Thursday, 6 November 2008

Reverend 'Warhawk' set-up



I do a lot of work for 'poolside studios'. They importvarious makes of musical stuff including 'Top Hat' amps, 'Eastwood' guitars and 'Reverend' guitars. All their guitars that come into New Zealand get checked over by me first. Not all importers care enough to do this. You can find Poolside at http://www.poolsidestudios.co.nz/ Today I've got a 'Reverend Warhawk' on the bench to check over.



Its a bolt neck fixed bridge electric guitar with two P90 pickups. My photo just doesn't do the colour justice. Reverend guitars are all well built they've got comfy deep necks, feel solid and lively, ballance great on a strap and sound fantastic as well as looking cool. Its not often I get this excited abouta new brand but the folk at Reverend seem to have got it right. This one was in tune out of the box and only needed a couple of small adjustments. One of the many factors that determin playability and a good action is the depth of the nut slots. If they're too deep the open strings will buzz, too high and its going to be hard to play especially for first position chords.

The best method for checking nut height is to place your finger between 2nd and 3rd fret pushing the string down as if fretting 2nd. Then look at the gap between the string and 1st fret. There should be a gap but it should be extremely small(about 1/4mm). On the bass strings the gap can be a bit bigger. On this guitar the gap was a bit big so the slots needed to be deepened.
I've seen this job done with all sorts of tools including hacksaw blades and kitcken knives. There's only one correct tool and thats a nut file. These files come in different thicknesses for each string and are round in profile. The bottom of the slot needs to be smooth and rounded. A 'V' slot will grip the string causing tuning problems and string breakage as will a square bottomed slot. In my experience most cases of tuning probsare caused by the nut.
This pic shows me cutting the nut. Note the angle of the file. If you cut slots too shallow (parallel to the fingerboard) the string can rattle about in the slot. Once the nut is cut the slots need lubricating, I prefere candle wax for this but pencil graphite is just as good. This was the only real set up fault with this Reverend. Check out NZ Musician's review (May 07) of Reverend. The review one I didn't have to do anything on- just checked it and all was fine. That one is fitted with a Wilkinson trem and had three P90's. It stayed in tune just great no matter how much cack handed Van Halen I threw at it.

All that was left was to raise the pickup height atouch and it was ready. Its so satisfying working on well made instruments.

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Feel free to contact me about repair work (if you are in NZ). I only check emails weekly so the workshop phone is always the best 09 307 6501.


Workshop Hours

Mon……. 8-6
Tues……. 8-6
Wed…….. Closed
Thurs …..8-6
Fri ……….8-6
Sat/Sun ..Closed

Mr Glyn’s Guitars

  21a Khyber Pass Road
Auckland
New Zealand
glyn@mrglyn.co.nz
09 307 6501, 021 912678

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