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  1. #1

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    Something is going on in there....but I don't know what... it's a black box.

    What is messing with the setup? -Is the lid crushing the bridge? -Is it twisting the neck or bending the neck joint?

    -How do I verify that the case is not causing stress? It's supposed to be snug, right?


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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Erm, are you missing a link?

  4. #3

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    Or are you missing a lynx? Schrödinger's Lynx...

  5. #4
    No links are missing, and my Lynx is here with me somewhere...

    Seriously, I have reasons to believe the case is squeezing the guitar too tight.
    I obviously don't want external tension affecting the neck, and I don't want external pressure on the bridge.

    The lid lining get imprints of the strings and the bridge.. as would be expected also when there's a good, snug fit. I like to know the proper method to verify stress points and if possible adjust the case.

  6. #5

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    The case should be a little bit tight. If it's not, the guitar can move inside, and a hard bump can cause damage when it hits the other side, sort of like a brain concussion. If there are no imprints of the strings and bridge in the lining, it's too loose IMO. The lining is taking the pressure as it should. If the case is too small, it will be noticeably hard to close. As long as the lid closes without needing too much force, it's fine. At least that's my theory.

  7. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell
    The case should be a little bit tight. If it's not, the guitar can move inside, and a hard bump can cause damage when it hits the other side, sort of like a brain concussion. If there are no imprints of the strings and bridge in the lining, it's too loose IMO. The lining is taking the pressure as it should. If the case is too small, it will be noticeably hard to close. As long as the lid closes without needing too much force, it's fine. At least that's my theory.
    Thanks, yeah that's reasonable. But this case is a bit tight to close also when empty. What I think is happening in there (even though I don't know how to observe it) is that the lid keeps the neck steady and lifts the body from the bottom of the case, until the bridge hits the lid. I then get stress points at the neck joint, the neck and the bridge.
    The guitar is fine as long as it's outside the case, but after transportation in the case it needs to re-stabilize (not related to humidity or temperature). So I use a gig bag instead and the setup stays unaffected. Still I like to be able to use this case for storage etc, so I'll have to adjust it somehow.

  8. #7

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    If the neck is too high, the easiest fix might be to deepen the support underneath it. Or you could add padding under the body to lift it, probably the easiest to do. Put some cloth under there and see how it goes. If the lid is tight closing even empty, I wouldn't worry too much. That last quarter inch or so probably isn't hurting anything, and it's just the case binding because the lid is slightly small. Better than too loose, IMO.

  9. #8

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    How about some comparative tests to help a sense of what might be going on? I think it would take just a few minutes to do all these examinations, no tools or skills required.

    1] Compare the feel of fully closing the case lid both with and without the guitar inside. This is to get a sense of how much more pressure it may take when the guitar is inside; try to mentally subtract the empty closing feel from the feel of when the guitar is inside to sense the feel of the difference when the guitar is in the case.

    2] Put the guitar in the case with the lid open, strum the strings, and close the case lid slowly, listening for when the case lid padding damps the strings. Repeat until you find the almost closed lid position where it damps the strings and compare that to the lid's fully closed position. This is to get a general sense of how much distance the fully closing the lid exceeds its first contact with the guitar.

    3] Open the lid and examine the string depressions in the padding to see if they are noticeably deeper near the nut or bridge end of the case lid. This is to get a sense of whether the case lid might be pressing harder on either the neck or the body of the guitar.

    With just those three quick looks, you should have:

    - how HARD the lid pushes the guitar after full closure
    - how FAR the lid moves between first contact and full closure
    - where PRESSURE is being applied on the guitar after full closure

    Those three rough and relative measures might be enough for the experienced folks to identify what's going on or suggest some additional measures or tests.

  10. #9
    Further testing strengthens suspicions that the neck rest /case pocket is too high. The neck supports would then have to be removed and leveled underneath. There's plenty of clearance below the headstock. There's also a wedged headstock pad, quite firm, that seems to be clamping the headstock like a vise; I wouldn't be surprised if it actually twists the neck...

