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  #46  
Old 05-30-2023, 02:46 AM
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This is such a joyous thread, love it! The guitar looks beautiful Janine! By the way, your thread titles kill me.
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  #47  
Old 05-30-2023, 03:59 AM
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Congrats Janine, that is a gorgeous guitar. You've been on quite a journey. One that being on is as much fun as the end of adventure.

It's also quite normal to not worry about a setup when you've first brought home the prize.

Giving it some time to settle in with your hands and all.

But I'm pretty sure that every guitar can be made to play a bit better after a complete and proper setup.

But get to know it first, worry about those details later. All you have now is time.

Enjoy every note.
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  #48  
Old 05-30-2023, 04:23 AM
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Congratulations on the HD-28! Thrilled to read your enthusiasm and excitement!
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  #49  
Old 05-30-2023, 06:28 AM
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Originally Posted by rmp View Post
Congrats Janine, that is a gorgeous guitar. You've been on quite a journey. One that being on is as much fun as the end of adventure.

It's also quite normal to not worry about a setup when you've first brought home the prize.

Giving it some time to settle in with your hands and all.

But I'm pretty sure that every guitar can be made to play a bit better after a complete and proper setup.

But get to know it first, worry about those details later. All you have now is time.

Enjoy every note.
That's all I ever meant. I wouldn't even know what to ask to have adjusted at this point. Sheeesh! The "beat down" I got over that. Perhaps I wasn't clear enough. A set up is awesome if the guitar (or guitar player or both) requires it. But I don't believe in a "preemptive set up." A preemptive setup does not feel necessary for this guitar at this time for me.

Since I bought it at GC, there is a 45 day no questions asked return option, so I'm going to use that as a guideline. Play it as is for 45 days; at the end of the 45 day window, if no unfixable problem that would cause me to return it has surfaced, THEN I can think about if I want anything tweaked, and start researching potential tweakers.

For now, I'm a very happy camper!

BTW - I played the 000-18 last night for a little while. It feels downright tiny compared to the HD-28. Light as a little feather. And sparkly like a flute of champagne.
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  #50  
Old 05-30-2023, 08:19 AM
lowrider lowrider is offline
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Janine, if you do decide to take the guitar in, you do have good options in the Bay Area, but you need to know what you want.

To most of us that means that you need the measurements that you want or you need to bring in another guitar that you want the new one set up like.

Just asking for a set-up, or saying that you want low action, or ''do your magic'' is the recipe not for disaster, for disappointment. If your new guitar is as close to perfect as my new guitar, just keep on playing and having a great time.
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  #51  
Old 05-30-2023, 06:09 PM
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Janine, if you do decide to take the guitar in, you do have good options in the Bay Area, but you need to know what you want.

To most of us that means that you need the measurements that you want or you need to bring in another guitar that you want the new one set up like.

Just asking for a set-up, or saying that you want low action, or ''do your magic'' is the recipe not for disaster, for disappointment. If your new guitar is as close to perfect as my new guitar, just keep on playing and having a great time.
This presents a serious conundrum for me. (A) I am not great at measuring, even with the proper measuring tools. And (B) I don't have a second guitar to use as the benchmark for the set up.

Before I tried to express how much/little to set up the HD-28, I might have to put light strings on it. If it felt exactly like the 000-18, which has lovely easy action, how would I explain that? Set it up so that the mediums feel like lights? This is the main difference I notice between the two guitars. The lights are just easier to play, but the mediums aren't difficult.

To be continued....
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  #52  
Old 05-30-2023, 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by janinep7 View Post
Before I tried to express how much/little to set up the HD-28, I might have to put light strings on it. If it felt exactly like the 000-18, which has lovely easy action, how would I explain that? Set it up so that the mediums feel like lights? This is the main difference I notice between the two guitars. The lights are just easier to play, but the mediums aren't difficult.

To be continued....
If you were to change from mediums to lights, the neck would probably temporarily bow back a little and the action would lower. That's not a problem, but it makes comparing kind of tough. Your second idea, asking for the HD-28 to be set up so that the mediums feel like lights, is probably a better option. That is exactly what I did with my HD-28, and it came out very nicely.

You could cart along your 000-18 to the luthier as a reference.

Bob
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  #53  
Old 05-30-2023, 09:46 PM
sinistral sinistral is offline
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Even with light strings on it, the HD-28 will feel a bit different from the 000-18, because the scale lengths are different. The HD-28 has a standard scale length of 25.4”, and the 000 has a short scale length of 24.9”. A half inch doesn’t sound like much, but it is noticeable (to most people). A 000 body size with a standard scale length neck is called an Orchestra Model, or OM, and it typically strung with light strings. That would be the closer comparison. As Bob notes, if you put lights on the HD-28, the action will likely lower slightly because the light strings have less string tension than medium strings.

