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Help! Neck Strings not aligned Ibanez 5 string (pictures)

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by powerslave12r, Feb 21, 2013.

  1. powerslave12r


    Jan 1, 2010
    I have a few issues with this used Ibanez SR305 I ordered online from Guitar Center.

    1. The strings don't seem to be centered. The B has more distance from the edge and the G has a much less distance. Looking at the pictures, do you think I need to:

    a) Do nothing and enjoy.
    b) Adjust the neck. (Is the neck pulled along the pivot by grabbing from the top, or laterally slid across by grabbing from the bottom?)
    c) I am a newbie so I don't know if it will be wiser to just take it to Guitar Center.
    d) Return it and look for another.

    I looked at the bridge and it seems pretty symmetrically mounted, plus it aligns well with some bolts on the body of the bass.

    2. There was a lot of fret buzz that I reduced by adjusting the action. But for the first few frets, there is still fret buzz on all strings, but not on any open strings. This seems to indicate I need some relief. The next looks pretty straight to my untrained eye. Is loosening it one quarter a good idea?

    Thanks a ton! Other than these, I'm in love with the bass.

    Tried to take these from as parallel a position as possible. Click through for larger.
    Around the 3rd fret.

    Around the 24th fret.
  2. geoff_in_nc


    Dec 13, 2008
    Raleigh, NC
    Try this - I think this will work for your case.
    1) Loosen strings - but leave them on.
    2) Loosen neck bolts -don't take them out, just back them out a few turns max - probably more like one or two turns.
    3) (in this particular case) pull headstock in the direction of the B string side until strings line up nicely.
    4) Tighten neck bolts.
    5) Tune, play, enjoy.
  3. funnyfingers


    Nov 27, 2005
    Show the bridge.
  4. hdracer


    Feb 15, 2009
    Elk River, MN.
    ^^^ This
    The neck may have shifted during shipping.
  5. powerslave12r


    Jan 1, 2010
    Hey thanks for the quick replies everyone!

    One small question regarding step 3. Should I pull the neck by holding it at the top or at the bottom? Or does it not matter?


    Lemme post a picture of the bridge.
  6. powerslave12r


    Jan 1, 2010
    Here's the bridge, tried to keep it as centered as possible

  7. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    Hold the neck wherever you like. Of course the head gives more leverage. Never mind the bridge, it's not the issue. Bolt on necks shift, end of story.
  8. powerslave12r


    Jan 1, 2010
    And the nut

  9. powerslave12r


    Jan 1, 2010
    Alright. I'll report back in a bit.

    Thanks for the help. :)
  10. powerslave12r


    Jan 1, 2010
    So just tried it out.

    Loosened the strings.
    Loosened the neck bolts.
    Pulled the neck in the direction of the B string and after a lot of force, it lined up, but as soon as I let go it got back to the old position.

    I tried this a few times, with the same luck.

    I also tried to tighten the bolts while keeping the neck pulled but without luck.

    Is the neck supposed to stay in the new position after pulling on it?
  11. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    Yes tighten it while holding. You may need a helper. My squire cv50's p is a tight pocket and I had my buddy help

    Another trick is to get some fine wire brass screen and drop a square in the pocket. It binds the neck in place from any future movement. My g -3 has it there from the factory; thanks Gibson!
  12. funnyfingers


    Nov 27, 2005
    Why does it appear to not affect the E string at all? Shouldn't it stray in the same, but opposite, fashion?
  13. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    Clearly you have no grasp of the problem and solution. E go the other way? impossible. The nut and bridge are not aligned because of a shifted neck. The G side at the head is shifted to the right. The g string is now closer to the edge and the E is farther from the edge. Tilting the neck will affect all strings in the same manner. Pulling the head to the left will align the strings evenly with the edges. The only place the neck moves is at the pocket, our point of focus for this adjustment.
  14. powerslave12r


    Jan 1, 2010
    I tried tightening it while holding it but I don't think it's doable alone. I'll have my buddy help me out this weekend.

    Does adding the fine wire brass screen not lead to cracks in the neck/body due to added stuff? Or is the mesh soft enough to give way?

    Naah, think of it as all the strings displaced to the right by a small amount. Fixing the neck by this procedure will shift all of them to the left by a millimeter or so.

    All strings move in the same direction. The bolts at the neck don't act like a pivot for the strings, just the neck.

    Edit: Another question I had was, the way it is right now, how playable is this considered? I can't answer this myself as I don't know what's good enough for me in this regard.

    It does feel a little tricky to press down by the tip of your finger but not by the "front surface" of your finger.

    Is pressing down by the tip of the finger a non-issue while playing basses? I can think of tapping and slapping as being the other instances, but is this amount space good enough?

    I ask because if I can't get this fixed, I want to decide whether I want to live with this or return it. It is an entry level bass I have bought for learning anyway.
  15. funnyfingers


    Nov 27, 2005
    Well I understand that the neck is tilted to the right when looking at it from the front.
    I just don't see the offset on the E string is all. It is very clear on the G string.
  16. powerslave12r


    Jan 1, 2010
    I think you're thinking that because you're assuming the E string is at some "correct distance" from the left marker of the 24th fret and then comparing it to the right marker.

    Instead if you were to hold out your fingers as strings in front of you, think of sliding your hand to the left as the solution to this problem. The respective left and right markers behind your fingers are going to be equidistant from the E and D strings respectively.

    The current distance of the E string from the left marker should not be treated as any point of reference.

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