FDP Home Page / FDP Forum / FAQ's

The FDP is made possible by the following companies and individual members like you.
Please use the links below to show them we value their sponsorship.

WD Music

Apex Tube Matching

Musician's Friend

Yellowjackets Tube Converters

Amplified Parts

Guitar Center

Amazon

Antique Electronics Supply

MOD KITS DIY

Sweetwater

Jensen Loudspeakers


* God bless America and our men and women in uniform *

* Illegitimi non carborundum! *

If you benefit and learn from the FDP and enjoy our site, please help support us and become a Contributing Member or make a Donation today! The FDP counts on YOU to help keep the site going with an annual contribution. It's quick and easy with PayPal. Please do it TODAY!

Chris Greene, Host & Founder

LOST YOUR PASSWORD?

......................................................................

   
FDP Jam
Calendar
Find musicians
in your area!
  Search the Forums  

FDP Forum / FDP Unplugged - Acoustic Instruments / J-45 design flaw!

Next 20 Messages   Newest 20 Messages
jhawkr
Contributing Member
******

Wichita, Kansas

I'll take care of that later......
Oct 28th, 2003 11:31 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I took my 1+ year old J45 to EM Shorts to have the action lowered. They fixed me up and the action is great. So, this weekend I plugged in the J45 for the 1st time. Perfect, except the high E string wasn't coming through! I took the guitar back to EM Shorts. 1st, I got an apollogy from the luthier who said he should have caught that problem. Then, today at work I got a call from the senior luthier explaining the problem, the reason for it, and the solution. It seems that most better guitar mfg's like Martin, Santa Cruz, Collings, Taylor, etc., taper the wooden portion of the bridge to compensate for a lesser break-angle of the string across the bone portion of the bridge. The taper insures a proper break-angle when the action is low. Gibson also does this on most of their guitars. But, they don't do it on the J-45! Long story short, they are going to taper the bridge to compensate which will restore the break-angle, restore the ability of the pickup and keep the nice low action. The luthier says that a 1940's J-45 in premo condition that he worked on last weekend had the taper and so have other J-45's he's worked on. The new ones don't. Makes me wonder why they would not taper the bridge when everyone else does. Gibson even tapers the bridge on most of their other guitars. Anyone have an answer?

Oh, my guitar will be ready this afternoon, no extra charge for the work.


pepler
Contributing Member

continental american

nice to be here in beautiful {your area}
Oct 28th, 2003 11:41 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

it's likely just yet another oversite by Gibson's much-maligned 'QC'...


I'm sorry to say that I'm not surprised; hope they get it worked out and your guitar is adjusted to the specs it *should* be.

infidel2000

Lock up your

middle-aged single moms
Oct 28th, 2003 12:04 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I'm suspicious. First, I don't think anybody would release a design with that big a problem - for starters, it would mean too many complaints or returns and be bad economy. I'd suspect pickup damage if it has a saddle pickup. I hope you aren't going to let them whittle on your J-45 too soon.

Hey, I bought a WM-45 last weekend. It's one of the best guitars I ever played. It really distinguished itself from several new j-45s, mahogany and rosewood.

The WM-45 now has a slick finish all over, so it's basically a j-50 with a better pickguard. I can't find a single flaw with it, other than it smells like a lumberyard - it was made only late in august. It had been in the store less than a week. I suspect the good ones get bought up fast.


slappy jackie
Contributing Member

Mr Natural sez

Get the right tool for the job
Oct 28th, 2003 02:01 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

jhawkr:

Having only recently bought a newly made J-50, I'm curious about the problem you encountered. I had the action lowered on mine as well, and didn't notice any change in the pickup's performance.

Can you elaborate a little on what the problem was that they're going to fix? Is it in the bridge thickness (from the guitar's top up to the bridge saddle), or is it in the bridge saddle itself? "Tapered" in which dimension? I'd like to know what to listen for next time I get mine plugged in. Which won't be for a while, unfortunately, due to some pressing interior decorating missions I'm assisting in. I know, I know. And I agree that it's not a viable substitute for regular guitar playing. But she . . . . Well, never mind the details.

