The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
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  1. #1

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    My wife bought me a NOS 2012 Korean made Unsung Epiphone Emperor Regent for my significant birthday.

    This guitar has been hanging on a wall in a Wigan music shop for the last 2 years all unloved.

    I did a piece on this and the shop a while back.

    So I got Blondie home and played for the rest of the day.

    So I expected some tweaking to make this guitar play better and the remainder of this thread is devoted to this process.

    Before you read further I don't want this thread to disolve into 'this is better than that' bashing. This piece is purely for those of us here needing insights and knowledge as to how to make our guitars perform better or what to look and ask for when buying a hollow bodied guitar.

    A quick note on the whole business of making and selling of mass produced products in the 21st Centuary.
    Everything is built to a price, standard and quality.
    This particular guitar is a student level instrument or 2nd backup instrument and it does this very well.
    Quality control (QC) at this level from the factory leaves wide margins for tweaking. In theory the more expensive product would have costed in better QC before any ham-fisted attempts at setting up could do serious damage.

    So what was wrong from the start?

    Epiphone Emperor Regent - Setup and Tweaks-dsc_0529-jpg

    I've left this picture in a larger format so we can see the burring of the factory finished nut.

    The nut action was too high which makes the string action a little stiff and chords in the first position play out of tune.

    Epiphone Emperor Regent - Setup and Tweaks-dsc_0543-640x360-jpg

    So a bit of filing with appropriate sized files and gagues bring the strings down to their optimum action. File a little measure twice! Note the burring is removed and the strings are lower in the slots. We can reduce the the overall height of the nut to clean up the look. (more on this later)

    Epiphone Emperor Regent - Setup and Tweaks-dsc_0552-640x360-jpg

    Now we can assess the neck relief at the 8th fret using a notched straight edge ( the strings are off purely for the picture).

    We check the flatness of the fingerboard at its centre. There are measuring guides for the relief gap, anything between totally flat to .008". I'm looking for .006" with heavy flatwound strings. These measurements are done with the strings tuned to pitch and in the playing position.

    In this instance the truss rod needed tightening as much as 1/4qtr and 1/8th turn to read as .006" relief. Remember, as you look onto the nut, righty tighty, lefty loosey

    So now that I have perfect nut action and fingerboard relief I can look at the wooden bridge and saddle to be able to set my preferred string height at the 12th fret.

    Epiphone Emperor Regent - Setup and Tweaks-dsc_0541-640x360-jpg

    Using a radius gague the same radii as the fingerboard we measure under the strings as close to the bridge as possible. Note there is a noticable gap between radii and the top E string.

    Epiphone Emperor Regent - Setup and Tweaks-dsc_0542-640x360-jpg

    Sometimes gaps are not easily seen so a piece of paper helps. Here there is a gap under the A string.

    So using the radii and appropriate gagued file we carefully lower the higher strings to the correct radius to match the fingerboard and hopefully the frets. I look for the strings to be sunk in up to 3/4qtrs and angled back to the tailpiece. If the 12th fret harmonic on any string has a funny overtone the string slot is too shallow and flat which allows string vibration to pass over the saddle to the tailpiece and back again.

    To set the intonation quickly way before getting a tuner get a measuring tape and set it at your guitars string length and then measure from the nut edge at the fingerboard and then move the saddle to the string length distance for the top E and then add 3/32" or 2.5mm to the string length for the bottom E. Of course detune the strings to make moving the bridge easier. Now tune up to pitch with a tuner and move the saddle accordingly for better results.

    I then set the action at the 12th fret to my preferences, 1.75" for bottom E and 1.35" for top E.

    So now I have perfect nut action, perfect fingerboard relief, perfect truss rod adjustment, perfect saddle radius, intonation is set and for me perfect string action. I now have a better playing guitar but now I find some fret buzz on the higher frets and a low fret on the 6th. I could set the string action higher to 2.5mm and 1.5mm which will reduce the buzz but I prefer a lower action.

