#1
Hi! I'm new here, but I've been all over this site for the past 6 months . I'm in the Army and stuck in Iraq for awhile. So here's the story behind the question. I wanted to play while i was here, so I ordered a Takamine EG540C from Musicians Friend. I have ordered from them before and had no problems with the gear that I've received. But this guitar arrived and was set - up like doo - doo!!! The action is so high at the 5th fret that I can't play it. The neck is straight and there's a crack on the neck by the nut. I don't really care about the crack - I don't see it as being a huge problem as long as I don't tune high. I need to reduce the saddle height, but I'm afraid that if I start tinkering with the saddle that I might damage the piezo pickup under the bridge. Any and all advice is appreciated!!
#2
thats redic. return it.

Thank you for serving. I hope you and your friends make it home safely.
#3
I would really like to return it, but its kinda hard to do that here. I was hoping that somebody could talk me through fixing it. It's not a bad guitar, just needs a little TLC on the saddle. Otherwise it's fine as long as you don't play above the 5th fret. If it weren't for the electronics I'd dive right in and shave the saddle. I've heard that doing this with an under saddle pick - up would cause problems unless it was done correctly. As bad as I'm wanting play this thing I might just say to hell with the pick -up at this time (don't have an amp here anyways) and do it, and wait to get to the States and have the thing repaired then.

Thanks for the support! I plan on coming home with everything God gave me, and a Takamine that plays well!
#4
From what I can tell, the truss rod doesn't need any adjustment, besides the action is too high for a truss adjustment to make a difference. I'm assuming that the crack by the nut was probably made at the factory when they tried to do a "quick fix" to get the action playable. Obviously it slipped under the Quality Control radar and got into the box. I'm going to try to shave the saddle and worry about the consequences later on. I can always get a new saddle and get the pick - up tweaked. I'm not blaming Musician's Friend by the way. They have been absolutely awesome with my other gear and I highly recommend them to anyone looking for a deal on a guitar or other equipment. I'm still open to any and all suggestions though - thanks!!!
... SMILE! People will wonder what you are up to...
#5
First of all, thanks for being there since I can't!
Now...that saddle adjustment. I'm a luthier at a full line Takamine dealer. It's too bad that you can't send it back...Takamine would definately make it right for you, as the other fellow said. Barring that (no pun intended), IF you are a very careful man, and IF you have the right tools, and If you have good eyesight, it isn't too hard to adjust the saddle height on those guitars. Here's the deal:
1. You have to know that there are plastic shims under the saddle of every Takamine acoustic electric, and they always ship them with more than is needed by the average player (one who doesn't have 'gorilla touch' in playing.
2. You can GENERALLY safely remove all but one of those, and that will usually result in a suitably lower action for you.
3. Carefully loosen all the strings...so you don't have to replace them...you will need enough room to easily lift up the saddle, and GENTLY lift it up.
4. Find a small jewelers' screwdriver, and, carefully insert it at edge of the low-string end of the saddle. Take off your watch (if you wear one) and any rings you have on, and stuff your arm in the sound hole (if you can, or find a buddy that has smaller arms ; ), and get to where you can touch the wire that goes up to the transducer right where the bass end of the bridge is.
5. With your fingers on that wire, gently push up on the wire, and pry up the saddle with the screwdriver in the other hand, until you can remove the saddle, carefully noting which end is which, so you will be able to put it back when you're done ; )
6. Setting the saddle aside for a bit, gently take the tip of that jewelers' screwdriver, and lift the transducer up just enough to see the shims underneath. Initially, pick them all out of the slot, then just put back the thickest one you found in the stack.
7. Now...this is important...but not hard. You will have to position the remaining shim so that it leaves room for the transducer to reseat flush against the shim once again.
8. Now insert the transducer, insuring that it seats well on both sides, as above, then carefully replace the saddle in the same way that it was.
9. Rewind the strings and tune with a tuner.
10. Now inspect the action. It should now be close enough to allow you to play comfortably. If not, you can repeat the procedure, swapping the thick one for one of the thinner shims.
11. The next thing to do is to plug into an amp, and try each string on the guitar, listening to make sure that the volume is even from the pickup from each string. If it is, you're done. If not, you may not have gotten the shim centered right...try it again.

