1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
     
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Epiphone Expert-6: double truss rods and other ideas

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by weazelbeater, Oct 11, 2013.


  1. weazelbeater

    weazelbeater

    Sep 2, 2013
    I thought I got a good deal recently by grabbing this from someone for 120 bucks...but now I've also discovered the fun involved in ferreting out info on a rare piece of equipment no one has ever heard of before. I know this is a long stretch, but does anyone know exactly how the truss rods are adjusted on this model? Some double trusses apparently work opposite each other, and some will work going the same direction? I'd like to lower the action a bit, but I'm hesitant to do so, as I have never dealt with this particular type of setup. Epiphone apparently has zero info about this (apparently quite rare) bass. This is all the info I can find at all about this model: http://epiphonewiki.com/index.php/Expert-6

    Also, I want to replace the strings, but I'm not sure what the 'proper' thickness might be (never owned a 6-string before). I'd like to throw a D'Addario EXL165-6 .032-.135 set on this, but will this be ok? I think sometimes it screws up the nut if an improper size is used.

    Lastly, the truss rods cover is missing. Can anyone suggest a possible replacement that wouldn't look too weird? It's comparatively gigantic as opposed to other 4, 5 and even 6 string bass ones. The two bottom screw holes are 34 mm apart, and I just can't find any cover that's this wide, even ones for big old Ibanez 6 strings are smaller. I might have to create one from scratch if that's the only option. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. You guys are the best! :bassist:
     
  2. themensch

    themensch 25 years of bass

    Sep 11, 2008
    Wine Country, OR
    I too have one of these, and it was a difficult chase to figure out exactly what it was!

    Regarding the truss rod, I don't think I'd be much help there. I have had it adjusted but I don't travel with it much anymore so I haven't had to touch it. It's pretty sensitive to humidity changes, which was always fun if I was rolling into town late for a gig on the other side of the country.

    The strings you're considering will work fine, but a word of caution: that $35 bridge is a piece of crap and the tension of my strings was enough to BEND it, so much so that I can put a pick under the back of it now. I can't seem to straighten it so a new bridge is in my future. I just slapped some Chromes .032-.132 on them and the B is a bit thick for the saddle and I had to bore out the holes for B & E to fit (mostly the silk, actually.) You might consider something a little lighter gauge if it suits you.

    I've also replaced the stock pickups with some EMG silvers.

    You know, I don't have a truss rod cover on mine either! Someone actually rubbed off the logo on the body, too. I think someone thought they'd get more money for it if it didn't say "epiphone" on it.

    All that said, this was my main axe for the majority of my "actually making money at music" days and it's held up nicely. It's a great bass and even with the cheapo parts it comes with from the factory, it has tone and sustain 'til Tuesday.

    Sometimes I wonder if I'm putting more money into it than it's actually worth, but I got a good deal on it (not quite as good as you did, weazelbeater) so I reckon dropping a couple hundred bones into upgrades isn't going to make it the proverbial $200 car with a $2000 stereo.
     
  3. weazelbeater

    weazelbeater

    Sep 2, 2013
    Oh cool, someone else has heard of this one. I never noticed the bending bridge until you mentioned it, mine is a little warped too (not quite as much as yours though)...what replacement bridge would even work for this weirdo bass? Also, maybe EXL170-6 Nickel 32-45-65-80-100-130 might be better/lighter? Thanks for your input.
     
  4. Roy Vogt

    Roy Vogt Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2000
    Nashville,TN
    Endorsing Artist: Kiesel, Carvin, Accuracy, Hotwire, Conklin Basses, DNA, Eden
    I played the Expert Prototype at the 1996 NAMM Show for a Gibson event. It was not a bad bass at all. You might try a set of light Nickel Carvin strings instead, they have a good bit less tension than the D'Addario set.
    http://www.carvinguitars.com/products/6011
     
  5. weazelbeater

    weazelbeater

    Sep 2, 2013
    Interesting, I was just this past moment looking at a Carvin SF6B bridge for a potential replacement, too.
     
  6. themensch

    themensch 25 years of bass

    Sep 11, 2008
    Wine Country, OR
    I think I'm going to stick with the chromes I put on it now, I really like the sound and hey, they can't really bend the bridge any more. I think I had some Ken Smiths on there for the duration - I don't exactly change strings often.

    For the bridge, I'm considering this one but I am not quite convinced yet. I was planning to spend a little more quality time researching before I plunk down the coin. The string spacing is pretty narrow, which was actually one of the factors that encouraged me to buy it.
     
  7. Roy Vogt

    Roy Vogt Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2000
    Nashville,TN
    Endorsing Artist: Kiesel, Carvin, Accuracy, Hotwire, Conklin Basses, DNA, Eden
    It's a good, solid Hipshot bridge. Much improved over the older Wilkinson bridge.
     
  8. themensch

    themensch 25 years of bass

    Sep 11, 2008
    Wine Country, OR
  9. weazelbeater

    weazelbeater

    Sep 2, 2013
    That certainly does look almost exactly like the same bridge...the screw holes appear to be correct. But would this bridge solve the bending issue, or would it eventually suffer the same fate? Is it stronger? My hesitation with using a different bridge like the Carvin SF6B is that I'd have to drill different holes for it...and I'm really reluctant to do that. It looks easy enough, but one screw up and that's it. Maybe replacing the bridge and using those lighter gauge strings that Roy suggested at the same time is the solution. Hmm.
     