Any info you can provide will be absorbed attentively and, possibly, shared with the Gibson dealer's tech who did my set-up.

jhawkr
Contributing Member
******

Wichita, Kansas

I'll take care of that later......
Oct 28th, 2003 02:52 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I want to point out that my J-45 is an exquisite guitar. There were no problems until I decided to try to lower the action. It was perfectly playable as it was. I did see the break angle after the bridge was filed down and it is pretty flat now. The string height is perfect. Apparently the lack of sufficient break angle will not allow the string to apply enough pressure to the bridge causing the transducer to fail to pickup the sound of the lighter strings, specifically the high E string. Makes sense to me. If you taper the wooden section of the bridge you can raise the bone section and re-introduce sufficient break angle without raising string height.

jhawkr
Contributing Member
******

Wichita, Kansas

I'll take care of that later......
Oct 28th, 2003 04:33 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Wow! I picked up my J-45 about a half hour ago and I am soooooo pleased! It's perfect! Absolutely, exactly the way I wanted it!

MUCHO KUDOS to the luthiers at E.M. Shorts!!!

Greek

USA

Oct 29th, 2003 07:46 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Usually, the problem described can be attributed to the saddle not laying completely flat in the bridge. That happens when a saddle is sanded down (to lower the action) unevenly - the high E side not seated completely in this case. I have seen that cause the problem more than the break angle being too minimal.

jhawkr
Contributing Member
******

Wichita, Kansas

I'll take care of that later......
Oct 29th, 2003 09:04 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

If that were the case, I would think more than 1 string would be involved. But, no matter, everything is the way it should be now. The luthiers at EM Shorts are very skilled and highly trained. They work on everything from violins to guitars to cellos and whatever.

slappy jackie
Contributing Member

Mr Natural sez

Get the right tool for the job
Oct 29th, 2003 11:18 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Good news, jhawkr. I watched the guy do the set-up on my J-50. He ran the TUSQ saddle through Mr. Belt Sander by eye (!!!!) and I was sure that puppy wasn't going to sit square and flat on the piezo strip.

It seems it does, since I didn't get any strings dropping out, but I guess I was just lucky.

Congratulations on the resolution of your problem. Gotta love it when they fix it for free. E.M Shorts sounds like good people.

Millie

USA

Oct 29th, 2003 05:12 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

jhawkr,
was this adjustment expensive?

jhawkr
Contributing Member
******

Wichita, Kansas

I'll take care of that later......
Oct 30th, 2003 12:15 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

No. New Gibson strings and lowering the action was $30. The tapering of the wooden saddle was free.

Jake The Loafer
Contributing Member

B'ham, Alabama

"Uhh Yahwww, I'll Get Around To It"
Oct 30th, 2003 08:01 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

jhawkr, please expain what you mean by "tapering the wooden saddle." I can not visualize what you mean. I have a JF65 Guild whoose saddle was lowered a little to lower the upper action. The break angle is not as steep as I see on most acoustics. I do not have an undersaddle tranducer as of yet & may not get one, but I still am curiuos of what they did to the wood bridge to taper it.

Jake

jhawkr
Contributing Member
******

Wichita, Kansas

I'll take care of that later......
Oct 30th, 2003 09:12 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

They took the wooden bridge off the guitar and sanded a taper lengthwise. Thicker at the low E side and thinner at the high E side. Almost all good guitar mfg's do this on guitars that use an undersaddle transducer. It is a very slight taper and it is difficult to see once it's mounted back on the guitar. Most Gibsons have the taper but the current J-45 does not. Even the old 1940-1950's J-45's have a tapered saddle. The luthier I talked to said he didn't understand why they don't.

labeau

(UP!), MI

Nov 12th, 2003 08:25 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I think what he means is that when the string goes over the saddle, most guitars today have a "ramp" or a cut that leads into the peg hole for the string, which allows the string to break over the saddle at a greater angle. This increases the pressure over the saddle by the string, and in turn allows a better response by a peizo (under saddle) pickup. I am not certain by the post if the volume of the high E was a problem acoustically. This is a common procedure and I know that older guitars do not have these "ramps" into the peg holes. My gibson does not have it, nor did my alvarez (does now). I did not have to do anything to the gibson. My friend has a J45 and it sounds great amplified, he had no ramping performed either. The ramping did increase the string response with my alvarez. I dont believe it is a very invasive procedure, and if it needs to be done, you can do it (I did with a small triangular jewel file) or have a luthier do it OR get a soundhole pickup.

