A Squier Acoustic Guitar Set-up – a straight forward job on the bench today .
Although the guitar was set ok and within the normal settings for an acoustic guitar, the customer wanted the action lowered.
The nut checked out ok – plastic but I don’t get hung up on what a nut is made from because, to my mind, when you fret a string, you’re taking the contribution of the nut to the tone of the guitar out of play.
The neck relief was fine but I tweaked the truss rod just to bring the action down a little by slightly reducing the bow on the neck. I can hear the sharp intakes of breath from other luthiers but, when you’ve been playing guitar for over 50 years and working on them for 30 or so, you know what is and isn’t possible and when you can ignore the manuals.
To my mind, when a guitar plays well and feels right, that is when the set-up is correct, regardless of what the book might say.
That allows me to get playability out of guitars that others might not be able to achieve through lack of combined playing and workshop experience
I then moved on to the saddle, again, ok but I skimmed it by about 0.5mm.
So, when the guitar came in, the action height was a little over 3mm – probably ok for an acoustic guitar. It is now 2mm and the guitar is playing better than ever.
Just by way of a footnote – Not all acoustic guitars can live with an action height of 2mm.