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Thread: I need you guys to talk some sense into me

  1. #1

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    I need you guys to talk some sense into me


    I've had my brand new Axis for a month now and I'm obsessed with it... to the point where I'm afraid to make any tweaks and adjustments to it.

    Here are my issues and concerns:

    1. My biggest issue is that I noticed that the treble side of the bridge was not flush against the body like it was supposed to be. I ended up adjusting the pivot screws to get it perfectly flush, but noticed that after that, the string height was a hair too low. There's no fret buzz per se, but it's right on the line and sounds a little tinny. I want to correct this.

    Is tweaking my truss rod a click for relief a good idea? I'm really nervous about doing it. The neck is nice and straight as it is and the intonation is fantastic and I don't want to jeopardize that. Should I just do it? Or am I worried for good reason?

    2. As far as cleaning it, can I use the Wonder Wipes on the body, back of the neck and (maple) fretboard? Can I use them on the chrome bridge? Should I use the Ernie Ball string cleaner on the fretboard instead?

    Also, when doing a thorough fretboard cleaning, taking all of the strings off to do so is bad for the neck stability, right?

    Any replies would be greatly appreciated. I need to get past these OCD issues so I can play the hell out of it and have fun without worry. It's just that it's my dream guitar and I want to keep it in tip top shape so I can play it for the rest of my life.

    Thanks for reading.
    Last edited by J-Diz; 06-15-2019 at 03:51 PM.

  2. #2

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    As for Wonder wipes, you could use it with the string on, but usually I do the wiping and then replace the strings as the strings get oily, too. The wipes are for the fretboard only. Doubt it helps much with chrome bridges, might as well just wipe those clean.

    You should see my battle-worn Axis, then again I use guitars to play gigs... EBMM guitars take a lot of abuse and still work fine.

  3. #3

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    Use the truss rod to adjust relief.
    Use the pivot screws or a shim to adjust action.

  4. #4

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    Anxiety!! =D

    Take a deep breath, all is good.

    Use a regular polish cloth to wipe clean the bridge after playing. This will keep your bridge safe from sweat residue etc.

    I also use a make-up brush (yes, the one ladies use for cosmetic work), to remove the dust.

    I also do not use a polish cloth on the body and neck all the time. Doing that will fill the guitar with hair scratches. Yes, even if it's micro fiber!! The wonder wipes are perfect for polishing the instrument every now and then.

    If the neck does not need adjustment, then do not use the truss rod. Just use the pivot posts to adjust the action.

    Above all, keep calm and keep playing!! Your fingers are the treasured items.

    Enjoy your guitar!!

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  5. #5

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    [QUOTE=ksandvik;104979The wipes are for the fretboard only.[/QUOTE]

    I can't use the Wonder Wipes on the body or back of the neck?

  6. #6

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    I'm guess I'm not touching the truss rod. And am definitely not brave enough to deal with shims. Pivot screws would be ideal if it didn't raise the bridge off the body- which was my initial issue.

    This is frustrating. I guess I'll have to find a luthier or just live with low action.

    Any other ideas? Thanks to all who replied already.

  7. #7

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    It's oily so I would not use it for the body. As for untreated neck, look at this info:
    Caring for your Music Man neck & Fretboard - YouTube

  8. #8

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    I would put the pivot screw back where it was. On a guitar with a floyd rose, the only way to fine tune action is with the pivot screws, or by shimming the saddles. It was most likely set that way from the factory to get the correct action. As long as the back end is "decked" it's not a problem.
    2007 Stingray 5 HS Cherry Burst / Maple FB / 3 Band EQ / Ceramic Pickups
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  9. #9

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    Is it a Floyd Rose or Vintage style bridge/trem?
    2016 Axis Super Sport Trans Gold w/ Maple Neck
    1997 Axis Sport HSS Kandy Lime w/ Maple Neck

  10. #10

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    I see a lot of questionable advice here when Music Man has provided clear answers to most of these questions (see below).

    According to Drew Montell from Music Man in this video, "Over time you might find your instrument might have too high or too low of an action. You might want to adjust the saddles to fix that [which you can't do on a Floyd] but more often than not, a slight adjustment of the truss rod and everything will work just fine."

    I have 101 (literally) EBMM guitars with Floyd Rose trems and I have NEVER adjusted the action using the pivot studs. I suppose you could use shims under the Floyd saddles, but I have never done that. On one guitar where the truss rod was maxed, I added a Floyd nut shim under the locking nut and that solved it.

