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Jtv-69 Very Low Action Near The Nut, High Action Near The Bridge


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#1 Unorthodoxic

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 07:30 AM

New JTV-69 owner here. Just wondering if this is normal for the JTV-69s in that the action near the nut end of the neck is very low and yet towards the bridge it is very high.

 

Lowering the bridge with the included hex keys just results in fret buzz and I can't alter the saddle height due to a missing hex key.

 

Nut end:

lrRvE5A.jpg?3

 

Bridge end:

Utq4wRY.jpg?3


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#2 TheRealZap

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 07:40 AM

sounds like you need the truss rod adjusted... too much relief...

i'd recommend a full setup, because you'll probably have to adjust the saddles and intonation afterwards as well.


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#3 edstar1960

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 07:47 AM

If this is brand new, then I recommend asking your dealer to perform a full professional setup for you.  If that is not possible, then get a luthier to perform a full setup OR ask the dealer to give you a replacement.

From the pic's it looks like the slots in the nut are too low, resulting in strings having no clearance at the first fret.  Either a new nut is required or the existing nut could be raised up by someone who knows what they are doing.  A luthier will be able to determine exactly what is needed to fix it when he sees it first hand.


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#4 Unorthodoxic

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 08:22 AM

sounds like you need the truss rod adjusted... too much relief...

i'd recommend a full setup, because you'll probably have to adjust the saddles and intonation afterwards as well.

 

Thanks for the help. The case the guitar came in had a tear, from what I assume was one of the tuners:

 

uxYS8E3.jpg?2

 

Do you think this could have had any effect on the neck relief? Makes me wonder how bashed about it must have gotten in transit.

 

If this is brand new, then I recommend asking your dealer to perform a full professional setup for you.  If that is not possible, then get a luthier to perform a full setup OR ask the dealer to give you a replacement.

From the pic's it looks like the slots in the nut are too low, resulting in strings having no clearance at the first fret.  Either a new nut is required or the existing nut could be raised up by someone who knows what they are doing.  A luthier will be able to determine exactly what is needed to fix it when he sees it first hand.

 

Yup brand new. Ordered online from a store in Newcastle, too far for me to pop up there and get it set up, but I've sent them a message so we'll see what they say.


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#5 TheRealZap

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 08:27 AM

doubt that the tear is related to a neck adjustment.


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#6 edstar1960

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 08:38 AM

Was it Soundslive?     I have dealt with them in the past and they have been good at resolving problems, so hope they are good for you, if that's who you bought from.

 

If you have ordered online then as long as you complain immediately then they should be happy to send you a replacement rather than try to fix this one. 

 

Pretty much every guitar I have owned has had too much clearance at the first fret as set by the factory - and usually my luthier takes that clearance down a touch to make it more comfortable to play at the lower frets and also to provide lower action.  I have never seen one straight from the factory with no clearance at all like in your picture.  I would think it buzzes when playing open strings and it gives you no leeway to lower the action at the bridge without the strings choking completely at the first fret.

 

Hope you get it resolved.


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#7 Unorthodoxic

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 09:08 AM

Was it Soundslive?     I have dealt with them in the past and they have been good at resolving problems, so hope they are good for you, if that's who you bought from.

 

If you have ordered online then as long as you complain immediately then they should be happy to send you a replacement rather than try to fix this one. 

 

Pretty much every guitar I have owned has had too much clearance at the first fret as set by the factory - and usually my luthier takes that clearance down a touch to make it more comfortable to play at the lower frets and also to provide lower action.  I have never seen one straight from the factory with no clearance at all like in your picture.  I would think it buzzes when playing open strings and it gives you no leeway to lower the action at the bridge without the strings choking completely at the first fret.

 

Hope you get it resolved.

 

Yup, Soundslive. They've been good to deal with so far so we'll see how they are now. I'll post an update as to what happens.


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#8 Charlie_Watt

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 09:17 AM

Your guitar needs a setup.  Neck relief (truss rod adjustment), Bridge adjustment, and maybe Nut adjustment.  This is not uncommon for most guitars out of the box.  Many are set up very conservatively when you get them - opposite of your problem but just as unplayable.


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#9 edstar1960

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 01:19 AM

Yup, Soundslive. They've been good to deal with so far so we'll see how they are now. I'll post an update as to what happens.

 

As it's a new purchase I reckon they will offer a replacement if they have one in stock as that will be the quickest and easiest solution.   If they haven't got another one available then this one will need a full set up which I reckon will include a new nut with the string slots cut at the correct height to give some clearance over the first fret, which gives some room to adjust the action.  No clearance at first fret means no ability to adjust action other than upwards, and I can see from your pics that it is already too high at the bridge end.


