#1
A. How much is a fair price?

B. I am a total newb. How labor intensive is this process? Or is it like a plumber, and you have to pay for the skill set of someone to do the job correctly?

I do not need one. Just researching my second hand guitar and "used guitar issues". It doesn't take long to find a video of someone who got taken on ebay and threads with issues that lead to a neck reset. And then prices for neck resets.

Just curious? Not trying to ruffle any luthier feathers here.
#2
Quote by NotMartinWorthy
A. How much is a fair price?

B. I am a total newb. How labor intensive is this process? Or is it like a plumber, and you have to pay for the skill set of someone to do the job correctly?

I do not need one. Just researching my second hand guitar and "used guitar issues". It doesn't take long to find a video of someone who got taken on ebay and threads with issues that lead to a neck reset. And then prices for neck resets.

Just curious? Not trying to ruffle any luthier feathers here.


A. How much is a fair price?
where the value of the goods or services received meets or exceeds the expectations of the purchaser. will vary depending upon many things -complexity of the work being one of them, and comparisons in the local area for the same services.

B. I am a total newb. How labor intensive is this process? Or is it like a plumber, and you have to pay for the skill set of someone to do the job correctly?

again it depends upon the complexity of the work. for example on a guitar like a modern Taylor, a neck reset is a 1hr job. on say a vintage Guild it could take a few weeks because Guild finished their guitars with the neck on. so after you cut through the finish, steam the neck off, adjust the heel, test fit, etc...and put it all back together you have to do some refinishing and let the lacquer cure for a good while.

fwiw, don't buy too much into "neck reset threads" on the internet. the neck reset is second only to the truss rod as the default tool of choice for fixing everything except scratches in the finish and dirty old strings.

i suggest for doing a sight unseen ebay purchase, communicate with the seller. ask for pictures of a straight edge (the longer the better) laid upon the neck and reaching out to the bridge. this simple picture will tell a whole lot about what's going on with the guitar if anything. do some research into the sellers sales history and talk about returning the guitar if you aren't satisfied in any way.
Last edited by ad_works at Feb 19, 2016,
#3
You are paying a fair bit for skill.

A traditional glued dovetail isn't easy to repair, and the cost, say $300 to $500, reflects that. makes like Gibson are a bit more difficult than martin becuase the finish covers the joint, leading to added cosmetic repair work. As ad-works notes, the modern shimmed neck joint that Taylor uses takes only a few minutes to repair and almost anyone could do it. - Which is why I am such a strong advocate of their guitars. There are various options between those, like my Bourgeois, which also has a fully bolt-on neck, but careful trimming of the heel is still required, Collings and Seagull (I don't know if they still do) have a bolted heel and glued fretboard extension, so they take a bit more work again, and so on.

Down at the bottom are the many Asian-made guitars that have epoxied neck joints that would be very difficult to repair. Blueridge, Recording King and Eastman, maybe others, have repairable neck joints, but there is a question of cost-effectiveness with those.

FWIW, my #1 selection criterion when buying an acoustic guitar (except Taylor) is neck angle. If the angle is bad, the price would have to reflect the cost of a reset.
#4
I had a mild "bulge" behind the bridge. It appears less noticeable now that I am leaving mine in the case more. And to be honest, you had to squint to see it anyway. So I began by looking this up and it led to "bridge lift" and "warped top" threads. Which led to guitars with horrendous issues, thus leading to "neck reset".

Mine I think was the SE Texas humidity which can be 60-70% one day and a cold front rolls though and you're in the 30% range. In the course of ONE DAY.

Guitar is a BR-160 BlueRidge BTW. Only paid $399 for it so it makes you question the need for a neck reset. Like changing a transmission on a car thats only worth $2000 to begin with. Unless it was your Dads guitar or grandpas, just buy another one.
#5
Quote by NotMartinWorthy
I had a mild "bulge" behind the bridge. It appears less noticeable now that I am leaving mine in the case more. And to be honest, you had to squint to see it anyway. So I began by looking this up and it led to "bridge lift" and "warped top" threads. Which led to guitars with horrendous issues, thus leading to "neck reset".

