help fixing, a soft flexing 335 neck joint, plays Out Of Tune

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by DonM, Apr 25, 2015.

  1. DonM

    DonM Member

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    any way to fix this??
    its just s Epiphone 335 Pro VS, but I really like the way it looks, feels and sounds, but the neck may as well be mounted to a screen door hinge.. because its simply acting like a unwanted whammy bar of a neck - worst in my life!! usually the player can adjust to this but not this GUMBY .. Im sure It was sold because of this, $300.00 I bought it, and assumed all was well, and so I went on to crown and level frets and roll edges to perfection, adjust truss rod and action then I made a Bone nut with my latest Stew Mac scale and dial indicator tools.. it was a real player!
    even the pickups sounded good for now.. the Epi -PRO Burstbucker clones.
    I then aged all the parts and did some amber staining, so it looks like a closet mint never played aged vintage, the neck back is fat like the 60's - its one of the best 335's I could ever ask for... THEN DAut DA DA dut DAUGH!!!

    first GIG, and wolla!!.. neck was flexing and i could no way pay a chord IN TUNE no matter how soft I tried to coax it!!, so I put it on the work bench and maxed out the truss rod to the maximum tightness while still fretting properly!
    took it out to a gig again and - NO DICE! this guitar is a REJECT, Im sure thats why it was sold off on craigslist to ( ME) the big- dummy LOL

    I'd like to try to fix the thing even if it involves super ugly cures!! - because I'm not going to pass it off to someone else, I want to fix it or scrap it out,,, but fixing it would be my #! choice..

    any ideas? steel rods or fiberglass etc?? I'm up for a crazy fix -- just to salvage it, cause I fell in love with it!! :bow
     
  2. DonM

    DonM Member

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    cant belive my eyes.. 65 views,, of one of the most common design flaws on guitars and not one CURE or FIX suggested?? FIRE WOOD may be the only cure LOL
     
  3. Dana Olsen

    Dana Olsen Gold Supporting Member

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    Hey Don -

    I saw this earlier today. I didn't post 'cuz I thought maybe one of the Pros would chime in. I'll start the ball rolling.

    Here's what I'm thinking. It sounds to me like the neck joint is flexing - that it's not stable enough not to flex. That could be because of the actual pieces of wood in the guitar, or it could be the design doesn't offer enough stability. Sort of like on some SG's - some of 'em are more stable, some less, but NONE are as stable as say a Les Paul, due to the neck joint design.

    Either way, the truss rod only affects the neck from the nut to around the 14th fret, give or take. No matter how you adjust the truss rod - tighter or looser - it's not going to affect the neck joint.

    If the issue is indeed the neck joint or the wood that was used in this particular guitar, I respectfully suggest that .... that there's not a damn thing you can do about it that doesn't involve serious guitar surgery.

    Sorry, Dana O.

    PS WAIT A SEC! It just occurred to me - it's possible that the back of the guitar became unglued from the heel block. In a semi hollow guitar, there's a neck block sort of like an acoustic guitar has, but (hopefully) longer (you know, the old "long tenon - short tenon" thing). If the heel block has separated from the back of the guitar, THAT could cause the Gumby symptom you're describing.

    To check it, you need flashlights and mirrors on a stick to put inside the guitar. That's all I can think of that could cause the symptoms you describe. If that's not it, I sadly refer you to the first few paragraphs of this post.
     
  4. OlAndrew

    OlAndrew Member

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    Might try pulling the neck pickup and having a look-see. Lotta 335 types, you can see part of the neck joint that way. I'd think something has to be wrong at the neck joint, can't believe a neck would flex that badly.
     
  5. Dana Olsen

    Dana Olsen Gold Supporting Member

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    Excellent idea - I hadn't thought of that. Removing the neck pickup should expose the tenon, at least.

    Thanks, Dana O.
     
  6. Mrmarshallhead

    Mrmarshallhead Member

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    If the neck is truly loose, you should see the lacquer fractured at the neck joint.

    My Gibson 335 has a fairly thin neck and I can flex it for vibrato. It doesn't go off tune as such, but I could not play it flat on my back after tuning it standing up, it'd be way sharp. Doesn't stop it being an awesome guitar.
     
  7. DonM

    DonM Member

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    I dont think its the neck I have the truss rod maxed out, its not flexing at the 14* headstock at all. its moving where body joins, telling me the body is a Marshmallow.. :cool:

    I just think by now, 55 years after the advent of the glued on neck Flex problem that there would be some totally common cures or things to try to fix this Rubbery Flaw / Fluke even if its KrAzY..:horse
     
  8. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Member

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    Screw it.
    Mount a neck plate.
     
  9. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    "maxed out"? you mean you've cranked the neck into backbow?

    also, could it just be regular setup stuff, like too-high nut slots forcing all the chords sharp?
     
  10. DonM

    DonM Member

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    nope its a way-pro set up , nut included, so was level and crowning, its flexing in the body, I thought about doing a demo with a fishing weight scale on the headstock along with a machinist Dial Indicator to show it only takes a pound of pressure or less to move it, and the movement is not the headstock its happening at the body to neck joint the whole body moves like rubber
     
  11. DonM

    DonM Member

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    this is what It was thinking just last night, a custom elongated neck plate with about 8 screws!!:munch
     
  12. mc5nrg

    mc5nrg Supporting Member

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    If you have heavy tuners, try something lighter.
     
  13. Valus

    Valus Member

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    How would changing the tuners affect a flexing neck joint???
     
  14. mc5nrg

    mc5nrg Supporting Member

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    Ask any Frebird owner. Neck joint not even needed.
     
  15. DonM

    DonM Member

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    just took off pickup, the body is routed for a Long Tenon joint, however the neck itself is a Short Tenon, this leaves zero support on the front on the neck, not happy to see this!!, but its not the culprit, you can really see the flexing now with pickup out, and its the entire mass around the neck flexing with ease, this guitar should have never left the fiddle factory!!
    I'm really thinking its a loss!!, I only paid $300 for it but its not the money, its I was thrilled with it - the 60's fat neck - the vintage greenish tuners, the latest version of their PAF's the color Vintage Sunburst, the square block inlays, it was my first good 335 I ever owned, my last Epi 335 was no fun I never bonded with it and sold it, this one was different until I headed out to gig. and I could not get ONE Chord to play in tune!!

    I was going to buy a new one, and part this one out, but Epiphone has already DISCONTINUED the es 335 Pro VS, and I dont like the 335 Dot Neck shape.
    Maybe its time to save up for a vintage late 60's 335?? or move some guitars and get one.

    as far as fixing it I dont think even a steel back plate would work unless I used nuts and bolts - routing it all below the top surfaces , and going right thru the rosewood fingerboard with nuts and bolts then replacing the rosewood surface, almost like inlay work
     
  16. DonM

    DonM Member

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    contacted Original owner, hes got extended warranty on it, so looks like I may get a total replacement.. after looking at it all day while its apart, theres no way at all to fix it, the woods are just too soft, and theres only like ONE INCH of neck that actually joins with the body, really bad design for slamming together in a mass- production shop, these would take some highly selected woods to really have any hope of stiffness in that joint area!
     
  17. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Member

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    Beats filling the body cavity with Gorilla glue;)
     

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