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Guitar: tips tricks mods rigs - Q&A or just share info

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posted on Dec, 30 2015 @ 08:25 AM
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originally posted by: TrueBrit
a reply to: Vroomfondel

I have a Stagg XB 300 bass guitar. I love its shape, weight, colour, and I used to love its sound.



However, the dear old thing is somewhat in need of an overhaul, because of things that I do not love about it.

1) The neck has some relief issues, which have not been solved by adjustment of the truss rod. Despite a decent cranking, the relief problem persists on one side of the neck. This means that playability and therefore sound has suffered greatly, because not only is fingering more difficult on one side of the neck than the other, but the strings are further from the pickups than they ought to be by a fair bit. My suspicion is that I might need to get a new neck to solve the problem.

2) When I first purchased it, my bass was the perfect thing for me. I had previously had a truly dilapidated knock off bass, which had fret buzz issues you would not believe, caused by a whole host of structural issues, not to mention bad wiring, crappy pickups, crappy set up...it was a piece of crap from the get go. The XB 300 was a delight upon being unboxed, and even playing the factory strings for years, as I did, it was a thousand times the beast that my old bass was. However, as I became more familiar with it, and indeed as I started to really find my rhythm over the years, I have realised that there are aspects of the set up that I would change.

The main issue is the action. I want to lower the action. Now on many basses this is as simple as altering the saddle position at the bridge. However, because of the type of bridge which is factory fit to the XB 300, and the staggering size of the saddles it comes with, that is not an option. It came set with those fat saddles already kissing the bridge, and so my strings cannot be drawn closer to the neck, allowing for faster fingering and all that sweet, sweet stuff. So I am also in need of a new bridge.

3) And here we come to largely pointless and over the top changes...If I am basically throwing out the bridge, and the neck, then why the hell would I keep the serviceable, but old, and unbranded humbuckers which currently reside betwixt the defunct bridge, and ruined neck? Why not get some fat bastard pickups in there while I have the hood up so to speak? Of course, the answer is money, which rather brings me round to the real crux of the issue.

Even if I throw out any fanciful modifications like new pickups, or going properly mental and getting an amp built on to the thing, the fact is that with only the necessary repairs and basic modifications I need to make it work for me going forward, I am looking at spending more money than I have to hand. So for now, I shall have to mournfully crank out whatever tones I can coax from the once mighty, death blasting, instrument of sonic violence that I have hanging on my wall.



That is kind of a rock and a hard place situation. But there may be some options.

Was the neck always canted to one side more than the other, maybe a little in the beginning, or did that develop over time? If it developed over time and continues to worsen it is probably a twist in the neck. The truss rod will not fix that. There is one thing you can try though before going to great expense. Since it has a bolt on neck you can try shimming the low side only. Try to get the frets square to the strings again. You will still have to adjust the pick up height, but it sounds like you might need to do that anyway. You can only shim a little before you start getting buzz. But its worth a try.

I have a guru I go to when I have things that make we question my ability. Sometimes he points out a very simple solution to the problem that I had not even thought of. That would be my first suggestion. Find a good local guitar tech to take a look at it and make a few recommendations. It is hard to tell exactly what it will take without seeing it. I can make some general suggestions but hands on is the best way to get it done right.

Good luck. I hope you find the joy in it again.




posted on Dec, 30 2015 @ 08:53 AM
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originally posted by: Vroomfondel

That is kind of a rock and a hard place situation. But there may be some options.

Was the neck always canted to one side more than the other, maybe a little in the beginning, or did that develop over time? If it developed over time and continues to worsen it is probably a twist in the neck. The truss rod will not fix that. There is one thing you can try though before going to great expense. Since it has a bolt on neck you can try shimming the low side only. Try to get the frets square to the strings again.

When looking down either side of the neck, one side is near enough dead straight, that would be the side with the thickest strings on it. On the other side, the bend is pretty severe. Put it this way, you sure as hell do not need a laser level to see it. I have looked at it, pondered it, I had a buddy of mine of much greater experience and knowledge than myself look it over, and he recommended that I take it to a local music shop he uses when his experience runs out on him. Personally speaking, having looked at it with a view to trying to do just as you describe, I think I am looking at putting it in the shop for a bit, best case scenario.


I have a guru I go to when I have things that make we question my ability. Sometimes he points out a very simple solution to the problem that I had not even thought of. That would be my first suggestion. Find a good local guitar tech to take a look at it and make a few recommendations. It is hard to tell exactly what it will take without seeing it. I can make some general suggestions but hands on is the best way to get it done right.

Good luck. I hope you find the joy in it again.

