#1
Is there any way to lower the action on an acoustic guitar? As the strings are way to high I at the bottom of the neck! Making it virtually unplayable, I have adjusted the truss rod but it is still too high.
#2
Either file away at the bottom of the bridge (if it comes out), or have a tech file down your nut slots with a very thin file.
#3
Quote by blue_strat
Either file away at the bottom of the bridge (if it comes out), or have a tech file down your nut slots with a very thin file.

I think you meant saddle, not bridge.
#4
What kind of guitar is it?

But yeah -- if what you mean by "the bottom of the neck" is the area nearest the nut, the best thing to do is to take it to a shop. It takes special tools to file nut slots properly (small files of different widths) and if you do it wrong, you can kill your guitar's tone. Also, you shouldn't try to adjust your action by turning the truss rod -- that can be a risky thing to do. Best thing to do is take it to a tech and tell them what you did and what you want and they'll set it up nicely for you.
#5
One thing to check for is if the bridge has pulled the body up? If it has any kind of curve; no you can't adjust it. If there isn't a curve then pull the strings and remove the bone part of your bridge should be the yellow string rest. More off colored. Anyway check to see if there are shims in the bridge saddle. If not you can always file by putting a flat file in a vise and gently rub the removed bridge along the file. Gradually not too much. the opposite side of the string side. If it takes more than 4/32 you are looking at buying a new acoustic. Then again to save time have your local guitar dealer look at it. He'll know just by looking at the guitar whether you can adjust it or not. Another quick point to make is always(if you don't keep it in a case or a stand) is to rest it against the wall with the strings facing the wall. The gravitational pull isn't to harsh for the neck. You always would rather have the strings too close than too far away if at all possible.
#6
you need to file down the string saddle, and possibly the nut as well, get this done by a pro, as the intonation will likely need to be adjusted after doing this, and if you screw that up you'll have to replace the saddle.
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#7
I have adjusted the truss rod but it is still too high.


For future reference, you should not adjust your truss rod to adjust the action. Action adjustments are made at the saddle and possibly the nut also. Check out:

www.frets.com or
www.fretnotguitarrepair.com

Im sure youll find the answers you're looking for.
#8
Thanks all for the reply's, it has helped a lot, it is only a cheap guitar but I don't use it much because of the high action, how do you adjust the intonation on a acoustic guitar? I know how to do it on electric guitar but haven't a clue with an acoustic!
#9
Quote by MRWHITE35
Thanks all for the reply's, it has helped a lot, it is only a cheap guitar but I don't use it much because of the high action, how do you adjust the intonation on a acoustic guitar? I know how to do it on electric guitar but haven't a clue with an acoustic!


by filing down the individual saddles and nut slots for each string, it's very precise and needs to be done by a pro.
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#10
^ exactly -- also, a good guitar tech, in my experience will be very willing to answer any and all questions about what they do to your guitar. Ask some questions and you'll learn a lot.
#11
dude just sand down the saddle, its cake, doesnt take a pro. just make sure its even. its really not rocket science.
#12
Quote by Findinghomer
dude just sand down the saddle, its cake, doesnt take a pro. just make sure its even. its really not rocket science.


No, but it IS guitar science. Sure you can tell the TS to sand down the saddle, but which side? There are 6 of them after all. If you're going to help, then help, don't just drop a remark like that and leave, because it's the same as no help at all. Dude.

TS, to lower the action on an acoustic, first you need to determine WHERE you need to do the lowering, the bridge saddle or the nut.
The saddle is the easier of the two to lower. All you need to do is tape a large sheet of 150 or 200 grit sandpaper down to a nice flat surface and rub the bottom of the saddle piece along it. You'll have very good control of the sanding process this way, and it'll be flat and true, which is critical to tone.
If it's the nut that needs to be lowered, then it's a bit more tricky. The correct way is to remove the nut and sand the bottom of it down, however, the nut is glued in place. It's for this reason that people suggest to file down the slots more. This is wrong tho. Filing down the slots to make them deeper will lower the action of the strings at the nut end of the neck yes, but it will also change where the strings come off the nut from the neck and head to the tuners. There is a precise angle built in there and just filing deeper slots into the nut will change that angle, possibly changing tone and sustain down the line.
Back to the saddle for a moment. If you feel you need to lower the action down there, remember this: if you want to lower the action at the 12th fret by 1/32nd of an inch, then you would need to remove 2/32nds (1/16th) of an inch from the bottom of the saddle. It's precisely double because the 12th fret is exactly halfway along the length of the string.
Recommendation: if you feel that you need to lower the action at the saddle, go ahead and do it yourself, it's not rocket science after all (I just couldn't resist tossing that in ). If you think you need to lower it up at the nut end, then bring the guitar in to a shop to have it done.
#14
Quote by LeftyDave
No, but it IS guitar science. Sure you can tell the TS to sand down the saddle, but which side? There are 6 of them after all. If you're going to help, then help, don't just drop a remark like that and leave, because it's the same as no help at all. Dude..
Six saddles in an acoustic? That bears a bit more explanation as well.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Sep 17, 2012,
#15
Quote by Captaincranky
Six saddles in an acoustic? That bears a bit more explanation as well.


