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attaboy_jhb

New Gibson J 45 studio unplayable. Action MUCH too low

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As you can imagine, I was very excited to recieve my new Gibson in the post today but then, after playing it for a few minutes I became very dissapointed because there seems to be a problem with the guitar. Basically, the guitar is very badly setup and the strings rattle from about half way up the neck. So i look at the relief and right away I can see that the guitar has way too much relief. I then unscrew the plate on the headstock to get to the truss rodd and I see right away that the truss rod is completely loosened. So I tighten it a bit to get to a more acceptable relief but then the buzzing is all across the neck and I see that the action is way too low. I take a measurement at the 12 fret low e string and it is only 1mm on the low E string! That is 0.039" when it should be 6/64". So what is actually going on here? Is the saddle too low? Has the guitar dried up too much and the top has sunk in while in storage for the last 6 months? The guitar came sealed from the factory so how can this be? The inspection leaflet that came with the guitar shows that it was inspected at the end of last year. Up at the top, it says "Action 12th fret L:5 H:3. I guess the L refers to the low string and the H to the high string but not sure what the number means. Maybe it means the 5/64ths low E string and 3/64ths high E string? But in that case I don't know where those measurements come form because the height of the strings is Much lower and much too low.

Is any of this odd? I would appreciate any help and advice. Maybe I got it wrong and will need a humidifer or maybe all Gibson guitars ship with the truss rod loose for safety reasons? I have purchased many guitars from many manufacturers, Martin, Taylor, Maton, Cole Clark and never have I seen something like this. The guitar is unplayable! So what should I do?

thanks!

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Sorry to hear. Where or who did you buy it from? Much like if you bought a new car and it drifted all over the road on the ride home, you'd get right on the phone to the dealer and let them take the lead on making things right.

There are many adjustments you can make, but you have to be careful not to void any warranty, so after the phone call I expect you'll be either packing it back up or taking it to an authorized shop for a set-up. If it sat for a long time without any tension on the strings it very well could be something you'll want to swap for a fresh build. On the other hand, if you can detect that it has superior tone and is structurally sound, you might want to let the seller make the corrections.

Edited by jedzep
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Ive noticed a few Newer J35s where the neck angle  was off   They were hard to play.  They were not mine to monkey with.     I think some times they pound these out to fast at Gibson. I know there a lower budget guitar but there no good if you cant play them either. 

Edited by slimt
bad spelling.

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4 minutes ago, slimt said:

Ive noticed a few Newer J35s where the neck angle  was off   They were hard to play.  There were not mine to monkey with.     I think some times the pound these out to fast at Gibson. I know there a lower budget guitar but there no good if you cant play them either. 

I thought Martin's were the only guitars that needed neck resets 5 mins after you get them home.

Edited by Sgt. Pepper
  • Haha 2

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21 minutes ago, Sgt. Pepper said:

I thought Martin's were the only guitars that needed neck resets 5 mins after you get them home.

 

No.. they do get theres as well..   

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My J45-tv, which I bought used, had the same issue. The saddle was too low and the neck relief was tweaked to compensate. It needed for the truss to be adjusted so the neck was pretty flat, and a higher saddle made.

i think I could have done it myself, but the pros did it for me. 
by the way I also have a J45 Studio. It’s an excellent guitar. I traded for it and it was to be my gigging guitar. Well the gigs have stopped... but I don’t regret the guitar for a second. I like the thinner depth.

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44 minutes ago, Sgt. Pepper said:

I thought Martin's were the only guitars that needed neck resets 5 mins after you get them home.

Sgt. Pepper,

I got my 1974 D-28 in 1979, and when I took it in for some maintenance about two weeks ago, I asked if it needed it's first neck reset. The answer was a definite no.

So I'm a little unclear on your sweeping generality.

RBSinTo

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1 hour ago, RBSinTo said:

Sgt. Pepper,

I got my 1974 D-28 in 1979, and when I took it in for some maintenance about two weeks ago, I asked if it needed it's first neck reset. The answer was a definite no.

