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How do you keep your guitar sounding schnazzy?

What's your normal maintenance routine?

I clean my guitar about once every year and a half.
Change strings once they become unbearable. Overall,
I'd say I do a pretty lousy job.
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Re: How do you keep your guitar sounding schnazzy?

11/26/2009 1:44 AM

Randy Hano (12149) wrote:

Since I am a weekend warrior, I change my strings on the average of once to twice a month depending on my frequecy of gigs. As the gigs increase, my frequency to change strings also increase. The guitars get cleaned at every string change and the fretboard (if they are rosewood or ebony) get a fast fret oil wipe down (only one has a maple fingerboard). Please consider also that I use 5 different guitars. I carry a combination of (minimum) two guitars to every gig or rehersal. If a pot or switch is noisy, I change it. If the jack is wearing, I replace it - it's that simple.



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Re: How do you keep your guitar sounding schnazzy?

11/26/2009 9:32 AM

Randy Combs (6529) wrote:

Brother Randy, you took the words out of my mouth, exactly what I would have said. KARMA...



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Re: How do you keep your guitar sounding schnazzy?

11/26/2009 10:04 PM

Randy Hano (12149) wrote:

Brother Randy C, great minds think a like. I figured that you change your strings at the minimum once a week since you are gigging all the time.

Well kept gear will last a long time!!!



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Re: How do you keep your guitar sounding schnazzy?

11/27/2009 1:41 PM

Bryan Morrison (9786) wrote:

Changing strings more often looks like a good start
then. I may consider trying some different strings
out as well. I've been using the same Ernie Ball for
over 10 years now. Might not hurt explore.




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Re: How do you keep your guitar sounding schnazzy?

11/27/2009 8:52 PM

Shad Tele (2463) wrote:

On the topic of intonation, you guys know how to change the intonation on this kind of bridge: http://www.ibanezcollectors.com/discus/messages/17/3089.jpg

My other guitars have screws to adjust each saddle, so it's easy for me to change intonation on those. But this...I can't figure it out!





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Re: How do you keep your guitar sounding schnazzy?

11/28/2009 1:19 PM

David Mackie (11072) wrote:

It would appear that this bridge has individual
screws as well, and that there are screw heads on
both sides of the bridge, which leads me to
believe that this might be a similar design to the
Schaller long-travel tune-o-matics that Gibson
used in the '70s, and that your problem may be
that you can't seem to move the adjusting screws.

If that's the case, I'd guess that what appear to
be screw heads on one side are actually internally
threaded sleeves which act as a locking mechanism
to keep saddle adjustments from drifting. Just to
give it a name, I'd call it a locking nipple, due
to it's resemblance to a bicycle wheel's spoke
nipple. (and because the word nipple doesn't
appear often enough in these forums)

If the screw heads on on side appear to be larger,
those are most likely the nipples. Try turning
those counter-clockwise and see if that loosens
the whole screw. (if both sides look the same,
just try loosening one one both sides) If it does,
adjust the saddle as needed, then lock the saddle
by tightening the nipple and you're good to go.

Hope this helps.





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Re: How do you keep your guitar sounding schnazzy?

11/28/2009 1:38 PM

Chris Bond II (2841) wrote:

From what i can tell, this looks like something I've seen before. There is a mechanism called a "saddle lock screw" once you loosen it, then the saddles move by hand.

My suggestion is you log measurements so you can quickly check just by whipping out the ol' tape measure.

Hope this helps.





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Re: How do you keep your guitar sounding schnazzy?

11/28/2009 2:33 PM

Jeremy Ledford (14379) wrote:

wow. need to do it way more my good man. :) but, i can't say much. probably 6 months for mine....... I clean the fretboard about every other time with a wood cleaner.
when i was gigging/recording more, once or twice a month. i don't like bright strings, but i don't like old ones either. pitch is important, and is more accurate with new strings, overall.

jeremy





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Re: How do you keep your guitar sounding schnazzy?

11/30/2009 8:31 AM

Danny Danzi (2052) wrote:

Uggh, I'm such a stickler for guitar and gear maintenance upkeeping.

I change strings at least once a week or every 2 weeks. For shows, new strings for every show. You gotta admit, new strings just feels and sounds soo much better.

For string changes, I take them all off completely and go through this regiment. I polish the entire guitar with either Dunlop cleaner or something equal. When I'm done there, I apply Fast Fret to the neck and let it sit for about 5 minutes. After 5 mins, I wipe off the excess, put on my strings and tune about 4 times, lock the nut and I'm done. It takes me about 30 minutes to change strings and clean stuff up.

I change saddles and intonation screws once every 2 years whether they need it or not or at least take them off and clean them really good. I sweat so bad most of the screws are rusted on my guitars after one show. It's horrible. I adjust intonation about twice a year. I usually notice it going a bit weird on me at the change of climate...summer, winter.

All cables are changed once a year whether they need it or not. Amps with tubes, same thing...once a year or sooner if they need it. All of the above depends on how much I play though, so it's not always this extreme. Since I've not been playing much other than studio work and rehearsal, string changes are once every 2 weeks or when I go to record something that is important.

Nothing worse to me than dead strings. They don't sound good to make me even have the desire to play. Especially on clean tones.

I wash my hands before I play my guitars and always wipe strings down to keep them a little longer.

Saddles are usually filed down once per year or changed if need be. From extensive bar use, you sometimes get a little groove in your saddle where the string rests. If you keep breaking strings at that spot or keep breaking a single string repeatedly, chances are you just need to lightly sand down the saddle. I use a little piece of sand paper and rub the saddle about 10 times down and up and I'm done. You have to be careful not to press too hard when you do this or you can literally lower your action. Just lightly to take care of any little grooves that may creep into the picture.