Martin has a long-standing reputation for shipping their guitars with high action, but in recent years they have made strides to set up their guitars with more “normal” action. Taylors on the other hand are known for their playability “out of the box”—sometimes referred to pejoratively as acoustic guitars for electric guitar players. Ironically, the action on my Taylor 614ce is slightly higher that several of my Martins “out of the box.”

There are a few simple things that you do to check if your guitar is poorly set up. For example, if you put a capo on at the first fret, is it much easier to make chords in the first position? If so, it’s likely that one or more (or all) of the nut slots are high. I find that it’s easier to measure action at the 12th fret in millimeters. Action is measured from the top of the fret to the bottom of the string. Since I’m not a heavy strummer, I prefer action on the lower side—2.4mm - 2.5mm or so for the low E and 1.75mm or so on the high E side. I find that, if the action is too high, it’s harder to make chords higher up the neck, and, when bending strings, the adjacent string hits my finger at an uncomfortable height.

Ideally, the truss rod of your HD-28 was adjusted properly for the string tension at the factory so you shouldn’t have to adjust the relief (slight bowing) of the neck. A simple way to check the relief is to press down the E string at the first fret (or use a capo at the first fret) and press down the string at the 14th fret. There should be a small gap at the 6th or 7th fret (.10mm .25mm). If there’s a big gap, the neck has too much relief, and if the neck is flat (or worse, back bowed) it has too little relief. If the relief isn’t correct, you should definitely have a tech go over the guitar.

A completely unscientific way to get a feel for action is to go to your guitar store and play several Taylor guitars. Take one or both of your guitars with you for comparison. Don’t worry about measurements, just focus on feel. Play chords in different positions up and down the neck. Bend notes (if you play any songs in which you bend notes). Ideally, you should find the 000-18 the easiest to play given that it has light strings and a short scale (Taylors typically have light strings and a standard scale). The medium strings on the HD-28 will have the “heaviest” feel. If you switch the strings to lights on the HD-28, that would be more of an apples-to-apples comparison.

Hope that helps.

Last edited by sinistral; 05-30-2023 at 09:52 PM.
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  #54  
Old 05-31-2023, 03:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sinistral View Post
Even with light strings on it, the HD-28 will feel a bit different from the 000-18, because the scale lengths are different. The HD-28 has a standard scale length of 25.4”, and the 000 has a short scale length of 24.9”. A half inch doesn’t sound like much, but it is noticeable (to most people). A 000 body size with a standard scale length neck is called an Orchestra Model, or OM, and it typically strung with light strings. That would be the closer comparison. As Bob notes, if you put lights on the HD-28, the action will likely lower slightly because the light strings have less string tension than medium strings.

Martin has a long-standing reputation for shipping their guitars with high action, but in recent years they have made strides to set up their guitars with more “normal” action. Taylors on the other hand are known for their playability “out of the box”—sometimes referred to pejoratively as acoustic guitars for electric guitar players. Ironically, the action on my Taylor 614ce is slightly higher that several of my Martins “out of the box.”

There are a few simple things that you do to check if your guitar is poorly set up. For example, if you put a capo on at the first fret, is it much easier to make chords in the first position? If so, it’s likely that one or more (or all) of the nut slots are high. I find that it’s easier to measure action at the 12th fret in millimeters. Action is measured from the top of the fret to the bottom of the string. Since I’m not a heavy strummer, I prefer action on the lower side—2.4mm - 2.5mm or so for the low E and 1.75mm or so on the high E side. I find that, if the action is too high, it’s harder to make chords higher up the neck, and, when bending strings, the adjacent string hits my finger at an uncomfortable height.

Ideally, the truss rod of your HD-28 was adjusted properly for the string tension at the factory so you shouldn’t have to adjust the relief (slight bowing) of the neck. A simple way to check the relief is to press down the E string at the first fret (or use a capo at the first fret) and press down the string at the 14th fret. There should be a small gap at the 6th or 7th fret (.10mm .25mm). If there’s a big gap, the neck has too much relief, and if the neck is flat (or worse, back bowed) it has too little relief. If the relief isn’t correct, you should definitely have a tech go over the guitar.

