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  1. #1
    My Loar lh-300 arrived yesterday. Gorgeous looking, great sounding instrument, but it does have one little flaw. My strings get higher as i go up the fretboard. I examined guitar, and neck indeed has backward angle as it should have, but, at least to my eye, since I'm not experienced, slightly shallower than it should be for strings to perfectly align. Bridge is all the way down so no more room to lower it.

    There are some phosphor bronze d'addario's on it which are so tight that my hands fall of after 3 solo tunes, so i imagine there would be no fret buzz if i choose to lower the action, of course, with caution. I played every string up the neck and definitely no buzz anywhere, so should i go for it, and how do i do it in the most easy way. Which part of the bridge to sand and with what ?

    And one more question, should i change strings ? I had phosphor bronze on every acoustic instrument but these are rock hard, maybe because they are new.

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  3. #2

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    I usually go to FRETS.COM Acoustic guitar instrument care, repair for players, luthiers any time I need a reference for set up questions. There's an incredible amount of information there with good photographs. Before making any bridge adjustments, I would make sure neck relief is OK. That same site will have information regarding checking neck angle. If the neck angle is out of normal range I would think it would be appropriate to return a new instrument. I only see this getting worse over time. I use a glass table top as a flat surface if I want to sand the bottom of a saddle. Suppose it would work for the top part of an adjustable ebony or rosewood bridge. That's probably less risky than trying to sand the bottom part of the bridge where you would have to conform to the guitar top. A word of caution. Some people are highly allergic to dust from hardwoods. Any sanding should be done with proper ventilation and dust mask. Some strings will feel stiffer than others. I recall trying strings with a round wrap on a round core and they felt quite stiff to me.

  4. #3

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    A new guitar should have a playable action with plenty of room for adjustment either way. If the bridge is all the way down and the strings are too high, something is wrong. i would take the guitar to a good tech and have him/her assess the condition of the neck and the status of the bridge. If there's a defect, maybe you can return the guitar. Once you sand it, it's yours til you sell it.

  5. #4

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    I would send it back and ask for another. Sounds like a neck reset is in order.

    Edit: I see that DanielleOM had already mentioned it so +1 on what she said.

  6. #5

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    This sounds exactly like my recent LH-700. As new it was only marginally playable due to very high and stiff action, and no room to adjust the action down via the bridge thumb screws. However, it sounded very good, and I am very patient, so I elected to not return it.

    I had Frank Ford at Gryphon (frets.com guy, I'm very luck that he's my local guy!) carve the bridge down, and of course put new strings on it. It's better now, but I may decide to thin the bridge further in the future. I didn't think it's was a neck angle problem; I think the bridge design is faulty. The base of the bridge is thick, and looks all wrong too with it's softly rounded corners.

    I'd start by looking at lots of other archtop bridges. If you can consult a knowledgeable luthier, all the better. In my case, all the thinnng so far has come form the base, although the next step may be to modify the saddle a bit (much harder because nether top or bottom are flat).
    Find your voice, and tell a story!

    Circle 'Round the Sun

  7. #6
    I was thinking not only neck could be wrong, but bridge too, or maybe top is arched way to high. Well, that's optimistic. It's quite easy to not align neck well when you are working in a Chinese factory for minimal wage, rather than bridge.

    Anyway, returning it is not an option. I live in a wonderland where there are custom fees, VAT, postage fees, on which i already spend 1/4 of price. Besides, I'm overwhelmed with sound of it, considering the price. Sending it back is another cost. Lucky thing is, i live in a low income country, so luthiers are not expensive here.

    I guess I'm paying the price for going cheap, but still. I will check out the bridge. By the way, i do have Godin 5h Avenue, but they are different designs, so i can't really learn much from comparison.

  8. #7

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    To have to sand down a bridge is not uncommon, I had to do it on my Joe Pass with the Stewmac TOM I got.
    I did it on my Joe Pass by taping a sand paper to the top and moving back and forth slowly to shave away excess of rosewood following the curvature of the top. I could get a nice action after.
    However it is not something one expect to have to do on a stock guitar.
    In any case if it is not a neck set or angle problem any luthier could fix it easily.
    I would still suggest to have a luthier look after it though.
    Last edited by vinlander; 09-07-2014 at 11:24 AM.
    ...every note has an origin and a destination...
    - Tal Farlow

  9. #8

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    It looks like the bridge bases are massive on the Loars from the web pics.

    You could shave off the bottom of the bridge and use chalk to re fit it to the top.

