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I bought a dud guitar... what should I do with it?

Cauldronics

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Is it me, or is the neck join completely wrong and defective? The bottom of the neck block was painted black to blend in with the body and the neck tilts back more than 1/8"!!

To make it worse, when I took off the strings, there was visible fret wear on many of the frets... ground off tops where the strings dug in from previous owner(s). I bought this guitar brand new!

Not surprisingly, the guitar won't stay in tune.

The good news: It was about $200 shipped, so not a huge loss...

The bad: It's too late to return it although I'm going to try anyway.

The brand is Firefly and they're hit or miss when it comes to getting a good instrument. I took my chances and Guitar Garden (be warned) sold me a guitar than had probably been returned more than once. I bet they were relieved when it didn't come back immediately, but that's on me. I didn't play it for awhile and played my main axe the whole time.

I cannot in good conscience, put this guitar on the used market so I may give it away.

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Lazmo

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Show us pics of the whole thing.

Is it an LP style guitar?

Bolt on neck or set neck, I’m guessing the later.

Anyway, if it’s an LP style guitar they have a neck angle on purpose.

Regardless I doubt the neck angle is why it’s not staying in tune… unless it’s physically not stable. It’s more likely, on a cheap guitar… to be crappy tuners, badly cut sticking nut, high stiction bridge saddles or rubbish tailpiece.

Pics of the whole thing… please
 

Cauldronics

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Show us pics of the whole thing.

Is it an LP style guitar?

Bolt on neck or set neck, I’m guessing the later.

Anyway, if it’s an LP style guitar they have a neck angle on purpose.

Regardless I doubt the neck angle is why it’s not staying in tune… unless it’s physically not stable. It’s more likely, on a cheap guitar… to be crappy tuners, badly cut sticking nut, high stiction bridge saddles or rubbish tailpiece.

Pics of the whole thing… please
It's a Les Paul copy. I'm a novice guitar player and don't know enough about how a LP should look or be set up, which could be a lot of the problem here. I didn't know the neck angle was part of the design.

Set neck. The parts are generic but might be decent although the main thing I was going to change was the microphonic pick ups. That was where they skimped.

The tuning badly wavers with even a little pressure forward or back on the neck. If the neck is the problem, I don't see much hope for this guitar.

Here are some pics to tell more of the story.

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Rock Salad

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The neck angle is on purpose, and all necks give a little- not necessarily a bad thing and neither are microphonic pickups. Worn frets never are a good thing though. It would be ok to sell it if you show or tell about the worn frets.
 

JazzDrumGuy

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The first guitar I bought was a piece of junk from a pawn shop for 80 bucks. A beautiful sunburst Fender Strat copy. I played the Daylights out of it. When I was able to finally get a real Fender, that guitar was thrashed and broken and not even worth donating. I took it outside to my apartment complex parking lot, smashed it like Townsend and then burned it like Hendrix. It felt great!

Since this one is new, I suggest donating it to a school. You'll make a kid's day!
 

Lazmo

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Google WHY HAVE A NECK ANGLE ON A GUITAR… at Haze Guitars.

This is my LP59TRB… see the neck angle. Stays in tune perfectly.


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Lazmo

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take it to someone who knows how to do set ups

they'll be able to tell you if its junk or not

I agree with davezedlee ... take it to someone who can do setups, and they will let you know straight away.

I do setups, and with a few visual checks and three measurements, it is immediately obvious if the guitar can be sorted or not.

The first pic implies it has a carved top... which is not too shabby on a cheap LP style guitar. You'd think if they are going to carve the top, they'd do an ok set neck... but maybe not.

The bridge does look to be set very high, which creates a lot of break angle, so the thing should be very resonant ... which in turn creates stiction. Maybe, slacken the strings and get a pencil (or graphite powder) and work some into the saddles on the bridge and while you're at it, do the nut slots too. You might be surprised, it may resolve the tuning isssues.

BTW, I doubt the guitar has been played enough to have fret wear... it's likely they are just not smooth from the factory. Some tape to protect the neck and some wet and dry, and they'll be smooth as a baby's bottom.

Me, I'd try to fix it.
 

bigbonzo

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The first guitar I bought was a piece of junk from a pawn shop for 80 bucks. A beautiful sunburst Fender Strat copy. I played the Daylights out of it. When I was able to finally get a real Fender, that guitar was thrashed and broken and not even worth donating. I took it outside to my apartment complex parking lot, smashed it like Townsend and then burned it like Hendrix. It felt great!

Since this one is new, I suggest donating it to a school. You'll make a kid's day!
I concur with this. Donation is the way to go.
 

Cauldronics

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I agree with davezedlee ... take it to someone who can do setups, and they will let you know straight away.

I do setups, and with a few visual checks and three measurements, it is immediately obvious if the guitar can be sorted or not.

The first pic implies it has a carved top... which is not too shabby on a cheap LP style guitar. You'd think if they are going to carve the top, they'd do an ok set neck... but maybe not.

The bridge does look to be set very high, which creates a lot of break angle, so the thing should be very resonant ... which in turn creates stiction. Maybe, slacken the strings and get a pencil (or graphite powder) and work some into the saddles on the bridge and while you're at it, do the nut slots too. You might be surprised, it may resolve the tuning isssues.

BTW, I doubt the guitar has been played enough to have fret wear... it's likely they are just not smooth from the factory. Some tape to protect the neck and some wet and dry, and they'll be smooth as a baby's bottom.

Me, I'd try to fix it.
Yes, with the help of YT videos I have been trying to fix it and had some success, but more importantly, learning how it's done.

I discovered here and on the net, that the neck angle is meant to be like that. It threw me off coming from the Strat world where everything is predictable, parallel and lined up.

The good news is nothing's wrong with the guitar. The frets are a bit rough and may have some grind on them but they can be leveled and polished up, which doesn't look that hard to do myself.

I have overdone the neck a bit with the truss rod although still within a safe range. My intonation and action skills after that could use some work which is why I'm spending a lot more time watching YT videos.

I figure there are at least two ways to approach it: take it to a guitar tech and have them set it up, or learn to do it myself and I might never need a tech again. It's a time investment versus what's convenient.
 

Stickclick

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The guitar player in my band says "If you are going to keep the guitar then look into replacing the tuning machines with Grovers or high ratio (minimum 16:1) tuners. Replacement tuners will likely cost about USA $ 50 but you should hear an immediate sound of harmony from the guitar. Examine the nut slots with a magnifying glass. The slots should be V shaped. You may have to file the V shape into them. Lubricate nut slots with graphite or dilute soap solution."
 

Cauldronics

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The guitar player in my band says "If you are going to keep the guitar then look into replacing the tuning machines with Grovers or high ratio (minimum 16:1) tuners. Replacement tuners will likely cost about USA $ 50 but you should hear an immediate sound of harmony from the guitar. Examine the nut slots with a magnifying glass. The slots should be V shaped. You may have to file the V shape into them. Lubricate nut slots with graphite or dilute soap solution."
From what I know of guitar setup, that is good advice. I had heard about all the upgrade moves that can be made but hadn't really done much beyond changing strings until now. On my first guitar back in the early 90s, I had setups done by a tech long ago, but never learned to do it myself.

I'm about to break out the magnifying glass.
 


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