#1
I'm having action issues with my acoustic guitar and I think that adjusting my truss rod correctly should solve this, as action is really low at the nut and pretty ridiculous near the end of the fretboard. Please check out the photos I've attached:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B-0eogXImQXkWC10YUNwczdUM0E

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B-0eogXImQXkaDZhMzlWU2tlYk0

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B-0eogXImQXkLWgwVlh1ZklqUmc

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B-0eogXImQXkejR0c0daRG93XzA

Questions I need answers to are:-

1)Should I do it and will it solve the problem?
2)Is there a huge risk involved?
3)How do I do it? (please don't skip on the basics, how much I should turn the key, how long I should wait etc)
4)Will there be any side-effects? (eg. will it mess up my intonation?)

If there is any other useful information I should know, please do tell me.

Thanks in advance.
#2
Look down the length of your neck from the headstock towards the sound hole -- does the neck appear warped/bent/etc.?
My God, it's full of stars!
#3
OK, press the 6th string down at the 1st fret (or use a capo) and at the body (14th) fret at look at the gap between the bottom of the string and the top of the 6th fret. Report back what you see - The gap should be about the same as the thickness of a business card, a bit less than a credit card.

Just from the pics, it looks as if the guitar has a very low neck angle, but we'll see.
#4
Do not touch that truss rod! Your guitar's neck is bent (curved) or straight but out of line with the body Use some of the forum's resources to read up on RELIEF and what the truss rod does and does NOT do.
If it curves up from the body to the nut you're in big trouble. The truss will do nothing as it's adjustment is practically microscopic.
The neck could be curved at any section along the frets, usually centered at the 8th or 9th fret. There are plenty of discussions and sources about what it takes to fix a warped neck on this forum. It's very involved and not for a novice.
You have my sympathies, from what I see it's warped (curved) and it seems the bridge is also pulling up a little, both conditions indicating over tuning.
The other guys would slaughter me if they knew I fixed this exact problem on a thrown away acoustic by screwing eyehooks in the heel and headstock and used steel cable and turnbuckles to bend the neck back. Thing is, it worked so well that it's my best playing acoustic! The relief, by the way, remained perfect so no truss adjust was needed.
My old Silvertone archtop also has a bent neck but it's a bolt on and I'm going to use the clothes iron heat, clamp and cool method on it.
If that doesn't work I'll have to remove the fretboard and plane the neck flat.
#5
Quote by Dreadnought
Look down the length of your neck from the headstock towards the sound hole -- does the neck appear warped/bent/etc.?


Barely, just barely the headstock seems to be at a higher level than the body. However I feel there is a significant curve upwards near the headstock when I look at the neck horizontally (concave). It can be seen in the third link I've sent.
Last edited by josonmj at Aug 31, 2016,
#6
Quote by Tony Done
OK, press the 6th string down at the 1st fret (or use a capo) and at the body (14th) fret at look at the gap between the bottom of the string and the top of the 6th fret. Report back what you see - The gap should be about the same as the thickness of a business card, a bit less than a credit card.

Just from the pics, it looks as if the guitar has a very low neck angle, but we'll see.


Looks JUST enough for a business card, seems on the lower side. You can't see a gap at the normal angle, I have to lower my head a bit and tilt it backwards, because my fretboard is slightly convex across (it was built that way).
#7
Here's what you should do: get your truss rod wrench. Insert it in the hole and turn clockwise or counterclockwise. Turn the wrench until a loud "crunching" sound is heard. Dispose of old guitar and buy something else.

That's how I'd did it one time
#8
josonmj

That is about right. - You should have to tilt the neck a little to see it. You can alos do the tap test. - - press thes tring down as before, then tap it over the 6th fret and watch the amount of movement, it should be slight but discerneable.

I think your guitar might have a very bad neck angle, not easily fixed.
#9
I think Tony is probably right, I can't tell a lot from the pictures, but it does seem to be a bent neck. Very difficult to fix...

The truss rod probably won't do much, if you already have the right neck relief, sounds like it's pretty close, that's all the truss rod does. and it doesn't move the neck very much.

If it were a bolt on neck, it might be possible to shim it, but that's a set neck, not much you can do with it, and the repair would probably cost more than a new guitar...maybe even more than a better guitar...
Hmmm...I wonder what this button does...
#10
Well, alright then I guess I'll just leave it be. It's not like it isn't playable, because who solos on an acoustic guitar anyway.
#11
Quote by josonmj
Well, alright then I guess I'll just leave it be. It's not like it isn't playable, because who solos on an acoustic guitar anyway.


lots of people, actually.
Quote by Skeet UK
I just looked in my Oxford English Dictionary and under "Acoustic Guitar", there was your Avatar and an email address!
#12
Quote by patticake
lots of people, actually.


