Author Topic: How often do you adjust your action?  (Read 2170 times)

Jurrasicway

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 62
How often do you adjust your action?
« on: January 11, 2013, 01:40:23 AM »
Hi All,

I have a GA4 which I bought in June 2012. Since I've had it it has gone back to the shop twice. The first time the tech adjusted the action and when I took it away it was ok. A month or so later the action was buzzing on most of the strings. I took it back and some guys from taylor had a look at it and put a shim in the neck to change the angle (on a new guitar!!). It was ok for a bit and now I am having another buzzfest on the fretboard.  :o

Has anyone got any ideas what this could be. The room where I keep the guitar has a constant temperature, the guitar is away from heat sources and humidity is fine. I can not work it out.

Before buying my first taylor all the reports said "Rock Solid and playable out of the box"..... "Never need to tune my taylor, holds tune exceptionally" ???. I am a little disappointed in my purchase so far and is not what I expected from a taylor "quality" guitar. Can anyone give me some advice??

Thanks for your help.
512 12 Fret.

lmacmil

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 181
Re: How often do you adjust your action?
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2013, 06:18:29 AM »
I asked a similar question about neck relief on AGF a while back.  I got responses ranging from "I tweak my truss rod a couple times a year when the seasons change" to "when the action changes, I change my saddle, the neck relief isn't affected by the seasons."  My Taylor is less than 2 months old so I don't have any personal data to share.
Taylor GA3
Larrivee OM-03
Martin DSR

roadbiker

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 371
  • Member #100
    • jmaurophoto
Re: How often do you adjust your action?
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2013, 06:45:31 AM »
Seldom. I just adjusted the truss rod very slightly to raise the action a hair. The reasons I did it was because I kept rolling the high E string off the edge of the fretboard and I had a slight buzz on the B string when capo'd and fretting around the 7th fret. Now it's all better. This was the second time I made a minor adjustment since I bought my 814 new in November 2011. For me it has been rock solid. I attribute these adjustment to environmental changes, even though my guitar is in a relatively constant and stable environment (62-71 degrees F, 45-50% RH). The one environmental factor that we can't control is Barometric Pressure, and I wonder if that has an effect as well.

I think that you should get firm with Taylor and or the shop and get them to exchange the guitar for a new one if this condition persists.

Jim
1980 Guild D50 (Westerly), Antique Sunburst
2010 Epiphone Masterbilt AJ500R Acoustic/Electric
2010 Taylor GS Mini
2011 Taylor 814CE Acoustic/Electric
1975 Carlo Robelli SG Custom (Sam Ash model)
Fishman Loudbox Mini
VOX AGA70

www.jmaurophoto.com

Edward

  • Global Moderator
  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1406
Re: How often do you adjust your action?
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2013, 08:36:32 AM »
The neck angle should be set properly ...if done properly you are good for some time, which includes your normal seasonal changes and regular use (which of course barrs extremes or neglect).  Temperature (at which our human body is comfy anyway)  is largely irrelevant; it is Relative Humidity that alters the guitar's geometry slightly as the top swells or sinks.   But given a proper neck angle from the get-go, it is maybe only 1/8 turn of the truss rod that will compensate for such changes.  So it depends on how high/low you like your action, how persnickity you are when it does change, and of course how often/how drastic your RH swings from one extreme to the other.

FWIW, I don't bother tweaking the TR over seasonal changes because I know very well I'll have to change it right back in a few weeks (that can sound "lazy" or "tolerant" ;)  ).  And that's with guitars hanging in a room with RH "controlled" in the 40-to- mid-50% (I put "controlled" in quotes because I am not so fastidious as to hyper-control the RH unless it does indeed slip into the mid 30s or go above 60% ...otherwise, I'm ok with my variance).

So all said, I'd confirm first with a qualitfied Taylor-authorized tech that your neck angle is correct.  Then set the TR accordingly and adjust for setup.  Once all is to your liking, expect mild changes in your guitar's playability which will corrolate with changes in RH.  Then you may adjust as often or seldom as you personally see fit.

