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Thread: 2001 Ernie Ball Axis Setup Action Neck shims

  1. #1
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    2001 Ernie Ball Axis Setup Action Neck shims

    Hey Guys I have a 2001 Axis that I want to introduce back into my players pool and I noticed the action is higher then I think it should be. It is fine for the first several frets but gets worse as you travel down the fretboard. I researched some of the threads on this Forum and the FAQ's on the Ernie Ball Website. I also spoke with the tech at Ernie Ball Joel great guy and he sent me 2 shims a pink and yellow. I had my guitar tech install the yellow shim and Im posting the results. Was looking for some suggestion still seems like there is a way to go in reagrds to lowering the action. Appreciate any advice and thanks in advance. Let me know if you want to see additonal pictures

    Regards Kenny
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 2001 Ernie Ball Axis Setup Action Neck shims-img_1913-jpg   2001 Ernie Ball Axis Setup Action Neck shims-img_1919-jpg   2001 Ernie Ball Axis Setup Action Neck shims-img_1917-jpg   2001 Ernie Ball Axis Setup Action Neck shims-img_1915-jpg   2001 Ernie Ball Axis Setup Action Neck shims-img_1914-jpg  


  2. #2
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    Still looks pretty high to me. Is the other shim thicker?

    I'm assuming you checked the relief in the neck. (Stupid question, I know, but you never know. )
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  3. #3
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    Hey thanks for the reply, no the other shim was actually thinner.. As far as the neck my tech checked the relief as well.. Hopefully others will reply with suggestions thanks for taking a look..

  4. #4
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    Do you have any room in the two tremolo posts to lower the trem?

  5. #5
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    If I'm wrong, disregard, but I thought the Axis was set up VH style... with the trem not floating but down on the body. That trem appears to be raised up off the body. Did you raise it in the past? I'm guessing no DTuner on that one...
    "DreamTheaterRules" in all the other forums

  6. #6
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    Hey Guys thanks for the responses, The tremelo is flat on the body, if you look at the picture there is a block that is part of the factory tremelo that lies flat on the body, I think there is room on the tremelo posts to go down more but if the tremelo is already flat on the body will it make a difference? Does anybody have any closeup of their setup like i have provided of the tremelo and how it sits on their body? Has anybody ever had any issues with the neck pocket possibly being too deep? Thus making the neck sit to low? It looks like to me that if shims are needed to bring the lower register up they would have to be 1/8 inch or more and that doesnt seem right? Thanks again for the responses appreciate the help..

  7. #7
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    You will have to shim the neck if your trem is already flat on the body.

  8. #8
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    Maybe it's the picture but that trem doesn't look flat on the body to me. Looks like you could turn the posts down more

  9. #9
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    Can you pull up on the bar? Does it increase in pitch?

  10. #10
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    Those posts cannot go down much further... and doing so will not solve the issue. You need to add relief in the neck with the truss rod adjustment screw. With the neck locking mechanism loose! Hold the guitar in playing position, turn the screw up towards your face (I use the Allen wrench for my locking nuts)... do a quarter turn at a time, and tune each quarter turn. No more than 1/2 turn though. If the screw gets too loose... let the neck acclimate to the new pressure overnight, then try another adjustment if needed.
    Last edited by Flash Gordon; 09-21-2017 at 03:15 PM.

    Flash

    AXIS | 2012 | TRIBUTE | Purple
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    AXIS | 2014 | PDN | BFR | Neptune Blue
    AXIS | 2014 | PDN | MM90 | Neptune Blue

    AXIS | 2016 | PDN | Starry Night
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  11. #11
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    Stop.

    Adding neck relief will not lower action, it will raise it further. I assume Flash (who I would not expect to make this little mistake) forgot his coffee this morning. Fortunately, I'm drinking mine now.

    If you can tighten the truss rod without inducing more buzz on the lower frets, then do so. But if you are already in the neck relief ballpark then it won't make a lot of difference (maybe less than 0.005" / 0.1 mm). If not, another or a thicker shim is the appropriate way to go.

    Shims are necerssary when no further adjustments are possible at the bridge.

    Assuming truss rod is in the correct range...

    The rule of shim:

    If the string action is too high and we cannot adjust lower at the bridge - add a shim to the bridge end of the neck pocket.

    If the action is too low and we can't get it higher at the bridge - take away a shim at the bridge end of the neck pocket, or add a shim at the far end of the neck pocket.
    Last edited by DrKev; 09-22-2017 at 03:15 AM.
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  12. #12
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    Hi Dr Kev, I had just put in the pink shim from the factory as recommended its .015 the largest is black .030 do you think from looking at the action at the twelth fret in the pictures that this may solve the problem? Just curious as you seem to be knowledgable about these guitars, what is the largest shim that you have seen used and does this point to another issue?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrKev View Post
    Stop.

    Adding neck relief will not lower action, it will raise it further. I assume Flash (who I would not expect to make this little mistake) forgot his coffee this morning. Fortunately, I'm drinking mine now.

    If you can tighten the truss rod without inducing more buzz on the lower frets, then do so. But if you are already in the neck relief ballpark then it won't make a lot of difference (maybe less than 0.005" / 0.1 mm). If not, another or a thicker shim is the appropriate way to go.

    Shims are necerssary when no further adjustments are possible at the bridge.

    Assuming truss rod is in the correct range...

    The rule of shim:

    If the string action is too high and we cannot adjust lower at the bridge - add a shim to the bridge end of the neck pocket.

