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T-Bird setup question

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ledyard, Jul 27, 2012.


  1. ledyard

    ledyard

    Jan 31, 2010
    Upstate NY
    Ok, I have no issues setting up a T-bird...but heres the problem.... I just got my new (02') and set it up last night.
    Had 45-105 on it. I restrung it again with 45-105 DR Hi Beams (what I always use). Dropped it down a half step where I need it but theres still a little more tension than i like on it because the DR 105 is actually like a 108 and so on with the other strings. So I adjust the relief to where I like it and it looks and feels good.
    Now the G string is fretting out on the first fret when I hit it open and fairly hard. Its still making the note but its fretting out pretty good. The old strings werent doing this and they were tuned up a half step.
    There is no twist in the neck and the fret isnt lifted??

    Should I dremel the part of the fret in the area of the G string?(VERY slightly and gently) I dont mind a little buzz but this is far too much. I tried messing with the bridge (3 point gibson bridge) and going back and forth with the relief.
    If you know the 3 point bridges you know the G saddle is the lowest and there is no individual height adjustment. Which doesnt matter cause its beautiful all the way up the neck minus hitting the first fret now for whatever reason?
     
  2. stanley00

    stanley00

    Mar 15, 2010
    Albuquerque, NM
    I would try adding a bit more relief first. It sounds like the neck may be a little too straight.
     
  3. TBird1958

    TBird1958 As a matter of fact....I am your Queen! Staff Member

    Mar 13, 2008
    Seattle Washington
    Endorsing Artist Mike Lull T Bass pickups
    You can also reverse the saddle on that one string that will give a slight increase in string height, you should probably re-check the intonation after doing this. Gibson 3 points get slagged a lot but in fact it's a very versitile design *if* you know what to do with it.
     
  4. ledyard

    ledyard

    Jan 31, 2010
    Upstate NY
    It does get better if i add some relief but then at the 12th fret the action is unacceptable. I already have the Low end side of the bridge almost bottomed out.
     
  5. Obviously the slot in the nut, for the g string, is too deep. So, fix or repair the nut. A cheap way out would be to place a tiny piece of paper in the slot, to lift the string slightly.
     
  6. I have found it VERY important to be sure the front, or screw closest to the neck be higher than the 2 screws on the tail end. Try bottoming all 3 out , raise the front screw 1 full turn then raise the tail end screws a little at a time till you get proper action. making sure the front screw stays higher than either of the tail screws. Then set the saddles individually for proper intonation.
     
  7. ledyard

    ledyard

    Jan 31, 2010
    Upstate NY
    Ok....I'll try this next. ^^^


    I thought about the paper in the nut slot trick but I hate to do that. I mean....I dont use any open G string notes anywhere....the buzz, suprisingly enough doesnt come through my amp. But its definatley beyond acceptable buzz.

    If I need to do a new nut then well......I was thinking how cool this thing would be with a brass nut anyways. But I need to find someone that knows what they are doing for this job.
     
  8. stiles72

    stiles72

    Mar 20, 2009
    Albany IL
    I had a set of DR Black Beauties once that for some reason - had an open A string that buzzed real bad on my Thunderbird. After trying to adjust for it, I wedged just a tiny piece of gray foam (like you might use for a string mute) under the string in the saddle and it took care of it. Only ever happened with that one particular string - never had any issues before or since with any other set.
     
  9. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005

    FWIW, Bob MacBlane made a very nice nut out of ebony for my T-bird, and did a great job of it... I've actually been meaning to post some pics of the bass in the T-bird Club thread with the new nut, Hipshot droptuner, and Supertone bridge - but haven't gotten around to it yet...


    - georgestrings
     
  10. levis76

    levis76 Seconds from getting ba...

    Apr 14, 2007
    Metro Detroit
    +1 for the win. Check the gap at the first fret. It should be really close to the same distance as the gap at the third fret when you depress the string at the first fret. Get it?

    You can use some small slivers of paper, but the paper can catch on the string and get pulled out when you tighten the string and since it's the G string, those are gonna be some small slivers of paper.