So I'm a little unclear on your sweeping generality.

RBSinTo

 Sarge was being Sarcastic.  He was attempting to make it seem like this is a common Gibson problem.   The OP has had several high end guitars, he probably is experienced and knowledgeable enough to know he should contact the dealer who sold and sent him an unplayable guitar.  

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1 hour ago, RBSinTo said:

Sgt. Pepper,

I got my 1974 D-28 in 1979, and when I took it in for some maintenance about two weeks ago, I asked if it needed it's first neck reset. The answer was a definite no.

So I'm a little unclear on your sweeping generality.

RBSinTo

I've owned about 8 guitars with CFM on the headstock. Never needed one either. 

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1 hour ago, RBSinTo said:

I got my 1974 D-28 in 1979, and when I took it in for some maintenance about two weeks ago, I asked if it needed it's first neck reset. The answer was a definite no.  So I'm a little unclear on your sweeping generality.

 

Martin recently went through a well-documented phase where many instruments were needing neck resets only a year or two out of the gate.  Martin has also had recurring problems with binding breaking loose at the waist.

No one is immune from unforeseen issues, and that’s the benefit of buying new with a warranty.

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8 minutes ago, bobouz said:

 

Martin recently went through a well-documented phase where many instruments were needing neck resets only a year or two out of the gate.  Martin has also had recurring problems with binding breaking loose at the waist.

No one is immune from unforeseen issues, and that’s the benefit of buying new with a warranty.

But Gibson has no problems? Is that what we are to be lead to believe. No QA problems, or were gonna sue everyone, or Henry welching on his debt to Tronic and being canned and now a Canadian as CEO. But mention Martin and it's neck resets and binding.

Edited by Sgt. Pepper

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whats a QA problem ?  your post sounds anti-gibson....no offense intended

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6 minutes ago, jvi said:

whats a QA problem ?  your post sounds anti-gibson....no offense intended

 Quality Assurance 

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15 minutes ago, jvi said:

whats a QA problem ?  your post sounds anti-gibson....no offense intended

I've owned 20 or so Gibby's going back to my very first guitar. And you are telling me you you have never seen or heard of their QA issues?

Edited by Sgt. Pepper

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3 minutes ago, jvi said:

ah....quality control....my dumb

 

Yeah same term. Time to strum for about 15 and bed.

Edited by Sgt. Pepper

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1 minute ago, Sgt. Pepper said:

I've owned 20 or so Gibby's. And you are telling me you you have never seen or heard of their QA issues?

as with any mass produced item there is bound to be some issues but you did seem rather put off and negative for a Gibson forum member and possibly a gibson owner

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11 hours ago, jedzep said:

Sorry to hear. Where or who did you buy it from? Much like if you bought a new car and it drifted all over the road on the ride home, you'd get right on the phone to the dealer and let them take the lead on making things right.

There are many adjustments you can make, but you have to be careful not to void any warranty, so after the phone call I expect you'll be either packing it back up or taking it to an authorized shop for a set-up. If it sat for a long time without any tension on the strings it very well could be something you'll want to swap for a fresh build. On the other hand, if you can detect that it has superior tone and is structurally sound, you might want to let the seller make the corrections.

Thanks for your reply. I got it from Thomann. It is the biggest music outlet in Europe. I will have to send it back I guess because there is definitely something wrong with the guitar. I read in Taylors website that when a guitar is too dry it shows the symptoms I am seeing like too much relief, lowered strings and quite possibly a bulge at the 14th fret.  Maybe the guitar was stored for 6 months without correct humidity and since it is a LH model it takes longer to usually sell.

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2 hours ago, jvi said:

as with any mass produced item there is bound to be some issues but you did seem rather put off and negative for a Gibson forum member and possibly a gibson owner

I find 

 

3 hours ago, fortyearspickn said:

 Sarge was being Sarcastic.  He was attempting to make it seem like this is a common Gibson problem.   The OP has had several high end guitars, he probably is experienced and knowledgeable enough to know he should contact the dealer who sold and sent him an unplayable guitar.  

