#1
Hello all. I am new (obviously) but was hoping someone (perhaps luthier) might be able to offer me some insight. I have a Washburn EA20 that was a factory second. I have played it for many years now, but have always had one issue. The fret board is too low, increasing so as it continues up the scale towards the body. At the 19th fret the strings are nearly 3/8" away from the board. It makes it uncomfortable to play on the top end. I had taken it to two shops initially (when I had first got it). They both said they adjusted it as much as possible, which helped a little. Any further adjustments made them fearful with regards to breaking something, or so they said.So my thought was to replace the fret board entirely so that it will bring itself closer to the strings. The saddle is already at its lowest point, and with the pickup, a recess would have to be created to lower it any. I have asked the local shops about replacing the fret board with a new one, but is beyond their skill. I have sent emails to a few people a little further away without response.

So to those who may know more, can it be done reliably?

Thanks for any help that can be offered.

-RC
Last edited by rc_brooks at Sep 8, 2008,
#2
sounds to me that the neck is the problem. you should get the truss rod looked at.
#3
I had taken it to two shops initially. They both said they adjusted it as much as possible, which helped a little. Any further adjustments made them fearful with regards to breaking something, or so they said.
#4
Get some pictures up, particularly of the bridge.

Your best/easiest option is to recess and lower the bridge into the body. That would make a maximum of 5mins routing, compared to the day or two to steam-off the old fingerboard and glue a new one on.

You're definitely looking at this from the wrong perspective. The fingerboard isn't too low - the bridge is too high, and/or you've got some neck bow.
#5
Will do. I will grab a few pictures and try to get good shots tonight for reference along with measurements.
#6
-MintSauce- pretty much hit the nail on the head there.
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#7
To clarify, this is an acoustic/electric hollow body (Washburn EA20 LH), so if I am understanding right, I would end up cutting a hole in the top of my guitar with a router. I will make sure to take some pics tonight and post them tomorrow.
#8
Mhmm, I'm not really familiar with acoustics, but surely you could file-down the saddles, or buy a lower-profile bridge? You must be able to get a few millimetres back without destroying the top.
#9
Ok, here are a couple pics. Unfortunately I don't have a good wide angle to catch more.

I also got to thinking, I tried adjusting the rod myself once and I could get the strings a little lower but the strings would hit the frets heading towards the nut. I suppose I might be able to get a taller nut?

Looking at the picture now, I notice that the fret board gets thinner towards the fret hole. Is that normal?

I wish there were better guitar shops closer to where I live. The two closest ones haven't really impressed me over the years.

well anyhow, hope this helps.



Last edited by rc_brooks at Sep 9, 2008,
#10
My grandfather had a Washburn that did the same thing... he had to keep taking it in over and over to get it adjusted and finally just gave up because they never did get it low enough. It was a nice guitar except for that, he finally just sold it.
None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.
#11
The fretboard does appear to be incorrect. Unfortunately, they are difficult to replace.
What Mintsauce said about recessing the bridge would work on an electric, but not on your acoustic. Can you take a picture from the headstock looking down the bridge? Like this: http://flickr.com/photos/27776550@N04/2615202446
We need to know how straight the neck is. It should be very slightly concave toward the strings.

If your neck is straight, you may be able to remove the saddle and file it down a little. However, if you have an under-saddle pickup, you will need to be careful not to damage that. It is also possible that you may have to level the frets, but the first step is to evaluate the neck.