I love more than my precious MIJ IBANEZ RG560 (Golden Era Ibby). I hope you find yours smile.gif

P.S. I apologize if all of this is review and you've heard me go on and on about all this before. It's as much for everyone else reading the forum as it is for you as well smile.gif

Todd



QUOTE (yoncopin @ Aug 2 2017, 10:41 AM) *
I have a few guitars and find myself wanting to play different ones on any given day. Feature wise they are all fairly similar, but I find some much easier to play than others. For example, my Strat with a Warmoth compound radius neck and my Ibanez S671. Both have a very similar fretboard radius, fret size and neck width/profile. They are both 25.5" scale and I have the Strat trem blocked, so it's effectively the same as the Saber's fixed bridge. They've both been setup the same, by me, using the same measured neck relief and string height.

Despite all that, the string tension still seems different to me, and it's much easier to bend and get clear sustaining notes out of the Ibanez on high strings/high frets (as an example). Obviously, these are two separate instruments and have other differences too, but sometimes it frustrates me that I can't get the Strat to play as well. This leads me to think there's something "wrong" or needs fixing on the Strat, because it seems that it really should be able to play as well.

I pretty much always reach for the Ibanez, because it feels the best, and sometimes it makes me wonder why I even own the others. Does anyone else have this feeling? Am I being too much of a perfectionist?


This post has been edited by Todd Simpson: Aug 2 2017, 10:49 PM


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yoncopin
post Aug 3 2017, 12:18 AM
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QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Aug 2 2017, 05:41 PM) *
P.S. I apologize if all of this is review and you've heard me go on and on about all this before. It's as much for everyone else reading the forum as it is for you as well smile.gif


No need to apologize, it's fun to see people excited about their guitars, and your 3570 is VERY nice. We are all familiar with your Ibby man-love. I've been slower coming around to it, but I agree with you. I will always look to Ibanez first for new guitars, then probably Schecter. I feel like my Strat has been like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole since day one. I've changed so much of it, the only thing left of the original American Strat is the body. I kind of regret it to be honest, because it was the most expensive guitar I've ever bought and I've been trying to "fix" it to fit my playing ever since. At this point, I have so much sunk cost I have a hard time imagining selling it.

I think that Strat experience has made me a bit gun shy on higher priced guitars. I like my Ibanezes but I've had to round sharp fret ends on most of them. They also don't currently make the "ideal" for me, for one because that's always changing. The Prestige's all have the 17-19mm Wizard necks, which I find a bit thin. I actually prefer their Wizard III but that means you can't get the Prestige workmanship. There may be some used model out there, but I find it almost impossible to discover because their naming scheme is so cryptic.

I'm actually really happy with my S671QM, it was like $300 and I smoothed the fret ends and swapped in a Dimarzio Mo Joe and PAF Joe. It's HSH with a fixed bridge and have been really digging it since I got it.

My current guitars are:
1995 Gibson SG Special - This is a never sell, it's not my first guitar, but is close. I don't play it much anymore though.
2001 Ibanez RG570 - Very nice, Wizard profile w/Edge bridge isn't exactly my thing, but if it was this is it. A keeper
2003 Ibanez SA160 - HSS fixer upper for $180, clued me into the Saber body, enjoy it but probably won't own it forever.
2005 Schecter C-1+ - This is my Les Paul-killer, sounds great, plays great. Worth almost nothing to sell and it's just to good to let go for what it'd get
2006 Fender American Strat - I've replaced pickups, wiring configuration, Warmoth compound radius neck, replaced defective tuners.... so yeah
2016 Ibanez S671QM - My current favorite

This post has been edited by yoncopin: Aug 3 2017, 12:19 AM


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Todd Simpson
post Aug 3 2017, 03:35 AM
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Some very Spiff Ibbys there!!! The 570 is a classic! But if that slim profile is not your thing, then the S series profile may be more the way to go. I would suggest the used RGT line of Ibanez guitars since they are neck through body (Great sustain and typically only done on high end ibby's these days) and they use good woods and have a neck profile closer to the III which is really just a renamed II for the most part http://ibanez.wikia.com/wiki/Wizard_III#Wizard_III. I have another RGT42FM *(my third one, all have had great fret work, no jaggies, keep getting good offers on them)for example that has a neck profile more similar to the PGM neck than the 570 neck. Bit rounder, less flat and wide. They have not made these guitars for years of course, but you can find them on ebay and reverb. Try to look at the korean RGT line if possible as they are IMHO a pinch better in build than the Indo RGTs.