    So now we go deeper into setting up this guitar and I make some astounding discoveries!

    But it is late now and I need a coffee!

    More later......


    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
  3. #2

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    So now I have a balanced musical instrument with fret buzz!
    Back to the factory QC debate; employ a guy to level frets or more profit?

    When I worked at Fenix guitars we would level the frets on all our guitars prior to dispatch. It's a boring job.

    So what to do?

    Epiphone Emperor Regent - Setup and Tweaks-dsc_0542_1-640x360-jpg

    After setting the intonation I want to avoid messing around again so I use masking tape to the edges of the bridge with a pencil mark to show me the exact position. Note the light has left a mark on the guitar-which is in the wrong place! Damn you...!

    Epiphone Emperor Regent - Setup and Tweaks-dsc_0553-640x360-jpg

    Okay, back to the notched straight edge. In the centre of the fingerboard @ the 8th fret and a with a torch behind we adjust the truss rod until the light disappears. In this instance I had to turn the truss rod into a slight back bow. When applying masking tape to a fingerboard be wary that decorators tape comes in different tackyness(!). The buff coloured stuff is very hard to remove if it's left on for any length of time. On older, lacquered and dryer fingerboards the buff stuff causes damage. The blue tape has a lower tackiness and with either tape if you stick onto felt the wollen fibres attach to the tape and reduces its tackiness further.

    Epiphone Emperor Regent - Setup and Tweaks-dsc_0557-640x360-jpg

    Now we remove the nut. Score around it with a sharp blade to break any lacquer that has attached to the nut. Using a piece of wood as a drift a sharp tap with a hammer releases the nut. Note a chip of plastic is still attached to the nut. These Epi Emp Regs use a whole face plate with all the inlay and binding in place, more profit! The nut is sitting on plastic and not wood! Does this affect tone? Who knows...
    (More on the chip and nut later)

    Epiphone Emperor Regent - Setup and Tweaks-dsc_0554-640x360-jpg

    So we could strap the guitar in such a way as to hold the neck in a flat position so as to apply sanding blocks and brawn but I favour the fret rocker approach. This handy and simple device spreads covers three frets and if you can rock it side to side and make a tapping sound the middle fret is higher in that place than the two either side. This doesn't need any force on the neck which would distort any readings, this is a gentle process. We now mark the high spots and then using a file we just reduce these higher areas. Remember, measure one fret-file one fret.

    Epiphone Emperor Regent - Setup and Tweaks-dsc_0558-640x360-jpg

    With all frets spot leveled and re-checked for high spots I now use a radiused sanding block with 800 grit wet and dry sand paper and re-mark the frets with ink as a gague. I would apply just enough pressure and support the neck half way until all the ink has disappeared in the centre of all the frets. This shouldn't be more than 10 passes. Because we have spot filed all the high areas all we are doing here is checking all frets are even and removing file marks.

    Epiphone Emperor Regent - Setup and Tweaks-dsc_0561-640x360-jpg

    With a piece of the sand paper from the block we use the fleshy part of thumbs to remove the blue ink at the sides of the frets. In doing so softening any edges and scratches left by the filing and sanding.

    Epiphone Emperor Regent - Setup and Tweaks-dsc_0562-640x360-jpg

    Using 0000 grade wire wool we polish the fret the old skool way! It's surprising how quick this works, but after a 10 hour day of this your fingers ache like an unrequited teenagers heart.

    Epiphone Emperor Regent - Setup and Tweaks-dsc_0563-640x360-jpg

    After polishing each fret check for any scratch marks using your nail. If you find a scratch use the 800 grit paper to remove it and then re-polish with 0000 wire wool.

    Epiphone Emperor Regent - Setup and Tweaks-dsc_0565-640x360-jpg

    After polishing all the frets and carefully removing the masking tape we see the fingerboard wood needs some TLC.

    Epiphone Emperor Regent - Setup and Tweaks-dsc_0566-640x360-jpg

    Here I've used Gorgamyte to treat the wood and in doing so it provides a final polish to the frets. Nice.