    J-Diz, here's my thoughts on your questions:

    1) The best way is to follow the instructions in this video to fix your action. If you turn it a 1/4 turn as Drew advises, you won't mess up the neck. RE: the intonation: you already impacted it by adjusting the pivot studs. And anything you do to adjust the action (pivot screws, shims, or truss rod) will impact intonation. If it's 1/4 turn, it won't be enough to lose sleep over unless you're recording at Sunset Sound tomorrow.

    2) For cleaning, you need to treat the body and neck differently:

    Neck: Follow this Music Man video where Drew explains the ideal way to clean your neck. I was about to type everything he says in the video, but just watch the video.

    Regarding taking off all the strings: Drew does it in the video. For deep cleaning, it's the only way. If you take them off, do the job, clean up, and then restring in 30 minutes it'll be fine. Don't leave it sitting for hours, etc. If you're really paranoid about cleaning with all the strings off, then I guess you can do it two at a time, but you'll have a real hard time scrubbing the neck like that. And, obviously, those old strings will be garbage can after getting oil soap all over them... It'll come out WAY better if you take them all off so you can properly clean it. Of course, when I do normal string changes (without cleaning the neck) I change one string at a time.

    Body: Do NOT use Wonder Wipes Fretboard Conditioner, as that stuff has oil soap in it and will make your body nasty. You should use Wonder Wipes Instrument Polish or any other quality guitar polish. I happen to use Dunlop Formula 65 Polish and Cleaner because it's what GC had in stock one day when I needed it. Use a microfiber cloth to dry it off. Avoid crazy circular motions, and be gentle because otherwise you'll make hairline swirl marks in the clear. I agree with johnnyboogie, don't be wiping your guitar all the time or you will see finish scratches. Only when necessary or for your big gig (and after the big gig when it has sweat and beer and whatever else on it).

    Bridge: Do NOT use Wonder Wipes Fretboard Conditioner, as that stuff has oil soap in it and will get in every crevasse and your hands will get oily whenever you play. I usually just use the damp cleaning cloth that I just used to clean the body and wipe down the bridge. I would NEVER spray the bridge with cleaner as you'll never get it dry in all the crevasses and then it'll rust or something.

    Good luck!

    Last edited by dibart77; 06-16-2019 at 08:45 PM.

  11. #11

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    Thank you so much, dibart77! I will do a minor neck tweak. I'm going to leave the pivot screws where I set them because I really want the bridge flush against the body so the strings can't go sharp.

    For clarification, I wasn't talking about using the fretboard cleaner on the back of the neck/body, but the instrument polish. But now it seems like I will occasionally just wipe it down with a dry (or slightly damp?) microfiber cloth and use the polish once in a blue moon. I will of course watch the videos you linked.

    I've never been so concerned about an inanimate object like this before. That's how much I love the guitar! I want to show it off to you guys, but I need to figure out how to upload a picture here first. And I will, so stay tuned.

    You guys rock, and I'm happy to be a part of this community.

  12. #12

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    Quick note on the truss rod for the first timer. It’s not a humanity vaporizing red button. It’s a simple, fairly primitive mechanical interface that only has issues at its very extremes and with force applied by ignorant apes (don’t ask). In your case, as your so close to what you like, a small counter clockwise turn literally a 1/8 turn, will yield measureable results and harm absolutely nothing. They’re there to be turned! In fact, depending on your seasonal changes you may find you need to go back and forth a couple times a year. Real common or if you change string brands or gauge.

    You should really learn the easy relief check process though. That’s the best starting point and will tell you when the rod is right. Key. And easy. No need for tricky three hand feeler gauge contortions. His hold the string at fret one or two with your left hand, right hand thumb frets same string around fret 20. Then press the string to the frets with the middle finger of your right hand. That gap is your relief. In time you’ll know what’s good or not. A business card gap is a decent rule of thumb. Some like more or less. It’s harder to describe than do.

    Last thing, the first time you turn that truss wheel it may not easily move. New guitars can set up a bit against the finish and be a bit glued in place. It may ‘snap’ loose. Freaked me out a couple times. Do not freak out! Just the way it is. Or, it may move nice and freely. Now get in there. Learn these basic things do not be slave to needing a tech for these things.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    2016 Axis Super Sport Trans Gold w/ Maple Neck
    1997 Axis Sport HSS Kandy Lime w/ Maple Neck

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