G string help, Joe Barden replacement bridge, etc.

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by Gasp100, Jun 18, 2008.

  1. Gasp100

    Gasp100 Silver Supporting Member

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    My MIJ Fender 52RI came in this morning. It looks cool as hell (with the foto flame neck) and it has promise, but it's not doing that great just yet. I just ordered a Dimarzio T bridge pup to replace the stock one (the stock is pretty low output, pretty thin) and I already have a US Fender 52RI neck pup to install as well. I hope the wiring is okay, but I'm sure a future upgrade of a nice prewired control plate might be in order.
    Something is up with the G string. The strings (10-46) seem newer, but it's dead when played open. When fretted it's okay, just when it's played open it's pinched/dead which leads me to believe it may be a nut issue? Plus, some chords (G for example) are out of tune a bit even when the guitar itself is dead on.
    I also ordered a Joe Barden Vintage bridge with compensated brass saddles (I hate the bridge on here now, it's horrible). I'm wondering if anyone knows if this is a direct replacement on an MIJ Tele? I've used the JB bridge in the past and it's great.
    As usual, I probably paid a little too much considering upgrades in this one but if it comes together it will be pretty sweet. I'm worried about the G string issue, I fear I might at least have to take it in for a pro setup (more $$$) because I don't know how to do nut work at all and don't want to screw that up. Any ideas?
    Thanks!
     
  2. stevel

    stevel Member

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    Remember the G is a constant source of funkiness, especially on strats.

    You said the strings "seem newer" leading me to believe you haven't put new ones on yet?

    That would be the first and simplest test (cause you're gonna change them eventually!).

    It *might* be Strat-itis - if the pickup is "weak" could you have it adjusted high enough that it's pulling on the G - I realize this would affect the entire string typically but remember, the longer the vibrating length the more the string is deflected, so there's a slight chance that it's on the borderline and the open string is deflecting enough to get affected by the pup's magnetic pull, but while fretted it's OK. This would also cause an intonation issue for the open note only. So this is "slight" but it's also a cheap test to make - lower the pups and see.

    Downbearing on the nut - is the string wound down far enough to have good pressure - when you fret it, you're providing downbearing against the fret. But when you're playing it open, it may be vibrating within the nut slot. Yes, the nut could be at fault, but if there's not enough downbearing, again it could be as simple a fix as winding the string down a few more wraps on the post.

    About the tuning - is it intonated properly? You said the guitar was dead on but that could mean you've simply tuned the open strings with a tuner? But if the intonation is not set correctly, some strings could be going sharp or flat by the 3rd fret. If this were true though, you'd notice the D G and B in a G chord sound good, but the fretted notes would not.

    It could be the dreaded G string warble associated with plain 3rd strings that in my limited experience is more noticeable on Strats in general, and some guitars specifically. The only real solution to that is to use a wound 3rd. But that's also something that affects the entire string, and most people notice it around mid-string (12-14th frets for example).

    So it could be the nut, but you might want to rule out those other possibilities if you haven't already done so.

    HTH,
    Steve
     
  3. Gasp100

    Gasp100 Silver Supporting Member

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    Hi Steve, thanks for the quick response. It's a Tele so I'm hoping it's not suffering from stratitis...:)
    I did raise the pups, but they are no where near touching string during vibration. I will start with new strings today and see what happens. The neck was really tightened down so I gave it some relief and I did put a tiny shim under the neck which smooth out the action nicely. The G string issue is still there, the tuning seems a tad bit better.
    The saddles on these older MIJ's leave little to be desired and that is why I'm going with the Joe Barden Vintage bridge with comp saddles. I think that will make it sound much better and definitely help with setting intonation.
     
  4. Gasp100

    Gasp100 Silver Supporting Member

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    New strings... same issue. Arghhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!! I'm hoping the new bridge helps out, we shall see.
     
  5. David Collins

    David Collins Member

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    As with pretty much any new guitar, all new Fender's need to have the nut slots properly cut.
     
  6. Gasp100

    Gasp100 Silver Supporting Member

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    Well, this is not a new Fender. It's probably mid 90's from Japan. What kind of irk's me is the seller made NO mention of this issue... what's new? So, after new strings AND the new Joe Barden bridge (which fits perfectly, looks awesome and sounds great) the G string is still dead. I don't really think the nut needs replacement, just a trained hand to fix the G string problem. One person mentioned making sure the string is wound really low which it is -- I really don't want to have to have another string tree install to make it break right, I dig the one old school string tree.
    I actually had a partscaster that didn't need a string tree at all...
     
  7. Mike9

    Mike9 Supporting Member

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    Since most Fender's come stock with 9's you will most likely need to adjust the nut slots. The Barden bridge should be a drop in replacement for the standard ashtray and a big upgrade IMO - I use them all the time now. The only issue will be if you want the ashtray cover - it won't work with a shaved lip bridge.
     
  8. Gasp100

    Gasp100 Silver Supporting Member

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    I guess I never realized 9's were the gauge of choice on Fenders.... definitely can't do 9's. I've been considering try to get up to 11's on my Tele's :messedup
     

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