Thanks very much Vroomfondel. As I mentioned earlier, I have a buddy who has been playing bass far longer than I. Its funny actually, I only realised what was happening with my bass, its neck more precisely, when I was playing my buddies bass at his place. He has a fancy Ibanez one, as well as a pretty tasty looking
Yamaha. I was messing around with his Yamaha and realised that something was fundamentally different with my bass, and went home that night and immediately upon looking, saw the problem!



posted on Dec, 30 2015 @ 10:25 AM
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a reply to: Vroomfondel

Thought I'd chime in too. Started playing in 1973 on a sweet little Epiphone electric. Played seriously in numerous bands from the '70s through the '80s and after that mainly as a hobby. I have played for years through a JCM900 stack and before that a Music Man 120 W stack that I don't remember the model number of. Now I play mainly through a pair of tube amps that I built, one a clone of a Marshall 18W and the other a clone of a Fender Vibrochamp. They both sound really sweet. I play mainly Gibson guitars but I have a couple guitars that I built also. This one a customer backed out of but let me keep the hefty down payment. I liked that deal, it payed me to build it for myself! Here's a few pics of that.









The top is quilted maple, neck is through the body curly maple w/ebony fretboard and the back is mahogany. The inlay is a genie girl in a bikini coming out of a bottle made of mother of pearl and red and green abalone mainly. I put a single Shadow pickup in it that has pots in top and split coils so it can be adjusted to sound like a wide range of pickups. It's pretty sweet.

Sorry, didn't mean for the pics to be so big. They're freaking huge...



posted on Dec, 30 2015 @ 11:08 AM
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I've always wanted a red Parker Fly ... or a Rickenbacker. I've never really heard them, but I like the way they look.

I also would totally rock a keytar. Like, hardcore rock out 80's bad electronic synth style rock out.



posted on Dec, 30 2015 @ 11:44 AM
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a reply to: Vroomfondel

The only problem is that we have very low humidity here...and its in my basement where it's not heated. So it gets pretty dry and cold. I hope that it's not developed any cracks



posted on Dec, 30 2015 @ 07:17 PM
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a reply to: wtbengineer

That is a nice piece of work! It was nice of the guy to pay you to make your own guitar... Where am I when those deals are made?



posted on Dec, 30 2015 @ 07:21 PM
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originally posted by: MystikMushroom
a reply to: Vroomfondel

The only problem is that we have very low humidity here...and its in my basement where it's not heated. So it gets pretty dry and cold. I hope that it's not developed any cracks


Too much or too little humidity can be a bad thing. I sold a Gibson silverburst collectors edition flying V to a guy I knew. I saw him a year or so later and told him I would buy it back if he wanted to sell it. He had kept it in his attic. When he opened the case it was covered in mold. I almost cried.

I hope yours did better than his.



posted on Dec, 30 2015 @ 09:02 PM
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a reply to: Vroomfondel

Thanks, I really appreciate the compliment. Yeah, I'll take a deal like that any day. If he'd gone through with it I would have spent the money years ago and not had the guitar. I'm really happy, I like the guitar a lot.




posted on Dec, 30 2015 @ 09:09 PM
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a reply to: Vroomfondel

Oh that's awful! I think I would cry. Speaking of Gibson Flying Vs, I think my favorite guitar, playing wise, is my roughly circa 1980 black flying V that my late brother owned. That thing, besides being very sentimental, is the sweetest playing guitar I've ever played. It just has the narrowest fretboard and low action. And it's been that way since new, I've never adjusted it.



posted on Dec, 30 2015 @ 10:18 PM
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I play a little (mostly rhythm) and have a handful of guitars, I'm a BC Rich guy though I do like a few other brands. I've played in a few bars in a few bands, nothing big, I think there is one song on youtube from the last band I played in. I have three amps, a Vox Valvetronix 100 watt 2x12 combo with the chrome face (first model), Acoustic G20 Lead series 20 watt and my only tube amp, a Laney AOR Pro Tube Lead 50 watt combo. I have recently gotten into changing hardware and pickups on my guitars but still have to learn to solder.

I just picked up my first guitar with active pickups and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by the sound yet I don't think I'll be swapping out my passives anytime soon.

Here's a pic of my super strats.



posted on Dec, 30 2015 @ 10:46 PM
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Not quite a guitar but...



YES! YES! 1,000 times YES! I would totally rock the hell out on one of those!



posted on Dec, 30 2015 @ 11:11 PM
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originally posted by: MystikMushroom
Not quite a guitar but...



YES! YES! 1,000 times YES! I would totally rock the hell out on one of those!


