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Old 12-08-2012, 03:53 PM
kingvrob kingvrob is offline
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Default New USA Jackson shimmed at factory?

I got a 20% off coupon for Musician's Friend so I thought I'd get a new USA soloist, which I've always wanted. Anyway, first thing I did was put on the d'Addario 10.5-48 gauge set and tuned to Eb, which my band plays in, and started setting it up.

I noticed that the middle strings action was too high, and found there was a shim plate underneath the saddles for strings 2-5. (Totally unnecessary as the fretboard is so flat up there). Took that out and continued setup. The open high E string buzzes against the 1st fret and won't stop, no matter what I try -- even with the truss rod completely loose and the action real high. When I play an Em chord through a clean channel, that string just dies.

So I switch to 10-46s. Refloat the trem, etc... Still buzzes. Now I notice there is a shim underneath the nut too (two pieces -- one at either end). I take those out just for shits n' giggles. Still buzzes, but no worse than before, which I find surprising.

Now I'm at my wits end. I called MF and they said they would take it back, no prob, but my question is: Is it normal to have shims installed at the factory? Does that mean it's a "lemon"? Or maybe someone owned it before me and he shimmed it?? Whew... thoughts???

Also, have you guys noticed the Fender era ebony boards are not as dark as the old ones?
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Old 12-08-2012, 06:45 PM
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wfojon wfojon is offline
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Not right, send it back - for that kind of $ it should be right. Exchange it for a different one if you like the guitar but I'd send that one back.
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Old 12-09-2012, 07:54 PM
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BeN5150 BeN5150 is offline
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as for the ebony not being as dark as it was, its wood so its going to be different, AND guitar manufacturers have raped forests for the darkest ebony for years. They are finally starting to use ebony that isn't jet black on instruments
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Old 12-10-2012, 09:42 AM
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Hey Rob...WELCOME TO SHRED!

To answer your question: I'm with Jon - send that sucker back, and keep sending it back, until you get a guitar that sets up, intonates, and has the action you want! I've bought new axes before that did use shims in the neck pocket, saddles or nuts. BUT I expected that because they were not high quality (or expensive) guitars. When your buying a new USA made guitar, in the price range your talking about, I demand the unit be built right...period.

None of this stop gap repair shit...it's either built right or it isn't...if not, that's what seconds (at a lesser price) are for.
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Old 12-10-2012, 06:54 PM
kingvrob kingvrob is offline
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Thanks, all. I'm returning it!
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:49 AM
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Jacksons have a compound radius board, which likely explains the shims.

Did it buzz before you took them out, and did you try to lower the bridge as a whole first?
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Old 12-12-2012, 11:12 PM
kingvrob kingvrob is offline
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It did buzz before I took out the shims. I think the only time it didn't buzz was with the 9-42's it came with. The bridge shim wouldn't have made a difference since it was only under the A,D,G, and B saddles. I did try raising and lowering the bridge. The compound radius board is rounder near the nut and flatter near the bridge, so I still can't see why they would shim the saddles. The saddles themselves have different heights.
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