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Thread: My first build: left-handed JM-1L

  1. #71
    Member andybanks's Avatar
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    Hi Jarro, I'm liking the look of your guitar, good work.

    I'm no expert, but I'll share what I would look at first and hopefully it will help

    1. The noise problem. I think you may have an issue with your shielding. Since it is quiet when you are touching it, I think you are picking up noise that is external to the guitar. Simon made a few comments that are worth checking a few posts back. Firstly, make sure you have connected your shielding to earth, and secondly, make sure it goes high enough to connect to the shielding on the back of the scratch plate. If the shielding is working, it might address the noise.

    2. I don't think I am following you completely in intonation, but it sounds like you are having issues with tuning of the first 5 frets. There might not be much you can do here, and let me explain my thinking. Intonation is normally set by comparing the 12th fret tuning to open tuning. If you have done this, and are finding the first 5 frets are out of tune, it might be worth re-checking the scale length and expected fret positions. I use the stewmac fret calculator, and you can see if the nut seems to be correctly positioned. My nut was leaned forward slightly and I filed it backwards ever so slightly to correct the scale length. Keep in mind though, guitars on the whole are not perfectly timed instruments and this is part of their charm.

    3. Pickup height it a bit subjective, but as a rule of thumb, it is safer to be further away than too close. The closer you get, the more effect the magnets have on the string vibrations, and they can reduce sustain and affect the tone. Further away can result in a somewhat thinner tone, but there is more leeway on the far side of the equation

    4. Open string buzz normally comes from not enough neck relief. 0.01mm over 300mm is really, really small (it is essentially flat). Maybe try adding a little more neck relief by backing off the truss rod a little. it's a quick adjustment and can be undone if necessary.



    I hope this helps, it's worth fine tuning and adjusting thing, it takes a little time but it is well worth it for making a guitar feel great to play.

  2. #72
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
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    Are all the pickups buzzy, or just the single coils? Even with poor shielding, the humbucker should be a lot quieter.

    Fluorescent lights give off a lot of electrical noise, so not a good idea to be close to one when playing almost any electric guitar.

    Have you run a ground wire to the trem claw?

    If you plug a lead in (the kit leads are awful and have very poor shielding, so best to throw that away and always use a decent lead) and connect a multimeter between the sleeve of the jack and the metal parts, do you have almost zero-ohms continuity? It's easy enough to get the two connections the wrong way round (I've done it fairly recently).

    Does your amp have in internal or external PSU? The smaller battery/PSU powered amps often lack a system ground connection to earth, so shielding is ineffective. If it's got a captive or an IEC ('kettle') mains lead then that should be fine.

  3. #73
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    The first five frets are sharp by 10-15 cents, and more on the higher three strings, so it makes me think it is the string height causing them to stretch too much when pushed down. I checked the fret positions and they seem legit.
    The only amp I have is the cheap one that comes in a squier kit, but it has an earth. I've also gone straight into the line in on the computer. The squier doesn't buzz on either of those. The humbucker buzzes more so it seems like an earth problem rather than picking up noise.

  4. #74
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    Ah on second thoughts I just noticed that the nut is a tiny bit twisted, and leaning slightly back. I wonder if that makes enough of a difference to the scale length that the frets are out. I will try cleaning out the slot better to make sure there is no old glue in there and sand a bit more to see what I can do about that.

  5. #75
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    I think I solved the problem, the strings are actually touching at the back of the nut, increasing the scale length by about 2mm, meaning the top frets are too far down, therefore sharp, and that explains how far back I need to put the saddles.
    So I need to get the nut to lean backwards a bit, but I'm not sure the best way to do it.

  6. #76
    Member andybanks's Avatar
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    Glad to hear you have found the culprit, now to fix it could be tricky.

    If you have a set of nut slot files, you can re-file the slot so the bridge end is the high point. This is normally done in two parts, a shallow angle for the front of the nut and a steeper angle at the back to help guide toward the posts.

    here's a fender video on it.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=racmaWTYvNg

    If you cant correct this without lowering the string height too far, you will probably need to replace the nut and start again with the filing. This means carefully removing the nut, cleaning out the slot and shaping/installing a new nut.

    I am hoping it can be fixed without having to go this far. :-)

  7. #77
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    I don't have nut files, I could probably do that if I did, maybe I should order some and cement the fact that I will have to build several more guitars

    I don't see that I can slope the nut because it won't sit in the slot, so I don't think that's really an option. I already have the nut out from filing it down earlier, so that part is fine, it's just fixing this angle that's the problem. If I have to buy a new nut I need nut files anyway, so if anyone has any other DIY suggestions I'm all ears.

  8. #78
    Member andybanks's Avatar
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    I wonder if it is a nut off a RH guitar that has been put in here. It would make sense that it is pivoting on the wrong side of the nut if this is the case. I'm not convinced that angling the nut will be a great solution, but it might improve it a little. I'd worry about having to increase the size of the slot, so that you are committed to always angling a nut, and then the scale will potentially always be out by a little bit. I see you are in Sydney, I can always lend you a set of files if it helps, buying things seems to take forever at the moment. :-)

  9. #79
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    Going by the slight angle of this nut I would say it looks like they put a righty one on backwards. I'll see what PBG think maybe they can send me a left-handed one.
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    Last edited by jarro_2783; 15-09-2021 at 02:02 PM.

  10. #80
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    Hi Jarro,
    The factory tends to put a right hand nut in backwards for lefties - I know from experience!
    Can I suggest that if you go for another kit get the bone nut option - a few extra dollars but a great upgrade option.
    To fix the nut issue I suggest you search on eBay for a TUSQ left hand nut for a strat. I did this on a JM1-L build - https://www.buildyourownguitar.com.a...ead.php?t=7789.
    The TUSQ nut is a little wider and you need to gently sand down the nut to get it flush with the side of the neck. But the positive is that they are for lefties and they improve the sound. TUSQ is a very dense plastic material - quite resonate and better than the rubbish nuts that come with the kits.
    Your other alternative is to get bone blanks and do a lot of sanding to shape them.

    EDIT: Australian Luther Supplies also has black TUSQ nuts for Strat.
    Last edited by colin2121; 15-09-2021 at 04:27 PM.

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