Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Set-up: Peavey Predator EXP 1 (Part 1)

My colleague, Mr. Wong, purchased a Peavey Predator EXP 1 recently. He decided to assign this guitar to a drop-D tuning (E-B-G-D-A-D high to low) so a thicker E string was incorporated to compensate the tension. He brought this guitar to the office for a second opinion in terms of set up which I gladly obliged (I need the practice, remember?). My concerns were:
  • Bridge alignment: Often after such tinkering, locking dual action bridges would often be misaligned (not too severe, though) & this would affect tuning stability. 
  • Action: Having thicker strings on board would mean a change in neck tension (albeit detuning the instrument) which would affect the neck's straightness + string action + fret buzzing.
As you would've noted by now, the effects of incorporating a slight change into your guitar would entail many considerations so it may seem to be an easy job to the uninitiated- it's anything but.

My approach to this procedure is to check for 3 main tell-tale signs:
  1. Look at the bridge
  2. Check the neck
  3. Check tuning
From the pic above, we note the bridge wasn't sitting level with the body's top surface so it meant the bridge needed a re-look in terms of spring tension.

A quick neck check for straightness- capo the first fret, press down the strings at the final fret (in this case the 24th fret) & note the gap between the fret crown & the strings, at the neck's center portion. This Predator had been well taken care of in this aspect, the neck sports a straight profile. However, it means nothing in terms of preferred playability- some of us don't fancy a super straight neck pertaining to the action & how the notes choke out upon bending (radius considerations, my friends...).

After 3 tuning attempts, the higher E & B strings always ended up sharper than the rest of their counterparts so it told me once again rectify the spring tension. Yes, that's a pink KORG Pitch Clip in action.

To be continued...

1 comment:

YusTech said...

I've two, Yellow and Green.