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#10 Unorthodoxic

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 02:43 AM

As it's a new purchase I reckon they will offer a replacement if they have one in stock as that will be the quickest and easiest solution.   If they haven't got another one available then this one will need a full set up which I reckon will include a new nut with the string slots cut at the correct height to give some clearance over the first fret, which gives some room to adjust the action.  No clearance at first fret means no ability to adjust action other than upwards, and I can see from your pics that it is already too high at the bridge end.

 

"I have had a look at the photos you sent and looking at the string heights they look

Pretty standard but obviously I have’nt actually played the guitar.

As far as set ups go its not usually a service we offer on mail order guitars as sending the guitar

Back and forward can result in the set up dropping out, if you have lowered the bridge and its

Producing fret buzz that usually indicates that the set up was correct in the first place and your lowering

It to low."

 

Was the reply I got.


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#11 edstar1960

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 02:53 AM

"I have had a look at the photos you sent and looking at the string heights they look

Pretty standard but obviously I have’nt actually played the guitar.

As far as set ups go its not usually a service we offer on mail order guitars as sending the guitar

Back and forward can result in the set up dropping out, if you have lowered the bridge and its

Producing fret buzz that usually indicates that the set up was correct in the first place and your lowering

It to low."

 

Was the reply I got.

 

That's not good.  Anyone can see there is no clearance at the first fret and that means you will get buzzing just playing open strings because there is no space for string to vibrate and lowering action is out of the question as the strings will just buzz and choke.  As for the bridge end, I think it is obviously higher than standard action.  I would phone them and explain the situation and explain the guitar is unplayable because the slots in the nut are cut too low and ask for a replacement or a full refund - under distance selling laws they have to do one or the other for you - so insist on one or the other, whichever you prefer, but do not accept the guitar in the condition its in and do not go down the repair path or else you will be stuck with it and stuck with waiting for them to repair it.

 

Good luck.


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#12 edstar1960

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 03:00 AM

Just thought - there is another option - if, other than the problem with the action, you like the guitar and got it for a good price and want to keep it, you could ask them to give you a further discount as you will need to pay to get it professionally set up - then get a luthier to set it up for you - it will probably cost between £20 to £40 depending on who you get to do it - and even if it needs a new nut I can't see it being more than £50 tops.   You will end up with a very playable guitar set up perfectly but you will have to commit to keeping it.

 

Hope it works out for you.


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#13 Unorthodoxic

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 04:59 AM

So I took the guitar down to Moran's guitar shop (http://moransound.com/) to get it checked out and setup. The owner's recommendation was to send the guitar back :unsure:.

 

Not sure what to do or where I stand now. I'm no expert on guitars and this is the most expensive guitar I've ever played so I don't know if my expectations for the action are too high.

 

I don't think I can start quoting distance selling regulations as this is now the eighth day I've had the guitar. Also regarding asking for a partial refund to cover the cost of a professional setup, I purchased the guitar on finance so that's probably not an option either.

 

Here's how it looks now after a minor truss rod adjustment.

 

Nut:

rC0idgZ.jpg

 

12th fret:

fKhJBLI.jpg


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#14 phil_m

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 05:26 AM

I'd ask for exchange. You have enough reason based on the condition of the bag alone. Beyond that, I think the least a dealer can do is to make sure a guitar is playable before the sell it. Of course, the least they can do is nothing, I suppose...


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#15 Charlie_Watt

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 05:48 AM

From the pix it looks to me like the nut is too low.  That is not a difficult adjustment to make.  If the neck is straight and the guitar is otherwise fine you might want to get it set up properly.  I agree that you should not receive a guitar this way though.


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#16 edstar1960

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 05:50 AM

You have 30 days in which to make up your mind whether to keep the guitar or not.  If there is anything about the guitar you don't like or are not happy with then distance selling ensures you can just ask for a refund or a replacement.  The torn bag is not acceptable and is good enough reason for an exchange.  You should not have to quote distance selling as Soundslive own policy will allow a refund or exchange within the first 30 days as long as you have not damaged the guitar.  Just phone them up and tell them you are not happy because the guitar is not playable with the supplied action and that it is impossible to lower it because it is at it's lowest point based on the slots cut in the nut - it can't go any lower.

 

Looking at your pictures again, and comparing with a couple of my guitars, I now think that the 12th fret action is about standard height, however, the first fret looks like it is touching the string which is incorrect - you should be able to see slight movement in the string when fretting at the first fret. If the string is already resting on the fret as it seems to be in your picture, then the nut slot has been cut too low, there needs to be a slight gap to allow the string to vibrate when it's played in an open position. You can easily test that - just press down at the first fret and see if the string moves down to the fret but it doesn't look like there is any room to play with there.

 

I would call Soundslive and explain the situation with the guitar at the first fret - I would be surprised if they do not offer you a replacement.  If they don't offer you anything - then you need to insist you either get a replacement or a refund - and if they still don't budge then it's time to mention their returns policy and then  distance selling, sale of goods act, consumer rights etc  .....