I have had many high end guitars and this is an absolute first. I guess I came hoping for some kind of explanation like but I will obviously have to send the guitar back. Can you think of anything worse than a new guitar that you cant play?

Edited by attaboy_jhb

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4 hours ago, Salfromchatham said:

My J45-tv, which I bought used, had the same issue. The saddle was too low and the neck relief was tweaked to compensate. It needed for the truss to be adjusted so the neck was pretty flat, and a higher saddle made.

i think I could have done it myself, but the pros did it for me. 
by the way I also have a J45 Studio. It’s an excellent guitar. I traded for it and it was to be my gigging guitar. Well the gigs have stopped... but I don’t regret the guitar for a second. I like the thinner depth.

That is exactly what seems like is happening to me except when I compare my Martin D28 saddle, it seems the same height from the bridge. Around 2 - 3mm. This made me doubt that it was the saddle. Then I found an article by Taylor guitars about what happens when a guitar becomes dry

1. The top sinks in

2 there is more bow in the neck

3 there can be a bulge in the 14 th fret

 

All these things are on this new Gibson except I am not sure about the 14th fret bulging. It looks like it could be a bit.

When you say the saddle was too low and neck relief was compensated... by who? By whoever sold it to you? That would make only the 1st few frets playable and buzzing from half way up the neck. Is that what happened to you? That is how I got my Gibson j 45

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8 hours ago, Sgt. Pepper said:

But Gibson has no problems? Is that what we are to be lead to believe.

Thought I should point this out when the fellow mentioned a “sweeping generality.”  Martin does indeed suffer from some serious build quality issues from time to time, and it seems like they often get a pass while people nit pick every finish wrinkle on a Gibson.

And hey, I actually was going easy on Martin!  Didn’t even mention the bridge lift one of your own relatively new ones had, which was repaired under warranty.

So once again, I’ll repeat my primary point & last sentence from above:  No one is immune from unforeseen issues, and that’s the benefit of buying new with a warranty.

Imho, the OP would be wise to return the instrument & try another.  This is the brave new world of online purchasing we live in, where you can be sent anything from a gem to a dud - and hopefully the next one will reside on the stellar end of the scale.

Edited by bobouz

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35 minutes ago, bobouz said:

Thought I should point this out when the fellow mentioned a “sweeping generality.”  Martin does indeed suffer from some serious build quality issues from time to time, and it seems like they often get a pass while people nit pick every finish wrinkle on a Gibson.

And hey, I actually was going easy on Martin!  Didn’t even mention the bridge lift one of your own relatively new ones had, which was repaired under warranty.

So once again, I’ll repeat my primary point & last sentence from above:  No one is immune from unforeseen issues, and that’s the benefit of buying new with a warranty.

Imho, the OP would be wise to return the instrument & try another.  This is the brave new world of online purchasing we live in, where you can be sent anything from a gem to a dud - and hopefully the next one will reside on the stellar end of the scale.

Yep, that happened to me. But the binding and neck reset thing never.

Were both on this site alot. How often does someone post an issue with there Gibby. Quite often, seems like almost daily. So ya wanna split hairs on this or what. I think it happens more on the electrics but it happens to the ones with big holes in them too. People may consider Gibson acoustic a totally different entity from what's put out in Nashville but they both have Gibson on the headstock.

Edited by Sgt. Pepper

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29 minutes ago, Sgt. Pepper said:

Yep, that happened to me. But the binding and neck reset thing never.

Were both on this site alot. How often does someone post an issue with there Gibby. Quite often, seems like almost daily. So ya wanna split hairs on this or what. I think it happens more on the electrics but it happens to the ones with big holes in them too. People may consider Gibson acoustic a totally different entity from what's put out in Nashville but they both have Gibson on the headstock.

 

A member for 6 month and nearly 400  "Likes".   I'll have to start bashing Gibson more. 

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