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17 votes
Accepted

Are these indentations on the frets of my Acoustic for intonation? Can I apply this to the frets of my Electric?

That's fret wear. The strings have slowly eroded away some of the fret material, leaving those dents. Over a long enough time, they become deep enough to cause problems. When the fret wear is bad ...
Todd Wilcox's user avatar
  • 57.2k
13 votes

On instruments that use frets, where's the best spot to press a string on, in order to minimize hand fatigue and potential for injuries?

Producing a sharp angle for the string over the fretwire makes for a clear, clean sound. So just behind the fretwire will be a good place. It also means not having to press down on the fingerboard so ...
Tim's user avatar
  • 194k
11 votes

Why is a zero fret so uncommon on guitars in spite of all the advantages?

To make it safe against buzz, the string has to run across the zero fret with a bit of pressure. This makes the strings move across the fret with some stickiness so they follow the tuning machine ...
user41525's user avatar
  • 111
10 votes
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Are there any violin family instruments built without a left shoulder?

As far as double basses are concerned, it's not uncommon to see a body with something like this: Just a normal double bass body, with a left shoulder cutaway (if it is really called like that). They ...
Shevliaskovic's user avatar
9 votes

Are these indentations on the frets of my Acoustic for intonation? Can I apply this to the frets of my Electric?

Those fret indentations are wear caused by playing. No manufactures would put them in on purpose. My first move would be to consider that the neck is actually too close to the bridge. Maybe it could ...
Tim's user avatar
  • 194k
8 votes

How risky is it to have a maple fretboard refretted?

When removing frets damage to the fretboard is always a consideration, some kind of chipping as the old frets come out is something to be anticipated, rather than disregarded. There are various ways ...
OwenM's user avatar
  • 2,007
7 votes
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Magnetic part of pickup sticks out

Some pickups are designed like that, so it's almost certainly normal. But if you hit it with the pick while playing, you should probably lower it a bit. Lower it equally on both sides with the two ...
MMazzon's user avatar
  • 6,349
7 votes

Is my truss rod broken?

An addendum to leftaroundabout's answer. Never tighten the trussrod against the tension of the strings. Slacken them first. Never use the truss rod to pull the neck. Pull the neck manually & use ...
Tetsujin's user avatar
  • 27.8k
7 votes
Accepted

Length-wise crack in acoustic guitar neck - cause for concern and possible fixes?

I'd be inclined to leave it as it is. Especially if the tuning is stable. Keep an eye on it - measure it every 3 months or so. Just maybe, I'd take it to a luthier for a check, but not worry about it. ...
Tim's user avatar
  • 194k
6 votes

Flamenco guitar strings

In Europe, stringed instruments (harps, guitars, violins) have used strings made from animal gut for millenia. The lower strings of a guitar were sometimes made with gut wrapped around a silk core. ...
Camille Goudeseune's user avatar
6 votes

Are there any violin family instruments built without a left shoulder?

The "electric family" of string instruments are often designed without any shoulders. The below photos come from Wikipedia's entries for electric cello and electric upright bass, and an ...
Aaron's user avatar
  • 90.1k
6 votes

Are there any violin family instruments built without a left shoulder?

Aside from electric instruments like @Aaron mentioned, this is not unheard of but extremely rare. I have seen a few upright basses over the years in bass shops with a cutout in the upper bout like ...
John Belzaguy's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

Is my truss rod broken?

It does tighten up if I turn it clockwise The truss rod doesn't seem to be broken. I don't see much of a change in the relief of the neck. It seems to be dead straight all the time. Normally the ...
leftaroundabout's user avatar
5 votes
Accepted

What are the dimensions, angles of a Gibson Les Paul standard pots cavity?

Schemtics are tricky, there's 3 things you can do: This link contains many blue prints of a Gibson Les Paul. There are no measurements on each axis. However, on each PDF there is a scale. Use the ...
John's user avatar
  • 1,974
5 votes
Accepted

Violin bridge E-string: pad or hardened insert?

My old student violin doesn't have the "bridge pad" for the E string and normally E strings come with a sliver of a tube which you can adjust to stop the E string cutting the bridge. On the ...
Brian Towers's user avatar
  • 5,620
5 votes
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Why do classical guitars necks meet the body at fret 12th and steel strings at fret 14th?

I'm not a luthier, but my understanding is that the 12th-fret join is used to maximize volume and tone. The 14th-fret join is a compromise for playability, and is more acceptable on a steel-string ...
Biscuit Taylor's user avatar
5 votes

Potential intonation problems by having a 0.5" difference between half scale lengths?

Building the guitar the way you describe would give you a string length of 25.5". The twelfth fret (for the high E-string) should be at half that: 12.75", so the distance from the bridge to ...
PiedPiper's user avatar
  • 21.4k
4 votes

Can I use a Mustang bridge on a Fender Jaguar? Are there issues?

I would not ever use a Mustang bridge as a replacement for either a Jaguar or Jazzmaster. They cause all kinds of intonation problems. I had one that came stock on my Troy Van Leeuwen signature ...
user33907's user avatar
4 votes

Importance of the neck joint on an electric guitar

Having built various electric guitars and experimented with neck fixing, I have a pretty good viewpoint on this, achieved through testing and comparison. For you, filling in the gaps will be almost ...
Doktor Mayhem's user avatar
  • 36.9k
4 votes

Crack on guitar neck. Possible solution?

It looks like it's being held together by the tension of the strings, which isn't too bad a scenario. It could stay like that for years! However, if you need it fixing, an obvious is take it to a ...
Tim's user avatar
  • 194k
4 votes
Accepted

What should I ask my luthier about from a general maintainence perspective?

Well, tell the luthier all the points you have posted here and ask him to make an overall check of the violin, in case there are matters you are not aware of. That should make sure that he does look ...
Lars Peter Schultz's user avatar
4 votes

Is it safe to use water to clean (rosewood, ebony, maple) fretboards?

A damp (not wet) rag should not cause any issues with most guitars - but, it's not going to do too much, in my opinion. Most of the dirt on a fingerboard is from oil off the users fingers, so you need ...
PeteCon's user avatar
  • 1,920
4 votes

Fixing loose strap button screw in solid-body guitar

Put wood glue on a toothpick, break it off clean so nothing sticks out. Side-cutters can help here. Then screw the button in. The extra wood will give the screw more bite and it won't pull out anymore....
Dave Jacoby's user avatar
  • 13.2k
4 votes
Accepted

Is looking at the centre spine behind the peg box of a violin a good way of discerning whether it is from Dutzenarbeit?

I think you do not understand what the term "Dutzendarbeit" means. This is a german term for a piece of workmanship that is not special, that is made "in dozens". So "...
Lazy's user avatar
  • 21.3k
3 votes

Why is a zero fret so uncommon on guitars in spite of all the advantages?

I installed a zero fret on my Fender a few months back. It smoothed out the tuning (no more 'jump' due to friction at the nut) and dropped the action at the nut to the perfect height. Perhaps it just ...
Kermit Brown's user avatar
3 votes
Accepted

Should I keep on the old strings when sending my guitar to be set up?

It's best to let the luthier put the new strings on as part of his setup. It's also best if he can see what it's like before he starts. So... best of both worlds... Put the old strings back on & ...
Tetsujin's user avatar
  • 27.8k
3 votes
Accepted

Where to install a bridge in an electric guitar? (assuming the scale length keeps the same)

The premise stated in your question is quite valid. Whereas bridge placement is critical to the sound of an acoustic guitar, the electric guitar does not rely on vibration of the top (soundboard) to ...
Rockin Cowboy's user avatar

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