  10. #9
    Christopher,

    I'm not sure what would be my desired height.

    As for what it currently looks like,

    I believe base is around 1.8 to 2 centimeter high to both E strings (low E string being slightly higher)

    Saddle, from base to its tip, appears to also have 1 cm of height at low E string, 1.1 at high E string.

    Base individually, is around 0.8 centimeters high at both ends, +/- difference that i can't really examine with my bare eye and ruler.

    As for pictures, i don't know how helpful are these i provided

    It appears neck has an angle, however, insufficient ?



    Bridge



    Action at heel obviously high



    At 3rd fret it appears normal


  11. #10

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    I too recently received a Loar archtop, a LH650, with the dreaded poor neck angle, bridge bottomed out, with very high action....of course the seller said nuthing prior to sell.

    The guitar sounds decent enuf, but unless you're Freddie Greene you'd not want to play it. I'm still trying to send mine back, the hard way....Amex on the case.

    But if I were to be stuck with this archtop, at minimum I'd start fresh with a new bridge from Antonio of

    Archtop guitar bridges.

    and of course let my luthier have at it. Nothing against a neck reset, but spending $300-$350 doing a neck reset on a Loar isn't so cost effective...unless one is keeping the guitar for life I 'spose.

    So, we've got a new member from Russia on the forum....Horosho!
    When I got pretty good I went on the road with a group - We starved - Wes Montgomery

  12. #11
    @ 2bop

    I'm actually not Russian, though i am a Russian speaker. Thanks for sharing your experience

    @ Christopher

    2. When i press low E string between 2nd and 3rd frets, business card just about passes the space, with high E string it passes, but tighter, i have to squeeze it in.

    3. With neck relief test, gap between fret and strings is quite small, i would estimate just about size of b string on high E, and similar on low E string, maybe smaller. I did this before and i didn't seem to notice too much neck bow, at least nothing that stands off to me (however I'm no one knowledgeable)

    Take your time, your help was already valuable.
    Last edited by Восток; 09-07-2014 at 02:18 PM. Reason: mistaken strings

  13. #12

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    This is GREAT info. I'm very interested in this process. Kudos to you Chris for helping this fellow out.

  14. #13
    5. Action is 2.5 mm at both strings.

    6 - 7. Unfortunately i don't have proper tools atm, but i think i know what you are looking after. I took a long piece of paper and measured from nut to 12 fret and marked it. Now i took the same measure and measured from 12th fret to bridge and distance is almost exactly the same. On high E string it might be a bit longer because bridge sits a bit diagonally with low E string being little bit forward, which is something i notice on almost every archtop, apparently has something to do with intonation. If you need exact distance, i will get a proper measure

    8. This is farthest i could squeeze it in. Needless to say, small piece of paper got ripped of and stuck under the bridge




    edit:

    There is a little development. While saddle definitely sits flat at high E position, it can't be completely lowered on bass end, there still remains a tiny gap. because there is not enough room above the wheel to pass it. The wheel itself blocks the saddle from completely laying flat on the base. However, this doesn't really affect my current action that much, since it's big at high E string too, which sits flat, but it does show me the bridge isn't exactly state of the art construction
    Last edited by Восток; 09-08-2014 at 08:43 AM.

  15. #14
    One more thing

    Quote Originally Posted by PTChristopher2 View Post
    15. Once this is done, put the bridge back under the strings. Position the bridge so the high E (the thin plain wire string) saddle is about 1,5mm farther from the center of the 12th fret than the distance front of the nut to the center of the 12th. Swing the bridge so the low E (fattest string) saddle is 4,5mm farther from the center of the 12th fret than the distance front of the nut to the center of the 12th.
    Are you sure both should be farther from 12th fret ? (Maybe i got some wrong idea on how bridge should look like)

  16. #15
    I'm not sure yet, but I think it will be sanding paper, flat file. I was thinking of some small saw to help me get rid of excess wood bellow thumb wheels quicker, but it might not be necessary.

  17. #16
    I'm trying to assemble proper tools. I'm under impression that there is no way to do this with sand paper only, at least i don't have confidence. Stay tuned.

  18. #17

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    Love your humor, Chris

  19. #18

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  20. #19

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    He's at hospital,
    must have X-ray exams

    ......


  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by ninjasan View Post
    He's at hospital,
    must have X-ray exams

    ......

    I don't see no ketchup...