    Now I have a balanced guitar with no fret buzz, ace mate!

    But now I want to go deeper like a mole on speed!
    Last edited by jazzbow; 07-07-2015 at 04:15 AM.

  4. #3

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    So what's next? Well while the strings are off setting the bridge base is the way to go..

    Epiphone Emperor Regent - Setup and Tweaks-dsc_0531-640x360-jpg

    While it was strung up and under string tension see if you can slide paper underneath. Here we see there is no contact.

    Epiphone Emperor Regent - Setup and Tweaks-dsc_0532-640x360-jpg

    No contact here either. The bridge area in contact with the arch is small enough but if theres less contact under tension we're not getting the full transference of string vibration to the guitar top plate and therefore not a full sound.

    Epiphone Emperor Regent - Setup and Tweaks-dsc_0543_1-640x360-jpg

    So with the strings off and a piece of 180 grit sand paper cut and taped to fall within the marked tape for the bridge intonation set point. I use a water based 'whiteboard' marker to colour in the base as a gague, be sure to go sparingly. Of course care is to be taken on vintage instruments and masking tape.

    Epiphone Emperor Regent - Setup and Tweaks-dsc_0546-640x360-jpg

    Note the saddle is loked into place by the thumbscrews. We do this so when were sanding the base to the contours of the top arch we have a visual cue to which side goes to the top E and which side goes to the bottom E. I count in 4/4 time to whatever is on the radio and try to whistle a solo while doing this, MoR power rock is good. Avoid slow ballads and anything by Motorhead as your brain will explode!

    Epiphone Emperor Regent - Setup and Tweaks-dsc_0549-640x360-jpg

    If you check this picture you can see I've penciled in a 'B' to indicate which way round the saddle goes when sanding and the final set up with new strings.

    Epiphone Emperor Regent - Setup and Tweaks-dsc_0547-640x360-jpg

    Once the wood dust reaches right across we know we are done.

    Epiphone Emperor Regent - Setup and Tweaks-dsc_0548-640x360-jpg

    After all is done and levelled we can see holes appearing from the bottom of the screw post holes. No trouble here, I guess this would be the bradwl point of a wood drill bit and nothing suspicious.

    Epiphone Emperor Regent - Setup and Tweaks-dsc_0569_1-640x360-jpg

    So now we treat the wood to Gorgamyte. Can you tell which part has been treated and which has not?

    New strings are fitted and stretched in, all tuned and intonated. Lovely.

    So far this has taken me 8 hours.

    But still, there are other issues that need addressing which draws me in further than a Jackson Pollock 'Paint by numbers' gift set.

    More to come!
    Last edited by jazzbow; 07-07-2015 at 09:10 AM.

  5. #4

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    Well I said more than that when the stock nut came off with a large chip still stuck on because of too much glue! I guess profit over traditional labour intensive detailing rules the day.

    Anyway, a simple fix.

    Epiphone Emperor Regent - Setup and Tweaks-dsc_0570_1-640x360-jpg

    With a fresh blade and a few light taps from the hammer the chip came away. No dramas here.

    Epiphone Emperor Regent - Setup and Tweaks-dsc_0575_1-640x360-jpg

    Always fix a chip as soon as posible, never go poking around with greasy fingers incase the glue don't stick. Here it is all glued and filed.
    The plastic faux faceplate goes all the way under the nut and actually under the fingerboard!
    I guess we could cut it out and glue in wood matching the maple. On reflection that would return very little for a major arse -ache. Would that diminish string tone? Answers on a postcard addressed to Gerrwhan Whadyefink.

