Tricks of the trade

Discussion in 'Tech-Talk' started by DrBeGood, Jul 5, 2019.

  1. DrBeGood

    DrBeGood Squier-holic

    Dec 9, 2014
    Sutton QC, CANADA
    You have ways of doing things to your gear that simplifies your life ? Why not share them here ?

    Make this thread a sticky ?

    Here's a good one.

    Ever had to pull bridge or stoptail bushings out of a guitar. Here's how I do it. Piece of cake.

    BLOGIMG+-+Stuck+Stuff+-+Removing+Bushings+DIY.png
    EDIT: Use a flat head bolt. If you feel a lot of resistance while screwing down, you don't want to dig in the wood. Then maybe look for the widest head on a screw that will fit the bushing hole.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2019
  2. DrBeGood

    DrBeGood Squier-holic

    Dec 9, 2014
    Sutton QC, CANADA
    Setting up your guitar ?

    Here goes a foolproof method, it's Biddlin's way. No measurements needed.

    Begin by tuning to your normal pitch, i.e. if you normally play in drop D, tune to drop D. Retune between each adjustment. Start by setting the bridge height for frets 16 to 22, so that the strings play buzz free at the lowest possible height.

    Start with low E. Plucking normally play fret 16. Lower the bass side of the bridge until it buzzes, raise until clear. Now play it from fret 16 to fret 22. Raise slightly if needed. Check A and D and raise slightly if needed to get clean notes. Remember to retune between steps. Then do the treble side. If you bend notes up here, try a few typical bends, to make sure they don't buzz out.

    When all strings play clean go to the lower frets and neck relief. Play the high E string from fret 1 to fret 15, increasing relief (loosening trussrod counter clockwise) to relieve buzz or decreasing relief (tightening trussrod clockwise) to lower the string height. So tighten, by fractional turns (1/4 of a turn), until it buzzes and back off until it doesn't. If you bend strings , do your typical bends to insure they don't buzz out. Once satisfied, check the other strings and make small adjustments as needed, loosening by the slightest amount (1/8th of a turn) to relieve buzzing.

    Once you have acceptable relief, (i.e. no buzz) and easy action, set your intonation and you're done.

    This is the opposite order of most setup directions. It is based on performance and not measurements; hence, I don't take any. It works because the neck is immobile between frets 16 and 22. The trussrod only affects lower frets. By setting the upper end first, you know any buzzes are coming from too little relief. This method works for most guitars, with truss rods.
     
  3. DrBeGood

    DrBeGood Squier-holic

    Dec 9, 2014
    Sutton QC, CANADA
    Adjusting P90 height.

    Here's how I do it.

    P90 pups are real sensitive to height. Too low they sound thin, too high they can be ice pick or boomy. Here's how I adjust them and I haven't yet tried a set I didn't like.

    I set the bridge pickup (measured at the pole) height to about two credit card thickness distance from bottom of strings (1/8" or ±3mm). No closer, or magnets will dampen sustain. If it sounds good, I leave it there. Too hot for you ? ½ turn of each screw at a time to lower it where I want it. Check it clean AND with overdrive. Once I have that one at the sweet spot, I go to the neck.

    Neck tone has to be different from middle position. Many people have neck pup adjusted so it gives the same tonality as middle position. Not good. Neck pup has to be adjusted so middle position gets a quacky tone, kinda Strat like. You'll know what I mean when you get there.

    So, I raise the neck pup until it starts to sound boomy. Notes will seem to be overwhelmed with too much bass. Now lower it a full screw turn and compare it to middle. If it sounds the same, it is still too high. I go on until I hear three different balanced tones out of the three switch positions.

    Take your time, it's worth it. Do it a second time to make sure you really found their sweet spot. That's a fun adjustment and it is by far the cheapest modification you can do to a guitar and probably the one that has the most drastic effect on tone.

    The middle tone balance act also applies to humbuckers. Find that third tone.
     
  4. strat_strummer

    strat_strummer Squier-holic

    Age:
    57
    Nov 24, 2018
    Crappie fishing.
    Good tips, thanks for sharing.
     
