POINTY MODELS question

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POINTY MODELS question

Post by drsyn67 on Wed Dec 12, 2012 3:28 pm

I've noticed on my Dynasty that the angle on the strings is not in perfect alignment, and have seen it on several other "pointy" models. At the nut, things are fine, but as the strings progress back to the bridge, everything is off by a 1/16th or so. It is ghastly apparent on the top E string (low, wound E string). I have seen many others online that are this way... just curious if that matches what everyone here has. I cannot see a way to fix it, unless the bridge were removed (and thus affect the paint - which would be criminal!) Speaking of... the previous owner of my Dynasty decided to glue the bridge down in-place... "hardtailing" it. Anyone know if there way to take that off without destroying the aforementioned beautiful paint?

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Re: POINTY MODELS question

Post by corsair on Wed Dec 12, 2012 3:36 pm

Heat destroys glues adhesive properties, so perhaps trying to heat up the bridge plate with a hair dryer or paint stripper heat gun might work??

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Re: POINTY MODELS question

Post by Guest on Wed Dec 12, 2012 4:25 pm

got a pic of the bridge in question?

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Re: POINTY MODELS question

Post by Barry on Wed Dec 12, 2012 9:58 pm

drsyn67 wrote:I've noticed on my Dynasty that the angle on the strings is not in perfect alignment, and have seen it on several other "pointy" models.
Strings are not parallel on any guitar. They are always slightly wider at the bridge, so not to worry.
the previous owner of my Dynasty decided to glue the bridge down in-place... "hardtailing" it. Anyone know if there way to take that off without destroying the aforementioned beautiful paint?
Good God! Rolling Eyes
As Corsair mentioned heat generally will break an adhesive bond but you will need to take care that the surrounding paint finish is well protected. Several layers of metal foil or something more substantial should help dissipate the heat.

If I understand correctly, the plate is stuck to the body, in which case you are likely going to have to kiss your finish goodbye. But, you might get lucky, eh? Once the bridge is off then you can worry about refinishing if needed.

Before starting I'd remove the strings and the springs, and insert the trem arm. Apply gentle pressure while you are heating. The key here is use as gentle a heat as possible, not too hot, and take your time. You want to gently warm up the metal not blast it; too much heat and the finish will definitely suffer or the metal might warp. The goal is to break the glue bond, not the guitar. I'd start with a hair dryer and see how it goes. Then perhaps a soldering iron (not gun, too hot). I think a paint stripper might also be too hot.

Good luck!

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Re: POINTY MODELS question

Post by drsyn67 on Wed Dec 12, 2012 10:46 pm

Thanks, all for the replies. I guess I'm going to live with it and eventually have a Dynasty with a working wang bar.

Regarding my "parallel to the guitar" statement: What I meant to say is all of the strings are off-center by about 1/16th". They are in the right place at the nut, but I think Uncle Mat setup the bridges on some (if not all) of these off-center... To describe it further, if the guitar is on a stand, the bridge is off-center to the left by 1/16" of an inch, and as such, the low E string is almost OFF the fretboard by the 21st fret (not that I'm playing up there... but you get what I mean). Everything is shifted just a hair, so playing this guitar compared to others always requires a little adjusting (maybe not so good for a novice like me-self). Still a favorite, but I've wondered if anyone else had noticed the same thing (the neck is not warped or anything like that.)

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Re: POINTY MODELS question

Post by The Chad on Thu Dec 13, 2012 9:30 am

My Dynasty had the same issue with string alignment. You can't move the bridge, but you CAN move the neck a little to the right (toward the high E string). You need to loosen the neck bolts, gently pull your neck into alignment, retighten your bolst. Here's what you need to do...

Loosen the tension on your strings by detuning until they're slack but still on.

Loosen the neck bolts until the screw heads stick out about 1/8".

Holding onto both the body and the neck, gently pull the neck toward the high E sting side, bringing it into better alignment. Don't yank it, but be gentle but with forceful little tugs to bring pull it straight. You may hear a little groaning, don't worry it's the tension from the screws shifting.

Here's the hard part. While maintaining that tension on the neck (the re-adjustment you just did), you need to re-tighten your neck screws. If you release the tension however, the neck may pull back slightly to where it was, which isn't good. You may want to have someone else tighten the bolts while you keep the tension.

The idea is to loosen and re-tighten the bolts with the neck in the proper position. The neck screws will hold it there in place once tightened. This worked on my Dynasty just fine. It's great now.

The only other options are to fill and redrill the neck bolt holes, or to move the bridge.

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Re: POINTY MODELS question

Post by drsyn67 on Thu Dec 13, 2012 9:34 am

~ Chad nailed it! THAT'S the info I was looking for regarding the strings! Thank you - I know what I'll be doing this weekend! Regarding the glued bridge, I appreciate everyone's valuable input. Thank you each for your comments... the finish is so beautiful on this guitar I'm not going to risk ruining it.

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Re: POINTY MODELS question

Post by The Chad on Thu Dec 13, 2012 9:36 am

In all honesty, it may suit you well being glued down! I never like those trems anyhow...

Although the heat would probably work!

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Re: POINTY MODELS question

Post by Barry on Thu Dec 13, 2012 9:45 am

(Chad beat me to it as I was writing this...oh well. We're on the same page at least)
Ah, the old cockeyed bridge installation.
I know exactly what you mean having gone through similar issues with Mats' famous "barrel saddle" bridges. But this is the first I've heard of the problem on this particular model.

I've commented before that, despite their generally superb attention to build standards Mats did have its share of quality control and design issues, and bridges appears to be one area that they had difficulty with for whatever reason.