    Epiphone Emperor Regent - Setup and Tweaks-dsc_0579_1-640x360-jpg

    So the stock nut works but for me the stark whiteness is asthetically ugly. A piece of unbleached bone will work well. Find the 90 degree corner on the bone blank for the fingerboard face for a straight edge. We dab two tiny spots of super glue on the stock nut and fix it to the bone. We now have a template from which to shape the bone. If we like the string spaces we can use this to rough in the start on the bone blank.
    I managed to squeeze a wider spacing because of me big fingers. My nickname at school was 'Spoons'

    Epiphone Emperor Regent - Setup and Tweaks-dsc_0601_1-640x360-jpg

    How do we gauge the depth of the nut slots so as not to take too much off? Old skool was by eye. This way with thickness gauges is easy. First we find the height of the fret. A straight edge over fret 1 & 2 and using a feeler gauge we find the height. In this case the first fret height is approx .040" and all with strings installed and tuned to pitch.

    Epiphone Emperor Regent - Setup and Tweaks-dsc_0602_1-640x360-jpg

    So .040" plus .010" for clearance will give me a gauge total of .050". that leaves plenty of space to manouver for the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th string fret clearance. It's a bit tight for the 5th and 6th so I add an extra .002".
    So the appropriate gauges are selected ready to act as a stop for the nut file.

    Epiphone Emperor Regent - Setup and Tweaks-dsc_0603_1-640x360-jpg

    Here we see the gauged stop in action. I follow the neck break angle with the file first then just over parallel to the fingerboard to establish the string groove. As I get closer to the gauge stop I start to file in one direction from fingerboard to headstock and in a downward rolling action. I'm mindfull not to hit the cheapo headstock faceplate and looking for the file to touch the gauge stop.
    De-tune each string as you file its slot, it makes it a bit easier.

    Epiphone Emperor Regent - Setup and Tweaks-dsc_0606_1-640x360-jpg

    So how far do we file down the sting slots for perfect string clearance? Well just enough!
    Think of the nut as a fret, a string has to have just enough clearance over the next fret so as not to rattle against it.
    Pressing a string just in front of the second fret we can see the clearance over the first fret. We can measure this and then file a little bit off until we get the clearance we want. I eyeball it and press the string against the fist fret to hear it make a 'clink' sound. If it don't clink there is no clearance and therefore string buzz on open notes.
    If we take too much off we can gather some bone dust, press it into the over filed slot, drop a bit of super glue and start filing again.

    Epiphone Emperor Regent - Setup and Tweaks-dsc_0610_1-640x360-jpg

    Now we have a perfect cut nut that needs further shaping. Top off with 600 grit wet & dry sand paper and polish the bone with some metal polish to remove the fine scratches.
    Two little dabs of super glue to the fingerboard edge and then press home the nut with finger pressure.

    Good to go!

    Epiphone Emperor Regent - Setup and Tweaks-dsc_0629_1-640x360-jpg
    Unbleached bone suits the guitar. Nice.

    So there we have the guitar playing perfectly, but oh dear, the pickup placement. OMG. Serious fail.

    I was as speechless as a Carmelite Nun who's just blatted her thumb with a ball pein hammer!
    Last edited by jazzbow; 07-07-2015 at 04:51 PM.

  6. #5

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    Is that light at the end of the tunnel?

    No, it's that bugger Jazzbow with a torch and a notched straight edge..... AAaaaaarrrghhh!

    Almost home folks.

    So yeah, the pickup placement and more.

    Check this out...

    Epiphone Emperor Regent - Setup and Tweaks-dsc_0538_1-640x360-jpg

    Can you see the adjustable pole piece divots on the top plate? Naughty Epiphone QC. Go to the corner with a dunces hat and a copy of Dan Erlewines guitar repair book and reflect on what you've done. Bad Epiphone QC.

    What to do here?

    Drastic measures for serious Epiphone QC F'up.

    Epiphone Emperor Regent - Setup and Tweaks-dsc_0576_1-640x360-jpg

    3.5mm had to be taken off the pole pieces so the neck mount pickup would lay flat and the polepieces are flush to the pickup cover.
    Let me just write that again; 3.5mm clipped off the adjustable polepieces!
    So I screwed in each polepiece individually, clipped off 3.5mm and then filed down the cut mark. Had this been a original Johnny Smith p/u he would have turned in his grave!
    I considered unscrewing the polepieces to cut off the 3.5mm extra length but it would have been an arse-ache to try and screw it back in with squashed thread from the clipping and filing motion.


