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deadhead95 06-03-2014 11:38 AM

Action/Humidity Issues...
Hey everyone,
Newbie guitar player (started in January) here. I have some problems with the action of my guitar.
My guitar was made back in the early 1980s. My mom played it frequently for quite some time until I was born. Then, it was just sitting around in its case for about 18 years in my parents' room in northern New England. So, as a result, there are some issues with it.
My biggest issue is that the neck dives off very noticeably into the body at the sound hole:
This makes the action uncomfortably high and it makes the guitar difficult to play, especially nearing the 12th fret.
I worked with a lesson teacher back at school (now out for summer) and he said that my action will improve when the guitar absorbs more moisture. He said that it was very dry.
I've tried several methods to lower the action. I've lowered the saddle multiple times, I've adjusted the truss rod, I've tried the shower method (steam humidifies the guitar) a couple of times, and I've had a Planet Waves humidifier in the sound hole for 2-3 months at this point, but the neck has yet to bend back. Further, the action remains high.
Planet Waves humidifier:
Just today I added a second humidifier - a sponge in a baggie with poked out holes:
I've lowered the saddle to the point that I needed to put some paper under the low and high E strings or they buzz - I'll be buying a new saddle soon:
Yet even with all of these measures, I still face the same problem. So, will my efforts with humidifying the guitar and lowering the action eventually pay off, or am I doomed to be stuck with a high action on this guitar?
Any and all advice is welcome.

marioed 06-03-2014 12:32 PM

First of all welcome to the forum. From your pictures & description it looks like your guitar may need a neck reset. Rehumidifying while a good idea won't correct the need for a neck reset. I'd suggest taking it to a good guitar repair person and have them check it out. If you let us know where you're located I'm sure someone can recommend a good guitar tech. If it hasn't been played for 18 years getting it completely checked out for any other possible issues is the first thing I'd do.

Inked 06-03-2014 12:33 PM

Take it to a local luthier and have a good setup done and good once over. It's worth the small coin to do so. Also, forget those in-hole humidifiers. Get a simple room humidifier at walmart and a hygrometer online or at a music shop. It's much easier to keep your room a certain level than the guitar itself.

DesertTwang 06-03-2014 01:21 PM

If a neck reset is required, a lot will depend on the make and model of the instrument, as that repair will be expensive and may exceed the value of the guitar.

deadhead95 06-03-2014 02:54 PM

Thanks for the suggestions, everyone. From what it sounds like, I'll definitely make time to bring my guitar into a shop around here. I live up in the Burlington, VT area, so I'll check out a couple of places.

GHS 06-03-2014 06:42 PM

Its hard to tell from just looking at your photos but if I had to guess, given the evidence provided, ( age of guitar, very low saddle height, fretboard looks a bit off) I would say neck reset needed. Dont know the make. That, along with other considerations would be the determining factor on a reset. You can buy lots of good guitars for 4 -500 dollars now.

xntric 06-03-2014 06:54 PM

Jake Wildwood is in Rochester, VT, about an hour and a half from you...he does very reasonable work. Check out his blog at

MBE 06-03-2014 07:05 PM

I agree with everyone here. There likely isn't too much that you could do other than a neck reset.

deadhead95 06-03-2014 09:18 PM

Alright, thanks again everyone. Looks like the only realistic option is a neck reset. I may just have to deal with it for the near future, but I'll still check out my options. Perhaps I'll be able to have something figured out by the end of the summer. I appreciate all of the help!

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