Well none that I listen to.
#13
Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here - originally recorded with acoustic lead



John Mayer - Neon - check out the solo in the middle, combination of lead and chords. And he actually screwed up when the vocals came back in, saved it and kept going. That's the way to save your ass onstage...



Eric Johnson - Song for George - one of my very favorite Eric Johnson tunes



Van Wilks - Texas Jukin' - part slide, some regular picked fills. All done with a slide bar on pinkie in one take. Youtube has a couple of live versions, but I don't thin any are as good as the original studio version.



Van Wilks again, can't remember the name of this song, originally electric. I think it's on the Koko's Hideaway album.



Heart - Crazy on You - killer acoustic intro by a lady who's a fantastic guitar player...



I've heard plenty more but can't think of any right now. I've been doing several tunes with acoustic leads with my band the past 4 years. Acoustic is certainly used of lead a lot, including in a lot of "unplugged" shows.
Hmmm...I wonder what this button does...
#14
Quote by josonmj
Looks JUST enough for a business card, seems on the lower side. You can't see a gap at the normal angle, I have to lower my head a bit and tilt it backwards, because my fretboard is slightly convex across (it was built that way).
That's called "Fret Board Radius", and most steel string acoustics have it. The average is maybe from 12" to 14".

if there's anything you need to learn about setting up an acoustic guitar, it's that while truss rod adjustment, (setting the relief), can affect string height, it's never used for a coarse adjustment of it. You set the neck relief first, and then the string height by sanding the saddle.

Read this guide, so you'll understand setup as a whole, instead of considering it piece meal:

http://thbecker.net/guitar_playing/guitars_and_setup/setup_page_01.html
#15
Quote by Captaincranky
That's called "Fret Board Radius", and most steel string acoustics have it. The average is maybe from 12" to 14".

if there's anything you need to learn about setting up an acoustic guitar, it's that while truss rod adjustment, (setting the relief), can affect string height, it's never used for a coarse adjustment of it. You set the neck relief first, and then the string height by sanding the saddle.

Read this guide, so you'll understand setup as a whole, instead of considering it piece meal:

http://thbecker.net/guitar_playing/guitars_and_setup/setup_page_01.html


Reading it rn, but you guys are scaring the crap out of me. My electric has a similar (but slighter) bow to it and when I looked it up I saw it mentioned in several places that an upbow is favourable for avoiding fret buzz, and they showed a sideways photo that looked a lot my electric guitar now, though the upbow is much more subtle in mine.

How worried should I be?

EDIT: I have considered sanding my saddle, but it is curved on top and I'm afraid that sanding it would ruin the intonation. Also, there are slots on the saddle where the strings go and sanding would erase these, which I don't think is good.
Last edited by josonmj at Sep 2, 2016,
#16
Quote by Paleo Pete
Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here - originally recorded with acoustic lead



John Mayer - Neon - check out the solo in the middle, combination of lead and chords. And he actually screwed up when the vocals came back in, saved it and kept going. That's the way to save your ass onstage...



Eric Johnson - Song for George - one of my very favorite Eric Johnson tunes



Van Wilks - Texas Jukin' - part slide, some regular picked fills. All done with a slide bar on pinkie in one take. Youtube has a couple of live versions, but I don't thin any are as good as the original studio version.



Van Wilks again, can't remember the name of this song, originally electric. I think it's on the Koko's Hideaway album.



Heart - Crazy on You - killer acoustic intro by a lady who's a fantastic guitar player...



I've heard plenty more but can't think of any right now. I've been doing several tunes with acoustic leads with my band the past 4 years. Acoustic is certainly used of lead a lot, including in a lot of "unplugged" shows.


I knew I'd regret that as soon as I typed it lol. Guess I was wrong, then, just that nobody in my type of music does it (mostly metal and rock, no surprise there). Well I do remember an unplugged version of "Symphony of Destruction" but Broderick botched up the solo pretty bad IMO, so I assumed that acoustic guitar solos were among the rarer things we see in music.

None of the videos you sent seem at all close to the kind of music I listen to, but thanks for sharing anyway, I'll definitely check out the Gilmour one.
#17
Quote by josonmj
...[ ]....EDIT: I have considered sanding my saddle, but it is curved on top and I'm afraid that sanding it would ruin the intonation. Also, there are slots on the saddle where the strings go and sanding would erase these, which I don't think is good.
Other people have run into that same issue! That's why everybody sands the flat bottom of the saddle instead!