You may be able to find some RGT models in your local music store or pawn shop smile.gif If not, you can always go online to ebay/reverb.com etc. Have you played one of these btw?
Attached Image


P.S. The make a version of your current fave with a locking trem if you want one smile.gif
http://ibanez.wikia.com/wiki/S670QM

Attached Image

My current guitars are:
1995 Gibson SG Special - This is a never sell, it's not my first guitar, but is close. I don't play it much anymore though.
2001 Ibanez RG570 - Very nice, Wizard profile w/Edge bridge isn't exactly my thing, but if it was this is it. A keeper
2003 Ibanez SA160 - HSS fixer upper for $180, clued me into the Saber body, enjoy it but probably won't own it forever.
2005 Schecter C-1+ - This is my Les Paul-killer, sounds great, plays great. Worth almost nothing to sell and it's just to good to let go for what it'd get
2006 Fender American Strat - I've replaced pickups, wiring configuration, Warmoth compound radius neck, replaced defective tuners.... so yeah
2016 Ibanez S671QM - My current favorite

This post has been edited by Todd Simpson: Aug 3 2017, 03:46 AM


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Darius Wave
post Aug 3 2017, 10:38 AM
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QUOTE (yoncopin @ Aug 2 2017, 09:14 PM) *
I tried using wood, but it was physically impossible to get it as thin as I needed it to be.



It usually takes few wasted pieces of veneer but it's possible. I was doing some test myself because I barely trust in myths from the internet...but in this case for my guitars it has been proven that a wooden neck shim makes a lot of difference for some prets susian. Using a piece of sanding paper took some sustain away on particular frets....some were even fluttering!

About the starts...start radius standrd (american standard a t least) is 9,5" where Ibanez usually goes for 12" or even more so Generally there can be a visible difference on how strings behave while bending on higher frets


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Mertay
post Aug 3 2017, 10:53 AM
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QUOTE (Darius Wave @ Aug 3 2017, 09:38 AM) *
It usually takes few wasted pieces of veneer but it's possible. I was doing some test myself because I barely trust in myths from the internet...but in this case for my guitars it has been proven that a wooden neck shim makes a lot of difference for some prets susian. Using a piece of sanding paper took some sustain away on particular frets....some were even fluttering!


I never did a detailed test on this but I've used paper a lot as I don't have much tools or talent to shape wood smile.gif but I fold them like a stair for example 4 folds near the body, 2 folds in the middle of the neck pocket and one fold near the end of the body.

This reminded me, shimming the sides of the neck pocket noticably increases the sustain too if there are any gaps (and usually there are...). But I don't recommend this often cause the neck angle might tilt to the sides depending of hard the bolts are squeezed, it can be annoying to figure out and removing the neck too often isn't a good thing. Might be advised for those who has severe deadspots on the fretboard.

This post has been edited by Mertay: Aug 3 2017, 10:53 AM


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Darius Wave
post Aug 3 2017, 02:20 PM
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QUOTE (Mertay @ Aug 3 2017, 09:53 AM) *
I never did a detailed test on this but I've used paper a lot as I don't have much tools or talent to shape wood smile.gif but I fold them like a stair for example 4 folds near the body, 2 folds in the middle of the neck pocket and one fold near the end of the body.

This reminded me, shimming the sides of the neck pocket noticably increases the sustain too if there are any gaps (and usually there are...). But I don't recommend this often cause the neck angle might tilt to the sides depending of hard the bolts are squeezed, it can be annoying to figure out and removing the neck too often isn't a good thing. Might be advised for those who has severe deadspots on the fretboard.



Yeah...shimming the sides of pocket is risky....just a little to much pressure on one side and you get exactly what you described


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yoncopin
post Aug 3 2017, 02:56 PM
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QUOTE
You may be able to find some RGT models in your local music store or pawn shop smile.gif If not, you can always go online to ebay/reverb.com etc. Have you played one of these btw?


No I haven't, I actually hadn't even considered looking at Ibanez for a set neck model. They do make this RGA62T which is reasonably priced. Maybe next time my GAS syndrome kicks in I'll do some eBay hunting. To be honest, I've almost pulled the trigger on this RG421, with the intention to sell the SA160. I think I just want it because it's white though smile.gif I like pretty basic guitars, but I know it will need a bunch of upgrades and finishing work to get it where I want it to be. I don't need another project right now, maybe when I can get one used for <$200. This one seems much nicer, but I can't spend that much just because I like the white when I already have the RG570. I've also had my eye on the trem S model you mentioned. I always have this idea that a trem would be cool, but I actually don't really know how to use one and my double stops go out of tune, so all my trems have all ended up blocked.

QUOTE
It usually takes few wasted pieces of veneer but it's possible. I was doing some test myself because I barely trust in myths from the internet...but in this case for my guitars it has been proven that a wooden neck shim makes a lot of difference for some prets susian. Using a piece of sanding paper took some sustain away on particular frets....some were even fluttering!

