Is it plugged in? Things to check b4 going to luthier.

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Is it plugged in? Things to check b4 going to luthier.

Postby Les Again » Fri May 06, 2011 2:08 pm

I have 2 acoustic guitars (a arch top and a flat top) I am considering taking to a luthier to see do they need fret or neck work.
I reckon this would be a very big expense, so I was wondering what things should I first check out myself, lacking the skills, knowledge and special tools of a luthier.
I get some fret buzz when fingering close toward the neck on the flat top.
Both necks look pretty straight, and neither has notable separation between the heel and the body.
See like if the low E string on the 5th fret is in unison with the open A string, but the A string on the 2nd fret comes out sharp, maybe the nut is too high, I could remove material from the bottom of the nut, maybe that would fix that, but then it might cause fret buzzing or something.

The bridge on the arch top is movable (but has no height adjustment), the bridge and saddle are one solid piece of wood;
the wood bridge on the flat top is fixed both position and height, but the bone saddle I could remove and make it lower or replace to make it higher.

There are things I could do, but I lack the proper knowledge; I feel like if I start making adjustments it will be like you push down a bump here and it pops up over there.
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Re: Is it plugged in? Things to check b4 going to luthier.

Postby texas blues » Fri May 06, 2011 9:51 pm

First 'thang I look at is the neck itself. How much rise in string angle at the 1st fret vs. 12th fret. Does it look more flat? Guitar may only need some relief and a truss rod adjustment. Fret wear has to be pretty substantial to cause buzzing. A good luthier can clean up the frets if they aren't too bad. Should he need to, he can also replace individual frets where needed rather than redo the everything.
As far as the nut goes, it is generally not the culprit in intonation issues unless there is binding. Any pinging noises on the strings when tuning up? Also, fixed bridges rarely intonate all the way up the guitar. Are the bridges original to the guitar? What are the make and models of each? Pictures?
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Re: Is it plugged in? Things to check b4 going to luthier.

Postby s1120 » Sat May 07, 2011 11:40 am

I could remove material from the bottom of the nut, maybe that would fix that, but then it might cause fret buzzing or something.



Lowering the nut will make your fret buzz worse if its allready buzzing. You realy need to study up a little on setups before you adjust anything. Flying blind will not work. there are a few sites out there that show some basic setups, and eaven some videos. You realy need to get some mesurments, and figure out where you are right now, before making changes. How good of a player are you? Do you know a good playing guitar when your playing it?[ that sounds bad there, but I dont mean it as a insult] One idea, if you want to save some money, and realy dont want to mess around alot it to take one of them to get fixed up. Once you have that one back, you will get a idea what a correctly setup guitar plays, and looks like, and then can use it for a baceline to learn the skills on the second guitar. Setups are realy not that hard, but it does take some time, and studying.
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Re: Is it plugged in? Things to check b4 going to luthier.

Postby Les Again » Mon May 09, 2011 4:49 pm

texas blues wrote:First 'thang I look at is the neck itself. How much rise in string angle at the 1st fret vs. 12th fret. Does it look more flat? Guitar may only need some relief and a truss rod adjustment. Fret wear has to be pretty substantial to cause buzzing. A good luthier can clean up the frets if they aren't too bad. Should he need to, he can also replace individual frets where needed rather than redo the everything.
As far as the nut goes, it is generally not the culprit in intonation issues unless there is binding. Any pinging noises on the strings when tuning up? Also, fixed bridges rarely intonate all the way up the guitar. Are the bridges original to the guitar? What are the make and models of each? Pictures?


Thanks LJ. I'll try to snap and post some close up ix of the guitars. The arch top is a Kay I think. The flat top is a Harptone single cutaway flat top, bulging-back. The arch top you can hear played at the URL in my signature (SEEMS LIKE BLUES ) and also on a video at http://www.myspace.com/lesforgue/videos/seven-blue-minutes/62635934

I have a soundclick using the Harptone but I can't find the link right now. edited: here is one from 2004:http://www.mp3.com.au/Track.asp?id=112202
Last edited by Les Again on Mon May 09, 2011 5:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is it plugged in? Things to check b4 going to luthier.

Postby Les Again » Mon May 09, 2011 4:53 pm

s1120 wrote:
I could remove material from the bottom of the nut, maybe that would fix that, but then it might cause fret buzzing or something.



Lowering the nut will make your fret buzz worse if its allready buzzing. You realy need to study up a little on setups before you adjust anything. Flying blind will not work. there are a few sites out there that show some basic setups, and eaven some videos. You realy need to get some mesurments, and figure out where you are right now, before making changes. How good of a player are you? Do you know a good playing guitar when your playing it?[ that sounds bad there, but I dont mean it as a insult] One idea, if you want to save some money, and realy dont want to mess around alot it to take one of them to get fixed up. Once you have that one back, you will get a idea what a correctly setup guitar plays, and looks like, and then can use it for a baceline to learn the skills on the second guitar. Setups are realy not that hard, but it does take some time, and studying.


Thanks Paul.

I have some material on set up and adjustment that I will review.


BTW:
Anybody know what is the cut-off year of manufacture between guitars too old to have truss rods and the start of guitars having truss rods.
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Re: Is it plugged in? Things to check b4 going to luthier.

Postby texas blues » Tue May 10, 2011 2:33 am

Don't have the answer to your last question but your soundclick listen was mojoficated! Very nice. Do your 'thang sir.
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Re: Is it plugged in? Things to check b4 going to luthier.

Postby goldbrick » Wed May 11, 2011 11:24 pm

Very cool --You look and sound Like R Crumb--when he does the cheapsuit seranader thing
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Re: Is it plugged in? Things to check b4 going to luthier.

Postby Les Again » Thu May 12, 2011 2:19 pm

goldbrick wrote:Very cool --You look and sound Like R Crumb--when he does the cheapsuit seranader thing

I never heard of R Crumb or that band before, so I googled and found somehing about them.
Now I am curious what do they sound like.
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Re: Is it plugged in? Things to check b4 going to luthier.

Postby goldbrick » Thu May 12, 2011 3:22 pm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4MHcjIjy ... re=related

Crumb is on far left--( stage right )
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