A completely unscientific way to get a feel for action is to go to your guitar store and play several Taylor guitars. Take one or both of your guitars with you for comparison. Don’t worry about measurements, just focus on feel. Play chords in different positions up and down the neck. Bend notes (if you play any songs in which you bend notes). Ideally, you should find the 000-18 the easiest to play given that it has light strings and a short scale (Taylors typically have light strings and a standard scale). The medium strings on the HD-28 will have the “heaviest” feel. If you switch the strings to lights on the HD-28, that would be more of an apples-to-apples comparison.

Hope that helps.
Bolded the above for emphasis and helpfulness — this is great, concrete advice.

You’ll want a string height gauge:

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/sea...#search-header

I find it works well to hold the gauge in place, then take a zoomed in flash activated photo with a smart phone (while being careful to avoid parallax error with the photo angle).

Also, congratulations on your new fun music maker! It sounds like this is just the start of something beautiful.


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  #55  
Old 05-31-2023, 05:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Aimelie View Post
Bolded the above for emphasis and helpfulness — this is great, concrete advice.

You’ll want a string height gauge:

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/sea...#search-header

I find it works well to hold the gauge in place, then take a zoomed in flash activated photo with a smart phone (while being careful to avoid parallax error with the photo angle).

Also, congratulations on your new fun music maker! It sounds like this is just the start of something beautiful.


Thanks, Aimelie! Long time no see. I agree completely. That is some excellent, concrete and easily actionable advice from "Lefty." (I swear, I did not mean to make a pun!) I'm going to give it a try and will report back.
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  #56  
Old 05-31-2023, 06:04 AM
rmp rmp is offline
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A good setting for action is around 5/64s Low E 4/64s High E

The nut slots should be checked too. Those require some regulating with nut files so they are cut to the correct depth which makes a big difference in playability down at the first few frets

Anyone who knows what they are doing, would be able to take care of these 2 things.

Once those are done, you should be off like a herd of turtles.
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  #57  
Old 05-31-2023, 06:27 AM
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Originally Posted by sinistral View Post
Even with light strings on it, the HD-28 will feel a bit different from the 000-18, because the scale lengths are different. The HD-28 has a standard scale length of 25.4”, and the 000 has a short scale length of 24.9”. A half inch doesn’t sound like much, but it is noticeable (to most people). A 000 body size with a standard scale length neck is called an Orchestra Model, or OM, and it typically strung with light strings. That would be the closer comparison. As Bob notes, if you put lights on the HD-28, the action will likely lower slightly because the light strings have less string tension than medium strings.
Scale length was a detail I did not consider during my research (yeah, that's just how I roll), because I was just looking at the overall feel and playability. I noticed SOMETHING was different yesterday, trying to stretch my pinky to grab an extra note to embellish a G chord played on the thinner 4 strings at 4-5-6 to make a G7. I was thinking, why does that feel so far??? Or did my fingers get even shorter??? It's going to take me a while to figure out which chord voicings are easiest and sound the best on this guitar. I wouldn't say it's more "difficult" to play; just different. The guitarist also has a break in/play in period with a new instrument.


Quote:
Martin has a long-standing reputation for shipping their guitars with high action, but in recent years they have made strides to set up their guitars with more “normal” action. Taylors on the other hand are known for their playability “out of the box”—sometimes referred to pejoratively as acoustic guitars for electric guitar players. Ironically, the action on my Taylor 614ce is slightly higher that several of my Martins “out of the box.”
I only have recent experience with Martin, so I only know how they ship the guitars currently. As I've said, the 000-18 is easy to play. The HD-28 is also easy to play but it's not the same as the 000-18. And I don't need it to be at this point. I have to get to know it, and that will take a while. I've played a few old (older) Martins. They felt similar to my new ones. Unscientific perception there. They sounded very different due to the aging and probably different quality tone woods. Neck feel and playability were not significantly different to the point where I went "AHA!" It was more like, "Hmm. Oh. Next."

Quote:
There are a few simple things that you do to check if your guitar is poorly set up. For example, if you put a capo on at the first fret, is it much easier to make chords in the first position? If so, it’s likely that one or more (or all) of the nut slots are high. I find that it’s easier to measure action at the 12th fret in millimeters. Action is measured from the top of the fret to the bottom of the string. Since I’m not a heavy strummer, I prefer action on the lower side—2.4mm - 2.5mm or so for the low E and 1.75mm or so on the high E side. I find that, if the action is too high, it’s harder to make chords higher up the neck, and, when bending strings, the adjacent string hits my finger at an uncomfortable height.
On the HD28, first position bar chords w/out a capo play easily and without dead strings up to around the 10th fret. Then it starts feeling awkward because I am bumping up against where the neck and body join, and the frets are getting skinnier. However, if I need to play a D chord, that's probably the last place I'd be doing it. I would not expect it to be easy to fret a D chord that high on the neck. I could be wrong... This is part of learning what works best of this particular guitar.

