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Baby Bear

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Hi Gang........


A few months ago I bought a Wine Red Swingster.


I really loved the guitar but I was getting some fret/string rattle.


I took it to my guitar tech and he told me that the reason I was getting the rattle

was because the angle of the strings coming off the back of the bridge to the tail piece

was not steep enough to create proper tension on the strings.


And he told me that the neck was not at the proper angle.


He basically said that there wasn't enough angle from the strings coming from the neck

and then across the bridge to the tail piece to tension the strings properly

and that was what was causing the rattle.


I sent the guitar back to Musicians Friend and bought one from Zzounds


I took it to him and he said this one had the same problem


So I sent it back to Zzounds and I bought a Gretsch 5435t

which I do like......But it ain't a Swingster.



I was having some problems string rattle with the Gretsch and I installed

a Compton Stainless Steel bridge which corrected the problem.



Has any one else had this problem with the neck angle on a Swingster?



I keep thinking maybe I just needed to put a Compton on the Swingster.



I am looking at buying a Swingster again, but I would like some feed back on this issue.



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Never ran across it or heard of it. What I'd do is check the neck relief and make sure there's a slight inbow, and adjust the bridge height (action). I'd think that would do it. Usually fret buzz is only a concern if the neck has a backbow, some frets aren't pressed down enough, and/or the action is too low.

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I don't know man,,


I've heard this comment from repair guys before, then I will have the same guitar looked at by someone who's maybe more competent and they have dismissed that notion...


every time.


if this was a hand built guitar, ok maybe, but Epi is cranking these out by the hundred or more per week. I think the Swingster is Joe Pass Body set with different appointments and a bigsby.


If the formula for the Joe Pass hasn't changed, I don't think there's anything to really worry about.


What gauge strings were you using?


PS: I'm thinking about purchasing one of this sometime this year, so I'm very interested in following this thread for the end result.



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A given string's pitch is a function of it's tension (and length). If you change the tension, you change the pitch. The string break angle does not affect the tension (if it did, you would just have to adjust the tuner to get back to the same pitch/tension). It's too late now, but you should have taken the guitar to someone who knew what they were doing and talking about. It probably needed a truss rod adjustment, or worst case a fret leveling.


The Compton probably cured a rattle in the bridge rather than the frets/strings, or you unknowingly raised the action when you installed the Compton. Regardless, a Compton is a nice mod on a Gretsch. What Gretsch did you get?

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In any case, correct neck angle is MUCH more of a tone factor on acoustic guitars than on electrics. Consider Fenders, flat Les Pauls, etc. that have NO neck angle. Gee, they seem to work OK. So, I'll go along with an earlier opinion that said "luthier" is full of it.

I thought that a properly setup Fender was supposed to have a 2 degree neck angle. Not that it would effect tone, but moreso playability and upper register fret buzzing.


Anyway, the OP didnt state exactly where this fret rattle was on the neck. I think that knowing that could eliminate some speculation. But I agree that this tech didnt know what he was talking about.

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Not knowing exactly where the buzz was, and not actually seeing the guitar, it's hard to say exactly, but this is how neck angle would affect playability.


If the neck angle was too great, let's say over 5 degrees, then it is possible that the bridge could not be raised enough to get proper action without buzz.


If the neck angle was too small, let's say under 3 degrees, then it is possible that the bridge would have to be lowered so much that the tailpiece angle would be too shallow also.

I know that this shouldn't make enough difference to cause a lot of buzz, but it could.


We've had this discussion in the past, about how the tailpiece angle changes the tension of the strings.

When the tailpiece is raised and the break angle changes, the strings will be easier to bend, even when tuned to the same note.

Lower the tailpiece, and the string gets harder to bend. I can not explain with science how this works, I only know it does.


Try it on your guitar. Play a few measures of a lead break that requires string bending.

Measure the height of the tailpiece so you can reset it back to its' original position. Then raise it and re-tune.

Play the same measure. You will feel a big difference in the string tension, and a change in the tone.

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