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#17 edstar1960

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 06:07 AM

BTW - how much did your local guitar shop say they would charge for a setup?   And what did they say would need to be done to fix your JTV69?  Or did they say it was impossible to fix and if so exactly why it would be impossible to fix? Or did they just say "send it back" and if so did they give a reason why it should be sent back rather than just be setup professionally?   If they gave you a very good reason for why it could not be fixed then you can quote that back at Soundslive as a reason for exchange or refund ...... but just the fact that you are not happy is enough in the returns period from the shop.

 

If it is just a problem with the nut slots cut too low that is easy enough for a luthier to fix, that is if you want to keep the guitar, and don't mind paying the extra to get it fixed. 


Edited by edstar1960, 09 May 2014 - 06:21 AM.

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#18 TheRealZap

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 06:08 AM

I agree with pretty much all the suggestions, you can get it setup, either have the nut replaced, or have a luthier take the strings out add a few dabs of super glue where needed and then file to the correct height....

although i dont think you should desperately need a setup out of the box like this...

i would recommend a proper setup with any new guitar....

honestly if you like everything else about the guitar... i'd get the setup.


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#19 phil_m

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 06:11 AM

I also am interested as to why the shop said it was impossible to set up. Are they saying the neck is warped or frets severely out of whack?


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#20 Unorthodoxic

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 07:12 AM

The guitar is currently getting set up by someone who was recommended to me. He seems to know his stuff and reckons he should have it done tonight. I'll post an update when I get it back later.

 

BTW - how much did your local guitar shop say they would charge for a setup?   And what did they say would need to be done to fix your JTV69?  Or did they say it was impossible to fix and if so exactly why it would be impossible to fix? Or did they just say "send it back" and if so did they give a reason why it should be sent back rather than just be setup professionally?   If they gave you a very good reason for why it could not be fixed then you can quote that back at Soundslive as a reason for exchange or refund ...... but just the fact that you are not happy is enough in the returns period from the shop.

 

If it is just a problem with the nut slots cut too low that is easy enough for a luthier to fix, that is if you want to keep the guitar, and don't mind paying the extra to get it fixed. 

 

I got the impression he was reluctant to work on the guitar, and basically said that for the price it should have been setup properly in the first place. The neck isn't warped and the frets are okay (perhaps one is a little out, but nothing major).


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#21 edstar1960

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 07:28 AM

The guitar is currently getting set up by someone who was recommended to me. He seems to know his stuff and reckons he should have it done tonight. I'll post an update when I get it back later.

 

 

I got the impression he was reluctant to work on the guitar, and basically said that for the price it should have been setup properly in the first place. The neck isn't warped and the frets are okay (perhaps one is a little out, but nothing major).

 

Well that is good news.   The JTVs are normally set up by the Line6 distributor before they go to the retailer.  All guitars will adjust to their surroundings due to climate changing/humidity/etc and you would expect to have to tweak it yourself to maintain optimum setup or to have it set to your preferred tolerances (action etc).  The retailer really should double check the setup before dispatching it - just for their own peace of mind - and also to avoid issues like this - however - that is often not done in the UK because obviously it saves a few quid and they hope the customer will do it themselves.  Most shops I have bought from offer at least one free setup in the first year to allow for guitars to settle in if you take it back to them but online retailers can't afford to do that as you would have to ship guitar back and forth and it's not practical,

 

I hope the guitar gets set up nicely for you - and hopefully you will enjoy it when it is buzz free with an acceptable action.      


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#22 Charlie_Watt

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 11:36 AM

I like to do my own setups if they just involve adjustments.  I don't have the tools to level frets or replace them.  From the Pix here I would say that the nut is too low relative to the first fret.  That requires removing the nut and shimming it - or making a new one.  I normally set the action height with a capo on the first fret.  The nut height should be just a bit higher than that so that the strings don't buzz on the first fret when you play them open.  The nut height was perfect on my JTV 69.  I had to fiddle with the saddles to get the action the way I like it but that was all.  Neck relief was fine with 10's.


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#23 Unorthodoxic

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 04:24 PM

Okay so I got the guitar setup and I've been playing it for a few hours. The action is still higher than I'd like around the 12th, and very low near the nut but I'm able to live with it. Perhaps in the future I'll see about getting the nut replaced to make things a little bit more even action wise.


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#24 spmartin

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Posted 11 May 2014 - 05:50 AM

If your guitar is now playing well on the lower frets, but still seems high on the upper frets, why not have your luthier look at the possibility of installing a shim at the neck joint. The JTV-69 is bolt on, and this could very well solve your problem. I've had to do it with some Fenders, and actually one of my Strats came with a "micro shim" adjustment built into the guitar, accessible through a hole in the neck plate. Just my two cents.


