Mastery setup and ringing issues

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krossfader
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Mastery setup and ringing issues

Post by krossfader » Thu Jan 30, 2020 1:26 pm

I've been searching the board a ton and found this issue mentioned but never addressed.

The Mastery bridge on my AV65 Jazzmaster is bringing out some super loud ringing on the D, G, and especially B strings. This sounds like a high harmonic ringing on top of the fretted notes above the 12th fret. Very noticeable when unplugged.

I'm attributing this to the Mastery because I previously had the stock bridge and a Staytrem without this issue. And I'm calling it an issue because, well, it doesn't sound good. I'm aware of the unique notes that can be played behind an offset bridge. This ain't that.

I've tried adjusting the height of the Mastery - both baseplate and saddles - a few times with some input from John Woodland. I've shimmed the neck but anything bigger than StewMac's .25° looks crazy and requires the Mastery to be cranked way up for playable action. My understanding is the Mastery baseplate should be on the low side and that the AV65 already has an angled neck pocket.

Strings are .11s. Neck relief is pretty flat (.005" relief), so maybe that's something to look at? Any guidance would be a *big* help.

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Re: Mastery setup and ringing issues

Post by ChrisDesign » Thu Jan 30, 2020 5:21 pm

Did the shim help with the mastery? Did you take the shim out?

Fender set their neck relief at .01 rather than .005. Worth trying that.
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Re: Mastery setup and ringing issues

Post by marqueemoon » Thu Jan 30, 2020 8:50 pm

Where is the ringing actually coming from? If you mute behind the bridge and behind the nut do you still hear it?

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Re: Mastery setup and ringing issues

Post by OV7 » Fri Jan 31, 2020 5:46 am

I had a similar problem with my Warmoth Jazzmaster. When I set it up with the Mastery M1, I had an initial problem with the high-E making that weird sound you're talking about. It almost sounded like a built-in distortion sound that happened only on that string. I didn't have the neck shimmed at the time. I noticed that my action was super low around the nut and progressively higher as you went up the fretboard and the ringing sound kept on showing up. I knew my frets were all level and relief was set correctly, etc. I tried a .5 Stewmac shim to begin with to see if it might help some. It definitely helped some with the weird sounds but the action was still not level. Then I tried a 1 degree shim and it worked like a charm. No more weird sounds. I did have to crank the bridge up pretty high but it really doesn't cause any problems. It took me several years to figure all of this out as I'm too busy to work on this type of thing constantly so in the discovery and experimentation phase I just kept playing it and lived with the quirks. Give the 1 degree shim a chance if you can. It might solve the problem but it might not:)
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Re: Mastery setup and ringing issues

Post by krossfader » Sat Feb 01, 2020 12:22 pm

Thanks all for the replies! I've been at this for a while and it's getting very frustrating, so I appreciate the help. OV7, built-in distortion is a very good description.

It's sympathetic ringing from behind the bridge. I can mute back there with my picking hand and it dies down. I've never played a JM where it's so pronounced and can't imagine I'm the first to want to dial this out. The Mastery was originally installed by a shop that did a very poor job, so I've been trying to get it running right ever since.

I've tried the Mastery with and without the .25° shim - no difference. I haven't gone bigger because the neck pocket's already angled and I have to raise the bridge a ton to make it playable. But I do have the .5° and 1° shims on hand, so I could take another stab at it.

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Re: Mastery setup and ringing issues

Post by andy_tchp » Sat Feb 01, 2020 4:48 pm

krossfader wrote:
Sat Feb 01, 2020 12:22 pm
It's sympathetic ringing from behind the bridge.
This is just what offsets do.

Weave a piece of felt/dense fabric/elastic band between and around the strings between the bridge and tailpiece.
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Re: Mastery setup and ringing issues

Post by fisonic » Sat Feb 01, 2020 10:23 pm

A couple of things you could try, that might help.
(a) Make sure that your bridge plate is parallel with the top of your guitar / thimbles. Adjust your height screws so that they both extend the same length at the bottom of your bridge posts. The remaining string height adjustments should be made, at the saddles height adjustment screws. This will stop the bridge potentially lifting in one side, ie balance the down force between the two posts.
(b)Loosen the two bridge post attachment screws(larger allen key), under tension, to make sure that the posts sit straight in the thimbles. You can play around with this a bit to get the desired result.
Other possible causes are;
(c)The two saddles drifting together. Stick a piece of felt or such between the two saddles until the saddle height screws wear a little groove in the plate, holding the saddles apart.
(d)Backward movement of the saddles causing the intonation screws/springs to vibrate - Keep your saddles higher & bridge plate lower, relative to overall height. This helps lock in the saddles in place, with the increased angle of the intonation screws. The bridge design requires the strings to slide through the saddles, so add a little lubricant to the grooves. With all that in mind, is is possible to have too much break angle over the bridge, making it harder for the strings to slide.