  10. themensch

    themensch 25 years of bass

    Sep 11, 2008
    Wine Country, OR
    I'm going out on a limb to say it's the same style model bridge - even the polishing is the same. I'd be inclined to think that yeah, it's going to have the same problem.

    I looked at upgrading my bridge, there appears to be a bit more to it than just removing the old one and putting the new one on. I watched a couple videos on it and while it doesn't seem terribly difficult, I think I will likely shoulder surf a luthier for this one. I'm pretty comfortable working on my own basses but this is a pretty big modification. It doesn't look hard per se, only tricky - the kind of thing an experienced luthier is going to know how to do properly. I reckon there's a couple threads on it in the other section of the forum if you're feeling adventurous!
     
  11. weazelbeater

    weazelbeater

    Sep 2, 2013
    Eh. I just ordered the same bridge and lighter strings. I'm hoping that less strain on the bridge might cause less bending. Maybe if it becomes my favorite someday I might splurge and put something really fancy on it. Now if Epiphone support would be so kind as to actually answer my messages about the double truss adjustment, I'd really be in business (I think that maybe even they don't remember making that model!). Action is still too high for my comfort.
     
  12. themensch

    themensch 25 years of bass

    Sep 11, 2008
    Wine Country, OR
    Yeah, I spent some QT with google and didn't come up with anything other than "it has an amazing double truss rod!"

    Same as you, I didn't find much else. To boot, I can't even pin down when my bass was made, the serial doesn't match the wikipedia entry for how to read it.
     
  13. If the threads on the TR are the same, they work the same. If the threads on one are reverse of the other, then its righty-loosey.

    Adjust them the same, like a Ric. If you notice one side of the neck has more/less relief than the other side, adjust it and not the other.

    It ain't voodoo. It's adjusting a TR times two.

    Cool bass.
     
  14. weazelbeater

    weazelbeater

    Sep 2, 2013
    Epiphone finally answered me and said "Call Gibson."...really? Gee, thanks. Anyways, I'm barely able to even set my truss on my other single truss basses (I'm really lucky I didn't destroy my Fender Jazz...I thought I just kept turning and turning it in one movement, didn't know that you are supposed to wait a day for the neck to adjust after one turn...oops), I'm not feeling adventurous to guess...I don't want my learning experience to result in knowing what a cracked neck sounds like. :crying: Also, I've never even handled a Rickenbacker in person (If it's too expensive to touch, I don't...and they are never cheap, it seems), do they always have a special truss or something?

    I may actually contact Gibson for laughs, just to hear them say "Call Epiphone", heh.
     
  15. weazelbeater

    weazelbeater

    Sep 2, 2013
    Also, trivia: I recently found out it has J99 single coil pickups. These seem to be specifically a Carvin pickup: not exactly sure why Epiphone would use another manufacturer's hardware like that, but hey. Interesting to know.
     
  16. Use the setup sticky!

    In my experience, some necks require more TR adjustment to get movement on them than another neck might. I've never taken mine more than 1/2 turn at a time (and that would only be on a neck that had way too much relief) and let it settle a little. On your two rod neck, if you need to adjust it, turn each TR equal amounts. I'd check the board with a straightedge on bass and treble sides and if one needs more than the other, turn it. That's how I did my now-gone Dean Edge 6 when I had a sick urge to try a sixer.

    I think it's really important for players to learn basic setups because a well-playing instrument makes for a happy player.

    Watch YouTube videos on setups. There's one guy (named Dave or Davey I think) who sounds like Ray Romano with an attitude and if you can get past the 'tude, he's usually pretty informative.
     
  17. weazelbeater

    weazelbeater

    Sep 2, 2013
    I'm going to sit down someday soon and learn to to properly intonate all my basses with an automotive feeler gauge: trying to find the time to do these things these days is a hectic challenge for me. There's just so much for me to learn...I really wish I'd dedicated more time to this when I was 16 (many, many moons ago). Of course, try convincing a 16 year old that time will be a precious commodity when you are older, right?

    I just feel a bit out of my depth with these things. I'd rather measure twice, cut once I guess. Researching before experimenting is what is dictating this subject to me. Now if it was a computer, I'd have zzzzero problems...of course, being a computer tech helps me there. I'm just so leery of potentially messing up an extremely rare bass neck, that's all. It's not like I can contact Epiphone for a replacement, since they can't even seem to support their own product or even admit that they ever manufactured it! Well, ok...technically Samick actually made this particular model, which is weird. Meh. I'm hoping that the bridge replacement and strings will help lower the action a bit, since it's only been recently that I noticed the bridge was bent at all (until someone specifically pointed it out, anyways...not I can't not notice it). But I do greatly appreciate everyone's thoughts. I learn so much every time I visit this site, I am utterly fascinated.
     
  18. themensch

    themensch 25 years of bass

    Sep 11, 2008
    Wine Country, OR
    I found a lot of great resources about doing intonation by searching these forums, and in fact I have properly intonated most of my basses better than anyone I've ever paid to do so. You gotta love what you do.
     

Share This Page