I don't know if you remember talking with me a few months ago, but you
made me a pbc bass a few years back which has to
date played on over 200 albums! (well, so has it's owner! LOL) I am asked CONSTANTLY about the
history of this bass, and you and I talked about it in detail when I called
back then. This is one of the best instruments I have ever owned, and I am
now in need of a backup. I would love to be your most fervent endorsement
player. You can see the bass at
and hear it on many recordings online. I am very eager to speak with
you about the possiblity of even a cost deal, as
I was given on the first bass. Dave, you cannot believe the sound this bass
puts out on record. All I have to do is take this bass, my
sans amp, go direct with no EQ, and the sound is intense. If you
need to refence my exposure possiblities,
you can call Jon Raney at Raney Recording at 870-668-3222. I am the house
bassist there, as well as doing shows live with a host of acts including
Leroy Parnell, Radney Foster, Kelly McGuire and
many more. Please hit me back with info......I am VERY anxious to have a
backup....I NEVER want to play another bass..........period!
Tremolo (Fulcrum/Knife-edge) Tuning Problems
(also applies to many Single-Locking Tremolos)
Tremolos in the past have come and gone, but, for about 25 years the
Double-Locking type has dominated the guitar market. Widely considered the
best type of Tremolo to have, Double-Locking Tremolos can have quirky
habits. The most notorious is coming back flat after a
dive-bomb or staying sharp after applying a little vibrato to a nice
(or not so nice) chord.
Sound familiar? Well... Here are some things for you to check-
The Knife-edge Pivots.
These two friction points are the first place check. The best time to do
this is during a routine string change. When all the strings are off the
guitar remove the spring cover on the back of your guitar. Using
needle-nose pliers remove the springs from the bridge (not the “claw”), one
spring at a time.
Be careful not to scratch your guitar or chip the paint when the Tremolo
is free of its springs, especially be careful when
removing the last spring. Now with the Tremolo removed take a very close
look at the knife-edges on the body of the Tremolo. Use a magnifying glass
(if you have one) and look for debris, dirt and any deformation of the
Most knife-edges will look a little worn, meaning the metal doesn’t appear
to form clean, sharp “knife-edge” or “V” shape. That’s OK. If the “V” shape
is badly worn it will look very “rounded-over” at the point of contact
compared to areas just left and right of the point of contact for each
Also the (chrome, gold, etc.) plating can wear away leaving frayed bits of
metal around the pivot area. Clean this area well,
remove any debris with #400 wet/dry sandpaper. Be careful not to sand on
the exact point of contact for each pivot, you just need to remove
Now let’s look at the pivot screws on the body of the guitar. These have
the opposite “V” shape machined into them. As before have a good look at
them (use your magnifying glass, if you have one) and inspect the area of
the “V” shape where the Tremolo made contact. You’ll notice some wear and
just as before compare that worn area to adjacent areas of the “V” shape.
The wear on these pivot screws should minimal, even hardly noticeable. If
the wear appears to be quite noticeable you should replace your pivot
screws. If that’s not possible then you can rotate the screws just a bit
(about 1\4 of a turn) in either direction as to allow the contact areas of
the tremolo to meet up with a lesser worn area of the pivot screw “V” shape
Also check that the pivot screws are at a “right-angle” (90 degrees)
compared to the face (or top) of your guitar. Sometimes the wood around the
pivot screws wears out or becomes compressed in the direction that the
strings and springs pull on the Tremolo. If the screws are more than
slightly leaning (or tilted) you will have tuning problems. Depending on
your woodworking abilities it may be best to have an experienced guitar
repair tech do this repair for you.
Be sure to reassemble the pivots clean and “dry” meaning no oil or
grease. Lubricants may sound like a good idea, but dust, dirt and other
contaminants will eventually stick to the lubricant causing more harm than
good. These pivots were engineered to operate “dry.”
TENSION FREE tips and tats;
Here in Tension Free land you must lay back and
have a cool one to start, it will make your understanding far more in
focus. In weeks to come we will get into great detail as to why and how
Tension Free makes your AX perform the way it does.
This segment will be called Ask Dave and
I will try to answer all of your questions in a timely fashion.
Probably the most asked question I get on the
Tension Free technology is how to adjust it. The main thing to remember in
this is not to ever try to turn or adjust the pin on the down side of the
neck at or close to the 17th fret. This can only be removed using a 1/16th
inch allen wrench if the neck and the adjustment
screw has been removed. The adjustment for the neck is on the back of the
guitar or bass between the neck mounting screws. This adjustment requires a
5/32inch allen wrench to adjust. Turn Counter
Clockwise for relief and Clockwise for back bow.
For all of you tech's out there, here are a few
tips to help you to perfection on Tension Free necks. If you have removed
the adjustment screw and the pin mentioned above you now can pull the
headstock out of the neck. It looks like a weapon now but don't get carried
away. If you have a neck which has too much relief when the rod is out,
bend the bar at the mid point the opposite way(back bow) with about the same bend, usually under
1/16th of an inch works although I've seen necks that required as much as
3/32 inch. Now when you put the rod back in the neck you have probably
taken out the relief, if not turn the adjustment screw counter clockwise
about 1/2 turn or more if needed. NOTE: when re inserting the 1/16th inch
pin make sure it is centered in the neck. The pin is usually 1/2 inch deep
inside the neck.
Another thing to be sure to have in place when you
re assemble your Tension Free neck is the felt strip which is between the
head stock and the neck. This felt strip is important to make sure there is
no vibration between neck and head stock.
If you still have questions, please call me at
forget to check out our Whammy Bar. It's one "hip lounge"
you're sure to enjoy.
"Pull up a stool and hang-out
for a while"
Also, be sure to get a look at our Parts Department. Currently we're
having a sale on some cool stuff you may need.