  5. dbrian66

    dbrian66 Squier-holic

    Age:
    49
    Jul 14, 2017
    Maryland, USA
    Thanks! I knew about the first one, but learned something from the other two. I will use the P90 adjustment soon. I got the pickups out of the Special I installed in a Strat, but they are too low. I need to put some shims under them to get them closer to the strings. Can’t wait to get this one right.

    E8F83394-2ABB-4239-8F5F-D1A006C4DA1A.jpeg
     
  6. DrBeGood

    DrBeGood Squier-holic

    Dec 9, 2014
    Sutton QC, CANADA
    Fret sprout ? Use a foam sander block. Yep, that's right. Sooo easy and fast, 2 minutes, both sides are done. Then round them out with a small file ... that's another story.

    [​IMG]
     
    mb doug, squierbilly, drewcp and 6 others like this.
  7. DrBeGood

    DrBeGood Squier-holic

    Dec 9, 2014
    Sutton QC, CANADA
    Foam or better, springs on screws.
     
  8. Davis Sharp

    Davis Sharp Dr. Squier

    Jan 7, 2016
    Maryland, USA
    This is such a simple ting to do. SteMac has an apparatus ($65) to remove the bushings and I've seen some techniques on YouTube that use o-rings or coins or something. All you have to do is follow Dr's orders. If you don't have a screw, walk barefoot in your workroom. You'll find one.
     
  9. Bassman96

    Bassman96 Squier-holic

    Age:
    41
    Nov 13, 2010
    Oak Harbor, WA
    I only find Legos when I walk barefoot in my room....:confused:
     
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  10. -r3-

    -r3- Squier-Nut

    875
    Jan 28, 2016
    NC Piedmont
    Lego's HURT when you step on them!! I'd rather step on a screw.
     
  11. dbrian66

    dbrian66 Squier-holic

    Age:
    49
    Jul 14, 2017
    Maryland, USA
    It has foam and springs already. But he rout in the body is so deep that the screws are loose and the springs are not pushing up anymore. So I think just putting a shim under them will work. Screws are long enough.
     
  12. strat_strummer

    strat_strummer Squier-holic

    Age:
    57
    Nov 24, 2018
    Crappie fishing.
    My tip and a bunch of folks do this already. I use the tail piece I cut off the strings for my ground wire between pots.
     
  13. DrBeGood

    DrBeGood Squier-holic

    Dec 9, 2014
    Sutton QC, CANADA
    You mean, you weld a string section as ground wire ? What gauge :rolleyes: ?
     
  14. Kenneth Mountain

    Kenneth Mountain Squier-Axpert

    I'm going to guess a D string ?
     
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  15. Kenneth Mountain

    Kenneth Mountain Squier-Axpert

    Great Thread Dr. !
     
  16. DrBeGood

    DrBeGood Squier-holic

    Dec 9, 2014
    Sutton QC, CANADA
    No, G (for ground).
     
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  17. Papa Joe

    Papa Joe Squier-Axpert

    Age:
    90
    Dec 12, 2009
    Swanton Ohio
    We need more threads of this nature..
    Very good thread..
     
  18. Conghaille

    Conghaille Squier-holic

    Age:
    49
    Jul 12, 2016
    Chicago

    Need to be just a little careful with this. I once drove that spacer bolt into a soft basswood body and the bushings never budged. Crazy world.
     
  19. dbrian66

    dbrian66 Squier-holic

    Age:
    49
    Jul 14, 2017
    Maryland, USA
    I’ve done that before. Works real good.
     
    mb doug and Kenneth Mountain like this.
  20. Conghaille

    Conghaille Squier-holic

    Age:
    49
    Jul 12, 2016
    Chicago
    If I could make a request for a tip.

    Literally the only thing that frustrates me working on guitars is soldering the ground of a pickup when the ground is the outer sheath braid. I build up these ridiculous solder structures to hold the braid down. There has to be a better way, right?
     
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