Fly Neck Setup - Action, Frets and Cleaning

Discussions of every Fly in every variation including Deluxe, Classic, Mojo, Artist, Supreme, Stealth, Concert/Bronze, and custom Flys
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MadMac
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Fly Neck Setup - Action, Frets and Cleaning

Post by MadMac »

hello,
well while setting up my old Fly Deluxe i‘ll came across a few things...
maybe someone can give some advice how to fix those the best way.
think it‘s also interesting for all others too who set up and clean there fly‘s
much respect & many thx
@vjmanzo @Ken Parker

1. i‘ll found 2 scratches in the fretboard ... in 1 fret... any chance to remove or fix them?
2. two frets needed a polish... fine scratches too that you feel while bending a string... How to remove those scratches best?
3. cleaning the fretboard ... how to do best and get rid of all the dirt... anything to polish or make it more smooth?
4. Nut ... my A string is little to low... after 25 years of heavy use every weekend ... you see the plastic had better times...
any chance to fix that or is a new nut needed ... ? i‘ll use now the high E string .. a little part of it under the A string in the nut to
also are there any documents about how deep the cut‘s are... would be nice to proof if that part is ok... before try setup...
5. setting up the action... Truss rod ... i‘ll know it depend... but is there a general rule for fly‘s neck‘s?
i‘ll see if you make her flat... than you still have a little relief ... have read that it‘s normal and build into...
so if i‘ll put the 1st fret and 24th fret the E string down... how many mm we have @12th fret or 8th ...
like what‘s the best setting for a fly neck... flat or how much relief is best...

attached some pic‘s of the old Parker Fly Deluxe from 95‘
as you can see the grounding color is to see on the sides...

24th fret e string
_1050928.jpg
IMG_0025.JPG
24th fret E string... here you see those scratches in the frets...
IMG_0026.JPG
12th fret E string
IMG_0027.JPG
1th fret E string
IMG_0028.JPG
thx
M
life is what you make it...
You should have no difficulty looking at stains on the walls or the ashes of a fire or the clouds or mud, and if you look closely at these things you will find wonderful new ideas, because the mind is stimulated by insignificant things to new inventions.
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MadMac
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Re: Fly Neck Setup - Action, Frets and Cleaning

Post by MadMac »

and some more pic's...
the white spot's coming because black paint is gone...
IMG_0029.JPG
12th fret
IMG_0030.JPG
24th fret
IMG_0031.JPG
IMG_0032.JPG
here is the scratch under the A string...
IMG_0035.JPG
many thx
love my Fly
M.
life is what you make it...
You should have no difficulty looking at stains on the walls or the ashes of a fire or the clouds or mud, and if you look closely at these things you will find wonderful new ideas, because the mind is stimulated by insignificant things to new inventions.
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vjmanzo
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Re: Fly Neck Setup - Action, Frets and Cleaning

Post by vjmanzo »

Hi @MadMac, great questions!
MadMac wrote: Tue Jan 05, 2021 5:45 am 1. i‘ll found 2 scratches in the fretboard ... in 1 fret... any chance to remove or fix them?
Nothing can be done, but the issue is purely cosmetic.
MadMac wrote: Tue Jan 05, 2021 5:45 am 2. two frets needed a polish... fine scratches too that you feel while bending a string... How to remove those scratches best?
Is the goal to remove fret material to correct a height differential among the other frets or is this about cosmetics? The frets can be leveled, and there’s a video here that addresses that.
MadMac wrote: Tue Jan 05, 2021 5:45 am 3. cleaning the fretboard ... how to do best and get rid of all the dirt... anything to polish or make it more smooth?
Just use water to clean the fretboard, and nothing else; I’d recommend reading this post if you’ve not read it already.
MadMac wrote: Tue Jan 05, 2021 5:45 am 4. Nut ... my A string is little to low... after 25 years of heavy use every weekend ... you see the plastic had better times...
any chance to fix that or is a new nut needed ... ? i‘ll use now the high E string .. a little part of it under the A string in the nut to
also are there any documents about how deep the cut‘s are... would be nice to proof if that part is ok... before try setup...
Ken adapted a hydraulic press (clicker press), which allow his team to put a completed guitar in the press, and, with one press of a button, cut six perfect nut slots all at once! Cool, right?

I don’t think we have any data on the actual depth of each slot, but a qualified guitar tech can either fix your nut (you can add a drop of crazy glue to restore sole height) or replace it.
MadMac wrote: Tue Jan 05, 2021 5:45 am 5. setting up the action... Truss rod ... i‘ll know it depend... but is there a general rule for fly‘s neck‘s?
At the factory, Ken and his team set the Flys so that one could measure .009 of relief at the 5th fret.

