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  • Guitar Repair

    I know there are some fellow guitar players here on the forum. I have taken off the last 6 years or so from playing and just getting back into it. My 6 string is fine.. It was well broke in before I ever got it.

    My 12 string martin was purchased new back in 1998. So over the last few years the "action" has gotten all messed up. My strings are a good 3/16 farther off the fretboard than they should be down low.

    I know you can make small adjustments using an allen wrench but this seems like to much to adjust that way.

    So have any of you made significant tweaks to the action on any of your acoustic guitars. I think I may just go sand down the lower part of the bridge to lower it but I am not sure.

    I'll try to take some pics tonight.

    Help!

    Josh

  • #2
    Re: Guitar Repair

    do not know a lot about guitars. my brother had a guitar years ago, and was stored for years, and it developed a similar problem, but it was a low cost unit and when I took it to some one they basically said there it was not wroth the trouble as the repair would have cost more than it was worth, but was caused by storing with the strings in tension, and it basically pulled the body and neck out of wack, and they said on that unit the only was to remove the neck and re carve the dove tail and put it back on, on that unit,

    yours sounds different, but may be these will help. or possibly guide you to a place that can give correct advice,

    http://www.fretnotguitarrepair.com/Repairs2.htm
    http://www.fretnotguitarrepair.com/trussrods.htm
    http://www.acousticfingerstyle.com/CareAndFeeding.htm

    do not know if this is like yours or not.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGPzHT9mMM4

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7TacHGTmfq0
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    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Guitar Repair

      sounds like a truss rod adjustment. if you aren't sure how to do it take it to a luthier. also the Guitar Player Repair Guide by Dan Erlewine is an excellent resource book. it goes over how to set up, maintain, & repair both electric and acoustic guitars. available from stewmac.com

      steve
      In the never ending struggle to keep the water flowing.... The Poo Poo Cowboy rides again!!!

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Guitar Repair

        I'll pry take it to a pro. Don't want to risk damaging my second favorite guitar

        Its funny.. I forced myself to play only my 12 string all through college. Once I got out I rarely played it. I guess it was the fact that it was always going out of tune every 5 minutes. drove me nuts. Hopefully its through some of its early break in. just gotta get the action adjust back to what feels good to me.

        Sounds awesome.. just a pain to tune.

        Josh

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Guitar Repair

          12-strings are a pain to tune. Mine is now to the point that it does tend to stay in tune for a longer time. Still, I don't play it much because I end up having to take the hour to tune it then only have a few minutes to play!!

          It definitely is a truss-rod adjustment. There's lots of web-based instruction on this fix. I think with your know-how and patience, you could do it yourself. You need a good straight-edge and some markers. It will make a huge difference. If you're not sure you can do it, there's always a luthier around. Check at your local music store. Chances are they can do it there or know someone who can.
          I put it all back together better than before. There\'s lots of leftover parts.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Guitar Repair

            I've heard through the grapevine that Martin necks are notorious for this. I would let an expert make whatever adjustments are needed.

            How was the instrument stored?

            I keep mine in it's case and try to keep the humidity around 40%-45%. The case insulates it from sudden temperature changes and helps maintain the proper humidity.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Guitar Repair

              I have stored this on a stand for the last 5 years. Yeah I know.. bad bad bad... but I got lazy. I will probably restring and see how the action is. Then take in to a pro.

              Josh

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Guitar Repair

                Yeah, that is bad, bad, bad. Talk about wood movement. I don't really worry to much about my electrics not being in cases because their finishes are much more robust than the old nitro finishes that were used on vintage guitars. Besides that, the amp is much more important to the tone of an electric than the guitar itself.

                Acoustics on the other hand are a very finely crafted instrument and are sensitive to the slightest change. Over time your guitar will show signs of fatigue from expansion and contraction of the woods. Finishes start to crack, necks and bridges do funny things.

                Case it up and keep the humidity leveled off and your guitar will thank you with great tone and playability.

                Now then, go take this to an expert, stat!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Guitar Repair

                  Josh, it really does sound like a truss rod adjustment. Don't screw with the saddle until you get the truss rod correct. There's information available on the web as to how much bow is needed on the neck, as VASandy said, You will need a set of feeler guages in addition to the straight edge. You can change the measurements you find a bit to suit your taste but it gets you in the ballpark. That amount of change you're talking about is in general not at all out of range of a truss rod adjustment.