Edward


Jurrasicway

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 62
Re: How often do you adjust your action?
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2013, 10:31:54 AM »
Hi Edward,

Thanks for your post (and everyone else's). The neck was adjusted by the tech team from Amsterdam (who were visiting the UK) so was done by the people who should know. From the few posts I have already it would seem that a trip to the shop and a firm stance is in order to get them to swap the guitar out. I guess there must be a bad one at some point, I'm just the unlucky guy to get it  :(

I'd welcome hearing any other opinions or experiences with neck issues. Keep the advice coming, its all gratefully received.
 ;D
512 12 Fret.

Edward

  • Global Moderator
  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1406
Re: How often do you adjust your action?
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2013, 11:27:09 AM »
Yessir, given that factory guys did the adjusting, and that you have RH in check, and still the sound/action have gone awry, I'd agree: press on about getting the issue resolved.  You may have, indeed, got a bad one.  It happens.

While reports of Taylors never needing to be tuned smack of exaggeration to my ears, the guitars really are solildly reliable and, for lack of a better term, "fuss free"; just play em and they work great!  Part of the Taylor reputation they have earned is this superb playability; one other big part is stellar customer satisfaction.  I'd suggest you continue to "nudge" them on both these points ;)

Edward

jdr1014

  • New Member
  • *
  • Posts: 11
Re: How often do you adjust your action?
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2013, 01:13:14 PM »
Hello Jurrasicway,

Sorry to hear of your issues - certainly doesn't sound like typical Taylor stability, etc.  I've had my 355CE 12 string about a year and never have adjusted the truss rod.  Seasonal changes in action on this guitar are very minimal, despite 12 string tension and tuned to full concert pitch.........it's about the most stable guitar I own.

I'd keep after the shop about yours.  One thought - is it possible that yours was "overadjusted", and it took a bit of time for it to fully settle in?  This could be the reason that a short time after a new neck shim you ended up with too little relief and fret buzz.  I make adjustments in small increments and allow time for the adjustment and neck to settle in before adjusting further.  You might back off the truss rod 1/8 to 1/4 turn and leave it there a few days before further adjustment.  You might find a place that stays within a range of acceptable playing action.
 
Good Luck ! :)

Taylor 355CE
Taylor GS mini
Martin 000-15SM
Larrivee D-03R
A&L 12 string cedar/cherry
1972 Ibanez 12 string
About 2 dozen electrics - mostly Fender

MTLeonard

  • New Member
  • *
  • Posts: 45
Re: How often do you adjust your action?
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2013, 04:11:46 PM »
My first Taylor, a 214 CE aquired a horrible buzz a few weeks after I purchased it. All was fine till I took it to a Bluegrass Festival in the Mountains here in AZ. I live in the desert and it was a very fast & huge change in climate. The buzz started while at the festival. When I got home tried to adjust with truss rod. No luck. I called Taylor and they directed me to the local factory service luthier.
Bottom line was the neck warped! It twisted like the lines in a candy cane. The good news is Taylor replaced the neck in short order and at no charge.

I would take it back to the dealer and have them fix or replace the guitar. For me Taylor gave exellent service after the sale. I have purhased 3 new Taylors since with no problems years later. I also have a 1995 DSM I phurchased used that plays and sounds just fine.
If Pro is the opposite of Con
Progress must be the Opposite of Congress

GS Mini
Grafted Walnut 414 LDT
714 W/Spruce Top
Dan Carry Signature

michaelw

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3011
  • with more frivolous trivia than most infomercials
    • i agree with Fred
Re: How often do you adjust your action?
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2013, 05:31:54 PM »
... The neck was adjusted by the tech team from Amsterdam (who were visiting the UK) so was done by the people who should know. From the few posts I have already it would seem that a trip to the shop and a firm stance is in order to get them to swap the guitar out. I guess there must be a bad one at some point, I'm just the unlucky guy to get it  :(

