Guitar tune up ruined guitar play... help needed!
Hi guys, I brought my Fender California series to the shop yesteday and I am not really pleased with the way things turned out...
The guitar had never been tuned up before,so I was expecting very good things, but now I can't even play it cleanly anymore. Most, if not all of my chords, including simple powe chords, no longe sound clean... There is always a string tht rings badly.
I can see that they adjusted the tremolo, it now lays totally flat on the guitar but the height adjustments are cranked all the way to the top. The neck was also adjusted, strings changed to Fender Bullets one size larger.
What could be wrong? I will be going back today but I'd like to have some hints on the solution before I lose my temper!
its really hard with out looking at it but one thing that stood out to me as something that might be wrong is you said you changed the strings to the next gauge higher ,well i have been told that guitars with a floating bridge will need to be set up for the gauge of strings you use , so that may be one problem, i think its best to take it to the shop you bought it from,
good luck with your new guitar im sure that once its set up perfect you love your new guitar
crispyfunk is right, the extra tension in the strings wasn't counterbalanced by more or stiffer tremolo springs so now they need to stretch more to be balanced. This makes the trem sit low.
Do you have any idea how high your action was before and how high it is now? How light/hard is your touch? Setup can be a very personal thing. What is a well set up guitar to one person may buzz and rattle like crazy for another person.
I used to obsess over setting up my guitar so there was no buzzing and rattles and I figured out a couple things.
1) Technique has a lot to do with it. Heavier touches are going to generate more buzzing. Not keeping the pick parallel to the strings will generate more buzzing (i.e. laying the pick down).
2) You don't need to pick as hard as an acoustic.
3) Proper fretting makes a big difference.
4) If you want to get rid of every last bit of string rattle, you'd have to have your action pretty high. If it doesn't come through your amp, you're OK.
That's not to say that they didn't screw it up, but over time I realized that a lot of what I didn't like was because of me, not the guitar.
I see what you mean and I'm pretty sure the major part of it comes from how I play... but it wasn't doing that before it went to the shop.
I went back, and said that strings were buzzing badly when I played. He definitely adjusted the tremolo because it was floating before and now it's not (it is now flat). I told him that I noticed that the height adjusters were now set all the way up (ie no more adjustment possible) for the 3 big strings. He said that (get this...) he did not adjust them because he did not have the proper allen wrench to do so, which is kind of strange for a store that sells Fenders & Squiers for the most part. And there were at least 6-7 Strats with the same tremolo in store, I'm sure one of them had that wrench.
That's when I decided that the guy was either incompetent or lying thought is teeth and that I should get it done myself. I found plenty of videos explaining how to adjust the string heights, but I also have to look at how to adjust the neck because I have not a single once of confidence that this guy has done a proper job.
Last edited by RSDAVE; 05-12-2012 at 09:33 PM.
That is why I do my own setups (tune ups). A tech will set up a guitar the way they like it, not how I like it. Obviously there are techs that will listen to what a customer wants, but that assumes the customer knows enough to be able to describe what they want if they even do know. I know I did not know what I wanted. It took years of playing to figure that out, and it is a little different for each guitar.
I'm also constantly tweaking my setups.
It is not hard to learn how to set the bridge and string action. It just takes patience and trial and error. It is virutally impossible to ruin a guitar, as long as you stay away from the truss rod adjustment.
Same here. Sometimes all it takes is a miniscule adjustment to make a guitar to sound right play right for the individual playing it. It is like a dance with the adjustments, but once a guitar is dialed in it is true love. It is not rocket science. Well worth the effort for anyone to learn how to do their own setup. in fact, it is absolutely crucial that they learn how.
Originally Posted by rcole_sooner
You set any guitars action high enough and it won't buzz. It will be a real pain to play, but it won't buzz. Ultimately you have to find what works for you. I ended up teaching myself how to do a fret level, crown and polish just to make sure the frets were good, along with setting up a guitar. I then set it to what was considered medium action and figured out how to play better so I got minimal buzzing acoustically and none when I'm through an amp.
Originally Posted by RSDAVE
It could be a process that takes you some time to work out, but ultimately it has to be what you're happy with.
Weird. My vantage has to be jacked to avoid buzz, yet my strat, I keep lowering it, won't buzz, even when I thrash on it.
I have zero faith in random people setting up your guitar, honestly it seems like a total waste of money considering how easy it is and how much it depends on the player themselves.
So I recommend going here http://www.stewmac.com/ and doing some learning on the subject.
http://www.stewmac.com/freeinfo/Stri...and_setup.html This is a link to their section on action and setup, but there is more information on it scattered throughout the website.
And for neck adjustments I think this article really nails it http://www.stewmac.com/tsarchive/ts0033.html , there are so many **** comments on the web about how messing with the truss rod is a death sentence for your guitar, its really not hard to do at all.