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About thepicnicband

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  1. Sorry to "hog" the thread but hopefully my experience will help others. The result is that there is now no discernible crackle but if you listen very carefully there is an "electrical" (not mechanical) unwanted high frequency buzz on the top string. I will try re-seating the UST tomorrow making sure that the tip of it goes right into the far side of the saddle slot (the side furthest away from the saddle slot hole). I noticed that the bend at the opposite end took the tip of the UST to 1mm from the end of the UST "tunnel". I figured that the top string would get enough "coverage" but may be I was wrong and I'll move the UST to full coverage of the "tunnel" by sliding it up a bit..
  2. OK... here is what I discovered about my particular problem with the pick-up. Someone told me to look out for the UST because that was probably where the problem was. I pressed gently down on the saddle while the guitar was plugged in and the blend slider on the pre-am was set to 100% UST. I was able to invoke bad crackle and mains-type hum just by pressing lightly on the saddle. It was no wonder that this hum occurred when I was playing the guitar hard. I had 13s on and the mechanical pressure on the saddle made by the strings was producing the same kind of pressure on the saddle. After I was alerted to the fact that the source of problem might be a badly installed UST I took off the strings and lifted the saddle up to look at the positioning of the UST. It came up through a hole in the saddle slot as usual and this hole was wide enough to make sure it was not restricted (ie a lose fit) which was good. However the hole was drilled straight down through the saddle slot at 90 degrees to the saddle instead of at a 45 degree angle. Furthermore the edge of the hole through which it came was left as a hard edge and not filed to a rounded shape where the UST lay. This meant that the UST was bent at right angles and the bend was lying on a hard edge. The combination of the UST bent at a right angle and the hard unfinished edge of the hole meant that unnecessary strain was being put on the UST. I've made the edge smooth and re-seated the UST. It's too late to fix the right-angle of the hole to a 45 degree angle but with the edge of the hole smoothed the UST has a better chance of performing. I've not had a chance to see what the effect of this is yet (I can't test it without waking people up!) and I have to go to work soon. If the crackle and hum persists it may mean that the UST has been damaged and may need replacing. What I've discovered however does not say a lot for the build quality of this "Masterbilt" guitar however. The two obvious build problems I found; the right angle instead of a 45 degree hole plus the fact that the edge of the hole was a hard edge are problems that could have been fixed for little or no extra cost on the part of Epiphone. Why sink the ship for a ha'peth worth of tar? There is a further possible problem. There is a shim underneath the bone saddle which is quite unnecessary. The saddle would do better to rest on the wood of the bridge rather than on a shim because the transference of vibration from the strings to the rosewood would be cleaner. I may need to take the guitar to a luthier and the shim taken out as well as another saddle carved - this in addition to any remaining hum problem with the pick-up. That's all for now. I'll post any progress at a later date so that others might learn from my own experience.
  3. I'm not familiar with the exact model of pre-amp that you have but it's often the case that a pre-amp like that is effectively "off" until a jack plug is plugged in so don't despair, it may work just fine but will appear to be dead until you plug a patch chord into the end-pin.
  4. That's a very good question and it may be bad news I'm afraid. I am thinking of doing the same sort of thing to my AJ-500RE which has the eSonic2 system in it. I've just carefully removed the eSonic2 pre-amp unit and measured the hole. It is 48mm x 59. The specs on the Baggs pre-amp indicate that the hole needed for the Baggs one is 45.75mm by 71mm so although the Baggs unit is longer it is narrower by 2.25mm. It will be a close thing if I decide to go ahead and fit the Baggs StagePro Anthem. I'll have to see what my luthier thinks. The Baggs unit does have an overhang on the surround so it may just cover the existing hole width. Hope this helps.
  5. I've had an Epiphone AJ-500RE for almost a month now and have had it well set up in that time. I'm impressed with the build quality of the guitar itself as well as with the tone. It's a lovely guitar. There seems to be a problem with the eSonic2 pick-up system though. Like many on the forum, I'm getting a mains type grounding buzz at times... it seems to happen when I'm playing the bass strings very heavily and the buzz just cuts in. Sometimes it just goes away quickly and at other times it stays. When it stays it goes away temporarily when I touch the strings so it would seem to be some kind of grounding problem. So far I've just used the middle end-pin jack that should be providing the blended signal. Even when there is no buzz, there is such a low signal from the Mag pick-up and it's hard to blend the two together successfully. If I slide the blend right over to the Mag pick-up there is very little signal then I only have to slide it over towards the other side a little and the bridge pick-up comes in very loudly and I can hardly hear the Mag pick-up. I've read quite a few posts from people with similar eSonic2 issues on here but have still not found anyone who has posted a definitive course of action that has resolved the issue. Do I have a faulty pre-amp? Should I be getting in contact with Gibson/Epiphone or should I go straight to Shadow? I know that several people have resolved the issue by fitting another pick-up system but should I really be fitting a new pick-up system to a brand new guitar that should be working out of the box? It's a frustrating problem. I'm in the UK and bought the guitar from an on-line company in Germany. I wouldn't want to send it back to them now especially after spending £90 on a set-up that I'm very happy with. I expected more of a "Masterbilt" guitar and am pretty disappointed that the pick-up system could be so bad. It sounded like a great system when I read the glossy brochure but it just doesn't seem to work properly. Any help or suggestions appreciated. Thanks.
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