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FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / Is it a bad thing to check my seagull grands top and find.


LA , Calif

I try my best
Apr 19th, 2017 06:00 PM   Edit   Profile  

If I check the top with a straight edge 90 degrees to the X brace the top sinks down a bit and this follows the X brace like the X brace stands a bit proud of the cedar top. You can't see it by eye or feel it. Would this indicate the top might be dry? The braces are not loose.

Contributing Member

The spotlight

looks like a prison break
Apr 19th, 2017 06:37 PM   Edit   Profile  

It's not a guarantee of anything...but I would humidify the guitar and see what happens. Get is to about 40% humidity and see if that helps.

All acoustic guitars (made of wood, at least) deform somewhat. If the action, playability, and tone have not drastically changed, then things are probably okay.


LA , Calif

I try my best
Apr 19th, 2017 07:07 PM   Edit   Profile  

I have been keeping it witha dampit in the sound hole and rewet each 5 days. Today and yesterday is was 50% RH here, so I didn't re wet them.

Today I was checking it over and thought it looked like it might be dry since I was not always keeping up on in . For the first 3 years owned it I didn't know about RH yet it didn't change much. Today I placed a sponge in a baggie and the dampit and them used the dampit sound hole cover just to see if anything changes in 24 hours.

I can see the rose wood I added to the saddle now shows a gap and the saddle leans toward the neck . it's not cranked yet I can see it's changed.

I still plays well and sounds the same as it has in quite a while.

Perhaps I should remove the sponge and cover since it's 50% RH now in the closet. It's 13 year old so I'm sure things have changed in that time.

I know I need to make a new saddle so it fits proper. Plus I haven't checked the pitch and found after a year since I last changed the strings and I tune to a half step flat and it was well under that. . I tuned it up and got the neck relief back.

Contributing Member

The spotlight

looks like a prison break
Apr 19th, 2017 10:58 PM   Edit   Profile  

Sounds like things are stable... Good news!

Contributing Member

Paris, France

It's just a guitar, not rocket science.
Apr 20th, 2017 02:54 AM   Edit   Profile  

"All acoustic guitars (made of wood, at least) deform somewhat. If the action, playability, and tone have not drastically changed, then things are probably okay."


And Taylor have some useful articles on their website. Like this one...

Symptoms of a Dry Guitar


LA , Calif

I try my best
Apr 20th, 2017 12:45 PM   Edit   Profile  

I've watched all the Bob Taylor videos on dry guitars. I've also watched other ones as well.

They talk about the top and back arch , not one ever goes further into the X brace other than pointing out loose braces.

I'm no expert by a long shot one what to expect over the years on what changes on an acoustic. This seagull is the only acoustic I've ever owned this long.

I can see using a straight edge 90 degrees to the braces that the top is lower by maybe .005" on either side of the X brace their entire length and near the sound hole. That to me seems like either the cedar top is a bit dry or just years of tension, I'm not sure. I don't want to over do the humidification and ruin it. The top still has an arch across the lower bout yet just behind the bridge it becomes more of a peak at the center and rather than a curved arch it's the peak then ramps down to the edge which is most likely years of string tension. The top is pretty equal as far as the shape on both sides, the slight dips it has. I can see the board over the top has a bit of fall away. To be honest I never checked the top when I got it so it could have always been this way. Who really breaks out tools to check this unless they know there is a problem.

I'm just going to fit the saddle better and lower the action from 1/8" 12th fret low E and 3/32" high E about 1/32" . Then try my best to keep it humidified proper.

Seagull talks about how they have this built in arch in the upper bout and a laminate spruce cross brace just near where the board sets on the top. On mine on the treb side is flat on the bass side it's slightly concave . Their brace design and arch are supposed to help the top from caving in. They do not claim it will never happen .

On the saddle itself the slot was to wide so I shaped a rosewood shim , super glued it to the back of the new saddle and sanded to fit yet it leans toward the neck . Perhaps I didn't get it to fit proper the first time so I need to address this and also lower the action a bit.

I have a TUSQ blank yet making a new compensated saddle only thicker seems like quite a task. I have no idea why a bridge slot would change in it's width, I suspect Seagull screwed up when they cut it . Like I said in one of my endless boring posts on this seagull grand it was 2 years old when I got it new and have no idea how it was kept at the on-line store I got it from yet I do know when they routed the slot the treble side had a missed area in that rout and had a ledge that held the saddle from sitting flat to the bottom so I removed that ledge and fitted a new TUSQ saddle with the rosewood deal. I would have never noticed this except I removed all the strings in 2009 and the saddle just fell out.


LA , Calif

I try my best
Apr 20th, 2017 07:01 PM   Edit   Profile  

I took the strings off just to see how the saddle fit. I can't even get a > 002" piece of paper to go in with the saddle at any place and it leans even with no strings on it. I guess Seagull just cut this bridge wrong in the first place. I didn't bother lowering the action. I just put new strings on it DAdarrio EJ 16 lights like it came with yet the new high E .012" was not wrapped right at the ball end so I used a .012" martin string.

The pins fit like crap as they always have even with the ball against the plate I need to hold them down while tuning to pitch. They are well under the plate and stay as they did before.

It seemed to help a bit putting a sponge in a baggie and the dampit with the sound hole inside the guitar the upper bout now has a bit of a radius like seagull touts more so on the treble side.

Yesterday it was 75 degrees 50% RH today it's 80 degrees 28% RH so here come the santa ana's.