                  Do sight down the top take a look at the top and see if you see the bridge area bowing. This is not uncommon on 12 strings, and much more serious but also repairable by a luthier.

                  Truss rod adjustments aren't difficult but like anything else there is a "right" and a "wrong" way to do it. Still, if you're not comfortable taking it in to a good guitar person is a good idea. Many have overtightened truss rods and broken them. Again, it can be fixed, but it's not cheap.

                  I keep my 12 string tuned a half step flat for my own use, and only tune up to standard pitch when I have to. 12 strings are brutal on the neck. What is really cool is the Rickenbacker 12 string electrics... TWO truss rods. I don't have one, but I have a Rick 6 string, which still gets the two truss rods! Rock solid. One day I'll get the matching 12 string... just to complete the set.

                  Martins are wonderful. "Back in the day" they didn't have adjustable truss rods. There was a steel rod in the neck but no adjustment at all. As a result, the old Martins would have the action creep higher and higher. The only way to fix it was to have a luthier gently rebend the neck (talk about scary!).... or just live with it. Which most people did.... many old Martins are real hard to play!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Guitar Repair

                    Guitar Player Repair Guide by Dan Erlewine. Josh i can not recommend this book strongly enough. it's fantastic

                    ask the luthier to explain what he's doing or done. normally i like to make a truss rod adjustment and wait 24 hours before i attempt anything. let the wood fully move. with the truss rod it's definitely less is more

                    i kept my acoustic on a stand or wall hanger for years with no ill effects. all of my electrics hang on the wall

                    steve
                    In the never ending struggle to keep the water flowing.... The Poo Poo Cowboy rides again!!!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Guitar Repair

                      Thank's Steve, next time I pick something up from Amazon I'll put one on the list. Looks like a lot of other folks think its great too.

                      http://www.amazon.com/Guitar-Player-...5917846&sr=8-1

                      Josh

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Guitar Repair

                        Ended up taking my guitar into a repair center. Cost me 125 bucks but man the action is sweeter than ever on it and over the last 7 years in storage the tone has sweetened up a lot.

                        On a side not. I ended up buying an electric guitar as well. got a great deal on a fender princeton 65 and an ibanez with a ton of accessories and case (275 bucks in great shape)

                        Really getting back into guitar again. Currently learning Angelina by Tommy Emmanuel. Its taken me a week to learn the first 45 seconds

                        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AhR04kmcSXU

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Guitar Repair

                          well worth the money spent for a pro setup, especially a 12 string.

                          i'm assuming the amp you got is the 65W SS one and not the '65 PR RI

                          congrats on the new rig

                          steve
                          In the never ending struggle to keep the water flowing.... The Poo Poo Cowboy rides again!!!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Guitar Repair

                            Originally posted by Josh View Post
                            Ended up taking my guitar into a repair center. Cost me 125 bucks but man the action is sweeter than ever on it and over the last 7 years in storage the tone has sweetened up a lot.

                            On a side not. I ended up buying an electric guitar as well. got a great deal on a fender princeton 65 and an ibanez with a ton of accessories and case (275 bucks in great shape)

                            Really getting back into guitar again. Currently learning Angelina by Tommy Emmanuel. Its taken me a week to learn the first 45 seconds

                            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AhR04kmcSXU
                            Keep at it Josh, and try to have the children play when they are old enough. I did not grow up around folks who played, but both my daughters play guitar. I play a lot of music from the 60's and up, so they give some of those songs a try. Recently my younger girl learned to play " I've Seen All Good People" by Yes. The older girl can play most of this song from my youth.
                            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=570W6DKg_Oo

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Guitar Repair

                              Not the reissue.. nice amp though. I like it better than my friends M80 (what I used to play with when I was into metal)



                              Originally posted by stxrus View Post
                              well worth the money spent for a pro setup, especially a 12 string.

                              i'm assuming the amp you got is the 65W SS one and not the '65 PR RI

                              congrats on the new rig

                              steve
                              Last edited by Josh; 04-09-2010, 03:49 PM.

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