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Old 04-12-2017, 06:13 PM
Martin_n Martin_n is offline
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Default Improving my acoustic guitar

Hello, this is my first post here.
Feel free to delete or move if it has already been posted...

I have a Martin DRS2, and like all acoustic guitars time has done wonders with it's sound. However I feel it could improve if I only knew how to...

I'm thinking of changing the bridge to bone, and "loosen the guitar up" a bit, as it feels a bit stiff. Should I visit a shop to fix it for me, or is this possible to fix it myself as a newbie?
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Old 04-12-2017, 06:17 PM
HHP HHP is offline
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Only so much you can do. You can try thing like saddle, nut, strings, etc. but don't get too carried away. At some point you approach the "putting $4000 wheels on a $400 car". If you need better sound, think more about how to move towards your next guitar.
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Old 04-12-2017, 06:49 PM
Martin_n Martin_n is offline
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Right. Thanks for the tip. I can understand that. Any tips for an upgrade?




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Old 04-12-2017, 07:45 PM
runamuck runamuck is offline
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Martin_N,

Could you describe what the guitar sounds like now and what you'd like it to sound like?

You mention replacing the saddle with bone. What that might do is increase high frequency sensitivity a little. Is that what you want?

Jim McCarthy
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Old 04-12-2017, 10:35 PM
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Brucebubs Brucebubs is offline
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Bone saddle might be OK but some of the biggest changes can be made by just changing strings.
What strings are you using?
Your guitar has Sapele back and sides so maybe try,
-Martin Retro Monels
-D'Addario Nickel Bronze
-Ernie Ball Aluminium Bronze

When you say the guitar feels 'stiff' is it difficult to play? Does your fretting hand get tired? Is the action too high?
Could be it just needs a good set up?
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Old 04-13-2017, 06:40 AM
Martin_n Martin_n is offline
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Default Improving my acoustic guitar

Thanks for the replies.
Jim, the guitar sounds a little hollow. Getting the high frequency spectre a little clearer would be nice.

As for string changing.. Yes! It has been a while, and my guitar now has 0.12 strings; i usually use 0.11. Might be a big part to it's feel.

I haven't played it for a while so right now it's a little dry. I will change strings and give my guitar it's "spa-time". Might be enough. Also the action is a tad bit high, and I will try to get it fixed. Good highlightings [emoji1303]
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Old 04-13-2017, 06:55 AM
luke_bl luke_bl is offline
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Tuning down a half step would ease the stiff feeling. It will ease up some of the string tension. Capo back to standard or wherever if you sing or play with a backing track.


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Old 04-13-2017, 08:03 AM
Ned Milburn Ned Milburn is offline
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Bone "saddle" (not bridge) is a good idea. And getting the guitar setup properly (nut slots, saddle height, neck bow) will often help a guitar ring out joyfully.
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Old 04-13-2017, 08:19 AM
redir redir is offline
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Some would argue that the Tusq saddle is better for the UST electronics and it would be better to not replace it with bone. I'm not necessarily one to think that way but it's something to think about

If you don't play plugged in a lot then you might get better tone with bone.
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Old 04-13-2017, 11:10 AM
Martin_n Martin_n is offline
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Default Improving my acoustic guitar

I never play plugged in, so my next guitar will be without electronics.

I will test tuning down my guitar, and changing strings, hopefully it will do the trick. If not I will hand my guitar in to some pros and get the guitar setting correct.

Any threads in here you would recommend when it comes to DIY setup guides, materials and so forth?

Cheers
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Old 04-13-2017, 05:34 PM
pops pops is offline
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Most of the time changing the saddle is not necessarily what is needed. I see a lot of saddles that are not flat on the bottom or the slot is not flat. Having someone make sure that the saddle slot and saddle fit well would be my first concern.
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Old 04-13-2017, 07:13 PM
karlitofingers karlitofingers is offline
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Get a full setup by someone good (Nut, neck, existing saddle), if you're using 12's and you're out of practice AND the guitar needs attention it ain't gonna feel nice! Good luck!


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Old 04-13-2017, 07:27 PM
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fazool fazool is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin_n View Post
...
I'm thinking of changing the bridge to bone,

and "loosen the guitar up" a bit, as it feels a bit stiff. ...
I think you mean the saddle?


How do you intend to loosen it up? Do you mean with lighter strings?
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Old 04-13-2017, 07:49 PM
mirwa mirwa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin_n View Post
I'm thinking of changing the bridge to bone, and "loosen the guitar up" a bit, as it feels a bit stiff. Should I visit a shop to fix it for me, or is this possible to fix it myself as a newbie?
First it's your guitar, you have the right to do whatever you want with it.

Guitar repair / modification is not like brain surgery, but even the silliest person would make themselves informed before they proceed, my recommendations is read / read and again read some more. When you are confident that you know what you are about to do, stop - read some more.

Shaping braces, making saddles, doing a good setup is a skill base, lots of people out in the wide wide world do this, and do it badly as well as do it well.

My point, give lots of consideration and thought before proceeding.

Steve
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Old 04-13-2017, 08:09 PM
Martin_n Martin_n is offline
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Default Improving my acoustic guitar

Yeah, thanks a lot for your replies. I have a lot of reading to do to get my knowledge about guitars up. Seems interesting and I will certainly give it a go. Different types of wood, measures and so on. Will surely take it's time to get my head around ..

With "Loosen" it up I mean lighter strings, and some "spa-time"

Need to change my playing a bit.. My acoustic has stayed home this semester as I moved abroad.
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