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

Cauldronics

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I love this video and though I’m not a guitar player I built a few as a teenager. Besides, Joe is the man!

Now I know how to play the intro riff to "Whole Lotta Love" thanks to Joe! I thought Jimmy's guitar was just out of tune lol.

I like how he explained guitar setup more like a guitar player would than a tech.
 

Cauldronics

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If you ever get down to the Fresno area, you can stop by. I can do a set up, clean up the nut, level and dress the frets all in a couple of hours. I've done this for years, and I'll teach you the basics as they happen.
Very kind offer. I might drop by when I get out that way again. ty
 

DamnSingerAlsoDrums

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I love this video and though I’m not a guitar player I built a few as a teenager. Besides, Joe is the man!

I hesitated between the love and laugh emoticon... I wish I could've pressed both.. This is the best guitar setup video in the history of ever. It made the rounds among my guitar player friends circles a few years back. I gladly rewatched it this time around.
 

Lazmo

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My brother loves Joe. I told him about this video, and he says that he takes his guitar to a pro tech.

Yeah, it's a fun vid, and easy to do when you are Joe and have access to endless top of the range stuff, and also have a vast history of awesomeness.

BTW, I think the best bit of information in that video was to always tune UP. Start lower than the note and tune UP to the note. It just means the tuner gears are in mesh and not able to back off. I had a good mate, in one of our bands, and he always tuned Down... drove me crazy... and he was always going out of tune mid song. I had to actually go through the whole thing with him, describe how the tuner gears were not meshing and holding the tune, before he finally changed tactic... and voila, his guitar stopped going out of tune. How bizarre. Ha ha, what would I know, I was just the drummer.

But for us ordinary punters and the ordinary guitars we play, I need to be able to actually measure (not feel or hear or sense like Joe) when things are right.

When I started to tinker with doing setups, most youtube people were using steel rulers and its 1/64th inch scale, and when combined with parallax error and old persons near sighted blindness, it made it near impossible to get accurate measurements, let alone making those measurements repeatable.

Then I discovered Bryan Kimseys lutherie website... where he measured everything with feeler gauges in thousands of an inch. Having built endless motorcycles where feeler gauges were commonplace, straight away I could get VERY accurate readings and then repeat them easily. BTW, his information about typical neck relief settings, nut slot heights, and saddle heights for different types of players is invaluable.

Buy some feeler gauges and check his site out.
 
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bigbonzo

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Yeah, it's a fun vid, and easy to do when you are Joe and have access to endless top of the range stuff, and also have a vast history of awesomeness.

BTW, I think the best bit of information in that video was to always tune UP. Start lower than the note and tune UP to the note. It just means the tuner gears are in mesh and not able to back off. I had a good mate, in one of our bands, and he always tuned Down... drove me crazy... and he was always going out of tune mid song. I had to actually go through the whole thing with him, describe how the the tuner gears were not meshing and holding the tune, before he finally changed tactic... and voila, his guitar stopped going out of tune. How bizarre. Ha ha, what would I know, I was just the drummer.

But for us ordinary punters and the ordinary guitars we play, I need to be able to actually measure (not feel or hear or sense like Joe) when things are right.

When I started to tinker with doing setups, most youtube people were using steel rulers and its 1/64th inch scale, and when combined with parallax error and old persons near sighted blindness, it made it near impossible to get accurate measurements, let alone making those measurements repeatable.

Then I discovered Bryan Kimseys lutherie website... where he measured everything with feeler gauges. Having built endless motorcycles where feeler gauges were commonplace, straight away I could get VERY accurate readings and then repeat them easily. BTW, his information about typical neck relief settings, nut slot heights, and saddle heights for different types of players is invaluable.

Buy some feeler gauges and check his site out.
Regarding tuning up. It's the same when tuning your drums. Always tune up.

BTW, I don't play guitar at all.
 

drumaniac

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It may need a truss rod adjustment, fret dressing and have the intonation set.
 

wraub

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I also have a Firefly FFLP, their LP style guitar. They can be hit or miss on the QC scale- some had the bridge in the wrong place, intonation was always off. Pretty sure they've fixed that. :)

Yes, the neck angle is supposed to be like that, and yes the frets can be rough, or were on mine also at least. Unpolished and lacking finesse- regular playing fixed that. I did get replacement tuners but haven't installed as the stock ones are okay so far. And yes, carved (some kind of) maple top with (some kind of) mahogany neck and body, not bad for the price (if you get a good one).

I've had mine for about a year and have played it a fair bit, usually for an hour or two a day, nothing too aggressive. The one I have is good, no real issues and all cosmetic. I did make a couple minor mods to make it more my liking, but stock a good one is pretty good.

Give yours some time to settle also, mine took a week or so to acclimate after string change, etc.