Mine I think was the SE Texas humidity which can be 60-70% one day and a cold front rolls though and you're in the 30% range. In the course of ONE DAY.

Guitar is a BR-160 BlueRidge BTW. Only paid $399 for it so it makes you question the need for a neck reset. Like changing a transmission on a car thats only worth $2000 to begin with. Unless it was your Dads guitar or grandpas, just buy another one.


yep. no offense, but you have encountered "internet fear-of-everything syndrome" experience and education is the cure.

a small bulge behind the bridge is normal. a guitar that has none, as in zero, is a guitar with a top that is too thick to respond to string energy well. it also could be a true flat top which is ok too, but string pull will make a true flat top bulge regardless.

guitar tops are more generally built with a radius usually around 20' to 40' because it allows for expansion and contraction of the plate due to weather changes more readily without splitting the top along the seam.

in general i would say that on a full sized dred expect to see a hump of about 1/8" to 3/16". any more would be unusual. what is a more important sign of problems is a rolled bridge -seen as the bridge pitching forward towards the neck, an abnormal sized hump behind the bridge, and a depression or "pit" in front of it as well as a distorted sound hole. that condition as well as a really high action and a straight edge placed upon the fretboard that hits the bridge is a red flag item.

have you been here?:
http://www.frets.com/

99% of what Mr Ford says is solid and a good foundation for learning. He's just been at it for so long. There may be better "technicians" out there but I bet he has fixed their parents guitars.
Last edited by ad_works at Feb 19, 2016,
#6
Quote by NotMartinWorthy
I had a mild "bulge" behind the bridge. It appears less noticeable now that I am leaving mine in the case more. And to be honest, you had to squint to see it anyway. So I began by looking this up and it led to "bridge lift" and "warped top" threads. Which led to guitars with horrendous issues, thus leading to "neck reset".
Acoustic guitar tops are very often installed ever so slightly over sized. Thus, a slight hump behind the bridge, is for a intents an purposes, "flat".

That slight Rounding of the top behind the bridge, amounts to a naturally occurring "hygrometer", and is a telltale sign of the relative humidity in which the guitar resides.

Hard shell cases, even those which aren't sealed, mitigate sudden changes in RH, and accordingly, slows the top's rounding and flattening in relation to more rapid changes in room humidity. Your top becoming flatter is a strong indication the humidity or your current home environment is lower than that of where the wood for the top was seasoned.

As for "bridge rolling" and a concave area of the top in front of it, which Ad-Works has described, these are signs of a very old or poorly cared for instrument.

Twelve strings are notorious for displaying these defects, including the bridges tearing off, even with this best of care.

As to the cost of a reset, it's a lot of skilled labor and patience under the best of circumstances, which includes the manufacturer providing a neck joint adhesive which softens in the presence of heat. As Tony has pointed out, epoxy adhesives aren't affected by all but extreme heat, a neck so attached is damned near impossible to get off in one piece.

So we go back to care, but more importantly, careful shopping.

A goodly amount of "saddle", ( the white plastic thingy) should be should be showing. A purchaser should also know how much of the saddle need be sanded down, to place the guitar's "action" at a height where the owner needs it to be, in order to jibe with his or her playing style.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Feb 19, 2016,
#7
Quote by Captaincranky
Acoustic guitar tops are very often installed ever so slightly over sized. Thus, a slight hump behind the bridge, is for a intents an purposes, "flat".



tops on acoustics are domed for basically 3 reasons:

-the radius to the top allows one to thin the plate more and still retain some strength due to the dishing. this makes for a more responsive top.

-it makes it easier to establish a correct neck angle and to allow the fretboard extension to conform to the top in the upper bout far easier.

