Quantcast Ryan's Guitars: November 2005

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Ibanez S Taken Apart

I have now gotten Nik's Ibanez S that he bought on eBay taken apart, as mentioned in my previous entry earlier this month.

It was in really bad shape, much worse than I thought. The pickups, apart from sounding horrible, look horrible and we have decided that I will replace them. We have some Ibanez V7s and V8s left over from Nik's Ibanez 1570 that I am going to use. Everything else is cleaning up nicely. It should look like a totally different guitar when I am done.

Stay tuned...

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

JP Fixed!

Well, I finally fixed it! It took a lot of troubleshooting to get to the core of the problem, but I finally did it. Looks like I was right to begin with... the saddles were where the binding was happening.

After replacing the saddles with the Graphtechs I thought the binding issue would be resolved. Wrong. Because they are so new, the strings were still binding at the saddles! That made it really hard to figure out because I just assumed the Graphtechs were working and returned my focus to the nut. After playing around with it some more I heard the "tink" sound coming from the bridge and then I knew it was the saddle and not the nut. So I lubed the G, B and high E strings with GraphitAll and it now stays in tune as well as any of my double locking trem guitars. Whew! Finally.

Problem solved. ;)

Monday, November 28, 2005

JP Saddle Replacement

Well, friends.... I replaced the saddles on my EBMM John Petrucci model guitar today with Graphtechs in the hopes that they would improve the stability issue I have been having with the tremolo. But, unfortunately, this did not work like I anticipated.

The Graphtech saddles are better than the ones that come stock on the JP, both tonally and performance-wise... but I have discovered that my problem is at the nut... just as I first suspected. No matter what I do to the nut (lube, burnishing, yelling at it, etc.) the strings still want to bind in the nut slot when using the trem (but only when using the trem). The main offenders are the G, B, high E and low E strings. The A and D stay perfectly in tune, and the low E just barely goes out, but not as much as the treble strings. This tells me that if part of the nut is working and another part is not, it has to be the nut slots and not the tremolo mechanism itself. If it were the mechanism then all the strings would go out, not just a few.

Oh well, now I have to decide what to do. I have a couple of choices. I can send it back to Ernie Ball only to have them open the box, pack it back up and send it right back to me having touched nothing. ;) Or... I could get a new nut put on it by a local luthier. I am leaning toward the second option, even though it will certainly void my warranty.

Pretty disappointing, but I think there is a way to solve this. I'm pretty sure a new nut will do the trick. I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Fender Strat Pickguard Replacement

I couldn't wait to get home from our trip today so I could work on my Strat. I basically just replaced the existing pickguard with a new Pearl one. I think it fits the color (Candy Tangerine) better than the original "aged" plastic guard that came on it (top right photo).

It was pretty easy to do. At first I thought I was going to have to unsolder a few wires, but after getting the pickguard off I realized that everything would come right off and transfer right over to the new one. I was very careful not to disturb any of the wiring because all that stuff is very delicate and it's easy to break a solder if you're not paying attention. ;)

It was necessary to make a simple modification to the new guard in order to fit the vol. and tone pots through the holes. I just took a Dremel bit and made the holes bigger to accommodate the pot poles (left photo). Other than this, no other mods were necessary to fit the guard onto the guitar. Easy as pie.

After getting all the parts threaded back onto the pickguard (pickups, switch and pots), I put all the screws back on the guitar and strung it up. I used a new wooden trem block that I whittled down to size so I could get my approximate float back before tuning up. This makes life a lot easier when you have to cut all the strings off (like I had to do on this project).

Voila! That's it. It looks much cooler now, and more like it should in my opinion. Next project... the Ernie Ball MusicMan Petrucci. I have already replaced one of the saddles and it's still slipping out of tune on that string. At this point I am pretty sure it's still the nut that's causing the binding. Should be an interesting project. ;)

Until later...

Vacation for the Holidays

My wife and I just got back from vacation this weekend. We went to a Bed and Breakfast about 70 miles east of Nashville, TN, and it was really beautiful. The landscape and natural beauty was really something to see... and most importantly it was peaceful and quiet.

I did get to play guitar while I was there. :) Well, not really, but I needed the break. This past weekend was also my birthday, so I got some cool stuff for my guitars that I will be posting here in the the next day or so. I got a new pickguard for my Strat and some new saddles for my EBMM Petrucci. I hoping these new saddles will help keep this thing in tune, since I have exhausted all my other options/ideas. We'll see...

Friday, November 18, 2005

New Project: Reconditioning an Ibanez S

Well, my friend Nik came over tonight and brought a guitar to me that he bought on eBay... and it's in pretty bad shape. ;) I think he paid a little over $100 for it and he hopes to trade it in at Guitar Center for at least as much as he paid or maybe a little more. That's what he gets for bidding on a guitar without asking my opinion first. :)

However, before he can sell it for maximum profit, I am going to need to clean this thing up and get it working again. Everything is rusted and corroded, and the tremolo was completely blocked and missing all it's springs. I'll be posting (with pics) all the work I do to this sad guitar in the coming weeks.

Basically, it's going to need a complete overhaul of the tremolo... meaning it will need to be taken apart, cleaned in Naptha, oiled and reassembled. The frets need to be polished, the neck conditioned and the whole body needs a good polish with a rubbing compound and swirl remover to remove some of the scratches and yuck from the previous owner(s). It's pretty nasty right now. It also has a loose neck pickup due to a missing screw (you can see this clearly in the close-up pic below).

On a related note, Nik also came to pick up his nice Ibanez RG1570 (left photos) that he bought new sometime last year. It's a really nice guitar, and all I did was change the strings and condition the fretboard. Then I set it up (small truss rod adjustment), tuned it up and everything else was fine. Nik has a Dimebucker in the bridge, an Yngwie YJM in the middle and a PAF Pro in the neck. It screams like a banshee. ;)

That's it for now. I have a lot of work to do on that Ibanez S, and it's going to require a trip to Home Depot for some supplies. As I mentioned before I'll be posting pics of the progress on this thing.

Until later....

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Intonation adjustment for the Carvin

Well, it's time to adjust the intonation on my Carvin DC135.

I changed the string gauge from 9s to a hybrid set, which are 9s on the treble side and 10s on the bass side. This has thrown off the intonation on pretty much the whole guitar except the high E string.

I am also noticing that the neck is always moving on me. I've adjusted the truss rod more times than I've changed the strings. ;) The neck is unfinished and tung oiled, so I think that has a lot to do with it. Living in the South-East United States is hell on most any guitar, but especially one with unfinished parts.

I am going to tackle the intonation job this afternoon, or tonight. I hate intonating Floyds, it sucks.

I am also having major problems with my EBMM Petrucci, but that is a whole other post...

Getting this thing started


This is my first post to my new Blog. I will be discussing the many adventures I encounter daily with all my guitars and their various problems and issues... and what I do to fix them. It really is a pain in the butt to keep guitars setup and working properly sometimes, but in the end it's worth it.

Here's a photo of some of my guitars:

Until later...