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FDP Forum / FDP Unplugged - Acoustic Instruments / It's all about the setup

Ragtop
Contributing Member
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The older the violin

the sweeter the music.
Oct 31st, 2018 04:49 AM   Edit   Profile  

I mentioned in another post that I recently bought an '04 Martin 00-18V. Bought online, so I didn't get to play it first.

I like everything about the guitar: great Mod V neck, gorgeous top, nice unadorned looks and outstanding tone. However, it had a ton of relief in the neck when it arrived.

I worked with it for a while, even bought a Martin truss rod tool so I didn't have to mess with allen wrenches that were too short. I backed out the relief little by little to where it was much better. But it still didn't play all that well, and I was losing interest in it.

I made a quick trip last week back to Nebraska to visit my mom. I took the Martin along and dropped it off at my favorite guitar shop there. The guitar tech took one look at it and said, "Oh, yeah, I can fix this, no problem."

I picked it up the next day and it was a whole different instrument. He did a bit of nut work and took down the bridge a bit and tweaked the neck.

It is now my favorite guitar, plays like dream. It's all about the setup. Fifty bucks well spent!

Te 52

Laws of Physics

strictly enforced
Oct 31st, 2018 09:16 AM   Edit   Profile  

Good news, congrats! If the frets are level and there's no twist or humps in the neck, nut slot depth, relief, and saddle height are the magic trio. They all work together, and you usually don't change any one without needing to adjust the other.

Ragtop
Contributing Member
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The older the violin

the sweeter the music.
Oct 31st, 2018 10:02 AM   Edit   Profile  

Exactly.

This neck was way out of whack when I got the guitar. I tweaked it a bit, but it needed all three of the adjustments you mentioned. I don't have the tools nor the skill to do it and was happy to pay for a proper job.


reverend mikey
Contributing Member
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N of I-90, E of I-29

You're old. Then vintage. Then good!
Oct 31st, 2018 10:46 AM   Edit   Profile  

Yep, worth $50 not to give up on an excellent guitar.

So who did the set-up work for you?

(I'm eagerly awaiting a Martin Custom Shop J-18 which should be arriving at Dietze sometime in the next 2-3 weeks...)

Ragtop
Contributing Member
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The older the violin

the sweeter the music.
Oct 31st, 2018 12:04 PM   Edit   Profile  

mikey, it was my buddy Rich (ha!) at Dietze. He does nice work.

Does your new CS have the long saddle? Mine does, and they are glued in. I asked Rich about that, and he said he shaves them down from the top. In the case of mine, it was just a very little bit.

Peegoo
Contributing Member
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Beside the

fly-pecked black doorway
Oct 31st, 2018 12:42 PM   Edit   Profile  

I am a firm believer in a good setup being the absolute best thing (it's actually #2 behind practice) a player can do to play better and sound better.

Nine times out of ten, a good setup will make a cheap guitar play and sound much better than replacing any parts on it.

And it will turn a really good guitar into a truly great guitar--like the one in your case (ha!).

(This message was last edited by Peegoo at 02:43 PM, Oct 31st, 2018)

Ragtop
Contributing Member
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The older the violin

the sweeter the music.
Oct 31st, 2018 01:51 PM   Edit   Profile  

**groan**

reverend mikey
Contributing Member
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N of I-90, E of I-29

You're old. Then vintage. Then good!
Nov 1st, 2018 12:35 PM   Edit   Profile  

Groan is right - "well-played," Peegoo! (Another groan.)

Ragtop, mine has the drop in saddle - and it arrived at Dietze today! I'll be picking it up on Monday (we had already made plans to go to Omaha for a couple days, so this works out perfect - for a change!).

I'll post a couple pics from Martin in a separate thread here, and post some more after I get it Monday - don't know how I'm going to stay sane until then! I've waited for A YEAR for this guitar!

Ragtop
Contributing Member
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The older the violin

the sweeter the music.
Nov 2nd, 2018 05:17 AM   Edit   Profile  

Sounds like a nice one, mikey!

heynorm

Omaha, USA

Nov 5th, 2018 09:02 PM   Edit   Profile  

Yes, thumbs up for Rich at Dietze. He’s taken care of my Martin J15 for quite some time! Tele going in next.

(This message was last edited by heynorm at 11:10 PM, Nov 5th, 2018)

hushnel
Contributing Member
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North Florida

A Friend of Bill W.
Nov 10th, 2018 05:54 AM   Edit   Profile  

I agree 100%, I’ve taken some crappy entry level instruments and turned them into good players with little more than an hour or two of work.

I bought a used Martin 000-15S sight unseen from a guy for under $400. When I played it I couldn’t believe how weak it sounded. The guy misrepresented this instrument in his discription and I was a bit pissed. I desided to re-string it, check a few things out.

I took off the strings and the bridge fell out of the saddle. The seller told me he had it “boned” meaning his Luthier made a bone saddle for it. I made a new one and installed it. It made a huge difference, more than seemed possible.

I called the guy, I was still a little pissed but maybe I misread his discription, I said find a new Luthier, and offered to sell the guitar back to him, I added $100.00 for shipping, strings and new saddle. He declined but did thank me for the heads up.

Ragtop
Contributing Member
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The older the violin

the sweeter the music.
Nov 11th, 2018 03:51 AM   Edit   Profile  

hushnel, you got a steal of a deal on a really nice guitar, even though you had to do some work on it.

hushnel
Contributing Member
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North Florida

A Friend of Bill W.
Nov 11th, 2018 07:42 AM   Edit   Profile  

I know, I love that guitar, before I got it I was ambushed by 00-15 at sam ash. I was checking out the state of acoustic bass guitars, which I found to be as lame as ever. I saw the little Hog on the wall behind the counter and asked the kid if I could check it out.

I was floored by the tone, I had the kid drag out every small bodied mahogany guitar they had and facing each other played them back and forth, to hear how it sounded when I played one and him playing it back at me. No doubt the 00-15 was special. I tried to talk myself out of it but after two days I caved, I was worried it would be sold. They were going for around $700+ at the time.

In a strange round about way I joined the Unofficial Martin Guitar Forum to see how these guitars were rated by the Martin crowd, consensus on strings, set ups etc. This young guy posted that he was looking for an acoustic bass guitar. I followed the thread. A guy posted that he had a 1985 Guild B-50 he’d sell, but it was a factory fretless, the kid passed, I guess intimidated by it being fretless, or maybe the $1,200 the guy wanted for it. I contacted the seller and we made the deal.

Kind of ironic, being ambushed my an amazing 00-15 while looking for a good ABG actually led to finding one. The UMGF was also where I got the 000-15S.



Ragtop
Contributing Member
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The older the violin

the sweeter the music.
Nov 11th, 2018 09:24 AM   Edit   Profile  

Just recently a friend of mine was looking for an acoustic bass. He was going to buy a Breedlove, but I steered him into a new Guild.

He paid a bit more, but loves the guitar.

FDP Forum / FDP Unplugged - Acoustic Instruments / It's all about the setup




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