I have no idea what to do about the pin holes they have a taper yet even a 3 degree reamer does not seem like it will fix them the TUSQ ones I have now are .208" just under the collar and Bob Colosi only has .210" and I need more than that. It seems like seagull reamed the holes to large from the start.

I will either live with it because it would need special pins made that are larger and a pro to ream them to fit and somehow plug and recut the saddle slot. The nuts slots are not deep enough either, just a capo on the first fret lowers the action by 1/32" and I don't have nut files. It's not that I can't play it as it is it just needs more than a good set up. Whom ever cut the nuts slots at Seagull screwed up they are not an even wall more like a V shaped cut with a rounded bottom. Anything can be fixed if you have the funds to do it.


michigan usa

Apr 21st, 2017 04:27 AM   Edit   Profile  

Sounds like you're doing all you can with regard to humidification. I would just keep up with the routine and don't worry about the shape of the top. Wood is a squirrelly material and is sometimes just gonna do what it's gonna do.

As to the nut slots, you can't expect much from a mass-produced guitar. The slots on my recently acquired (new) D-18 were all over the map.

And the v-shaped slot is not a problem, string tension holds the strings down. Stewcrack sells double-sided files (two sizes per file) that have that profile, they work just fine.

Contributing Member

So. Cal. USA

Apr 21st, 2017 10:37 AM   Edit   Profile  

Nut slots are just one of those setup things most manufactures don't get right. As above Martin, Gibson and Taylor too. I bought a GC6e last year (used 2011) and just last night adjusted the nut slot depth.

I'm a bit dryer out in the Elsinore/Temecula valley but really have no problems with humidity or a lack there of I should say. I've got some planet waves humidifiers that seem to work well however my home never really never gets below 35% RH for more than a day or two.

If you are ever out this way, Wildomar, to hit a casino or the wineries in Temecula let me know. I'll set up you Seagull as a drive by for no cost.


LA , Calif

I try my best
Apr 21st, 2017 02:04 PM   Edit   Profile  

Thanks for the kind offer Hammond. Also for everyone who offered advice.

I read a few books I have and one was parts from Guitar player mag with Dan Erlewine and on saddles he states they should not be to tight yet go in with a squeak , I have yet to see one video that saddles fit that tight , Dan did say to tight and you can split the bridge. He also said the saddle should sit in the slot 1 1/2 to 2 times deeper than it is above the bridge my Seagull has a 3/16" deep slot and sits 5/32" above on the bass side.

One you tube I see all sorts of hacks with their own ideas and a few like Bob Taylor and Randy Schartiger who cover humidity . Randy covers much more and seems to know what he's doing. Point is I can tell who's full of it yet I claim to be no expert. I can see how the string pull on acoustic over years can pull the top and even the X brace out of shape even though the X brace in not loose. I have a difficult time getting my hand inside the Seagull grands sound hole I can just barely touch the ball ends and then need to squeeze my left hand with the right to get it out. I want to learn yet you tube can be very misleading if you aren't careful.

I called a local repair guy named Dave Neely Tuesday this week he said Seagulls are great guitars and told him basically about the top lower between the X bracing and he said wood shifts and from what I told him he said it might be fine. He said bring it by and he does not charge to look and advise. I told him I might put a sponge and dampit in the sound hole with the cover and he said be careful because sometimes you can do more harm than good. He did say if water drips it will do all sorts of damage, I know better than to place anything other than just damp in the guitar. Like I said before I didn't know about humidifying guitars when I got this in 2006 and it was not until 2009 I knew and on top of that it's been dry here on/off many times since then and I didn't keep on top of it. I didn't even keep records or write what days or how many passed before I checked it until I got the EL-00, even then I would play the EL-00 and keep up on it yet the seagull would sit for months and when it really got dry I would wet the dampit and sponge near the head stock. This is why I feel it's dry and needs help in that respect. The Seagull never had fret sprout yet that to me is something that takes much longer to happen than a top under tension. For all I know the on-line store I got the Seagull from may have had the fret ends filed.

I blame myself for not keeping on top of the Seagull and Seagull for screwing up the bridge pin holes and slot. I'm sort of amazed that the EL-00 the nut is fine and the pins fit perfect since the Seagull cost twice as much. On Bob Taylor's site he offers this in 2010. 20-35% check dampit every 5 to 7 days , 35-45% 10 -14 days 20% use second sponge near head stock this is even when the dampit drys out which can be two days yet this is for a guitar that is properly humidified. Perhaps on these bride pin holes if I make a pin until it fits proper then measure it I will know what size it needs , I know of no way to measure the holes and Bob Colosi said he does not either I can tell you one thing they are far from a 3 degree taper and Graph Tech only offers 3 degree taper.


LA , Calif

I try my best
Apr 21st, 2017 05:17 PM   Edit   Profile  

Checked the dampit today and it was almost dry and the sponge inside was getting close so I wet both wrung out till just damp and put the cover back over the sound hole and will check saturday. It's 42% 80 degrees in the closet. They got a bit dry because I had the seagull out for 4 hours checking and replacing strings so that dried them out a bit plus it was windy.

I really hope I'm doing the right thing. I emailed seagull and was told 47% RH was their ideal RH. I just need to check it everyday to see if it changes in a good way. I'm most concerned about the drop from the bridge to the sound hole and the fall off at the finger board . If nothing improves in a few days I'll just deal with the fact that the top will not come back . I did see signs it did rise a bit at the upper bout on both sides of the finger board and the side joint at the end block did have a higher area near the center it is now flush.

(This message was last edited by catnineblue at 07:34 PM, Apr 21st, 2017)

FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / Is it a bad thing to check my seagull grands top and find.

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