If you ever get one and need a bass player, let me know. Anyone with the balls to play a keytar on stage is alright in my book haha. I tried getting our former keyboard player to get one and then just midi all the effects but he wasn't going for it



posted on Dec, 30 2015 @ 11:21 PM
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a reply to: peter vlar

Are you kidding?! I want a chest rig so I can run around with my 25 key analog synth! I can annoy everyone with my "futuristic sci-fi musical sounds"!



posted on Dec, 30 2015 @ 11:32 PM
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originally posted by: MystikMushroom
a reply to: peter vlar

Are you kidding?! I want a chest rig so I can run around with my 25 key analog synth! I can annoy everyone with my "futuristic sci-fi musical sounds"!


stop teasing me! If I hadn't just blown a ton of money on Christmas for my kids I'd probably be offering to go in halves with you already!!!



posted on Dec, 31 2015 @ 07:34 AM
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originally posted by: NagoyaW6
I play a little (mostly rhythm) and have a handful of guitars, I'm a BC Rich guy though I do like a few other brands. I've played in a few bars in a few bands, nothing big, I think there is one song on youtube from the last band I played in. I have three amps, a Vox Valvetronix 100 watt 2x12 combo with the chrome face (first model), Acoustic G20 Lead series 20 watt and my only tube amp, a Laney AOR Pro Tube Lead 50 watt combo. I have recently gotten into changing hardware and pickups on my guitars but still have to learn to solder.

I just picked up my first guitar with active pickups and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by the sound yet I don't think I'll be swapping out my passives anytime soon.

Here's a pic of my super strats.


Very nice. I like BC Rich. They always have such a good feel to them right out of the box. I had a warlok I liked very much. A friend just got himself a USA Mockingbird with the active electronics. I have to say its one of the nicest I have seen. Its kind of funny though. That guitar will sit up and sing to you but if the music doesn't crunch he wont play it. Still, he's happy so thats all that matters.



posted on Dec, 31 2015 @ 07:44 AM
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originally posted by: wtbengineer
a reply to: Vroomfondel

Oh that's awful! I think I would cry. Speaking of Gibson Flying Vs, I think my favorite guitar, playing wise, is my roughly circa 1980 black flying V that my late brother owned. That thing, besides being very sentimental, is the sweetest playing guitar I've ever played. It just has the narrowest fretboard and low action. And it's been that way since new, I've never adjusted it.



I know what you mean. I have always been drawn to the flying V. It does have a great neck. Narrow is usually offset by deep, but not with the V. It just has a very comfortable contour to it. Very playable.



posted on Dec, 31 2015 @ 09:00 PM
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a reply to: Vroomfondel

That's funny about the Mockingbird, a common question people ask about BC Rich is "what type of music is the Warlock/Mockingbird etc most suited for playing ?" I guess if a guitar is pointy you won't be able to play blues or country very well on it, lol.



posted on Dec, 31 2015 @ 09:51 PM
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a reply to: NagoyaW6

the first real guitar I bought and paid for myself was an American made Warlock and then a slightly smaller NJ series warlock before I switched to bass. My old guitar player had a sweet Mockingbird that he had for years. It was an odd looking beast but it sounded amazing and we played everything from near death metal to bluesy Southern-ish Stoner Rock and this Mockingbird handled every stylistic shakeup we could throw it's way. The guitar and amp set up will certainly lend themselves towards some styles more than others but it really comes down to the pair of hands you put the instrument into, the feel that they have and the technique involved.



posted on Jan, 1 2016 @ 12:15 AM
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a reply to: peter vlar

Agreed 100 %



posted on Jan, 1 2016 @ 10:22 AM
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originally posted by: NagoyaW6
a reply to: Vroomfondel

That's funny about the Mockingbird, a common question people ask about BC Rich is "what type of music is the Warlock/Mockingbird etc most suited for playing ?" I guess if a guitar is pointy you won't be able to play blues or country very well on it, lol.


There are some guitars that are better suited to certain genre than others, mostly with older instruments, but if you like the sound you are getting, then play away. Ultimately, the only person you have to please is you. If you have a very critical ear then there you may have some rather strong preferences though. The idea of a certain guitar being better for one style than another has pretty much been overcome by technology. Amps today that can mimic just about anything at the flip of a switch make instrument preference more a matter of what you like than what you need.

About the only way I could see the instrument being genre specific now would be the pups. Some are too bright for a deep, rich, bluesy sound, some are too gritty and dirty for anything but crunch. But even then, if you like the sound, then play it. The only time I would say to make the change is if your audience doesn't share your enthusiasm for that particular combination. Or, as I experienced once, a sound guy who refused to let the bass player use a warlok base because, "...there is no way I can make that thing sound good." I have no idea why but he hated that guitar. Its always something...



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