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Gibson Grabber Setup Help w/Pics

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by jtrom, Jan 25, 2018.


  1. Nah, you seem like a handy guy. Try it out

    1 vote(s)
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  2. Are you serious? No...

    0 vote(s)
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  3. Go to (insert name here) lutheir in Vancouver

    0 vote(s)
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  1. jtrom

    jtrom

    Nov 22, 2008
    Kelowna BC
    Disclaimer: I have taken many of my basses to "professional" luthiers in the past and, more often than not, been disappointed with the results. I consider myself a handy fella and would like to learn, for myself, how to fix these types of problems.

    Question: I need some guidance setting up my Gibson Grabber. I went through the John Carruthers technique and found that I need to file down the nut and tweak the truss rod. However, I think the main issue is that the neck has a ski-jump in it and that needs to be sorted out before addressing the other issues.

    Using the pictures as a guide, any advice as to what I should tackle first?
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Slidlow

    Slidlow Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2009
    Oshawa, Canada
    Hi, not sure why but I can't view your photos. From what you are saying I expect there is a backbow in the neck when tuned to pitch. If this is the case then four options are available.
    1. Slack off the truss rod and leave tuned over pitch to see if the neck will draw forward over time. (Not likely)
    2. Remover frets and plane fingerboard flat. Reinstall frets. (not the best way)
    3. Remove fretboard and correct back bow in neck and reset truss rod then reinstall fingerboard (best result)
    4. Clamp neck in a steaming jig to correct backbow (not always effective)
     
  3. I opened one picture, the "Ski-Jump".

    Unfortunately, @Slidlow 's advice is incorrect. (Although if that WAS the issue it would be)

    You have a significant forward bow. I would start by tightening the Truss Rod. Check the neck relief. There are plenty of examples of how to do this... some are wrong. I check it with a capo on the first fret, fret the E string on the fret at the body/neck joint (either 15 or 17, somewhere there). Then check the gap between the string and the fret at the 7th/9th fret using a feeler gauge. 0.012 is what I aim for.

    I think that should help a lot in the action and play-ability of this bass.
     
  4. Another note: Do not file your nut until you have the neck relief set.
     
  5. Slidlow

    Slidlow Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2009
    Oshawa, Canada
    Yeah I got backbow from the description so scratch what I said. Also loosen the strings before cranking the truss rod. Tune back up after each adjustment. After each adjustment you should give it some time to settle in before adjusting more.
     
  6. Agreed!
     
  7. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Arbutus, MD
    I am NOT downloading PDFs to view your problems. Find another way to load pictures.
     
  8. jtrom

    jtrom

    Nov 22, 2008
    Kelowna BC
    Thank you for your replies... I’m not sure why the pictures uploaded as individual file downloads. :bag: I tried a bunch of different uploading options and they kept loading as downloadable files. Maybe I need to reduce the file size. I’ll try doing that later today.
     
  9. jtrom

    jtrom

    Nov 22, 2008
    Kelowna BC
    Hey, sorry about the photos everyone. Hopefully these will help troubleshoot the issue.

    Currently, when I capo the 1st fret and push down where the body and neck meet the relief is about .019" or .48mm. Which isn't too bad at all. After the relief I set my string height to the John Caruthers recommended height. I have to have my action about double what he suggested to avoid fret buzz before the 12th fret. Ever higher for clean playing above the 12th. That's why I think it's the neck and I'll have to figure out some way to straighten it out. If you think the ski-jump is the issue I'll look into some forums dealing with that solution.

    Ski-Jump. Nut. Action. Bridge. Body.
     
    sissy kathy likes this.
  10. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Arbutus, MD
    @mansjasont has a handle on it; nothing to add. Good job on getting pictures up loaded.
     
  11. 0.019 is still quite high... and could be the cause for the fret buzz at least beyond the 12th fret.
     
    jtrom likes this.
  12. hotbass57

    hotbass57

    Nov 27, 2011
    Fairfield,Ohio
    I would try and tighten the truss rod another quarter turn then raise your bridge saddles and check it again.
     
  13. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    From the view of your neck at the 15th fret, I would say that the first thing you need is new frets. The current ones look flat-topped and thin to the point where they cannot be re-crowned. Unless I am mistaken about that, all other efforts will be fruitless.
     
  14. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Arbutus, MD
    Here is the difference between an experienced pro and an amateur. The pros pick up on details that aren't mentioned.
     
  15. jtrom

    jtrom

    Nov 22, 2008
    Kelowna BC
    :( ya i was afraid of that. I'll try the truss rod adjustment and then go from there... The frets are quite warn and could be replaced. Know any good luthiers in Vancouver? ;)
     
  16. jtrom

    jtrom

    Nov 22, 2008
    Kelowna BC
    Well, I finally managed to adjust the truss rod today. Still some buzz though the action isn’t quite as high.

    Question: the nut is still too high. If I file down the nut, given the ski jump and fret condition, will that help or hinder? I’m picturing the physics in my head and I can’t see it helping with anything. Only making the string closer to the uneaten fretboard this making the buzz worse.

    Thoughts?
     
  17. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY Supporting Member

    The nut only affects the first couple of frets, and only BEHIND the fretted note, in two ways. Feel: if nut is too high first couple frets are not comfortable to play. In effect they have high action. Intonation: too high a nut causes strings to stretch too much when fretting the first couple frets pulling the notes sharp. As you move away from the nut these two effects lessen. The nut has no effect on anything higher up the neck past the fretted note.
     
  18. jtrom

    jtrom

    Nov 22, 2008
    Kelowna BC
    Of course. Behind the fretted note. :facepalm::meh::rolleyes:
     
    96tbird likes this.
  19. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist

    Mar 24, 2010
    LA
    grabbers don't always have the best action or most stable necks to begin with, i couldn't dial mine in too well and i set up most of my basses
     

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