#1
A little background: I'm novice guitar player (and repair/maintenance) and I was looking to swap my student Rogue dreadnaught for some sort of thin line model as I find the dreadnaught body a little uncomfortable. Lo and behold I randomly walk into my local pawn shop one day and hanging there right in front of my face was a Fender Sonoran Thinline. So I went to the bar next door and researched the guitar online for a bit. Turns out Fender doesn't manufacture the thinline model any more, however the reviews I could find were all fairly positive. So I went back and bought it.

The very first and obvious issue (aside from a small cosmetic blemish I could live with) was that the truss rod was tightened to the point that the back-bow caused the first two frets to be in contact with all six strings. Even as a novice I could tell that was pretty damn tight. What was the previous owner thinking! So the first thing I did was reduce the tension enough to replace the strings and tune the new strings. Ultimately I had to loosen the truss rod almost two full rotations! I then adjusted the relief with the new strings tuned, etc. The action was high, so I took measurements and proceeded to sand down the saddle based on the measurements. After done with the sanding I reinstalled the saddle and the action is where I would like it to be. But what I found odd was how much I ended up taking off the saddle. As you can see in the photo the saddle is pretty low. But, the guitar seems to play fine and I'm happy with it. The string make absolutely no contact with anything other then the saddle. My question is, can this be common to have to take this much off the saddle? Or do you think the previous owner's truss rod adjustment may have damaged it in a way that I cannot see? Or could something have warped due to weather/elements?

Any input would be appreciated. Thanks, Bob

#2
Neck angle (ie how much saddle you will have left after set up) is the first thing I look at in any prospective guitar purchase, regardless of price, age or condition, and yours is a typical and very good cautionary tale. At least you have the know-how to try and fix it at no cost except your time.

You were lucky, you have a bit of saddle left, so it will be OK for now and hopefully for a fair while into the future. However, I would cut some string ramps (slots between the pin holes and the saddle) to increase the string break angle.

This is a pic of my '33-ish Gibson L-00:



It shows the low saddle and the string ramps I cut. It also shows a flying brace ala JLD Bridge Doctor but a lot lighter construction, supported on a brass pin. It will hopefully stop the action deteriorating any further. Flying braces are much easier to mount on a screw behind the saddle, but I didn't want to make a hole in the bridge.