I'd welcome hearing any other opinions or experiences with neck issues. Keep the advice coming, its all gratefully received.
 ;D
if the strings are buzzing when played open, it could be negative relief, the nut slot(s)
could be impropely cut, a high fret (or several) or metal fatigue (even if the strings aren't 'dead') -
the NT neck is designed so that the bridge & saddle height can remain consistent & the neck angle
adjusted for the action desired (up to a point, as some set-ups may require a slight lowering of the saddle)

with spacers available in .002 increments +/- .024, setting the correct angle should  not be a concern, provided
there are no structural concerns that could be related to the environment (the neck block is laminate for stability)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wFVLRu9Np3w

the purpose of a truss rod adjustment is specifically to alter the amount of neck relief -
if there was inadequate relief (none or a negative 'back-bow'), this may cause buzzing

excessive relief in the neck, which may result in strings being fretted sharp, can be corrected by removing some
of the relief & in many cases will actually lower the action (as a by-product) once the neck relief is correctly set

if the humidity level of the guitar is exceptionally high, it can cause the top to belly & the bridge
to rise, raising the action & if the truss rod is adjusted to try & compensate (correct) for this
the results will likely not be satisfactory & could potentially cause damage to the instrument

average humidity in the UK seems to be on the high side (from what i've seen on the interwebs) -

'Mean relative humidity for an average year is recorded as 79.6% and on a monthly basis it ranges from 70% in June to 89% in December.'

forced heating system use in the winter & air conditioning in the summer will likely have
some effect, even if the temperature shows to be in the 68-72 F range & humidity 47-52%

i've seen a few guitars that had the incorrect spacers installed from the factory, but
they were the exception, rather than the rule (still, there's human error that factors in) -
in my experience, Taylor has always stepped in, stood behind their product & made it right

please let us know how it turns out
it's not about what you play,
it's all about why you play ...

luckycanine

  • New Member
  • *
  • Posts: 22
Re: How often do you adjust your action?
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2013, 06:52:00 PM »
Occasionally I eyeball the clearing on the low E string at the 5th fret while pressing down on the 1st and 12th fret, and if needed, do tweaking as necessary.  As pointed out the seasons, and corresponding ac/heating adjustments may affect relief slightly.  Not rocket science.  WC

Jurrasicway

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 62
Re: How often do you adjust your action?
« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2013, 03:25:43 AM »
Hi All,

Just an update. I took the GA4 to the shop last Saturday and the guitar tech agreed that the neck has moved again. I wrote to the manager of the shop (who was not there on Saturday) and explained that the neck had been checked and adjusted 5 times already and still it had not settled (Factory, before first supply, 3 subsequent visits to the shop, 1 of which the Taylor techs added a shim to the neck). I told him that I had lost confidence in the build of this guitar (not his shop or services because he and his team have been awesome). He was supportive and let me know that he had contacted Taylor and was awaiting a reply.

I'll let you know how it turns out, I am still waiting for Taylor to give me a decision. I do however genuinely think that this is an exception from the posts on this site and the response from all you guys so thanks for all your help

 :) :) :) :) :)
512 12 Fret.

GSMC Bob

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 156
    • Gloria & Bob Music
Re: How often do you adjust your action?
« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2013, 12:37:58 PM »
The only time I adjust my truss rod is when switching string gauges to something with either more or less tension than what I was using.  The adjustment, which is not always required depending on the change of tension for each particular string sets, restores the neck relief to my preference.  I have never noticed humidity impacting my neck relief, but I sure have seen it impact string height from the top either slightly swelling or sinking... and I keep the relative humidity in the place where my guitars are between 40-55%.  When I can keep the relative humidity (RH) in a slightly narrower range, my setup stays rock solid and stable on all of my guitars.  I consider outdoor humidity to be "irrelevant humdity", unless of course you store your guitars there!  By the way, the factory recommended way to adjust string height on an NT neck Taylor is by changing the neck angle ("neck reset") by exchanging the precisely machined shims Taylor installed in the body/neck joint at the factory for a different size -- that way you do not have to change the saddle height, which can affect tone dramatically. 

Ignoring humidity for a moment, over the long run, action eventually will rise on any guitar as the sound box distorts slightly over time from string tension.  If a guitar body is built lightly enough to sound good and be responsive then this WILL happen.  This is why guitars need neck resets eventually (sometimes it can be decades!) and you see players shaving saddles lower and lower to maintain proper string height.  Sooner or later there is very little saddle exposed and a very shallow string break angle over the saddle, which kills both tone and volume.  On an NT neck Taylor, a neck reset is a quick, cheap, and easy process compared to guitars with glued neck joints. 