About the starts...start radius standrd (american standard a t least) is 9,5" where Ibanez usually goes for 12" or even more so Generally there can be a visible difference on how strings behave while bending on higher frets


After an evening of playing, I think the aluminum will work long term. It's metal so it doesn't compress and should have excellent transfer of vibrations. There is a very small gap you can see in the pic, but I don't ?think? it's an issue. All the notes sustain better now and the whole thing is more comfortable to play with the lower tension. I re-measured the thickness of the shim, it's almost exactly the thickness of a paper index card.

This is why I got the new neck in the first place, it's 10-16" compound radius. I think I previously ranted about Fender's 9.5". I'll never buy another one for that reason alone. To me, 12" is the minimum.

This post has been edited by yoncopin: Aug 3 2017, 02:57 PM


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Todd Simpson
post Aug 3 2017, 04:44 PM
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Ebay or Reverb are a good way to save some cash on guitars, and even if it says "no returns" if you want to return it you can under ebay buyer protection and ebay will give you your money back. I've been on the other side of such transactions and they always go with the buyer in my experience no matter what. I'm sure someone has story saying the exact opposite of course smile.gif Being a seller on ebay for over 10 years, I've had plenty of experience with this sort of thing.

If you have a local guitar shop where you can buy used, you are in great shape. If not, then ebay/reverb make a great option. I got my 3570z off ebay as I've never seen one in a local shop EVER.

All the guitars you mentioned are spiff smile.gif Once you get ready, I'm sure you can find one used that suits you and not go broke doing it smile.gif

Todd


QUOTE (yoncopin @ Aug 3 2017, 09:56 AM) *
No I haven't, I actually hadn't even considered looking at Ibanez for a set neck model. They do make this RGA62T which is reasonably priced. Maybe next time my GAS syndrome kicks in I'll do some eBay hunting. To be honest, I've almost pulled the trigger on this RG421, with the intention to sell the SA160. I think I just want it because it's white though smile.gif I like pretty basic guitars, but I know it will need a bunch of upgrades and finishing work to get it where I want it to be. I don't need another project right now, maybe when I can get one used for <$200. This one seems much nicer, but I can't spend that much just because I like the white when I already have the RG570. I've also had my eye on the trem S model you mentioned. I always have this idea that a trem would be cool, but I actually don't really know how to use one and my double stops go out of tune, so all my trems have all ended up blocked.



After an evening of playing, I think the aluminum will work long term. It's metal so it doesn't compress and should have excellent transfer of vibrations. There is a very small gap you can see in the pic, but I don't ?think? it's an issue. All the notes sustain better now and the whole thing is more comfortable to play with the lower tension. I re-measured the thickness of the shim, it's almost exactly the thickness of a paper index card.

This is why I got the new neck in the first place, it's 10-16" compound radius. I think I previously ranted about Fender's 9.5". I'll never buy another one for that reason alone. To me, 12" is the minimum.



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klasaine
post Aug 4 2017, 03:58 PM
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Even if scale length, nut height, neck pocket depth, fret size and material, neck and fngrbrd material, action and string gauge are exactly the same - the main reason a Fender and an Ibby will feel different is that the string length and break angle behind the nut and bridge are different. Same for the width of the nut and bridge saddles. This has a big affect on the playing feel.

These elements seem small but they are not. The easiest way to illustrate this is to play a "Jimi Hendrix" model (reversed headstock) Strat and compare it with a standard (vintage type) model.

*The main element that makes Jazzmasters and Jaguars so unique (the necks are Strat necks) is the amount of string between the bridge and the tailpiece.

This post has been edited by klasaine: Aug 4 2017, 04:03 PM


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yoncopin
post Aug 4 2017, 04:21 PM
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QUOTE (klasaine @ Aug 4 2017, 10:58 AM) *
Even if scale length, nut height, neck pocket depth, fret size and material, neck and fngrbrd material, action and string gauge are exactly the same - the main reason a Fender and an Ibby will feel different is that the string length and break angle behind the nut and bridge are different. Same for the width of the nut and bridge saddles. This has a big affect on the playing feel.

These elements seem small but they are not. The easiest way to illustrate this is to play a "Jimi Hendrix" model (reversed headstock) Strat and compare it with a standard (vintage type) model.

*The main element that makes Jazzmasters and Jaguars so unique (the necks are Strat necks) is the amount of string between the bridge and the tailpiece.


I'm glad you mentioned this, because I had kind of closed the book on the topic. My understanding was incomplete, but your post prompted me to do a bit more research. I found this article which explains a lot of the why of string tension and takes into account all of the points you made too. I now understand this a lot better.

This post has been edited by yoncopin: Aug 4 2017, 04:21 PM


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