    If the action is too low and we can't get it higher at the bridge - take away a shim at the bridge end of the neck pocket, or add a shim at the far end of the neck pocket.

    DK... I've caffeinated well! Perhaps overly so? .

    My thought process: If you tighten the nut, you are putting more tension on the neck... the result is that the neck will bend towards your audience. If you do so, it will increase the distance between the strings and neck. Hence you must add relief... unscrew and relieve pressure. This will cause the neck to flatten out/bend back towards the player... reducing distance between strings and neck.

    Perhaps I'm just crazy though... everyone I know says I am, so it must be true.

    Wait, you are right. I'm crazy and wrong.

    Flash

    AXIS | 2012 | TRIBUTE | Purple
    AXIS | 2012 | PDN | Honeyburst
    AXIS | 2014 | PDN | BFR | Neptune Blue
    AXIS | 2014 | PDN | MM90 | Neptune Blue

    AXIS | 2016 | PDN | Starry Night
    AXIS | 2014 | Honey Burst | All Rosewood Neck

    SILO | 1996 | Trans Teal | Floyd Rose | Recessed Neckplate
    SILO Special | 2012 | PDN | Trem | Honeyburst
    20TH Anny SILO #1 | Hardtail
    20TH Anny SILO #2 | Hardtail

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flash Gordon View Post
    DK... I've caffeinated well! Perhaps overly so? .

    My thought process: If you tighten the nut, you are putting more tension on the neck... the result is that the neck will bend towards your audience. If you do so, it will increase the distance between the strings and neck. Hence you must add relief... unscrew and relieve pressure. This will cause the neck to flatten out/bend back towards the player... reducing distance between strings and neck.

    Perhaps I'm just crazy though... everyone I know says I am, so it must be true.

    Wait, you are right. I'm crazy and wrong.
    You're not crazy, just a little confused. It happens to all of us from time to time!

    Ok, we're facing the audience. I'm nervous so I'm picturing them naked, hope you don't mind. (By the way the gig is a Sunday lunch singalong in an old folks home).

    String tension pulls the nut toward the audience. The neck bends as it does so. That bending is called "neck relief". The more it bends, the more relief the neck has. (Yes, this is the geographical definition of relief as "difference in height from surroundings", not relief as in "relaxed" or "relieved of stress". Weird, I know, but hey we're gigging for elderly naturists). Way too much relief and bad things happen. Put steel strings on a classical guitar and see what I mean. Because of this people invented truss rods, to strengthen the neck against steel string tension, i.e. to do the opposite.

    The truss rod nut acts *against* the string pull. When the truss rod is loose it has no effect and the neck will have maximum neck relief, i.e. maximum pull towards the audience from string tension. When we tighten the truss rod it adds a force pushing the nut away from the old folks, reducing neck relief.

    See?

    Of course then there are two-way or bi-flex trussrods (not on MM guitars), in which tightening or loosening the truss rod could add or subtract neck relief depending on, well, stuff. But it's not confusing at all because you make an adjustment and if it's the wrong thing to do you undo it and do the opposite. See?
    Last edited by DrKev; 09-22-2017 at 12:52 PM.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by charger View Post
    Hi Dr Kev, I had just put in the pink shim from the factory as recommended its .015 the largest is black .030 do you think from looking at the action at the twelth fret in the pictures that this may solve the problem? Just curious as you seem to be knowledgable about these guitars, what is the largest shim that you have seen used and does this point to another issue?
    I can't tell from a picture what will fix your issue. But if a thinner shim partially solved the issue, then yes maybe a thicker one will fix it. Or maybe two thinner ones. I can't judge what will work from a photo. You need to close your eyes and play. How does it feel to you? Does it feel like you need it to be different? If so make the change and try again.

    Thickest shim I've ever used? How thick are three Paris metro tickets? (That's what I use). Actually I just measured this, it's about 0.035". But that doesn't strike me as inidicative of any other problem.

    Shims are used by all makers of bolt-on neck guitars because no pieces of wood ever come out exactly the dimensions intended (that's just the nature wood). Some neck pockets can be a little deep or a little shallow, some necks can be a hair thicker or thinner than nominal specification. This is why people talk about "manufacturing tolerances". EBMM are pretty good in this regard. They design everything so that in a perfect universe no shims are used but no two guitars come out the same and sometimes shimming is required. It's a normal thing.

    On MOST guitars, the bridge saddles are adjustable and that allows us to easily set the string height without shimming. But on Floyd Rose equipped guitars, there is no saddle adjustment. You can sometimes shim the saddles to raise action a little but not to lower it. On the Axis guitars the bridge is intended to sit flat in the guitar top, and so the only adjustment to string height comes from adjusting the neck angle, and that means shims.

    So, having to shim to your instrument does not mean you have a problem guitar. It usually just means you have to shim, that's all. Just do what you need to get your guitar to play well.

    I strongly recommend everyone gets the basic tools of the trade - a engineers rule or string height gauge to measure string height, and a capo and feeler gauges to measure neck relief. Once you get a setup that plays good and feels right for you, measure it up and write it down. It saves so much time in the long run and if anything does go out of whack or you get a new axe, you can quickly and easily get things right where you want it - just measure and you'll know exactly what you need to do. With a small amount of expense and little time to learn you can save yourself a lot of guess work and time (and money in guitar tech fees) later on.

    Can I tell from looking a photo? No, but if you give me the measurements, I can often immediately tell you what to do.
    Last edited by DrKev; 09-22-2017 at 02:28 PM.
    An Irishman in Paris...
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