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#25 Unorthodoxic

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Posted 11 May 2014 - 07:15 AM

If your guitar is now playing well on the lower frets, but still seems high on the upper frets, why not have your luthier look at the possibility of installing a shim at the neck joint. The JTV-69 is bolt on, and this could very well solve your problem. I've had to do it with some Fenders, and actually one of my Strats came with a "micro shim" adjustment built into the guitar, accessible through a hole in the neck plate. Just my two cents.

 

I'm more inclined to think about saving up for a new neck rather than spending time messing around with this one. Just noticed another small error in it today.

 

Lix161Z.jpg?1

 

Looks like there was an error in making the cuts for the frets. Doesn't effect the playing, and I guess I am nit picking, but I kind of expected a little bit better.


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#26 lasvideo

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Posted 11 May 2014 - 08:52 AM

You paid good money for that guitar. It shouldnt be in the shoddy shape it seems to be in.

 

Dont stand for crappy customers service from that shop. If you are within the 30 return period sent it back. Demand an exchange.

 

You deserve a fine instrument for your investment


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#27 TheRealZap

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Posted 11 May 2014 - 09:33 AM

yes, i would recommend the same.

a pain since you want to play... but you'll be much happier long term.

 

You paid good money for that guitar. It shouldnt be in the shoddy shape it seems to be in.

 

Dont stand for crappy customers service from that shop. If you are within the 30 return period sent it back. Demand an exchange.

 

You deserve a fine instrument for your investment


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#28 clay-man

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Posted 11 May 2014 - 11:18 AM

Yeah please exchange, you're going to end up not being happy with what you have, and you can get a JTV in better shape than that.


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#29 Unorthodoxic

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 04:39 PM

Decided I'm just going to keep it now. I'm happy enough with it, and despite the tiny mis-cut on the neck it's a great guitar that I'm sure will last me many years. Next time I come around to purchasing another guitar I think I'll definitely try to avoid purchasing online, or if I do, give it a thourough inspection first time I unbox it (rather than get carried away having a new instrument and be more interesting in playing than inspecting every little detail).


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#30 lasvideo

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 05:20 PM

Oh man. Really? Dont give up so easily!   :)

 

 

Okay so I got the guitar setup and I've been playing it for a few hours. The action is still higher than I'd like around the 12th, and very low near the nut....I'm more inclined to think about saving up for a new neck rather than spending time messing around with this one.

 

See, that just aint right.Mine has none of those issues. Yours shouldnt either.

 

But hey, its your choice. But having bought one recently myself, I empathize with what you are going thru. And I would not let them rip me off if I was in your shoes.

 

Good luck!


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#31 Charlie_Watt

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 05:51 PM

I cannot tell from the picture what that defect is but I know that they use CNC to position the frets on guitar necks.  That doesn't look like a goof to me but again I can't tell for sure from your pix.  Bottom line is that if you like the guitar keep it.  Every guitar has it's own personality due to mfg tolerances and due to the variation of the wood they use to make it.


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#32 MikeMaben

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Posted 18 May 2014 - 04:39 PM

Well your setup looks exactly like mine did when I first received it (from Sweetwater). I would have sent it back but after playing it for a short while

I decided I didn't like the neck at all anyway. The nut end is too narrow (my opinion... and I have skinny fingers) and was cut way too deep at the factory.

The strings should not be completely below the top of the nut like that (especially the larger flatwound strings). The excess height at the bridge end

was due to the trem posts being too high. Dropping them (just thread them in deeper) would have helped that end but with the crap nut, the buzzing

would have been unplayable. I have since replaced the neck with an all maple Warmoth 16/10 compound radius with a 1.75 tusque nut.

One thing I don't hear mentioned when swapping the necks on a 69 is that the hole pattern is 'not' identical to a Strat. One of the attachment holes

on the 69 is offset and requires a new hole be drilled in the body (no big deal but should be mentioned). If you're otherwise happy with the dimensions

and feel of the neck, I would still recommend replacing that nut. There are a couple of ways of fixing it but I would not recommend shimming up the

entire nut from underneath because of the excessive depth of the slots. Checkout Youtube for some other ways to 'fill' each slot and re-adjust the depth.

It won't be all that it can be with 'that' nut.

Have fun !

 

https://www.youtube....itar nut repair


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#33 Charlie_Watt

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Posted 18 May 2014 - 05:25 PM

The holes not being the same has been a problem with Variax neck replacements from day 1.  You can order it from Warmoth without the holes drilled.  Then you can drill them yourself lined up with the Variax body holes.  This has been discussed on the old forum years ago.  By the way, I agree that the nut picture here shows the strings cut too deep - and the nut is probably set too deep in the neck also.  The top third at least of the wound strings should be above the top of the nut slot.


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