Using a 3x5 ruled, index card the last blue line is about 3mm from the bottom edge of the card. Holding that card against the neck along the frets so that the bottom edge is laying across the frets, on the 000-18, the bottom of the low E string is just under the blue line. The diameter of the low E string is at least 1mm. The space in between the top of the fret and the bottom of the low E string appears to be in the 2 - 2.5 mm range.

WAIT FOR IT

On the HD28, it's exactly the same! The low E string is a tiny bit thicker, but the distance between top of fret and bottom of string is the same. The space is the same. For both guitars, the string is laying exactly on the line. This is not an "action" question; I think it's a string gauge question.

Quote:
Ideally, the truss rod of your HD-28 was adjusted properly for the string tension at the factory so you shouldnÂ’t have to adjust the relief (slight bowing) of the neck. A simple way to check the relief is to press down the E string at the first fret (or use a capo at the first fret) and press down the string at the 14th fret. There should be a small gap at the 6th or 7th fret (.10mm .25mm). If thereÂ’s a big gap, the neck has too much relief, and if the neck is flat (or worse, back bowed) it has too little relief. If the relief isnÂ’t correct, you should definitely have a tech go over the guitar.
There is a very tiny, nearly imperceptible gap. Like a sheet of paper's width. Looking at it, it looks like there is not a gap, but then if you press on the string at the 6th fret, it's not actually sitting on the fret until you apply pressure. But that gap is tiny!

Quote:
A completely unscientific way to get a feel for action is to go to your guitar store and play several Taylor guitars. Take one or both of your guitars with you for comparison. Don’t worry about measurements, just focus on feel. Play chords in different positions up and down the neck. Bend notes (if you play any songs in which you bend notes). Ideally, you should find the 000-18 the easiest to play given that it has light strings and a short scale (Taylors typically have light strings and a standard scale). The medium strings on the HD-28 will have the “heaviest” feel. If you switch the strings to lights on the HD-28, that would be more of an apples-to-apples comparison.

Hope that helps.
I put medium strings my Sigma guitar recently, and hardly noticed the difference in feel when I'm playing it. I noticed that it sounds better, but felt the same. It was previously strung with lights. I'd now like to know why. Is it also a shorter scale? Did someone adjust it before I bought it? Is it that the nut slots are worn in b/c it's old? The nut has some damage to it. It looks like someone gnawed off the corner by the low E string. The slots are fine, so I think it's just cosmetic, but now... Must investigate.

First, more coffee!

Thank you very much for this information. It's really helpful. I'm learning so much!!!!
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  #58  
Old 05-31-2023, 11:17 AM
lowrider lowrider is offline
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Janine, right now. it looks like your guitar is so close that you shouldn't even think about it.

If you switch to Light strings, you might need a slight turn on the truss rod, but you might not. If you switch, you'll hear a loss of tone but you'll get used to it and after a day or two you won't notice. If you switch to Daddasio XS, they'll sound so much better than the strings on it now that you might like it better.

I have XS lights on my D-16 Special and on my J-40 and both sound stellar.

If you want the TR adjusted, I Don't think the guys at GC will have any problem with that, but I don't think you'll even notice
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  #59  
Old 05-31-2023, 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by lowrider View Post
Janine, right now. it looks like your guitar is so close that you shouldn't even think about it.

If you switch to Light strings, you might need a slight turn on the truss rod, but you might not. If you switch, you'll hear a loss of tone but you'll get used to it and after a day or two you won't notice. If you switch to Daddasio XS, they'll sound so much better than the strings on it now that you might like it better.

I have XS lights on my D-16 Special and on my J-40 and both sound stellar.

If you want the TR adjusted, I Don't think the guys at GC will have any problem with that, but I don't think you'll even notice
Thanks, LR. I posted an update here:
https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/...d.php?t=670438
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  #60  
Old 05-31-2023, 07:15 PM
FOG01 FOG01 is offline
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You’ve got so many people interested in your new guitar, you have clearly struck a chord with folks (pun intended). It has inspired me no less and I am marveling at how gorgeous an open G chord (with B open) sounds on the up stroke on mine. I think someone mentioned that’s how Take It Easy begins? Anyhow, thanks for the inspiration!
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