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Re: Mastery setup and ringing issues

Post by OV7 » Wed Feb 19, 2020 9:39 am

Did you get it fixed yet?
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Re: Mastery setup and ringing issues

Post by mbene085 » Wed Feb 19, 2020 11:46 am

andy_tchp wrote:
Sat Feb 01, 2020 4:48 pm
krossfader wrote:
Sat Feb 01, 2020 12:22 pm
It's sympathetic ringing from behind the bridge.
This is just what offsets do.

Weave a piece of felt/dense fabric/elastic band between and around the strings between the bridge and tailpiece.
I think I've experienced the phenomenon he's describing, which is different than regular offset overtones.

I had a vintage Jag that I put a Mastery on. The fit in the thimbles was tight but not perfect. With my action dialed in and everything playing great, sometimes the bridge would work itself a tiny bit loose and you'd get this loud resonance phenomenon that, like someone described above, sounded almost like "acoustic distortion", just on the higher strings.

I figured out where it was coming from by systematically holding onto/stabilizing the various parts of the guitar that could be vibrating. It turned out to be the Mastery. Holding it tight didnt stop it - it wasnt vibrating side to side or back and forth. Only direct pressure downwards (in the plane of its posts) stopped it. Maybe it was the height adjustment screws vibrating against the inside of the thimbles?

In my case, it would stop when I pushed the bridge down forcefully and then crop back up within an hour. I could probably have solved it by shimming to increase the break angle and therefore the downward pressure on the bridge. However, I just found it stupid that I'd have to alter the setup on a vintage offset for the sake of a $200 bridge that was meant to solve problems, not create them, so I went back to a Staytrem and used that until I traded the guitar (with the Mastery back on it, because it appeals to buyers and I was happy to be rid of it).

Still have three Mastery bridges, all acquired as parts of trades/on guitars already, but if one ever annoys me like that one did, it'll be coming straight off like the last one did.

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Re: Mastery setup and ringing issues

Post by adamrobertt » Wed Feb 19, 2020 2:22 pm

I've also had problems with the Mastery in the past too - I had one where both saddles were lightly touching and would vibrate sympathetically when certain frequencies were played - it was so annoying that I got rid of it. I used a Staytrem and various Mustang bridges for years, but I just recently put another Mastery on a new JM build and it's surprisingly great - a huge improvement over the American Professional bridge I had on there.

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Re: Mastery setup and ringing issues

Post by parry » Wed Feb 19, 2020 6:56 pm

A bunch of years back, i owned a mastery that i bought second hand. It had issues very similar to what you described. That, and the grub screws constantly working themselves loose. It was a horrible bridge. It was also one of the very early ones. As I understand it, tolerances improved over the years and they didn't rattle themselves to bits worse than the original JM bridges they were meant to improve upon - but OPs tale isn't encouraging
:unsure:

I have a build that should be getting started this weekend and I currently have a Staytrem for it, but I don't think it's going to work. I think I may have to use a Mastery with it, so I've been thinking about something i'd read a while back (on the surf forum?) where a few guys on there were saying they were ready to pack it in with their Mastery bridges until they started setting them up with the bridge trays set lower and the saddles propped-up higher than you usually would with a JM or say Tele bridge... the angle of the grub screws, mixed with the increased downward force on the saddles made everything rock solid and cured some of the overringing that was a common complaint. Hopefully, I can get away with using my Staytrem, but in the event I can't, I'll experiment with that setup when I get a Mastery and report back. Good luck to the OP - if you feel inclined (ha!) to give that set-up a try before i do, let us know if it helped?
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Re: Mastery setup and ringing issues