When string height begins to go lower on its own, which can cause string buzz, that usually indicates the top drying out and sinking a bit due to low relative humidity in your case/guitar room.  Of course, the top can rise from excess humidity and raise the action.  These are the seasonal changes that can cycle back and forth throughout the year (depending on where you live) if your guitar is not kept in a controlled RH environment.  It is crucial that when you have your guitar set up and the neck angle adjusted, you have it done when the guitar is properly humidified and kept in a stable humidity range.   In other words, if you have your guitar set up when it is "wet" that perfectly set action will fall some when it is at proper humidity and then fall some more if your guitar becomes "dry" and the strings will buzz.  Most makers agree that 45-50% relative humidity is ideal for acoustic guitars.  Controlling the humidity in your guitar case is the easiest approach as it is a small space.  Taylor has great info on humidity.  Check the Taylor site or the paperwork that comes with a new Taylor from the factory.

Sure, there are lots of other ways for strings to buzz that others have mentioned like a high fret, incorrect string height at the nut, action too low, too little (or negative) neck relief, technique, incorrect neck angle, lighter string gauges without truss rod adjustment... etc. so there are many other things potentially to sort out, but if you don't keep your guitar at a proper and relatively stable RH, you'll be fighting an uphill battle... so this is the first thing to check and solve, if needed.  Rest assured Taylor will take care of you if something is amiss with the build of your guitar or the work of their factory authorized techs.  Taylor's Customer Service Dept. is legendary!  Best of luck with getting your issue solved!!
« Last Edit: January 23, 2013, 12:41:11 PM by GSMC Bob »
Taylors:  Four of 'em!
Other Brands:  Two of 'em!

Jurrasicway

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 62
Re: How often do you adjust your action?
« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2013, 04:46:57 AM »
Hi All,

Well as promised just a note to keep you updated with my GA4. The guitar is still in Amsterdam. The shop said that Taylor are sending it back to him next week (they would have had it for 3 weeks by then). I have lost faith in the guitar and certainly do not want it back. The one I bought in my mind was a fully working "quality" guitar, not something that would make me have to leave it with the shop 3 times and then be sent away to Amsterdam for 3 weeks.

The dealer has been very good and said that he will honour the price of the guitar as credit in his shop for me on a new one of my choice, even if Taylor repaired it and sent it back. That is great service from him and I am very pleased with that. However, to date I have heard nothing from Taylor in the way of what was wrong, and nothing about any good will gesture to compensate for my time making trips to the dealers store and not having a guitar to play intermittently through the winter months.

Without any news or updates from Taylor I almost feel as if they are blaming me for the issues with the guitar. Just a point to note, when I took it back to the dealer the dealers tech put it on the bench, adjusted the buzz out of it, left it for 3 or 4 hours and when they went back to it guess what, buzzing strings again. The did this 2 or 3 times. So that gives you the kind of idea of what was happening.
 
I have asked my dealer to enquire about a price for a 512 12 Fret with the added request for a gesture of good will on the price so I do not feel so aggrieved about the issues I have had. 

Lets see what next week brings  ???
512 12 Fret.

shooter1103

  • New Member
  • *
  • Posts: 31
Re: How often do you adjust your action?
« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2013, 05:58:47 PM »
Yes I wished all dealers did the right thing like this dealer did. Sounds like a great dealer todo business with! Thank you guys for he input on setting action and how often I needs to be done.

Nomad

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 369
Re: How often do you adjust your action?
« Reply #14 on: February 19, 2013, 10:22:17 AM »
However, to date I have heard nothing from Taylor in the way of what was wrong, and nothing about any good will gesture to compensate for my time making trips to the dealers store and not having a guitar to play intermittently through the winter months.

What would you ask them to do? What would be a sufficient "good will gesture"?

If you've been going through your dealer to get this rectified, it should come as no surprise that Taylor is having contact only with the dealer.

Quote
Without any news or updates from Taylor I almost feel as if they are blaming me for the issues with the guitar.

It sounds as though you're working with the dealer who, in turn, is then working with Taylor. In that equation, the dealer is the one who will hear from Taylor, not you.

What have they said which would give you the (more than likely) incorrect impression that they're "blaming" you?