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Kramer Baretta Vintage Setup Specs?


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Hi 😄
I just got one of the new
Kramer Baretta Vintage guitars, and it arrived damaged and all out of whack. (presumably that way from the factory, since the box didn't appear to have been been damaged at all, and didn't appear to have ever been re-opened for any sort of inspection or anything)
I'd like to set it up to whatever the original/official specs were *supposed* to be, but they aren't included with the guitar, and I haven't been able to find out what they are 😞
I live in a small town with no local music store, and got the instrument from an online distributor who I'd rather not talk to anymore, so I don't really know who to ask.
I tried searching these forums to try to find the answer myself, but after my initial search (which didn't show anything promising results) I tried a second search to narrow things down, but received an error message saying I'd need to wait 149 seconds before I could do another search. (btw, the forum's countdown timer, apparently doesn't count down. It just sits there. lol)
Which made it impossible for me to do any *quick* searching of the forums myself, so I thought I would ask this lovely community if maybe they might no the information which I seek, or if they could maybe point me in the right direction so I'd know where to search and/or what to search for?
Thanks! 😄

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11 hours ago, Stewart D. said:

Chris--could you be more specific in what you are asking here?  when you say "set up," what do you mean exactly; and how does the current condition of the guitar present special  needs?  

Sorry if I wasn't clear, and I also apologize for the length of this message, but I didn't know what all info you wanted, so I pretty much wrote out everything I could think of)

Well, primarily what I was looking for, were whatever the "factory/default specs" are for the main/primary/basic adjustments like:

Neck relief at 7th fret
String height at 12th fret
String height at nut (the 3 main parameters involved in setting up a guitar's "action")
Pickup distance from strings

I used the term "Setup", because if a music store offers to do a setup on your guitar, mostly what they would do, is adjust those settings. They would also probably adjust the intonation, but that is something that I would set using a tuner, rather than something like a feeler guage.

As for the other part of your question: "how does the current condition of the guitar present special needs?"
I'm sorry, but don't understand what you mean.

If you are asking what I meant when I said the guitar arrived "damaged and all out of whack", well, I'm afraid that will make this message quite long...
But assuming that's what you mean, I'll elaborate.
Mainly what I meant was when the guitar arrived, I hate to say it, but it was a bit of a mess.

It *appeared* to have just been carelessly/hastily assembled and boxed up.
And although it had an inspection sticker on it, apparently whoever inspected it must not have been looking very closely or in the right places.
It had a pair of chunks/chips about 1/4 inch each taken out of the paint (down to the wood), and some various nicks and scratches in the main paintwork.
Those *might* have been caused by the tremolo arm banging around in the box during shipping, because the arm was just sitting in the box *loose*; not put in a bag, or wrapped up, or taped to anything, just sitting in there like somebody had simply tossed it in at the last moment before closing the box.

Then on to the mechanical/adjustment side of things...
The screws holding the allen keys must have been tightened by Hulk Hogan or something.
They are supposed to be "finger tightened" thumb-screws, but I about ripped the pads off of my fingers trying to get them to turn. There was a slot for a screwdriver, so I got one of those, but even using a tool I had to turn so hard that it felt like I was going to snap or strip the screw before it finally broke free with a loud *CRACK*. Luckily the screw itself didn't break, but it was so tight it was like somebody had glued it in.
Ironically, the nut, which SHOULD have been tightly screwed down to the neck, was loose. I noticed it because when I used the tremolo, there was a loud *creaking* sound from the top of the neck around the headstock, and on closer inspection, I saw that the whole locking nut assembly was moving back and forth as I used the tremolo.
Thankfully the neck itself seems okay and quite straight, although I do want to verify the relief compared to the original/recommended spec.
However, the trem (floyd rose tremolo bridge) wasn't set up right at all.
The trem was set up to fully "float" above the body, to allow the trem to both pull sharp, or dive, and for correct operation this sort of floating trem is suppost to balance with the base-plate level when the guitar is fully tuned.
Achieving the proper balance requires adjusting the large tremolo springs in the back of the guitar, until they create enough tension against the pull of the strings that the basplate of the trem remains parallel to the body.
On *my* guitar, the trem was set up far too high, somewhere around a 1/2 an inch or so (about 13mm), when it should have probably been closer to 1/4 inch (about 6.5mm).
Of course, since the overall trem/bridge height is determined by the guitar's action (string height), the height of the strings was also way off, making the guitar horrible to try and play.

That was not the only problem though.
Someone (I'm assuming it was not a machine that did this) had screwed down *just one* of the fine tuners all the way down.
Floyd trems have a spring plate with 6 "fingers" that protrude under the 6 string locking screws that stick out the back side of the tremolo.
Then those 2 problems combined with a 3rd problem, which ended up leading to further damage (probably just cosmetic damage)
1st part of the problem: The floating trem/bridge was set way too high, this allowed the tremolo to tilt back far more than it would normally be able to.
2nd part of the problem: One of the fine tuners was adjusted way too low, which caused that string's locking screw to force one of the spring-plate's "fingers" down far lower than it would normally be.
3rd part of the problem: Guitar strings were loosened before shipping, BUT the large trem springs in the back were NOT loosened (or not loosened enough) to compensate for the reduced spring tension.
The result: when the strings were loosened, the spring-finger that was under the fine tuner that'd been turned down too much, chewed through the paint into the body of the guitar.
It was not very deep or noticeable since the tremolo hides the damage when you are looking at the guitar from the front, but it was yet another bit of damage on a brand new $699 instrument that was caused by lack of care and/or improper handling/setup during the guitar's production/assembly.

Oh and funnily enough, even though the strings were set *way too high*, the guitar's pickup was set *way too low* giving it a thin and weak sound of a really cheap and low quality guitar.
That's something "a simple adjustment" could theoretically fix, but I don't know what the original specs for how *any* of those adjustments were supposed to be set up from the factory, because *none* of them were correct (not a single one) and if those "setup specs" are posted anywhere, I haven't been able to find them.

Anyway, I don't know if my circumstances qualify as presenting special needs, because I don't know quite what you mean by that, but it darn sure qualifies as "disappointing to a customer" lol.
The company I bought the guitar from is giving me a partial refund of $100 due to the damage, but I still want to set my guitar up to all the correct specs that it was *supposed* to have originally been set up to.
Obviously the way mine was NOT set up correctly at the factory, because nobody in their right mind who knew anything about guitars would have intentionally set this guitar up like it was when I received it.

Currently the guitar is *playable*, because I spent a couple of hours working on it, trying to work out all the kinks, and I have to admit, *I LOVE THE GUITAR*.
There's just something about it that inspires me, and makes me want to play it, and then play it some more.
But that makes it all the more frustrating that I've never actually gotten to play it set up the way it was *originally supposed to be*, and I can't seem to get it quite right trying to set it up by guesswork alone.
Basically, I think I am missing something when I'm trying to set it up, because I've set up *all* of my own instruments, and this is the only one that leaves me scratching my head.
So I just want to start over setting it up from scratch, and want to know what the specs were supposed to be, so I know for sure where I'm supposed to be starting from.

Sorry if I gave more info than necessary, but I didn't know exactly what you wanted to know, so I wrote out everything I could think of lol 😄
Anyway, does that answer all of your questions?

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