A good tech could definitely help with some of the things you mention, especially if you aren't super guitar-oriented. LP style guitars have some specific set-up tips that could be beneficial. Lots of YT vids re that also.
 
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Lazmo

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I was going to post some guitar setup info here, but rather than take this thread off into red herring land... I'll start another thread dedicated to guitar setup.
 

wjuan

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I'm sorry to hear that you had a bad experience with your Firefly guitar. It sounds like the neck joint was not done correctly and there was already fret wear when you got it, which is unacceptable for a brand-new guitar. I'm glad you got it for a relatively low price, but it's still unfortunate that you had to deal with this. Have you been able to get in touch with Guitar Garden to return the guitar? It's worth a try, especially if you have the original receipt. I was in a similar situation when I purchased some of the best guitar accessories. It happens, and it's not the end if you cannot do anything about that.
 
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Fingerz

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Go with brand names like Fender and Gibson. Fender has a full line of guitars that start from under $200 and they have quality control standards that are beyond compare. My favorite guitar is my Sparkle red Bullet Telecaster which cost under $200 and out of the 15 guitars that I have is still my favorite. Beautiful sparkling tone!

As to your current guitar the name speaks for how I would deal with it.. firewood. You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.
 
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groovemastergreg

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But isn’t the angle from THE HEADSTOCK and not from the way the set neck is seated?
I’ll add that Epiphone clones of Gibsons have LESS of a headstock angle. I don’t know the specific degrees each uses, but I’ve been told and read repeatedly over the decades that it’s Gibsons extreme headstock angle that renders headstock/necks to such damage potential.
 

Lazmo

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But isn’t the angle from THE HEADSTOCK and not from the way the set neck is seated?

Neck angle and headstock angle are two separate things, even though their purpose is similar... which is to get a greater string break angle at the bridge and at the headstock nut.

The neck angle allows the bridge to be higher, and with the increased angle that the string follows down to the stop-bar tailpiece, that in turn creates more downward pressure into the body of the guitar, which increases sustain and improves tone.

The Gibson style headstock angle increases the string break angle, which keeps the strings seated in the nut, but does make the neck susceptible to breaking where the angled headstock is no longer in line with the wood grain of the neck. Fender have straight necks that follow the grain of the wood, but use strings trees to get adequate string break angle.
 
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groovemastergreg

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Neck angle and headstock angle are two separate things, even though their purpose is similar... which is to get a greater string break angle at the bridge and at the headstock nut.

The neck angle allows the bridge to be higher, and with the increased angle that the string follows down to the stop-bar tailpiece, that in turn creates more downward pressure into the body of the guitar, which increases sustain and improves tone.

The Gibson style headstock angle increases the string break angle, which keeps the strings seated in the nut, but does make the neck susceptible to breaking where the angled headstock is no longer in line with the wood grain of the neck. Fender have straight necks that follow the grain of the wood, but use strings trees to get adequate string break angle.
Thanks!
 

groovemastergreg

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Go with brand names like Fender and Gibson. Fender has a full line of guitars that start from under $200 and they have quality control standards that are beyond compare. My favorite guitar is my Sparkle red Bullet Telecaster which cost under $200 and out of the 15 guitars that I have is still my favorite. Beautiful sparkling tone!

As to your current guitar the name speaks for how I would deal with it.. firewood. You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.
I have bought two of these red sparkle beauties, adding quality wiring harnesses and turning them into Esquires for gifts for a few friends. Used Seymour Duncan Nocaster bridge pu and installed an “Eldred Switch” by Hoagland Customs (who also make great pickups). Nice, thin, LIGHTWEIGHT “Esquire”.

Frets were great on both. Pickups were muted on one, dang good on another. $149 each about a year ago.
 

Michael M.

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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.

View attachment 548041
Save someone else the problems, and use it for fire wood.
 

Lazmo

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But isn’t the angle from THE HEADSTOCK and not from the way the set neck is seated?

Hey groovemastergreg,

Sorry, ha ha, I'm a bit slow out of the blocks... old age at work. I didn't realise that you were talking about my photo of my guitar.

I've taken another pic, but this time with the body raised up and level with the bench, and it is very easy to see the neck angle.

And firewood derision comments aside... no way am I burning this guitar, as I love it.

LP59TRB neck angle.jpeg
 

groovemastergreg

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Hey groovemastergreg,

Sorry, ha ha, I'm a bit slow out of the blocks... old age at work. I didn't realise that you were talking about my photo of my guitar.

I've taken another pic, but this time with the body raised up and level with the bench, and it is very easy to see the neck angle.

And firewood derision comments aside... no way am I burning this guitar, as I love it.

View attachment 585212
Ah. I see. I’m a drummer not a guitarist. Lol. Ask my wife. She’ll tell you. Thanks. I learned something.
 


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