    Epiphone Emperor Regent - Setup and Tweaks-dsc_0526-jpg

    We went from this ....

    Epiphone Emperor Regent - Setup and Tweaks-dsc_0636-jpg

    To this.....

    Epiphone Emperor Regent - Setup and Tweaks-dsc_0540_1-640x360-jpg

    Poorly cut pickup mounting recess with lacquer build up needed attending to.

    Epiphone Emperor Regent - Setup and Tweaks-dsc_0583_1-640x360-jpg

    Hmm, come here Epiphone QC, right, after careful consideration you have been sacked! Leave the house of Jazz Guitar immediately.

    So we now went from....

    Epiphone Emperor Regent - Setup and Tweaks-dsc_0525-360x640-jpg


    Epiphone Emperor Regent - Setup and Tweaks-dsc_0622_1-360x640-jpg

    To this.

    I also did this

    Epiphone Emperor Regent - Setup and Tweaks-dsc_0585_1-640x360-jpg

    A bit of copper shielding for the pots.

    So now every thing is done. I think I put in around 12 hours on this guitar to make it playable. Shocking really for a new guitar.
    Who can we lay blame to? The retail outlet? No. the way the big brands force retailers to have minimum spends of up to £10k you would expect the product to be ready to go with just a simple action and intonation tweak.
    It's obvious that this guitar is built to a price so the factory is not to blame. It's up to the distributers to wrestle their product into fine playing instruments. This one must have slipped by the gates.

    I jumped into this guitar knowing of its shortcomings before any purchase was discussed. I spotted the pickup thing within 5 minutes of playing it and know from experience that there will be issues with mass produced instruments.

    Anyhoo, I hope you enjoyed this voyage of discovery.

    P.S. experience in guitar tweaking comes at a cost, you will F'up something but you will learn, just don't F'up your '56 L5 in the process.
    Last edited by jazzbow; 07-07-2015 at 06:19 PM.

  7. #6

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    Thanks a lot for sharing thus far. Really interesting stuff!

  8. #7

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    Thanks for your kind comments and interest.

    So why did I go for this guitar?

    I wanted a new hollow big bodied guitar with a 25.5" scale with a floating pickup so I can play acoustically.

    I looked at the Gretsch New Yorker with pickup but they had issues with low frets that needed re-setting. One shop I tried one at wouldn't lower the string height unless I bought it! Mate, I'm a silver surfer with a disposable income. Fool.

    The G100 syncromatic is hard to find to try as is the D'Angellico and Washburn J600K.

    So I have a fine playing Epi Emp Reg but what does it sound like?

    It's opened up in acoustic volume with some nice spruce crispness to the mids and highs.

    It plays like a dream instead of a nightmare and it loves the key of Bb.

    Blondie doesn't like F notes though and barks back through my valve amp.

    Why Blondie?

    Coz of what Tuco said....

    I have plans for some more tweaks but that's for the future, right now I'm sitting back with a beer and enjoying a midnight sesh!

    Epiphone Emperor Regent - Setup and Tweaks-dsc_0637-jpg
    Last edited by jazzbow; 07-07-2015 at 06:53 PM.

  9. #8

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    Mate you know for that price what I would do?

    I would take the top off from the rest of the body and replace it with a formed solid spruce or maple on.

    Then you could have a solid topped Emperor Regent.

    Its not because I think the guitar is bad, its just it would be a fun experiment. Take the old top off, fill it to make a mould, then use the mould to vacuum press a nice bit of spruce, add your braces then glue it on.

  10. #9

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    That's a challenge!

    I have a few things in the background I want to do but the whole new top plate thing is not one of them.

    I'm going to make a new scratchplate for Blondie with bass and treble cut and boost pots and introduce an effective connector system to be able to swap out pickups for bronze or nickel strings.

    I've got to finish off my Jazz Tele for a thread on that too.

