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Old 10-13-2021, 09:22 PM
Tempotantrum Tempotantrum is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 92
Default Neck Bow without frets in the equation

Hi all- I have been a little concerned about relief on my new Martin 39' D18AA as the readings I have been getting using the "capo at 1 and hold down the 14th fret" have seemed high. The guitar plays fine - action is at 3/32 & 2/32 low and high E respectively, however the dealer did shorten the saddle before shipping as the action was high from the factory. I was thinking that the first or second fret might be high and throwing my readings off - so I used the opportunity to get one of those StewMac notched straight edges to take the frets out of the equation (on sale right now btw). What a difference that makes - using the notched straightedge I can see the neck bow very clearly starting after the second fret all the way to the 17th - with a maximum depth of 2/32 after the ninth
fret. At first that freaked me out - looked very high to me but my Collings D1ATS has nearly an identical profile and also plays great. The neck angle on both is good - straightedge puts the neck right at the top of the bridge. Not sure if you can tell from the photo - but does the curvature look normal? Thanks[IMG][/IMG]
2004 Collings OM42BaaaA
2020 Collings D1ATS
2021 Martin 39' D18AA
2015 Duff F5
2008 Kimble A5
AO Tele 70's
Vintage Fender Twin

Last edited by Tempotantrum; 10-13-2021 at 09:29 PM.
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Old 10-14-2021, 07:08 AM
redir redir is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Mountains of Virginia
Posts: 6,562

Is there a bit of a hump at the 14th fret body joint? That would explain it. It's not ideal but I would not be terribly worried about it. The measurements that you have stated for the action at the 12th fret is about as good as it gets for any guitar. So if the guitar sounds good, plays well, then don't worry about it.

Try measuring the relief from the 1st to the 12th fret.
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