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Old 03-10-2018, 11:17 AM
three4rd three4rd is offline
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Default If the neck relief seems ok, is there a need to adjust the rod?

Hi,

Been looking at various videos about all this. My biggest problem is poor intonation. I just put on new strings but I suppose it's possible they are no longer good intonation-wise. Can't speak to "shelf-life" of a guitar string that is still in the original packaging. I checked the relief, and it seems about right by using a .011 feeler gauge (I know .010 is suggested but I lost that one somewhere along the way). So, if there appears to be neither too much nor too little relief, then I suppose no need to change rod tension? Next step, I suppose to changing the intonation (will try new strings first...though I'm beginning to think this is not the problem) is to change the saddle / bridge adjustment. Here is where I run into a real problem, as described in another thread, in that the adjustment screw on the treble side of the bridge is snapped off and so the setting cannot be changed. I could certainly loosen the strings and reposition the saddle, shifting more either towards the treble or bass side. The guitar was set up a few years ago but is not playing as well as it did following that. Action seems to be a bit more difficult recently as well.

Any thoughts or further suggestions appreciated. Another alternative is...a new guitar! This is a 40+ year-old Epiphone FT-150BL.
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Old 03-10-2018, 11:58 AM
ChrisN ChrisN is offline
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Acoustic guitars are not immune from periodic maintenance/repair, and it sounds like yours is due for a checkup. If your action has raised over time (likely), then the increased distance from string to fret means you may be pulling the string out of tune to fret the note, hence, a contribution to poor intonation, at least.

There are a whole bunch of things that might be going on - if you aren't comfortable working through them, don't have the tools, etc., take it to a tech for an assessment (no work until you know the scope!). It might even need a neck reset - I have no idea if it's possible or cost-effective to do that job on your guitar.

Doing it myself, I'd set the neck relief to "0", check neck angle with a straightedge to see if I needed a reset (yes, I'd run out and get a complete set of feeler gauges - this is serious business). I'd check nut action with the "tink, tink" method and lower the nut slots as needed (or replace the nut, if already too low). I'd restore neck relief to where there was no buzz from normal playing.

I'd check the action with feeler gauges (stacked) or with another action measuring gauge (there are several). If the action was high, I'd lower the base of the saddle as needed to achieve my desired action, assuming there was room to do so. If not, it might mean a reset.

Once I lowered the saddle to get the action I wanted, I'd check the intonation, recognizing it was likely the saddle's fault, at this point. I'd adjust the intonation as needed. If something remained amiss, off the to the tech!

Or you could sell it and just buy a new guitar - your call.
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Old 03-10-2018, 12:44 PM
three4rd three4rd is offline
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Chris...all good advice. Thanks. I'm not sure I want to put additional money into another reset / repairs, etc. on this instrument. Somewhere along the line I've got to start relinquishing my obsession with hanging onto vintage gear (extends well beyond guitars..but also tractors, cars, etc.) I'll try yet another new set of strings first before doing anything else. Alot of what you mention doing is a bit beyond me anyway - not that I couldn't do it...just not very well versed in any of this. I think going to the local luthier and trying out the various brands of acoustics he stocks for sale is probably the best (and long overdue) option!
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Old 03-10-2018, 03:37 PM
ChrisN ChrisN is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by three4rd View Post
Chris...all good advice. Thanks. I'm not sure I want to put additional money into another reset / repairs, etc. on this instrument. Somewhere along the line I've got to start relinquishing my obsession with hanging onto vintage gear (extends well beyond guitars..but also tractors, cars, etc.) I'll try yet another new set of strings first before doing anything else. Alot of what you mention doing is a bit beyond me anyway - not that I couldn't do it...just not very well versed in any of this. I think going to the local luthier and trying out the various brands of acoustics he stocks for sale is probably the best (and long overdue) option!
To paraphrase Clint, "a man's got to know his inclinations, as well as his limitations." Sounds like you've got a handle on things.

Take the Epi on the scouting tour to maybe contribute for trade-in value. Here's one that was offered 3 years ago for $225 -https://reverb.com/item/624142-vintage-japan-made-epiphone-ft-150bl-in-original-case-in-great-ready-to-play-condition At that price, and barring sentimental attachment, a neck reset would not seem a viable option, assuming it needed one.
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Old 03-10-2018, 07:11 PM
three4rd three4rd is offline
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Ahh...a Clint Eastwood fan perhaps? I'm not certain as to definitely 'having a handle on things'...I'd like to think so but not always sure sometimes! I had not seen that particular reverb listing but had come across something similar. Not many of these Epiphones listed on eBay either. I'm an eBay seller, and so could just put it out there and see what happens. The Froggy that is for sale her on AGF is really intriguing, but I wish I'd have a chance to play one first. I'll definitely change the strings and see where the intonation is at. Thanks again for additional thoughts.
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