Chad's suggestion to keep it glued down is the path of least resistance, but still doesn't address your string tracking issue. As to how to fix it, well...

I'd check the neck to be sure that it's seated correctly and square to the body. The problem may actually reside there and a simple shim may be all that's needed. If that checks out OK you don't have a lot of options unfortunately.

Since this is a trem bridge you cannot just "turn" it and re-seat it as you can with a surface mount in order to reduce the spacing. (However, they did that on the barrel-saddle bridges with limited success.)

The major fix would likely be to enlarge the routing in which the trem sits. But that involves also plugging and re-drilling all mounting holes, and that comes back to refinishing.

You can investigate shaving the saddles or finding narrower replacements if that's even possible. Bummer.


Last edited by Barry on Thu Dec 13, 2012 9:49 am; edited 2 times in total

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Re: POINTY MODELS question

Post by drsyn67 on Thu Dec 13, 2012 9:46 am

Well said. I've heard lots of complaints and haven't tried one first-hand, so I will bow to this wisdom. Thanks!

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Re: POINTY MODELS question

Post by drsyn67 on Thu Dec 13, 2012 9:55 am

I'll be taking the Chad's approach to realigning it this weekend. Will post a before and after. Barry - I appreciate you identifying the problem as "string tracking" - that makes sense - good term for it! Thanks. Photos to come over the weekend.

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Re: POINTY MODELS question

Post by The Chad on Thu Dec 13, 2012 10:52 am

I'd never heard string tracking before, that is a good way to say it.

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Re: POINTY MODELS question

Post by Westbone on Thu Dec 13, 2012 2:17 pm

String tracking, fook me sideways???

Kindergarten, come on!

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Re: POINTY MODELS question

Post by drsyn67 on Thu Dec 13, 2012 2:18 pm

c'mon.... i like "tracking". Makes me feel like my axe is truly a weapon.

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Re: POINTY MODELS question

Post by drsyn67 on Thu Dec 13, 2012 2:19 pm

( you guys are ruthless Smile

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Re: POINTY MODELS question

Post by Westbone on Thu Dec 13, 2012 2:23 pm

There are ways of doing this without moving the bridge.

It's called shims and a bit of skill.

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Re: POINTY MODELS question

Post by The Chad on Thu Dec 13, 2012 2:31 pm

Neck adjustment is MUCH easier! I don't know what it is on the Dynasty's, but this is an issue. I think it's how the neck sits in the pocket. It allows for the low E sting side to pull it out of whack slightly. They redesigned the neck pocket on these a couple times from what I've seen, maybe that's why?

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Re: POINTY MODELS question

Post by Westbone on Thu Dec 13, 2012 4:37 pm

Not talking about shims to alter the up/down of the neck.

Shims to alter the neck angle to the bridge.

Left/right or right/left string pitch in relation to the position of the bridge. As you call it string travel over the fingerboard. Tracking.

Shimming the neck pocket,sideways.

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Re: POINTY MODELS question

Post by Barry on Thu Dec 13, 2012 5:15 pm

That's what we're (I) am talking about Damian. You can't move the bridge much. It's bloody glued!

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Re: POINTY MODELS question

Post by Guest on Thu Dec 13, 2012 8:19 pm

I'd still like to see some pics to get a good view of the problem before any changes are made to it.

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Re: POINTY MODELS question

Post by drsyn67 on Thu Dec 13, 2012 9:19 pm

My digital camera is with a friend, so here is a link with a guitar that has the same issue. If you scroll down to the sixth photo (second row of images) and enlarge it, you'll see how close the low E string is to the edge of the fretboard, and how far over/up the high E is (and away from its edge!)

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Westone-Spectum-LX-guitar-Matsumoku-with-vintage-case-/121035795553?pt=Guitar&hash=item1c2e4bac61


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Re: POINTY MODELS question

Post by drsyn67 on Thu Dec 13, 2012 9:21 pm

Here is the same model as mine on the 'bay. It also has the same issue, as seen in its second photo.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Westone-Electra-guitar-/130813940615?pt=Guitar&hash=item1e751e5387

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Re: POINTY MODELS question

Post by Guest on Thu Dec 13, 2012 9:47 pm

Both links point to guitars that should have never left the factory. The spectrum....maybe, by the pointy grey... no way, that is just plain lame.

Where was the quality check on those guitars?

I would mess with the neck pocket a bit like westbone said(if you absolutely have to), before trying to move the bridge - or just sell it, and get one that was built correctly.

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Re: POINTY MODELS question

Post by drsyn67 on Thu Dec 13, 2012 9:53 pm

Almost every Dynasty I have seen have the strings out of line like the example I have shared.... which was my point in bringing this up: I was curious who else here had experienced the same thing with this model, and Chad responded with an "affirmative" and provided a possible fix. I think I mentioned that I will not be messing with the bridge ("bloody bridge" - Barry), so the next step is Chad's recommendation.

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Re: POINTY MODELS question

Post by Westbone on Fri Dec 14, 2012 3:23 am

drsyn67 wrote:My digital camera is with a friend, so here is a link with a guitar that has the same issue. If you scroll down to the sixth photo (second row of images) and enlarge it, you'll see how close the low E string is to the edge of the fretboard, and how far over/up the high E is (and away from its edge!)

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Westone-Spectum-LX-guitar-Matsumoku-with-vintage-case-/121035795553?pt=Guitar&hash=item1c2e4bac61


Think the e string is trapped in the b string slot at the nut.

No way could it be that far out.

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