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NGD Hagstrom Fantomen Well, some


Pinch
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Well, som good things and some less good things.

GOOD: great hard rock PAFy tone - but great tones for most genres, because the pickups and pots are very, VERY responsive. Great price including sturdy original hard case. Set up perfect. VERY comfortable to play, no neck diving.

BAD: a couple of spots with bad fret buzz. I. e., a couple frets need to be dressed. It's individual notes, not all across the board on the affected frets. Now to Google for how to file/dress frets.

Any of you done it? Need I get upset, or can I go, pfft, that's an easy fix, and celebrate NGD with a piece of cake?

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Thanks man.

The whole thing is, I ordered this guitar, got a great price, so I'd really like to keep it - not to mention shipping it back and forth would be expensive and a hassle (you should have seen the box). If it's an easy fix, it will be waaay more convenient, and still cheaper, than returning it and buying from someplace else.

With a credit card across the offending frets and their neightbors, it doesn't "rock", but if I hold down the fret and touch the offending fret ever so lightly I hear the note change - it's not like this anywhere else on the guitar. So it really must be a high fret. I guess it takes very little. 

So I guess I'll have that piece of cake.

Edit: I can actually see how it doesn't clear the fret in the problem places.

Edited by Pinch
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It might need hammering down.

I bought a new Vintage PG100 (LP Peter Green model) in 2018.   As it was a copy LP I didn't dare NGD it on this forum!!!

I took it to Flame guitars in Sutton and he filed/crowned a couple of frets and hammered one down a bit, amongst other things - checked nut slot depths etc. 

Well worth paying for that sort of set up.

 

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3 minutes ago, jdgm said:

It might need hammering down.

I bought a new Vintage PG100 (LP Peter Green model) in 2018.   As it was a copy LP I didn't dare NGD it on this forum!!!

I took it to Flame guitars in Sutton and he filed/crowned a couple of frets and hammered one down a bit, amongst other things - checked nut slot depths etc. 

Well worth paying for that sort of set up.

 

Will see what my local guy says. The fret looks just fine and perfectly settled - except I can see the string clearly does not clear it. If I move the fretted note one step up or down, it clears the next (or previous) fret fine. 

As long as it CAN be fixed and not cost loads, I'm happy. Like I said, otherwise I really, really, REALLY like the guitar.

It sucks that so many physical stores close down... but as long as it's an easy fix, I'm happy... Thanks.

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I've used a fret rocker and a file to take care of high frets. It's easy. First you have to get your neck exactly level with a straight edge, then you have to rock your frets, just like something that's high centered you wiggle it and if the rocker wiggles you got a high fret. If is high then you just have to file it down and you have to just go parallel to the fretboard keeping pressure over that fret until you get it level and move on down the neck. The first time I did it I did it on my D-35 and it took me a second to think if I was actually going to file file my frets on a brand new $3,000 guitar but I did it.

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14 minutes ago, jdgm said:

I've been looking at this ad:

https://www.andertons.co.uk/brands/esp/eclipse-guitars/esp-ltd-ec1000-guitar-in-black

Heresy! 

EMG Actives, Earvana nut........but I [love]  even though I don't play metal or anything like it!

Have heard good things about the EC series. Maybe swap out the EMGs?

I don't hate EMGs (my hate is reserved for uneven frets), but I don't love them either.

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2 hours ago, Pinch said:

Thanks man.

The whole thing is, I ordered this guitar, got a great price, so I'd really like to keep it - not to mention shipping it back and forth would be expensive and a hassle (you should have seen the box). If it's an easy fix, it will be waaay more convenient, and still cheaper, than returning it and buying from someplace else.

With a credit card across the offending frets and their neightbors, it doesn't "rock", but if I hold down the fret and touch the offending fret ever so lightly I hear the note change - it's not like this anywhere else on the guitar. So it really must be a high fret. I guess it takes very little. 

So I guess I'll have that piece of cake.

Edit: I can actually see how it doesn't clear the fret in the problem places.

 

So if you can see it you can fix it.  Light filing, the usual warnings and caveats about all the filings not getting in yer pickups.  You could probably do it with a nail file or similar.  I use jewelry files, nothing scientific.  File a little, you know who frets out there so you try it, you file a little, and in less than a cup of tea all of the bad spots are fixed.

rct

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Yeah, should be an easy fix then. Like Ozzy said, "it could be worse. I could be Sting."

After I clear it with the place I ordered it from (warranty and all that). I'm guessing they'll think it's a better idea than shipping a giant box 600 miles in a truck for mucho dinero.

If I come across as hysterical, it's because:

1) I am, and

2) I really couldn't afford this, but I cut down on this, that and the other and could afford it... just. Then you want the fxxking thing to play right. I do all my own setups, but frets are the one thing I've never messed with.

Thanks again, much sppreciated

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1 minute ago, Pinch said:

Yeah, should be an easy fix then. Like Ozzy said, "it could be worse. I could be Sting."

After I clear it with the place I ordered it from (warranty and all that). I'm guessing they'll think it's a better idea than shipping a giant box 600 miles in a truck for mucho dinero.