Oh for christ sake. 6 SIDES TO THE SADDLE. If you needed me to explain THAT to you, then you really are dense. Please pay attention to what you read, and stop feeding into a necro bumped thread. Pointless.

And for what it's worth, you, Captain, are THE MAIN REASON I rarely frequent these forums anymore. You seem to have all the answers, are present in each and every post with your knowledge of life and everything else including guitars. I'm just a lousy 2005'er with not a whole lot to contribute anymore. Heck, I've only been playing guitar since I was 15(that would have been the year 1977). I sure can't top all that YOU are. If If I get a warning for this post, cool. A ban? Cool as well. Used to be a time where I felt I was helping out in here. Now? Whatever.
Last edited by LeftyDave at Sep 18, 2012,
#16
Lefty, there's a right way to do things, and there's a "shade tree mechanic's" way of doing things. Captaincranky has been giving good, solid advice on the "right" way, as I also attempt to do.

People come onto this section with obviously very little or no knowledge of the instrument, and we're trying to steer them in the right direction.
Comments like "just file down the saddle" are both vague and incorrect.

For the record, I'm 65, been playing for about 35 years, and I've been building a variety of instuments for the last 5 years or so.
#17
Quote by LeftyDave
Oh for christ sake. 6 SIDES TO THE SADDLE. If you needed me to explain THAT to you, then you really are dense. Please pay attention to what you read, and stop feeding into a necro bumped thread. Pointless.
So, you think the ends of a saddle are likely as a target for a beginner to begin sanding to lower the action? They are after all, two of the sides you mentioned.

Because when I was a beginner some 40+ years ago, I never thought that sanding the sides or ends of a saddle would lower the action.

Gosh, you don't give anyone credit for any sense whatsoever.

And don't try and blame your lack of attendance on me. I have no intention of being the object of your little tantrums, or your scapegoat.

BTW, you "fed" the necro bumped thread, then I quoted you. I wasn't involved before that.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Sep 18, 2012,
#18
Quote by Captaincranky
So, you think the ends of a saddle are likely as a target for a beginner to begin sanding to lower the action? They are after all, two of the sides you mentioned.

Because when I was a beginner some 40+ years ago, I never thought that sanding the sides or ends of a saddle would lower the action.

Gosh, you don't give anyone credit for any sense whatsoever.

And don't try and blame your lack of attendance on me. I have no intention of being the object of your little tantrums.

BTW, you fed the necro bumped thread, then I quoted you.

A beginner doesn't know what's what. And it's also not that easy anyway. If you don't have a proper jig set up you can easily file it down uneven.

Next, Lefty posted AFTER you. You fed the necro - not Lefty.


@Lefty, yeah I was wondering why I didn't see you around any more (although I've been gone for quite some time as well).
Hydroxic acid, kills thousands of people every year. Studies have shown lakes and rivers all over North America contain high levels hydroxic acid. Currently governments have taken no action against this life threatening chemical.
#19
Quote by |Long|
A beginner doesn't know what's what. And it's also not that easy anyway. If you don't have a proper jig set up you can easily file it down uneven.
And that's why I always steer them toward some very good setup guides published on the web.

Quote by |Long|
Next, Lefty posted AFTER you. You fed the necro - not Lefty.
We're both wrong, "alteredtunings" bumped the thread.
#20
Quote by Captaincranky
And that's why I always steer them toward some very good setup guides published on the web.

Bingo.


We're both wrong, "alteredtunings" bumped the thread.