-resists weather extremes a bit better (less warranty returns for nervous manufacturers)

installed oversized? eh.... they are a bit bigger but, the overhang gets trimmed off flush to the rim after the top is glued down and before the binding ledge is cut.

for example, the Larsons built tops with a real heavy arch, Klepper and others use a tunnel arch, Somogyi and those who follow the spanish style dome only the center of the top using a solera, I tend to go either dead flat and let the strings pull the top up or a 25' radius centered under the bridge. Martin and Gibson arch except for their early "parlor" sized guitars which were flat and often ladder braced.

anyway..
Last edited by ad_works at Feb 19, 2016,
#8
Quote by ad_works
tops on acoustics are domed for basically 3 reasons:

-the radius to the top allows one to thin the plate more and still retain some strength due to the dishing. this makes for a more responsive top.

-it makes it easier to establish a correct neck angle and to allow the fretboard extension to conform to the top in the upper bout far easier.

-resists weather extremes a bit better (less warranty returns for nervous manufacturers)

installed oversized? eh.... they are a bit bigger but, the overhang gets trimmed off flush to the rim after the top is glued down and before the binding ledge is cut.

for example, the Larsons built tops with a real heavy arch, Klepper and others use a tunnel arch, Somogyi and those who follow the spanish style dome only the center of the top using a solera, I tend to go either dead flat and let the strings pull the top up or a 25' radius centered under the bridge. Martin and Gibson arch except for their early "parlor" sized guitars which were flat and often ladder braced.

anyway..
The rest of my post was accurate though, was it not?
#9
Quote by Captaincranky
The rest of my post was accurate though, was it not?


yep
#10
Quote by ad_works
yep
I thought they pinched (or clamped) acrossthe full width of lower bout when attaching the top a bit to get the slight rise in the top past the bridge. If you say not, then it's not so.

Of course, shaping the top bracing in a slight arch, in hindsight, makes more sense.
#11
I paid $55 at Brian's Guitars in Hamden CT. My only experience with this.
***************Sig***************
Taylor 314 & GS Mini & Martin LX1
#12
Quote by fingerguy
I paid $55 at Brian's Guitars in Hamden CT. My only experience with this.


on the Taylor 315? very easy. mix and match factory shims, make adjustments, $55 out the door.
#13
No my Martin LX1 for the action was way too high.
***************Sig***************
Taylor 314 & GS Mini & Martin LX1
Last edited by fingerguy at Feb 24, 2016,
#14
Quote by Captaincranky
I thought they pinched (or clamped) acrossthe full width of lower bout when attaching the top a bit to get the slight rise in the top past the bridge. If you say not, then it's not so.

Of course, shaping the top bracing in a slight arch, in hindsight, makes more sense.


actually from what i read the Larson's used to spring their arches. flat top, flat bracing and compressed to form the curvature. i have no idea how they did that. it seemed to work for them. if you have the chance to play one the "top under tension" method becomes apparent to the tone.

a little hard to snag the most descriptive pictures on the net and i have none of my own handy, but here are several methods used by small shop builders. most depict the back being glued but the concept is the same:


older method. derived from classical makers who used rope and a solera. moderns use rubber tubing or twine. can be used for the top, the back, and the binding but not all at once. a little risky as one can collapse the body with excessive tightening.


go-bar deck and radiused braces. (back shown) rods apply pressure thru the shaped braces to push the plate into the radius dish. i use this method for both top and back brace glue up. the heat gun is for keeping the wood warm when using hide glue.


book binder's press. wedges used to apply extra pressure. funky but works. (back shown)


go-bar deck. i do this method myself but without the mold. (back shown)
Last edited by ad_works at Feb 24, 2016,
#15
Quote by fingerguy
No my Martin LX1 for the action was way too high.


oh, ok. a full neck reset for only $55?
#16
Quote by ad_works
oh, ok. a full neck reset for only $55?

Action and all. I supplied the strings.
***************Sig***************
Taylor 314 & GS Mini & Martin LX1
#17
awesome. perhaps the little martin is very easy to reset. i don't have one of my own and have not worked on one. good to hear though.
Last edited by ad_works at Feb 25, 2016,
#18
Simple really,...if the neck needs to be reset there`s liability because of what has to be done for the process, not to mention it`s a painstaking endeavour. And quite honestly, unless the guitar had much sentimental value or cash value, I wouldn`t even bother with it. Especially when you can find so many awesome guitars for $800 or less these days.