Now, why don't you read the guide on the link I already posted at #14 above. It might save you from further embarrassment
#18
Quote by Captaincranky
Other people have run into that same issue! That's why everybody sands the flat bottom of the saddle instead!

Now, why don't you read the guide on the link I already posted at #14 above. It might save you from further embarrassment


I have now read it completely and while I have a much better understanding on how acoustic guitar setup is done, it's going to be a while before I can do these things myself.

For one, it's the monsoon season and relative humidity where I am right now is a whopping 88%. I'm not sure if it every goes below 60% but definitely not for the next few months.

Secondly, I don't have most (any, actually) of the tools required, but I can arrange for that over time.

Thirdly, I don't trust myself to do any of these because I still cut myself badly when I change strings or mess up in some way or the other.

Lastly, I barely use my acoustic guitar and my primary instrument is definitely my electric with a huge margin. Which is why the prospect of the relief of my electric guitar being beyond repair is frightening me. Would you reread #15?
#19
I knew I'd regret that as soon as I typed it lol. Guess I was wrong, then, just that nobody in my type of music does it (mostly metal and rock, no surprise there).


josonmj - That's what I thought, and you're mostly right, not much acoustic in metal. It is used now and then, especially in the "Unplugged" shows, but typically metal is mostly electric.

As a side note, I saw the band Kings X in Houston at the KLOL Rock & Roll auction in 1991, they did a fantastic acoustic set. I'd say Kings X is as close to metal as I usually like, and they are a great band. Their acoustic set was great, I already liked a couple of their songs, and done on all acoustics, they still sounded great.

If you're not familiar with Kings X, they are a 3 piece Texas band, from Houston I think...





Definitely a band worth checking out if you have never heard of them, I love this guy's guitar work, the singer is excellent too. I've been a fan since the first time I heard "It's Love", played on KLOL in Houston a lot. I have 2 of their CD's, Gretchen Goes to Nebraska and Faith Hope Love. Both very good. And I'm not a metal fan...not really a big hard rock fan either, but these guys got my attention.
Hmmm...I wonder what this button does...
#20
OK, the relief doesn't look too bad. Therefore you likely don't need to adjust it.

The neck,OTOH, does look curved upwards at the 1st to maybe the 2nd fret. The action is way to high.

So, if it were my guitar I'd, drop the tuning to Eb-eb standard. Never play the guitar without a capo on the 1st fret. (That would bring it back uo to E-e.

And the saddle absolutely needs lowering..

Now, were you simply to try lowering the acting, (sanding the nut), the strings would start to interfere with the 1st fret, and the guitar would likely buzz.

We're not here to cure neurosis. So learning to do these operation still falls on your shoulders. If you have the money, take it to a tech. If you don't, then you're going to have to gather the tools necessary to do the job, and rehearse it in your head until you gain the confidence to do it..

BTW, the tune down, capo up strategy,, is a last ditch solution for a guitar in that condition.


As far as excess humidity, do you have any solutions in force for the problem, air conditioning, dehumidifier, even a case dehumidifier?
#21
Quote by Paleo Pete
josonmj - That's what I thought, and you're mostly right, not much acoustic in metal. It is used now and then, especially in the "Unplugged" shows, but typically metal is mostly electric.

As a side note, I saw the band Kings X in Houston at the KLOL Rock & Roll auction in 1991, they did a fantastic acoustic set. I'd say Kings X is as close to metal as I usually like, and they are a great band. Their acoustic set was great, I already liked a couple of their songs, and done on all acoustics, they still sounded great.

If you're not familiar with Kings X, they are a 3 piece Texas band, from Houston I think...





Definitely a band worth checking out if you have never heard of them, I love this guy's guitar work, the singer is excellent too. I've been a fan since the first time I heard "It's Love", played on KLOL in Houston a lot. I have 2 of their CD's, Gretchen Goes to Nebraska and Faith Hope Love. Both very good. And I'm not a metal fan...not really a big hard rock fan either, but these guys got my attention.


Checking out rn, thanks.
#22
Quote by Captaincranky
OK, the relief doesn't look too bad. Therefore you likely don't need to adjust it.

The neck,OTOH, does look curved upwards at the 1st to maybe the 2nd fret. The action is way to high.

So, if it were my guitar I'd, drop the tuning to Eb-eb standard. Never play the guitar without a capo on the 1st fret. (That would bring it back uo to E-e.

And the saddle absolutely needs lowering..

Now, were you simply to try lowering the acting, (sanding the nut), the strings would start to interfere with the 1st fret, and the guitar would likely buzz.