I meant fed the necro as in posting after alteredtunings. Like, feeding the troll - posting after him.
Hydroxic acid, kills thousands of people every year. Studies have shown lakes and rivers all over North America contain high levels hydroxic acid. Currently governments have taken no action against this life threatening chemical.
#21
Quote by Captaincranky
So, you think the ends of a saddle are likely as a target for a beginner to begin sanding to lower the action? They are after all, two of the sides you mentioned.It was said to make a point, not as a matter of fact.

Because when I was a beginner some 40+ years ago, I never thought that sanding the sides or ends of a saddle would lower the action.Yay for you being smarter than everyone else in the world!

Gosh, you don't give anyone credit for any sense whatsoever.I most certainly do, you just don't care to see that I do.

And don't try and blame your lack of attendance on me. I have no intention of being the object of your little tantrums, or your scapegoat.My "lack of attendance" is exactly what I said it was. I have no reason to lie or "throw a tantrum" about anything. I simply don't care to post in these forums much anymore since you came on the scene. You are of course free to read whatever you like into that statement.

BTW, you "fed" the necro bumped thread, then I quoted you. I wasn't involved before that.Too late for that now isn't it? LOOK AT THE DATES OF THE POSTS IN THE THREAD!!!


!!!
#22
Quote by Bikewer
Lefty, there's a right way to do things, and there's a "shade tree mechanic's" way of doing things. Captaincranky has been giving good, solid advice on the "right" way, as I also attempt to do.

People come onto this section with obviously very little or no knowledge of the instrument, and we're trying to steer them in the right direction.
Comments like "just file down the saddle" are both vague and incorrect.

For the record, I'm 65, been playing for about 35 years, and I've been building a variety of instuments for the last 5 years or so.


Did say a damn word about either you or his ability to give out quality advice on this topic? Again, as I told Cranky, pay attention to the dates of the posts please. Did you care to read my post dated 6/6/2008? Where in that entire post does it state to "simply file down the saddle". Matter of fact, I think it states quite the opposite. Which is why frankly I'm a bit pissed at all this crappy response in this thread. Cranky was wrong to point out something that occured in a 4 YEAR OLD THREAD simply because it was resurrected by alteredtunings on 9/17/12 and he happened to read my post which was the last until this month. Of course he had to dissect it and point out some foible or other of mine. It's not my fault he didn't understand what I typed is it? I think it's pretty obvious that I was making a point there, not stating fact. He's not the only one around here with intelligence now is he?
Now that I got that out, why the hell is it that I seem to have to continually justify my posts to the newer crowd in this forum? I helped BUILD this forum and have been a member of this community since 2005. I would kindly ask that you all remember that. It's my choice if I do or don't post in it, and for my own reasons. I stated that reason. Want more? Just ask.
#23
Quote by LeftyDave
Did say a damn word about either you or his ability to give out quality advice on this topic? Again, as I told Cranky, pay attention to the dates of the posts please. Did you care to read my post dated 6/6/2008? Where in that entire post does it state to "simply file down the saddle". Matter of fact, I think it states quite the opposite. Which is why frankly I'm a bit pissed at all this crappy response in this thread. Cranky was wrong to point out something that occured in a 4 YEAR OLD THREAD simply because it was resurrected by alteredtunings on 9/17/12 and he happened to read my post which was the last until this month. Of course he had to dissect it and point out some foible or other of mine. It's not my fault he didn't understand what I typed is it? I think it's pretty obvious that I was making a point there, not stating fact. He's not the only one around here with intelligence now is he?
Now that I got that out, why the hell is it that I seem to have to continually justify my posts to the newer crowd in this forum? I helped BUILD this forum and have been a member of this community since 2005. I would kindly ask that you all remember that. It's my choice if I do or don't post in it, and for my own reasons. I stated that reason. Want more? Just ask.


Well Dave, as I said earlier, I honestly don't think, even as a beginner, I would have sanded the ends or sides of a string saddle in an attempt to lower the action.

That said, it sort of proves that you've been trollin' for years, since the post was in response to another post. It didn't really supply a beginner with additional knowledge, it just told a previous poster what you thought of his material.

I figure a snarky answer is fair game, as long as it's backed up by fact.

As to the rest of this, I already corrected the name of the member who bumped the thread.

BTW, that's a powerful list of credentials you've assigned yourself. I guess now we know just who we're dealing with! Meh, who care's?
Last edited by Captaincranky at Sep 19, 2012,