did my Shim change the tone

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Mr. Mukuzi O, Jan 21, 2015.

  1. Mr. Mukuzi O

    Mr. Mukuzi O Member

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    ok, so the ESP Vintage Plus I have has a replacement neck from an old 48st ESP from the mid 80`s.
    after fitting the neck i noticed the pocket could need a shim.
    before i put the shim on the strat had the most huge bell like bottom end. cut a boring story short and i think the shim has changed the tone of the strat a little.
    am i imagining this?
    i`ll play it through a proper amp tonight but my little practice amp sounded flat as a tack yesterday.
    I'm thinking the shim is robbing the bell like bottom
     
  2. sixesandsevens

    sixesandsevens Member

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    As long as you know it's changed, your brain can't be trusted to make an objective comparison.

    Make a recording now. Remove the shim and make another recording without and then compare the recordings using some way to randomize them (shuffle the playlist is a start).

    You can also compare the waveforms of the recordings too.

    It's a hassle, but it's as close as you can get to being sure. :)
     
  3. Mr. Mukuzi O

    Mr. Mukuzi O Member

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    thanks, you are right. i`ll never hear the bell again arrgghh
     
  4. guv'nor

    guv'nor Member

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    Don't know about shims affecting the tone, but I had plenty of experience with what are you describing after taking off the necks for truss rod adjustments.
    After putting guitar's neck in place and tuning your guitar, unscrew four screws that are holding neck to body just quarter of the turn and you should hear click and strings should go slightly out of tune. Now tighten those screws and twang should reappear.
    That's what I do, but I never used any shims for that matter.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  5. CobaltBlue

    CobaltBlue Member

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    It might be the shim, but it's also likely that the higher action allowed the srtings to resonate differently (better). There can be a tradeoff: lower action can be mean less ability for a string to vibrate freely.
    You could remove the shim, or you might lower the pickup a tad.
     
  6. Mr. Mukuzi O

    Mr. Mukuzi O Member

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    yes good point! the action has changed. i`ll take another look at pick up height
     
  7. EADGBE

    EADGBE Member

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    You can always use different shim materials for possible different results.
     
  8. Matt L

    Matt L Supporting Member

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    I have had this happen...a shim changing my tone. I avoid them if possible.
     
  9. 2leod

    2leod Re-Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Change can be good!
     
  10. SPROING!

    SPROING! Member

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    I always wondered what would happen with a mahogany or ebony shim.
    It's not much material but it's in a unique location and would have a lot of load on it.
    Maybe an experiment is in order. :D
     
  11. Faded

    Faded Member

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    I remember the good ole days of TGP and Shim Gate.
     
  12. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Member

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    I have a frankentele and thought I might like a softer attack, so made a full neck shim from a flexible plasticky machine belt material, not unlike a piece of inner tube.
    You guys would flip out if anyone used that in your guitar, right?

    No noticeable difference.
    Try it. Let us know how it goes.
     
  13. tjmicsak

    tjmicsak Member

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    i used to shim. I found taking a router and cutting the correct bevel onto the heel pocket bottom works alot better. Shims were common if not before, then starting in the 80s with the FROs. The Floyds needed a higher bridge plane so necks were all shimmed until some one decided to simply cut the pocket for that set up. I like it. Complete face of the joint is sold neck and body. Do the chiropractic neck set under tension and all is right with the world.
     
  14. bismark

    bismark Member

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    Yep. Fender CS knows a thing or two about shims. :bounce
     
  15. bob-i

    bob-i Member

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    I find that if the scews don't pull the neck all the way down into the neck pocket you can lose that bell tone. I like to open up the screw holes in the body until the screws slide through. If they need to be threaded through the body there's a chance they won't pull the neck down tight enough.
     
  16. DRS

    DRS Member

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    The general consensus is that a cardboard or paper shim emphasizes mid range, mellows highs, but can result in a flubby bass. A metal shim emphasizes highs but can get strident especially if the metal is zinc or stainless steel. Copper or brass is better. A thin Fender pick results in shimmering highs, tight lows, and a slightly scooped midrange - but only if it is the tortoise colour, not black. Black can result in dead spots and general mud.
     
  17. SPROING!

    SPROING! Member

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    Interesting. Thanks for that report.
     
  18. Deed_Poll

    Deed_Poll Member

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    Funny tip here. I find aluminium foil is great for shinning necks. Just keep on folding it over and over until it's the right size, you will need a lot more than you think and tightening the neck into a body will compact it. I took my strat apart about a year ago and it was in one lump! I could see the wood grain in it and everything. Really tough stuff under compression.
     
  19. Deed_Poll

    Deed_Poll Member

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    I find polishing my frets with ectoplasm is excellent for haunting mids.
     
  20. HayekFan

    HayekFan Member

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    Totally believable based on my own experiments with shims and stuff.

    I will say in the OP's case that if the shim changed the action there could be a change in tone, but it's not the neck joint itself that's doing it.
     

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