Blacktop Tele Stability Issues (+ G&L content!)

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by markplaysguitar, Jan 30, 2012.

  1. markplaysguitar

    markplaysguitar Member

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    It feels like I have to get my BT tele set up every couple of months to keep the neck/intonation in line. Is this just a normal side-effect of MIM guitars, or am I doing something wrong? It seems like even just changing the strings throws it off.
    SO, that being said - I have an opportunity to possibly buy a USA G&L Comanche used from a friend. I've played it before through my setup and liked it a lot.
    My question is, will I see a dramatic improvement in reliability? What makes a guitar have solid intonation?
    Thanks guys.
     
  2. alex_f

    alex_f Member

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    I have a Blacktop Tele but haven't had it long enough (about 1 1/2 months) to speak to your stability issue.

    I also have a Comanche and love it. You should give it a try.
     
  3. djg714

    djg714 Member

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    Are you using DR strings by any chance?
     
  4. G Man

    G Man Member

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    Can't speak to the tele, but my US G&L ASAT is about as stable as any guitar I own.
     
  5. markplaysguitar

    markplaysguitar Member

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    Interesting question. The guitar came with 9s, but I had my local guitar store set it up with 10s. A few months ago I had it set up again (at a different shop) including some fret work. That guy put Elixir 10s on it. A couple weeks ago I changed the strings (pure nickel Slinky 10s) and adjusted the saddles so the open string tuning matched the 12th fret. The intonation gets sharp closer to the nut, so I think it's too high...then again I'm also suspicious of the neck in this low humidity...blah blah blah...
    Considering all these little (annoying) problems, it doesn't seem to be as well constructed as I would have hoped.
     
  6. djg714

    djg714 Member

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    Well you are changing strings quite a bit. Different brands and gauges.
    The six saddle bridge is normally super stable for intonation.
     
  7. Valus

    Valus Member

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    I think you've pretty much answered your own question. My Blacktop Tele has been super stable, even with almost weekly string changes.
     
  8. markplaysguitar

    markplaysguitar Member

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    So you think I just ended up with a sub-par instrument? The gamble you take with MIM, I guess.
     
  9. poolshark

    poolshark Supporting Member

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    1. It was restrung and intonated fine.
    2. You changed strings.
    3. You adjusted the intonation.
    4. It isn't intonated fine.

    Doesn't sound like the guitar's fault. Try adjusting the guitar's intonation using the third and 15th fret, or take it to a pro.
     
  10. Valus

    Valus Member

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    No, not at all. You keep changing string brands and gauges; that's probably affecting your intonation.
     
  11. djg714

    djg714 Member

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    Post a pic of the bridge after your last adjustment.
     
  12. markplaysguitar

    markplaysguitar Member

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    I totally agree that my intonation skills are lacking...the problem as I see it however is that BEFORE step "2.", the intontation was clearly going downhill...that's actually what encouraged me to change the strings.
     
  13. poolshark

    poolshark Supporting Member

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    Intonation progressively going downhill? How strange. The only way weather should affect your intonation is through neck relief, and I can count on one hand the number of times I've seen it happen so severely as to be noticeable - it's not like the frets or nut can really drift up and down the guitar's scale length, after all. Plus, if your intonation is set well and you only swap in a new set of same-gauge strings, you should still be pretty durned close.

    Either way, do you know how to check your neck relief? If you think it's weather related, I'd do that first, strings tuned up to pitch. After that, I'd try a new set of strings and a meticulous intonation procedure. If that doesn't work, without any more details, I couldn't recommend anything but a trip to the guitar doc.
     
  14. markplaysguitar

    markplaysguitar Member

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    Thanks for bearing with me and forgiving my ignorance. The neck is bending forward big time - high action + bleh intonation. I already suspected it was the dry winter taking it's toll, but last night I realized that was FOR SURE what was going on, because I felt the fret ends "sprouting" from the fretboard (thank you TGP search function for teaching me about fret sprout).
    I checked the house humidty, and it was at 19%. Ouch.
    I put a humidifier in the room with the guitar and closed the door this morning...humidity reading is up to 33% already!

    So, it's my understanding that if I leave it in this humidified room for a few days, the fretboard will return to normal? (no fret sprout?) Once it's rehumidified, I'll probably take it to a pro for neck adjustments, and BUY A CASE HUMIDIFIER. I've learned my lesson.:bonk
     
  15. G Man

    G Man Member

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    You can make your own case humidifier. Easiest way is to put a large damp sponge in a ziplock baggie with some holes poked in it. A neater option is to get one of those plastic travel soap holders, drill several holes in it, and keep a damp sponge in it, keep it in the case.
     
  16. dcamp

    dcamp Member

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    It will take a long time for the humidifier to help with fret sprout. While it is doing so you will continue to have changes. It should just be in the tuning though, not intonation to any great degree. Humidity effects my mahogany necks more quickly than the maple.
     
  17. hikingbear

    hikingbear Member

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    next time you get your guitar setup by a pro, measure nut height, neck relif, and action at 12th or 17th fret. Next time when intonation is off you'll know what's the problem.
     
  18. markplaysguitar

    markplaysguitar Member

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    How long should I expect it to take for the neck to absorb the humidty and expand back to normal?
     
  19. dezb1

    dezb1 Member

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    I have a blacktop Tele and the tuning is spot on. Stick with one gauge of strings I use 11s and don't sit it anywhere near a radiator or in direct sun light as both of these can cause the neck to warp.
     
  20. markplaysguitar

    markplaysguitar Member

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    So I've been reading a bunch of TGP threads about humidity...seems like 35%-45% is acceptable. It's still hovering at around 33% in here. Should I try setting up another humidifier, or does it make more sense to just do the sponge in the case thing?
    Point in favor of humidifying the whole room: this room feels awesome right now. :p
     

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