I've got a 1980 Mossman Great Plains that I believe needs a neck reset. However, this one is a bit different. Most times a neck reset is needed when the saddle is too low for adjustment and the action is too high. My situation is this ... the action is good, right where I want it and I don't want to adjust it. But the saddle is too low, especially on the treble side. It's so low that the string does not even rest on the saddle, it is laying on the bridge. I'll bet the guitar tone would improve if I could have a higher saddle with a better break angle. Seems to me that if the neck angle is changed then the action gets lower, I would then install a taller saddle and put my action back to where I like it.


Does this make sense or am I in left field?


Thanks for the help!

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Sound to me like you have it figured out. The saddle has probably been lowered a few times to compensate for the high action. It's avoids a neck reset... for a while. Sooner or later you run out of saddle and bridge and the neck reset has to be done.  Feel fortunate that someone didn't shave the bridge down too or it would probably need to be replaces at the same time.

I agree with Ned.  You definitely need a neck reset. As a matter of fact, you described textbook symptoms.

Oh the "good news" side of the coin: You will be amazed at the improvement in volume and tone once the reset is done and a properly fitted and adjusted saddle is installed.  The increased string break behind the bridge will drive the top much better.

You have a wonderful and irreplaceable instrument.  Give it the maintenance it (and you) deserve.

One more thing...I can't cite the source, but I remember reading an article about Mossman's non-standard neck joints.  As I recall, they're a bit different than most.  I'm sure Mr. Ford or another expert member can fill us in.

If my recollection is accurate, I'd suggest dealing with a repairman/luthier familiar with the Mossman neck joint.
You will be amazed at the improvement in volume and tone once the reset is done and a properly fitted and adjusted saddle is installed.

I can't agree enough--the phrase, "To breathe life into", comes to mind.

"To breathe life into"     

Ahhhhh...that's much more of a poetic and lucid description.

I'm gonna to use that phrase whenever appropriate.

Thanks Jeff.  (: (:

I can tell you from experience that Mossman neck sets are interesting.  Some are a straight bolt on, glue on, mortise and tenon, and some are a kind of hybrid reverse dovetail, bolt on, glue on sort of thing that would be high in the running for worst neck joint idea ever.  What they lacked in engineering and execution, they made up for with titebond.  Lots of titebond.  A neck set would help, but even properly set up Mossmans tend to be rather tight sounding due to the fact that each one has enough bracing for two guitars.

Thanks everyone. I thought I was on the right track but just wanted to be sure.

I have also heard that Mossman neck joints can be tricky. I am a fledgling luthier and need more experience on neck resetting before taking on the Mossman. I guess it will have to sit in the corner for a while. The neck does not appear to be bolted on. I don't see any bolts in the neck block. If anyone has any info on Mossman neck joints, please pass that along ... or maybe I should start a new thread about these neck joints.

What they lacked in engineering and execution, they made up for with titebond.  Lots of titebond.


My first good laugh of the day, thanks!




I have some pics of a Mossman neck joint on my computer at work. As best as I can recall, it has 2 studs threaded into what I'd call a negative straight dovetail (opposite of a conventional dovetail). It was glued and screwed together. I was able to steam it apart with little trouble. I recall doing a couple of these over the past few years and finding them fairly straightforward to repair.

Mark, thanks for the info. I found this post about Mossman neck resets. Mossman neck reset Scroll down towards the bottom to see pics of the joint. If your pics have any additional views or something you think I would want to see, please pass them on. They say it's a tapered mortise and tenon joint. Do you reset this type of joint in the same manner as a dovetail or do you shim it like a bolt on Taylor neck?

I looked at my neck block again and sure enough, there was a piece of mahogany glued to the block. I removed it and there were the two neck bolts.

"Two neck bolts" you say.......surely this qualifies it as a "Frankenstein" guitar?
I couldn't get your link to work so I found this photo for you. I cut the heel in essentially the same manner as one would with most conventional necks but I didn't shim the joint in any way, nor did I bother with glue as these studs are STOUT! I glued the F/B extension of course.

Sorry the link didn't work. I should have checked it. Here's another attempt in case anyone is interested to see more pics of this type of joint. Mossman neck reset

No shims, huh? The tapered mortise and tenon is not a mechanical fit like the dovetail? I suppose the two bolts are enough to hold the neck in place. Taylor gets away with it on some models. I built a classical with a butt joint and 2 neck bolts ... works fine.


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