I'm trying to figure out if I have a problem on the second guitar I've built.  Looks like I made a mistake when I attached the neck to the body of this hybrid (classical body, narrower neck). The frets are nice and flat from 1st-to-10th frets when I use a slotted straightedge, but the fretboard then dives down and ends up about 1/16th lower at 18th fret than at 10th. I read somewhere that a dive like I have explained isn't a bad thing...or is it? How much trouble am I in? What do I have to do?

I've tried to attach a picture.  Hope it comes through.

Tags: at, body, falls, fretboard, join, off

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Ron, don't panic (yet!) Take a few more pics with  quarters balanced at the 10th and 18th fret so we can see somthing more specific OK Buddy?

I took pics according to my understanding of what you are asking for:


There are 19 frets on this guitar.  One quarter is on the 10th, other is on 19th


I had a neighbor who has a High Resolution camera take the following pictures.  Hope this helps. 


Kerry K.:  Where are you?  I took pics as requested.  Need help.  Thanks.

A bit of fallaway toward the body isnt necessarily a bad thing, and helps to reduce buzzing in the upper register. But to me a 16th is more than Id be comfortable seeing. Might have a noticeable effect on intonation when playing up there. I wouldnt want to see any more than a 32nd, and even that would seem a lot to me. I generally try to only go with as much fallaway as the guitar needs, starting with none and working up (down?) a few thou at a time (assuming the neck is perfectly cooperative).

I wouldnt be freaking out though, depending on the reason. How did the neck joint go together? If the angle was enough, maybe it could have required a shim under the tongue. If theres enough material on the fingerboard (inlays?) and the neck angle will allow it, maybe you could bring the headstock half down a little so the fallaway is less pronounced. Youll need to get the straightedges out and do some humming and hawing. Is the bridge already installed? That could have an influence on what the solution will be, or conversely the solution could change things at the bridge.

This neck join is a spanish foot.  The bridge is not installed.

Much better to fall a little than rise and I've read on this site and elsewhere that classical builders prefer 0 to slight neg angle ...if it plays well don't sweat it ! Hopefully w/the bridge/strings on, the neck remains stable.....steel or nylon?Ramirez thinned out the bass side in that area to improved bass response I believe.

Okay, Tim, Thanks

On a dread sized guitar I build in .015" of fall-away measured at the last fret. It's desirable and also something that we build-in on refrets and mill in on fret dresses.

I take it that this is a steel string with no cut-away and if the player might be you and this guitar will not be for sale and... you don't play above the body joint slightly more fall-away than my .015" should not matter.

This is a nylon string guitar.  The body is classical while the neck is like a steel string, narrower.  My #1 guitar was 100% classical.  My #2 was built with the narrower neck.  This guitar doesn't have a cut-away and I don't use the frets 13-19.  They are more a decoration than a functional part of the guitar. 


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