    And I'm converting some junk guitars into dulcimers too.

    So much to do, so little time to do it all!

  11. #10

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    Oh, and finally....

    Epiphone Emperor Regent - Setup and Tweaks-dsc_0615_1-640x360-jpg

    800 W+D sand paper to the over glossy 2 pack lacquer

    Epiphone Emperor Regent - Setup and Tweaks-dsc_0632_1-360x640-jpg

    With some masking tape to create an edge

    Epiphone Emperor Regent - Setup and Tweaks-dsc_0633_1-640x360-jpg

    And eventually the matting effect on the neck will polish up with use

    Epiphone Emperor Regent - Setup and Tweaks-dsc_0634_1-640x360-jpg

    A piece of rubber to support the flimsy screw fixing on the scratch plate

    Epiphone Emperor Regent - Setup and Tweaks-dsc_0627_1-640x360-jpg

    And the final rites of NGD.... The removal of the protective plastic film

    Last edited by jazzbow; 07-10-2015 at 03:52 AM.

  12. #11

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    Excellent thread/description and photos.

  13. #12

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    I am enjoying your thread a lot, jazzbow. One of the better threads for a very very long time. Educational to a duffer like me, too.

    Gorgomyte...yeeech, it always reminds me of "smegma" for some strange inexplicable reason. Gorgomyte. Smegma. Gorgomyte. Smegma. And a heaping jar of Marmite, too.

  14. #13

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    Excellent ! Detailed and uncompromising !

    Gosh, you must really be enjoying it after all this work ...

    Thanks and congrats

  15. #14

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    I agree with Jabbs. The ideas, the pictures, the detail and the wit, all priceless.

  16. #15

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    So, how does she sound and play?

    Addenum: OOPS! Just read your post #10 and got the answer.
    Last edited by rsclosson; 07-10-2015 at 08:40 AM.

  17. #16

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    Well RS, don't worry, any chance to blurt on about me new geetarr is always a good thing!

    Blondie plays well. No effort getting around the fingerboard in my limited fashion. Chords are a breeze and everything's relatively in tune as we voyage off into the improvisational vista.

    Acoustically Blondie has the crisp highs and mids you would expect from spruce, laminated or not. With flatwounds the lower frequencies are focused but limited. The guitar needs to be held in such a way that the back is not touching ones body in order to get a deeper tone.

    Electrically the mini humbucker works well delivering the acoustic tone I have described but the tone control and cap has three settings; off, fully on, a little bit on. Juggling along with the volume on the guitar and the Baxendale EQ stack on my amp I can tweak the tone a bit more.

    I have already made plans on tweaking the electrics but that's in the background.

    I see you have kept the ES 175. Why is it a second? You should do a piece on it for the gizmo section.


  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by jazzbow

    I see you have kept the ES 175. Why is it a second? You should do a piece on it for the gizmo section.

    It is a second because of a minor finish flaw which went away when I did the virtuoso polish to put some gloss back into the guitar. Also the tailpiece was misaligned by almost a quarter of an inch. I did some real serious measuring and testing before fixing that. Turned out perfect. Not sure why, but this guitar actually has improved my playing and the USA Gibson pickup sounds outstanding.

    I also have an Emperor Regent. My second one. The first was a gorgeous blonde which I could never quite bond with because of the narrow neck. Now I have a sunburst with a much more substantial neck which feels much better. I like the more acoustic sound from the mini HB but I am really digging the 175.