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by PTChristopher2 View Post
    In principle, you could do everything with sandpaper only,
    .../..., a flat file and a fine-toothed saw would help some.
    Chris
    Do you think he could eat some sand paper to shape the bowling ball in a more convenient
    form factor regarding disturbance of bowel motility ?

    I mean, if he has to eat a flat file and a fine-toothed saw .....

    Christophe
    Last edited by ninjasan; 09-20-2014 at 03:14 AM. Reason: spelling

  23. #22

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    My last guitar needed some bridge tweaking. Just a bit of wood removed below the thumbwheels with a dremel tool set everything right. Not a difficult job and has worked out well. Of course the first step was the forum telling me that this is a common situation and the fix is easy. Helpful posts are never wasted here.
    Hell is full of musical amateurs - George Bernard Shaw

  24. #23

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    There are a couple of good stewmac videos on youtube about this. If you are only doing this once, you shouldn't need much more than sandpaper and something to protect the top of the guitar.

    Having a saw to remove excess material will make the job go faster.

    Stewmac sells a jig that helps keep the bridge perpendicular while you are sanding which will give you a flatter base. No roundd bottoms or rocking bridges.

  25. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by PTChristopher2 View Post
    Anything ever happen with this?

    I want to stay responsive, but don't want to end up watching for no particular reason. (I have no PM connection or automated notices regarding the forum.)

    It seems fairly common to never hear again about something, even when it seems to be rather hanging there
    Sorry for not dropping a word or two

    A luthier told me he will do it for free, so i let him do it instead, but now he has been moving so everything got delayed a bit. I'm sure there will be no problems

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Восток View Post
    Sorry for not dropping a word or two

    A luthier told me he will do it for free, so i let him do it instead, but now he has been moving so everything got delayed a bit. I'm sure there will be no problems
    Can you promise some pictures of the completed work? I'd love to see it, since this same work might be in my future. Good luck.
    Find your voice, and tell a story!

    Circle 'Round the Sun

  27. #26

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    Hey PTChris . . . . just wondering how much better you might have been able to use the time, effort and concern you put into attempting an on line course in this specific area of lutherie . . . only to see it all go for naught with the OP you were trying to help. Then . . . not even a post thanking you and letting you know he's whimped out of the job and chosen to have someone do it for free . . . as was your free and very time consuming on-line tutorial. That just absolutely sucks! I hope everyone here will remember that the next time the OP posts a request for free advice.

    But, even though your generous willingness to guide the OP through this process might have been totally lost on the OP . . . there are many here who actually did benefit from it. I truly hope you don't let this display of inconsideration keep you from sharing your knowledge and expertise with us in the future. Hopefully, these kind of things piss you off much less than they do me.
    Patrick2 . . Heritage representative (now former)

  28. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick2 View Post
    ...
    But, even though your generous willingness to guide the OP through this process might have been totally lost on the OP . . . there are many here who actually did benefit from it. I truly hope you don't let this display of inconsideration keep you from sharing your knowledge and expertise with us in the future...
    Being a perpetual tinkerer and disciple of the DIY approach, I am one of those who always get something out of his knowledgeable inputs and nothing is wasted
    ...every note has an origin and a destination...
    - Tal Farlow

  29. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by vinlander View Post
    Being a perpetual tinkerer and disciple of the DIY approach, I am one of those who always get something out of his knowledgeable inputs and nothing is wasted
    Me too. I always read PTChris' posts with great interest and have learned something every time. I also like his scientific no nonsense approach. No flowery romanticism from him. (I guess he saves that for his better part. Sanding archtop bridge)
    "But if they all play like me, then who am I?" (Lester Young)

  30. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by kamlapati View Post
    Can you promise some pictures of the completed work? I'd love to see it, since this same work might be in my future. Good luck.
    Of course

    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick2 View Post
    Hey PTChris . . . . just wondering how much better you might have been able to use the time, effort and concern you put into attempting an on line course in this specific area of lutherie . . . only to see it all go for naught with the OP you were trying to help. Then . . . not even a post thanking you and letting you know he's whimped out of the job and chosen to have someone do it for free . . . as was your free and very time consuming on-line tutorial. That just absolutely sucks! I hope everyone here will remember that the next time the OP posts a request for free advice.
    Mr. Patrick

    I didn't whimp out of it. I let someone knowledgeable do it. We all want best for our instruments.

    Yes, we get things here where i live for free quite often. And we give things for free too, particularly when you seek help from friends, friends of friends, or associates . It's part of our more collectivist culture. Westerners always get grumpy about it, but that's simply how it is.

