I've got a real nice sounding Martin D28-CW. The problem is that it's real tough to play, especially beyond the first position. The action on the low E at the 12fret is 4/32, which if I understand is a little high, but not awlfull. I put a 2 foot straigh edge and pushed it toward the bridge, it doesn't quite rest of the bridge, it's just a tad low ( so the edge of the rule just barely bumps the top of bridge). The bridge is glued in so Ican't sand down the bottom of saddle. The truss rod is as tight as I can get it. Don't think it's a nut issue as using a capo at the second fret yields the same results: the higher up the neck you go, the higher the action. It doesn't sound like these measurments are really out of spec, but the guitar is tough to note. I've compared the measurments with my Gibson Jumbo and the measurements are just about the same - but the Martin is much tougher to play. Even in the first position it's kinda tough to fret.

The Fret site says the rule should rest on the bridge, mine doesn't quite make it, but it's real close. Could it be a neck angle issue?
Any tips that I can try to get this guitar to play better? It's a great sounding guitar and I paid a fortune for it (about 2 years ago).
I'm not a luthier and I can't get the truss rod any tighter. Thanks for any advice.

Views: 574


Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

I guess it's too late to delete this entry. Sorry, don't know what I was thinking. Now if you'll excuse me I have to go adjust my truss rod.

My apologies,

Doug Collins
What do you know, it wasn't too late to delete it. Now I don't have to be recorded as moron for all luthier history.
tightening the truss rod STRAIGHTENS the neck. loosening it creates more relief.
Gerald... the high action could be caused one thing but it's most likely a cumulative combination of little things. Maybe a slight need for a reset... but probably not enough to warrant one yet. Then you toss-in a dose of slightly high saddle; a tablespoon of a misadjusted trussrod and.... voila!.... high action.
Sounds like one of those things best looked-at "in hand" by the card-carrying brethren.
Hi Gerald,
looks to me like you should get all the action adjustment you need from the saddle.
The straightedge should just skim the top of the bridge - which sounds pretty much what you have there - and then tweak the saddle to suit.
you can file the top of the saddle in situ, if you sand the bottom of it the sides wont match up when you replace it. Pay close attention to the radius - it should match the neck.
Maybe the nut slots are on the high side. What's the clearance between the strings and the 1st fret if you capo on the 2nd fret?
A trussrod "as tight as I can get it", is not a good sign. What gauge strings are you using?

This does sound like you should it looked at--be glad you didn't hear the multi hundred $ "snap", of an over torqued trussrod giving up the ghost.
Light guage strings. I was thinking I should be able to righten the rod till it almost backbows, but it gets to a point and wont turn anymore and I don't want to bust it. Thanks.
Please let an experienced guitar repairman handle this one. It sounds like you have been doing the truss rod thing, and you could be close to doing some damage that will require real money to repair. Forcing a back-bow is going to do nothing but damage.

From the look of your pictures, some string height adjustment is left before a reset is necessary, but you want a good repairman to do these fine adjustments to best effect.
David, thanks for the adivce. Didn't mean to infer that I was trying to force a backbow, just that the truss rod has very little play and won't allow me to take out any of the relief. It goes from slack to fully tight in less than one turn. Thanks again.
I don't see anything at all about what the relief actually measures. Nobody can know if it's in the right ballpark without that info. What frets are hitting that straight edge, and what clearance on those that are not hitting?
try taking the truss rod nut off, clean and grease it (and the part of the rod that is showing) and re-try tightening it - obviously go easy though. This works more often than not to give you much more movement of the truss rod.
Another thing is the neck could be clamped into a slight back-bow and then the nut nipped up, holding it in position.

good luck!


© 2024   Created by Frank Ford.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service