is my guitar neck f'd?

Discussion in 'Pickups, Electronics & General Tech' started by buriedoutback, Jun 30, 2020 at 8:18 PM.

  1. buriedoutback

    buriedoutback SS.org Regular

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    I feel dumb for even having to ask about this, since I should be able to figure it out myself ... but I've done all the troubleshooting I can think of (I'm definitely not a tech) and can't seem to find a google-based answer. I hope this is the right place to ask this, also.

    Guitar : 2000 Ibanez RG7420 7 string with tremol-no installed.

    Situation : The slightest pressure against the back or front of the neck causes the guitar to go really sharp or really flat. I can see the string height change as the neck bends... It never kept tuning really super well, but lately I have to be super careful how I play it so it doesn't go sharp/flat while I'm chugging away.

    It's tuned b/e/a/d/g/b/e -- D'addario string 9-42 set + 56

    If I strike the low B string (normal strength) and press very lightly on the back of the neck, or very lightly on the front of the head stock, it goes way out... it does correct itself.

    Troubleshooting I've done : There were 2 neck bolt/screws that just sorta spun (I believe they were stripped), so I took the neck off and added some wood glue and toothpicks and put it back on. I've tightened anything else that was loose. I checked to see if it was the bridge that was moving, nope. Everything else seems to be fine. I keep my basement warm and at 40% humidity.

    I know that necks move if you really pull or push on them, but this seems WAY to sensitive to me.

    Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Could it be related to the tremol-no? Do I need to dowl-and-re-drill the neck bolt holes?

    Thanks! Cheers!
     
  2. benny

    benny Ibanez RG Addict

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    Can you see where the string height change is originating from? Is the neck itself bending forwards/backwards along it's length? Is it shifting in the pocket (doesn't sound like it)? Something else?

    Could be the truss rod if the neck itself is bending that easy. I've never worked on an instrument with one that's broken, so I don't have experience in that area. Have you tried adjusting it to see how it feels?

    Even my old RG550 with its notoriously "unstable" neck isn't as susceptible to pitch shift from pushing/pulling the neck as you've described.

    The tremol-no isn't the problem, unless I'm overlooking something. I use them and have installed many. All they do is keep the trem locked or in a dive-only state.
     
  3. buriedoutback

    buriedoutback SS.org Regular

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    So what I did was strike the B and look at the 12th fret. If I gently tug on the head stock, the action gets lower. I took a peak at the bridge to see if it was moving, and as far as I could tell, it wasn't.

    I havn't checked the truss rod. I'll do that and see if its f'd up somehow.

    Thanks man!
     
  4. buriedoutback

    buriedoutback SS.org Regular

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    can't edit ^^ but ya it appears as if the neck is bending, doesn't look like its shifting in the pocket.
     
  5. SpaceDock

    SpaceDock Shred till your dead

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    Your comment about using toothpicks and wood glue really scares me dude. If you have to do that on the pocket, something is really wrong. I think you should use your left hand to grip the neck and the outside pocket of the guitar very firmly then hit the low E with your right hand then use the right hand across your body to bend the neck. This will let you know if the neck itself is flexing or if the screws holding the neck are not holding well.

    With that said, I can easily change the pitch of a guitar by flexing the neck if that’s what I am trying to do. I wonder if you are just man handling the shit out of it??
     
  6. buriedoutback

    buriedoutback SS.org Regular

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    Sorry, I meant that I put the toothpicks in the neck screw holes with a bit of wood glue, not on the actual neck pocket. A couple of the neck screws had stripped out the wood and were spinning in their holes. Like if the strap button screw becomes loose, you throw some toothpicks in the hole to let the screw have something to grab onto?

    I will try what you suggested and see if I get any shift in the neck pocket.

    lol I'm literally just pushing lightly with the tip of one finger on the back or front of the head stock.
    If I reef on it, I can do the same with other guitars, but in this case it just seems way to easy to go sharp or flat.
     
  7. SpaceDock

    SpaceDock Shred till your dead

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    Try to tighten the truss rod a bit. I wonder if it can help balance the tension if this is really a rubbery neck, lol.
     
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  8. benny

    benny Ibanez RG Addict

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    Grab a 7mm allen key and try to adjust the truss rod. Let us know how it goes!

    [​IMG]
     
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  9. wedge_destroyer

    wedge_destroyer SS.org Regular

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    Only one possible issue if it is like mine (2000 7420), it may require the little box wrench, instead of an allen key.
     
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  10. benny

    benny Ibanez RG Addict

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    Oops, you're right! It's a 7mm nut on the rod.
     
  11. 73647k

    73647k SS.org Regular

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    Honestly it just sounds like the toothpicks and glue isn't cutting it. If you're able to shift the neck (while pushing on the headstock) enough to throw the pitch that much I'd recommend plugging those neck holes with proper dowels for a better grip that won't shift around like that.

     
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  12. buriedoutback

    buriedoutback SS.org Regular

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    Can't watch the video at work, but will check it out. thanks.

    I appreciate all the suggestions! Obviously 'take it to a tech/luthier' is in the back of my mind too :)

    I did as SpaceDock suggested and clamped my hand around the base of the neck and neck pocket and did the push test. As far as I can tell the neck isn't moving in the pocket, but I'll do a more in-depth test when I'm off. I'll try putting some actual clamps on there and see what happens.

    Cheers!
     
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