Hi, this is dirrectly related to my last post. I have the chance to buy an old Brazos acoustic guitar for cheap, made overseas, most likely from the early 1980s. It is filthy, and needs work. I can clean it up, but what worries me is the very high action. Please take a look at one of the photos. With action this high, I fear that a simply truss rod adjustment or shave of the saddle will not do, so I guess what I am asking is, is this worth a neck reset? I cannot do that myself at all, so I would have to pay a luthier, and luthiers here in Massachusetts USA charge alot of money.

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In short. No. Unless you do the work yourself. Guitars like these can be purchased wholesale new for roughly ~$50. 

The old 'hack' trick is to grab that saw in the shed and saw the heel up to the finger board and then re-glue it with a with long screw as your clamp. 'Hide' the screw end with a strap button. Fifteen minutes - Boom! re-set! Not that I have ever tried that.  Tom

NO - this is the kind of guitar we consign to the dumpster at the rate of one or two a week.  These instruments were never made with the intent of long service, just as other cheap consumer items.  Far better to buy  a new Chinese import that works well, and use it until it reaches the time for replacement. . .

Ah Frank, I wish I were closer to you, I would love to raid your dumpster.. HAHA.

"These instruments were never made with the intent of long service, just as other cheap consumer items. Far better to buy a new Chinese import that works well, and use it until it reaches the time for replacement."

THANK YOU, Frank. I've been trying to come up with a courteous, fact based and non-personally offensive way to explain the reality of "shot" instruments to customers & friends. A marvelous summary and succinct explanation.

I bet all of us will parrot your advice countless times to our clients for the foreseeable future. I think it's prudent for all of us to brace for the glut of non-salvagable instruments that will be coming through out doors

Best personal regards and much appreciation.

Arthur, this is one of the reasons that I tend to look for instruments made in the mid 60's or older. There's still plenty of them that are just junk and not worth the effort but most of them will come apart with reasonable effort. One of the thing I do is watch Ebay to see what people are asking and what sells. Over time you can get an idea of what the Internet price for junk instruments is.  Just don't expect to purchase anything there that is properly or completely represented in the listing.  I don't actually buy much and I'm never let down in that all of them have issues that the seller didn't mention. I've only bought one instrument there that I wished I hadn't but that's because I have very low expectations and the price I pay reflects that. Most of what I finding interesting goes for more than I'm willing to pay.   

Something you may want to think about, as far as learning some repair skills, are ukuleles. It not a guitar but there are a lot of similarities and you will usually have less invested. Baritones are of particular interest to guitar players since they can be tuned like a tenor guitar ( first four strings ) and a lot of people are dropping the reentrant tuning on tenor and even soprano ukes.

 It's actually a lot of fun picking out tunes on one tuned like this and it's not really hard to adapt to the missing bass strings. It would also be much easier on your hands since the necks are all much narrower.  

And if you play the three-string chords like Django or Andy Summers you're ready to rock that uke!

One of the women that play in my group is a uke player. It not a mandolin but it adds a bit of that high sound if  if it's not as percussive or as loud.  She varies between a concert with reentrant strings/tuning and a baritone with standard tuning, depending on what works best. It's something that we are still working out but it's working pretty well so far.

BTW, they both have electronics which is pretty much a "must" in this situation. 

Looks like firewood to me.  No amount of work would be worth saving this instrument.  Just look at the way the neck is pushing down on the upper bout.  

- S

What in the world does 'reentrant' mean?

Sorry guys. I don't know if you have noticed that soprano, tenor and concert ukes have a higher pitched 4th string. That's reentrant tuning which I suppose is because it's sort of circular. It's strange to play if you're used to a guitar.  I once read an article by a uke player who said it was an easy instrument to learn and very hard to master. He attributes this to the reentrant tuning. 

All I know is that I'm fine with one tuned like a guitar but I struggle with figuring out what to do with a high note where I expect a bass.  I keep trying but I'm not much good. 


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