Need some advice

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments

Need some advice

Post by Dimis » Wed Nov 29, 2006 6:30 pm

Hi, unfortunately here in Greece, at least in Thessaloniki, there isn't a luthier who specializes in making guitars. All of whom I know build (make) other instruments as well. But I think this is the problem. There isn't a guitar luthier who is an advanced guitar player as well. I think they don't even know the demands -requirements (don't know which one word is the appropriate) of a classical guitar player. I 've taken my guitar (Sanchez 1035) to 3 luthiers. The two of them didn't do a good job. The third one who is currently working on my guitar is a litlle better. He has done a good job on my frets, but the guitar when I hit the strings, one at a time, with much tension a noise is heard by the contact of the string with the fret (don't know the exact word for this, so I am saying it peripfrastically).
The luthier told me that the warp of the guitar is normal (has a litlle warp)
and the height of the strings from the fingerboard is normal too. At present, me having not taken the guitar from him, he put a thin plastic under the bone (in the right side, not in the left) and so the action became bigger. However the noise, heard by the contact of the string with the fret, didn't vanished.
Is there anything else that could be done? May be a litlle more warp would be good? The frets are well put, and they don't seem to be the problem. I am asking for general advice, I know you can't guess without having seen or play the guitar. When I getthe guitar, and the same problem continoues, I could upload some photos (I'll try to photograph the important points) for you to have a look.
That kind of problems must have been discussed several times, but I don't have enough time to search the forum for the appropriate answer.
Sorry for being tiresome.:)


Post by Dimis » Thu Nov 30, 2006 1:39 pm

Responde someone. If I told my luthier to increase the relief would it be good? Would it make a difference?

Moderator Message: Patience please. You don't have time to conduct a search but you want an instant response?

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James Lister
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Location: Sheffield, UK

Post by James Lister » Thu Nov 30, 2006 2:39 pm

Hi Dimis,

It's very difficult to be sure what the problem is without looking at the guitar very closely. Photos might help a bit, but it's not the same as having the guitar in your hands, of course.

There are three things that are most important to reduce string "buzz" on the frets:
1. The nut must be the correct height
2. The saddle must be the correct height
3. The frets must be perfectly level, or with a slight relief.

Check as follows:
1. If you press with your finger at the 3rd fret, the string will be stretched between the 2nd fret and the nut. If you then tap the string above the first fret, there should be a very small gap between the string and the fret (about 1/4mm).
2. The saddle height should be such that the bass E string is 4mm above the 12th fret, and the treble E string is 3mm above the 12th fret.
3. If you have a good quality metal ruler with a straight edge, you can rest the ruler on the frets along the fingerboard (in line with the strings). If you look and feel carefully, you will be able to see any high or low frets.

If the problem is 1 or 2, then just the nut and saddle height needs adjusting. If it is 3, then the frets must be levelled. Your luthier should be able to do this, unless the neck is badly warped. If it is, then it is a difficult problem to fix. Either the frets need to be removed, the fingerboard levelled, and new frets put in; or if it is really bad, then the fingerboard must be removed, the neck re-inforced, and new fingerboard and frets fitted.

Hope this helps, post some photos when you get some.

James Lister, luthier, Sheffield UK


Post by Dimis » Thu Nov 30, 2006 4:20 pm

Thanks, in a few minutes I am off to get the guitar. I'll mention what you've said to the luthier and see what he will say.

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