  19. #18

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    I could not help but laugh because a month ago I purchased on a whim the same guitar. Built in same factory in 2005. It was second or third hand but in very good condition and it just sounded nice. It is not a laminated top but some type of steamed spruce one piece. I got a flexscope into it and am able to clearly see identical wood grains inside and out. I noted a lot of the same deficiencies. I hated the plastic nut sitting on a plastic bed, the bridge needed fitting, the action was a little high because of a buzz. The pickup route around the bridge end had a little tag of loose wood. Did not have the issue with the long pickup screws. Anyway your travels around the guitar were virtually identical except I've yet to do the fret level (I will this winter). I needed to drill and plug the pickup mounting holes on one side of the neck to get a quirky little angle out of the pickup. I punted on the wooden bridge and changed it to a rosewood with a bone saddle (Stewmac) that matched the new unbleached bone nut color (same process you used) and it made the guitar a little brighter and have more higher harmonics to my ear. I also added a treble bleed circuit to the volume pot which I like. The reason I was looking today was that I was trying to see if there was any Epiphone "official" setup guidelines for the guitar (just for grins). This box has a 25.5" scale and there aren't many guitars that long. Using 0.011"-0.050"DiAdarios. The Bridge fitting process has been interesting. I've done this job on my Godin 5th Ave before and got a perfect fit. The top is so flexible on this Epiphone that the bridge fit changes under string tension. The area directly under the bridge compresses and very slightly lifts the two ends of the bridge base. I believe I am going to cut about 1/4" off each end of the bridge base. I don't believe there will be a noticeable sonic difference. Having said all of this I'm still very happy with the guitar. I'm not afraid to drag it anywhere and you would have to pay a whole lot more money to get one that might sound better.

  20. #19

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    Hello Jazzbow, I recently acquired a regent and want to thank you for your tutorial. Would you tell me what the fretboard radius is on yours? I have read they are 12" & somewhere else read 16". Would it be silly to assume that mine is the same as yours?

  21. #20

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    Mine is a 14" fret board radius

  22. #21

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    Hi guys.

    I found the radii to be closer 16"

    Palu, I see the same bridge base foot print with the edges sticking up! The majority of the bridge base centre clearly fits onto the top of the arch and I believe that's enough.
    It's funny you mention the bone saddle, I'm contemplating fixing one up in the future.

    You mention the top on yours being one piece and not laminated, that's cool. I'm under the impression it's laminated though after looking at some fixed pickup work on one.

    There's also some concern with the neck block being a plywood block and not solid wood. I can report my 2012 version has a solid wood neck block.

    As for official set up I have the owners manual and it states:

    String action measured from the 12th fret to the underside of the string....
    Electric guitars 4/64 Treble side and 6/64 Bass side
    Acoustic guitars 5/64 Treble side and 7/64 Bass side.

    As we have what is in effect an 'Electro-acoustic' somewhere between the two would work.

    It states further...
    'Lower than standard action can often result in "buzz" or "rattle". Buzz or rattle caused by lower than standard action is not considered a defect of the instrument'.
    What a caveat considering I found obvious high frets and a piss poor misalignment of the pickup caused by overly long pickup screws that pushed the pickup up into the lower than standard string action zone!



    The Epi Emp Reg is sounding better acoustically the more it is played, all good here matey!
    Last edited by jazzbow; 08-18-2015 at 05:59 AM.

  23. #22

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    My 2003 Peerless has a laminated top and neck block as shown by my major surgery on it

    Epiphone Emperor Regent - Setup and Tweaks-22-routing09-jpg

    Epiphone Emperor Regent - Setup and Tweaks-24-routing10-jpg

  24. #23
    destinytot Guest
    Fascinating thread - thank you!

    Quote Originally Posted by jazzbow
    So now that I have perfect nut action...
    I'm curious to know whether low nut action is considered a problem if there's no buzz (or intonation problem).

  25. #24

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    Hi DT, thanks for your kind words,

    Low nut action is only a problem if the plucked string rattles against the first fret.

    In a 'nut'-shell, the strings should just pass the 1st fret. This helps toward a good string action over the rest of the fingerboard.

    I would assess a guitar in this order:

    1. Nut action
    2. Neck straightness
    3. String height
    4. Fret buzz (high frets)
    5. Intonation

    If the nut action is too high it will effect the pitch of the fretted strings.

    Check this link...

    Nut Action

    I hope this helps.

  26. #25

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    Great thread, thanks, Jazzbow. (I want you to be my guitar tech!)