#1
Had my guitar for for about 8 months now. When I bought it I got it setup straight away at a local guitar shop.

Picked it up tonight and it didn't feel right. Looks like the strings are further away from the fret board than I remember??

Not sure if it's all in my head or not. Suppose my question is how often should an acoustic guitar be setup? Am I silly to have left it this long or does a guitar only need one setup every couple of years?

It's a Crafter Lite T/CD acoustic.
#2
A higher action could be caused by humidity/temperature changes. Read up on that to see if it's the culprit, also check your neck to see if the truss rod needs adjusting.
I've set up my main acoustic once since I got it, only because I put heavier strings on it. I've never needed to touch the truss rod or anything, I just lowered/replaced the saddle and nut to help make it a bit more playable with 13s on.
#3
I thought it may have been humidity or temperature but I just leave it on its stand in my bedroom everyday.

Would it still affect it?
#4
Quote by GroggerLUFC
I thought it may have been humidity or temperature but I just leave it on its stand in my bedroom everyday.

Would it still affect it?



That's pretty much what I do with mine most of the time. I don't know much about humidity so best wait for someone else to answer but where you live and your room condition can affect it (ie. Next to a radiator or window). You could try keeping it in a case if you have one for a while and see if that helps at all.
#5
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#6
Quote by zikoziko
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#7
Quote by GroggerLUFC
Had my guitar for for about 8 months now. When I bought it I got it setup straight away at a local guitar shop.

Picked it up tonight and it didn't feel right. Looks like the strings are further away from the fret board than I remember??

Not sure if it's all in my head or not. Suppose my question is how often should an acoustic guitar be setup? Am I silly to have left it this long or does a guitar only need one setup every couple of years?

It's a Crafter Lite T/CD acoustic.
Sight across the lower bout, just behind and parallel to the bridge. We're trying to find out how convex the sound board is. Too much humidity will swell it, causing the action to raise.

Moving on, the only way I know to prevent the action from raising on any acoustic over time, is to slacken the strings between playing sessions. (A big PITA. I know, right)? You can also tune to it to D-d standard, which will relieve some of the tension. If you sing baritone, that provides the perfect excuse for lowering the tuning.

You can also use lighter gauge string sets, but they do tamper with the tone. Acoustic string sets, going from extra light to heavy, go from 135 Lbs tension, to over 200 Lbs.

Moving on, putting the guitar in its case when you're not using it, mitigates sudden changes in temperature and humidity. You should buy a hygrometer, to keeps tabs on the RH. It actually could be too low this time of year, depending on where you live, and what type of heating system is in your house.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Feb 3, 2015,
#8
Took my guitar to the guitar shop and got a really good service! The guy explained what they do as part of their setup and showed me round their workshop.

Said the way my guitar was setup pretty well but he will tweak it slightly. He's going to take the action down by 3 1000ths of an inch and put some .12 gauge strings on. He said that will improve the tone slightly. At the moment I've only got .11 gauge on.

Hopefully this will help my beginner guitar sound a little better and help me improve also!
#9
Quote by GroggerLUFC
....[ ]....Said the way my guitar was setup pretty well but he will tweak it slightly. He's going to take the action down by 3 1000ths of an inch and put some .12 gauge strings on. He said that will improve the tone slightly. At the moment I've only got .11 gauge on....[ ]....
Are you sure you mean, "three / one thousandths of an inch"?

Lowering that action by 3/1000, or .003 in standard decimal format, will do virtually nothing to make the guitar easier to play, and going from a "custom light string set", (.011 to .052), to, "acoustic light", (.012 to .053"), will make the guitar a touch harder to play. (Not a whole lot, mind you). .003 lowering, would be almost imperceptible.

But, if this is indeed the case, then it was your imagination, and not the guitar being the problem.

I have mellowed somewhat from my former stance that there should be a fair amount of pain involved with learning the guitar. But nonetheless, the pain that is there, is yours to and bear.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Feb 6, 2015,
#10
Quote by Captaincranky
Are you sure you mean, "three / one thousandths of an inch"?

Lowering that action by 3/1000, or .003 in standard decimal format, will do virtually nothing to make the guitar easier to play, and going from a "custom light string set", (.011 to .052), to, "acoustic light", (.012 to .053"), will make the guitar a touch harder to play. (Not a whole lot, mind you). .003 lowering, would be almost imperceptible.

But, if this is indeed the case, then it was your imagination, and not the guitar being the problem.

I have mellowed somewhat from my former stance that there should be a fair amount of pain involved with learning the guitar. But nonetheless, the pain that is there, is yours to and bear.


