The Acoustic Guitar Forum

Go Back   The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > Build and Repair

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 01-15-2021, 08:21 AM
Boozehound Boozehound is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: South Jersey
Posts: 414
Default Fretboard Sloping toward Sound Hole

Hi. This is somewhat cross posted from a NGD thread, but I wanted to post here as well to get the experts opinion. I recently a acquired a pre-owned SCGC D/PW Brazilian. The guitar overall appears well used, but well cared for. I have 45 days to return it. Tonally I like the guitar, but I have a question about the fret board. Specifically - the last 4-5 frets of the fret board seem to slope noticeably toward the sound hole.



Normally when I see this it's bad news, and typically paired with a rotating / collapsing neck block and sinking sound hole. In this case though, the sound hole appears essentially completely flat to the top, with no evidence of sinking.



The neck block also looks good, as does all of the bracing.



There is nothing else structurally about this guitar that would concern me. It has the typical slight belly behind the bridge but nothing excessive. All the bracing looks and feels good.

The only other 'quirk' is that the neck appears to be borderline over-set. There is a healthy bit of saddle showing with pretty low action (4/32 and 1.5/32). It makes me wonder if the guitar had a neck reset at some point, and that may explain the fret board? If the neck angle was increased and then the fret board was glued down to the top it would seem that could potentially cause the issue that I'm seeing. It doesn't affect playability - I'm just worried about potential long term issues.

Can anyone provide any further perspective / insight? Thanks in advance!

__________________
Froggy Bottom Model S Deluxe | Santa Cruz D/PW | Lowden F35 12-Fret | Santa Cruz OM/PW | Santa Cruz 000 Cocobolo / Italian Spruce | Martin Gruhn Guitars Custom D-21 Adi/Madi | Martin MFG Custom D-18 Adirondack Ambertone | Gibson J-45 |
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 01-15-2021, 08:56 AM
Rudy4 Rudy4 is online now
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 3,924
Default

You might want to give Santa Cruz a call with the serial number to see if they have any record of repair.

It looks to me like a slightly muffed reset. I probably wouldn't want any more saddle than that sticking up, and it may cause problems with bridge lift later.

That's just my opinion though. It probably deserves a closer evaluation if you have a really good tech in your area. If you don't play that area of the fretboard then it might only be a problem if you want to sell it later. The larger problem would be the overly-high saddle.

You gotta love that clean lining job, though!
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 01-15-2021, 09:04 AM
Boozehound Boozehound is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: South Jersey
Posts: 414
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rudy4 View Post
You might want to give Santa Cruz a call with the serial number to see if they have any record of repair.

It looks to me like a slightly muffed reset. I probably wouldn't want any more saddle than that sticking up, and it may cause problems with bridge lift later.

That's just my opinion though. It probably deserves a closer evaluation if you have a really good tech in your area. If you don't play that area of the fretboard then it might only be a problem if you want to sell it later. The larger problem would be the overly-high saddle.

You gotta love that clean lining job, though!
Thanks. I have reached out to SCGC regarding the build and repair history and am awaiting a response.

The issue starts at the ~19th fret, so it has zero impact on playability.

The actual neck joint itself looks good. No gaps, significant finish marring, or other evidence of a poor neck rest.

I assume that the excess glue around the neck block is indicative of a neck reset and probably wouldn't have left the Santa Cruz factory that way.

I'm in the Philly Area and Brothers Music in Wind Gap is about 2hrs from me, so I might be able to take it there for eval, but that's a bit of a drive...
__________________
Froggy Bottom Model S Deluxe | Santa Cruz D/PW | Lowden F35 12-Fret | Santa Cruz OM/PW | Santa Cruz 000 Cocobolo / Italian Spruce | Martin Gruhn Guitars Custom D-21 Adi/Madi | Martin MFG Custom D-18 Adirondack Ambertone | Gibson J-45 |
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 01-15-2021, 09:21 AM
JonWint JonWint is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: 1 hr from Nazareth
Posts: 727
Default

Saddle exposure looks close to preferred 1/8". How old is guitar? Falloff is a side effect of resets. Some luthiers use tapered shim to keep fretboard flat. A shim bothers me more than a little falloff.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 01-15-2021, 09:34 AM
Boozehound Boozehound is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: South Jersey
Posts: 414
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonWint View Post
Saddle exposure looks close to preferred 1/8". How old is guitar? Falloff is a side effect of resets. Some luthiers use tapered shim to keep fretboard flat. A shim bothers me more than a little falloff.
Thanks. So the falloff isn't really an issue in and of itself, and is to be expected after a neck reset. I'm thinking this guitar had a neck reset that ended up with the neck a bit overset.

As for the saddle - I'd call it right about 1/8". In a perfect world I'd probably raise the action by about 1/64th of an inch, which would put it slightly over 1/8".

In generally I'd rather live with a slightly overset neck vs underset, but I don't want to create issues with the bridge.

I paid $4500 for the guitar and got 8% back in Musician's friend points, so I can invest some money in it without getting upside down if I need to at some point.

I'm also wondering if it is a bit dry. The guitar came from a Guitar Center in Colorado Springs. Perhaps some time in my music room @ 50% humidity will bring the action up a bit.
__________________
Froggy Bottom Model S Deluxe | Santa Cruz D/PW | Lowden F35 12-Fret | Santa Cruz OM/PW | Santa Cruz 000 Cocobolo / Italian Spruce | Martin Gruhn Guitars Custom D-21 Adi/Madi | Martin MFG Custom D-18 Adirondack Ambertone | Gibson J-45 |
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 01-15-2021, 09:56 AM
redir redir is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Mountains of Virginia
Posts: 6,064
Default

I always use a tapered shim to avoid that when doing a neck reset. But the neck angle looks proper on that guitar. You want to have enough saddle height so that you can lower it at some point in the future or even for player preference.

