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bc rich bronze series guitars. setup/tone questions

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Hello all,

I have a bronze series bc rich son of beast guitar that was given to me as a bday gift. it's an awesome looking guitar but i've never played it alot because it just don't sound as good as my 80's warlock. I know the bronze series is the bc rich 'cheapy', i have a bronze warlock as well. they both sound exactly the same.

they have a really 'muddy' tone. to me that means they sound like the tone knob is rolled all the way off even if they are all the way on. and there is just no bright, crisp sound whether clean or distorted.

I went as far as having a zakk wylde pickup installed in the bridge position of the warlock some years ago but it never changed the sound.

I've wanted to experiment on the beast with changing setup, action etc. because it's the cooler looking one ;) but it's also the most out of whack. the bridge pickup sticks up out of the body about 3/4 inch and the bridge and strings are adjusted up so high that it quite resembles a cello to me.

I want to do the work myself because i want to understand the guitar on the inside as well as the outside.

I play mainly for my own enjoyment so this is more of learning/hobby type of situation. and i appreciate any input or ideas or thoughts that are thrown my way.

by the way, i play mostly heavy music, hard rock/metal. but i play quiet clean stuff too. I've considered replacing the tone pots but there's still alot of work to be done overall to get the sound i want...which is tone at 1/8 to 1/4 on for darker heaver stuff, and 3/4 to full for sparkly stuff.


tech specs:

Agathis Body

Maple Bolt-on Neck

Rosewood Fingerboard

Adjustable Bridge

Sealed B.C. Rich Tuners

25.5 Scale Length

24 Jumbo Frets

Dot Inlays

2 BDSM Pickups

Chrome Hardware

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Get Dan Erlewine's book "How to make your Electric Guitar Play Great". There are too many details to a set up to explain it all here. That book is great.

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OK, got to tinkering around with my beast last night. Comparing the action to my bronze warlock, which is pretty good, i adjusted the bridge closer to the body and recessed the pickup accordingly.

both guitars have a wrap around bridge that bolts on and has an adjustment screw on each end. when i started, ie stock, the bridge was mounted with the bolts nearly all the way out. It was screwed in enough to hold the bridge on where it wouldn't wobble. on the warlock the bridges was mounted and backed off maybe 3-4 thread widths from completely snug. I matched the bridge position on the beast to match the warlock. when i did, the strings laid flat against fretboard.

I tried to adjust truss rod to compensate but it was nearly completely loose. a couple twists and the adjustment nut came right off.

does that mean it's a warped neck? Is that why the bridge and pickup were adjusted out so far, to compensate? Is it repairable? Is it repairable by a novice with moderate woodworking skills? Is it worth repairing? a new neck cost about the same as the guitar did.

Thanks for any responses.

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Much has been written about setting up, and it's too much to write again in this thread.

It's good that you're having a go, but don't fall into the common truss rod trap. The truss rod is not for adjusting action. It's only for adjusting neck relief. That is, it stops the strings pulling the neck into a banana shape.

When you get just a slight curve in the neck by adjusting the truss rod, then you can adjust action using the bridge.

If the neck looks straight it probably is. But examine how the neck meets the body and compare it with your other guitars. Too big of an angle here will have to be corrected. Maybe you need to use shims to change the angle of the neck to the body.

Keep in touch.

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The angle at which the neck was installed determines how high the bridge needs to be. Different guitars have different neck angles, so they need different bridge heights. Not to worry, it doesn't mean the neck is warped.

The basics: Adjust the truss rod so the neck is almost straight, with a just hint of upward bow. Then raise or lower the bridge to get 1/16" of space between the bottoms of the strings and the top of the metal of the 12th fret. Then tinker to get rid of any fret buzz from the 10th fret and up. The truss rod only works on buzz on frets 2 to 7 or 8.

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dangit..i didn't event think about that.

I will check that out when i get home from work

Many thanks my friend

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well, i gave the shims a go...

adjusted the bridge all the way to the body...shimmed until the strings played and had light buzz...adjusted the bridge height to eliminate the buzz..positioned the pickup...

now the guitar is actually playable!

i used a cut up credit card for a temporary shim. it left quite a gap in the neck pocket so i intend to make a permanent one out of wood.

thanks again

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