I think I've used 12's in the past. Seem to remember when I first got the guitar it was quite hard to press them down and they gave me callouses. I did a string change to 11's and haven't had callouses with them.

If he's putting 12's on I don't mind.
#11
I'd suggest 12's also. I tried custom lights(11's) when I was first beginning and didn't find it any easier, and a little too slinky for me. You should do some research on setting up the guitar. It isn't too hard. If you had it done once and it played well to your liking, you shouldn't need a complete set-up done again, only a truss rod adjustment due to string gage changes and humidity changes. The truss rod adjustment is the first and easiest step of setting up a guitar. The other 2 steps are adjusting saddle height and nut slot height, which if done correctly the first time, shouldn't need touched again. 3/1000 of an inch? Really? Sounds like someone might be trying to sell you a complete set-up when you only need a tweak on the truss rod. IDK You also want to make sure you don't go too low on the action or you may get some fret buzz. There are rough guidelines that work for most guitars but each guitar is different, especially on cheaper models. You might get away with very low action on a high end guitar with a perfect fret job but a guitar with a less even fret job will buzz with the same set-up. That's why I always recommend the DIY approach. If you're learning to play guitar, learn how to set it up and everything else about it too. When you get the guitar back, check every single note on the fretboard with a good firm pluck and make sure there is no fret buzz. If the guitar is comfortable to play with very little buzz during hard strumming, you got a good set up. Like was mentioned earlier, humidity changes can wreak havoc on your guitar so try to keep it in a stable environment preferably above 40% if it's a solid wood or even solid top guitar. If it's an all laminate, humidity is less of a concern.
#12
Quote by rohash
I'd suggest 12's also. I tried custom lights(11's) when I was first beginning and didn't find it any easier, and a little too slinky for me. You should do some research on setting up the guitar. It isn't too hard. If you had it done once and it played well to your liking, you shouldn't need a complete set-up done again, only a truss rod adjustment due to string gage changes and humidity changes. The truss rod adjustment is the first and easiest step of setting up a guitar. The other 2 steps are adjusting saddle height and nut slot height, which if done correctly the first time, shouldn't need touched again. 3/1000 of an inch? Really? Sounds like someone might be trying to sell you a complete set-up when you only need a tweak on the truss rod. IDK You also want to make sure you don't go too low on the action or you may get some fret buzz. There are rough guidelines that work for most guitars but each guitar is different, especially on cheaper models. You might get away with very low action on a high end guitar with a perfect fret job but a guitar with a less even fret job will buzz with the same set-up. That's why I always recommend the DIY approach. If you're learning to play guitar, learn how to set it up and everything else about it too. When you get the guitar back, check every single note on the fretboard with a good firm pluck and make sure there is no fret buzz. If the guitar is comfortable to play with very little buzz during hard strumming, you got a good set up. Like was mentioned earlier, humidity changes can wreak havoc on your guitar so try to keep it in a stable environment preferably above 40% if it's a solid wood or even solid top guitar. If it's an all laminate, humidity is less of a concern.


Thanks! Made for interesting reading. I may have misunderstood him with the 3 1000ths of an inch? He showed me with a gauge and they were higher than what he would normally set.

He's been honest from what I can gather and told me if it doesn't need doing he won't change anything.

As for 12 gauge strings, how much harder are they to play if I'm stepping up from 11's and if I wanted to step back down to 11's would I need to get another setup??
#13
The difference between .011 and .012 is not much, you probably will notice the strings are a bit stiffer, but it shouldn't be much harder to play. If you went to .013 gauge, then yeah it would be a big difference. If you change back to .011, I doubt that a setup would be needed, I changed mine 2 weeks ago and didn't have to touch a thing. When I went to lighter strings over a year ago, I checked it, but everything was fine, no fret buzz, it's an acoustic so intonation can't be set, action was fine, no problems. When changing back to heavier .012 a couple of weeks ago, still had to make no adjustments.

Acoustics are usually set up for higher action than electrics, mine is already as low as I can get it, usually they can handle string gauge changes with a lot less chance of forcing adjustments.
Hmmm...I wonder what this button does...
#14
Quote by derek8520
A higher action could be caused by humidity/temperature changes. Read up on that to see if it's the culprit, also check your neck to see if the truss rod needs adjusting.
I've set up my main acoustic once since I got it, only because I put heavier strings on it. I've never needed to touch the truss rod or anything, I just lowered/replaced the saddle and nut to help make it a bit more playable with 13s on.


I've got a Martin DCPA5 with the laminated neck. The truss rod needs tweaking mid-spring and mid-winter. For some reason my D12X1 12-string with a similar, but slightly wider neck, doesn't have the same problem.