If I come across as hysterical, it's because:

1) I am, and

2) I really couldn't afford this, but I cut down on this, that and the other and could afford it... just. Then you want the fxxking thing to play right. I do all my own setups, but frets are the one thing I've never messed with.

Thanks again, much sppreciated

Yeah must be rough being Sting. He can go all night and Ozzy can't put two syllables together that are coherent, has to wake up next to that annoying Sharron. 

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Just now, Sgt. Pepper said:

Yeah must be rough being Sting. He can go all night and Ozzy can't put two syllables together that are coherent, has to wake up next to that annoying Sharron. 

Agreed.

I just thought it was funny, because it was so specific.

Another classic was Ozzy shouting, "I'm sick and tired of living in a fking dump!"

Err... You don't.

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14 hours ago, rct said:

You could probably do it with a nail file or similar.

I actually have a broken spare neck here, so I used a nail file for practice... Not very precise unfortunately, and the fret got flat. Maybe a jewelery file is better. But seeing the precision work I just did, I think I'll leave it to a pro 😉

 

Edited by Pinch
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2 minutes ago, Pinch said:

Would this be a good tool for precision spot leveling, do you think?

https://www.stewmac.com/Luthier_Tools/Tools_by_Job/Tools_for_Fretting/3-Corner_Fret_Dressing_Files.html

Is your fret issue the corner or the whole fret? For what I did I just bought a black diamond file form the hardwear store and snapped the top piece off about 3 to 4 inches and leveled the frets. You gotta go really light and slow, unless you are filing the corner. I will take it to a pro for the ends. The file has to be big enough to ride over a few frets so you don't mar the fret board.

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8 minutes ago, Sgt. Pepper said:

Is your fret issue the corner or the whole fret? For what I did I just bought a black diamond file form the hardwear store and snapped the top piece off about 3 to 4 inches and leveled the frets. You gotta go really light and slow, unless you are filing the corner. I will take it to a pro for the ends. The file has to be big enough to ride over a few frets so you don't mar the fret board.

It's not the actual fret end. Although one of the high spots is on the end of the fret (high E). It's a quarter-inch of the fret that's about 1/100" too high on both of the affected fret.

I'll have it looked at this week but figured I could use a tool for future use.

 

Edited by Pinch
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Sound like you need to do what I did. Do you have a fret rocker? When I did my D-35 (a brand new guitar) I had to take care of about 13 of the 20 frets. Remember a fret can be high in the middle or end or anywhere in-between and the whole  fret might not be high. It might only be 1/3 or 1/2 or 1/4. Depends on how heavy handed the guy wielding the hammer is that day.  If you do need to rock your frets use a Sharpie to mark the high spot and file it until its where you want it. You have to rock it, then file, then rock it again and check it and repeat. Like washing your hair, Rinse - Lather- Repeat.

Edited by Sgt. Pepper
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Depends on what you need and how uber fancy you want to go. Here is what I got

Fret Rocker - $10 and they can be had for cheaper

Black Diamond File from hardware store - $10

Furniture Sanding Kit with really fine grit from 1500 to 12000 Grit - $15

110, 220 and 320 Grit Sand Paper - $5 pack at the hardware store. I stole some from work.

Strait Edge Ruler 18" or longer- I got mine at Stew Mac. A little more expensive, but it will be dead strait. $50

Nut Files - I got a nice set made in Japan - $80

Feeler Gauge - Get whatever gauge you prefer for setting the height at the first fret for when you need to file your nut slot - $10.

I only play acoustic to setting intonation is pretty easy the manufactured does that. All I have to do is sand the saddle to where I like it with 220 grit sandpaper.

 

Edited by Sgt. Pepper
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Had the frets fixed, just one more spot to do that I missed. God bless luthiers!

A great guitar in most ways, and I am dead fre... uh, set, on keeping it, but this one was a little too much work out of the box for comfort. Not buying another Hagstrom anytime soon.

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14 hours ago, Pinch said:

Y

Ugh. Au contraire. I've run into more issues and will get a full fret leveling.

 

Sorry to hear it. [omg]

I have a Hagstrom that I love. Like you I love the sound and pickups. Also the 16" rad and resonator  fretboard material.

Mine needed work too, but not the neck nor frets. To give me confidence for gigging, I had the electric components (except PUs) replaced with Switchcraft parts. I also had it rewired & altered the circuit to suit me.

 

Fretwork: Good advice here. Lutherie tools are expensive. I bit the bullet and bought everything I needed from various sources. I have now done full fret leveling on two guitars. My CoolZ 'Tele' and my Gibson LP. I'm obviously not a pro so I took many many hours over it. But they are now the best playing guitars I have.

You can do all crowning with those triangular files, but the best and most used tool I have is a Stewmac Z-File. Once the fret is leveled, these will not touch the tip of the fret. They are expensive though.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for the advice!

I just finished the set-up. A few frets could use a little touching up - still! Can't hear it through the amp or DI, so I'm leaving well enough alone. I've had to adjust literally everything. I'm done NOW - what's it been, a month?

It sounds great and I do love it (now), but jeez Louise, what a pain in the butt this one was.

 

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