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  #1  
Old 01-10-2017, 12:11 PM
Silly Moustache Silly Moustache is offline
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Default My Collings back from Collings after neck re-profile and refret - bass E Dull ????

I have a beautiful 2008 Ds1. It has been my "bluegrass band" guitar up until my last band folded.

In 2014 I realised that the neck profiles of my four DS models and my 000 all had different depth profiles and the later the make the fatter/clunkier the profile, and different to those specified in the documentation.

In January 2015 I reported this to Collings, asking for details of internal dimension in order to get re-profiling done locally. They requested that I send back my latest/fattest necked guitar - the DS1, for inspection.

They agreed that it was oversized and decided to re-profile it themselves, basically turning it into a C profile rather than "mod V". They also offered to refret it (if I paid) which I agreed to.

I got it back last year after some time, and immediately restrung it (it had new strings on but I like to put my own on - it's one of my "things". I noticed right away that the bass E sounded ...dull - no attack.

The new strings? The new (probably) saddle? I left it for a while, - every time I got it out - it did not please me because of this unevenness. Last Wednesday for a rehearsal I decided to use it, and "get over it" - really irritated me, so yesterday I loosened the strings, and changed the saddle (I have a few), and the height was very similar - bit low on the top E but that isn't the issue right now - tuned up . Dead bass E.

OK, change strings altogether. Nice new D'add EJ17s ....dead E.

This occurs played open (probably a new nut - it's VERY sharp) and when fretted. Dead.

Could it be the 10 pack of strings I've used ? Well the five sets on other guitars are on with no issues.

I've run out of ideas - any suggestions ?
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  #2  
Old 01-10-2017, 10:15 PM
Truckjohn Truckjohn is offline
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Can you measure the action on that string.... Both 1st and 12th fret...... A little too low and the string just kinda goes dead. It's weird - but you don't really get rattle..... It just doesn't sound out.

Can you try shimming up the saddle with a slice or 2 of plastic peanut can lid (milk jug, whatever). The test is to raise the string 0.010 or 0.020" and see what happens.
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  #3  
Old 01-11-2017, 04:19 AM
Trevor Gore Trevor Gore is offline
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The possibilities are legion, from brace damage in transit to the ball end not seating well.

Here's a simple one to try: Wind the tension up on the truss rod until you are at the bottom end of your preferred relief. (Was likely loosened when they re-shaped the neck and perhaps not re-tensioned after. A "silent rattle" can kill some frequencies). Good luck!
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Old 01-11-2017, 07:24 AM
Hot Vibrato Hot Vibrato is offline
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Some good suggestions so far. String height at the 12th fret should be about 3/32" (2.4mm), with just a tiny amount of relief (.007" or .178mm). If these adjustments are correct and the low E is still dead, I would suspect that the dimensional changes done to the neck have caused a resonant frequency in the neck that coincides with the frequency(ies) of the dead note(s).

In a lecture printed in American Lutherie #9, 1987, Don Teeter mentions a flemenco guitar he had on his bench with an inexplicable dead note. He clamped to the headstock a piezo transducer connected to a strobe tuner dialed in to the dead note. He knocked on the neck and the strobe tuner indicated that the neck was indeed resonating at the frequency of the dead note. Teeter says that any appreciable change in the weight of the neck will change the neck resonance, and he cites an experience where the issue was solved simply by changing the tuners.

The issue of a single dead note is more common on classical and flamenco guitars, but it is plausible that the neck resonance of a steel string guitar could affect a single note or a range of notes. I've seen some products over the years that clamp or screw to a guitar headstock, and their manufacturers have claimed that they improve tone by altering the neck resonance. While the theory behind this is sound, I don't believe that it's necessary for most guitars. However, I might suggest an experiment: clamp something heavy to your headstock and see if the dead note(s) are more present with the added mass. If there is no change to the tone of the guitar, then neck resonance is likely not the issue. If the tone of the guitar is improved, then look no further. I believe I read that Don Teeter has dealt with such issues by drilling into the end of the headstock and adding a lead weight to alter the neck resonance.
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Old 01-11-2017, 08:47 AM
Truckjohn Truckjohn is offline
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Bad actor body resonances will generally effect resonances near that tone.... So a few frets up the low E string would sound fine again. If the whole string is out - that takes me away from resonances and towards something mechanical.

Why not send it back to Collings and let them sort it out.
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Old 01-11-2017, 09:22 AM
6L6 6L6 is online now
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Interesting Collings was willing to do that work for you. I'm sure they'll make it right if there's more work to be done.
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Old 01-11-2017, 11:26 AM
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murrmac123 murrmac123 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silly Moustache View Post

This occurs played open (probably a new nut - it's VERY sharp) and when fretted. Dead.
I don't get why the E played open sounds sharp ... can't you just tune it to the correct pitch?

Does every note on the E string sound dead ...all the way up the fretboard?
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Old 01-11-2017, 04:10 PM
Silly Moustache Silly Moustache is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murrmac123 View Post
I don't get why the E played open sounds sharp ... can't you just tune it to the correct pitch?

Does every note on the E string sound dead ...all the way up the fretboard?
Ahh- I meant that the leading edge of the nut is very sharp to the touch, not sharp tonally.
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Old 01-11-2017, 06:23 PM
pdx pdx is offline
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Try loosening the low E enough to pull the bridge pin and string out, twist the string, clockwise I believe, to add some more tension, insert the string and bridgepin in and see if that changes anything.
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  #10  
Old 01-14-2017, 11:14 AM
Jabberwocky Jabberwocky is offline
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Off the wall suggestion: try the other 5 bridge pins in the bass E2 string slot. The original one that works well may have been swapped out.

Don't shoot me. Guitars are organic and little things like that make a difference.
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  #11  
Old 01-14-2017, 12:51 PM
Silly Moustache Silly Moustache is offline
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Thanks for the suggestions so far.
About action - I have all my guitar actions set at .110" bass and .080/.085" treble with a relief of .006/.008"

I phoned my local , and he said bring it over so I did. I told him all the stuff I'd done, warned him that he was allowed to say it wasn't the guitar but the owner, but he agreed that the E did sound dead.

I've left it with him.
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