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I have a 15-year old, el cheapo Dean Evo electric guitar that's been sitting in a non-climate-controlled house for about a year. I pulled it out to play and immediately noticed that putting any pressure on the neck significantly caused the sound to warp. Specifically, pressure backwards towards my body. I don't remember it doing that in the past, so I'm wondering if maybe the bad climate caused damage somewhere.

Here's an un-amp'd audio sample where I variably put slightly more backwards pressure than you would just playing naturally: http://galen.in/VxH5rb

(I know the guitar itself isn't in great tune, what I'm trying to demonstrate is the warping in tone.)

Any ideas on what could be causing this? I thought maybe the truss rod needed adjusting and tried that after watching some tutorials on YouTube. I got the action better, but it's still warping. I know it's basically a throw-away guitar at this point, but it has sentimental value to me because it was the first guitar I ever bought and learned to play on.

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I'm not familiar with your specific guitar, but I've had the same thing happen to some of my guitars with bolt on necks, and just tightening the screws that bolt the neck to the body alleviated the problem for me. warning; only tighten them till they are snug, it is possible to strip them out, and then you'll need to take it in for repair work.

  • Tried that too and didn't seem to help. I guess maybe they could have been overtightened in the past and are already stripped out to some degree? – Galen Gidman Jul 4 '18 at 19:19
  • Another possibility is that the wood in the neck has dried out and shrunk so that it isn't able to hold the screws well enough. I'd be inclined to humidify the guitar for a few days and then see if it would tighten up to snug. Might be worth a try but be careful. – skinny peacock Jul 4 '18 at 19:26
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    Ever played an SG Junior? You can pull nearly a semitone on the neck if the action's high enough], even on a pristine example... & that's a glued neck. – Tetsujin Jul 4 '18 at 19:58
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While you're pulling the neck backwards, look and listen for any movement at the point where the neck is joined to the body. There may7 need to be some tightening up of the screws there to be done, or the holes for them need filling first. If you're o.k with diy, that's possible at home.

Otherwise, the neck itself may have weakened; tightening the trussrod may help, but needs doing carefully.

The difference in humidity and temperature from the house will need some stabilisation, and the wood has probably dried out somewhat. Left in a more humid place for a week may alleviate most of the problem.

Otherwise, a wall hanger is another solution. My partner has pictures on her wall - I have guitars!

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