That fall away is nothing to worry about unless you are an acoustic guitar shredder and like to play past the 14th fret a lot. But being a non-cutout my guess is those frets don't get a lot of play.

The glue around the neck block has nothign to do with the neck reset. Unless the damage was a rotated block too. IT's not abnormal to see some squeeze out there especially if they close the sound box with the top last.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 01-15-2021, 12:56 PM
Boozehound Boozehound is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: South Jersey
Posts: 414
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by redir View Post
I always use a tapered shim to avoid that when doing a neck reset. But the neck angle looks proper on that guitar. You want to have enough saddle height so that you can lower it at some point in the future or even for player preference.

That fall away is nothing to worry about unless you are an acoustic guitar shredder and like to play past the 14th fret a lot. But being a non-cutout my guess is those frets don't get a lot of play.

The glue around the neck block has nothign to do with the neck reset. Unless the damage was a rotated block too. IT's not abnormal to see some squeeze out there especially if they close the sound box with the top last.
Thank you. In particular I appreciate the clarification around the falloff. I will never play those frets, so the playability isn't an issue.

The action is a bit on the low side for the amount of saddle showing, but I'm not sure it's really an issue, per se, unless someone wanted to set the action at 6/64 or higher, in which case you could be getting into the 'saddle too high' scenario. I'd probably like to take the action up by maybe 1/64, which I think will be a little borderline, but OK.
__________________
Froggy Bottom Model S Deluxe | Santa Cruz D/PW | Lowden F35 12-Fret | Santa Cruz OM/PW | Santa Cruz 000 Cocobolo / Italian Spruce | Martin Gruhn Guitars Custom D-21 Adi/Madi | Martin MFG Custom D-18 Adirondack Ambertone | Gibson J-45 |
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 01-16-2021, 02:54 PM
John Arnold John Arnold is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 3,314
Default

Quote:
typically paired with a rotating / collapsing neck block and sinking sound hole.
While the sinking top in the soundhole area is a possible contributor, the rotating neck block will cause the opposite issue, where the fingerboard extension rises instead of falling off.
This is all about the fretboard plane being different than the plane of the top. For comfortable action and a reasonable saddle/bridge height, the neck needs to be pitched back a degree or two. While there are several ways to achieve a straight fingerboard when building a guitar, the simplest way on a reset of an older guitar is to shim the fingerboard tongue.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 01-16-2021, 08:04 PM
Boozehound Boozehound is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: South Jersey
Posts: 414
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Arnold View Post
While the sinking top in the soundhole area is a possible contributor, the rotating neck block will cause the opposite issue, where the fingerboard extension rises instead of falling off.
This is all about the fretboard plane being different than the plane of the top. For comfortable action and a reasonable saddle/bridge height, the neck needs to be pitched back a degree or two. While there are several ways to achieve a straight fingerboard when building a guitar, the simplest way on a reset of an older guitar is to shim the fingerboard tongue.
Thanks for the input, John! Itís great to be able to get the quality advice from so many knowledgeable luthiers here.

It sounds like the falloff is the result of a neck reset without a shim. As long as it isnít likely to cause problems down the line, that isnít an issue for me. Iím pretty confident there are no structural issues with the top itself. Everything lines up and is pretty flat. The guitar sounds amazing, which has me planning to keep it unless there is a major reason to reconsider.
__________________
Froggy Bottom Model S Deluxe | Santa Cruz D/PW | Lowden F35 12-Fret | Santa Cruz OM/PW | Santa Cruz 000 Cocobolo / Italian Spruce | Martin Gruhn Guitars Custom D-21 Adi/Madi | Martin MFG Custom D-18 Adirondack Ambertone | Gibson J-45 |
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 01-25-2021, 09:23 AM
mtdmind mtdmind is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 768
Default

I see that fallout on some of my guitars,too. I always thought it had to do with the wood drying and shrinking there.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 01-25-2021, 09:50 AM
charles Tauber charles Tauber is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 7,922
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mtdmind View Post
I see that fallout on some of my guitars,too. I always thought it had to do with the wood drying and shrinking there.
Where it exists on new guitars, it is either a result of a misfit of the neck or put there after the fact purposely.

On guitars that have had a neck reset, it is the result of how the neck reset was performed, whether or not the neck angle was changed and the fingerboard extension then just glued back down to the top.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 01-25-2021, 10:50 AM
John Arnold John Arnold is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 3,314
Default

FYI, it is possible to add a shim under the fingerboard tongue without removing the neck.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 01-25-2021, 06:53 PM
mirwa mirwa is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 2,757
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mtdmind View Post
I see that fallout on some of my guitars,too. I always thought it had to do with the wood drying and shrinking there.
As mentioned above, its a very common practice with most manufacturers for speed of assembly.

Steve
__________________
Cole Clark Fat Lady
Gretsch Electromatic
Martin CEO7
Maton Messiah
Taylor 814CE
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 01-26-2021, 09:02 AM
FPerezRoig FPerezRoig is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 56
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Arnold View Post
While there are several ways to achieve a straight fingerboard when building a guitar.
I recently came across this problem, while building my first acoustic. I set the neck to the right angle, and now the extension of the fingerboard sits maybe half a millimetre above the top.

Should I just glue it to the top and forget, add a shim, or there are other ways to fix this once the body is fully braced and assembled?
Reply With Quote
Reply

  The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > Build and Repair

Thread Tools





All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:35 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, The Acoustic Guitar Forum
vB Ad Management by =RedTyger=