#1
I'm playing a Tanglewood Evolution a bit like this one http://www.dolphinmusic.co.uk/shop_image/product/70f2d70844b7c7a8cba9c11d1209c490.jpg but without the scratchplate (not that it's important, but anyway) and I think I really need to raise the 'action' on it.

I've never had to do this before, but its come to my attention that the frets are just buzzing far too much, particularly with the fingerstyle playing that I'm into. Basically I just want to know how to raise the action, and whether it will be at all damaging if I don't do it properly. I'm guessing that the nut can be replaced or that the truss rod in the neck can be loosened? What should I do?
Last edited by larkin2 at Apr 8, 2008,
#2
Quote by larkin2
I'm playing a Tanglewood Evolution a bit like this one http://www.dolphinmusic.co.uk/shop_image/product/70f2d70844b7c7a8cba9c11d1209c490.jpg but without the scratchplate (not that it's important, but anyway) and I think I really need to raise the 'action' on it.

I've never had to do this before, but its come to my attention that the frets are just buzzing far too much, particularly with the fingerstyle playing that I'm into. Basically I just want to know how to raise the action, and whether it will be at all damaging if I don't do it properly. I'm guessing that the nut can be replaced or that the truss rod in the neck can be loosened? What should I do?

Truss rod controls relief, not action. Action is adjusted by the height of the nut and saddle. You can raise the nut and saddle with thin shims made out of either wood or metal, but the best tonal choice is to just craft a brand-new saddle and nut.
Sincerely, Chad.
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#3
Action adjustments of the sort you are talking about will be based on a couple of factors, first is the playing style, another is where the buzzing is coming from. Shimming isn't the best, but in your case, probably easiest as the saddle is compensated at the B and high E strings by the look of it. At least, it shows that they are in the pic you posted, not sure if your particular model is tho. Installing a different set of strings could cause it as well, especially if they are of a different gauge. Also the moisture content of the wood will effect playability, drastically if extreme one way or the other. Before making any major changes to the action or truss rod adjustments, these things all need to be looked at and evaluated.
#4
Ok. Well if I were to raise the nut and saddle, is that the sort of thing a guitar shop could do for me? and would it be expensive?
#5
Yep and nope. Yep, a guitar tech can certainly do the job, if he's worth his salt as a tech that is. And nope, won't cost much at all, about $50 give or take, depending on the length of the job. Parts aren't going to run you much more than say $20 total. Suggestion, while doing this particular job, upgrade to bone nut and saddle. 1) They sound superior to pretty much everything else and 2) they outlast everything except metal.
Remember, shimming up a bridge saddle can be done, but it's always best if you replace the saddle with a new one so that the contact surfaces are correct. With shims, if they aren't fashioned precisely, you'll lose some of that contact area at the bottom of the saddle, and your tone and sustain will suffer as an outcome. Same thing with the nut. The surfaces on the bottom and fretboard side of the nut need to be in complete contact with the neck in order to afford the best possible tone from that part of the guitar.
These are simple upgrades, but well worth it as even a low end guitar can be made to sound nice just by switching to bone.

Edit: After having a look at the Tanglewood site, I see that some of their models are already equipped with bone nut and saddle. When you bring it in, make sure they verify for you the material of your saddle and nut.
Last edited by LeftyDave at Apr 9, 2008,