Should I buy a shimmed guitar?

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by dscottyg, Oct 2, 2021.

  1. archetype

    archetype Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

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    Nothing like opening up a wall and knowing that the people who put it together said "No one will ever see this," or "Oh, the finish carpenters will make this look right."

    I've lived in houses made in 1845, 1895ish, 1928, and now in a 1935 house, the youngest I've been in. I've seen it all.
     
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  2. soulman969

    soulman969 Most Honored Senior Member

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    If buying a guitar with a neck shim bothers you that much why are you asking whether or not you should buy that one? The answer would seem obvious. :confused:
     
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  3. Boyd L

    Boyd L Strat-Talker

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    Wood moves. Two successive guitar bodies can come off the same cnc line and within days one (or both) can measure differently due to internal stress and environmental factors. Shims provide compensation for these movements to allow an instrument to be completed within manufacturing parameters. Or in the case of custom guitar work to allow/assist the adjustment a player wants.
    Metal moves too, in much smaller increments.
     
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  4. Ferpie

    Ferpie Senior Stratmaster

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    I had a bent screwdriver used to hold a hidden junction box to a truss inside a wall. People are just playing with house electricity like it's ****in Christmas lights
     
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  5. jtoomuch

    jtoomuch Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

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    I probably wouldn't buy it. To me, it sounds like something needed to be fixed and a shim is an inelegant solution. That's just me. I have no knowledge about them, really.
     
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  6. ripgtr

    ripgtr Most Honored Senior Member

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    Yea, I have an old one, and yea, it has a factory shim in it. Cardboard, looks like it was cut from business card stock or something.
     
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  7. Bob the builder

    Bob the builder Most Honored Senior Member

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    I've opened walls to find lamp wire from box to box
    That's old time home owner stuff.
    Too cheap to pay the price to have a pro do it
     
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  8. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Most Honored Senior Member

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    I recently added a room and had the breaker box replaced.. to do it right he had to open a few walls... the amateur stuff he found.. well he said it was scarier than a. Stephen King novel..

    r
     
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  9. lammie200

    lammie200 Senior Stratmaster

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    Ever work on a gearbox? Shims have the purpose of fine tuning when necessary. Not the other way around.
     
  10. fos1

    fos1 Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

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    An earlier post mentioned a hair scrunchie.

    Why do you see hair scrunchies around a headstock?

    I'm a little naïve...
     
  11. Cerb

    Cerb Anti conformist reformist

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    To dampen open strings when using certain techniques.

     
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  12. DJGranite

    DJGranite Senior Stratmaster

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    absolutely normal.
    1983, from the factory...
    Squier-JV-Bass-neck-shim fender.jpg
     
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  13. fos1

    fos1 Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

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    Nice video. Thank you for the clarification and help!
     
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  14. Justin226

    Justin226 Senior Stratmaster

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    I’m so afraid of seeing a ghost in these old places :(
     
  15. Nate D

    Nate D Most Honored Senior Member

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    Sage and, unfortunately, often ignored advice.
     
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  16. CB91710

    CB91710 No GAS shortage here Double Platinum Supporting Member

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    Many Fenders are shimmed from the factory.

    Shimming is a way to fine-tune a mass-produced guitar with a bolt-on neck and bridge hardware with limited adjustment range.
    The purpose of shimming is NOT to get "low action"... it is to adjust the neck so the bridge can be set to a medium saddle height, allowing both upward and downward adjustment.
    If the saddles are bottomed out and the action is still too high, then the neck can be shimmed back to allow the saddles to be moved higher.
    If the saddles are topped out and it will buzzes, the neck can be shimmed forward to allow the saddles to be moved down.

    Gibsons are set-neck, and like Fender, they attempt to get the correct angle, but the bridge allows for much more adjustment, so it is not as critical.

    My SG has about a 4.5 degree neck angle... VERY excessive, but the bridge can be adjusted to compensate. A Fender would require shimming. Notice how high the bridge and tailstop are above the body.

    SG-Bridge2.jpg


    Now compared to my Flying-V.
    There's still a fair amount of downward adjustment available (the knurled edge of the adjuster can slip down slightly over the lip of the bushing)

    V-Bridge-3.jpg


    And my Les Paul is in between...

    20190713_211418.jpg
     
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  17. Bob Spumoni

    Bob Spumoni Senior Stratmaster

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    It's rare to find one without a shim. I'd ignore it, completely. Infact the ease of adjusting the neck is good reason to buy bolt-ons. I think setnecks do have more sustain, but that's not always a good thing vis-a-vis articulation of notes. They can be boomy.
     
  18. Paul47

    Paul47 Strat-Talker

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    Who measures the action using the middle of the string? My guess is there is nothing wrong with the guitar and if I were to buy it I'd take the shim out and set it up properly...you know, like a normal person.
     
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  19. CB91710

    CB91710 No GAS shortage here Double Platinum Supporting Member

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    That's the point of the shim.
    Some times it can not be set up properly without a shim.
     
  20. Antstrat

    Antstrat Dr. Stratster

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    I have a shim in my underwear. Shims are good.