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Senior Member
Username: lbpesq

Post Number: 2917
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Thursday, January 31, 2008 - 6:58 am:   Edit Post

Last night at rehearsal, I was playing "Big Irv", my '77 Series I 12 string. I noticed that anytime I played any note on the 7th fret, the LED on that fret would go out. As soon as I lifted my finger, the LED came right back on. Upon further inspection, it appears as if the fret tangs must be hitting some wires, for every time the 6th and 7th frets are connected the LED goes out. I tried it with a key touching both frets and no pressure on the fingerboard = light goes out. Anyone run into this before? Will it get worse? Is it (as I imagine) an expensive fix? Does it need to be fixed? Any thoughts?

Bill, tgo
Senior Member
Username: olieoliver

Post Number: 1720
Registered: 2-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 31, 2008 - 7:08 am:   Edit Post

Nothing that a couple "extra" hours of litigation won't pay for. ;)

Seriously though, if you're like me even if it will never get any worse it'll bug you every time you play it. FIX IT Bill.


(Message edited by olieoliver on January 31, 2008)
Senior Member
Username: 811952

Post Number: 1324
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Thursday, January 31, 2008 - 10:26 am:   Edit Post

The 3rd fret LED on my bass has always been dimmer than the rest. I think there's crap in there from the final rubout. To fix it would require the fingerboard come off, which is something I'm not interested in having done as it would require a refinish and then of course I'd probably want to have other $$$ stuff done and you know how that goes (and though it's dimmer, it's not THAT much so)... I would assume your LED issue would require the fingerboard to come off as well. My situation isn't worth that, but your situation probably is. Maybe you could trade legal services for it? ;)

Whatever you decide, good luck with it..

Username: mica

Post Number: 5090
Registered: 6-2000
Posted on Thursday, January 31, 2008 - 11:19 am:   Edit Post

The LEDs on your 81 Series are completely different than Bill's. Bill, we'll look at it when you bring up Woody next Friday. These new LEDs have a diffuser built into them.

For John, the LEDs are probably down at the bottom of little wells. I'm pretty sure in 1981 we typically left these as open holes. These can get so much dirt in them over time that there are some people who never knew they had LEDs. It's possible to clean the grime out of these little wells. A couple of years later we started to fill up the holes with super glue.

On the old style, the 24th fret side of the LEDs always looked a little brighter because of the angle of view. You're looking right down at them, but the 3rd fret way far away is sitting at the bottom of that well and just doesn't have a chance at being as bright. Of course, some LEDs aren't as bright as others, especially at lower voltages these differences are more apparent.
Senior Member
Username: lbpesq

Post Number: 2918
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Thursday, January 31, 2008 - 12:16 pm:   Edit Post


The LED question is about my '77 Series I 12 string, NOT about Woody. The '77 has the recessed little wells you describe above. It looks like I'll be able to get out of town early on Friday, so I should be up there before 5. I don't know if I'll have time to run by the studio and grab the 12 string. If not, I'll bring it up for an LED inspection next time.

Bill, tgo
Senior Member
Username: jacko

Post Number: 1608
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Friday, February 01, 2008 - 4:19 am:   Edit Post

Just a thought nut you may be able to lift the 2 guilty frets, file the tangs down a little and insert some sort of insulating layer before replacing the frets. Might sort it, might not.

Senior Member
Username: bsee

Post Number: 1868
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Friday, February 01, 2008 - 8:27 am:   Edit Post

The LEDs on my '03 occasionally dim for no apparent reason. Often, when I turn them on, they blink on, go off for a half second, and then come on to stay. I never gave any thought to the relationship between these events and what I might be touching or pressing at the time. Will have to think about that.

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