Getting used to a new Sheraton

Discussion in 'Epiphone Guitars' started by Stringbuzz, Jun 19, 2021.

  1. Stringbuzz

    Stringbuzz New Member

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    Hi Everyone, just registered here as a proud owner of a brand new Epiphone Sheraton II pro.
    I love this guitar's sound and the neck feels great too.
    I do have a few issues: posture and action.
    POSTURE:
    I've been playing a Stratocaster for years and the Sheraton feels huge. It also feels heavier than the strat although they weigh about the same.
    I'm struggling a bit to find the right posture with this guitar. I mostly used to play sitting down on a couch which was easy with the strat. But with the Sheraton sitting down on a chair seems a better idea. In practice I switch between a few different postures, all with a strap. I'm trying to use the same postures that Joe Pass and Wes Montgomery used and also I'm just leaving it on the right thigh with my foot on the ground or slightly elevated. Standing up seems to feel the most comfortable.

    I'd really be interested in hearing how others here hold their semi-hollow guitars....

    ACTION:
    As far as the action is concerned, I've noticed that the guitar is taking some time to settle down. The tuning is rock solid between strings but needs a daily adjustment as a whole, possibly because the wood is settling down in the new environment? A week ago I also had to higher the action because I started to hear some buzzing that wasn't there when I first got it.

    I'm wondering if anyone else had a break in period with the Sheraton?
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2021
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  2. vomer

    vomer Well-Known Member

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    Hi Stringbuzz and welcome. It's not unusual for a new guitar to settle in, particularly with changes in humidity. Do you know how to check the relief on the neck? You'll need a capo and feeler gauge. Capo the first fret, press the top E string down at the 18th fret, and you should have a little gap between the string and the fret at the 8th fret. With the feeler gauge it should measure .005" - .010". Or, maximum, about the same as a 9 or 10 E string. If there's no gap the neck is going into backbow and will need a truss rod adjustment. (If being pedantic, it may be dead straight, but you won't know that without a straight edge, and most guitars play better with some relief.) If the relief at the 8th fret is more than 10 thou then there is too much relief and again, the truss rod should be adjusted.

    It's worth getting used to doing this yourself so you can keep an eye on the neck over time. Or, in the event that you have a dodgy neck, you'll know about it in time to return it. My Sheraton changes tune with weather temperature changes, not surprisingly given that steel strings would be expected to, but the relief is dead stable. But it's 17 years old. If yours is moving and doesn't stop moving you should get the guitar checked by a competent tech.
     
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  3. Stringbuzz

    Stringbuzz New Member

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    Thanks for the feedback Paul. I'd like to pick your brain a little more regarding the trussrod. I wonder if you have a similar experience with it.

    I have been doing my own setups for years now and am a bit confused by how the trussrod works and how the neck responds to trussrod adjustments on this guitar.

    I've actually always had a neck relief between 0.10-0.15 on electrics and 0.15-0.20 on acoustics.
    Maybe I should mention that I use a slightly different method from yours: I press the E string on the 14th fret and measure relief at the 6th. The difference is tiny.

    The Sheraton came with a relief of 0.20 but it steadily lowered by itself to about 0.05, at which point I loosened the trussrod but the weird thing is that it was loose and stayed loose even when loosening it for about a whole turn before it started to feel like it was "gripping" again. Normally I'd feel that when tightening not when loosening.
    Anyway the relief is now 0.08. Considering how much I turned the trussrod I'm surprised the relief has remained so low.
    The action is E=1.6 and e=1.4. I had already lifted the treble side action a few weeks ago to get rid of some buzzing, previously the action on the e treble string was 1.00 (!)

    The neck is definitely moving, just not the way I'd expect: the humidity is indeed different, it's much higher in my apartment (55-60%) than in the guitar shop I imagine. I'm going to keep checking it and hopefully at a certain point it will stabilize.

    Anyway this action is really low for me. and combined with a short scale it makes this neck so much fun to play!
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2021
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  4. vomer

    vomer Well-Known Member

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    That sounds like a dual action truss rod. I believe that Epiphone have used dual action truss rods on Sheratons for some time but I don't know when they started, and I had a quick look for current specs but couldn't find any mention of them.
     
  5. Space1999

    Space1999 Well-Known Member

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    Epiphone dual truss rods work this way:
    If you are sitting with your guitar strapped in and look at the nut,
    Counter-clock wise pulls the neck back. Clockwise does the opposite.

    All of my dual truss rods settle down to counter-clock wise with simple hand tension. YMMV

    So look at the neck from the nut down to the body keeping your eye on the fret ends at the neck binding (tilt your guitar to get the right perspective) and see if your neck follows a straight line.

    It is pretty easy to see if your neck is bowing one way or another as long as you check both sides of the neck keeping your eyes on that edge and following it down. Adjust the truss rod accordingly.

    I have always played my Sheraton’s with a strap off my lap when sitting. They are not very comfortable lap guitars.

    The way I set the action is this:

    At the 12th fret with a metric ruler sitting on the adjoining frets the low E sits dead in the middle of 2mm. The high E sits dead on at 1mm. That’s without holding it at a fret or any of that Jazz.

    That’s if you set up your guitar with a dead straight neck. So I am only relating to you my experience with this.

    Hope that helps,

    Pat
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2021
  6. Stringbuzz

    Stringbuzz New Member

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    It makes sense to me now, thanks for the tips.

    I’ve adjusted trussrods for years without really knowing the difference between single action and dual action trussrods!

    just checked out this wonderfully straightforward video that has cleared it up for me once and for all :

    The video shows clearly that on dual action trussrods there are two separate rods that are both capable of bending in opposite directions depending on whether you want to counteract a concave bowing (up-bow) or convex bowing (back-bow) of the neck.

    It seems obvious (now that I've learned about it....) that on a dual action trussrod, if you are turning the adjustment nut in one direction there is a point at which both rods are straight and the adjustment nut then feels loose for a bit before gripping again onto the threads once you continue turning and the other rod starts bending.

    This is the first time I’ve ever had to turn the trussrod so far counterclockwise on a guitar.
    Personally I don’t like having a completely flat neck.
    It would seem that my Sheraton suffers from a bit of back-bow and it has a dual action trussrod. In any case starting from perfectly straight, I had to turn the adjustment nut on the trussrod counterclockwise for about one and a half turn before I got some relief in the neck. Luckily this definitely has had an effect after a few days: just checked the relief and it's at 0.15mm now. Might even have to turn it back again at some point :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2021
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  7. Space1999

    Space1999 Well-Known Member

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    Wow! Great info and video. Going to check it out now.
    I always wondered what was going on when the nut was completely loose. Time to get some extra training!

    Thanks a lot for this. :)

    Edit: Watched the video…totally worth it for me. If you turn the sound off its a little better without the 80’s synth track. LOL

    Pat
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2021

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