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FT 165 Bard 12 string question

#1 User is offline   squark 

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Posted 10 August 2017 - 12:51 PM

Hey guys,

I'm writing on behalf of someone (my Dad) who has an Epiphone 12 string 'FT165 Bard' guitar. It's a gorgeous guitar, but a real pain to play. The action seems much higher than it should be, so we took it in to the guitar shop to get a new setup. Basically it seems that whoever had it before didn't know what they were doing and has managed to thread the truss rodd. (D'oh!) Without being able to alter this, there was only so much the guitar guy could do to make it playable (especially for myself, since I love having guitars set to the lowest action possible in most cases). Later on, using a bit of brute force and luck, we managed to remove the nut of the truss rod. Having done this, we plan on putting a new nut on the truss rod, and finally changing the neck relief to make it more playable. The trouble is, we don't know what sort of thread the truss rod uses, and it doesn't seem easy to find out. This is especially complicated since I'm from the UK, and understand that these guitars were made either in the US or in Japan (and no obvious way or telling which), so would likely have used measurements we're not familiar with, and possibly different parts entirely. Of course I'd be happy to order the truss rod nut from the States, but I'd rather get the right part the first time. So I guess the question I'm asking is whether anyone out there knows the details of the thread used for these truss rods, and just what kind of nut we should be buying to put on the end of it. Any links to the right item would be very welcome!

Also, out of curiosity, if I post the serial number (26411) can anyone date this particular guitar or give an idea of whether it was made in the states or Japan. Not that it really makes any difference!

Many thanks for any info,
Squark!
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#2 User is offline   AngelDeVille 

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Posted 10 August 2017 - 03:29 PM

Take the nut to the hardware store, they should have a test card to help figure it out. I'd start with SAE thread sizes.
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#3 User is offline   zombywoof 

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Posted 11 August 2017 - 08:38 AM

If the action is high to the point the guitar is hard to play, a truss rod adjustment is probably not going to be the answer anyway. The TR is not there to adjust action. Yes it does affect the playability and is a crucial part of any proper setup but its function is to adjust the neck relief. Action is a result of not only neck relief but neck angle and nut, fret and saddle height. A fix could mean a few simple adjustments or possible installing a Bridge Doctor (which reduces bellying). It could also mean a neck reset. A good repair guy who can evaluate the guitar will be a big help.
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#4 User is offline   squark 

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 03:48 PM

thanks for the helpful replies.

Well maybe I was exaggerating the action slightly. It's playable lower down the neck but becomes much tougher higher up. As I said, we have since taken it in for a setup which definitely improved other aspects, but the fact that we could't adjust the truss rod seemed to be an important contributing factor. Perhaps zombywoof is right, and it'll still be difficult to play, but I feel like it's worth a shot.

We took it to a DIY place, who identified the nut as an 'M6', but we ordered an M6 nut and that didn't seem to fit. Urgh, even more confused now!

From memory I don't think bellying is an issue with the guitar, but thanks for the help :)
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#5 User is offline   flyingarmadillo 

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 10:54 PM

View Postsquark, on 12 August 2017 - 03:48 PM, said:

thanks for the helpful replies.

Well maybe I was exaggerating the action slightly. It's playable lower down the neck but becomes much tougher higher up. As I said, we have since taken it in for a setup which definitely improved other aspects, but the fact that we could't adjust the truss rod seemed to be an important contributing factor. Perhaps zombywoof is right, and it'll still be difficult to play, but I feel like it's worth a shot.

We took it to a DIY place, who identified the nut as an 'M6', but we ordered an M6 nut and that didn't seem to fit. Urgh, even more confused now!

From memory I don't think bellying is an issue with the guitar, but thanks for the help :)


If the M6 is too loose, it's probably a UNF 10-32 thread, that seems to be what Gibson has used in the past, based on a couple of Google searches. If the M6 is too tight, it may be a UNF 1/4 - 28 if it's fine thread, UNC 1/4-20 if it's coarse thread. I'm not a guitar mechanic, but in a former life I was a professional bicycle mechanic and had to deal with a lot of weird nuts and bolts.

Edit - I checked on Stew Mac and the Gibson ones are 10-32. http://www.stewmac.c...n_-_6_Pack.html

This post has been edited by flyingarmadillo: 14 August 2017 - 12:20 AM

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