Q: Any advice
on a bowing neck on an acoustic guitar? It's totally playable,
but getting kind of annoying. What all does a reset entail? Do
experience in these things?
A: The neck is bowed when the neck arcs forward between the nut and
body of the guitar. On most instruments, this can be corrected
truss rod. A neck reset is required if the movement is where the
the body. Resetting a neck is major surgery. Everything made out
changes shape every time the weather changes. If the weather bows
backward it will bow back into shape when the weather changes.
If it bows
forward, there is 180lbs of string tension holding it in the new
Most guitars have an adjustable truss rod to counteract the movement
neck and a removable, refitable neck to counteract the movement
of the body.
My guess, without looking at your guitar, but based on your
statement that it is "totally playable", is that what
you need is an action
set. We straighten the neck, level the fret tops, round the fret
set the height of the nut and saddle. Then we set the ramping from
saddle to the bridge pin holes, check your tuners, and clean and
fingerboard. The strings should be as close to the frets as they
without buzzing, for your style. If you beat a guitar your action
to be a little higher. If you torture it more subtly it can be
Action setting is an art. There are even some people who do it
for a living
who don't do it very well. Find someone with a good reputation
actions and play a few guitars that they have set up.
The action is a function of the above mentioned variables. If you
change one factor you must readjust all of the others. Be wary
who charge separately for each factor and are willing to address
while ignoring the others. An action set should cost $60-$100,
your locale. You should need an action set periodically. Once,
guitar is new, then after the first year and second year. Guitars
eventually stabilize to the point that you may need an adjustment
The other reason that people need an action set, beside wood
movement, is fret wear. This is a function of how much and how
play. How much you rub the hard strings against the softer frets.
had a few customers who need their frets actually replaced yearly.
people seem to get 10 to 15 years out of a set of frets, with periodic
filing, reshaping and buffing.