    This isn't a commercial forum, so i don't what kind of transaction did you have in mind

    As for thanking Christopher for help, i did thank him for his time, however the pleasure of it is already lost thanks to your rude and arrogant policing on that part.

  31. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Восток View Post
    Of course



    Mr. Patrick

    I didn't whimp out of it. I let someone knowledgeable do it. We all want best for our instruments.

    Yes, we get things here where i live for free quite often. And we give things for free too, particularly when you seek help from friends, friends of friends, or associates . It's part of our more collectivist culture. Westerners always get grumpy about it, but that's simply how it is.

    This isn't a commercial forum, so i don't what kind of transaction did you have in mind

    As for thanking Christopher for help, i did thank him for his time, however the pleasure of it is already lost thanks to your rude and arrogant policing on that part.
    Nothing rude or arrogant at all about my comments. Just summing up the facts as they are. You "let someone knowledgeable do it" . . simply because you found someone willing to do it for free. You claim to have conducted youself appropriately. That's just total bullshit!! (now, THAT was rude and arrogant!!) It took PTChris' having to come back and ask what the hell happened to you. If it was me or any other considerate person . . we would have immediately posted to the thread notifying PTChris that we had chosen a different course of action . . so as not to leave him wondering, as you did. But, hey . . what do I know? I'm just a rude, arrogant westerner getting grumpy as we usually do . . . but that's simply how it is.
    Patrick2 . . Heritage representative (now former)

  32. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick2 View Post
    Nothing rude or arrogant at all about my comments. Just summing up the facts as they are. You "let someone knowledgeable do it" . . simply because you found someone willing to do it for free. You claim to have conducted youself appropriately. That's just total bullshit!! (now, THAT was rude and arrogant!!) It took PTChris' having to come back and ask what the hell happened to you. If it was me or any other considerate person . . we would have immediately posted to the thread notifying PTChris that we had chosen a different course of action . . so as not to leave him wondering, as you did. But, hey . . what do I know? I'm just a rude, arrogant westerner getting grumpy as we usually do . . . but that's simply how it is.
    Patrick,

    I didn't find someone to do it for free. As, you know, as if i was actually scouting for luthiers out there who have spare time. It just happened that dude was a friend to my cousin and offered help.

    As you can see, i didn't post anything on the forum until today for some time. Let's say i was terribly busy. But also, a bus could have hit me, or i could have decided that i want to dedicate myself to living strictly in a monastery limited from the outside world and no one would be hearing about me anymore. I never said i conducted myself appropriately. Appropriately is a subjective category. But I did thank Christopher, no matter how meaningless it is now.

    Quote Originally Posted by PTChristopher2 View Post
    Chris
    No culture clash here at all. I was strictly replying to his response where he underlined words "for free" referring to the luthier who offered help, as it was scandalous, while it in reality isn't, it's business as usual here.

    Also, i would use this opportunity to apologize to you for having disappointed you and wasting your time biting more than i can chew.

    I would also advise rest of people who criticized me here definitely not to advise me or help me with anything if their help is conditional.

  33. #32

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    Boctok; I probably blew it up out of proportion. Apologies. When I first read your post . . the one you made in response to Chris' post questioning the status of your fix . . my first thought was . . WTF??? But, that was knee jerk reaction. I probably should have considered that it might not have been a matter of you being inconsiderate.

    I owe ya one. Feel free to blow up at me when ever to opportunity presents itself, deserved or undeserved. Again . . my apologies.
    Patrick2 . . Heritage representative (now former)

  34. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by PTChristopher2 View Post
    >>> it was scandalous,

    Hey, while we were driving to the 2011 jazzguitar.be Christmans party, Patrick2 told me that the party was "pants optional". So I went with it.

    That was scandalous. And it was COLD on the way into the party - I am normally not so retracted,...
    That kilt sure ain't made of wool...A MIC imitation (with advance apologies to my Bostonian Irish friends, yeah, I watched that movie).

    Here's another that I overheard on my way to Carnegie:

    Q: What do you call a black man driving a Ferrari?

    A: Miles Davis.

  35. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick2 View Post
    Boctok; I probably blew it up out of proportion. Apologies
    I had no doubt this will be settled in a civilized manner and was matter of temporary misunderstanding. Nothing to feel bad about, perhaps i wasn't too much considerate either.

    Anyway, it's been a while, but i think I'm finally sorting this minor inconvenience with my instrument that's taking me so long, so I'll post pics soon.