    A more permanent solution is to remove the strings and mask the area around the offending nut slot. Then put a drop of your favorite brand of cyanoacrylate glue (Krazy, Gorilla, Super, whatever) into the slot. Wipe away excess and allow to completely cure overnight. Once cured, remove tape and reinstall the other strings. Now here's the tricky part. Using the G string itself, this only works for roundwounds BTW, use the string to 'file' the slot to the correct depth, working slowly and checking your progress often.

    This works like a charm and is permanent once finished. I have used this method many many times and saved myself quite a bit of money by not having to take my bass to a tech to have the nut replaced.

    OR, take it to a tech and get a brass/exotic wood nut installed. Having a tech install another TUSQ or graphite nut is just silly.
     
  11. TBird1958

    TBird1958 As a matter of fact....I am your Queen! Staff Member

    Mar 13, 2008
    Seattle Washington
    Endorsing Artist Mike Lull T Bass pickups
    Here's a reversed saddle on the E string of my '77, much easier fix, was done this way to compensate for a slight twist caused by a broken headstock. Personally I keep the front screw on my 7 T Birds with 3 point lower than the back posts, it allows for low action.

    1343407750.
     
  12. ledyard

    ledyard

    Jan 31, 2010
    Upstate NY
    Bob is like 5 miles from me. He's the only guy I would let touch my instruments. He is amazing.
     
  13. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005
    Regarding adjustment of the 3 point bridge - I've also found that they work better with the front stud being slightly raised... To really fine tune mine, I lowered the bridge 'til the E and G string were buzzing, then made the slots deeper on the A nd D strings 'til they buzzed, then raised the whole thing up to dial it in... In other words, the bridge didn't precisely follow the neck radius from the factory... The nut wasn't properly cut, either - hence the new nut I had made for it... I did get the point bridge dialed in, but decided to replace it with a Supertone, anyways - although it took a little effort to get there, I ended up with a T-bird that plays and sounds great - and let's face it: they look cool right outta the box...


    - georgestrings
     
  14. ledyard

    ledyard

    Jan 31, 2010
    Upstate NY
    The gap at the first fret is nearly non existant. The 3rd fret only buzzes slightly.
    The action was just a hair higher than I would have liked it when I got it (just a hair). Plus having to set it up in Eb it was going to need a slight once over. So I'm going to try the "front bridge screw higher than the rest" approach mentioned above. If this doesnt yield low enough action then I will just use a tiny piece of paper for now. Then I will contemplate possibly a brass nut. I agree, going to the pain of having a new nut installed I may as well use ebony, brass, ect...something cool.

    All in all though....I think I agree with Stiles72.....I bet if I put a different string on it, it would be a non issue. As the ones i took off didnt buzz anywhere.

    I just grabbed the Hi Beams because I switched to them 2 years ago and with the round core ect....they just feel (to me) that they were made for my Fender basses. But thats Fender... Maybe I need to use something else on my Gibson. I used to use D'addario on my other two birds.
     
  15. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005

    Yeah, I know - you were the one who recommended Bob to me... agreed on his talent and skill... He's done some great work for me, including refretting a SUB Sterling that was a sour Ebay deal - after he got done with it, it was good as new... I know he's busy right now with school instruments - when he slows down in september, I plan on having him dress the frets on my '08 American Standard Jazz, since they're showing some wear - and do a light level on a Sterling 5 HS I recently got... My basses have never played better since I started going to him...


    - georgestrings
     
  16. ledyard

    ledyard

    Jan 31, 2010
    Upstate NY
    I Just called Bob, he said apx $50 for a custom cut brass nut installed.
     
  17. ledyard

    ledyard

    Jan 31, 2010
    Upstate NY
    Oh yeah.....forgot about that.:D
     
  18. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005



    Yeah, and I have to think you for that - although it's about a 90 minute round trip for me to his shop, it's well worth it... He's done great work for me, very reasonable rates, his turnaround has been excellent - and he's a really nice guy, besides... No complaints here - I would recommend Bob MacBlane to anyone...


    - georgestrings
     

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