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How to adjust my Thunderbird (HELP PLEASE)


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Hello,

 

I have a new Gibson Thunderbird 120th Anniversary but I don't know how to measure the neck relief and how to adjust the 3 three points bridge correctly..

 

I need help please !

 

Welcome and congratulations on the new T-bird. Post Pics!

 

To check the relief, I use a 24" straight-edge and feeler gauge, and adjust the truss rod so I have about a .010" gap between the straight-edge and the 7th fret (I like the action kinda low, so you might want a tad more relief. Fender recommends .015" at the 7th fret). If you don't have a straight-edge, you can put a capo on the 1st fret and hold the E string down on the 16th fret (or where the neck meets the body) and use the E string as your Straight-edge. If you have to adjust the neck - don't turn the nut much more than an eighth of a turn at one time. You'll tighten the nut if there is too much relief, and loosen it if you want more. Now the bridge: I'd adjust all 3 screws the same amount up or down - 'til you get close to the action you want; then adjust the front screw up or down to dial it in. The rear screws can be used to rock the bridge a bit, if you want to raise or lower the action on the bass or treble side. (Adjusting the bridge without tension on the strings will save the screw-heads from getting bunged up.) After making the adjustments, check the intonation.

 

It may take a while to get the action just the way you want it; take your time and you'll get it. If you're uncomfortable doing this, most luthiers would be happy to set it up for you and show you how it's done.

 

Some of us on this forum don't care for the 3-point all that much; it's functional, and works OK, but there are better bridges out there. The Hipshot Supertone will fit your bass with no modifications. Its simple to adjust for intonation, saddle height, and even string spacing. http://store.hipshot...t_detail&p=264. These are out there for around $100.00; a good investment for a nice bass. Hey - Christmas is coming...msp_biggrin.gif

 

Enjoy the new Bird!

 

Edit: I forgot about the new Babicz 3-point replacement. These will be available mid-January. Gibson is using these on some 2015 models. http://www.fullcontacthardware.com/fch-3-point-four-string-bass-bridge-gibson-style.htm I'd like to try one on My EB3L.

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Thank you so much !! And for the pickup height on a thunderbird please ?

 

Welcome and congratulations on the new T-bird. Post Pics!

 

To check the relief, I use a 24" straight-edge and feeler gauge, and adjust the truss rod so I have about a .010" gap between the straight-edge and the 7th fret (I like the action kinda low, so you might want a tad more relief. Fender recommends .015" at the 7th fret). If you don't have a straight-edge, you can put a capo on the 1st fret and hold the E string down on the 16th fret (or where the neck meets the body) and use the E string as your Straight-edge. If you have to adjust the neck - don't turn the nut much more than an eighth of a turn at one time. You'll tighten the nut if there is too much relief, and loosen it if you want more. Now the bridge: I'd adjust all 3 screws the same amount up or down - 'til you get close to the action you want; then adjust the front screw up or down to dial it in. The rear screws can be used to rock the bridge a bit, if you want to raise or lower the action on the bass or treble side. (Adjusting the bridge without tension on the strings will save the screw-heads from getting bunged up.) After making the adjustments, check the intonation.

 

It may take a while to get the action just the way you want it; take your time and you'll get it. If you're uncomfortable doing this, most luthiers would be happy to set it up for you and show you how it's done.

 

Some of us on this forum don't care for the 3-point all that much; it's functional, and works OK, but there are better bridges out there. The Hipshot Supertone will fit your bass with no modifications. Its simple to adjust for intonation, saddle height, and even string spacing. http://store.hipshot...t_detail&p=264. These are out there for around $100.00; a good investment for a nice bass. Hey - Christmas is coming...msp_biggrin.gif

 

Enjoy the new Bird!

 

Edit: I forgot about the new Babicz 3-point replacement. These will be available mid-January. Gibson is using these on some 2015 models. http://www.fullcontacthardware.com/fch-3-point-four-string-bass-bridge-gibson-style.htm I'd like to try one on My EB3L.

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Thank you so much !! And for the pickup height on a thunderbird please ?

 

 

 

Pickup Height will effect the tone & volume, so it's all a matter of preference. The best thing to do is plug it in and try some different heights, but you probably shouldn't go less than an eighth of an inch. To measure - press down the E string at the last fret, measure the distance between the string & the pup, and do the same on the G - use those measurements for a reference, and then just experiment until you're happy with the sound. I usually set the E side a bit lower than the G to even out the volume, but the overall height just depends on the bass.

 

BTW: after you adjust the neck relief, check it in a day or two, and re-tweak if necessary.

 

Let us know how you make out, and post a pic or two - everyone likes to look at new Gibsons!msp_biggrin.gif

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Pickup Height will effect the tone & volume, so it's all a matter of preference. The best thing to do is plug it in and try some different heights, but you probably shouldn't go less than an eighth of an inch. To measure - press down the E string at the last fret, measure the distance between the string & the pup, and do the same on the G - use those measurements for a reference, and then just experiment until you're happy with the sound. I usually set the E side a bit lower than the G to even out the volume, but the overall height just depends on the bass.

 

BTW: after you adjust the neck relief, check it in a day or two, and re-tweak if necessary.

 

Let us know how you make out, and post a pic or two - everyone likes to look at new Gibsons!msp_biggrin.gif

 

 

Thank you Kelvinator but the pickups aren't parallel with the strings..

 

I depress the E and G strings at the last fret.

 

See the picture I have different height.. Help me please :/

post-68931-076160500 1418075491_thumb.jpg

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Thank you Kelvinator but the pickups aren't parallel with the strings..

 

I depress the E and G strings at the last fret.

 

See the picture I have different height.. Help me please :/

 

Mine are like that on my 2002 bird. they ain't moving from what I remember..but it doesn't affect anything at all.

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Mine are like that on my 2002 bird. they ain't moving from what I remember..but it doesn't affect anything at all.

 

Agreed... don't worry about that; measure at the pickup's highest point. If it really bothers you, you could pull the pups out and put a piece of foam under the low side, but it probably won't effect the sound.

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Agreed... don't worry about that; measure at the pickup's highest point. If it really bothers you, you could pull the pups out and put a piece of foam under the low side, but it probably won't effect the sound.

 

 

Thank you so much for your help !!!! :D

 

I post pictures tomorrow of my new Gibson Thunderbird 2014 (120th anniversary) [thumbup]

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