We're not here to cure neurosis. So learning to do these operation still falls on your shoulders. If you have the money, take it to a tech. If you don't, then you're going to have to gather the tools necessary to do the job, and rehearse it in your head until you gain the confidence to do it..

BTW, the tune down, capo up strategy,, is a last ditch solution for a guitar in that condition.


As far as excess humidity, do you have any solutions in force for the problem, air conditioning, dehumidifier, even a case dehumidifier?


So it's a last ditch solution but also the only solution?

Should i not even bother turning the truss rod about 1/4 cw?

Also, by "never play it without a capo on the first fret", surely you're not saying that continuing to play the guitar without doing anything would damage it in some way?
Last edited by josonmj at Sep 4, 2016,
#23
Quote by josonmj
So it's a last ditch solution but also the only solution?

Should i not even bother turning the truss rod about 1/4 cw?

Also, by "never play it without a capo on the first fret", surely you're not saying that continuing to play the guitar without doing anything would damage it in some way?


No, what I'm saying is this, to know whether or not you need to "turn the truss rod 1/4 turn", you have to measure the "relief" first.

Photos being what they are, lens distortion being what it can be, the problem could be that upturn near the nut. Hey sometimes the photos we get have plenty of optical illusions built in.

But, if the bend in the neck is real, and you lower the action, you'd likely get buzz right over top of it.

But whether or not you try out my idea, no harm will come to the guitar.

If I'm right and you lower the action, then without the capo trick, the worst that would happen is fret buzz. If you don't lower the action, then the guitar will continue to be a bitch to play. Those are the consequences.

If the bend in the neck is real, it will likely have the same effect as the grooves in the top nut being cut too deep. Which is another setup issue which brings the strings down too close to the 1st fret.
#24
The neck is definitely wrong. Bent or out of line. I'm currently fixing this problem on an old Silvertone archtop, bolt on neck. The neck is BENT, not out of line. I tried the clothes iron, heat the bend, remove the iron, clamp the bend out (bedrail angle iron, two blocks of wood, C-clamp in the middle)and cool. Didn't work so now I've removed the fretboard (clothes iron again and a spatula) and will soon plane the bend out.
I fixed another bent neck by using a steel cable/turnbuckle arrangement from the headstock to the lower heel - absolutely perfect and adjustable! My best playing guitar.
OTOH your guitar's neck may be out of line but I think it's bent.
I fixed an out of line non bolt on neck once (somehow the inner dovetail joint got loose) without removing the neck by sawing the heel up to near the fretboard (taped flash metal on the body each side of the heel to prevent damage), drilled a hole through the heel and inner block down near the bottom, put a nut and bolt through it and tightened it until the neck was in line (I had to saw a larger gap, it took three hacksaw blades held at each end with lock pliers). Removed the bolt, filled the gap with sawdust and wood glue, put the bolt back in. Done. You could likely use a hard wooden dowel on an angle just as well if you're a purest.
Last edited by skido13 at Sep 4, 2016,
#25
Quote by skido13
The neck is definitely wrong. Bent or out of line. I'm currently fixing this problem on an old Silvertone archtop, bolt on neck. The neck is BENT, not out of line. I tried the clothes iron, heat the bend, remove the iron, clamp the bend out (bedrail angle iron, two blocks of wood, C-clamp in the middle)and cool. Didn't work so now I've removed the fretboard (clothes iron again and a spatula) and will soon plane the bend out.
I fixed another bent neck by using a steel cable/turnbuckle arrangement from the headstock to the lower heel - absolutely perfect and adjustable! My best playing guitar.
OTOH your guitar's neck may be out of line but I think it's bent.
I fixed an out of line non bolt on neck once (somehow the inner dovetail joint got loose) without removing the neck by sawing the heel up to near the fretboard (taped flash metal on the body each side of the heel to prevent damage), drilled a hole through the heel and inner block down near the bottom, put a nut and bolt through it and tightened it until the neck was in line (I had to saw a larger gap, it took three hacksaw blades held at each end with lock pliers). Removed the bolt, filled the gap with sawdust and wood glue, put the bolt back in. Done. You could likely use a hard wooden dowel on an angle just as well if you're a purest.


Wow, you seem pretty good at this stuff, but basically all this means to me is that I have to take my guitar to a professional, which is what I'm planning to do.
#26
Yep, the guitar is basically "ruined" when the neck gets bent from tuning too high. I got quite a few guitars free because of it so I've had some practice. I have this personality problem where I try to save even the cheapest garbage guitars. I recently did a rebuild on a Gallotone, came out beautiful.