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Couple of problems with an acoustic guitar.


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  • Couple of problems with an acoustic guitar.

    I have my first acoustic after playing electric for so long and there are a couple of problems with it. Firstly the electronics don't work. There's a button on the pre-amp that lights up the battery check light when pushed and you get an incredibly faint sound through the amp (barely noticeable with headphones) while it's pushed down, but nothing when it's not pushed in. Apart from the EQ and volume this is the only control on it. I understand this may mean just replacing the pre-amp, is this easy though? Are all pre-amps the same size for an easy swap? Also if there is a dodgy connection at the jack, how would I get in there to fix it?

    Secondly and more likely way more out of my skill set is the top of the body where the neck joins seems warped. The cutaway side is fine but the other side has a stupidly high action at this point. This does not bother me so much as I can't think of a time I'd ever play that high, especially on the wound strings, however I am a bit worried of it getting worse and making the guitar unplayable. Is this fixable? I have pics here:

    Acoustic Warp 1.jpg




    I should mention I got the guitar for free from a mate whose housemate just left it behind when they moved. So I'm not down any money, but I quite like it and would like to have it a while.

    Attached Files

  • #2

    You can buy another preamp on ebay for about $10. and you can buy a piezo element for $2.

    As far as the warpage goes, unless the instrument is a high quality guitar its probibly epoxied together and not worth the cost to have it fixed and the cost of the tools to do it yourself would be more than buying a new one.

    If you want to use it to learn how to do repairs, then go for it. The Stuart McDonald site has the tools you will need. You likely have to reset the neck after removing it with steam, and the bridge will need removal so you can clamp the top and reverse the warpage. None of those things are beginner jobs and most fail in the process because the cheap guitars arent made with bone glue that can be heated and the parts removes like you can on better instruments. If you look inside and see the glue at the joints and its yellow in color, it means its not bone glue. If its white in color then it may be bone/hyde glue that can be reliquified with heat and dissasembled.

    As is, all you can do is lower the nut and bridge. Putting super jumbo frets on there gets the strings a little lower too. Making sure the neck is straight with the truss rod may help as well. Chances are its warped badly where the fretboard overlays the body and a fretboard replacement would be required. If you're not into learning how to repair acoustics then its just going to be a wall hanger. The person who gave it to you probibly knew this. Since you can buy a new acoustic electric for under $200 it doesnt make sence to spend  hundreds of dollars in tools. Even if you had the tools, it would be unlikely you'd earn enough repairing acoustics to break even on the cost of the tools. people look at the cost to repair vs the cost of a new one and cant justify the $1000 in labor cost to repair a $100 guitar when it was new. Thats why the manufacturers epoxy them together. They know they well never be repaired.


    • #3
      That's what I was thinking. Thanks for the help. The guy who gave it to me knew nothing about it, he doesn't play guitar. Anyway it plays all right for now at least so I'll just leave it alone.


      • WRGKMC
        WRGKMC commented
        Editing a comment

        Hold the first and last fret down on the strings and see if you have a big gap around the 5~7th frets. If you do try tightening the truss rod 1/4 turn and see what happens. You may need to wait between adjustments for a week or so depening on how dry the neck wood is and how badly warped it is. If you can adjust it where all strings just barely clear all the frets its about as good as you'll be able to get it.

        Slacking the strings and helping to by flexing the neck may be needed too. Just be sure you dont strip or snap the truss rod nut. If its never been adjusted before you may eventually need to tighten the nut by a whole turn or more. Scribe or mark the truss rod nut with a marker so you can judge the amount you adjust it, or get it back to where it was before. Putting lighter strings on can sometimes help too. If you have heavy gauge piano strings on there it may be the cause of the instrument warping up.