Alright, it's not Steve Vai, but he looks like him and holy shit, he plays like him. Man, I have fixed a ton of guitars and have heard a ton of players in front me. Over the last week I have had two players that left me with an eyebrow raised! One guy dropped of an alpine white strat off and he was the most humble player I've ever met . . . and dare I say it . . . one of the best natural players I have ever heard - not gonna mention his name, but he's from NYC and he will know if he reads this. Ummm . . the guy is friggin' amazing.
The next is a guy named Brian. He dropped off a Kramer Ferrington Acoustic and the real deal Jem. Now, here is what makes me appreciate Brian. These guitars were loved and what do I mean by "loved?" I mean the shit has been played out of them. I mean played and played and played. I get a ton of guitars that are simply case queens. I always feel bad knowing I played a vintage Martin more than the owner of that guitar has. Well, Brian is not that guy. I love nothing more than seeing a high end guitar played the way it was designed to be played.
This post is about his Jem. When I received the frets were nearly gone. Honestly after getting this guitar into a neck jig I was contemplating calling Brian to tell him he needs to get new frets. I just couldn't do it. Something about a guitar that has been played so passionately for years and years gives you a sense of that guitar's past. It is a strange feeling, but as a luthier you feel that guitar's life. I wanted to get that last life out of 9.
The guitar had an issue with trem system - well not really so much as issue as just worn out. The guitar really needed a good setup to match the current state of the trem system. Completed it and I'm pretty sure Brian left very happy.
Brian also likes his action lower than anyone I have met. I have to remind myself with his guitars that just when I think the action is low enough, go lower.
Speaking of Floyd Rose systems and Floyd Style trems. . . I get a quite a few people that say when they lock their strings they will either go sharp or flat. That should not happen. Here is how to fix it:
So many people say once they lock their nut, that the guitar goes sharp. That is because the "Bar" behind the locking nut is not low enough. If your strings are not lying perfectly across the base of the locking nut, you need to tighten the bar to press the strings down perfectly. If your guitar goes flat - the anchor screws on the back of the neck, holding the locking nut in place are most likely loose. If that doesn't work, bring it to me.