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FDP Forum / Miscellaneous and Non-Fender Topics / A Question of Balance

greg1948
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Vero Beach FL

Tbird Greg
Jul 19th, 2017 08:38 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

No, not the Moodies song, but rather neck/body balance on electric guitars. I just picked up a nice used Ibanez AR620 locally. Played it at the seller's home and it sounded great so I bought it. It was only at home when I strapped it on and played standing up that I realized how neck-heavy this guitar is. Take my hands off and the neck went south. Even with my hands on the neck, it took a bit of doing to keep it in playing position. I did a bit of a comparison test with my PRS, Strat, LP and Godin and none of them did a neck-dive.

You'd think a guy who's had dozens of guitars would have thought to test this aspect before buying, but I goofed on this one. While I love the sound of this guitar, it's never going to be a favorite just because of this imbalance.

SonicBlue

Sunbury-on-Thames

Jul 19th, 2017 08:50 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

You won't be liking an SG then...

jhawkr
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Wichita, KS USA

It's all gravy from here on...
Jul 19th, 2017 08:59 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

When the neck is heavier than the body...neck dive! One of the things usually not considered when you have a nice, light guitar!

greg1948
Contributing Member
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Vero Beach FL

Tbird Greg
Jul 19th, 2017 09:13 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"You won't be liking an SG then..." Exactly! Played one and found the same issue. Had an Epi Firebird for a short time too.

So, is there a trick to playing a neck-heavy guitar that doesn't make you feel like you're working hard just to keep the neck up?

daveg
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Northern VA

The Fine Line Between Clever & Stupid
Jul 19th, 2017 10:17 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

If you're using a strap with a slick material on the back, a different one may help some. I have a Ibanez hollow body bass that'll neck dive some. I stopped using the leather strap I'd planned on and switched to a fabric one with a mesh-like backing. I can still feel a little pull, but the backing material of the strap helps hold it in place better.

reverend mikey
Contributing Member
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N of I-90, E of I-29

"Everywhere I look, I see guitars..."
Jul 19th, 2017 11:02 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Or a strap that is "raw" leather on the back, or suede - either will solve the neck dive problem.

Hammond101
Contributing Member
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So. Cal. USA

Jul 19th, 2017 11:12 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"So, is there a trick to playing a neck-heavy guitar that doesn't make you feel like you're working hard just to keep the neck up?"

The rougher material on the back of a strap can help but I use a different approach on neck heavy guitars and basses as that sticktion can wear out your shoulder (and skin!) at a gig.

The gizmo linked below is designed for acoustic guitars without a strap button at the heal but works great with an electric guitar too. Add it to the and of your strap and no more neck dive as you have moved the attachment point to behind the nut.

quick release strap leash

stratcowboy
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USA/Taos, NM

Jul 19th, 2017 12:09 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Way too expensive!!

Hammond101
Contributing Member
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So. Cal. USA

Jul 19th, 2017 12:26 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

^^hehe^^ I know, I have two and the interest is killing me!

Hey a shoestring will work. Anybody remember the old Red Foxx routine about the old guy, the face lift and the shoestring?

Mick Reid
Contributing Member
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Australia

American-made in Oz!!
Jul 19th, 2017 04:16 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

What about strap button relocation?

I've never owned an SG, but don't guys put the top strap button on the back to help counter the neck weight?
For that matter, can't both buttons be shifted to find a better centre?

scott-s
Contributing Member
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juneau ak.

If you must smoke, please smoke salmon!
Jul 20th, 2017 11:35 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

A wide rough backed strap is going to make a big difference for sure. But another part of the answer is how you usually like to let the guitar hang when you play. I play SG's about 50% of the time and I let part my forearm rest on the top edge of the body, the guitar is hanging at about a 45 degree angle so the nut is at eye level. This even works with the EB3 bass, probably the worst offender of all.

If your natural stance when you play is to have the guitar neck stick straight out from your body and your right forearm free of the guitar body ( many acoustic guitar strummers play this way, elbow up and out)you may still find yourself having a hard time.

So like others have pointed out, find a good rough backed strap and see if that helps, and maybe try anchoring the body down with your forearm if that seems comfortable to your style.

professor
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North Gnarlyington

Jul 20th, 2017 02:10 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Get a Bigsby and a Vibramate to mount. Counterweight. Problem solved.

LeonB
Contributing Member
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North of Philly

Solid state = solid sound+light weight
Jul 20th, 2017 08:15 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Greg,

I've had a couple of acoustics in the roughly OOO size range that were extremely neck heavy.

My solution was to swap out the metal tuner knobs for wood or plastic buttons. Amazing just how heavy those suckers are, plus you lose the glare from the stage lights!

greg1948
Contributing Member
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Vero Beach FL

Tbird Greg
Jul 21st, 2017 06:13 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Good ideas, guys. I think that I'll just adjust my playing stance so that my right forearm rests on top of the upper bout of the body, effectively counter-balancing the neck. Either that or hanging a weight off the rear strap button, which might just look a bit funny.

greg1948
Contributing Member
*******

Vero Beach FL

Tbird Greg
Jul 29th, 2017 02:39 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I do have a suede-backed strap which helps a bit. Don't want to drill any holes anywhere for relocating strap button. So I found another helpful solution.

I bought a set of wheel weights at the hardware store. They are metal rectangles with an adhesive back, maybe 5/8" x 1/4" deep. Opened up the rear control cavity on the body, and carefully stuck the weights anywhere there was enough open space, including the back of the cavity cover. Made sure that none of them contacted any electronics.

The added weight did help a lot. Now when I take my left hand off the neck, it only dives a couple of inches. Luckily, adding this metal into that area did not seem to add any noise or hum. With the right forearm resting on the guitar, it stays pretty much where I want it.

I love the sounds of this guitar, and I would have been very disappointed if I had to sell it just because of this issue. This is not a new design for Ibanez and I understand the older AR's were heavier bodied and did not have this issue.

stinger22

USA

Jul 31st, 2017 09:25 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Make a little weight to hang off the body button. I nice little bag with a lead weight in it.

FDP Forum / Miscellaneous and Non-Fender Topics / A Question of Balance




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