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Partscaster and Bardens - Dead "E" strings

7/16/2000 3:25 AM
Partscaster and Bardens - Dead "E" strings
I know I've read similar posts before, but this one has me stumped. I put together my Warmoth strat today. Joe Barden pickups. One piece alder body, one piece fatback maple neck, hardtail with vintage bridge. What could go wrong? The same problem I had with my G&L Legacy!! The top "E" string sounds like it has its own volume pot and it's turned halfway down. The low "E" string is lesser in volume and almost sounds like it has a phase effect on it. The middle four strings sound absolutely fabulous. Clear and strong, plenty of classic Fender ring. Has anyone had this problem with  
Barden pups? Is this a problem with strats in general? This is very disturbing and discouraging. If anyone has any experience with this, please help me. Thanks.  
7/16/2000 7:55 AM
Eric H

"The top "E" string sounds like it has its own volume pot and it's turned halfway down. The low "E" string is lesser in volume and almost sounds like it has a phase effect on it."
I've had guitars just like that, and find dead E strings to be a very common problem --though yours seems to be more radical than most. I've attempted to get rid of this on 2 guitars, and went through every obvious fix (bridge slop, nut problems, string gauges, pickup type, placement,height etc. etc.) I've reached the conclusion that in bad cases it is the wood in the fingerboard (or the neck --if one-piece) and will not respond to any repair short of a new fingerboard, or neck. I'm not certain of themechanism involved, but some pieces of wood don't seem to support the vibrations of the two outside strings (possibly because there is less wood there). I put a new fingerboard on an old Epiphone 335 last year and the dead E's are pretty much gone. This has been my main test-bed guitar over the last 30 years and has had many modifications,(everything mentioned previously, and 2 different bridges, 2 sets of tuners, and 3 re-frets) and always had dead E's until I replaced the fingerboard. This is, of-course, a worst-case scenario, and it's possible you can fix your guitar more easily, but that hasn't been my experience. I hope others have workable solutions --I'm always open to new info.  
7/16/2000 5:03 PM
Ian Anderson

I had a '81 SG that was really dead sounding on the low E (thickest). The luthier I sold it to installed a new truss rod and said it was the best SG he'd ever had. That new truss rod just fixed it.  
Might be a one-off, who knows? (not me)  
... Ian
7/17/2000 3:32 AM
Eric H

"That new truss rod just fixed it."
Amazing --doesn't fit any of my theories (not that I find that unusual).  
Wood is a very complex materials, with a lot of variables --even within the same log.  
I think you hit on the obvious solution, Ian:  
sell the thing.  
7/16/2000 7:56 PM
Ed Rembold

I've heard that the Warmoth necks with the  
2 piece,"double-adjust" truss rod, can have this  
problem, but not the "vintage" style.  
Which do you have?  
Ed R.
7/16/2000 8:44 PM

Hi Ed. Thanks for replying. I have a vintage style neck with modern features. I've looked at everything and adjusted everything, and I think it's pretty obvious at this point that there's something going on with the wood. Very discouraging. I think I've learned my lesson about parts guitars.  
7/16/2000 11:40 PM
Ed Rembold

I don't think this is likely, But- Is your  
Bridge/nut spacing So wide, that the strings  
are "off" each end of the Pickups?? You know what I mean? Ed R.  
P.S. you better call Warmoth and Barden.

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