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Thread: 2018 Cutlass RS HSS bridge rattles

  1. #1

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    2018 Cutlass RS HSS bridge rattles

    Greetings! I thought I'd save a few hundred $$s and bought a Turquoise Cutlass RS HSS in "Excellent" condition off of Reverb for $1800 inc. shipping. I've had a Morse since '99 and also a 2011 AL BFR but wanted a more Strat tone and the thicker neck the Cutlass has.

    The Cutlass arrived with a gorgeous and flawless appearance but when I played it the setup was horrible. The first luthier I took it to made it playable but there was still some rattle on the the G and B strings in the 13-16 fret range and some noise that seemed to be coming from the bridge. I took it to another local luthier who spent a few hours on it - by now my setup $$ is adding up to where I'm beginning to kick myself for not buying new....

    Where I'm at now: There was a little dip in the neck around the 11-15 fret range that I wouldn't have noticed. The luthier set the action just a tad higher than factory so there's no fret buzz. There remains a rattle from the bridge that has us stumped. He thought it might be from the saddle screws and suggested applying some weak threadlock to them but I haven't tried that yet. I called MM support and they've had no encounters with this issue. Has anyone one noticed this and if so, what did you do to correct it?

    Otherwise, the look and feel of the Cutlass is great although I'm still distracted by the beautiful flamed maple neck. Still getting used to the sounds - it's not as strat-like as I'd hoped but the humbucker produces some nice tones and I really like the neck single too. I've got them set at the factory heights. The bridge p/u through a Zendrive into my Bluguitar Amp1 is exquisite and come real close to that Robben Ford Dumble tone.

    Thanks for any help or insight!

  2. #2

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    There are lots of reasons you could have a rattle (on any guitar) ... could be a saddle screw that's low, could be a slight burr on the saddle (you'd notice it if you slightly moved the string to one side or another), etc. Sometimes it's hard to find unless you have someone suitably good. Certainly hard to diagnose over the Internet.

    If your tech can't find it, you could send it to MM for a setup (though that doesn't help your savings of buying used). Perhaps you could find a better tech to take a look at it?

  3. #3

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    Welcome, sorry your having issues. Have you tried taking the saddles off and taking a close look at each one? There's not consistent string breakage right?

    Also, around here like other places, it doesn't exist without pictures, hahahahaha.

    Glenn |B)
    Silhouette Special SSS in Fuschia Sparkle (Hardtail) [1/01/2002] [1 of a kind from CLB]
    Silhouette Special HSS in Gold Sparkle (Hardtail) [7/12/2002] [Made for Matchbox 20]
    Albert Lee 3 MM90's in White Sparkle (Hardtail) [8/14/2001] [Just pure awesomeness]
    Albert Lee HH in Black Sugar (Hartail) [1/06/2011] [BFR]


    Like BP said in the Chapman video "You've got a room full of guitars, and no money!!"

  4. #4

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    I bet the tremolo cover is loose. Does the vibration stop when you rest your hand on it?

  5. #5

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    Were these guitar techs, or actual luthiers? Either way, I would recommend not going to either one in the future. Unless there is something physically wrong with the guitar, which I doubt, it should have come back set up great.

    Buzzing from the bridge can mean that one of the grub screws on the block is loose, or that one of the saddle feet is loose, or that the bridge cover is loose.
    2007 Stingray 5 HS Cherry Burst / Maple fretboard / 3 Band EQ / Ceramic Pickups
    2012 Stingray 5 H Pearl Blue / Rosewood Fretboard/ 3 Band EQ/ AlNiCo Pickup
    2012 Steve Morse Signature Morse Blueburst / Rosewood FB
    2012 Luke III SSH Vintage Sunburst / Rosewood Neck

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by beej View Post
    There are lots of reasons you could have a rattle (on any guitar) ... could be a saddle screw that's low, could be a slight burr on the saddle (you'd notice it if you slightly moved the string to one side or another), etc. Sometimes it's hard to find unless you have someone suitably good. Certainly hard to diagnose over the Internet.

    If your tech can't find it, you could send it to MM for a setup (though that doesn't help your savings of buying used). Perhaps you could find a better tech to take a look at it?
    Thanks to all of you who replied! Your input helped me isolate the buzzing but I've yet to eliminate it. It is coming from the top of the saddle and as beej says, there may be a burr. When I loosen the string and move it back and forth on top of the saddle there's a noticeable catch and click. This is true both the B and G strings. Is this something that can be easily repaired or would it be better to contact EBMM for a replacement? Years ago I had a problem with string breakage on my Morse and EBMM was kind enough to send be a replacement set and that solved the problem.

    For those who wanted the photo - proof it actually exists...here they are:
    2018 Cutlass RS HSS
    2011 AL BFR hardtail
    and a very well used 1999 Morse

    Cheers!

    2018 Cutlass RS HSS bridge rattles-ebmm_collection-jpg

  7. #7

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    Nice collection!! If you can locate the burr, you should be able to file it out.

    Is that a Black Sugar AL???

    Glenn |B)
    Silhouette Special SSS in Fuschia Sparkle (Hardtail) [1/01/2002] [1 of a kind from CLB]
    Silhouette Special HSS in Gold Sparkle (Hardtail) [7/12/2002] [Made for Matchbox 20]
    Albert Lee 3 MM90's in White Sparkle (Hardtail) [8/14/2001] [Just pure awesomeness]
    Albert Lee HH in Black Sugar (Hartail) [1/06/2011] [BFR]


    Like BP said in the Chapman video "You've got a room full of guitars, and no money!!"

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by GWDavis28 View Post
    Nice collection!! If you can locate the burr, you should be able to file it out.

    Is that a Black Sugar AL???

    Glenn |B)
    Yes indeed - good catch. I acquired it a few years ago in a trade with a Fargen Mini Plex II combo. I like the guitar and really appreciate the light weight but it's too nice to gig with on a regular basis.

  9. #9

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    I think if you drop EBMM a line they'll ship you out replacement saddles. Lovely guitars btw. i recently joined the RS club (a VT and a Whte), but not done the requisite photography yet for an NGD thread
    Albert Lee HH - White
    Cutlas SSS - Ivory White
    St Vincent - BFR Trans Gold
    American Vintage 59 Strat - Sherwood Green

  10. #10

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    I had this happen recently on my 25th Anniversary guitar. You can easily fix it yourself- just take the string of and lightly file the saddle. That'll smooth out the area and remove the burr.

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