Post by greens » Fri Feb 21, 2020 12:40 pm

parry wrote:
Wed Feb 19, 2020 6:56 pm
A bunch of years back, i owned a mastery that i bought second hand. It had issues very similar to what you described. That, and the grub screws constantly working themselves loose. It was a horrible bridge. It was also one of the very early ones. As I understand it, tolerances improved over the years and they didn't rattle themselves to bits worse than the original JM bridges they were meant to improve upon - but OPs tale isn't encouraging
:unsure:

I have a build that should be getting started this weekend and I currently have a Staytrem for it, but I don't think it's going to work. I think I may have to use a Mastery with it, so I've been thinking about something i'd read a while back (on the surf forum?) where a few guys on there were saying they were ready to pack it in with their Mastery bridges until they started setting them up with the bridge trays set lower and the saddles propped-up higher than you usually would with a JM or say Tele bridge... the angle of the grub screws, mixed with the increased downward force on the saddles made everything rock solid and cured some of the overringing that was a common complaint. Hopefully, I can get away with using my Staytrem, but in the event I can't, I'll experiment with that setup when I get a Mastery and report back. Good luck to the OP - if you feel inclined (ha!) to give that set-up a try before i do, let us know if it helped?
What would the issue be with your Staytrem?

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Re: Mastery setup and ringing issues

Post by parry » Fri Feb 21, 2020 2:39 pm

greens wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 12:40 pm
parry wrote:
Wed Feb 19, 2020 6:56 pm
A bunch of years back, i owned a mastery that i bought second hand. It had issues very similar to what you described. That, and the grub screws constantly working themselves loose. It was a horrible bridge. It was also one of the very early ones. As I understand it, tolerances improved over the years and they didn't rattle themselves to bits worse than the original JM bridges they were meant to improve upon - but OPs tale isn't encouraging
:unsure:

I have a build that should be getting started this weekend and I currently have a Staytrem for it, but I don't think it's going to work. I think I may have to use a Mastery with it, so I've been thinking about something i'd read a while back (on the surf forum?) where a few guys on there were saying they were ready to pack it in with their Mastery bridges until they started setting them up with the bridge trays set lower and the saddles propped-up higher than you usually would with a JM or say Tele bridge... the angle of the grub screws, mixed with the increased downward force on the saddles made everything rock solid and cured some of the overringing that was a common complaint. Hopefully, I can get away with using my Staytrem, but in the event I can't, I'll experiment with that setup when I get a Mastery and report back. Good luck to the OP - if you feel inclined (ha!) to give that set-up a try before i do, let us know if it helped?
What would the issue be with your Staytrem?
Because of the height the bridge needs (which, I hope to get resolved), the break-angle behind the bridge is too steep and the strings rest on the back tray edge. Sometimes, it happens on Jazzmasters and Jags as well.
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Re: Mastery setup and ringing issues

Post by greens » Fri Feb 21, 2020 2:40 pm

Ah, I see.

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Re: Mastery setup and ringing issues

Post by krossfader » Wed Feb 26, 2020 2:25 pm

Hi folks, sorry for dropping out - thought I had notifications on but didn't see people were still replying. All the responses are very much appreciated.
I think I've experienced the phenomenon he's describing, which is different than regular offset overtones.

I had a vintage Jag that I put a Mastery on. The fit in the thimbles was tight but not perfect. With my action dialed in and everything playing great, sometimes the bridge would work itself a tiny bit loose and you'd get this loud resonance phenomenon that, like someone described above, sounded almost like "acoustic distortion", just on the higher strings.
You're picking up what I'm putting down. I've played a few vintage JMs and many flavors of reissue JM and Jag, with all the usual bridge options. These are not typical overtones. Your description of the issue is making me suspect my thimbles. Yes, they fit, but I wonder if the Mastery thimbles would help kill this sound. The bridge is installed correctly and I can't get it any tighter in the stock thimbles.
A couple of things you could try, that might help.
This is an awesome list. The 2 Mastery saddles aren't touching and the springs seem nice and tight. I did try bringing the saddles up and the baseplate down. But your point about the baseplate being parallel to the guitar is a good one and I should check - it was installed all cockeyed by the shop that first did it, but that's another thread.
Did the shim help with the mastery?
What's crazy is the shim made the ringing much worse. I need to take it out but I've been busy.

I don't think there's any QC issue with the Mastery at all. I think the angled neck pocket of my AV65 is not playing well with the bridge, and that maybe my thimbles are causing some play. I have some free time coming up and I'll be tweaking some things...

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