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Old 03-04-2016, 08:10 AM
Wpaul63 Wpaul63 is offline
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Default Acoustic noob question on neck "stability"

Hey guys
acoustic noob here.
Was fiddling around on a mate's acoustic - a custom job done by a local luthier (Italy) - and noticed that there was plenty of buzzing going on between the V and VII frets. He was pretty unfazed, just took out his hex key and set the neck nice and true again.
But here's the point.
His comment was "oh it happens all the time, especially when the weather changes".
It his normal? I mean for a neck to move that much?
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Old 03-04-2016, 08:40 AM
Rosewood99 Rosewood99 is offline
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Depends on what your mean by plenty of buzzing. However I have to adjust my guitars from summer to winter.
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Old 03-04-2016, 08:44 AM
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SFCRetired SFCRetired is offline
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Sounds like he is skirting the boundaries of action too low to me.
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Old 03-04-2016, 08:57 AM
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I'd say it that it depends on how often it needs adjustment before I'd call it "unstable." As stated above, a couple of tweaks now and then isn't at all unheard of or abnormal, especially if the humidity varies widely from season to season.
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Old 03-04-2016, 09:09 AM
martingitdave martingitdave is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wpaul63 View Post
Hey guys
acoustic noob here.
Was fiddling around on a mate's acoustic - a custom job done by a local luthier (Italy) - and noticed that there was plenty of buzzing going on between the V and VII frets. He was pretty unfazed, just took out his hex key and set the neck nice and true again.
But here's the point.
His comment was "oh it happens all the time, especially when the weather changes".
It his normal? I mean for a neck to move that much?
If you play with very low action to start with, it won't take much in terms of low humidity, and lower temperature to cause a guitar to buzz. If you play with higher action, there is more tolerance for changes in environment. You're friend is correct. I have both of my Taylor guitars setup for lower action. They tend to be very stable, but occasionally need a tweak of the truss rod to add some relief. My new Martin is setup with slightly higher action than the Taylors, for Bluegrass, and is less susceptible, it seems, to humidity changes.
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Old 03-04-2016, 09:19 AM
zabdart zabdart is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SFCRetired View Post
Sounds like he is skirting the boundaries of action too low to me.
Could be that... could be a couple of high frets further up the neck that need filing as well. Might be fixed with a simple truss rod adjustment. Have a good repairman look at it.
I agree that the builder's response sounds a bit disingenuous to me, though.
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Old 03-04-2016, 09:29 AM
Wyllys Wyllys is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wpaul63 View Post
It his normal? I mean for a neck to move that much?
How much is "that much"?

The difference could be as little as "half a hair" and as had been noted already, is very likely the result of trying to set the action as low as possible in the first place.

Still, the location of the problem at frets 5-7 merits further examination.

In the words of the immortal Douglas Adams, "DON'T PANIC".
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Old 03-04-2016, 09:33 AM
s2y s2y is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martingitdave View Post
If you play with very low action to start with, it won't take much in terms of low humidity, and lower temperature to cause a guitar to buzz. If you play with higher action, there is more tolerance for changes in environment. You're friend is correct. I have both of my Taylor guitars setup for lower action. They tend to be very stable, but occasionally need a tweak of the truss rod to add some relief. My new Martin is setup with slightly higher action than the Taylors, for Bluegrass, and is less susceptible, it seems, to humidity changes.
Excellent observations. Guys with high action often don't notice the changes. Guys who prefer low action can tell when the strings get higher or buzz more than normal.
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Old 03-04-2016, 10:11 AM
Wpaul63 Wpaul63 is offline
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Thank you for the many excellent replies.
Yes the guitar IS vey easy to play - especially since I'm used to electrics.
What I mean by "plenty of buzzing" is that the strings were almost choking - that "bad".
I mean I've been to stores that carry some very nice stuff (Collings, Goodall, Taylor, etc) and I've never seen anything that radical from any guitar out of the case. I had also heard of acoustic guitars' "seasonality" factor - i.e. that there were "summer" and "winter" (or dry vs. wet season) guitars.
As I said my mate's remark "all the time" left me a bit surprised (I had also voiced my concern directly to him, but as I said he seemed pretty much unperturbed).
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Old 03-04-2016, 10:52 AM
73Fender 73Fender is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wpaul63 View Post
Hey guys
acoustic noob here.
Was fiddling around on a mate's acoustic - a custom job done by a local luthier (Italy) - and noticed that there was plenty of buzzing going on between the V and VII frets. He was pretty unfazed, just took out his hex key and set the neck nice and true again.
But here's the point.
His comment was "oh it happens all the time, especially when the weather changes".
It his normal? I mean for a neck to move that much?
Well from a fellow AF newbie, welcome. Maybe I'm not the newest newbie anymore ha ha.

Good advice, it is a combination of string height, nut string channel depth (open strings only), bridge height, fret level, environmental conditions, player's attack, stability of the wood in question and many more I suppose. Lots of variables at play.
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