  11. #10

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    I still think that just raising the body should take care of the problem. You don't want too much room, such that the neck can move up and down, because that risks breaking the headstock if the case is dropped or falls. But obviously I can't see the items, so it's just speculation.

  12. #11

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    You could observe with the case opened if the guitar neck is flush with the case’s edge or not. Especially if you glance down the side from the end upto the neck (put the case on a table or something). If the neck protrudes upwards a tiny bit under a slide angle then the lid could indeed push or bend it down, perhaps even lifting the body. I agree with sgnosnell that putting something under the body to raise it - and thus making sure the neck is horizontal/flush - should solve that.

  13. #12
    Thanks guys, your suggestions make perfect sense. But what if the guitar got an ABR-1 bridge? You know, that rattlin', rockin', saggin' sonnamabitch. I don't want the case to wreak havoc on the bridge by raising the body even closer to the lid. There are already imprints from the bridge in the lining.
    Regarding neck flush to the edge; the case pocket is flush to the edge. The whole neck rests above the edge of the case. The lid is arched. But as Little Jay said, the neck protrudes in a slight upward angle when the guitar rests in the open case. A pad under the body would correct that angle, but at the same time force the bridge deeper into the lining. It makes me wonder how many ABR-1 bridges have and gone flat prematurely due to sheer pressure from the case...

  14. #13

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    Is the case the manufacturer's case or an aftermarket case? Just a speculative possibility for why the guitar might not fit properly in the case.

  15. #14

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    A pad of the proper depth shouldn't raise the bridge any higher than it's already being raised. Obviously some judgement is needed. I think that taking pressure off the neck is more important than keeping it off the bridge. A folded towel or some other cloth should do the job, although it might take some experimenting to find exactly the right cloth to get the right height. But it's your guitar and your case, do as you like, and good luck with it whatever you do.

  16. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by dconeill
    Is the case the manufacturer's case or an aftermarket case? Just a speculative possibility for why the guitar might not fit properly in the case.
    It's the original expensive case in which the expensive guitar arrived from the manufacturer.

    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell
    A pad of the proper depth shouldn't raise the bridge any higher than it's already being raised. Obviously some judgement is needed. I think that taking pressure off the neck is more important than keeping it off the bridge. A folded towel or some other cloth should do the job, although it might take some experimenting to find exactly the right cloth to get the right height. But it's your guitar and your case, do as you like, and good luck with it whatever you do.
    Actually sgosnell, I think you might have nailed it. By raising the body just the right amount, the bridge would not get closer to the lid than it already is (presuming the neck has been lifting the body). I'll give it a try.
    Thanks all for your contribution.

  17. #16
    Here's an interesting video about guitar cases. Even though he's mostly talking about bolt on neck guitars, much of it is applicable to set neck guitars as well. You can disregard marketing and product placement, just focus on the various aspects of fitting.

    5 min: deep imprints from the strings
    15 min: paper test
    19 min: made to measure



    So, in my experience, even when a case is made to measure a specific guitar model, there are individual variations in neck angle and bridge height as well as tolerances of the case dimensions. Guitars are made in one place, cases are made in another place and are then randomly scrambled together. -Did anyone verify that your individual guitar actually fits your individual case?

    Furthermore, criteria for perfect fit may differ from the perspective of shipping (prevent broken necks), storage (dust cover, maintain neck integrity) and playability (neck and tuning stability, bridge setup integrity). Basically you may like to clamp the guitar hard when it's going to get manhandled by the postal service, but more gently when you're carrying it to a gig or for long term storage.

    This topic; setup stability and neck problems related to the guitar case is not discussed very often. But people look for help on tuning and fret buzz problems every day. Schrödinger's elephant is in da room...or isn't...

    If you've made it this far, maybe you want to read this...or don't...
    ".... A back bow or a hump at the fret where the neck rested..."
    http://www.es-335.com/2013/02/25/gra...eat-or-menace/

    Gravity? That would be Schrödinger's law of gravity; It's either gravity or it isn't. In that case it's the case.