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  • Truss Bar issue and wtf?

    Okay...here's the problem. After a long and exhausting search resulting in looking at guitars all the way up to $5,000 in value, to find a decent nylon string classical acoustic to play, I settled on this "Signature Series C2CE, Greg Bennett made by Samick (And yes--I'm well aware of the crap they have made among the 80- percent of the globe's guitars at times), and for nearly a decade, this guitar has served me really well. It has always been the most beautiful sounding and nicest playing instrument. And yeah, I think I paid maybe $240 with tax and I had intended on spending whatever it took to get a nice player and this was nicer than the models I played (as far as playability and feel) that cost $3,000-5,000--though I ultimately was hoping to find something nice for under a thousand and anyway...

    I picked it up off the stand two nights ago and it has fret buzz along the low E and high E strings, while those 4 in between are fine. I tried adjusting the truss bar in both directions and I cannot go but a limited distance in the direction I really need to go. The neck still physically looks perfectly straight. And it has been extremely dry with the furnace going all winter so I'm taking a shower in a bit and am taking the guitar in with me (in the room--not into the actual shower!) to see if some humidity might help.

    Other than this, are my only other options to simply bring up my action to get the strings off the neck, with a change of a nut and/or a bridge? Part of what has been so very nice with this is the action was/is/has been extremely low, unlike so many classical style acoustics I've found. A luthier would likely end up costing me more than the guitar is worth and I just wonder what I can do to get back my wonderful sounds from this instrument.

    And yes, it's a so-called "cheap" guitar, but for playability and sound, I have always been impressed since the beginning, and sometimes this happens that the least expensive instrument hanging on the wall is also the nicest to play and in sound. I once was on a hunt for a Fender Telecaster, made in America and found a set neck, "Thin-line," made in China Squire that was so well set up and felt so nice, well I bought that too! (And yes--I did find the finest MIA Tele I've ever played). The Seymour Duncan pickups in it left something to be desired, but the rest of it is immaculate. Funny, since I bought them all around the same time nearly a decade ago! Regardless, any serious suggestions would certainly be appreciated. Sorry for being so long winded.

  • #2
    I'm certain this must have a simple fix, but if not--what would anyone recommend as a replacement? This is a cut-away body to access the higher register of the neck, but still...

    And NO--if I spend $5,000 on a guitar in this lifetime it is going to be a Les Paul or something really, really special in some way. I'm not that good a guitarist to be playing instruments with that kind of value, and as we all know, they might not be the best thing for our money.

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    • #3
      It is almost impossible to diagnose your problem and try to help you fix it without hearing some very basic measurements. First, make sure your guitar is totally humidified and stable - put it in a case with a couple of humidifiers for one or two weeks. Then measure the relief at the 6th fret and the action at 12 on both high and low E strings. Post the numbers.

      Most good classical guitars do not have truss "bars" - in most cases the relief is planed into either the neck or fretboard and doesn't require adjustment. A few of the less expensive ones like Yamaha do have adjustable rods - and the adjustment procedure is exactly like any other guitar, however because of the larger envelope of string vibration they tend to want a little more relief and higher action. Post your numbers before you do anything else and we'll try to help you.


      There are many nice budget priced nylon string guitars - Cordoba, Yamaha, Godin and others make a large variety. If you are mostly a steel string player look at Taylors "hybrid" nylons. However, for right now lets fix yours

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      • #4
        Hey there...thank you Freeman Keller, sincerely. This is really the first time I have ever seen the humidity as a significant issue and I think it's definitely related, since I've kept the guitar in my bathroom, on a stand on the counter and I ran hot water throughout the day yesterday after a hot shower I didn't turn the exhaust fan on for--AND, it is already seeming to have some effect!

        Since this was such an inexpensive guitar, I never bought a case for it, and I have to look at what they sell at local stores for humidity (If I can come to find a case that it will fit into). Any suggestions otherwise or should I just leave it on the counter in the bathroom!? I have some good measuring tools left to me by Dad who was a tool maker, so I will post what I come up with after a turn measuring it.

        I suppose the design minus any kind of normally implanted truss bars may have something to do with the high action I've found on so many of these instruments. I didn't want it any higher than any of my steel stringed instruments and acoustic wise, I have three other steel-stringed acoustics I play, including a 12 stringed Alvarez, which really has a nice, relatively low action for the extra strings and tension they cause.

        Regardless, UI will take some measurements here in a short while and then later when it's had a good chance to really absorb some of the humidity.

        I've heard a lot about the Godin and a local Music Go Round shop has a lot of these Seagull guitars. Is this brand or are these--also made by Godin? Are they made in Canada or Korea like the bulk of the rest? Guess no biggie and a separate thing for now.

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        • #5
          Here are some typical measurements for a nylon string guitar. I have a chart that came with my StewMac string action gauge - they suggest 0.002 inch of relief, 0.125 inch for the high E at the 12th fret and 0.156 inch for the low E. You will also see the action measured in millimeters - I've seen 3.0 mm for the high E and 3.5 for the low. Personally that seems like very low relief - I think you could go up to maybe 0.005 inch.

          Also, be very careful about trying to over hydrate your guitar - leaving it in a very high humidity environment can do almost as much damage as too low. Your guitar is happiest somewhere between about 40 and 50 percent relative humidity and in my humble opinion should always be kept in a case unless your home is humidity controlled.

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