My personal setup with D'Addario 010’s is as follows:
-the action is set to a little lower than 4/64” at the 24th fret
-the neck relief at .012”
-the string height at the nut is .010” when pressing the 3rd fret

The 4/64” action height is the open string height.
Neck relief is measured with a straight edge or by pressing the first and last fret and the relief is the middle point between the first and last fret (whatever fret that is depending on your scale length)

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MadMac
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Re: Fly Neck Setup - Action, Frets and Cleaning

Post by MadMac »

hello,
many thx @ @ vjmanzo for all the details!
really appreciated...
while modding my new fly... i‘ll followed ken‘s info about the truss rod..
can confirm... when strings gone... loosen truss and only 1 drop oil ...
works wonder when setting up later...
adjusting now 5 day‘s the rod ... and it‘s so easy now...
because of the oil you get much better feeling about the tension...
and also make small adjustments become sooo easy.... just a drop oil after 25 years makes totally sense ...
feels like the first day...
and while setting up the rod for 10‘ strings...
you don‘t need much tension... and i‘ve the feeling that many have the truss rod to strong...
like not too much relief... as i‘ve read and also saw when the strings where pulled off...
the Neck has little relief from factory... you will never get her complete flat...
there is always a little relief around 5-7th fret...
so now my theory...
because of unknown ... many git tech set Parker up the wrong way... too flat they try ... and that damage the guitar sometimes...

so finally what i‘ll wanted to say is... check your truss rod and follow Ken‘s advice and use a drop oil... works wonders... !
2C89BBE8-BFD6-4DF5-92D7-2A4082A8DCC0.jpeg
8E496CDA-ED8A-4F57-8388-8059EA84D0F2.jpeg
life is what you make it...
You should have no difficulty looking at stains on the walls or the ashes of a fire or the clouds or mud, and if you look closely at these things you will find wonderful new ideas, because the mind is stimulated by insignificant things to new inventions.
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Re: Fly Neck Setup - Action, Frets and Cleaning

Post by vjmanzo »

MadMac wrote: Mon Jan 18, 2021 3:07 am ... check your truss rod and follow Ken‘s advice and use a drop oil... works wonders... !
I’m so glad to hear this, @MadMac! I’ve never tried it myself, but it’s great to hear that this works well and that it worked for you!!
MadMac wrote: Mon Jan 18, 2021 3:07 am so now my theory...
because of unknown ... many git tech set Parker up the wrong way... too flat they try ... and that damage the guitar sometimes...
I think you might be right—the Fly doesn’t need seasonal truss rod adjustments like other guitars, and I think techs might get in there and try adjustments on the Fly as if they’re Strats.

I own lots of Flys and, once they’re set up properly, I never have to adjust the truss, but, with my other non-Fly guitars, of course, I have to do more regular adjustments.

@Ken Parker said that it’s difficult to break a truss rod, and he also said that the truss “wire” system he designed for the Fly cost about $14 each versus the average truss rod that costs around 14 cents each. Of course, things happen, but it’s reassuring that our truss has a great design that is not cheap or prone to failure.

Again: glad this worked for you!

#TrussIssues
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MadMac
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Re: Fly Neck Setup - Action, Frets and Cleaning

Post by MadMac »

hello,
many thx @ @vjmanzo
well after this week i‘m now @ this action @12th without buzz
i‘ll know it‘s all players preference... but i‘ll like it flat as possible... ;-)
since the truss rod adjust ... it‘s flatter as before... without
51D39C67-0218-46C7-A8C2-CECA30843D9A.jpeg
8F88B4E1-35C8-499E-9AFB-1586C93B47A3.jpeg
thx
M.
life is what you make it...
You should have no difficulty looking at stains on the walls or the ashes of a fire or the clouds or mud, and if you look closely at these things you will find wonderful new ideas, because the mind is stimulated by insignificant things to new inventions.
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Re: Fly Neck Setup - Action, Frets and Cleaning

Post by vjmanzo »

Nice, @MadMac!!
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Re: Fly Neck Setup - Action, Frets and Cleaning

Post by Jayrod99 »

I hope this relevant to the thread...I just bought a 1997 Fly Deluxe. It’s in great shape, and I don’t think any of the previous owners messed with the factory setup. The action is very low (which I like), but when I fret the low E string, it almost sounds muted. Has anyone else noticed this issue? If so, what did you do about it? Thanks!
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Re: Fly Neck Setup - Action, Frets and Cleaning

Post by vjmanzo »

Hi @Jayrod99; it could be that a pickup is too high on the bass side. I know a lot of people like to "set 'em high and hear 'em fry", but there is a magnetic field from the pickups that, if set high enough, can pull on the strings and interfere with them vibrating.

If I were trying to troubleshoot it, I'd start with that and then start looking/looking for frets that are hitting the strings slightly. Do you hear buzz when plugged in through an amp? If so, see if you can identify a particular fret that causes it. That you have no issues with the open E generally rules out issues with the nut slot depth ad with the saddles, so that's good! Changes is string gauge may require you to adjust the truss slightly.
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Re: Fly Neck Setup - Action, Frets and Cleaning

Post by Jayrod99 »

Thanks for the advice! I did notice that when a fret the low E, the adjacent fret is VERY close to the string. I’m waiting on a set of hex wrenches and a new truss rod wrench. Once I receive them, I plan to lower the pickups slightly and loosen the truss rod a little. I love the low action (no discernible buzz), but I’m wondering if it may be affecting the string vibration. Do those steps sound reasonable to you? Thanks!
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Re: Fly Neck Setup - Action, Frets and Cleaning

Post by vjmanzo »

Sounds like a good plan, @Jayrod99; keep us posted!
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Re: Fly Neck Setup - Action, Frets and Cleaning

Post by Jayrod99 »

Will do. Thanks for the guidance!
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Re: Fly Neck Setup - Action, Frets and Cleaning

Post by mmmguitar »

Without seeing the guitar, my two cents is that the only significant difference between setting up a Fly and most other guitars is when leveling frets.