I seem to do this when I break a string on a fairly new set. Most times under normal conditions, a set of strings for me will last for about 3-4 days before they don't sound "new" anymore. Under show conditions or recording, I can cook a set in one sitting. The strings I use don't last very long (Boomers 9-42) but they sound/feel great for me and the sound/style I play. I don't have to pay for them, so that makes it even better and easier to change more often. :)

Danny





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Re: How do you keep your guitar sounding schnazzy?

11/30/2009 9:26 AM

Dale Lindsey (8281) wrote:

Not having to pay for strings sounds nice! I make strings last as long as I can to avoid paying for them. When I do, I usually replace them one at a time to avoid messing up my adjustments. It seems like when I take them all off at once, it messes up my neck tension and action and when I adjust that, my intonation is off and so on... It makes it harder to clean thoroughly, though.

I would really love to take it to a pro and say, "Do whatever it needs, including fretwork if needed" (my action seems a bit high but some frets buzz if I lower it). Maybe if I didn't need everything else worse, that would be a good Christmas present.

-Dale







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Re: How do you keep your guitar sounding schnazzy?

11/30/2009 12:14 PM

Bryan Morrison (9786) wrote:

Man, I don't even remember what my guitar is made of. lol. When I ordered it, I think I chose alder with maple top, maple neck with ebony top. Yeah, that sounds right.

I gave it a well-needed cleaning recently. Changed strings, oiled the fretboard with some fender fretboard conditioner. Set intonation and string height.

I have one major problem with this guitar that I have always had. I have a feeling that it may have something to do with it being left handed.

The high-pitched E string is too close to the edge of the fretboard. It get's stuck on the outside edge of the frets quite often. I'll do a barr chord, then find my high-E stuck, or do a run up the fretboard and when I push down the string it pushes it off the fretboard instead of onto it!

fretboard.th.jpg
click to enlarge

As far as I can tell there is no fixing this. The bridge would have to actually be moved over.

Everything seems flush.. the nut is dead center, the bridge appears to be dead center, but yet my high-e is closer to the edge of the fretboard than the low-e.

Anyhow, I think my next task is to disasemble the bridge and clean all of the saddles real well. I'm going to save that for my next string change.








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Re: How do you keep your guitar sounding schnazzy?

11/30/2009 12:26 PM

Dale Lindsey (8281) wrote:

What guage strings do you use? I used to have trouble pushing my high E string around when I used 9's. The spiderweb strings would always bend when I pressed to hard, even when I didn't want them to. But simply going to 9.5's was enough of a difference for me. I always bend up with the high E string, but I could get a small bend down if I wanted to, so you may be right about it being too close to the edge on your guitar. I think I remember you saying your Jackson was a cutom shop model. You'd think they would do better than that!

-Dale









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Re: How do you keep your guitar sounding schnazzy?

11/30/2009 12:35 PM

Bryan Morrison (9786) wrote:

Yeah, I discovered this within the first 10 minutes that I got my guitar. :-(

I've been using ermie ball 10's for years now.

I just switched string guages a couple days ago though to try something new out. I got the ernie ball hybrids which goes from 9 to 46 instead of the regulars that go from 10 to 46. It helps out on bends quite a bit. But alas, I've never really been able to bend the high e string at all because of this. I always try to bend away from the edge of the fretboard, but it's so close to the edge that it's uncomfortable.

All it takes is to barr a single chord and that string is stuck. Heck, sometimes not even barring. I'll just be playing some power chords on the lower strings and find it stuck. Occationally the string will snap back out before I get to any lead parts while playing a song.

This is really a big gripe with me. As far as I can tell there is nothing that I can really do about it.








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Re: How do you keep your guitar sounding schnazzy?

11/30/2009 12:31 PM

Warren Hunt (5730) wrote:

Bryan I have a student who pushes the low E (bass E ) off the side all the time and its the way he frets the note that causes it. Try and play at a moderate speed and have a look once you feel the string go and you may find its the way you fingered it too.







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Re: How do you keep your guitar sounding schnazzy?

12/2/2009 8:46 PM

Jeremy Ledford (14379) wrote:

whoa. that isn't right bryan. you should have sent that sucker back when you first got it. i say sell it, and get a beater, but good one. :)

you also need a fret job.

germ





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Re: How do you keep your guitar sounding schnazzy?

12/2/2009 8:45 PM

Jeremy Ledford (14379) wrote:

I sweat so bad most of the screws are rusted on my guitars after one show.

change your diet. hehehehe

naw, people are different. s$%t happens



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Re: How do you keep your guitar sounding schnazzy?

11/27/2009 10:28 PM

Warren Hunt (5730) wrote:

Bryan,

If you change the gauge (thickness) of the strings you will have to do a complete setup to make sure there is no fret rattle. Stick to the same gauge you have now if you know it and just hope your intonation is ok.

It would not cost too much to send your guitar to a tech to have it done professionally if doing the work yourself poses a problem for you.



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Re: How do you keep your guitar sounding schnazzy?

11/30/2009 1:58 PM

Michael Laurance (4040) wrote:

Maybe consider changing your brand of strings. Like some of the guys here, I own a bunch of guitars (over 30). For each gig, I like to rotate guitars, bringing 3-5 to each show. Worse, most of my guitars use Floyd Rose trems, making string changes more time consuming. To minimize my shop time, I have gone to DR Extra Life strings. They're coated, and last about 3 times longer. I tried the DR's and Elixers. I found the DR's sounded better.

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