Telebluesfan
Contributing Member
*

I always use the

crosswalk. I'm a good pedestrian player.
Nov 14th, 2003 07:52 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I'm with infidel and Greek on this. An insufficient break angle would affect the ambient volume of that string - not just the amplified pickup volume. The downward pressure exerted by that string not only transfers vibrations to the saddle - but also the bridge/top. If this was the diagnosis, then the E string should be 'lost' even when the guitar was not plugged in. Sounds almost like the pickup was offset too far to the bass side of the instrument - or something to that effect.

But it's a moot point - glad that whatever they did corrected the problem.

(This message was last edited by Telebluesfan at 06:06 AM, Nov 17th, 2003)

jhawkr
Contributing Member
******

Wichita, Kansas

I'll take care of that later......
Nov 14th, 2003 09:10 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Just to clarify. The E string was fine unplugged. Same volume as all the other strings. It's my understanding that the reason the other strings were not affected was due to their larger diameter that put more downward force at the saddle. The larger the string, the less it is affected by break angle I guess.

x180

USA

Nov 15th, 2003 05:56 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

guys,
just dropped in on this thread and saw that Jake had been by so I figured I'd check it out... I learned a lot (as I often do on the FDP) and wanted to say thanks... don't have a J45, nor have I had any saddle adjustments yet, but when I do, I'll be more aware of what to take into account. I also wanted to mention that my experience with E.M. Shorts was very positive when I when I bought my Guild Starfire II from them online last spring. Top notch folks.

nogin007

Alabama/USA

Nov 16th, 2003 06:37 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

You stated they took the bridge off the guitar and sanded it. Do you by any chance mean they took the bone saddle(or similar material) out of the bridge and sanded it? The Bridge is Glued on at the factory, the saddle sits in the bridge slot> As one poster stated, they probably sanded the bottom of the saddle incorrectly, and gave you a different explanation so they didn't look so foolish.

jhawkr
Contributing Member
******

Wichita, Kansas

I'll take care of that later......
Nov 17th, 2003 03:35 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"As one poster stated, they probably sanded the bottom of the saddle incorrectly, and gave you a different explanation so they didn't look so foolish."


No. They removed the wooden saddle, sanded a slight taper and fitted a new bone bridge. Although I really don't need to defend them, these guys are trained, skilled luthiers. Not minimum wage Guitar Center types off the street. They specialize in guitar, mandolin, violin, viola, cello and bass repair.


nogin007

Alabama/USA

Nov 17th, 2003 07:17 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

The bridge is the approximately 1"x 5" piece of rosewood glued to the belly of the guitar. It has a 3/32"-1/8" slot milled on an angle for intonation, with a piece of bone(not wood)or similar material in it. This piece of bone is the saddle. If it's not flat, contact with the piezo element won't be the same all the way across. I don't think they took the bridge off, since you said the guitar is only 1 year old. It would have been sent back to Gibson under factory warranty.

Next 20 Messages   Newest 20 Messages

FDP Forum / FDP Unplugged - Acoustic Instruments / J-45 design flaw!




Reply to this Topic
Display my email address             Lost your password?
Your Message:
Link Address (URL):
Link Title:




Moderators: Chris Greene  Iron Man  reverendrob  

FDP, LLC Privacy Policy: Your real name, username, and email
are held in confidence and not disclosed to any third parties, sold, or
used for anything other than FDP Forum registration unless you specifically authorize disclosure.

Furtkamp.com 
Internet Application Development

Copyright © 1999-2017 Fender Discussion Page, LLC   All Rights Reserved