Just Got An Sx Isis For $80... Little Bit Of Finish Around Neck/body Area Concerning Me Though

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Chad, Apr 6, 2019.

  1. Chad

    Chad Well-Known Member

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    View attachment 220553 With the area around the neck joint looking like the finish is kind of cracked, but not in the wood, just the finish... do you guys think this guitar was worth $80??? I would like to get the action a bit lower as well but the posts are bottomed out, how do you get the threads and post anchors to sink deeper into the guitar? Sorry for the questions but let me know what you guys think. Did I do good, or should I try to sell it to make my money back after Im done dicking around with it? Thanks.

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  2. Chad

    Chad Well-Known Member

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    ttt for views
     
  3. Chad

    Chad Well-Known Member

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    Well its ashame that the action on this is stupid high and I have no way to get it lower... any suggestions, the posts are bottomed out. The pickups would have to be replaced for sure... they are about some of the worst sounding humbuckers I have ever heard. Starting to feel like I should have looked this one over before alot better before buying... I would have really only given $50 at most for it if I knew I had to do a pickup change, a nut change (shimmed a low nut for now), and had to find a way to get the action lower with the posts being bottomed out.
     

  4. PsychoCid

    PsychoCid Well-Known Member

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    Hold the body still, grab the headstock and gently push it forward and back. The neck should bend a little bit, but you shouldn't hear any cracking or anything. Basically you want to do this to figure out if the neck is stable (if it's just a finish/paint crack or deeper into the wood).

    Don't worry, you're not going to hurt it. I bend the neck on Les Paul guitars to make a whammy bar type effect since they don't have one -- learned it from watching Randy Rhodes. But this trick ONLY WORKS ON SET NECKS. Don't ever try it on a bolt on, THEN you will hear cracking.

    If and only if the neck is stable...then next step is worry about the action. You'll probably have to recess the bridge posts into the body. If you don't have a drill press and stuff that might cost you more than the guitar at a luthier shop.

    That's about all I can think of. Only other option would be to install taller frets to make lower action, but again that's gonna be several times the price.
     
  5. honyock

    honyock Well-Known Member

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    pop out that neck pickup and see what's up inside the neck joint. if it looks undisturbed in there, it is probably just finish cracks.

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
     
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  6. tobijohn

    tobijohn The Great Enabler Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

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    I've got a lefty exactly like that but was able to get the action to 2mm at the 12th fret using just a set of those locking caps from Philadelphia Luthiers ($11). If that doesn't do it, I've had success on other guitars with the same issue by using a sharp Exacto knife to cut/trace around the post anchors to the depth of the lip on each, removing the anchor and then carefully chipping out the traced circle. This will allow the anchor to then be flush with the top of the guitar which should allow you to lower the action enough. If not, repeat and just go a little deeper, the lip of the anchor will be lower than the top of the guitar but not so much as to have the bottom of the bridge resting on the top of the guitar.

    As for pickups, I put a set of used Gretsch Electromatics in mine...
     
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  7. andrewsrea

    andrewsrea Well-Known Member

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    ^ This - awesome fix, @tobijohn !

    ISIS are definitely worth $80. Under appreciated model, if you ask me. I wasn't a fan of the ceramic pickups. However if you put a beefier ceramic in the bridge and an Alnico 5 bar magnet in the neck pickup, you are dangerously close to a PRS Custom of the late 90's sound.
     
  8. big daddy

    big daddy Well-Known Member

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    Hard to be sure as the pics are a bit blurry but it almost looks like a sloppy re-glue on the neck joint. Anyone else seeing this?
     
  9. tobijohn

    tobijohn The Great Enabler Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Thanks, I originally tried opening things up with a Forstner bit but it chipped the hell out of the finish around the anchor/post hole. The low tech Exacto knife (or equivalent) works the best, you just have to be careful but it takes very little time.

    I agree on the overall quality and playability of the Isis, with a few minor mods, it's a real sleeper. Great neck (IMHO), well balanced and if you spend most of your time sitting while playing, it's extremely comfortable...
     
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  10. cottonmike

    cottonmike Well-Known Member

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    Really, quite beautiful guitars, I think.

    How bout this crazy-ass, farm equipment idea: Grind down a few mm's from the bottom of the stop tail piece?

    We can fix anything out here. Gotta keep plowing. Storm is coming.
     
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  11. tobijohn

    tobijohn The Great Enabler Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

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    I can't tell myself but I'd love to hear from anyone who has repaired a finish crack in that area as I've got a couple with the same issue that need attention. I was thinking of a drop-fill sort of fix but I don't know if that would be the best way to do it without the repair looking apparent....
     
  12. cottonmike

    cottonmike Well-Known Member

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    Are the high action and the neck joint crack the same problem?
     
  13. uwmcscott

    uwmcscott AGF Survivor Champ

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    I would agree...pics are too blurry to tell for sure but that looks like there has been movment. A split or finish crack usually is just a slim/clean line along the joint. If the neck was reset improperly or is pulling back out that would explain the high action maybe too.
     
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  14. tobijohn

    tobijohn The Great Enabler Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

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    I've done that too and it worked but the method I outlined above took me less time. Of course, if you have a grinding wheel set up, that might not be the case...
     
  15. andrewsrea

    andrewsrea Well-Known Member

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    @Chad - from the pics, it looks like the neck and body shrinking at different rates , which is normal. Just causes finish cracks.
     
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  16. Chad

    Chad Well-Known Member

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    Neck joint from inside pickup cavity looks undisturbed. I also tried to look at the neck joint while I held the body still and pushed back and forth on the neck and I didnt hear any cracking or anything and didnt see the finish cracks separating more or anything to cause me to believe its structural damage. Now to get the action to an acceptable height.
     
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  17. Chad

    Chad Well-Known Member

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    Hey @tobijohn thank you for the recommendation! Do you have a link to some gold locking caps that I can get for this guitar by chance please? I will keep the other tips in mind just in case the action doesnt get to my liking that way. Thanks for the tips!
     
  18. Chad

    Chad Well-Known Member

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    Thank you, that is kind of reassuring to me. Much appreciated. I guess $80 for it being in this condition is not the worst deal I have ever made... but I still feel I should have asked for him to go even lower for some reason.
     
  19. tobijohn

    tobijohn The Great Enabler Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

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    This is what I used on mine, it takes all the slack out of the bridge and keeps it from tipping forward on the posts which raises up the strings. The gold ones are a few bucks more expensive but IMO, worth it. I use these on all my wraparound bridges:

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Locking-Tailpiece-Mounting-Studs-Gold-with-metric-threads/122004245484?_trkparms=aid=222007&algo=SIM.MBE&ao=2&asc=57475&meid=f0634bc0270249a1aae7a7a47037114f&pid=100005&rk=4&rkt=12&sd=122004245495&itm=122004245484&_trksid=p2047675.c100005.m1851
     
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  20. Jaymo

    Jaymo Well-Known Member

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    Beautiful guitar. If it was a lefty, I'd gladly pay $80 for it and happily mod it to my preference.
    I don't think you got hurt.
     

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