My guide to setting up a new (to you) Fly is as follows:

- Assuming the frets, board, and angle of the trem (in down-only mode) are where they should be, you lower the action until it’s where you want it. Make sure the pickups are well out of the way of the strings.

- If you’re getting buzz within the first four frets on the D or G strings, the action is too low. If the buzz is affecting more strings, then you have backbow in the neck and should loosen the truss a quarter turn at a time until the buzz is alleviated. In fact, all Fly necks should have the truss tightened until you begin to get buzz on the lowest frets, then backed off slightly until the buzz is minimal or gone - Every Fly with the factory-installed nut that I have encountered was built with a zero-relief setup in mind.

-With the relief restored to what I have the gall to refer to as “factory-intended”, make any further necessary action adjustments before balancing/calibrating the trem, setting the intonation, then rebalancing the trem one final time.

On a properly built Fly (of which I would count only three of the six I’ve owned), this will result in near-perfect action consistency along the neck, intonation, and general tuning stability with the trem. From there, you are free to adjust your pickup height.

For three of the Flys I’ve owned, fret leveling and sanding of the nut to compensate for the subsequently shorter frets were required before the preceding setup guide applied. Always remember that a proper guitar setup is not compensatory: the process assumes that all other factors affecting playability, intonation, and tuning stability have been diagnosed and corrected beforehand. Obviously, those of us who have put on heavier strings for downtuning and then raised the action to compensate know that *those* setups are more art than science.

That all being said: The fixed radius of a Fly bridge means that a low E string choking out in spots that does not affect the A string suggests either high fret(s), too low of action or, as VJ suggested, possible interference from a pickup. If the buzz is only occurring within the first few frets, potential backbow of the neck needs to be ruled out before proceeding,
Summary of the current Parker Guitars market: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greater_fool_theory
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Re: Fly Neck Setup - Action, Frets and Cleaning

Post by vjmanzo »

Great approach and great info, @mmmguitar; thanks for that! Very helpful!

#FretIssues
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Re: Fly Neck Setup - Action, Frets and Cleaning

Post by Gregsaab »

mmmguitar wrote: Sat Feb 27, 2021 11:21 pmEvery Fly with the factory-installed nut that I have encountered was built with a zero-relief setup in mind.
What does this equate to in terms of measurements?
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Re: Fly Neck Setup - Action, Frets and Cleaning

Post by vjmanzo »

The intention was to give the neck the correct shape ("zero-relief" or near-zero as Marc pointed out) at the factory. Here's a fun fact from @Ken Parker: the guitars were strung up and the relief was adjusted before the carbon fiber strip and fiberglass layer were applied! So that shape of the neck was really baked in!

With the correct neck arc in place, the design of the bridge being what it is allows the action to be adjusted without having to change the arc of the neck. The factory measurements for bridge height are on page 14 of the manual.

As general note, which you may already know (worth stating anyway):
heavier gauge strings have more tension on them → which means they'll vibrate in a tighter pattern when struck → which means you can get away with lower string action without buzzing → so if you can live with 10s, you'll be able to get the action slightly lower to the fretboard (if that's desirable) than with 9s.
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Re: Fly Neck Setup - Action, Frets and Cleaning

Post by Gregsaab »

vjmanzo wrote: Mon Apr 25, 2022 8:26 am The intention was to give the neck the correct shape ("zero-relief" as Marc pointed out) at the factory. Here's a fun fact from @Ken Parker: the guitars were strung up and the relief was adjusted before the carbon fiber strip and fiberglass layer were applied! So that shape of the neck was really baked in!

With the correct neck arc in place, the design of the bridge being what it is allows the action to be adjusted without having to change the arc of the neck. The factory measurements for bridge height are on page 14 of the manual.
Yeah, I am aware of the factory .07” and .05” heights for action, but that is affected by relief, as well. I wish they published the factory relief and action height.
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Re: Fly Neck Setup - Action, Frets and Cleaning

Post by vjmanzo »

The relief was 7 thousandths of an inch: confirmed.
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Re: Fly Neck Setup - Action, Frets and Cleaning

Post by Patzag »

vjmanzo wrote: Mon Apr 25, 2022 9:01 am The relief was 7 thousandths of an inch: confirmed.
Otherwise known as the Bond relief - .007 :lol:
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Re: Fly Neck Setup - Action, Frets and Cleaning

Post by vjmanzo »

:lol:
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