I know these instructions are detailed, but they are not hard. Read them several times before you try to do it. And BTW, you probably shoudn't mess with the truss rod unless you HAVE to. There's more there than meets the eye.

Good luck!
Joey45
Last edited by Joey45 at Oct 26, 2007,
#6
Thank you Brother!!! It doesn't sound too hard and I have the tools to do it with (lucky me!!). I will definitely give that a go. I cannot express how much I appreciate the help!! I'll be back and let you know how it goes. I'm just lucky to have the tools here - there's not a lot of anything here (except weaponry, IED's and sand). I even have access to an amp! Thanks again!!
... SMILE! People will wonder what you are up to...
#7
Hey Joey!
I did EXACTLY what you described, and WOW!!! The difference is like night and day! The action came down and the playability is absolutely awesome!! Thanks again for the expert help! Now if only I could fingerpick.....
... SMILE! People will wonder what you are up to...
#8
Quote by Joey45
First of all, thanks for being there since I can't!
Now...that saddle adjustment. I'm a luthier at a full line Takamine dealer. It's too bad that you can't send it back...Takamine would definately make it right for you, as the other fellow said. Barring that (no pun intended), IF you are a very careful man, and IF you have the right tools, and If you have good eyesight, it isn't too hard to adjust the saddle height on those guitars. Here's the deal:
1. You have to know that there are plastic shims under the saddle of every Takamine acoustic electric, and they always ship them with more than is needed by the average player (one who doesn't have 'gorilla touch' in playing.
2. You can GENERALLY safely remove all but one of those, and that will usually result in a suitably lower action for you.
3. Carefully loosen all the strings...so you don't have to replace them...you will need enough room to easily lift up the saddle, and GENTLY lift it up.
4. Find a small jewelers' screwdriver, and, carefully insert it at edge of the low-string end of the saddle. Take off your watch (if you wear one) and any rings you have on, and stuff your arm in the sound hole (if you can, or find a buddy that has smaller arms ; ), and get to where you can touch the wire that goes up to the transducer right where the bass end of the bridge is.
5. With your fingers on that wire, gently push up on the wire, and pry up the saddle with the screwdriver in the other hand, until you can remove the saddle, carefully noting which end is which, so you will be able to put it back when you're done ; )
6. Setting the saddle aside for a bit, gently take the tip of that jewelers' screwdriver, and lift the transducer up just enough to see the shims underneath. Initially, pick them all out of the slot, then just put back the thickest one you found in the stack.
7. Now...this is important...but not hard. You will have to position the remaining shim so that it leaves room for the transducer to reseat flush against the shim once again.
8. Now insert the transducer, insuring that it seats well on both sides, as above, then carefully replace the saddle in the same way that it was.
9. Rewind the strings and tune with a tuner.
10. Now inspect the action. It should now be close enough to allow you to play comfortably. If not, you can repeat the procedure, swapping the thick one for one of the thinner shims.
11. The next thing to do is to plug into an amp, and try each string on the guitar, listening to make sure that the volume is even from the pickup from each string. If it is, you're done. If not, you may not have gotten the shim centered right...try it again.

I know these instructions are detailed, but they are not hard. Read them several times before you try to do it. And BTW, you probably shoudn't mess with the truss rod unless you HAVE to. There's more there than meets the eye.

Good luck!
Joey45


Can I just say that this is just about the best bit of advice I have read in 50 years of tinkering! - THANYOU!


Dave the Rave - "You can't sack me! - I'm Sack-less!"


Yamaha FGX412
Takamine CEB
Roland Cube
Korg Tuner CA-30
Couple of 1960's Echo Super Vampers mouth harps.
(. . . plus a cheap Rogue black Dread'nt 6 String and a black Mandolin in USA)
#9
Hi all,

Just taken delivery of a Takamine EG440SC. A beautiful guitar ( for my level), but with a very high action. I sorted this out in 10 mins flat using Joey45's instructions.

Many thanks Joey.

Cheers!


Mike
#10
great job joey ! enjoy the guitar 142! be very careful of it there. from experience guitars dont do so well there so keep it protected. i "liberated" an ovation thunderbolt from a bubblehead while there. damn thing was near indestructible. only thing i had to be wary of was keeping the strings free of body oils. friggin' beach kills 'em fast. that fine talcum powder sand gets into every part, it ruined the t-bolts electrics. but oh well.