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Lets talk neck angles.

Discussion in 'Tech-Talk' started by amstratnut, Mar 24, 2019.

  1. jaxjaxon

    jaxjaxon Strat-Talker

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    would the slight angle be the same as stepping the frets by .20 mm going down the neck. thus giving you lower action and reducing fret buzz
     
  2. Dadocaster

    Dadocaster Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    The "shims are blasphemy!!" crowd should be along any minute.

    Shims work great and I also find strat type guitars play better with a shim.
     
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  3. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

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    And for my next trick...


    :confused::eek::oops::rolleyes::D
     
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  4. simoncroft

    simoncroft Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    ... I'll make a shim using scissors, masking tape and lined paper, like you find in a school exercise book*. Some people say these shims "rob the guitar of sustain" but that's because they think it might, haven't actually tried it, but maybe want to seem clever on YouTube.

    Take a sheet out of the exercise book and stick it to the bench using a bit of masking tape. You want the lines running left-to-right, as if you were going to write on it.

    Now take your guitar neck and put it on the paper, so that the lines of the page are running parallel with the frets. Draw round the heel. Cut the shape out, including a line that is just short of the edge of the neck pocket of the guitar. This is the 'footprint' of your shim. Put it back on the bench.

    Using 2-inch masking tape, lay your first strip of tape on the second line up on the paper (ie, the second line away from the edge of the neck pocket on the guita)r. If you leave it over-long, this will secure the paper to the bench. Lay your second strip of tape on the third line etc, until you have attached a length of tape at every line of the paper, except the first.

    Gently peel your shim off the bench, turn it over and trim off the excess masking tape. Now you have a tapered shim that should fit the pocket of the guitar body. The big question is whether the depth is correct. If you followed my measuring method earlier, and you have a set of Vernier calipers, you can check the thickness of of your shim.

    If not, simply place the shim in the neck pocket, press the neck in until it's snug, then use a straight edge to see how the tops of the frets line up with the saddles.

    You can make shims of a lesser angle/thickness by laying the tape at lines 2, 4 etc instead of every line. Alternatively, for a more acute angle, lay and additional strip of tape in the centre of each line, so you use double the amount of tape.

    Intuitively, we'd all like to believe that rock maple, brass or zircon encrusted tweezers make a more suitable shim material that cheap-old masking tape. Believe me, by the time those neck screws are tight (and you make care to drill holes for those through the shim before you put it all back together), you will hear no effect on tone or sustain.

    Once it's compressed, it is wood for the purpose of making a shim.


    *Oh, don't they? iPads? Wow.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2019
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  5. maqcatt

    maqcatt Strat-O-Master

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    The flatter the neck radius the lower you can get your action without choking during bends.
    This is because there is less of a 'hill' for the bent string to cross over.
    Gibson necks are generally flatter than Fender necks.
    Of course first, your frets need to be properly leveled to start with for the optimum action.

    Neck angle has nothing to do with it.
    Shiming or micro-tilt adjustment is only needed if you can't adjust your saddles because the have run out of saddle adjustment room.

    S Mac
     
  6. maqcatt

    maqcatt Strat-O-Master

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    Well Dadocaster,
    I wouldn't want to disappoint you and not show up :)
    Read the previous post #25.

    There is one legitimate reason to use a shim; when you run out saddle adjustment.
    That's what they're for. That's why Fender shipped some of their guitars already shimmed.

    (Those who do it because the adjustment screws are digging into their hands can get shorter screws or trim off the bottoms.)

    Fender created the micro-tilt to save time and money. Having to take the strings off, the neck off, add a shim, screw the neck back on and restring (sometimes more than once) slowed the production line down.
    They only had to shim the guitars when the neck pocket wasn't cut quite right and the saddles couldn't compensate.

    S Mac
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2019
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  7. Seamus OReally

    Seamus OReally Strat-Talker Silver Member

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  8. Dadocaster

    Dadocaster Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Neck angle has nothing to do with it.
    Shiming or micro-tilt adjustment is only needed if you can't adjust your saddles because the have run out of saddle adjustment room. [/QUOTE]

    I would not infringe on your right to offer an opinion, but you do seem to have put in in terms suggesting your opinion is fact.
     
  9. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I'll stick to my trusty 1200 grit wet & dry. 2" wide, folded (grit out) at 1/4", once, twice or maybe three times. I've been doing it that way for over 40 years now. There's a can of Fray Bentos "Sustain" in the cupboard (Says best before MAR 2052) , just in case I ever run out. ;)
     
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  10. maqcatt

    maqcatt Strat-O-Master

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    I would not infringe on your right to offer an opinion, but you do seem to have put in in terms suggesting your opinion is fact.[/QUOTE]

    That's because it is.
    I've been doing guitar tech work for over 50 years. But I figured out that simple bit of geometry when I was still a teen.
    All you have to do is look at it.

    S Mac
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2019
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  11. Dadocaster

    Dadocaster Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    That's because it is.
    I've been doing guitar tech work for over 50 years. But I figured out that simple bit of geometry when I was still a teen.
    All you have to do is look at it.

    S Mac[/QUOTE]

    Wow!!! Over 50 years? That's amazing. For me, working in music stores and doing repairs for beer money goes back only a bit under 40 years. That extra 10 years must be a doozie.
     
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  12. maqcatt

    maqcatt Strat-O-Master

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    Wow!!! Over 50 years? That's amazing. For me, working in music stores and doing repairs for beer money goes back only a bit under 40 years. That extra 10 years must be a doozie.[/QUOTE]

    Ha Ha,
    Only a bit under 40? You're just a rookie then :)
    I tweaked my first truss rod in 1968. Fret work and nut work came a bit later.

    S Mac
     
  13. Dadocaster

    Dadocaster Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Ha Ha,
    Only a bit under 40? You're just a rookie then :)
    I tweaked my first truss rod in 1968. Fret work and nut work came a bit later.

    S Mac[/QUOTE]

    Well, pretty obvious I won't be able to catch up. :D

    I did get my first guitar around 1970 but I was more playing Down In The Valley than I was working on the guitars. :D Cutting nuts and fretwork would have been starting about 1982 or so. :D
     
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  14. CigBurn

    CigBurn Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Every guitar is an adventure.
     
  15. Nate D

    Nate D Senior Stratmaster

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    I have really low action with almost no relief in the neck. I get the same feedback from a lot of others who play my guitars.
     
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  16. simoncroft

    simoncroft Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I must admit, I found what seemed like the ideal action when I was recording at home was too low in a band situation. So, I too prefer the guitar to "fight back" a little. Over the years, I've tended to set my action higher than I could actually achieve, just because it works better for me when I 'dig in'.

    I hope I always give a considered answer to these things. If other players prefer a different set-up for their guitar and playing style, well, that's why Fenders are easily adjustable!
     
  17. Paperback Rocker

    Paperback Rocker Nitro-mancer Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Some Strats can be a nightmare to get an even action across the board on. I had one I could never bring in. Nice guitar, but I just couldn't make it play well.

    Gibsons are easy as pie by comparison, I agree.
     
  18. Paperback Rocker

    Paperback Rocker Nitro-mancer Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I don't believe choking during bends is what this post is about. I think it's about getting an even action from one end of the board to the other.
     
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  19. CB91710

    CB91710 This is a Custom Title Gold Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    ^^^^ This.
    It contributes to the "feel" in that it changes the height of the strings in relation to the body as you approach the bridge, but it does nothing to impact the action.

    The only reason to adjust the neck angle on a Fender is:
    1 - You can not get the saddles low/high enough for proper action.
    2 - Your saddles are so low that the top of the allen screws are uncomfortable on your palm.

    "Even" action along the length of the neck is a function of nut height, neck relief, string height, and the quality of the fret work.
     
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  20. amstratnut

    amstratnut Peace thru Music. Strat-Talk Supporter

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    That's because it is.
    I've been doing guitar tech work for over 50 years. But I figured out that simple bit of geometry when I was still a teen.
    All you have to do is look at it.

    S Mac[/QUOTE]

    I havent been a tech at all ever but Ive been looking at it and thats why I started this thread.

    Perhaps if you have time you can break it down for me a bit. Im going to look around the internet and see if I cant find some corroborating evidence one way or the other.

    My Les Paul has a built in neck angle and it action is most consisten along the length.

    I recently got an sg special with no neck angle and have found it difficult to get similar action on it.
     
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